Metroid Prime Remastered – Do we need it?

Metroid Prime Remastered has been a long-rumoured Nintendo Switch release. The first-person action-adventure game was developed by Retro Studios, released in 2002 and served as the fifth mainline Metroid title.

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About Metroid Prime Remastered

It was the first Metroid game to use 3D graphics from a first-person perspective with a focus on exploration rather than traditional FPS gameplay. It takes place between the original Metroid and Metroid II: Return of Samus.

Set on Tallon IV, Samus Aran sets out to hunt down space pirates who are carrying out all kinds of biological experiments there. The gameplay involves solving puzzles to reveal secrets, platforming elements and a unique lock-on shooting mode. Metroid Prime managed to move away from its platforming roots whilst still staying grounded in the franchise.

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Selling 2.8 million units worldwide, Metroid Prime is considered a classic by many. It also already has an advanced version, being one-third of the Metroid Prime trilogy on Nintendo Wii. Released in Japan as part of the “New Play Control!” series in 2009, the enhanced version of Metroid Prime wouldn’t see an international release until the release of the Metroid Prime Trilogy collection in 2015.

Why is Metroid Prime Remastered happening?

Presumed to bridge the gap until Metroid Prime 4 finally releases, there’s certainly a fan demand for it, but why a full remaster instead of an emulated port like other classic collections and games?

Yes, any classic game such as Metroid Prime would look amazing with a fresh texture set, gameplay balances and new features. But with all due respect, classic Mario titles have been ported from Nintendo 64, GameCube and Wii without this treatment.

Metroid Prime 4 was announced at E3 2017 as being in active development, it’s now five years since that announcement with no new information about it. We have the Metroid Prime trilogy complete with motion controls and new bells/whistles. Nintendo could have released upscaled ports of each game with time to spare by now.

Credit: Nintendo

An upscale or proper remaster?

Looking at Nintendo’s most recent port, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was more or less an upscaled port with minimal changes. This is again one of Nintendo’s flagship franchises, so why would the Metroid Prime Remastered be any different?

Another issue with a Metroid Prime Remaster would be which version of the game are they remastering? Nintendo has made some strange choices in the past by bringing original versions of games to newer consoles instead of remastered and enhanced versions.

The Ocarina of Time and Majoras Mask 3DS remasters are both good examples of this. Serving as simple remasters with improved textures and character models, both games play exactly the same as the original but look brilliant. Porting both of these titles with a simple upscale and updates to compensate for a missing second screen to Nintendo Switch would look amazing. Instead, we have the original Nintendo 64 titles as part of the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pass.

Metroid Prime Remastered – Do we need it?

Do we need a Metroid Prime Remaster? Yes, we do. It’s a brilliant game that kicked off a fantastic series and breathed life into a dying franchise back in 2002. It would be strange to see a Metroid title get a full remaster treatment considering the simple upscale and port approach to other Nintendo re-releases, but time will tell. let’s hope Jeff Grubb is right.