4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Samus in the palm of your hand...,
This review is from: Metroid Prime Hunters (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
Metroid Prime Hunters took forever to arrive, but the extra time and care that the developers took learning how to squeeze every ounce of power out of the DS really shines through. Essentially this is a game of two halves: the single-player adventure mode is an incredibly faithful handheld recreation of the look and feel of the Gamecube Metroids, complete with scan visor, mazelike maps and the ability to switch to morphball at any time, as well as the same haunting music and all manner of graphical bells and whistles in the form of rendered cut-scenes, atmospheric lighting, rebounding lasers and impressively high-resolution textures. In terms of gameplay the most significant difference is that the auto lock-on targeting has been replaced by a touch-screen stylus control method that simulates the 'mouse-look' control of a typical PC FPS (if you played Mario 64 DS in dual-hand mode this unusual control scheme will already seem familiar, but otherwise it will probably take some getting used to). Adventure mode is supposedly almost as long as the original Gamecube Metroid Prime, and indeed it is sprawling, but it should probably be noted that it flagrantly spins out its length through occasional repetition, fiendish jumping and rolling puzzles that require pinpoint precision, and a generally very high difficulty quotient. Also although the boss battles are extremely impressive there are only two of them, each repeated four times with minor variations, though to be fair your frequent encounters with the other 'hunters' amount to boss fights in all but name.
The other half of the game is the multiplayer mode, either cart-to-cart or wireless, in which you can play up to 3 opponents as any one of 7 characters in 15 different deathmatch arenas. This is really nicely executed, as the hunters are all very distinctive and each has there own different alt-modes, abilities, and affinities for the different weapons (although the combination of Trace and the Imperialist seems ludicrously overpowered). This is probably the closest a handheld has ever got to replicating the experience of playing Unreal Tournament or other co-op PC shooters, and it's a seriously impressive achievement.
To date Metroid Prime Hunters is probably the stand out game for the DS. It has oodles of depth, and there's plenty here to enjoy. It can be difficult and occasionally frustrating, but ultimately there's no point in owning a DS and not owning this game, even if only to discover just how powerful the system really is.