Metroid Prime Remastered
Image: Nintendo

This week, Nintendo shadow-dropped Metroid Prime Remastered on Switch, a comprehensive update on the beloved 2002 GameCube original.

A project long-rumoured to be in development, Metroid Prime Remastered is the work of original Metroid Prime developer Retro Studios, with some assistance from Iron Galaxy and some other companies.

Given the high esteem in which the original game is held, you might assume this is a must-buy without any need to consult reviews – and you'd probably be right, as the reviews that have appeared online so far have been effusive in their praise.

Over at Polygon, the game's sedate pace is favourably compared with the frantic gameplay of Metroid Dread (the most recent entry in the series):

There are countless reasons why the game remains relevant — its world design, the atmospheric score, that classic Metroid magic — but in playing the beautiful remastered version on Nintendo Switch, which Nintendo surprise-dropped during February’s Nintendo Direct, I have a renewed appreciation for its inquisitive and empathetic incarnation of Samus Aran.

Our pals over at Nintendo Life are even keener, giving it 10/10 and saying:

With Metroid Prime Remastered, the seemingly impossible has been achieved: a masterpiece has been made even better. The minor issues we have with the motion controls and the occasional visual hiccup pale in comparison to the enhancements that have been made here. The visual improvements are extensive, right through to the minor details, and it all comes together to create one of the best-looking games on Switch, remaster or not. The new twin-stick control setup works flawlessly for both veterans and newcomers, but if you're itching to go back to the original GameCube controls, that option is there too. With an expanded gallery feature to round things out, Metroid Prime Remastered feels like a new benchmark in how older games can be thoughtfully revitalised for the modern age.

The folks at Nintenderos had this to say:

After all that we have told you, we can only conclude that Metroid Prime Remastered is the best version of the game that could have been made. An exquisite set-up that fully respects all the values ​​of the original game, elevating it to adapt it to new times and to the control schemes of Nintendo Switch in its entirety. Although we would have liked to see a little more original content, details such as its gallery full of collectables will delight fans.

Now, we can only hope that this instalment lays the foundations so that the rest of the trilogy also reaches us with the same quality standards, all this in order to prepare for the premiere of a long-awaited Metroid Prime 4 that feels more and more like around the corner. Whether you like action games or played the original Metroid Prime and are feeling nostalgic, you have a new date with Samus Aran with this instalment. Of course, we assure you that it is well worth it.

Tech Radar contrasts the game with the recently-released Dead Space remake, saying:

To this day, Metroid Prime on the Gamecube is one of the best examples of the metroidvania formula, and one of the few that’s worked well in 3D. But, somehow, in remastering the classic for Nintendo Switch, developer Retro Studios has made the game do things I didn’t even know were possible on the console.

Having played the re-release for myself on Nintendo Switch, Metroid Prime Remastered is something of a misnomer. In fact, the game strays dangerously close to full-on remake territory, with vastly overhauled geometry, all-new textures, and enemy models.

Unlike the recent Dead Space remake, Metroid Prime Remastered remains largely unchanged in terms of gameplay, progression, and control. Instead, Retro Studios has set a new bar that remastered games should strive for, and it stands out on a console overridden with poor quality ports and games with stark performance issues.

Have you pulled the trigger on this one yet? Let us know what you think with a comment.