Metroid Prime Hunters (Nintendo DS) Preview

By John Boyle 20.03.2006 12

This has easily been the most anticipated game for the Nintendo DS in its early life. Since the series was resurrected under the "Prime" branch on the GameCube it has seen a revival in popularity with many seeing it as the adult Nintendo game and it certainly mirrors Nintendo's change over recent years. And with it being the game shown with the Revolution unveiling and with a movie supposedly in the works it seems that Nintendo are in no mood to let the franchise die. So it continues with Metroid Prime: Hunters, so let's see how the first online FPS on the DS is shaping up just 2 months from EU launch.

It was amusing when MP: H was delayed. News headlines such as "Hunters not hunting until May" sent many fans into shock, not truly believing that they'd have to stick with the First Hunt demo for their Metroid fix for longer than anticipated. However then everyone actually read the news stories.... and suddenly the shock was transformed into glee. Full online multiplayer was being added... huzzah! And it seems like Nintendo are taking onboard the criticisms from it's other WFC games.

So basically it consists of 4 player deathmatches via the WFC, however there are a few more additions that make this clearly part of the "next generation" of DS wifi games. To begin with there will be extensive "stat tracking" through your "Hunters License". This thing not only holds your friend code (needed to play specific people) but also will keep track of various in game statistics (such as total kills, awards earned etc etc). These stats will be displayed on the Nintendo wifi sites and on the official Metroid Hunters site. Your hunters license also keeps track of your conduct in the game. That being the games you've played and the amount you've disconnected... yes disconnections are now being tallied and will count negatively against you.

Screenshot for Metroid Prime Hunters on Nintendo DS

Another surprising addition is the inclusion of VoIP online. This means that when online all you have to do is hold in the x button and you can speak! So you can actually gloat/apologise/cry about the game directly to your opponents. To shy to speak? Well a pictochat style drop down keyboard is also available to get the message across. So it looks like the old MSN/DS game combination that so many C3ers used will finally be put to rest and replaced by an integrated system...about time!

If you want to play a local game then Nintendo have you covered. The usual multiplayer modes (king of the hill, capture the flag, gladiator etc etc) are in the local multiplayer mode and includes 20 multiplayer arenas. There is also single cart play, but the features are paired down (predictably) with character selections being removed.

Screenshot for Metroid Prime Hunters on Nintendo DS

Metroid wouldn't be Metroid without a single player mode and MP: H certainly has a unique single player adventure. Samus is sent to track down an artefact that has staggering power... however several other bounty hunters are also on the trail of this power and arrive roughly at the same time. Oh joy! All these bounty hunters have their own motives for getting the artefact and Samus must outsmart each of them to get the artefact and save the day!

There are 7 hunters including our heroine, each boasting their own weapons, back-story and reason for being in the game. We have Trace, who is trying to expand his people's empire as a rite of passage ritual. Weavel is a space pirate fused with machinery and has a grudge with Samus Aran, as does the mysterious hunter Sylux. Kanden is a genetic experiment gone wrong and is described as "highly unpredictable"... not what you want when bounty hunters are involved. Spire is shaping up to be a "good guy" and wants the artefacts power in order to find out the fate of his people. Noxus could also be a good guy as he is built purely for justice and to smite the wrongdoers... could Samus team up with these guys? Well we're going to have to wait and see as Nintendo are keeping the single player plot under wraps.

Screenshot for Metroid Prime Hunters on Nintendo DS

So Samus faces other hunters for the first time, and to add to the unique feeling to the adventure Samus will be fully powered right from the start. No loss of weapons, no loss of powers just sheer...raw...unadulterated Chozo goodies from day 1. You'll also be darting between planets on Samus' ship and deciphering puzzles in the single player mode. Sounds juicy, doesn't it? Well brace yourselves for a bombshell. Ready? Nintendo have clocked this has being just 2 hours shorter than Metroid Prime. So that's a full length single player Metroid adventure on handheld. Who said the DS couldn't handle real games?

Metroid Prime: Hunters is looking like one of the key Nintendo games of this year and can sit proudly next to Twilight Princess and the Revo launch titles as being vital for Nintendo's future in the market. The delay has ensured that the single player mode is looking far better and the implementation of the WFC mode has been a godsend and ensured that everyone should watch this game with the closest of eyes.

Metroid Prime: Hunters hits the States today and launches in Europe on May 5th.

Screenshot for Metroid Prime Hunters on Nintendo DS

Final Thoughts

This has grown so much since the First Hunt demo and is now looking like a AAA title when compared to any game and not just the handheld corner. The single player mode is looking meaty and the wfc stuff looks positively scrumptious. This cannot hit the UK soon enough and never has a nation been more envious of the USA...

Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (62 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

It does sound awesome! At least I've got a couple of months to raise

I'm supporting my territory on this one so have a 2 month wait, but it looks so awesome.

Wait for me too, but it'll be worth it. Nice one John.

This game looks super amazing, i played the demo along time ago and i loved it at the state when it was and now it seems 100 times better!!!

I see all these people insulting the Nintendo corporation because of the lack of mature content. Yet there is something about Nintendo (at least their games) that strikes a certain unadulterated feeling of joy!!!  Pokemon Y - 1048-9263-5562

I can't believe how good this game is going to be. After watching the trailers it is all I wanted to see

I can't wait! This game looks like its going to be really good.

Working like a fiend isn't very fun... and surprisingly isn't very fiendish either.

My DS collection has too many imports in it, infact ive got more US/Jap games than EU DSgames so i to will have to wait till the 5th of May. Ive been looking forward to this for a very long time. This would be a great opportunity to release the DSlite to Europe but its never going to happen. Oh well we can dream

The only thin that puts me off is he controls

Im getting this from my girlfriend for my birthday, yay. But my birthday is almost at the end of may...
So it's good I convinced her to give me my birthday present early, I saw it in an import shop today :P

~Getting on C3's massive tits since 2K5.~

4 player multi doesn't impress me. I'd rather have a low-graded graphics and LOTS of multi. Take a look at Bomberman. That game is DESTINED for 8 player online play.

To be open-minded, one must admit the possibility that anything and everything is wrong.

Then try prime hunter with 4 players(you and three bots for example) in the smallest stage youve got, dunnow what it's called, but it's a bunch of ruins, very brownish. That's fucking intense, i was shaking with adrenaline afterwards :P

~Getting on C3's massive tits since 2K5.~

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