Metroid Prime: Hunters
Metroid is – together with Zelda and Mario – already years one of the most succesful games of Nintendo. The first game in the series was released on the NES ans since then there’s been no Big N console without a Metroid game. Always you would play with the best bounty hunter Samus Aran but this time Samus gets some pretty nifty competition.
A long time ago the Alimbics ruled a vaste territory, called the Alimbic Cluster. The Alimbics were a peaceful and powerful people with a highly developed civilization. Until one day, some thousand years ago, they suddenly vanished. Spread over the Alimbic Cluster, they left remains that were all protected by a deadly arsenal of advanced weaponry.
Suddenly the cluster comes back to life and strange messages are sent out. One specific one is sent to a lot of people telepathically: “The key to ultimate power lays in the Alimbic Cluster”. It speaks for itself that not only Samus is intrigued by this, but that a ton of bounty hunters head off to find this ultimate power.
On four different planets, Samus needs to look for Octoliths to unchain this power. The story and action start off very slowly but after some time she can take over the different weapons from the other bounty hunters whoch opens up a ton of new areas. The levels are well made and with some adjustments also used for the multiplayer modes.
Since you can only save your progress at your ship, here and there portals are set which allow you to return. This makes unnecessary running forth and back oblivious which makes you lose less time and lets you proceed with your adventure.
For the controls you can choose between different standard possibilities but the easiest one is that where you shoot with the L button and move with the D pad. This setting has as advantage that you can look around and aim with the stylus on the touchscreen. Still, the thumbstrap is a bit easier than the stylus here… If you’ve played FPS games on PC this will feel very natural. Just like moving your mouse you do the same with the touchscreen so that you finally get to play an FPS on console as it should. Also every option has a choice between left or right handed so that’s very easy as well.
Sadly enough there’s also a downside to this way of playing. You can only hold the DS with one hand while the other moves over the touchscreen. Especially with the standard DS this can result in cramps because it’s pretty heavy. Luckily the DS Lite doesn’t have the same weight and makes it a bit easier. When playing on the normal DS there’s also an additional downpoint: the screen is much too dark! Sometimes you really need to concentrate to be able to see what’s going on on the screen. And yes, again a problem you won’t see with the DS Lite but very unfortunate for those with a regular one.
According to the manual this game also supports the rumble pack for the DS, just like Metroid Prime Pinball. Normally this pack is delivered with the latter, but up to now you can’t buy it seperately in Europe. In Japan it’s sold for just under 10 euros and they’ve even got a special version for the DS Lite which is a bit shorter (seeing that it’s a GBA card that you need to put in your DS)
Although the Adventure Mode can be fun, the chance is small that after finishing you’ll start all over again to scan everything and start collecting. It’s clear that the game is primarily created around the multiplayer.
Metroid Prime: Hunters can be played through Nintendo’s WiFi, single card and multicard multiplayer. Sadly enough you can’t add bots with single card (which you can with multicard). The fights happen in standard Metroid Prime style: you can shoot with the Power Beam of Missiles or you can change Samus into a ball (Morph Ball). These alternative forms are also call an Alt Form. On top of that you can also choose other bounty hunters in multiplay and they each have their own beam and Alt Form.
If you want to play online you can take on up to three other random players. Unfortunately you can’t choose rules or a game mode. Of course you can also play against friends through the Friend Codes. Here you get an extensive multiplayer game with different modes like Battle, Survival, Prime Hunter, CTF, …
Finally once again a good FPS game on a (Nintendo) console. And what a game! Although it’s got a good storyline and (singleplayer) adventure, the fantastic multiplayer mode made it a less important part. I would certainly advise it for people you love playing online against others intensively. If you buy it for the singleplayer mode, you could get a bit disappointed.