Review – Metroid Prime Remastered

I have to say that, for the most part, remakes and remasters of older Nintendo titles have been massively disappointing on the Switch. The Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection was embarassing, the vast majority of Wii U re-releases were just mere ports with little to no improvements, and the Skyward Sword remaster, while good, was extraordinarily expensive, and not at all worth its price. Nintendo wasn’t delivering in this front, while other companies were going overboard with fantastic remasters (or even remastered compilations) going for competitive prices. Everything changed when the company decided to stealth drop Metroid Prime Remastered after its latest Nintendo Direct on February 2023.

Metroid Prime Remastered Lighting

These are some top-notch lighting effects, considering the dated hardware.

What was the decision behind just dropping this stealth bomb? Was it the fantastic reception garnered by Hi-Fi Rush a few weeks prior? It’s freaking Metroid Prime! We were clamoring for a remastered collection of the original trilogy while we painfully wait for the fourth game in the series. And yes, sadly, Metroid Prime Remastered is just the first game. It doesn’t go for sixty bucks (it costs forty, or a bit less depending on your region), but it’s still just one game. But here’s the thing: this one is absolutely worth its pricetag. Thanks to the efforts by Retro Studios (yes, they were the ones behind the remaster), Metroid Prime Remastered is the best, the prettiest, the sexiest, the ultimate way to play this absolute classic.

Metroid Prime Remastered Enemies

“Whaddya lookin’ at?”

Before talking about Metroid Prime Remastered itself, I think it’s fair to spend a few lines talking about my experience with the original Metroid Prime. I do NOT have nostalgia towards it. I’m not saying I don’t like it, far from it, but I did not play it back when it first came out. I did play Fusion, which was actually my first Metroid, but I skipped that game altogether, and I cannot explain why. I was nine, don’t judge. I did play it later, of course, when I started to buy GameCube classics in bulk after finally having money to do so, and really enjoyed it. I also knew it had issues related to its age, namely in its control scheme.

It’s not that it doesn’t work, but for a first-person (not quite) shooter, Metroid Prime had a unique, and occasionally bizarre, control layout. You couldn’t freely move the camera around with the C-stick, the emphasis on scanning was off-putting, and so on. If there was something I wanted Retro Studios to fix in a remaster, that would be the controls. I wanted a brand new control scheme taking advantage of the Switch having more buttons, leaving the right analog stick to work like a right analog stick should. And so they did.

Metroid Prime Remastered Scan

Scan. Scan it all. Scan for days.

This brand new dual-stick layout perfectly mixes the free-form camera controls from the Wii version with the actual usage of a controller, all while using a modern button layout that just feels, for the most part, very natural. With the exception of some slightly esoteric button combinations, such as changing weapon types or using the Super Missiles, this control scheme is great. It’s the best ever put into Metroid Prime. That being said, if you’re a purist, the old GameCube control scheme is available. The same goes for the Wii motion-based controls, which are emulated by the Joy-Cons’ forgotten motion capabilities.

I have very little issues with the controls and the gameplay in general. I think my only main issue is the lack of an autofire button, given how you have to constantly shoot at everything that moves in front of you. Back in the GameCube days, this was an issue, but a small one, since the A button in that controller was possibly the most comfortable thing in existence. Now, the Switch’s ZR button is NOT comfortable. At all. Plus, you have to constantly press the damn thing to kill pretty much everything, since enemies in Prime are tanky. I did circumvent this by using a turbo functionality on a Hori controller, but I’d have liked for a more natural approach this admittedly minute complaint.

Metroid Prime Remastered Graphics

Looks great, runs like a dream.

Now, for the remaster itself. Metroid Prime Remastered looks and runs like a dream. Unlike the mediocre approach taken by Nintendo on the Skyward Sword remaster (a product that looks insulting when compared to this one), this wasn’t just an upscale on the old ROM. Retro Studios went all in, revamping the lighting to a more modern standard, improving upon the textures, doing some slight tweaks on some character geometry, adding some particle effects, and more. Nothing that would result in this being a full-on remake (I assume this is still the same source code, and for all intents and purposes, it’s the exact same Metroid Prime from twenty years ago), but damn, the differences are night and day.

To top it off, it has a juicy, sold 60 frames per second. Granted, the original Metroid Prime also ran at that, but it’s good to see a vastly improved version of the game in terms of visuals still retaining a solid framerate whether you decide to play it in docked or portable mode. Speaking of, let’s not forget that we now have a portable version of the original Metroid Prime, and that should be considered a godsend! While not the first portable Metroid Prime game (Hunters was quite good, despite the hardware limitations, and we don’t talk about THE OTHER ONE), having the original one on-the-go is just pristine.

Prime Map Interface

I am NOT a fan of this game’s map interface.

In fact, as a whole, I have just a handful of complaints about Metroid Prime Remastered. To be fair, most of them are very minute, and reminiscent of the original game, not the remastering efforts by Retro Studios. I don’t like the map interface, both in terms of its presentation and the utterly bizarre controls when accessing it. I am not the biggest fan of how long it takes for you to go from A to B, given the sheer amount of backtracking involved, but that’s how metroidvanias work. Not to mention there’s so much to explore, you can’t complain about taking a while just taking everything in. Finally, some cutscenes are devoid of sound effects, and that just sounds weird (it was also present in the original game). Thankfully, the soundtrack is just… sublime.


When they show up in the 2D games, they just feel like a nuisance. When they show in Prime, they feel threatening and scary.

One last thing I want to talk about Metroid Prime Remastered, or Prime in general, is that, damn, this game just works in first-person. The atmospheric, Aliens-esque nature of Metroid just works better in a claustrophobic, isolated, first-person perspective than 2D. When I reviewed Metroid Dread, I did enjoy the hell out of it, but there were better 2D metroidvanias out there. Indies had surpassed its master. But when it comes to 3D metroidvanias, you just cannot compete with Metroid Prime. The magnificent level design is still a thing to behold.

Metroid Prime Remastered Parasite Queen

Yes, it’s that one Smash Bros level.

Metroid Prime Remastered is the real deal. This is how a remaster of a Nintendo game should look, run, and play. What was already near-perfect is even better, all thanks to Retro Studios just improving upon every single aspect of the original game, making this particular version of an all-time classic the ultimate way to play it. Not to mention the fact you can now take it on-the-go. I may have one or two small issues with it, but to call them deal-breakers would be damn near blasphemous. In short, grab Metroid Prime Remastered. Please make sure to remaster both Echoes and Corruption further down the line as well. I won’t even mind the eternal wait for Metroid Prime 4 if you keep delivering these bangers, Retro.


Graphics: 9.5

One of the most impressive remastering efforts ever seen in a Nintendo game. Metroid Prime was already pretty; Metroid Prime Remastered looks fantastic. Not to mention the juicy 60fps.

Gameplay: 9.5

A brand new control scheme that makes Metroid Prime Remastered feel like a modern first-person game, with responsive controls and a fantastic framerate. Retro Studios even included the control schemes from the Wii and GameCube versions for the purists out there.

Sound: 9.5

The soundtrack in Metroid Prime is just too damn iconic and immersive. Sound effects are good for the most part, but some cutscenes are devoid of them altogether for some reason.

Fun Factor: 9.0

Very few small issues stop Metroid Prime Remastered from being downright perfect, but who cares? It’s easily the best way to play this classic… and on a portable of all things.

Final Verdict: 9.5

Metroid Prime Remastered is available now on Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.