SummaryNice single player, brilliant multiplayer!
The GoodThe first thing you'll notice about this game is its graphics. It looks brilliant and was probably the prettiest looking DS game at its release. Everything is detailed and sharp. And, in typical Metroid style, the levels are really atmospheric and have their own themes and climates each. As always you cannot fully explore them yet. There are no suit updates this time but there is still a number of different weapons to collect, which are all new. The story (as one can expect from Metroid) is quite deep and interesting. A mysterious message from the distant Alimbic Cluster is send to the farthest reaches of the universe and translated into over a thousand different languages, but the message is always the same: "The secret to ultimate power lies in the Alimbic cluster". The Galactic Federation, which includes earth and the human race, also picks up this message and sends Samus Aran, their best bounty hunter, to investigate. But since the message is send to so many different cultures, there is a twist in this Metroid game: You are not the only bounty hunter anymore. Six other bounty hunters are determined to get hold of the ancient Alimbic relics, and claim the ultimate power for themselves. Each hunter has his own motives for obtaining the ultimate power and has his own favorite weapon and specific capabilities. Each hunter has his own alt form, equal to Samus' Morph Ball which adds a lot of depth to battling them.
The hunters include:
Samus: You play with Samus as always. Samus is send to investigate the message and find and obtain the ultimate power. If this is impossible she must destroy it. Samus has her famous missile launcher as weapon.
Spire: Spire is the last of the Diamont, an almost extinct race. He hopes to find the ultimate power to learn what happened to his people.
Kanden: Kanden was designed as the ultimate fighter but he escaped the lab he was built in. His nervous system couldn't take his powers anymore and he became aggressive and unpredictable. He wants to gain the ultimate power to prove himself as the greatest hunter.
Trace: Trace is a Kriken, a very imperialistic race. He hopes finding the ultimate power will help him expand the Kriken empire, making sure he will be a honored man among his people.
Noxus: Noxus is a Vho. He's a mysterious being walking a hard but righteous path. He seeks the ultimate power to prevent it from falling into criminal hands.
Sylux: This dangerous bounty hunter is shrouded in mystery. Little is known about him other than the fact that he hates the Galactic Federation and their most respected bounty hunter: Samus Aran.
Weavel: Weavel is a member of Samus' worst enemy organization: The space pirates. Weavel was almost killed in a confrontation with the space pirates. His remaining organs were fused wit a suit making him a powerful cyborg. It's unknown if he wants the power to make his people powerful or keep it for himself.
These profiles make the story even greater. The hunters appear every once in a while in predetermined rooms. They are not really bosses, though. Real bosses are found, too. There are only two of them, though, but they gain in power in with each encounter.
Multiplayer is probably the greatest thing of this game. You can play in a number of different modes similar to those found in similar games (Battle, King of the Hill etc.). It's almost up to the ranks of Quake and Unreal Tournament, which is a huge achievement for a handheld game. There is a large amount of maps so you'll play this for a long time. You can play over LAN or internet. The Wi-Fi possibilities make this game great. There is even voice chat support since the DS has a microphone. This is used before and after battle. You can play any of the other hunters once you beat them in the single player mode.
One might think that playing a shooter on a handheld doesn't work very well, but with the touch screen works well. It needs some practice but it works really good once you master it.
Everything sounds great as we've come to expect from Metroid, so nothing with this.
The BadThe single player is fairly linear and somewhat short. I missed the exploration part. Although it was present it's just not as complex as in other Metroid titles.
The multiplayer doesn't support other modes than Battle when playing without friend codes. Also it doesn't support voice chat without these codes, but that's because of safety reasons.
Some capabilities (such as the sniper/invisibility power of Trace or Sylux' electric gun.) have bigger advantages in multiplayer games than the powers of other hunters.
Just four worlds.
The Bottom LineAlthough the single player could have been somewhat bigger and more complex, the multiplayer mode more than makes up for it. An essential buy for any DS owner, especially if you look for online games for the DS.