Review: Metroid Prime Remastered

Metroid Prime was an instant classic the moment it was released on Nintendo’s GameCube. Combining the exploration of 2D Metroid games with a first-person perspective was something completely new and gave birth to the ‘first-person adventure’ genre. Now, years later, I was able to revisit Tallon IV and fell in love with the game again.

Tallon IV

Just like in any other Metroid game, you’ll play as Samus Aran, an infamous bounty hunter who responded to an emergency signal coming from one of the space pirate’s warships. It looks like the ship is under attack by hordes of genetically mutated creatures spawning from a failed experiment of the Space Pirates themselves. After some research on the ship, Samus has to evacuate before things go completely wrong. Just before she escapes the ship, she spots her arch-enemy Ridley escaping to Tallon IV. Without hesitation, Samus pursues her enemy and lands on the mysterious planet but not without damage. While entering Tallon IV, Samus damaged her suit, stripping away some of her more powerful tools. It’s up to her to regain her strength and take down the Space Pirates and their experiments for good.

 

 

Time to explore

Right from the moment you landed on Tallon IV, you’re ready to explore all of its secrets. This is by far one of the best parts of Metroid Prime Remastered as it gives you an incredible amount of freedom to explore the planet at your own pacing. If you’re expecting a first-person shooter from this game, don’t be mistaken. It was dubbed a first-person adventure game back in the GameCube days and this still is the best way to describe what Metroid Prime Remastered is. Sure, you’ll be gunning down enemies with a variation of weapons but puzzles and exploration are as important to the gameplay. If you’re familiar to the Metroidvania genre, you know what to expect. As Samus, you’ll discover the planet piece by piece with every new upgrade to your suit opening up doors that were impossible to open without the right tool.

 

 

Remembering those locations you need to travel back to is crucial to advance and the game doesn’t hold your hand at all. It’s up to you to find the right upgrades and passage in order to reach new locations. The game doesn’t help you a lot and constantly pushes you to discover as many secrets as possible so you understand the world and its puzzles better. The more you advance, the more complex these puzzles will become. It’s amazing to see how original these puzzles truly are, even after all of those years, you’ll find yourself scratching your head thinking you got stuck, only to find out you missed an important item on your scanner or missed a hidden switch. Those are simple examples, the puzzles often are more complex than just finding a switch but that’s exactly what made this game an instant classic on GameCube and a must-have game on Nintendo Switch.

An impressive remaster

When it comes to remasters of classic and iconic games, it can go both ways. There are plenty of remasters on the market that barely made decent improvements and even take away some of the magic of the original release. Metroid Prime Remastered isn’t one of those, it’s a prime example of what a good remaster should be. First things first, this is easily one of the better-looking games on the Switch, especially in handheld mode. Playing this on my OLED model, I was constantly amazed by the quality of the graphics. Metroid Prime plays with light and darkness a lot. One moment you’re rolling through dark vents while minutes after, you’re taking in the beauty of a vast snowy landscape. The variation in the environments and the effects of light and darkness works so much better compared to the original. The graphics really push the game to new heights and only elevates the desire to discover all the secrets this planet has to offer.

 

 

Besides the graphics, the controls also got improved a lot, giving you the freedom to play however you want. The team kept the original GameCube controls, the Wii controls, and my new favorite, a classic twin-stick mode. In this mode, you’ll play the game as any other modern first-person game, meaning the left stick is for movement while the right stick is for camera control. Adding this modern type of control feels good and makes the game so much more accessible for newcomers in the franchise. Metroid Prime often demands precision during the more platform-heavy segments so I love the improvements of the controls a lot! Something a bit strange about the remastered version is perhaps the fact that they didn’t upgrade the audio. The soundtrack itself is stellar and didn’t need many tweaks but the sound effects of the weapons sometimes miss impact. There’s a strange disconnection between the gorgeous graphics and the oldskool sound effects from time to time but it never bothered me that much.

Conclusion:

Metroid Prime was an instant classic the moment it was released and still is a classic in the Remastered version. It’s the best version of one of the best games in Nintendo’s incredible library. If you own a Nintendo Switch, you should definitely own Metroid Prime Remastered, it’s as simple as that.

10/10

Tested on Nintendo Switch OLED