Nintendo is offering a remaster of the first Metroid Prime on Switch in the absence of a long-awaited fourth installment. And what a game!
We tend to forget: despite being a very relative success (especially compared to the Wii and Switch), the GameCube is a console that boasts a pretty incredible catalog of games. There are real gems like Luigi’s Mansion, Super Mario Sunshine, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and… Metroid Prime. The latter has just been updated with a remaster on the Nintendo Switch, which was officially released during a Nintendo Direct on February 8, 2023 (and available on the eShop the same day). We are not afraid to say that this is one of the best games on the console.
That said, Metroid Prime isn’t the first freshness (it was released in 2002 on the GameCube), but its relentless success – both technically and artistically – makes it still pretty much under attack, even more than twenty years later. It’s also a way for Nintendo to test the public’s interest in the Metroid Prime saga turned trilogy. We’ve been waiting a very, very long time for the official release of Episode 4 (which we don’t have any further news on). What’s more, if you purchase Metroid Prime Remastered, you’ll likely receive an email asking you to take part in a survey. Smart.
This art direction is incredible. // Nintendo Switch Screenshot
Metroid Prime Remastered is one of the most beautiful games on the Switch.
Who would have thought that a video game released in 2002 could be one of the greatest games on the Nintendo Switch? This observation means several things. First, Metroid Prime was a relentless visual showcase on the GameCube, with arguments that make the game timeless (the choice of art was right). Then the remastered is of excellent quality, and it is almost a new discovery at this level. Finally, and this is probably a bit pejorative, the Switch isn’t powerful enough to make anything else shine. Doesn’t get in the way: Metroid Prime Remastered is very beautiful, especially when played in handheld mode.
Metroid Prime Remastered is a beautiful game.
We remain, for example, still amazed by the small details that contribute to sinking and sinking into a hostile planet. Does a flash of light blind the heroine (yes, it’s a woman in a suit)? His eyes will be reflected in his visor. Do you miss smoking? Fog will appear on the screen. The impression of wearing a technologically advanced armor is palpable, which makes the adventure worth a lot. Metroid Prime Remastered multiplies the small effects that support the different atmospheres offered by Talion IV, the mysterious place where Samus ends up after the space station explodes.
We also have a lot of fun walking around the Talion IV sets, a planet intelligently designed to multiply biomes and encourage exploration. Metroid Prime Remastered also feels more like an investigative game (we have a scanner that we can use at will to collect data) than pure action. This is another great quality of the game: a way to reinvent the flat license – Metroid – so that it fits comfortably in a 3D formula.
Samus has to learn everything all over again. // Nintendo Switch Screenshot
Iconic gameplay reimagined in 3D
Critical triumph 2002
Metroid Prime received overwhelming press coverage when it was released on the GameCube, as evidenced by its score of 97/100 displayed on Metacritic.
Metroid is Nintendo’s flagship saga, giving the popular genre its name in association with Castlevania. Metroidvania is characterized by its gameplay that encourages exploration: you gradually gain abilities that allow you to discover new paths and discover more and more secrets. The worst was to be feared during the release of Metroid Prime, which aimed to bring Metroidvania’s 2D-designed codes into a 3D structure (for the first time). The developers have brilliantly succeeded in this, and even today there is not a single wrinkle in the gameplay.
Good point for the nostalgic: you can play Metroid Prime Remastered with time control (adapted for the GameCube controller, limited in terms of free aim). But, above all, a more modern configuration is possible, turning the nugget into a real shooter. In terms of comfort, the win is undeniable, and we get even more pleasure from unraveling the mysteries surrounding the Talion IV. Having a choice is good, and everyone will be able to view Metroid Prime Remastered according to their preferences.
In Metroid Prime Remastered, you can transform into a ball. // Nintendo Switch Screenshot
The strength of Metroid Prime Remastered’s gameplay lies in both flexibility (Samus is very comfortable to move around) and room for improvement (the heroine loses everything at the end of the intro). By visiting different levels of Talion IV, you gain strength and abilities. We can, for example, turn into a ball to sneak through narrow levels (transitions between different forms are exemplarily smooth), then regain the ability to drop a bomb to cause explosions and jump.
The result is an undeniably varied adventure that encourages you to walk back and forth to see everything on the map. Finally, we have a lot of fun becoming real scientists, as we scan the slightest artifact or enemy. Two decades later, the satisfaction remains the same, especially when served on a silver platter.
- An art direction to die for
- Updated gameplay that is not outdated at all
- A remaster to highlight
We liked less
- Where is Metroid Prime 4?
- Where are the remasters of the two sequels?
- It’s still recycling
97/100: This is the score displayed by Metroid Prime on the Metacritic aggregator. Twenty years later, we’re happy to report that this Samus Aran adventure, the first in 3D, hasn’t lost any of its luster. On the Nintendo Switch, it even gets a glitz thanks to the jeweler’s remastering.
So no one was wrong when Metroid Prime was considered a gem in 2002. Joining the Switch catalog, Metroid Prime Remastered is an instant classic, requiring two sequels to be updated and finally the marketing of a fourth episode.
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