A group of independent developers known as Team SCU recently released a demo for Prime 2D, an impressive side-scrolling remake of 2002’s Metroid Prime that has been in the works for over 15 years. After spending some time with it, I can say it was definitely worth the wait, even if Nintendo’s lawyers are no doubt crafting a cease and desist as I type.
Disclaimer: I’m a diehard Metroid Prime stan. It was the first game in the series that sank its hooks in me deep enough for me to finish. Prime 2D, limited as the demo may be, feels dangerously similar thanks to Team SCU perfectly capturing the original’s lonely atmosphere. As Samus explored the ancient ruins of the Chozo culture in which she was raised, I couldn’t help but consider her experience an extension of my own as I walked the halls of a fresh-yet-somehow-familiar adventure.
Although the perspective and control scheme has shifted, so much of the original Metroid Prime shows up in Prime 2D. Samus Aran lands on Tallon IV in pursuit of her eternal foe, the space dragon Ridley. Beetles burst from the ground for you to energy blast in the face. Hallways full of Scarab hordes impede your progress. Prime’s ubiquitous Scan Visor allows you to get more info on your surroundings, activate machinery, and in one neat, new moment light up a dark room. The demo ends with the boss fight against the War Wasp-spitting Hive Mecha for the Missile Launcher, which unlike in Metroid Prime has a second phase.
Prime 2D, like Metroid II remake AM2R before it, is an incredibly ambitious project. It’s clear that Team SCU knows their Metroid Prime, and they’ve so far nailed everything that made the original such a special game. I was sceptical about the game’s use of keyboard and mouse, but it feels great to have precise control over Samus’ arm cannon. If you have even a passing interest in the Metroid series, I highly recommend checking this out before it’s wiped from the internet.