Metroid Prime Remastered – Review

Classic Metroid, Remastered Magic

Metroid Prime Remastered Review
Release Date
February 8, 2023
Retro Studios, Nintendo Research & Development 1, Nintendo
Nintendo, Nintendo of America Inc.
Reviewed on
Nintendo Switch

Metroid Prime Remastered revisits a classic title that originally launched on the Nintendo GameCube in 2002. Developed by Retro Studios, this game marks a significant departure from the traditional 2D Metroid games. Nearly two decades later, Metroid Prime Remastered serves as a bridge between generations, reintroducing the original game to new players like me while reigniting the nostalgia of long-time fans. It ventured into the realm of first-person exploration and action within the Metroid universe, aiming to translate the series’ essence into a fully immersive 3D experience. The game is a first-person adventure that combines exploration, puzzle-solving, and intense combat in a richly detailed sci-fi world.

In Metroid Prime Remastered, players assume the role of Samus Aran, a formidable space bounty hunter. The game kicks off as Samus intercepts a distress call from a space pirate’s ship, leading her to uncover a grim scene of a parasitic queen’s massacre. The narrative unfolds as Samus embarks on a journey to the mysterious planet Tallon IV, where she faces perilous foes, discovers long-lost Chozo culture ruins, and unravels a story of calamity and its aftermath. 

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The game begins with Samus responding to a distress signal from a space pirate vessel, leading her to a gruesome scene of carnage orchestrated by a parasitic queen. This initial encounter sets the tone for a gripping tale of mystery, danger, and exploration. As Samus chases down the pterodactyl-like monster Ridley, the ship’s attacker, she finds herself on Tallon IV, where the bulk of the narrative unfolds. It’s on this alien planet that players delve into the heart of the Metroid Prime story.

The story of Metroid Prime Remastered presents a notable divide. Much like Soulsborne games, it heavily relies on scanning objects in the environment to convey its narrative. Much like a detective piecing together clues, players use Samus’s scanning visor to uncover the history and lore of Tallon IV. This mechanic, while immersive for those who engage with it, can be divisive. For some, it deepens the sense of Tallon IV’s rich history and culture. For others, it feels like a tedious task that interrupts the flow of the game.

For those who invest the time in scanning every object, the effort yields a rewarding narrative of calamity and its aftermath, weaving together the threads of the Chozo civilization, the space pirates, and the enigmatic Metroids. However, the downside is that this method of storytelling might not fully engage those who choose to skip scanning, resulting in a less satisfying story experience.

In essence, Metroid Prime Remastered’s narrative offers a captivating blend of exploration, discovery, and uncovering the secrets of a mysterious planet. While it can be divisive due to its reliance on scanning, the story ultimately shines when players embrace the environmental storytelling that is unique to the Metroid Prime series.

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The controls are smooth and responsive, offering a satisfying experience as you control Samus in her quest through Tallon IV. Exploring the planet and acquiring upgrades after defeating bosses is genuinely enjoyable. However, the game suffers from a significant drawback: excessive backtracking. The constant need to retrace your steps and a lack of a fast travel system become tedious and detract from the overall experience. The game’s map system also leaves much to be desired, making navigation in the overworld a cumbersome task. Additionally, the absence of an autosave feature can lead to frustrating losses of progress. Despite these shortcomings, the core gameplay mechanics remain engaging.

This remastered version received a substantial visual upgrade, transforming it into a visual masterpiece. Even on the original Nintendo Switch, the graphics are nothing short of impressive compared to the original release. Character designs, environments, and Samus’s iconic suit are meticulously crafted and have aged gracefully. The art style remains striking, showcasing varied locales with distinct color palettes, which add to the game’s overall visual appeal. These enhancements not only make Tallon IV’s environmental storytelling more immersive but also set a new standard for remastering games.

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While not the primary focus of this review, the game’s music deserves recognition. Metroid Prime Remastered retains the hauntingly atmospheric soundtrack that has become a hallmark of the series. The music seamlessly blends with the game’s ambiance, enhancing the sense of isolation and wonder as players explore the planet. It’s a testament to the enduring quality of the original soundtrack, enriching the overall experience.

Metroid Prime Remastered demonstrates exceptional performance, particularly on the Nintendo Switch. The game runs flawlessly, delivering a smooth and consistent experience. There are no noticeable frame rate drops or bugs, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable gameplay experience. This level of optimization not only preserves the integrity of the original but also sets a high standard for remastered games. Its release aligns with the anticipation surrounding the upcoming Metroid Prime 4, making it a timely revisit that ensures the legacy of Metroid stays vibrant in the modern gaming landscape.

Metroid Prime Remastered Review
Metroid Prime Remastered – Review
Score Definition
Almost perfect if not for the nitty-gritty. If it’s quite there but not enough to push the boundaries, it’s still an awesome game.
Stunning visual upgrade
Smooth and responsive controls
Immersive world-building through environmental storytelling
Exceptional performance with no noticeable frame rate drops
Revitalizes a classic title for both new and old players
Heavy reliance on scanning for storytelling can be divisive
Excessive backtracking detracts from pacing
Navigation issues with the in-game map
Lack of an autosave feature can lead to frustrating progress losses
Senior Editor