Metroid Prime Remastered Review – A Prime Example of Perfection

Metroid Prime Remastered Review

Nintendo dropped a nostalgia-sized Megaton bomb on Switch owners when they shadow-dropped a remaster of the iconic Metroid Prime. For those not familiar with the Metroid Prime franchise, it is a prequel trilogy starring famed bounty hunter Samus Aran. The Prime trilogy takes place before the original Metroid game that debuted on the NES in 1986. While the Metroid-style gameplay remains similar to the classics, the Prime games moved the action to a first-person perspective. No longer were you controlling Samus in a 2D side-scroller, now you were experiencing her adventure from her perspective. When Metroid Prime first arrived on GameCube, the idea of a first-person Metroid was quite a wild departure – and many die-hard fans were worried it wouldn’t be as good. They were wrong. The end result was a brilliant first-person adventure that took the Metroid franchise to new heights.

Where Are Metroid Prime 2 & 3?

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. This release features only the first Metroid Prime game. Many fans, me included, were hoping we’d eventually get the full Metroid Prime trilogy on the Switch – in anticipation of Metroid Prime 4. Of course, just because we’re only getting the first game now, doesn’t mean Nintendo has ruled out releasing the other two Metroid Prime games. I imagine it’ll depend on how well Metroid Prime Remastered sells… So go buy it, for all our sakes!

With all that said, Metroid Prime Remastered, even if it is just the first game of the trilogy, is still a masterpiece game, worthy of the price of admission.

Metroid Prime Remastered

Metroid Prime begins when Samus Aran, bounty hunter, responds to a distress signal from a Space Pirate research facility orbiting Tallon IV. The research facility is beyond repair and its inhabitants, along with Samus Aran, disembark and make their way to the surface of Tallon IV. From there, Samus uncovers the sinister Space Pirate plans, led by the notorious Meta Ridley. Samus, alone, must stop the Space Pirate threat and save Tallon IV, while uncovering some mysterious truths about her own past.

Plenty of Control Options

Controls were my biggest concern when coming into Metroid Prime Remastered. While I loved this game back on the GameCube, the controls haven’t aged well as many of us gamers have become accustomed to modern shooter controls. Fortunately, Metroid Prime Remastered features not one, but four, different control schemes. Perfect for fans new and old. You’ll get the classic control scheme, which mirrors the GameCube style. It worked back then… but hasn’t exactly aged well. You’ll get a motion control scheme similar to the Wii release of the Metroid Prime Trilogy. But I opted for the brand new dual-stick control scheme. This allows a control style that is similar to many modern shooters, while still retaining key features such as using different visor functions. Nintendo did us good with this approach and I couldn’t be happier.

While the original Metroid Prime was always visually stunning paired with brilliant sound design, Remastered has added revamped visuals and sound to create an even better experience. And while it’s a shame we’re not yet getting these iconic Nintendo games in 4K, for folks – like myself – with a decent TV that upscales Switch content to 4K… Metroid Prime Remastered looks incredible. I would argue that this is the best-looking game on the Nintendo Switch. A lot of this can be chalked up to the overall design of the game, but every aspect of the game, from the enemies to the environments, looks amazing. As for our heroine Samus Aran, well, absolute perfection. And yes, that soundtrack that was so good back when it was first released still sounds as good as ever.

Metroid Prime Remastered

Putting the Metroid in Metroidvania

For the uninitiated, Metroid Prime follows the classic Metroid gameplay loop. You’ll have access to a limited number of areas, but as you earn new items and powers, you’ll gradually gain access to more and more locations. The power-ups pop-up quite frequently, so there always seems to be a nice, steady level of progression. Along your journey, you’ll earn upgrades for your arm cannon, visors, suit, and the morph ball. There is plenty of variety, keeping the game feeling fresh throughout your time with it.

I’m having an incredibly hard time finding any fault with Metroid Prime Remastered. It’s a damn near perfect game. It closely follows that classic Metroid formula, so be prepared to do a significant amount of backtracking and exploring. But if you wonder around aimlessly for too long, you’ll get some useful guidance to steer you in the right direction. It’s the perfect blend of “figure it out yourself” with “here’s a little nudge in the right direction”. The initial loading times can be a bit long… but honestly, I’m nitpicking when I say that. The visuals, gameplay, controls, music, sound design… everything was so brilliantly designed before and it has been remastered to perfection.

Metroid Prime Remastered

Metroid At It’s Prime

Metroid Prime Remastered is an example of how a remaster should be done. There were no real changes to gameplay, visuals or anything like that. Just some minor improvements, such as added control schemes, to help modernize it a bit. Aside from some lengthy load times when you’re initially getting into the game or loading a save, the game really has no faults. It’s designed to encourage exploration and experimentation, but if you get lost, you’ll be nudged in the direction you need to go eventually. There are ample amounts of lore in the game, giving plenty of nods to past Metroid games. While it would have been better if the entire Metroid Prime trilogy was included here, I won’t complain too much as long as the next two games arrive remastered prior to Metroid Prime 4.

***Metroid Prime Remastered for Switch was provided by the publisher***

The Good

  • Updated visuals & sound
  • 4 different control options
  • Added difficulty setting
  • Brilliant game design

The Bad

  • Some minor load time issues
  • Wish it included Metroid Prime 2 & 3