Remasters run the gamut, from mere upgrades in resolution and frame rates to full remakes. The definition is loose, but Metroid Prime does incredible work to raise the standard for what remasters can accomplish while perfectly preserving the original intent. Metroid Prime Remastered is an example of what a remaster really should be, a beautiful new coat of paint alongside simple quality-of-life upgrades that let a whole new generation enjoy what made the original so iconic in the first place.
Metroid Prime Remastered offers a complete visual overhaul of the original game, pushing the Switch hardware to the limit. The game’s interlocking levels and incredible atmosphere have stood the test of time, making Metroid’s gameplay loop as viable as ever. Metroid Prime Remastered shows that the series that started it all still has teeth even compared to the slew of modern games inspired by its design.
Metroid Prime Remastered feels its age, especially concerning level design and combat. Backtracking is still a large part of the game, so be ready to get lost frequently. The map is clearly laid out, but ultimately, a lot of time spent is just wandering around looking for a specific upgrade you need. I spent what felt like hours going back over old areas with a fine-tooth comb, hoping to find some wall I didn’t break or some morph ball tunnel I missed. Combat is simple—endearingly so at times—but it generally doesn’t have enough depth to keep the boss fights interesting. Most fights can be whittled down to locking onto an enemy and jumping circles around them as you unload your weapons. Some enemies require specific items to defeat or strategies, although frequently the same tricks will work.
What Surprised Me
Metroid remains unique as a hauntingly atmospheric space adventure. Few games can convey the sense of mystery and history that Metroid does, and Prime is a great example. Exploring Tallon IV, scanning enemies and environments, and unraveling the mystery of the Chozo is an adventure that has kept me coming back for years. The new visual upgrades take the detail and immersion to the next level and Metroid Prime’s incredible design generally ages well outside of a few nitpicks.
What Was Predictable
Metroid Prime is not a remake, and the clear remaster moniker means few surprises in store. The game is visually faithful and makes few changes, even for the better. If you have played Metroid Prime, you have played Metroid Prime Remastered, and it doesn’t feel essential unless you missed the series in the first place. But, for Metroid fans, Prime Remastered is an oasis in the desert of Metroid titles we have received over the years.
Metroid Prime Remastered is Metroid Prime, for better or for worse. It still is an example of top-tier level design, even if it can get labyrinthian and combat feels simple by today’s standards. But the incredible visuals, the satisfying string of upgrades, and the one-of-a-kind atmosphere make it as memorable as ever.
Metroid Prime Remastered is a visual feast and pushes what I thought was possible on the aged Switch hardware. Performance is great, the resolution is crisp, and the asset quality is high. Tallon IV has never looked so good.
Metroid’s iconic music and sound bites remain affecting and memorable. The classic sting as you get new abilities never gets old, and the soundtrack remains unique.
Playability: B +
Metroid Prime Remastered is intuitive and easy to pick up, but sometimes selecting beam types or scanning everything can get cumbersome. Jumping and combat feel snappy and easy to execute, and moving around is satisfying. Switching from first to third person in your morph ball remains impressive.
Story: B +
Metroid’s mysteries never fail to suck me in, and Prime effectively conveys story through scanning and environmental detail. Metroid Prime allows you to engage as little or as much as you want with the story, something I appreciate immensely.
Replay Value: B +
Metroid Prime has stood the test of time for twenty years and will for twenty more. It is an iconic title that has been considered among the greats from the beginning and remains there. Fans and newcomers alike will have no trouble replaying this game many times over.
Overall Grade: A -
Derek has worked in games journalism and PC gaming hardware and has a depth and breadth of experience across many genres. He plays almost everything but has a particular fondness for challenging games like the -Souls series and real-time strategy titles.