Developer: Nintendo Software Technology
Genre: First-Person Shooter, Sci-Fi
Platform: Nintendo DS
NA Release Date: November 21, 2004
I half forgot that Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt existed. It was a neat demo at the launch of the Nintendo DS to showcase the system’s features. It made use of full 3D graphics, prerendered CG cutscenes, wireless multiplayer and touch screen control. Both First Hunt and the final release lacks the Metroid Prime series’ lock-on feature. Instead, you aim via the face buttons or touch screen.
Interestingly, First Hunt has a control scheme that didn’t make it into the final game called “Touch Shoot Mode.” Tapping on the bottom screen fires a shot to where you touch. So instead of dragging the stylus around to aim as you shoot with a button, you tap away at foes.
The precision is unparalleled. Simply touching an enemy almost guarantees a hit. However, this play-style severely hampers your movement since you’re unable to turn while firing at enemies. Often the best course of action is to sit in the corner of the room and tap away. When you aren’t in combat, you’ll randomly fire shots every time you touch the screen to look around.
It’s not a good control scheme, but it’s a neat little remnant of the game’s development. The rest of the demo is pretty boring. It’s basically just a target practice game with an occasional Metroid diving at your face. But at the launch of a platform, any extra bit of software is always appreciated.