Nintendo really wants you to give Metroid Prime: Federation Force for the Nintendo 3DS a fair shake. That may prove to be an uphill battle: When the title was unveiled during the E3 2015 Nintendo Direct event, the response was, let's say, unfavorable. Metroid fans have been aching for a traditional Metroid game since 2010's Metroid: Other M, and Federation Force ain't it.
What's more, Jeremy didn't find last year's early playable demo of Federation Force's sub-game, Blast Ball, particularly well-built. "[The]demo felt somewhat undercooked. It didn't have right-stick controls despite its immersive 3D perspective, and the rules for the team-based space football match didn't seem as clear as I'd have liked," he wrote. "Jaz and I teamed up to take on a bunch of people we never met, and we won... but I'm not entirely sure how."
Metroid Prime: Federation Force and Blast Ball have had a year to pull themselves together, and now you have a chance to see how it stacks up for yourself. A demo of Blast Ball is now available on the 3DS eShop, and will be playable clear until September.
Eurogamer played the most recent builds of Federation Force and Blast Ball, and its impressions of both game modes are good. "Federation Force might not be a good Metroid game but it's shaping up to be a decent co-op shooter," Martin Robinson wrote on July 21. Robinson also pointed out Federation Force is built by Next Level Games, the studio behind well-received Nintendo titles like 2005's Super Mario Strikers for the GameCube and 2013's Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon for the Nintendo 3DS.
Nintendo's decision to slap the Metroid name on Federation Force is still kind of baffling, but a good game shouldn't be judged by its title. Download the Blast Ball demo for yourself and give it a try. Don't be too hard on Nintendo for leaving Samus out of this adventure: Most of her jobs typically keep her far from the Galactic Federation anyway (and judging by her interactions with Adam Malkovich in Metroid: Other M, that's not exactly a bad thing).
Metroid Prime: Federation Force and Blast Ball hit North America on August 19.