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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Metroid: Hunters Owns Me

I didn't get a lot of sitdown time with the new purchase last night, only long enough to decide that I really don't like the save game setup ... or the lack of Metroid: Hunters save game setup. I honestly thought the checkpoint was a savepoint and totally lost my progress for the night.

Not that it will take long or be a pain to redo it, but it is a knock for a handheld game in my book. I want to be able to pick it up, play for a random period of time and put it down. At least the Nintendo DS will sleep peacefully if you close the shell. That's nice. Just not much help when you have to swap out cards so that someone else can get back to the business of dealing with Tom Nook's loan.

Still, I was pretty impressed. The graphics are precisely what I would hope for and in general, the controls are precise for something lacking any kind of analog stick. My only problem is that I was having better luck with my forefinger than my thumb for touchpad useage, however that leaves the left hand responsible for holding the unit. Doesn't take long for the tendonitis to set in with that. So I'm still figuring out best to play without killing my hands.

The multiplayer experience was fairly intense. As with everything NiWiFi, it was quick and easy to jump into a game and play. The only problem, really, is the matchmaking. Even with "match with my rank" being set, chances are that when you're first starting out ... one guy on the map has been there before and really knows their way around. Expect to get owned early on. Which is actually a little odd for me. Not to brag, but I generally excel at shooters. This is old school design though, and map knowledge and control is extremely important here. The only kill I got on one map is when I had stumbled onto a decent powerup (which I sadly didn't even know what it was).

The Unreal mod I'm sorta half-heartedly working on tackles some of these issues, but that's another story. Overall, this game is a solid two thumbs up and really helps complete Nintendo's Wifi library for the DS. I used to consider the DS a schticky toy relegated to offbeat, but slightly interesting titles. With just two releases, Mario Kart and Hunters, Nintendo has turned that around for me.

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Thomas said...

What strikes me about the graphics are how good the texture work is. If you look, they're not brilliantly PSP-high res, obviously, but they're well-designed for that environment so that it looks natural anyway. Really impressive, if you ask me.

Corvus said...

It's next on my list, so you'll be able to pwn me all you want, Josh.

Josh said...

Yeah, I didn't even have trouble distinguishing enemies from a distance, which is quite a feat.

And the cinematic animations are pretty sweet. Not terribly impressive, technically, but very good all the same.

And you're on Corvus. I'm glad it's a lot easier to manage a friends list this time around. Hopefully I'll be updating CTan with a proper buddy code section soon.

Thomas said...

Someone, I don't remember who, had commented on how the cinematics often split viewpoints between the screens. It's a really interesting effect, letting you kind of watch two things at once sometimes. I like seeing Samus react behind the helmet to the events on the other screen, but without actually speaking.