Metroid Prime is now available on Nintendo Switch, but not with the brand-new sequel you were hoping for when the publisher announced this month's Direct presentation. Instead, you'll get Metroid Prime Remastered, a game adaptation of the GameCube classic for Nintendo's current-gen console.
It's a nice surprise that improves Samus' beloved first-person adventure. It's also a great upgrade for newcomers to the game who want a more modern FPS experience. Try your hand at one of several difficulty levels, or choose one that "reduces the amount of damage Samus takes in combat, helping you focus on exploration."
The Nintendo eShop has released a digital version of the game for free on February 22 in the United States and March 3 in Europe. The kicker is that it will cost $40, which might be a bit steep for some, considering it isn't a full remake or a bundle collection with more than one game in the series. There's also something to be said about Nintendo's seemingly cynical tendency to charge higher fees for re-releases or renew a Nintendo Online subscription.
Some Nintendo fans are unsure what this remaster means for the rest of the series. Is Metroid Prime Remastered meant to pave the way for the next good installment in the series, or is it a consolation prize for a bigger project that will not be released anytime soon?
Nintendo sent the house down during its E3 2017 Direct presentation with the news that Metroid Prime 4 was on the way. We'd finally get a continuation of the GameCube series that introduced an entire generation of gamers to Samus Aran and her terrifying sci-fi world. The fourth entry had been a long time coming and couldn't come here soon enough.
Nintendo has still not released the game after years of silence and at least one false start in development. Up until at least 2019, Nintendo revealed that the game had been restarted internally, with Retro Studios returning to the helm of the series it first started in 2002.
It appeared like Metroid Prime 4 was finally on track, although it's becoming increasingly difficult to tell when we've not heard anything new about the project since 2019. This global crisis has certainly impacted Metroid Prime 4, especially when it comes to game development. MercurySteam, the talented developers behind Metroid II remake Samus Returns, has unveiled a new 2D version of the project in 2021.
Metroid Prime Remastered is certainly good news, and Nintendo fans are rightfully ecstatic. However, it also leaves us wondering whether this is intended to be the start of a great year for the franchise or just an appeasement as the publisher switches on to other things as the six-year-old Switch enters its final stages.