An episode in the Metroid Prime series which started on the GameCube, this game takes place between Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Interstellar bounty hunter Samus Aran is sent to the distant Alimbic Cluster by the Galactic Federation to investigate a message saying that the source of ultimate power lies in this desolate part of the galaxy, once home to an advanced culture.
Samus is not alone, however. Other races have heard this mysterious message, too. Six other bounty hunters, each with unique characteristics, will do everything to get their hands on the Alimbic relics for their own reasons.
The single-player mode is more focused on shooting than other Metroid games but also has puzzles in classic Metroid fashion. Unlike previous games, Samus has all her moves from the start, but she still has to look for weapons. The player may also run into other bounty hunters in this mode.
The multiplayer mode is similar to Unreal Tournament or Quake games. Players can choose from any hunter that was defeated in single-player mode. There are seven modes in total including: Nodes, Survival, Bounty, Prime Hunter, Battle, Capture, and Defender. Each mode has its own unique rules. There are a vast number of arenas that can be played over local wireless or Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. When using friend codes, voice chat before and after matches is enabled.
A demo version, called First Hunt, was released as a pack-in (now discontinued) with the DS launch on November 21, 2004 in North America. Australia and Europe also received the demo on their respective release dates. This demo was not released in Japan.
Oddly enough, this is the one Metroid title that doesn't have any of the Metroid species in it.