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Friday, August 29, 2008

Metroid Prime Hunters - Retrospective

The Metroid series has always been one of my favorites from the gaming universe. I'd heard a lot about the game from friends, and even though it was a launch title for the DS, I never got around to playing it until just this month.

Overall, I found the game enjoyable, but it lacked the level of polish that the other Prime games have. While some of this can be attributed to the smaller screen and lack of processing power on the DS, the rest is actually a fundamental flaw with the game itself.

There are a total of 3 bosses in the entire game, 2 of which you fight 4 times apiece. While the bosses change slightly each time in order to seem harder, the learning curve built into the game doesn't adapt as fast as the player; Every version of the boss is actually slightly easier than the one before it.

I admit I'm not the greatest gamer in the world, especially when it comes to FPS games. Even so, I didn't run into any points in this game where I simply could not continue due to difficulty. On the one hand, this was helpful in keeping me interested in the game, but I can't help feel like better players will end up getting bored quickly.

But no reviewer worth his salt will talk about Metroid Prime Hunters without mentioning the multiplayer. This is where the game truly shines. Some would say it's the only reason to actually own the game. In a way, I'd compare it to Super Smash Bros: Single player is fun for a while, but multiplayer is fun forever. But as a primarily solo player, I can't help but think the game would benefit from being able to play as the other 6 hunters in the regular story mode.

The Good:
  • Shockingly good graphics and online gameplay for a handheld title, especially an early generation DS title.
  • 6 new bounty hunters vastly expand the game universe.
The Bad:
  • No way to play as the other 6 hunters outside of multiplayer.
  • Controlling the game on a DS Lite results in cramps in the left hand after only a few minutes of intense combat.
Defining Moment:
  • Finding out I beat Slench 4 before Slench 3, and discovering that it was actually far easier than Slench 3.
Burning Questions:
  • So, the great power in the Alimbic cluster was just a big powerful monster that killed everyone?
  • Why doesn't Nintendo make a sequel to this game for the Wii with online play? It could easily be their answer to Halo. They could have multiple story lines for each of the 7 hunters, essentially septupling the single player mode's life.

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