After many years of rumors and speculation regarding the Metroid Prime trilogy making its way over to Switch, Nintendo finally opened the floodgates by announcing Metroid Prime Remastered during the airing of a Nintendo Direct presentation in early February 2023. Immediately following its reveal, the remaster of the critically-acclaimed 2002 GameCube action/adventure first-person shooter was released digitally via the eShop, quickly skyrocketing to the top of the competitive sales charts. Even still, some Metroid fans opted to wait a few weeks for the physical version of the game to hit store shelves, launching February 22nd in North America and March 3rd in Europe. As those dates rapidly approach, let’s explore if Metroid Prime is really worth your Metroid time.
On a technical level, Metroid Prime Remastered is so much more than your typical remaster. For example, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD rendered the game in a higher resolution and included some quality-of-life features, but the visuals largely remained the same. The differences between a “remaster” and a “remake” can be a bit confusing, and although Metroid Prime Remastered doesn’t quite qualify as a full remake, it’s certainly impressive in its own right. While the core gameplay remains unchanged, graphical elements such as textures, models, and lighting effects have all been drastically improved upon if not entirely replaced, somehow managing to run at a perfectly silky smooth 60 frames-per-second in the process. Retro Studios, alongside the many other developers that worked on the project, really knocked it out of the park in making a two-decade old game feel brand new. I just can’t stress enough how gorgeous this game looks on the Switch OLED.
As for what hasn’t changed, Metroid Prime has aged very gracefully, with the same level of polish and quality care you’d expect from a modern first-person shooter. Despite being Samus Aran’s first venture into 3D, the non-linear exploration genre of the Metroid series was adapted wonderfully, even still to this day, thanks to the exceptional craftsmanship of the world itself. Unlike some of the classic FPS games of the era, which were stereotypically made with mindless violence as the main selling point, playing through Metroid Prime requires strong puzzle-solving skills and a pretty good sense of direction. Based on your cognitive ability in those regards, it will take anywhere between 10-20 hours to beat the game to completion.
The world of Metroid Prime is not entirely open, but it’s far from being linear either. You start out with a limited number of locations that you can access, but as you progress through the game, the world opens up to you more and more. Different biomes are separated by the use of elevators, but load times are so instantaneous that it’s hardly a burden. As your world map gets larger though, it can be easy to get lost, especially since backtracking is such an intentionally common occurrence. Are you unable to open a specific door yet? You’ll have to come back to it later. It can be somewhat tedious at times, but the environments are so beautifully designed that you’ll likely come across something new every time you revisit an area you’ve already explored. Just make sure to frequently visit the Save Stations… or you’ll sadly lose hours of progress like I did.
For those unfamiliar with the series, in Metroid Prime you play as Samus Aran, an intergalactic bounty hunter, as you explore and traverse the alien planet Tallon IV. Rather than the story being exclusively told through cutscenes or dialogue like in most games though, the context of your mission is mainly provided by manually analyzing objects and enemies with the use of your Scan Visor. This not only helps the world to feel incredibly robust, but also drives home the exploration aspect, as it really makes you feel like you’re discovering and investigating things for yourself. Everything you scan with your visor is conveniently entered into a log that you can access at any time, which can be useful if you forget the weaknesses of an alien you’re trying to defeat, or if you just want to go back and take in the extensive lore some more.
Samus is equipped with not only a Visor, but also a Power Suit, Arm Cannon and Morph Ball. The Power Suit is your armor, the Arm Cannon is your weapon, and the Morph Ball does exactly as it suggests, morphs you into a ball so you can get into hard to reach places. All of these tools can be upgraded by acquiring different modules. Using these found upgrades are what allow you to access new areas, defeat various enemy aliens, and complete intense boss battles. Each module adds a new mechanic to your arsenal that helps prevent gameplay from ever growing stale. Almost all of the abilities are fun to use, with the exception of the Thermal Visor, as it made me feel disoriented, but fortunately it only needs to be used for brief periods.
Retro Studios made sure to include all the control options you could ever want, meaning at least one of the four available configurations are sure to fit your needs. “Classic” faithfully replicates the original controls of the GameCube version, “Pointer” accurately emulates the Wii port by enabling motion controls for camera and aiming, “Hybrid” adds motion controls to the GameCube control scheme, and “Dual Stick” is a modern, more traditional control method. I personally opted for the Dual Stick controls, but no matter which you decide to go with, rest assured you’ll have a great time as you explore, gather info, solve puzzles, and blast the uniquely threatening creatures on the mysterious planet of Tallon IV.
Metroid Prime Remastered takes an already almost perfect GameCube classic and improves upon it even more by significantly updating its visuals and controls. With a budget friendly price point, Metroid Prime Remastered is an absolute must have for any Nintendo Switch owner, even if you played through it on Wii/Wii U via the Metroid Prime Trilogy. I feel envious of those that get to experience the magic of this underrated gem for the first time. Here’s hoping that similarly remastered versions of Metroid Prime 2 and 3 also come to Switch sooner rather than later, so that we can all prepare for the upcoming juggernaut which is Metroid Prime 4.
A copy of Metroid Prime Remastered for review purposes was provided by Nintendo UK.
I’m envious of anyone that gets to play this game for the first time.
It was a magnificent change for the Metroid series and looked incredible on the GameCube.
A lot of people playing this for the first time will forget this game is over 20yrs old. I’m getting the physical on day 1.
Same man. Even though I’ve played previous Metroid games, this is the first that I actually finished completely. I think I ended up with +95% scans at the end. Feb 22nd can’t come soon enough.
03/03 for me😡
Why so late?
22nd America, March 3rd Europe for some bizarre reason
Well that freaking sucks. Sorry man, but at least you know you won’t be disappointed come march 3rd.
It’ll be my 1st time playing, im very excited for February 22nd.
Lucky you Nikki, I played it 20 years ago, and it was fabulous, I’m getting the remastered version because of all the fantastic reviews, and opinions about this game. I just wish they would confirm Metroid prime 2, but it’s ok to have a few secrets 😁
@nikki… you are in for a real treat here. Enjoy
Just curious: why did you gave this game a 9/10 even though everything you said is extremely positive? I am not saying that a 9/10 is a bad score, mind you, it is an extraordinary score. And I am not objecting or challenging your review. I am just curious why grant this game a 9 when everything you said would lead everyone to believe it is a 10?
Again, while I do believe this game is a 10/10, and I am not criticizing your review or score, when reading your review I thought you would give this game a 10.
I remember when IGN gave the original a 9.8/10. That really did not make any sense to me. I mean, what are those 0.2 decimals worth? Why is it a 9.8 instead of a 10?
IGN gave this remaster a 10/10. For real.
IGN rectified it, they recently gave the remaster a 10/10.
I am not talking about the remaster, but the original 👇
I’m talking about the original, not the remaster 👇
I remember when I first pick Metroid up on my NES console and I was blown away how amazing this game was I mean I couldn’t stop playing and when I finally beat it to my shock samus was a woman and again my mind was blown I love this games series called Metroid.
So when I bought my GameCube I knew I had to pick up Metroid Prime because I knew that Samus would look amazing and playing it now in 2023 once again my mind is blown on how amazing this looks I’m enjoying this game so much loved that I get to go with Samus in the world of Metroid Prime and just discover all kind of amazing stuff and enemies and bosses so thank you Nintendo and Retro studios for this amazing Metroid Prime remastered and I can’t wait to play Metroid Prime 2 & 3 remastered.
Seemimgly, nobody is getting this on the 22nd in the USA. Stores aren’t carrying physical copies, it’s a very limited run. Walmart isn’t even selling it online.
You have to order it online and Amazon moved the shipping date to the end of March.
It’ll be interesting to see who actually gets this game.
Best Buy, Target and Gamestop are probably people’s only chance to get this game physically online.
Nintendo wants you to buy the digital copy.
Nevermind. People are finding these in stores before the date and buying them all. What a mess.
My local Target said they aren’t getting any copies until March 5th. Walmart had no idea. And Gamestop said… probably tomorrow. What a sloppy release Nintendo.
Even though I’ve played the original and Wii versions of the game from start to finish multiple times, I couldn’t wait to play through this remastered version. Downloaded it as soon as I got home on release day and dove right in. Even just from the opening act on the space frigate I was blown away by how incredible it looked. By the time I reached Phendrana Drifts I asked myself several times “how does a Switch game look THIS good?”
Finished it this morning.
Experience. Even though I knew this game from start to finish, its fresh coat of paint made it feel almost brand new. LOVED it.