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Friday, April 07, 2006

Did Metroid: Hunters Fail The Franchise?

Wired really thinks so:

But for all its technical merit, Hunters has turned a unique and compelling series into something generic and boring. When Metroid fans got worried five years ago that the series was going first-person, this is exactly what they were afraid of.
-- Metroid: Almost a Great Notion

Anyone else out there agree? I haven't played much of the Metroid series, to be honest, so I'm probably not the best to judge. I've played through some of Zero Mission and now Hunters and toyed around with the original Prime on other's Gamecubes. I've been perfectly happy with the single player on Hunters and it does tend to remind me of Zero Mission, so I never really thought anything about it. Is Wired being uberharsh here or are they simply more on point?

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Brinstar said...

I kind of agree. I haven't delved much into the solo adventure mode of MP: H, but I will say that MP2: Echoes felt less like Metroid than Metroid Prime did. I've read that Hunters continues in the same vein as Echoes, so if Hunters is further removed from the Metroid "feel", then yeah... TBH, I'm not super excited to play the Hunters solo adventure, but it's a good way to learn the controls so that I can play against other people.

Oh, and I think that using the stylus is great if I'm balancing it on a table.

Still haven't got the hang of the thumb thing.

Josh said...

Yeah, I tried the table/desk & stylus as well and had moderate success. I didn't like staring down at the DS, I rather prefer holding it up with it fully unfolded. Also, my fingers didn't like craning around for the trigger button, so I again got crampt.

How do you wear the thumbpad? I originally tried to sort of "sling" it around my whole thumb, but found it better to tighten the strap down on just the top, so all it does is had a hard nub and not messing with my thumb's movement.

That's a shame, with the SP stuff, then, to think it's becoming more of a trend. Nintendo always had to battle franchise fatigue and sometimes they don't do it so well.

Thomas said...

He's being too harsh, I think. Is it Metroid? No, not particularly. But I think Kohler lets that color the rest of his review a bit too much. Whether it fits with the rest of the series or not, it's a good game. I'm guessing the single-player experience is due to trying to convert it from a multiplayer design to something with on- and off-line modes.

I do think it's interesting that you can always tell the background of people writing reviews for Hunters. Console players always bitch about how hard it is to learn the input method compared to joysticks (they are insane). Long-time PC deathmatchers are all exuberant.

I tighten the nub down around the pad of my thumb, and that works pretty well. But I had lots of practice while playing Super Mario 64 DS.

Unknown said...

I position the thumb pad along the top of my thumb. I also usually open the DS all the way, so that the main screen is tilted away from the the touchpad, which makes for better viewing. The unit still cramps my left hand, but I think that's just the size and shape of the DS. Ironically enough, I think if the unit was a little bigger, especially on the left side so that if I could wrap my hand around it, it would be more comfortable.

I played Metroid on the original GameBoy, and it was a fun side-scrolling platformer. Metroid Prime was a completely different fish with similar trappings, and it was a lot of fun. Hunters, though, is almost something different. It's taking the experience of deathmatching that we've been playing for the past ten years and finally delivering it to the masses.

IMO, it does it damn well, and bully for Nintendo for being the ones to do it. It's Halo for handhelds, and I think it's great that it's dressed in Metroid clothing. Prime was the first Metroid game in years (there was no N64 Metroid game). It's a wonderful franchise that needed to evolve to survive.