Quietly on and off for years, a team of fans has been working on Prime 2D, a 2D version of Metroid Prime, and a demo is finally available to download and play. I just spent about 15 minutes with the game, and — wow — this is exactly what it promises. Holy cow, you guys.
First of all, the pixel art graphics are beautiful and Samus’ animations are silky smooth. The environments are just rife with detail. It’s a more realistic and earthtone visual style than seen in an actual Nintendo Metroid entry, but it’s utterly professional in quality in every way. Where the Prime 2D demo especially deviates from typical Metroid is by incorporating the mouse into the shooting; wherever you drag the cursor is where Samus will shoot. Frankly, this element could use work, as the cursor moves too slowly and it’s just kind of awkward sometimes. But it worked well enough to survive a fun and fearsome boss fight at the end of the demo.
And yes, just like in regular Metroid Prime, you can scan the environment to collect information and make progress. (That was my least favorite element of the Prime series though, so I’m not going to go cheering over that.) Either way, the bottom line is Prime 2D is an incredible feat, even just as a demo, and hopefully we’ll see it fleshed out into a fuller form someday.