I was hoping we’d get a Nintendo Switch version of the Metroid Prime Trilogy for a while. The Mako Reactor co-founder Rishi Alwani has been trying to get me to play the games for many years now, but I never bothered barring spending an hour with Metroid Prime on Wii U and dropping it. I never enjoyed playing Wii games on Wii U, and ended up ignoring Metroid Prime for many years despite owning a SteelBook version of the trilogy. When Nintendo announced and released Metroid Prime Remastered for Nintendo Switch, I knew it was time to finally try it. I was also a bit afraid because this is a game, like Final Fantasy VII, that has been recommended to me far too many times to count and referred to as one of the best games of all time. As a newcomer to Metroid Prime in general, I wanted to offer my perspective on how Metroid Prime Remastered feels as a new game in 2023, and that is what I’m covering in this Metroid Prime Remastered review.
While I wasn’t paying much attention to these things during the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation, owning a PS4 around the time Grand Theft Auto V released showed me that many developers and publishers were happy doing bare-bones new generation ports of their existing games and calling them remasters. We got used to just seeing 1080p versions of older games with some of them hitting 60fps for remasters. Later on, we started getting re-imaginings like Resident Evil 2 and Final Fantasy VII Remake that were referred to as remakes. Since then, there has always been confusion when a publisher announces a remaster or a remake. Nintendo still refers to Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition as a remaster on the Japanese website. When Metroid Prime Remastered was announced and released on Nintendo Switch, it felt like a lot more than just a remaster, or at least what we’ve been conditioned to think of as a remaster. I almost feel like this should’ve been titled Metroid Prime Definitive Edition like Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition.
Disregarding the one hour I spent with Metroid Prime on Wii U through the Metroid Prime Trilogy, Metroid Prime Remastered is basically a brand-new game for me, and it has been an amazing experience playing through it on Nintendo Switch both docked and handheld. It is also a bit weird to me playing this now having loved Doom (2016) and Doom Eternal. The exploration in both of those remind me of Metroid Prime, in addition to me finally seeing what many modern games take inspiration from. As a first-person adventure rather than a shooter, Metroid Prime Remastered is shockingly good, and the new control options only make it an easier game to recommend.
Right off the bat, Metroid Prime Remastered looks gorgeous and runs perfectly. When Metroid Dread released, I wasn’t as much of a fan of it as most people, but I loved how it controlled and felt to play. That carries over in Metroid Prime Remastered. It feels sublime on Nintendo Switch both docked and handheld.
Since this isn’t my first Metroid game, I already knew that exploration would be a focus, but I’m blown away by how well-designed the locations are. Playing as Samus, using different abilities unlocked through progression, puzzles, and even just platforming segments all feel brilliant. Since last week was the first time I actually played through Metroid Prime, I also avoided using any sort of a guide, and it was great. The hint system implementation is very good, and I disabled it for my second playthrough. I’m very pleased with the accessibility options when it comes to difficulty and the HUD in Metroid Prime Remastered.
I was very curious to see how Metroid Prime Remastered would feel with its dual analog stick control option. I tried it for an hour, and then enabled gyro alongside the dual analog stick controls. This control scheme worked perfectly, and I was surprised at how nice it felt with my 8BitDo Ultimate controller while playing docked. In handheld, I’m not a fan of gyro controls, so I disabled it. Overall, I’m very pleased with how modern Metroid Prime Remastered feels.
Visually, I have almost no complaints with Metroid Prime Remastered. The overall image docked is soft on my 1440p monitor, but it isn’t even remotely as bad as most games on Nintendo Switch that target 60fps. When played handheld, it shines on the OLED screen, and makes amazing use of HD Rumble as well. While there are some elements of the visuals that make it seem a bit dated, Metroid Prime Remastered is a technical showcase for the Nintendo Switch, and it feels crazy that this has a budget price given its quality.
On the audio side, since I’m playing this after Metroid Dread, I was afraid of the sound design letting me down. Metroid Prime Remastered’s atmosphere is as good as its visuals, and the audio mix is excellent. I definitely need to track down a copy of the Metroid Prime soundtrack in the near future.
My only complaints with Metroid Prime Remastered have to do with two annoying sections in the game. Even though this is a game that was originally released in 2002, I won’t spoil those moments, but the Chozo Ruins location is probably my least favorite in the game. Barring that, while not something I expected, an auto save option would’ve been nice. I get that it likely isn’t in by design though. Despite these issues, I have no qualms in recommending Metroid Prime Remastered to anyone with a Nintendo Switch. As someone new to Metroid Prime, I’m glad that this release delivered in spades, and made me want to play the other games in the trilogy.
Metroid Prime Remastered is a fantastic release in every way. It feels amazing to play and looks brilliant. We’ve seen many classics brought to modern systems with varying results, but Metroid Prime Remastered is sublime, and a must-play for every Nintendo Switch owner. This is not only a remaster done right, but one that goes above and beyond in every way. Playing through Metroid Prime for the first time made me almost wish I had played it sooner, but having controls that I like with such a visual upgrade definitely made my first proper Metroid Prime experience special through Metroid Prime Remastered.
Hopefully my Metroid Prime Remastered review helped you decide if Nintendo and Retro Studios’ newest release on Nintendo Switch is worth your time with the digital version out now on the eShop and the physical release launching February 22.