Metroid Prime Remastered Review
Metroid Prime Remastered
Developer: Retro Studios
Genre(s): Action, FPS
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: 12+
Release Date: 09/02/2023
A code was provided for review purposes
Primed, Sealed, Delivered
We love a good shadow drop here at Rapid Reviews HQ. The idea of a brand-new title gracing the eShop on a random Thursday evening fills us with joy. It’s made all the better when it’s a hotly anticipated or long-rumoured release. In the case of Metroid Prime Remastered, it was both. Regarded with reverence as one of the greatest games of all time, the original Metroid Prime is a game that needs no introduction — unless, of course, you never owned a GameCube in the early 2000s. Or, in the case of this writer, owned a GameCube but somehow chose Donkey Konga and the accompanying Bongos as their game of choice when making a yearly subscription to the Official Nintendo Magazine. Yeah, me neither.
Thankfully, no one has been punished for their past indiscretions. Nintendo has seen fit to bring one of the greatest games from yesteryear to the Nintendo Switch in arguably one of the most impactful remaster packages of recent times. It’s stunning in every sense of the word.
Mastering the remaster
Whilst many remasters focus on visual upgrades as their unique selling point, this remaster of Metroid Prime is as much about the controls as it is anything else. With four possible options, ranging from the classic GameCube controls through to gyro aiming and twin-stick shooting, there’s genuinely something for everyone. There are many who have said that the remaster need only to have updated the control scheme to be a winner. I can certainly see a case for that.
Instead, Metroid Prime Remastered looks as good as it controls. It’s a shining example to other companies on how to do a remaster right. It really is staggering to see the differences between the old and new, and it does more than enough to justify a price tag that, admittedly, I had reservations about when the game dropped on the 9th of February. There’s a serious amount of thought and care that has gone into this rerelease on the Switch, and I can’t fault the price of admission at all.
For all the bells and whistles, it’s the gameplay that matters most. And, you guessed it, Metroid Prime Remastered delivers. More often than not, I was left in awe of what masterful gameplay was created 20 years ago. To have witnessed it at the time would have blown my mind. I have an even greater appreciation for its design now. The seamless nature with which you traverse through the different areas, the way the powerups are introduced and developed over time, and the effective puzzle elements all make for an epic first-person adventure that highlights the very best of Nintendo.
And it’s that first-person perspective that really sets it apart. Whilst there’s been a plethora of 2D Metroidvania’s since Samus first landed on consoles, there haven’t been nearly as many 3D ones — or, at least, there haven’t been many that have held a candle to Metroid Prime. Personally, I feel the genre works better with a 2D style. However, this remaster highlights to me just how successful 3D can be when done right.
Story through sound
A strong story has often played second fiddle to the other important aspects of Metroidvanias. This also applies to Metroid Prime Remastered. Primarily because all of the toing and froing leads to lost storytelling momentum. In Metroid Prime Remastered, the story is incredibly well-executed. Using the scanner to scope out the environment for important artefacts, enemies, and foliage is very effective. Once scanned, the information is added to your logbook. It’s an excellent reference tool and builds the lore extremely well.
The soundtrack is top tier too. Creating an atmosphere in games where the story isn’t a central part can be challenging, but there’s both beauty and destruction represented in the sound design that really elevates the experience. It’s just another reminder that the Metroid series is extremely polished and innovative one. There is no one part that lets it down in Metroid Prime Remastered.
Metroid Prime Remastered is one of the most complete remasters in recent memory. A perfect reminder that a remaster can be just as effective as new IP. It’s a game that everyone should play, be it to experience it for the first time, or to reassure yourself that it is as good as you remember. Either way, I guarantee you’ll be very, very pleased you did.
You can take a trip to Tallon IV yourself by buying a copy of Metroid Prime Remastered on the eShop.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.