Metroid Prime: Hunters - game review
Who will admit, hand on heart, that playing FPS on PS2 or XBox is more convenient than on PC? Who? That you can buy a keyboard and mouse for the console? And yes, but that's not why we buy equipment that requires only the ability to connect to the socket and insert the plate into the reader, and then load a pile of cash for accessories into it. Firstly, not everyone can afford such accessories, and secondly, with the console we get a comfortable rain. Unfortunately, even the best controller of this type with analog knobs will not replace the precision offered by a decent optical mouse. Nintendo met this problem and used a solution that works perfectly in palmtops - a touchscreen.
As soon as the developers got to know the possibilities of DS, they immediately informed the players which games will be released on the innovative handheld in the next months or years. From among many titles, it was possible to choose strategies, turns and FPPs. One of them was Metroid Prime: Hunters , a three-dimensional shooter with wonderful graphics and extremely comfortable controls. For the first time I could find out about it while playing the demo with the subtitle First Hunt , it made an electrifying impression on me and since then (over a year) I have been waiting for this game with bated breath. Subsequent news about Metroid convinced me that this game is doomed to success. Are you fed up with chattering? Then I won't beat around the bush and I'll blow it straight off the bridge - Metroid Prime: Hunters is divine. Which doesn't mean it's not without flaws. Well, he has quite a lot of them, but they are not able to destroy its splendor anyway. What delighted me so much? See for yourself and read the review. I invite you to read.
In the distant galaxy, Tetra, a technologically advanced, extremely intelligent race of Alimbics has developed that has taken control of a large chunk of the universe named by the pioneers of the Alimbic Cluster. Unfortunately, one fine morning all civilization disappears without a trace, and the lands flowing with milk and honey turn into gloomy ashes. The Galactic Federation controlling the adjacent area receives an encoded message broadcast on an unused frequency. Engineers decipher the content of the mysterious message and discover that it originated in the Tetra galaxy. You don't have to wait long for the effects, the fascinated members of the Federation send a heroine (!) Named Samus to a nearby galaxy to see what is the cause of all the confusion.
It cannot be denied that the plot is very stretched. There is no intrigue in it, and we have heard similar stories many times. Despite the fact that this is only a FPS, from which we require dynamic action, I feel unsatisfied and disappointed - the authors did not show off here.
The site of Samus Aran covers the entire Tetra galaxy. The developers have prepared a total of four places for the Single Player mode that we will visit sooner or later. The first of them will be the Celestial Archives, i.e. a devastated space station. Then we will go to the volcanic planet Alinos. Later in the game, we will come across Arcaterra and examine a drifting spaceship that once served as a huge fuel tank from a lost civilization. At first glance, the area of operation does not seem very large, but the next moments spent with the game show how wrong we were in thinking that we will soon return to the same room only to neutralize slightly stronger enemies. You might be surprised, but Metroid Prime: Hunters is not a linear game. At any given moment, we can go wherever we want, and the only limitation is the door secured by a force field, which we will neutralize with one of the acquired special weapons. The stage designers did their job well enough that during the game we will never come across invisible walls. If you are bored of moving from point A to point B in a lane of claustrophobic corridors, be sure to play Metroid Prime: Hunters !
The first moments spent with the game will not be full of combat. Before we throw ourselves into the fight, we will familiarize ourselves with the controls and learn to use the scanner. I will return to the first one in the next paragraph, and in the meantime I will explain what the device is for. As our main goal is to discover why the entire Alimbics race has disappeared into thin air, equipment will be needed to identify what remains of their belongings. Therefore, the Galactic Federation, fearing for the brave heroine, developed a special armor to protect Samus from potential danger. Something else was installed in the prototype of the futuristic armor. We are talking about Scan Visor - the unusual properties of this helmet allow us to quickly find out what the item was used for. There are so many objects that it will take us a long time to identify them all. The scanner has other uses as well, but I'm not delving into this topic anymore, because you definitely want to know if the controls are really as revolutionary as the creators announced.
The assurances of game developers are usually not reflected in reality. The case is completely different with Nintendo - if the successors of Fusajiro Yamauchi speak publicly about the positives of their title, these will definitely be in the final product. The touchscreen was supposed to effectively replace the mouse and keyboard? And yes, so it worked almost 100%. Playing with a stylus in Metroid Prime: Hunters is an amazing experience, it requires some practice, but once we learn how to navigate the game world efficiently, we will put PC FPS aside. However, there is a scratch on the glass - literally. First of all, the TouchScreen scratches a lot when playing, so before we buy Metroid , we should have a protective foil. Secondly, even small depressions in the touchscreen cause stylus jumps, which makes our character jump constantly. Well, this is a result of neglecting the console, rather than an oversight by the creators. Either way, a decent silicone wrap should solve this problem. I am close to peeling off the protective layer, so take my words to heart. :-) We can only play with buttons. However, I do not recommend such a solution, but it was made available to players.
People who had the opportunity to see the demo attached to the first games of DS, had the opportunity to see two of the eight available weapons in the full version of the game. One of them was the plasma rifle - a quick-firing, not very effective cannon, and the other was an effective rocket launcher. In Metroid Prime: Hunters, the above tools are only a modest element of the murderous arsenal that we unlock as we progress in the game. After some time, we will become the owners of the Imperialist, i.e. laser sniper rifle, Lava-spitting Magmaul or Volt Driver that sends streams of high voltage. Each of the special weapons has a specific effectiveness against a given opponent, so we will deal with some of them without specific protection, before we suffer health damage ourselves. Interestingly, the additional arsenal has another purpose. Well, as already mentioned, many rooms are protected by a force field that can only be removed with the chosen type of weapon. Nintendo employees clearly do not lack ideas, which is why I would like to express their praise for their craftsmanship and attention to detail.
A few words about opponents. This element caused a lot of controversy among players. While there are no objections to the cannon fodder roaming here and there, the bosses do. First of all, they are terribly annoying. I remember a skirmish with a guy who was growing out of the ground like a fruit tree in the spring and frying everything around with lasers, including me. As I fought him early in the game, I only had two energy bars, so I had a lot of trouble defeating him. I must admit that I got a bit discouraged then and took the cartridge out of the slot to play something less stressful. The further we go, the easier the game gets and the bosses become less scary. Returning to the enemies we turn to dust in seconds. In addition to the typical representatives of monsters that stand and infuse us without straying to the bullets heading towards them, the game world also includes creatures endowed with basic AI algorithms. Among other things, fighting guardians is especially pleasant because they behave like ... bots! They chase, they jump - it's really hard to shoot them.
Does the word alt-forma tell you something? No? No wonder, because it's a name invented by the developers for the game. Samus Aran can transform into ... a ball! The boards designed by the creators are full of places where we will get to transforming into an alternative form, so from time to time it will be necessary to change the shape. It enriches the gameplay and, in addition, allows us to break away from the constant shooting at enemies for a moment.
Excellent graphics are another element that significantly distinguishes Metroid: Prime Hunters from other DS games. The setting has been done perfectly. Although the Nintendo console cannot blur details, it is not easy to spot individual pixels. The image is sharp, although the resolution appears to be a little too small. I suspect that what we can see in Metroid is the end of the DS. Perhaps I am wrong, but considering the frequent layoffs, I suppose that graphic designers got as much from ARM processors as they could. Character animation is also at a high level.
The sound in the demo was of poor quality. The full version has been improved, so during the fight we can enjoy really good sound effects. I encourage you to listen to the song that is the musical theme on the menu. Atmospheric and catchy.
I am inevitably getting close to the review summary, so I still have to give you my impressions of the multiplayer madness. Like the Mario Kart DS I reviewed, Metroid Prime: Hunters also offers fun through Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. This means that at home we can compete online with players from around the globe. When the WFC was taking its first steps, the speed of finding opponents willing to engage in skirmishes was frighteningly slow. I have the impression that in the case of this item it is a bit better, but it's still best to be patient and make yourself a cup of tea in the meantime. The maps for Multi are straight out of the single player mode, which does not mean that it should be treated as a mistake. Fun impressions? Awesome. The action is fast and, importantly, even on a weak connection, we will not be disturbed by lags. It cannot be described, it has to be seen!
Metroid Prime: Hunters did not disappoint my expectations. I received the product exactly as I expected. Graphics, sound, gameplay - these elements are at the highest level and they make the game addictive and keep you from getting bored even for a moment. However, the recipe for success must be completed with something else - great ideas. This was also included in the best FPS for DualScreen so far. At one point, I was concerned if all that the creators promised would end up on the cartridge. It happened, and it is possible that no one will create such a good game for a long time. The metroid did not avoid mistakes. These, however, are so insignificant that they should not affect the assessment of the game in the slightest.
Szymon "SirGoldi" Błaszczyk