Game Review

Metroid Prime: Hunters Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Kevin Cortez

Prime pocket power

Retro Studios' highly regarded Metroid Prime games may only be available on home consoles, but that hasn't stopped Nintendo from bringing a slice of first-person Samus to the DS in the form of Metroid Prime: Hunters.

In Hunters, you take the role of the female bounty hunter, Samus Aran, who seeks an "ultimate power." In order to find this power, Samus must go to a galaxy of planets known as the Alimbic Cluster to find eight artifacts called octoliths, but she's not the only one who wants these precious artifacts.

Throughout the game, you will engage with other bounty hunters who have their own weapons and special abilities. If you become defeated by one of these hunters, they will steal your octoliths, but if this happens you can always track down the bounty hunter responsible and gun them down.

The thing that most impresses with Hunters is the controls; while at first they can be tricky to get used to, once learnt they're precise and intuitive. You get a great amount of precision with the stylus and the touch screen being used for aiming, letting you take aim at enemies with ease, as well as switch weapons, check your map or activate Morph Ball mode.

You can switch what hand you would like to aim with in case you're left handed, or swap from touch screen view control to using the four face buttons to aim. The L and R triggers are used to shoot and jump in this "Dual Mode" control scheme, but this method will not give you much precision, and can be difficult due tothe lack of auto-aim.

Cut scenes in this game are high quality too: though short they're well executed, especially for a DS game. The in-game graphics are equally good, with varied environments and some impressive weapon effects. Occasionally when things get busy there is a loss of graphical quality, but overall it's a good-looking game.

The single player game is a great feat for a DS game, especially because of the fact that this is a first person shooter. The stylus can be the equivalent of a mouse for your computer, and probably is just as precise. Each world you go to has few mazes and puzzles, which were all fairly easy to figure out, though some may be disappointed at the lack of hidden passages or alternate routes through each world.

After you defeat a boss, you must get off the planet before it self-destructs. On the way out, you will be flooded with enemies and blocked passages. Once you do make it off of the planet, there isn't a heroic cut scene or huge explosion; instead, the game just acts as if you never had to leave in the first place. In fact, the planet never really self-destructs, since you can always go back.

While Samus has traditionally been the lone bounty hunter in past Metroid titles, here she faces an array of other fearsome hunters, and these character designs are generally well done. Each rival bounty hunter is equal to you in terms of power, but has its own different weapon and abilities — just as you can change into a ball, enemy bounty hunters can as well, but their morph forms are very different from yours.

Multiplayer is a strong point in this game, with local and online modes available. This isn't just a mindless FPS game, though: if you're skilled, Wi-Fi matches can last for ages. Constantly collecting health and more power-ups throughout the multiplayer matches can give you the lead in a match, with plenty of weapons to choose from. The multiplayer even has voice and a touch screen keyboard to talk to your friends in the lobby.

Something very neat about the multiplayer game play is the rival radar. You can turn this option on and walk around with your DS on sleep mode. Anyone else who you come in contact with that has their rival radar on will be added to your DS rival list, so you can have more friend codes on your roster.


Metroid Prime: Hunters is a fine example of how to make one genre of game work well on a console it's not meant for, and is a fine Samus Aran handheld outing. The multi-player is also a big step up for Nintendo Wi-Fi games thanks to the voice chat and communication. Overall, this game is a solid DS title and one you will not want to miss.

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User Comments (36)



antdickens said:

I've not actually purchased this yet, although I'm a huge fan of Metroid Prime and Echoes. I'm still alittle worried about the controls, it seems the DS is very good at making my hands ache.

Either way, I'll be picking up this game very shortly. Good review man, it's answered some of my queries about the game



Nanaki said:

I only just started playing this game today after having it for 2 months. Now, after giving it a go, I regret not playing it sooner. Ace review again man



Visor said:

I really didn't think this game deserved a 9. I would have given it a 7.

The game was fun, and looked fantastic on the DS. The controls worked great, but after a while they did hurt.

The annoyance I found with the game is that it's not like other metroids where you explore a whole world. Instead you're given four level-like planets.

The main idea behind this game is that there are other "hunters" after what you're looking for. So your'e at competition. These are basically just random encounters, and can get REALLY irritating after a while. In my opinion they shouldn't spawn. Sometimes you can get stuck fighting four hunters in one level.



Noxus said:

that is one of the best metroid that may have that? by the multi player



Bassman_Q said:

A 9 seems just a little generous (I would've given it an 8.5), buts its still a fun, great game. And I have to say, the DS seems perfect for FPSs like this one; too bad there hasn't been many good ones lately.



Deviant_Mugen said:

This still remains the only Metroid game that I have not passed and that I don't own; I really need to pick up a copy...



SuperPeach said:

I'd like to get this. My wii is going to be gone for awhile so maybe I can play this while I wait.



MadScientistMan said:

looks like a great game, I will probably get it, I wouldn't have thought it would have single card play, but then most Nintendo games do



SkywardLink98 said:

This might work a bit better on the 3DS due to the circle pad. Based on my experience with the other primes it would work well so you could dodge and maneuver better.



I-U said:

Love this game. At this point, the online doesn't really add anything to the experience, so based on that I do agree with the 9/10 score. Despite having played through the Metroid Series except for Metroid II, Metroid Prime Hunters still remains my favorite title of the series.



Nilkad_Naquada said:

I personally wasn't very impressed with a lot of aspects of this game, including that at the end you dont actually get the ultimate power. also, this game appears to believe in reincarnation, as you kill each hunter multiple times throughout the campaign, and there are multiple bosses to beat on each planet, even though it supposedly blows up after each one. it just seems lazy to say "well this planet blew up last time you visited, but we're gonna make you have to come back in order to beat the game because we don't want to have to make more than four planets." the planets themselves aren't very imaginative either: theres a space station, an ice world, a lava world, and an industrial world. and there a lot of recycling of bosses, such as cretaphid v. 1,2,3, and 4., slench v.1 and 2, fire spawn and ice spawn, and many many "guardians" , all of which are the same. most of the game in general seems lazy and recycled, and just dont really enjoy the campaign due to its lack of rewards. i play the game for mplay.



atariman said:

yes I agree with Nintendo Life! its a 9/10. had it sence 2007! I love it! Good job Retro Studios!



atariman said:

This game is more of a multiplayer game in my opinion. its like a portable Halo. I have 2 brothers and we play it all the time.

A very good game.



Varia01 said:

A action game? LOL it is certainly not a action game. I never played it, but I've seen piles of screenshots and buy does it ever look cool!



Varia01 said:

@atariman Whoa whoa whoa, please do not be disappointed when I say this and don't end that long time the game was kept but it was certainly NOT developed by our old friend Retro. It was developed by Nintendo Software Technology, NST i you will.



kyuubikid213 said:

Good game. I don't think it stands up for a 9/10 today... Maybe an 8/10. I like the early "Streetpass" feature, but I can't use it since very few people in my area have this game.

I hope they either revamp it for 3DS or make a 3DS sequel. Both would be amazing. The online would be better since people actually USE WPA as opposed to WEP. The Rival Radar would be more effective with the Streetpass technology (and since you wouldn't have to have the game with you it'd be that much more effective. And the people who complain about the control scheme (not me. I can't beat a single boss without using the touch controls) would have the CPP option.

If you can find it, pick it up. If you want to wait for a possible 3DS version, be my guest.



SageWaterDragon said:

I still find it ridiculous that when you leave a planet it blows up and then when you come back it is whole again. How is that even s'posed to work?



ouroborous said:

I don't think I would give it a 9, maybe a 7/10 but I guess you could say 9 for effort's sake. It's obvious that they did work pretty hard on this game since despite some of its drawbacks, it's pretty impressive that they made a Metroid Prime for the DS and basically pulled it off.
If you like the Prime series in general and are a Metroid fan, you will probably enjoy this game. It proves if nothing else that FPS should be possible on the DS but to my knowledge, no one ever really took advantage of this fact. Hence no Doom 3 spinoff, or Fallout or anything like that.
I hated the game when it came out but I slugged on through. Replaying it now years later I really enjoy the game.
It always seemed a shame that you only go to four planets and then just revisit them after you've cleared them all once. While revisiting areas or planets is nothing new in Metroid, it's a shame that the ONLY bosses you will fight are just endless rehashes of ones that you have already fought, not including the hunters. I mean come on, how many times do I have to fight the same badguy, only to have him keep getting stronger as well??
Areas can be very confusing and the map can feel worthless at times, but that's par for the course with a Prime game and you eventually do get your bearings. The hunters are kind of annoying as they tend to jump around ALOT and are hard to hit (same goes for certain other enemies in the game as well) which makes your missles, charge shot, and even special weapons mostly useless in any kind of a frenzied fight. There is no lock-on as far as I can tell but that would really have made a difference in improving the combat and it seems like the R button is unused anyway so its anybody's guess why they didn't use it for lock-on.
All in all though, its a pretty impressive game for the DS.



kyuubikid213 said:

Finished another playthrough. It's a good game. Definitely. Same "gripes" as before. WEP Wifi is an awful idea. It's sad that it doesn't support WPA... Also, it isn't an epic adventure like Metroid Prime is. It is very level-like as another poster has said above me. I would be more inclined to keep it at 9/10 status if it was the exploration of one vast world as opposed to exploring around four separate and detached areas. Final verdict on my behalf: 7.5/10. It's worth the money you pay for it, but the broken overworld is what kills it for me. It just isn't as...grand as Metroid Prime for the GameCube...



Gregor said:

Terrible game. Nintendo messed up everything I liked about the rest of the prime series. Too bad Retro didnt make this or else it would have been good.



Varia01 said:

@WhoBeThat This game still does go online, but Retro did not make this game. In fact, the online connection is pretty good from what I have heard.



Gregor said:

@WhoBeThat RETRO DID NOT MAKE THIS GAME. In the beginning it says "Special thanks to Retro Studios" and I looked at the credits of the game and no retro studios, it was all Nintendo. You are the real moron here, do you research.



Gregor said:

@WhoBeThat Saying that MP hunters was bad make it the most moronic thing you've ever heard? How long have you been on earth? 5 days?



Varia01 said:

After seeing this game, it makes me think it is the next one I want. Any retailers I can find it at, because Amazon is holding this exspensive?



kyuubikid213 said:

@Varia01 If you can find it at GameStop, it may be a touch cheaper, but otherwise, this game is pretty elusive. I've only ever seen one copy. Mine. A vintage game store near my house had the demo cart.



jj87 said:

I just got my hands on a copy. Not even sure I'll play it. Good collectors item though.



therealmario101 said:

This game absolutely deserves the 9/10 NL gave it. I grew up really only playing Mario, DK, and Zelda. Very rarely did I have the chance to touch down on series like Star Fox and Metroid. My first Metroid game was Prime 1, and I loved it to death. And then this game....this game revolutionized the way I look at Metroid, it's by far one of my favorite handheld games of all time. Beautiful!

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