Metroid Prime: Hunters

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Content at a glance:

GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: Nintendo DS
Produced by: Nintendo
Price Range: $11-20
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: Teens
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Patches / Upgrades: None
System Requirements: None

     Reviewed By: Kevin Thompson
     VOLUNTEER GUEST REVIEWER

Overall Rating: ★★★★½
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Christian Rating: 4 of 5 (good)
Gameplay: 4 of 5 (good)
Violence: 3 of 5 (mild)
Adult Content: 5 of 5 (none)


Metroid Prime: Hunters.  Illustration copyrighted.

In Metroid Prime: Hunters, players can once again step into the bulky-shouldered, brightly-colored suit of Samus Aran, the galaxy’s most feared bounty huntress.

The plot is fairly simple: A telepathic message is broadcast from an uncharted region of the galaxy, bearing the statement ‘The key to Ultimate Power lies in the Alimbic Cluster.’ Naturally, this enticed a lot of criminals to go check this out, to see if they could get their hands on it. This worries the government, and so you, the player, must go to this Alimbic Cluster, where an ancient civilization is rumored to have mysteriously vanished, and either secure Federation control over the Ultimate Power or destroy it.

While a lot more linear than previous games in the Metroid series (which is well-known for its nonlinearity), the game’s single-player experience holds up well, though the game’s developers notably cut a few corners: Most of the enemies are recycled versions of other enemies, and a few of the game’s puzzles between you and required power-ups are rather cheap (some of them, though, are quite ingenious). A few things are used only once (such as doors that can only be opened by Missiles, and Shock Coil fields), and this also adds a feel of a somewhat cheapened experience. The enemy AI, while challenging at a number of points, is a little lackluster. Oh, yeah, and the way you have to hold your system gives me a cramp in my left thumb.

Metroid-Prime-Hunters3

But you’d have a hard time trying to say that the game doesn’t have style. The graphics are absolutely amazing for being on a handheld system, and the sound design is ingenious. Both of these things help greatly to build a tense atmosphere at certain points in the game, and it works well. The gameplay is very fast-paced and well-done, and it handles incredibly large numbers of projectiles and on-screen sprites and models with an amazing ease.

But what really makes this game amazing is the multiplayer. While it tends to lag at some points, it is, for the most part, varied and well thought-out, redolent of the Unreal series’ multiplayer.

What adds another layer of variation in Multiplayer is the use of seven different playable characters. While only Samus Aran is usable in single-player, you can play as one of six other hunters, each with their own unique abilities. Weapons act differently when used by different hunters, and each Hunter is capable of turning into a smaller, more agile form, but what these ‘alt-forms’ are capable of depends on the Hunter.

As for morals and ethics, the game is squeaky clean. There is no blood, swearing, suggestive material, or occult overtone.

Ultimately, if you have a Nintendo DS, Hunters is a must.

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Year of Release — 2006




Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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