DS

North America

Metroid Prime: Hunters

by Jonathan Metts - March 28, 2006, 12:18 am PST
Total comments: 82

8

Hunters is a fantastic multiplayer FPS, but we're still waiting for the first Metroid game on DS.

Metroid Prime: Hunters is the best first-person shooter from Nintendo since Goldeneye 007 and Perfect Dark in Rare's heyday. It is easily the best use yet of Nintendo WiFi Connection and the Nintendo DS microphone. It makes a strong case for the versatility and accuracy of the touch-screen as an alternative to analog joysticks for 3D games. But Hunters is not, in any way, a real Metroid game. If you are hoping for a handheld version of Retro Studios' Metroid Prime games, keep waiting.

Hunters is strictly a first-person shooter and has more in common with Quake and Unreal than it does with the Metroid Prime games, much less with the original Metroid games. Even the "adventure" mode, which has some basic exploration and scanning in an appeal to fans of the series, completely misses the mark. That's because there is no upgrading beyond the six sub-weapons, which are interchangeable for the most part. And you can't have a Metroid game without upgrades; that would be like having a Mario game without jumping. You can slap these characters on whatever game you want, but no one is arguing that Mario Party and Mario Baseball are real Super Mario games. The original Metroid on NES establishes the importance of upgrading within the first thirty seconds of the game. So we can talk all day about how great Hunters is, and I will, but don't tell me it's a Metroid game just because it has Samus and her morph ball. Maybe it's a deceit on Nintendo's part; at least the franchise outsourcing was blatant with the pinball game. I have to think that some people will approach this game with the expectation that it has some grand adventure component to back up the obvious draw of online multiplayer, but that is sadly not the case. If you're clear on that fact, Hunters can be appreciated on its own terms.

The reasons to buy Hunters are its multiplayer offerings, plain and simple. Single-card mode takes a little while to upload, and the moochers are stuck playing as Samus, but it runs smoothly and is completely playable. Multi-card mode not only opens up the other characters for everyone, but you can also turn on bots to fill up empty spots. The bots have three difficulty settings and are more than competitive even on the middle setting. Another nice thing about this mode is that you can play alone against three bots to practice your skills anytime.

The big hitter is online play through Nintendo WiFi Connection. Random matching looks and works just like Mario Kart DS, but as of this writing, it's quite hard to find more than one random opponent at a time, and sometimes even these matches crash before getting started. If you do manage to get a game, and the opponent is good, you can try to add him/her as a rival afterwards, which is sort of a sub-friend. It's a great idea, because the infrastructure for friends (and to a lesser extent, rivals) is much, much better than the random matching.

With a well-stocked friends list (try our WiFi forums to find codes and post your own), Hunters is easily the best online experience yet on the DS. You can see games being hosted by friends, or create your own and wait for people to join, or view a list of all friends who are online. Once in a game, there are plenty of options to arrange, dozens of levels to choose from, and the zinger: voice chat. It works very well and makes it so much easier to agree upon the match settings, ask others to wait for a friend you know is on the way, or just gab about anything while waiting for the match to start. Voice comes through clearly, though it's a bit quiet unless the DS speakers are turned all the way up. Headphones do alleviate that problem. There's also a text chat feature, which is not only obsolete but isn't implemented very well. It's too bad the communication isn't available during gameplay, because there's no way to inform your opponent that the phone is ringing or the pizza guy is at the door, and of course you can't pause. You can try to explain your terrible playing after the match though, during roughly thirty seconds of smack talk time which does cut off even if you're still talking.

Voice chat is great, but the real draw here is the actual online gameplay. It's very fast and intense, especially with three or four players. The different match types are pretty cool and worth rotating through, but some maps are better than others for the specialized rules. Hunters is different from most other first-person shooters in that the seven playable characters have different advantages and styles. Each bounty hunter has a unique alternate form and affinity for one of the sub-weapons, meaning he will have additional powers when equipped with that weapon. This assortment of characters and abilities just adds a tremendous amount of variety to the game, and you'll probably find yourself developing preferences for two or more of the hunters. Some of the characters seem to be unbalanced (Noxus in his alt form and Trace with his sniping laser), but the playing field will probably level out as more players log on and learn to deal with these threats. The variety quotient is multiplied again by the large number of levels, which are conveniently grouped into small, medium, and large categories to help you choose based on the number of players and match type. All in all, online play in Hunters is robust and addictive.

As of this writing, there are some bugs preventing a fourth player from joining most games, and sometimes friends will join the same game but not be able to see or shoot each other for the entire match, but Nintendo is working on these problems server-side and should eventually iron them out. Those players with little patience for connection errors may want to wait a few weeks to buy the game, because the adventure mode is not an adequate alternative to playing online.

No, sadly the other side of this coin isn't nearly as polished. The so-called adventure mode in Hunters is a lame attempt to string together the multiplayer levels and other bounty hunters into some kind of story-driven artifact hunt. The mission has some exciting moments, particularly the escape sequences and a precious few morph ball puzzles, but any initial promise quickly wears thin as the game becomes formulaic and quite difficult. At least the bosses are pretty cool…both of them. Yes, there are eight main boss fights (plus the final), but only two basic boss designs across those eight fights. The bosses are challenging and look cool, but you won't care by the time you fight the fourth revision of each one. The later versions just tack on more firepower and more shielding, so you don't need to change strategies, just be more careful about dodging and conserving ammo. In contrast, the rival bounty hunters are initially quite hard but soon become laughably easy as you tack on energy tanks and missile upgrades (which tend to sit out in the open, requiring little of the skill needed to find such items in the GameCube titles). The levels are, however, chock full of moving platforms and bottomless pits, which happen to require careful use of jumping, the only function that doesn't work well enough with the game's default touch screen controls. But the scan visor, that's like Prime, right? Wrong. There aren't nearly as many items to scan for back-story, and the scan logs lack the clever writing that drives this feature in Retro's games. The bottom line is that adventure mode just isn't worth playing beyond the initial encounter with each rival hunter, which will unlock him for multiplayer. The whole mode is repetitive, frustrating, and just not much fun. It's certainly a far cry from the quality and overall design philosophy of the real Metroid Prime games.

What both adventure and multiplayer have in common is the amazing Hunters graphics engine, which pushes the best 3D graphics ever seen on Nintendo DS. This game features fast movement, detailed level geometry, impressive character animations, and even some cool special effects like particle and reflection tricks. The touch-screen radar displays are rather bland, but you hardly ever need to look at them anyway. Hunters even uses a surprising amount of color in its art style, though it's easier to see these touches on a DS Lite screen. The sound design is less impressive, as the music tends to be more action-oriented like the rest of the game, but it's fitting if not quite memorable.

And no review of Hunters would be complete without getting into the game's controls. The options are good: touch screen and all-digital schemes for both left- and right-handed players, plus look inversion and a sensitivity slider. Touch controls are really the way to go, as they offer the most speed and accuracy, but they aren't perfect. As I mentioned earlier, jumping under pressure is tricky; you have to double-tap the screen, which is simple enough, but sometimes a double-tap is registered when you just want to put the stylus on the screen after lifting it for a while. Moreover, holding the entire system with one hand, which must also control movement and use the shoulder button to fire weapons, can be strenuous on your wrists, even with the lighter DS Lite model. There's probably no better way to do it, but your hands will still hurt after half an hour of playing. Take frequent breaks and experiment to find the best control style for you.

Hunters is really two games; one is fantastic, the other is not. One is easily worth buying if you have good access to wireless Internet, while the other feels slapped together to dupe hardcore Metroid fans and to put "Action-Packed Single-Player Mode!" on the back of the box. As a multiplayer-centric title, even if you have no DS-owning friends in the local area, the online mode saves this game. If your nearby friends do get their own copies, so much the better.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
9.5 8 9 8 9 8
Graphics
9.5

The texture limitations of the DS are the only hindrance to this game's incredible 3D graphics. Best of all, a speedy framerate that hardly ever gets bogged down. I can hardly wait to see how other games will use this engine.

Sound
8

Good, not great soundtrack lacks the atmospheric allure found in real Metroid games. Voice chat is excellent, foolproof use of the DS microphone, and the vocals come through clearly, just too quiet. Crank up the volume or slap on those headphones. Isn't it about time for that headset port to be supported?

Control
9

Quick, accurate touch controls are easy to use after an initial learning period. Digital controls are good to have as an option, too. Accidental jumps are a problem on moving platforms, and wrist fatigue is serious stuff. Take breaks.

Gameplay
8

Really fun and chaotic in multiplayer. Really dull and repetitive in single-player. The arena-style maps are designed well for group play, but they are less impressive when loosely connected for the "adventure mode". Boss repetition and worthless scanning just widen the huge gap between Hunters and the real Metroid Prime games.

Lastability
9

Solo mission is decently long but not worth playing through. Online multiplayer should last a long time though, with so much variety in characters, levels, and game types.

Final
8

Part of Hunters tries to be something it's not, and it fails miserably. The rest of it is awesome, though. Hardcore Metroid fans should keep looking forward to Prime 3, but anyone looking for a great portable FPS won't find one better than Hunters. The online support is a major step forward for Nintendo and definitely helps sell the game.

Summary

Pros
  • Accurate touch controls
  • Amazing graphics
  • Fast, robust, addictive online play with voice chat
  • Great local wireless modes
Cons
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Lame single-player mode
  • Online bugs (should go away soon)
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

KDR_11kMarch 28, 2006

Makes me wonder why there is no QuakeWorld port for the DS...

edgeblade69March 28, 2006

FYI, if you use the DS thumb strap, it is a lot more comfortable than the stylus, IMO...

TrueNerdMarch 28, 2006

I would say this is definitely one of the better reviews I've read for this game. I enjoyed the sheer disappointment the author expressed about the adventure mode as it made it obvious that the author is a real Metroid fan. Kudos.

WackerJrMarch 28, 2006

Yeh, it seems an honest review by a Nintendo fan, that doesn't show fanboyism, but does show off his knowledge and enthusiasm towards a gaming series. It doesn't get caught up in the hype, and was a good read. Nice review!

MaryJaneMarch 28, 2006

I haven't played the game online yet, but I love it... does that make me lame? :p oh well if it does, this was a good review though, although i disagree with you on one aspect but thats what makes us human right?

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorMarch 28, 2006

I'm the opposite MaryJane... I've only played online and haven't tried single player. To make matters worse, I haven't played Prime 2 yet even though it is sitting on my shelf. Given the timeline NST said this game falls into, I was going to play through the single player mode on the DS first... After reading Jonny's review, I may skip it and move right into Prime 2.

mantidorMarch 28, 2006

IT makes you wonder if using the Metroid name was any good at all, they used the licence to guaranteed some sales I suppose, but ironically previous Metroid fans wont find in this game what they like, so its not a guaranteed sale after all.

It seems for me that Nintendo will use Metroid for any first person proyect they are going to make in the future. As long as we get our real metroid fix, I wont mind, its a bit cheap though to be honest.

Smash_BrotherMarch 28, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: Pale
I'm the opposite MaryJane... I've only played online and haven't tried single player. To make matters worse, I haven't played Prime 2 yet even though it is sitting on my shelf. Given the timeline NST said this game falls into, I was going to play through the single player mode on the DS first... After reading Jonny's review, I may skip it and move right into Prime 2.


I didn't finish MP2 because it was too long with too much backtracking and upgrades. There was a part of me which eventually said, "So now I need the superbomb to appease this little piece of rock blocking my path so I can progress in this area? The HELL with this..."

Backtracking worked in 2D Metroids and Metroid clones like Castlevania because backtracking in 2D happened phenomenally faster than it does in MP1 and 2. In MP, she was far too slow.

I was pleased that Samus moves faster in Hunters, making backtracking more tolerable, and while I agree that the adventure mode doesn't include the same level of depth that past games have had, at least Samus didn't have the sequence where she's hit with an explosion and loses all of her gear...AGAIN!

But I agree that multiplayer is the purpose of this game. Adventure mode is just intended to keep you busy while you're away from a wifi spot.

LouieturkeyMarch 28, 2006

FYI, you can finish Metroid Prime 1 in under 5 hours. Some have done it in less than 2 hours. I didn't think backtracking was a problem at all. It was fun actually. face-icon-small-smile.gif

mantidorMarch 28, 2006

he meant prime 2, but Ive heard it has also pretty insane speed-runs, those are only for the hardcore who spend hours and hours finding sequence breaking and the like. The backtracking was great for me anyway, Metroid is the franchise which combines action and exploration perfectly, more than any other game out there, backtracking is part of that experience of exploration.

Hunters as Im understanding it is more like doom with guns instead of keys, which doesnt mean is not fun and the truth is Im a bit tempted to try it, but it also means that its not a Metroid game. I dont care about the multiplayer, I hardly have access to wifi and Im pretty sure I wont run into anyone with a DS around here.

Smash_BrotherMarch 28, 2006

MP1 was fine. The backtracking was tolerable and the bosses and puzzles were frequent enough to keep you pushing onward.

MP2 was...not so fine. Every time I found a magnet ball track or a piece of rock I couldn't destroy or a door I couldn't open, it reminded me that this was one more time I'd have to visit this area, having to run from god knows where to find it again.

The teleporters were a welcome addition to MPH.

Ian SaneMarch 28, 2006

I never expected this game to play at all like Metroid but I'm still a little disappointed to hear the single player mode isn't that hot. That's mostly due to a problem I have with first person shooters in general. Too many of them skimp on the single player mode to concentrate on multiplayer. I would like to see more excellent single player first person shooters. I first start playing games like Wolfenstein 3D and Doom. Those games had excellent single player modes because they had to. Multiplayer either didn't exist or it required a setup few people had. When Goldeneye came out everyone raved about the multiplayer. I never thought it was that big of a deal. What I loved about Goldeneye was the fantastic single player mode.

I see the multiplayer focus in most FPS games as lazy game design. If you make a multiplayer first FPS you just have to come up with some cool weapons and arenas, work on some balancing issue, and you're done. You let the players make their own game out of it and little real creativity is required. That sort of design is okay for racing games or fighting games because the whole design of those games is to compete against opponents. But the FPS genre has been proven to allow for interesting level and mission design. Therefore that freedom and option should be used to its full potential.

RizeDavid Trammell, Staff AlumnusMarch 28, 2006

I started playing the MPH adventure mode myself yesterday and so far I'm thoroughly disappointed. I haven't read jonny's review yet because I want to finish the game first. Assuming I do finish it.

Problems so far:
-Manual aiming completely and irrevocably changes the combat portion of the gameplay: I'm now very worried about how Prime 3 is going to turn out.
-I can only check the logbook from the gunship? lame. I didn't even realize it was recording scans until I got back to my ship, now I already know I'm missing some (like the first hunter).
-I'm still on the first planet/whatever and so far I've been travelling through an almost entirely linear series of rooms. With one or two rooms repeating a number of times Halo style. In the real prime series any time a room repeated it was a small room or connecting hallway and even then the artists were careful to put some original touches in it.
-I stopped at the first non-hunter boss. I really miss the prime lock on aiming system. Trying to damage this thing is such a chore. Worrying about dodging and attack timing is much more fun than worrying about aiming well



"I have to think that some people will approach this game with the expectation that it has some grand adventure component to back up the obvious draw of online multiplayer, but that is sadly not the case. If you're clear on that fact, Hunters can be appreciated on its own terms."

Well said. I was expecting a slightly defective adventure mode and am finding out that the defects are more than slight.

Quote

Originally posted by: mantidor
Hunters as Im understanding it is more like doom with guns instead of keys


Oh no, it has keys too. Lots of them.

Hostile CreationMarch 28, 2006

Let's hope Retro can do better with Metroid Prime 3. This doesn't bother me, but Nintendo should create a new franchise for true blue FPS games and leave Metroid to the unique genre it created.
Looks like I can take this off my list after all face-icon-small-smile.gif That's actually quite a relief, to me.

trip1eXMarch 28, 2006

I mostly agree with the review. The SP was a mixed bag. ONce in awhile it would feel Metroid-like and then other times it was just a straightforward fps game. I think some of the weapons work better than others on certain creatures. I could be wrong, but, for instance, I thought the cooled plasma weapon worked better on the fire creatures than the other weapons.

Altho the graphics are pretty amazing they are also blend together alot on the tiny screen. I've seen some screenshots that are 2x the size of the DS and that's what I think the size of the DS screen needs to be for this game. As cramped as the controls were I still liked 'em because they were smooth, but staring at fast 3d action on a 2 inch screen was just too straining and not enjoyable. It's not a problem in the 2d games I've played, but I didn't like enough here that I sold my game already.

KnowsNothingMarch 28, 2006

Yeah, basically the adventure mode isn't up to par. It's still pretty fun, but only when I need a break from the faster action of WiFi (although I don't play much WiFi either because none of my friends are ever online >=o).

I have no worries about Prime 3 though. First of all, this game is NST, the REAL Prime is Retro. Second of all, a lot of the negatives have to do with the storage restrictions, which we won't see on the Rev. Sure, you'll still get that different combat, but I think it'll be fine so long as the other Metroid factors find a way back. This game is obviously a multiplayer game at heart, and it does a fantastic job at it. I'm still quite amazed when I play Hunters and realize that I'm playing a handheld game.

Ian SaneMarch 28, 2006

"Sure, you'll still get that different combat, but I think it'll be fine so long as the other Metroid factors find a way back."

Can anyone give me a good reason as to how Metroid Prime would be improved by going to this different control scheme? To me it just sounds like it would be the same thing only it would be much harder to actually hit your target. The Metroid Prime control scheme could use some tweaks here and there but I never felt that the lock-on targetting was part of the problem.

I've only played the Hunters demo but I found the controls really hard to use no matter what setup I chose and I really don't find struggling to hit a target very fun. I don't like FPS games that focus too much on aiming. I much prefer some form of autoaim so that I can focuse on dodging and shooting and not lining up my shot just so. It's more streamlined that way and thus I find it more fun. To me going with this kind of setup in Metroid Prime 3 would be going backwards. They designed the control system specifically to eliminate the need for precision aiming so that the game could concentrate on exploration and puzzle solving. Adding the need for precision aiming just doesn't make any sense. It's like the Final Fantasy active time battle system that removes the whole advantage of turn based battles. Suddenly I need skills that the original game was specifically designed to not require.

GoldenPhoenixMarch 28, 2006

Not sure how many FPS you have played Ian on the PC, but I find aiming in those games to be much easier than the somewhat clunky auto-aim in MP3. I think the Rev Mote will help clear up this problem tremendously.

KnowsNothingMarch 28, 2006

I never said the game would be improved, but it's pretty obvious now that they ARE going to use that control scheme from Prime 3 (although I still think they'll include a lock on...), so we're going to have to live with it. People in this thread were saying that they were worried about how Prime 3 would turn out after playing Hunters, but I think Prime 3 will turn out much more like a Metroid game than Hunters did, and that they shouldn't worry. It'll still control like an FPS, but since the other Metoid factors will be back in the game, it won't be such a big deal (plus I really think the controls with the Remote will be better than in Hunters anyway)

Smash_BrotherMarch 28, 2006

Maybe, god willing, MP3 will do away with some of the backtracking, or be kind enough to allow you to open teleports to return to certain areas.

Teleports to bypass 15 minutes of trudging along past the same respawning enemies would have saved MP2 for me.

RizeDavid Trammell, Staff AlumnusMarch 28, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: Ian Sane
"Sure, you'll still get that different combat, but I think it'll be fine so long as the other Metroid factors find a way back."

Can anyone give me a good reason as to how Metroid Prime would be improved by going to this different control scheme? To me it just sounds like it would be the same thing only it would be much harder to actually hit your target. The Metroid Prime control scheme could use some tweaks here and there but I never felt that the lock-on targetting was part of the problem.

I've only played the Hunters demo but I found the controls really hard to use no matter what setup I chose and I really don't find struggling to hit a target very fun. I don't like FPS games that focus too much on aiming. I much prefer some form of autoaim so that I can focuse on dodging and shooting and not lining up my shot just so. It's more streamlined that way and thus I find it more fun. To me going with this kind of setup in Metroid Prime 3 would be going backwards. They designed the control system specifically to eliminate the need for precision aiming so that the game could concentrate on exploration and puzzle solving. Adding the need for precision aiming just doesn't make any sense. It's like the Final Fantasy active time battle system that removes the whole advantage of turn based battles. Suddenly I need skills that the original game was specifically designed to not require.


The exploration part of the equation is improved by freelook. Combat becomes more challenging since fine aiming may be required in addition to timing and dodging. However, even without lock on, they could use an aggressive auto-aim that keeps the gameplay similar to the original prime series (note that in the original prime the game would auto-aim to some extent even if you didn't lock on). They may have an "auto-aim slider" that adjusts the aggressiveness of the auto-aim. The game could be designed for the lowest setting and for control freaks, the player could be allowed to crank the slider up until the game allows the player to aim completely unaided. It all depends on how Retro decides to design it.

I'm not going to condemn Prime 3 unless it really deserves it. And given Retro's track record, I think there's a good chance they'll handle the switch to revmote control nicely. I am a bit worried though. We'll just have to wait and see.

MaryJaneMarch 28, 2006

I'm not trying to put anyone down, but it seems to me that the biggest problem people are having with the game is not being able to lock-on anymore. When did Nintendo gamers become complacent with the easy way out? I thought from what I read in other posts that the games of yesteryear without continues, simplistic puzzles and sleep-through bosses are what people wanted? The first boss (not the hunter) in MP:H was very very hard because of the multiple targets and inability to lock on but personally I loved it. I loved being frustrated trying to figure out the best way to accomplish something struggling through it and then when you finally find the best way you're so relieved it feels good, kind of like pleasuring my girlfriend... but that another story face-icon-small-happy.gif anyway, for those of you who haven't tried this game I would say if you like challenges go for it. I agree that's it's not a typical Metroid game then again neither was MP:1 how much crying was heard when it was annouced that it would be in the first person view?? I'm still wiping off some of your tears from back then.
Nothing against johnny I totally see where he's coming from but I wasn't at all disappointed in the single player mode, I found it to be hard, and rewarding, one of the things i liked a lot about it, was the fact that i didn't have to backtrack a million times to get where I wanted. I stopped playing MP:2 bcuz of backtracking, i thought i missed something went back all over the friggin place to check turns out i didn't then when i went back to where i was supposed to be i could no longer go through because of a glitch. I stopped playing for 5 months I was so pissed off. Maybe i'm too open for new things and new experiences, but I would recommend this game to anyone whether they had wi-fi or not. Again, maybe because I approached it with YES! i got this totally new game, not YES! i got this new metroid game which better be like the last two i just played.
Just as a side note, I agree with whomever said it, that the capacity limitations of the DS coupled with the space needed for wi-fi most likely contributed a lot to it's "lack of depth" (which i personally haven't come across)

EDIT: lol i spelled without wrong who does that?

UltimatePartyBearMarch 28, 2006

Quote

Can anyone give me a good reason as to how Metroid Prime would be improved by going to this different control scheme? To me it just sounds like it would be the same thing only it would be much harder to actually hit your target. The Metroid Prime control scheme could use some tweaks here and there but I never felt that the lock-on targetting was part of the problem.

I think they can make the lock-on a bit more subtle with the rev controller. They could make it so that if you point somewhere near an enemy, the crosshairs will be drawn to it, like most console FPS games I've played. Then, as long as you didn't move the controller away (with some wiggle room, of course), you'd stay pointed at the same enemy (or weak point, or whatever). It would be a huge improvement over the current system that never fails to lock on to the wrong enemy. It would also free up buttons.

Smash_BrotherMarch 28, 2006

Dammit, Ian. What have I said about preemptive bitching?

Wait until MP3 comes out before you worry about it. I'm sure Retro will do JUST fine with it.

Retro likely didn't even touch MPH, other than sending NST some models and the like.

Ian SaneMarch 28, 2006

"Not sure how many FPS you have played Ian on the PC, but I find aiming in those games to be much easier than the somewhat clunky auto-aim in MP3."

Metroid isn't a PC FPS though. One thing that I think a lot of people miss when they suggest that Metroid should have more traditional FPS controls is that the game is designed in such a way that it doesn't need them. If you had to shoot an enemy specifically in the head to kill him then the lock-on would suck. But you're not put in situations like that. Every enemy can be defeated by locking on, dodging and shooting. Much like how Ocarina of Time doesn't have a jump button because it's designed so it doesn't need one, Metroid Prime doesn't control like an FPS because it doesn't need to.

I will admit that the lock-on system is clunky but I don't think it's because of the concept itself. Samus is just too damn slow so if you have to turn around quickly you can't. The relates to the backtracking complaints as well. If Samus didn't move like a mech backtracking wouldn't seem so tedious. To remove that element of the game would be removing a major part of Metroid. If you just want to go forward the whole time then buy a linear action game.

There have been some suggestions regarding aiming on here that I really like. I honestly don't like them more than the lock-on but they seem doable.

I'm just worried that since I suck at FPS games I'll suck at Metroid if they retool it to be more like an FPS. Right now Metroid Prime is kind of like Zelda in first person so I'm good enough at it to get far. Retro will probably make a great game but they might not make a game I personally like.

UltimatePartyBearMarch 28, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: Ian Sane
Samus is just too damn slow so if you have to turn around quickly you can't. The relates to the backtracking complaints as well. If Samus didn't move like a mech backtracking wouldn't seem so tedious.

I think being able to freely look around with the rev controller will be the solution to that problem. It will add a far greater range of motion than an analog stick. There's a firm limit to how far you can tilt the stick, and to keep the game accessible, a fairly low turn rate is applied at that limit. Without that limit, it would be feasible to allow a higher maximum turn rate. In addition, once you're free to strafe at any time, navigating passages becomes much less of a chore. This allows the movement speed to be cranked up without causing players to constantly get stuck against rocks and such. It may even be workable to bring back wall jumping, dashing, and the shinespark.

I think the controls have little to do with the problems of adventure mode in Hunters. The real problems are level design, game design, and repetition (which is much worse than backtracking).

~*Adolph*~March 28, 2006

NST has said time and time before that this game was more focused on shooting, so I
expected a first person shooter not adventure.

That being said I do agree with the review but I still had fun.

I am one of the select few that can enjoy Metroid AND HALO first person game styles.

I liked the teleports in Hunters, I like that things scan faster this time, the FMV parts are nice.

However it does have several things that are very UN-metroid

1) No save points
2) Life taken away when you fall
3) no metroids


I loved fighting Dark Samus in MEtroid Prime 2 so I have tons of fun blasting away other hunters.

The same boss battles are LAME!!! Cute at first but not fun after a while.

Countdowns are to common.
Game is not portable friendly so no save spots equals you need to play the entire thing at one sitting until you find a
portal back to the ship. This makes for more hand cramping and makes it feel more tedious and boring.

Invisible checkpoints ARE BAD.

I have no problem with moust and buttons, Dual stick control, stylus controls, or lock on FPS controls .
Prime hunters adventure mode is fun in a primitave sort of way.


BY the way MCDONALDS HAS FREE ONLINE PLAY. Don't bitch that you can't play wifi if you don't have wireless at home.

RiskyChrisMarch 28, 2006

This game hurts my hand so much it's unbelievable. Maybe I should see a doctor.

GoldenPhoenixMarch 28, 2006

I realize Prime is not a FPS, but it does borrow from alot of FPS controls. It seems to me that they decided to do lock on was to avoid frustrating aiming with the controller. Metroid can still be metroid, even with a more manual aiming system, other FPS have done the same thing and kept it more exploration centered rather than action (Deus Ex, Call of Duty 1 and 2, and Elder scrolls 4 to name a few). I too am in the same boat as Ian, I am not that great at FPS though am decent at the MP games along with the above mentioned games. It would be kind of neat to have a gun attachment for the Rev to use in Metroid Prime 3!

IceColdMarch 28, 2006

Quote

Can anyone give me a good reason as to how Metroid Prime would be improved by going to this different control scheme?
I have said it before, and I will say it again. The 2D Metroids came first, right? And did they have a lock-on system? No, they didn't. In the jump to 3D, it was implemented since aiming was much harder using the dual analogue method. However, now, with the NRC, they have the chance to bring Metroid closer to its 2D roots. All the impressions have said that aiming with the controller is extremely intuitive. My hope is that with the controller, Retro can implement free aiming so that it's as easy to shoot without locking on as it is in the 2D games. And that's why I'm so excited about it.

And this change in controls WILL NOT change the game to an FPS. The level design, the focus on exploring and the puzzles won't just magically disappear because of the controller.

MarioMarch 28, 2006

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Originally posted by: Smash_Brother
Maybe, god willing, MP3 will do away with some of the backtracking, or be kind enough to allow you to open teleports to return to certain areas.

Teleports to bypass 15 minutes of trudging along past the same respawning enemies would have saved MP2 for me.


No way, those are fun. MP3 needs backtracking.
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If Samus didn't move like a mech backtracking wouldn't seem so tedious.

I disagree again! I think Samus's pace is perfect in MP and MP2, it makes the game more immersive, if she ran too fast I wouldn't be able to take in the environments as easily.

I think what Metroid Prime acheived that made it so great is the same thing Ocarina of Time achieved, the fact that basic movement is fun. Walking around is fun! Metroid Prime Hunters I don't feel that... all I feel is a sore wrist. I am greatly looking forward to seeing how Metroid Prime 3 is done though, without the restrictions of having to hold the Revolution in my other hand, the amount of freedom and ease of use should be great given they don't get too carried away.

DeguelloJeff Shirley, Staff AlumnusMarch 28, 2006

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However it does have several things that are very UN-metroid

1) No save points


I think it bring the series back to its roots. As the original game didn't have save points either. face-icon-small-happy.gif

JensenMarch 28, 2006

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"As I mentioned earlier, jumping under pressure is tricky; you have to double-tap the screen, which is simple enough,"

One nice thing about jumping, you don't have to be on the ground, you can jump from halfway down a 100 ft fall if you want to.
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"I'm still on the first planet/whatever and so far I've been travelling through an almost entirely linear series of rooms. With one or two rooms repeating a number of times Halo style. In the real prime series any time a room repeated it was a small room or connecting hallway and even then the artists were careful to put some original touches in it."

The first space station thing was horribly repititious and confusing. The planets are much better. And the uniqueness of of every room and hallway was one of my favorite things about Metroid Prime. I am impressed with the detail and design in Hunters. It really feels like a mini version of the first GC Prime.
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Game is not portable friendly so no save spots equals you need to play the entire thing at one sitting until you find a portal back to the ship. This makes for more hand cramping and makes it feel more tedious and boring.

Have you heard of sleep mode? Simply close the DS lid to activate sleep mode. It's like saving wherever you want to! And the best part is that you can resume instantly.

I actually liked the lack of save points. It seems more plausible to have transports back to your ship at port than to have rooms dedicated to "saving".
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"This game hurts my hand so much it's unbelievable. Maybe I should see a doctor."

Even so, I find it much more bearable than Mario Kart DS.


This may be the least Metroid-like game in the series, but seems to be the most like a bounty hunter game :-)



SvevanEvan Burchfield, Staff AlumnusMarch 28, 2006

Some choice quotes from players of Adventure Mode:

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Nothing against johnny I totally see where he's coming from but I wasn't at all disappointed in the single player mode

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while I agree that the adventure mode doesn't include the same level of depth that past games have had, at least Samus didn't have the sequence where she's hit with an explosion and loses all of her gear...AGAIN!

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Yeah, basically the adventure mode isn't up to par. It's still pretty fun, but only when I need a break from the faster action of WiFi

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That being said I do agree with the review but I still had fun.

Sounds to me like a few, just a few, are confused. Did they agree with the review or not? Do we like this game in single player or not? We say we agree with Jonny's comments, but we also really like the game. Something's wrong.

Clarification?
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ONce in awhile it would feel Metroid-like and then other times it was just a straightforward fps game.

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Hunters as Im understanding it is more like doom with guns instead of keys, which doesnt mean is not fun and the truth is Im a bit tempted to try it, but it also means that its not a Metroid game.

And from Jonny's review:
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Hunters is strictly a first-person shooter and has more in common with Quake and Unreal than it does with the Metroid Prime games, much less with the original Metroid games.

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You can slap these characters on whatever game you want, but no one is arguing that Mario Party and Mario Baseball are real Super Mario games.

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So we can talk all day about how great Hunters is, and I will, but don't tell me it's a Metroid game just because it has Samus and her morph ball.


Here's what we're missing: a true definition of Metroid. I call on someone, particularly Jonny, to define clearly what this is. I do not wish to be antagonistic, but rather hope we can come up with some definition of what makes a game a particular type. I will pre-emptively make a few points.

1) Is upgrading really that important? It's apparently so important that we have to keep re-gaining the same abilities every game. It's gotten stale. Why is Metroid locked into this pattern? There are only so many times I can gain the Spider Ball then backtrack to Spider Tracks before I see that the actual content of this game is not what I'm doing, but when and how I'm doing it. Ergo, this world and its enemies, the aesthetic qualities and sense of exploration, space travel and villains, these are the keys. Samus' persona, her life of danger, the ever present Metroids, these are the keys. Upgrades play into exploration, but Hunters is an offshoot, poorly marketed as canonical which has gotten everyone into an uproar. If it had been titled Metroid: FPS OffShoot then you'd still complain, but you'd be less defendable. It's Metroid. I felt like Samus, I saw new things. Deal.

This is not to say that Metroid is only aesthetic, that it must "look" like Metroid and the gameplay structure can change at any time. But if we recognize that Metroid is action and exploration oriented, then the nitty gritty from there can and should change. From this point on, I only want to upgrade to abilities I didn't have in past games. Power Bombs are boring. Spider Ball is boring. Missile/Charge Beam Combos? Waste of effort. Let me fly, or climb on walls, make the world more interactive. I also cannot ignore the fact that upgrading is important - it's just not as important as stated. Metroid games are based on clever progression; gaining new abilities as you go is a large part of it. I do hold that Metroid can exist without it, though, as progression can be taught in different ways. If Samus' suit was reinvented every game, a la Link, we might be able to get by with the upgrade style of game progression, but Nintendo still sticks with the same old items even for Link. I suppose I can't hope for much from a Metroid game that takes place before the existing 2-D ones. As soon as they're set in the future, let's pray we get an entirely new Power Suit. If not, upgrading to progress is a dead system, and we are all guilty of fanboy devotion to a corpse of a game.

2) We're so obsessed with our idea of "Metroid" that we've forgotten that innovation, not nostalgia, is the key to new experiences. If I cannot enjoy a game unless I've played all the others in the series, it is faulty. If the first Metroid was the Bible by which all other Metroid games were based, then the Prime series would not exist. The innovations of story-telling through Log Book, first person, lock-on, the scan visor's added functionality, and others would have been shot down. Why cannot the next Metroid game surpass our lockstep ideas of game design? Why cannot this game utilize the basics of Samus' relationship to the universe as its guiding force, rather than the basics of past Metroid's gameplay structure? When Samus flies her ship into a dogfight in Metroid: Prime 3, no one will complain. It's a necessary extension that has been avoided, and any other new thing Retro comes up with should be embraced, so long as it is true to Samus, not Metroid.

3) Hunters is Metroid Lite. It's an offshoot. Samus has a gun. Why not shoot it? Samus explores worlds uninhabited and dead. Why not some rivalry? Samus is Samus in this game. It is more linear, but it is also a 3-D handheld, a new experiment. I find this mode of gameplay to fit my DS, even though it isn't perfect, or even outstanding. It's not full, but it is only one half of the entire game! What would've made it better? More linearity! Stop with these doors that close just to lock you into battle with a hunter. Make the entire world Quake-like! Why cannot Samus visit a place totally unlike any other environ she's seen thus far? An abandoned office building? I would love to visit a fully populated city planet in MP3, but you can't fill that world with Spider Tracks and Purple Doors.

In summary: Hunters is a good game. I like to play it. I actually had some excellent times with the single player, mainly because I was Samus and fighting some awesome guys. The worlds have visual and emotional depth, the music is good. I was immersed, though on the whole it tries too hard to match its bigger brothers. Nintendo: Why not let this game live its own life? Players: Why not enjoy it for what it is? Is it fun? Did you experience something new? We are not disinherited fanboys, we're just privy to an experiment that fails in some ways and succeeds in others. Multiplayer in Hunters, after all, is very much like Metroid in its mechanics, yet I'd bet that too counts as merely a Lost Book in this infallible Holy Text.

The Metroid series is about upgrading. However, that doesn't mean the abilities need to be stripped away at the start of each game so you can get them all over again. It worked fine in the first Prime because you'd never used those abilities in 3D, so they felt new. Echoes tried to avoid too much repetition by introducing some new items, but there was still too much overlap with Prime. What it comes down to is the developer's willingness to design new items and design a new world based around those new items -- allowing you to keep your old stuff, to a reasonable extent, at least. Retro needs to have more courage in creating new abilities for Samus and designing around those, a message I've delivered to them every chance I get.

Smash_BrotherMarch 28, 2006

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Originally posted by: Mario

No way, those are fun. MP3 needs backtracking.
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If Samus didn't move like a mech backtracking wouldn't seem so tedious.

I disagree again! I think Samus's pace is perfect in MP and MP2, it makes the game more immersive, if she ran too fast I wouldn't be able to take in the environments as easily.


I said SOME of the backtracking, and how much more immersed can you get after you've walked through the same area five times already?

The same enemies spawning every time you walk into the room isn't immersive, it's boring. In fact, it breaks immersion, unless I'm led to believe that this room has a time-release giant beetle dispenser buried somewhere in it.

Ian SaneMarch 29, 2006

"I think what Metroid Prime acheived that made it so great is the same thing Ocarina of Time achieved, the fact that basic movement is fun. Walking around is fun!"

I didn't mind walking around in Zelda but in Metroid Prime encountering Chozo Ghosts again and again is a real pain in the butt. One thing that I think Retro needs to work on is making the respawning enemies a little less difficult. I feel they did improve this a bit a MP2 but it wasn't perfect. In the 2D Metroid games enemies respawn but are usually much easier when you backtrack because you have a new beam or something that kicks their ass. Some enemies in the Metroid Prime games are always hard. The Growler thingies in MP2 were like fighting a boss everytime.

"Here's what we're missing: a true definition of Metroid."

Metroid is a game with a space theme. It involves exploring a continuous world. There's no clearly seperated levels as every area connects together like one big level. There are areas but it's not like level 1, 2, 3, etc. As you explore the world you upgrade your abilities and these abilities allow you to explore previously unreachable areas.

There's nothing wrong with innovation but when you're making a non-spinoff game I think it's important to keep the key elements intact. There are certain parts of the game's formula that are why the game is popular in the first place. Metroid has innovated. Metroid Prime is very innovative with the major switch to 3D. Metroid Fusion had this interesting virus method of collecting health and missiles. Metroid II was built around hunting Metroids so the game didn't really have bosses in the same way the other games do. Super Metroid is in many ways a souped up version of the original game but even it has new items and it also added the automap which greatly helps the game.

I will agree that it would nice to have some new abilities. That sort of thing is hard to do and some abilities (like jumping higher) are so basic that it would actually not make sense to not include them. Nintendo does have this problem with Zelda too. It would take a lot of creativity to think of entirely new upgrades (though I imagine morphball, bombs, and missiles would stay). I don't necessarily think Nintendo sticks to familiar abilities for nostalgia but just because it would be so hard to make up entirely new stuff.

BloodworthDaniel Bloodworth, Staff AlumnusMarch 29, 2006

Ian is right about the respawning enemies. They should be the type of creatures that even if they take a little extra time to kill, they aren't as comlex as fighting boss.

I think the real key to upgrading is for there to be significant areas opened up - that you don't get back to a section of the map until you have three or four new items that suddenly bring life to that section all over again. If you instead find yourself being forced to go back after each new item you get, that becomes less of a discovery and more of a chore.

The thing that really made Mario, Zelda, and Metroid so special to begin with was that there always seemed to be some secret to find around every corner. If you're required to find those areas (and have a hint system pointing straight to them), it really defeats that sense.

KDR_11kMarch 29, 2006

One pro for manual aiming above lock on: You can lead the target. Moving targets are almost impossible to hit with naive autoaim.

mantidorMarch 29, 2006

Im not concerned about lack of lock on for Prime 3. It would actually make the game closer to the 2D metroids, in these you have to time jumps and missile shooting for bosses, which is practically a form of aiming. Again this should go along enemy and boss design, Thardus from prime 1 for instance would be a living nightmare without lock-on, but if lock on is gone, Im sure we wont find a boss like thardus in prime 3. The challenge will come from a different gameplay mechanic.

And I love respawning, it makes you feel like Samus has really grow in abilities, the chozo ghost were the worst case of unbalance, but still, the first fight could be very challenging, but once you find them again and have the x visor and super missiles, they take only two super missles to go down, I love that! enemies who were almost imposible now are destroyed easily, and you dont have to kill them if you dont want to, since the doors no longer get locked.

My favorite though is the speed booster in the 2D games, you have this really hard time going through this long tunnel full of enemies, but once you have the speed booster, you just build speed, do the charge thing and slam your body against all destroying them easily and cruising the tunnel in no time, that is simply awesome. I wish they could implement something like that for prime 3 but I have no idea how could it work in 3d and first person.

KDR_11kMarch 29, 2006

but once you find them again and have the x visor and super missiles, they take only two super missles to go down, I love that!

One super missile + one charge shot were enough, you're wasting missiles.

mantidorMarch 29, 2006

oh thats right, I wasnt sure about it. I think that hard mode does take two missiles.

RizeDavid Trammell, Staff AlumnusMarch 29, 2006

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Originally posted by: Jonnyboy117
The Metroid series is about upgrading. However, that doesn't mean the abilities need to be stripped away at the start of each game so you can get them all over again. It worked fine in the first Prime because you'd never used those abilities in 3D, so they felt new. Echoes tried to avoid too much repetition by introducing some new items, but there was still too much overlap with Prime. What it comes down to is the developer's willingness to design new items and design a new world based around those new items -- allowing you to keep your old stuff, to a reasonable extent, at least. Retro needs to have more courage in creating new abilities for Samus and designing around those, a message I've delivered to them every chance I get.


Banjo Tooie is an excellent example of a sequel that let you start with every ability you learned over the course of the previous game and then gave you a bunch of new ones.

I like the Echoes approach though. You get stripped of most of your abilities, but find a lot of replacements that weren't in the previous game.

Smash_BrotherMarch 29, 2006

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Originally posted by: Bloodworth I think the real key to upgrading is for there to be significant areas opened up - that you don't get back to a section of the map until you have three or four new items that suddenly bring life to that section all over again. If you instead find yourself being forced to go back after each new item you get, that becomes less of a discovery and more of a chore.


This was exactly my problem with MP2.

I felt that MP1 did an excellent job balancing this, typically having 1-2 unopenable doors/rocks/obstacles in an area which would require you to come back later. MP2 just seemed to have a plethora of impassible barriers in each area which would require only the most meticulous memory when it came to hunting them all down once you finally had the appropriate items. Every unopenable door I saw basically meant another trip through half the map.

I hope they could balance this in MP3 so it was more like MP1. The areas generally have one locked door which holds almost a completely new area, not 4-5 unlockables which may only contain upgrades or a scan you don't want to miss out on.

RizeDavid Trammell, Staff AlumnusMarch 29, 2006

I've been playing a bit more of hunters adventure mode. I can sum it up in one very simple sentiment. It is the game that everyone feared Metroid Prime would be.

Hostile CreationMarch 29, 2006

" Ian is right about the respawning enemies. They should be the type of creatures that even if they take a little extra time to kill, they aren't as comlex as fighting boss."

I don't necessarily agree with this. I remember going around in Metroid Prime after beating (or having nearly beaten, either way) the game, just playing around or looking for extra stuff. And I'd leave the energy beam on instead of the plasma beam, because I immensely enjoyed fighting the enemies in a more challenging way. Juvenile sheegoths and flying pirates in particular.
If I needed to get by quickly, I just walked by. Chozo ghosts (which I hardly liked fighting) and Dark Pirate Commandos (in MP2, those enemies were a bitch) I could just walk past and I probably wouldn't even get hurt.

Well, I don't disagree. Some enemies are too hard, even later in the game. But I don't agree that backtracking can't be fun, if that's what anyone's arguing :P

JensenMarch 29, 2006

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Originally posted by: Smash_Brother
The same enemies spawning every time you walk into the room isn't immersive, it's boring. In fact, it breaks immersion, unless I'm led to believe that this room has a time-release giant beetle dispenser buried somewhere in it.


I'm only about hafway through,but Hunters seems to be better about about not always spawning the same enemies... The somewhat random fights with other hunters are more interesting.

Smash_BrotherMarch 29, 2006

Hunters actually has enemy generators, but they respawn when you leave the area but can be replaced with an enemy hunter.

GiolonMarch 30, 2006

I am a longtime Metroid fan, and I disagree with the review of the single player portion of Metroid Prime Hunters. When I was playing it, I felt just as much like I was playing Samus as any other Metroid game. The fact that I was not reduced to naught and forced to find incremental upgrades over the course of the game did not reduce the Metroid feeling for me.

The additional weapons, in my opnion, are not simply interchangeable throw aways. The Battlehammer functions as a nice intermediary between the uncharged and charged Power Beam. The Magmaul makes a nice heavy hit comparable to missles if you're out of missles ammo. The bouncing and shotgun spread of the Judicator gives you a bit more leeway in your aiming. I could go on about the other weapons too, like how we have the first ever sniping weapon in a Metroid game (which is put to good use for puzzles). I found the inclusion of the other Hunters in the single player game to contribute greatly to expanding the Metroid Universe and make it feel more like a living breathing world. Now, finally, Samus has some competition!

I only have two complaints about the game. The first is not being able to view your scan log anywhere but in your ship (ARG!!), and the second is the generally simplistic nature of the environment puzzles. I can chalk these up to this being a handheld game, but by no means did I find it to be bad or un-Metroid-like. I even appreciated the fact for the first time in 4 Metroid games (Prime, Prime 2, Zero Mission, and Fusion) there was no stupid auto-help mechanism either optionally, or worse, forced on. I had to use my noggin a couple times.

Just because there is no lock-on and the gameplay mechanics are a little more straightforward of a first-person shooter type of game, doesn't negate the fact that this game felt completely like I was playing Samus in the Metroid universe to me.

I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying the game. I guess you and I just have different ideas about what it means to be a Metroid game. I never for even a second felt like I was playing Metroid, not in adventure mode and certainly not in multiplayer. I might be okay with that if the adventure mode was a very good first-person shooter, but I don't think it's near the top of that field, either. It's just okay, and it may be a good diversion for some people, but I definitely don't think it's worth buying the game mainly for single-player. It's WiFi or bust on this one.

WanderingMarch 31, 2006

Good review (Why haven't I bought this game yet?)

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IT makes you wonder if using the Metroid name was any good at all, they used the licence to guaranteed some sales I suppose, but ironically previous Metroid fans wont find in this game what they like, so its not a guaranteed sale after all.

Or maybe Nintendo thought Hunters would sell really well no matter what, and wanted to use the game to promote Metroid Prime 3?

mantidorMarch 31, 2006

isnt that bad promotion? unless MP3 is going to offer something similar to hunters, and oh god, I hope not.

KDR_11kMarch 31, 2006

Perhaps they wanted to introduce some new characters to Metroid so they could maybe use one or two of the hunters in a later Metroid game?

Smash_BrotherMarch 31, 2006

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Originally posted by: KDR_11k
Perhaps they wanted to introduce some new characters to Metroid so they could maybe use one or two of the hunters in a later Metroid game?


QFT! Say it with me, people: "Spire in SSB:Rev!"

I'm happy to see an expansion of the Metroid universe in terms of characters. Either we have this faceless "Galactic Federation" or some other alien race which is long since dead and buried.

With the presence of these 6 hunters, we now know that there are some alien races which aren't dead, waiting for Samus to come scan all their crap so the player can forget it all 10 minutes later.

Seriously, though, Samus is more of an archeologist than a bounty hunter. This is the first Metroid game I've played in which she's ACTUALLY a bounty hunter hunting bounties, and even then she still winds up searching for the secrets of yet ANOTHER dead race of aliens.

You'd think she'd eventually just turn down all contracts which promise to involve dead races of aliens...

KDR_11kMarch 31, 2006

I'd be happy already if we got Ridley in Smash Bros.

Smash_BrotherMarch 31, 2006

I'd be happy if we got anything which wasn't a clone or another goddamn pokemon.

To be fair, the Luminoth were not dead, just in stasis.

Ian SaneMarch 31, 2006

"Or maybe Nintendo thought Hunters would sell really well no matter what, and wanted to use the game to promote Metroid Prime 3?"

That seems like a pretty elaborate plan. Considering how Nintendo has been very gung ho about attaching their franchises to pretty much everything I think it's very likely the Metroid franchise was used to attract sales for Hunters. They already made a Metroid Pinball game after all. And this is the company that launched that whole "Who are you?" campaign where the whole emphasis was on drawing attention to Nintendo's franchises.

Regarding SSB I imagine Ridley hasn't been added as a character because he's so freaking huge it would be hard to make work.

ArbokMarch 31, 2006

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Originally posted by: Ian Sane
Regarding SSB I imagine Ridley hasn't been added as a character because he's so freaking huge it would be hard to make work.


Considering Pikachu is supposed to be only 40 cm (1.3 feet), I kind of doubt that they wouldn't consider just adjusting his size to fit in with relation to the other fighters. If they wanted to use him, that is.

vuduMarch 31, 2006

An oversized Pikachu is one thing. Still cute. A dwarfed Ridley is a whole 'nother monster. It would look so stupid it's not even funny. To illustrate, here's a picture of Godzilla fighting Megaman. Not exactly a heart-stopping sight, is he?

godzillavsmegaman.jpg

KDR_11kMarch 31, 2006

Ridley would still look intimidating if he were the size of Bowser. He has a pretty crouched stance in the games so his true size (which was much smaller in Metroid 1 IIRC) wouldn't matter as much. DK isn't in his true form (DK (SGB) shows at the end that DK was just drugged up on shrink mushrooms, without them he's as big as King Kong), either so who cares?

CalibanMarch 31, 2006

What if Ridley was alone just a part of a super-combo attack from Samus.

The luminoth would be a cool addition to SSBMR

hudsonhawkApril 07, 2006

Just wanted to add my $.02.

I think people are being way harder on this game than it deserves. It's a very innovative, fun portable FPA - easily the best first-person game on any portable console (not that there's a ton of competition, but still). The single-player is still very "Metroid" to me, though I say that as a fan of the 3d Metroids, not the 2d Metroids.

It's great to see them try new things with a franchise, rather than making it fit into the rigidly defined criteria that Nintendo sometimes uses for its franchises. I'd rather see them do something new and fun like this than something like, say, Partners in Time, which made me feel like I was playing a game I'd played many times before.

I actually don't love the online multiplayer, I think it feels a little dated - very Quake Arena. I was hoping for more than just deathmatching (something like Oddball in Halo 2 would have been tons of fun online, especially in MPH's small levels, or 2-on-2 CTF). It may have those in local multiplayer - I wouldn't know, though, since that isn't something I'll ever be able to try.

So just wanted to dissent a little from the underserved criticism this game is getting. If you're on the fence because you're afraid it isn't "Metroid" enough - get over it, and go get this innovative game.

BloodworthDaniel Bloodworth, Staff AlumnusApril 07, 2006

hudsonhawk have you played with friends or rivals at all? It sounds like you're just doing random matching, which only allows battle. Of course there's two-on-two CTF, and several other cool modes.

hudsonhawkApril 08, 2006

Ah, thanks for the tip BW!

That is exactly the case - I need to start adding rivals and pimping my friend code around the forums. I dont have anyone on my friends list so I have indeed been playing random matches.

I'll have to check that out - that would indeed explain why my opinion of the online multiplayer is so out of whack with everyone else's.

KnowsNothingApril 08, 2006

You can also go into multicard play and play any of the modes against bots, too! Fun for everyone!

hudsonhawk, my criticism of the single-player in Hunters is not that it tries too many new things but that it contains almost none of the things that are the core of the Metroid series. Retro's Prime games have done tons of new things that were never done in the 2D Metroid games, and most of it works great and adds to the series. But those games were very careful to keep the core of the series intact and build upon it from there. Without that core material, or a convincing argument for changing the core design, Hunters feels like a very distant cousin to the other Metroid games...more like pinball than Prime.

And lest people get into this mindset that I'm bashing Hunters...I gave it an 8/10 score and had many, many good things to say about it! In fact, it is one of my favorite games on the DS, at least when I can get a good series of online matches going. But I think there are serious problems with the single-player that need to be addressed in a thorough review, and as an extension of that, I think serious Metroid fans need to be aware of the game's faithfulness (or lack thereof) to the series before they make a decision to buy it. It really all depends on what you are hoping to get out of the game.

ACApril 10, 2006

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...there is no upgrading beyond the six sub-weapons, which are interchangeable for the most part. And you can't have a Metroid game without upgrades; that would be like having a Mario game without jumping... The original Metroid on NES establishes the importance of upgrading within the first thirty seconds of the game.


WHAT? Completely worthless statements in what sounds like a pretty worthless review. Review the game for what it IS not for what it ISN'T. The comparison with Mario is ludricrious, that's a platformer. A fairer comparison would be with mushrooms and fireflowers in Mario games, but is that worth marking Super Mario 64 down as some kind of 'fake'? I doubt it.

I haven't actually played the full game yet and fair play if it the Adventure Mode isn't up to scratch. But for god's sake, throwing a hissy fit because NST actually decided to (god forbid) freshen up the series, makes me worried that you actually get to talk to Retro. Metroid Prime 2 was filled with undeniably great Metroid gameplay, but was so uninteresting to me. Why? Perhaps because it was the same damn thing yet again.

mantidorApril 10, 2006

Echoes was a very, very diferent game from Prime and the 2D games by the dual world's mechanic alone.


Johny already said it, all Metroid games offer new things, its not about sticking to the same upgrades, suits or whatever, is about having the same core gameplay, which this game clearly has not. The review was very worth for me, as a metroid fan and online gaming hater, this has made me avoid a purchase that Id probably would regret.


Also, I dont now how can be called "fresh" making Metroid more of a normal FPS when the genre has been explored to death.

ACApril 10, 2006

Prime 2 didn't feel fresh to me, dark worlds or not. It felt closer to an expansion pack of Prime than an entirely new product. Although this was a while ago I played it.

Is Hunters really less of a Metroid game than say - Fusion? Why does this not have the same "core gameplay"? Because there are no upgrades? The review makes out that this is a cardinal sin, and the game must be dismissed immediately. I'm not so sure. I'm sure I've read comments on fansites such as Metroid2002.com happily considering it a Metroid game. I think dismissing the game as not belonging to the series, not even dabating the point and printing it as fact in a review is ridiculous.

Also, I meant to say "NST tried to freshen up the series", although I'm not sure what you mean by "normal FPS" - I don't think there is one.

mantidorApril 10, 2006

I call "Normal FPS" a doom/quake clone, basically, every single damn FPS made ever since. I know of very few exceptions, like Thief, Metroid Prime, and Ive heard that also Deux Ex. Not even the armor mechanic (one number for phisical health, one for armor) has changed since those times, not the focus on onine play for that matter, and sadly lately, not even a change in scenario, is the military setting all over again, I miss my Heretic/Hexen typ of games a lot.

Johnny's review was excellent and he's not telling anyone to dissmiss the game, but the focus of the game is in the multiplayer, and if you are getting the game it should be because of that, not because the single player campaign.


ACApril 10, 2006

Well that isn't what I take issue with, I thought we all knew that this was multiplayer-centric from day one (hence memory restrictions that mean the areas get shoehorned into the single-player game rather than the other way around).

It was the idea that constant upgrades (and I guess the constant contrived in-story reasons for them) MUST be part of every title that calls itself Metroid, at all costs. The very notion that a developer may try something slightly different is criminal. How is that justified?

BloodworthDaniel Bloodworth, Staff AlumnusApril 10, 2006

I think that it's a matter of the single-player game simply being shallower. The bounty hunters are the only real addition and they are just briefly a threat. Aside from that, the game can be summed up more in what's been taken out of it. Now instead of new items that allow you to do new things - like jump higher, climb walls, run faster, etc - you use the same set of moves throughout the game and a bunch of items that don't do anything more than open doors. The very flaws that hindered Prime and Echoes were actually amplified in Hunters due to the lack of variety in the gameplay, levels, and bosses.

AC, I'm sorry (happy) to tell you that I know someone very high up in Retro and have talked to him a great deal about the Metroid games, and he seems to agree with me. Hardly surprising since Retro's games actually feel like Metroid, no matter how much they change the perspective, add things like scanning, change iconic abilities like Screw Attack, etc. They know what makes a Metroid game, and they make sure that's in there, then go in and screw around with the formula as much as possible without messing up the core. I'm sure Prime 3 will take that idea even further.

KDR_11kApril 11, 2006

It was the idea that constant upgrades (and I guess the constant contrived in-story reasons for them) MUST be part of every title that calls itself Metroid, at all costs. The very notion that a developer may try something slightly different is criminal. How is that justified?

If you're not making Metroid then don't call it Metroid. The Metroid name stands for upgrades and exploration. Don't call a spade a fork and complain that people expect a fork.

ACApril 15, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: Jonnyboy117
AC, I'm sorry (happy) to tell you that I know someone very high up in Retro and have talked to him a great deal about the Metroid games, and he seems to agree with me. Hardly surprising since Retro's games actually feel like Metroid, no matter how much they change the perspective, add things like scanning, change iconic abilities like Screw Attack, etc. They know what makes a Metroid game, and they make sure that's in there, then go in and screw around with the formula as much as possible without messing up the core. I'm sure Prime 3 will take that idea even further.


I'm looking forward to Prime 3 because of the new hardware and massively improved control system alone (as well as the gameplay). I just hope the game also feels fresh. Also, as the Metroid universe expands certain things worry me, for example how many times can Samus just lose her abilities at the start?

Anyway, here's a thought I just had. Seeing as Hunter's multiplayer is apparently top-notch and multiplayer in Prime 3 is obligatory, how about NST does Prime 3's multplayer while Retro focus on the single-player? Ah never-mind.

NephilimApril 15, 2006

Quote

If you're not making Metroid then don't call it Metroid. The Metroid name stands for upgrades and exploration. Don't call a spade a fork and complain that people expect a fork.

well if they kept to the formula for mario, then we wouldnt have mario 64
heck donkey kong 64 was more about platform jumping then mario 64, and that didnt make it fun

Multiplayer for Prime 3 is not obligatory. Last I heard (which was a long time ago), they would only consider it if they could find a much better and more interesting way to do it than was in Prime 2. I'm sure they are impressed by the multiplayer in Hunters, but it wouldn't be a good fit in the real Prime games (just as its precessor was not a good fit in Prime 2).

ACApril 15, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: DeadlyD
well if they kept to the formula for mario, then we wouldnt have mario 64
heck donkey kong 64 was more about platform jumping then mario 64, and that didnt make it fun

Exactly.

Quote

Originally posted by: Jonnyboy117
Multiplayer for Prime 3 is not obligatory. Last I heard (which was a long time ago), they would only consider it if they could find a much better and more interesting way to do it than was in Prime 2. I'm sure they are impressed by the multiplayer in Hunters, but it wouldn't be a good fit in the real Prime games (just as its precessor was not a good fit in Prime 2).

After the success of Hunters, and with the removal of lock-on, I honestly cannot see the logic of releasing the game without multiplayer. It just makes no sense to me.

Bill AurionApril 15, 2006

Last I heard, multiplayer only needed to be fun, it didn't have to fit in with any "story"...

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Metroid Prime: Hunters Box Art

Genre Shooter
Developer Nintendo Software Technology
Players1 - 4
Online1 - 4
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Metroid Prime: Hunters
Release Mar 20, 2006
PublisherNintendo
RatingTeen
jpn: Metroid Prime Hunters
Release Jun 01, 2006
PublisherNintendo
RatingAll Ages
eu: Metroid Prime: Hunters
Release May 05, 2006
PublisherNintendo
Rating12+
aus: Metroid Prime: Hunters
Release May 2006
PublisherNintendo
RatingMature

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