Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt review

We experience one of the best demonstrations of the power of DS - a fully 3D, wireless-deathmatching freebie!

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Okay, this isn't exactly a full game but you still get a First Hunt demo free in your DS box (if you imported from the US), so we reckon it deserves an appraisal.

The game comes with two very different modes: training, and a multiplayer version. The latter is perhaps the one you'll get the most enjoyment out of, allowing up to four DSs to go head-to-head in three different arenas.

It's surprisingly accomplished for a handheld. The visuals are crisp - if maybe a little blocky - and, crucially, it runs at a perfectly smooth frame rate throughout.

Our original control worries have been quashed, too. The game allows you to switch between using the D-pad and the buttons to move, strafe and look. You're also able to use the touch-screen as an analogue control method, which works in much the same way as a mouse and keyboard.

The game even supports both left and right-handed control for each configuration. The only major problem we have with the controls is the worrying lack of an 'invert look' option, which could prove annoying, but it's nothing that you can't get used to with practise.

Despite only having three different arenas to fight in, there's plenty of enjoyment on offer as long as you have three friends to fight against. There's only one arena that'll confidently support just two players. On the whole, though, this is solid stuff.

The Training mode isn't too shabby either. There's a Time Trial that sees you exterminating bugs through a mini-level before facing off against a green Samus-like boss, a Survival section where you just keep shooting at metroids until you eventually die, and a Morph Ball section that lets you race around a circuit collecting orbs against the clock.

All in all, it's not a bad little giveaway. It's a fine showcase for demonstrating what the hardware is capable of, allows wireless multiplayer games from the word go, and will undoubtedly whet your appetite for when the 'proper' version eventually emerges.

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