It was one of those open secrets that Nintendo had been sitting on Metroid Prime Remastered, with the game’s arrival rumoured across just about every Nintendo Direct over the last few years. Well, it’s finally upon us, with Samus Aran’s iconic debut venture into first-person gameplay now available on the Nintendo Switch. This isn’t just a simple remastered release with a fresh lick of paint though, but instead a refined and improved effort that somehow makes what was already a masterpiece even better to play.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Metroid Prime took the series first-person for the first time, all whilst embracing the hallmarks of the series that made it so alluring to play to begin with. Open exploration where new abilities allow you to reach previously inaccessible areas, plenty of enemies to battle that require varying approaches to take down, epic boss encounters that’ll really push your skills to their limit, an expansive world to explore full of varied sights and biomes – it really has it all, with the whole Metroidvania-style approach feeling just as immersive and entertaining from a first-person perspective.
It helps that the game design is just SO good, with Samus Aran’s varied weaponry and abilities making her a joy to play as. You’ll genuinely feel like you pack a punch with the array of weapon upgrades you continually unlock, with the revamped take on series classics feeling even better in 3D. The game has an auto-aim system in place when dealing with enemies too, making it easier to keep on top of the action and ensure threats are dealt with. Be warned though: whilst you don’t need to worry about precision when aiming, there is a greater emphasis placed on player position and movement, with Samus having to constantly move out of the way of incoming threats and keep a strategic advantage over foes by zipping across the environment. It makes for a gripping gameplay loop that ensures the action never slows down, with each battle focusing on more than just unloading your weapons upon your enemies.
If you add to that the fantastic world design that makes each area feel alluring to explore, some clever elements of environmental puzzling, and the satisfying loop of re-visiting previous areas with your new abilities to venture across what were inaccessible areas, there’s plenty to love about Metroid Prime. There’s even plenty of additional lore to uncover when scanning objects, giving players who like to learn every detail of the world plenty of nuggets of information that flesh out the narrative experience. The best part of all? Every aspect of the gameplay has stood the test of time, with the game proving just as fun to play now as it was back in 2002.
“I’ve played plenty of remastered releases that have kept the visual improvements to a minimum outside of a HD upscale, but Metroid Prime Remastered really has gone all-out, with this certainly proving to be no quick and easy cash-in by Nintendo.”
But look, you already know that Metroid Prime is brilliant to play, so let’s focus on the improvements introduced that make it even better than before.
One of the most significant improvements is the introduction of dual-stick controls, with the player now able to freely control the camera by using the right stick. It probably sounds a little crazy that the controls weren’t based around that in the first place, but it was something that players had to deal with when the game originally launched back in 2002. Of course, the fact that your weapons will auto lock-on to enemies does mean that the more limited camera control of the original wasn’t always a big problem, but everything feels so much more intuitive this time around and it makes exploration feel so much more natural. It was the first thing I noticed when playing and, at times, it made Metroid Prime Remastered feel like a completely different game. But hey, if you prefer playing with the original controls (or even motion controls that are similar to Wii release), that’s an option too.
Then you have the visual upgrades, which are very impressive and offer so much more than simply seeing the game upscaled to a higher resolution. Not only have the 3D models of the game been remade with more detail, but the textures, lighting, in-game effects (some of these add to the immersion massively), and player HUD have all been meticulously re-crafted to make everything look so much better – it definitely feels and looks like a release that belongs in 2023. I’ve played plenty of remastered releases that have kept the visual improvements to a minimum outside of a HD upscale, but Metroid Prime Remastered really has gone all-out, with this certainly proving to be no quick and easy cash-in by Nintendo. There were countless occasions where I ventured through locales I had visited plenty of times before, only to be left in awe at how vastly different they looked. It really is a gorgeous game and proof that the Nintendo Switch still has some oomph in it.
Check out some screenshots down below:
It is worth noting that the resolution when playing handheld is set at 612p and when playing docked is 900p, though it does maintain a smooth 60fps frame rate however you choose to play. If I’m being honest, I preferred playing through the game docked just to take advantage of that extra clarity, but the 612p was more than adequate during my handheld sessions too.
There are a couple of other cool extras for players, with plenty of bonuses to unlock such as 3D character models, art, and the soundtrack, whilst there’s an additional easier difficulty mode to ease in newbies. Like I said, no effort has been spared in making Metroid Prime Remastered the definitive way to experience the adventure, with improvements and additions found across EVERY aspect of the game.
Metroid Prime Remastered Review
Metroid Prime Remastered takes a classic release and improves every aspect of it, with the game looking and feeling even better than ever before. The controls are sublime, the visuals are superb, whilst the excellent gameplay has stood the test of time, with it clear that a lot of love and effort went into ensuring this was the Metroid Prime experience fans had been wishing for.
We’ve seen a few uninspired remastered releases over the years (Nintendo included with Super Mario 3D All-Stars), but Metroid Prime Remastered really is a must-play release. It sets the bar for future remastered releases from publishers and has made a game that is over twenty-years old feel like a breath-taking modern release.
Developer: Retro Studios, Iron Galaxy Studios, Nintendo
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed)