|February 8, 2023
In preparation for Metroid Prime 4 and its eventual arrival, it seems Nintendo wants to put the franchise back in the light of day. Metroid Prime Remastered has been released with what seems like massive praise and hype. But has the game been given only a coat of paint, or have new features been added? Let’s review…
This is an action-adventure game in which players assume the role of Samus Aran as she searches an alien planet for artifacts. From a first-person perspective, players use an arm cannon to solve puzzles, scan items, and shoot enemies (e.g., aliens, turrets, spider-like creatures) in frenetic combat. Action is highlighted by gunfire/blaster fire, explosions, and brief cries of pain. Several sequences depict waves of aliens attacking players or shooting them with blasters. Alien creatures emit green splatters when hit, and some environments/objects are stained with green splashes near alien corpses.
Full confession. My first GameCube game was Metroid Prime (it came with the console). But I didn’t play for more than five minutes because… I couldn’t get by the second force field in the very beginning (hides in immediate shame). For an eternity, I was convinced that Metroid Prime, and all subsequent sequels were difficult. As I matured that perspective didn’t change, but my skill did. By the time Metroid Dread came around, I had finished Super Metroid and was hungry for more Samus Aran and Metroids. So much so, that I wanted to again try what I thought was the Dark Souls of the series. But there was no way to try it for me.
The morning after the surprise Metroid Prime Remastered release, I was pleasantly surprised with this review copy, and I was ready. And after a few minutes, that fear factor had completely vanished, and a new feeling replaced it. Adoration.
This game is a true third-dimension evolution of the Metroid universe! As I jump from platform to platform that looks natural, I’m saying to myself, “This is what a 3D platformer is really like!”. The tunnels, the open map rooms, the high walls, caverns, and small holes for the morph ball feel like a real world, but play like I’m exploring a planet as a bounty hunter. Except of course the 2D-like morph ball wall puzzle rooms. But am I mad? No; even now, I’m considering making a defense for them.
The best part of the game is the incoming data that keeps me from running around and getting lost. It doesn’t immediately pop-up and ruin the player’s moment to figure out where to go, but it arrives just soon enough. I’ve been lost a few times, thinking I knew where the next part was. The rest of the time, I am having a blast and the adventure doesn’t stop.
So while I’m messing around with this pure gaming experience, I naturally needed time to look at the original, and go through their differences and similarities. Thanks to YouTube, and Nintendo’s own Metroid Prime Remastered web page, I compiled all I could find here.
The game is completely intact. From beginning to end, no additions or removals change the experience of Metroid Prime. Sound effects, music, boss battles, enemies, no change. All the scanning points are still there. The menu is still positioned like players will remember, and they can even find the original controls and switch to them if desired.
Rain, fire, and other effects reportedly look better. The lighting has been updated, as well as shadows, to add their effect across all maps. The graphics on the cutscenes and animations were beefed up as well. Resolution has gone from 490p to 900p, and either docked or undocked changes nothing about the performance. The graphics overall are chef’s kiss level, not the regular quality of a remaster. I’ve seen it said that the game might as well be called a remake. That sentiment is furthered when including the controls. Dual-stick aiming and walking make the game feel like a modern FPS-shooter. The main menu will have the base concept art and unlockable goodies, but will also show remastered art in the menu, separately.
Metroid Prime Remastered is now the best way to play this game. While I may not have finished just yet, I can tell the excellence of this game has evolved higher. Here’s hoping the other two games are treated the same way!
The Bottom Line
It's exactly what a Metroid game should be in full 3D, and now it's even better to experience than before.