Metroid Prime Remastered test: what do we Samus!
While waiting for the fourth part still missing, back to basics with the bounty hunter’s first 3D adventure. Test.
There are classics that gamers carry in their hearts forever. Among Nintendo fans, the Gamecube era is particularly nostalgic. This rather discreet console was not the most widespread of its generation but did not fail to mark its users thanks to many masterpieces.
Mario Kart: Double Dash, Zelda Wind Wakerand even Super Smash Bros Melee : the cubic console houses titles considered to be the best iterations of the firm’s major licenses. Of course, the same goes for the license Metroid which took the step towards 3D with Metroid Prime. A first for bounty hunter Samus Aran, her new adventure now takes place in first person.
Transposing the genre of Metroidvania in such a format is a big ambition, but this risky bet quickly proved to be more than successful. Victim of its success, this innovative FPS gives birth to an entire trilogy. A fourth installment announced for Switch in 2017 has yet to see life in the face of difficult development and relaunched from scratch.
To make players wait, the Kyoto firm invites us to dive back into the origins of the phenomenon. Nintendo has made a habit of giving its cult titles a facelift, but does the anti-aging serum work for Metroid Prime ? Answer in this test.
A timeless recipe
Just because the original title is great doesn’t mean the remaster necessarily is. It is always possible to distort the charm of the work, some licenses have paid the price (small thought for Warcraft III and Pokémon Diamond and Pearl). Fortunately, Metroid Prime escapes this curse and sticks to the recipe that gave it its charm.
After crashing on the planet Tallon IV, Samus Aran will have to unlock the secrets of the Chozo people in order to stop the plans of the Space Pirates. As with all Metroidvania, the player is released from the start of the adventure in a universe that he can explore as he pleases, well almost. Very few indications are given as to the direction to take, pushing the player to discover the surroundings on his own.
Some areas are inaccessible until certain improvements have been unlocked, allowing you to respect a certain route while leaving the illusion of freedom. If this gameplay originally applies to 2D platformers (like the first Metroid And Castlevania who lend their name to the genre), we are just as easily carried away by this 3D adaptation. The field of vision reduced by Samus’ helmet covering the interface creates an almost heavy atmosphere as we try to navigate the maze of the planet.
The layout of the biomes is particularly effective and greatly contributes to the exploration experience. The various puzzles and other riddles make this first-person adventure a unique title of its kind (if we omit Portal released five years later Metroid Prime). The areas that we enjoy browsing are enhanced by modern graphics, reinforcing the player’s impression of immersion on the planet Tallon IV. Along with these effective ingredients, the remaster’s extra touches serve to heighten the overall experience.
Gameplay finally perfected
Whether Metroid Prime has always been considered an excellent game, it is still worth remembering that its aiming system was far from perfect. Before the advent of modern FPS for two-stick controllers, shooters were based on a single axis. With the only possibility of turning the camera horizontally, the sensations are far from being intuitive or even realistic.
The title has already had the right to a revisit of its gameplay in the trilogy published on Wii in 2009. The pointer of the Wiimote then allowed a more precise aiming, without allowing to move the camera vertically. In Metroid Prime Remasteredthe aim is finally in line with today’s standards and that really changes the situation.
It is now possible to fully appreciate the environments, but also and above all to boost the gameplay. In older versions, target locking allowed high targets to be hit, provided they were in Samus’ field of vision. Now that the camera is completely free and controlled via the right joycon stick, making misery with the monsters of Tallon IV is a real pleasure.
For the most nostalgic players, Nintendo has thought of everything. It is possible to relive the original and untouched experience by changing the camera control mode in the game options. Even the aim of the Wii version is integrated to allow everyone to personalize their experience.
A player-friendly remaster
Metroid Prime Remastered isn’t just a long-awaited nostalgic return, it’s also a release that does exactly what is expected of it. Since the fashion for remakes and other reissues has taken hold of the video game industry, this practice has been regularly criticized by players for the approach chosen by the studios.
Too often, remasters hit the shelves for the price of a new, unreleased game when it’s really just a simple graphical update. Sometimes the original version of titles that get this treatment haven’t even been released for that long. If one tends to think of the PS4 remaster of The Last of Us and the PS5 remake afterwards, Nintendo has also become an expert in this practice.
Just the “new“Kirby Return to Dreamland Deluxe is proof of that. Yet this Metroid Prime Remastered is well aware of what it represents: an improved and reworked version of a game from 20 years ago with the aim of (re)discovering the franchise. Thus, the game is sold for € 39.99, a much more affordable price than the usual 59.99 and 69.99 charged by the Kyoto firm.
This title is therefore faultless on all aspects. Without trying to revolutionize the original, Metroid Prime Remastered does exactly what is asked of it and offers it at a reasonable price. In addition, the game offers a physical release from March 3, 2023 to satisfy the hearts of collectors. What more ? Well why not the rest of the episodes republished with as much attention to prepare for the arrival of Metroid Prime 4…