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Metroid Hunters Goes Touchless

by Steven Rodriguez - June 16, 2004, 9:14 pm PDT
Total comments: 35 Source: GameCube Europe

Don't like the fact that you'll be required to use the touchscreen for Metroid DS? Worry no more.

Europe's newest Nintendo Official Magazine has a rather informative interview with the one and only Shigeru Miyamoto. Along with a small newsbyte about Mario 128 (Nintendo is still experimenting with it), new information about Nintendo's flagship Nintendo DS title, Metroid Prime Hunters, was unearthed.

Mostly in part due to complaints and worries about the requirement to use the touch screen and stylus to play the game, and the way the DS would need to be held, Nintendo is now planning to include a non-touch screen control option. How exactly the game will play without the touch screen is unclear, but Nintendo is working on it, that's for sure.

The DS and Metroid Prime Hunters are scheduled to hit America by the end of the year, in case you've forgotten.


PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorJune 16, 2004

I don't really like this move...backing away from what is supposed to make the system so innovative... I would much rather shiggy said something like... "I know it seems clunky now but I assure you, it will be very playable once it is fine tuned."

anubis6789June 16, 2004

Yeah, it is kind of like Nintendo saying "hey, we got this new idea, but sense most people don't like to try new things we have decided to not make the game the way that we had originaly intended."

It is kind of how I feel about the new LoZ, while it looks cool it just seems like Nintendo is saying that they surrender. Of course I really liked the cell shading so I may be a little biased.

I'm begining to think that gamers as a whole don't know what they want, for exampl we say things like how we want new inovations, but at the same time we don't want anything to change. Developers are kind of damned if they do, damned if they don't.

Perfect CellJune 16, 2004

Maybe they add an analog stick to go with the digital pad? thats the only other way this could be slightly playable... still cant wait to land a DS...

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorJune 16, 2004

For anyone who has played a DS, how small is it? Is the screen at all reachable with your thumbs? It would be pretty cool if they could some how find a way that would take the stylus away, but still involve using the touch screen with your thumbs? I dunno...

seen33June 16, 2004

well they had a "NEW" idea which was the GBA connectivity and people hated it and sure enough it sucked and sucked your Wallet dry.

Personally I think a touch screen is a great idea but Were you guys really expecting EVERY game for the DS to utalize the touch screen? If anything, I think its like the GBA conectivity and lots of games will try to utalize it (not require) and there will be the odd 1 or 2 games that are all about it and REquire it. (Like a few GBA games)

mouse_clickerJune 16, 2004

The only reason their are only a few games that require connectivity is because it demands the user buy extra equipment and hunt down other people. The DS's touch screen is built in, and the unit comes with a stylus (besides the fact that you can use quite litereally anything to manipulate it), so the player doesn't have to purchase any accessories or locate any friends.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJune 16, 2004

Can something other than a stylus be used? Like say, a carrot?

MysticGohan24June 16, 2004

^Has a Carrot fetish on handhelds with a touchable screen face-icon-small-tongue.gif

CaillanJune 16, 2004

Hm... Is there a possibility of this interview becomming available on the net? It sounds like a good interview.

Ian SaneJune 17, 2004

I think this it's great that they're doing this. They're being user friendly and they're giving people options. Options are what sell the PS2. Nintendo's "try this unfamiliar thing, you'll like it" attitude is too limiting. Try our controller design it works great! Yeah but it sucks for any game that uses a d-pad or a traditional button layout. Ooops. "Better" is a relative term so when you tell someone something is better it can be hard to persuade them. Having an option attracts a wider range of people.

Plus the whole point of the DS is supposedly to attract all forms of gamers, even people that don't normally play games. Therefore if using a stylus is intimidating having an alternative is ideal. Only having the stylus control is like releasing an FPS that only uses the mouse/keyboard setup and doesn't allow someone to use just the keyboard or to use a controller. Sure the mouse/keyboard setup is probably the best to have if you get used to it but people should have the option.

Personally I'm pretty iffy about the stylus control in the first place. Due to most E3 impressions it seems like they designed this game thinking "how can we use the stylus?" when they should be thinking "what's the best control design for this game?" You design the controls around the game not the game around the controls.

GaimeGuyJune 17, 2004

I don't think an analog stick can work for durability. The only thing I see working is an analog pad.

SylJune 17, 2004


Bill AurionJune 17, 2004

Unless the analog stick could be easily replaced, I say no...I don't want to have to buy a new system because my analog stick is broken... :\

But I agree that Ninty allowing the option is a really good idea...Though I'll be using the touch screen mode it's not really fair to force others to use it...

mouse_clickerJune 17, 2004


Can something other than a stylus be used? Like say, a carrot?

It's a touch screen, all that it requires is something to touch it. face-icon-small-wink.gif I believe Miyamoto said he personally prefers using a Q-tip.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJune 17, 2004

Excellent. Our hands can be used elsewhere.

Bill AurionJune 17, 2004

~Nintendo DS Instruction Manual (R)~

*Both hands must be controlling the system at ALL times*

norebonomisJune 17, 2004

i definetly think that with all the 3D gaming, nintendo should add an analog stick if not replace the dpad with one. i don't think it has to be as tall, i'm sure there could be some designing done here to make it blend in with the system itself. i also think that every button on every controller should be pressure sensitive, and flash, and make little sounds.

odifiendJune 17, 2004

This is good. So far I have nothing against the stylus but the previous setup for M:H made it incompatible lefties. It's no good to screw over 10% of your audience when there is a perfectly good dpad already on your system.

Koopa TroopaJune 17, 2004


This is good. So far I have nothing against the stylus but the previous setup for M:H made it incompatible lefties. It's no good to screw over 10% of your audience when there is a perfectly good dpad already on your system.

Lefties use the a, b, x, & y buttons to move.

DjunknownJune 17, 2004

I would argue that if there a analog pad, what would be the point of the touch screen?

I'm a south paw too, but I'm comfortable with the traditional design of controls on the left, buttons on the right. I remember the Gravis game pad had an option where you could flip the controller; it was odd, but cool.

I think this is an example of the DS seperating the good, talented, ambitious developers, from the lazy ones who will would just slap a logo on the second screen.

nickmitchJune 17, 2004

If they were to put an anolog stick on it, it'd probably have to be spring-loaded so that you can still fold the DS. However that may make the stick awkward to use.

odifiendJune 17, 2004

It isn't exactly the same, with a dpad you can kind of shift the pressure giving you better control of you're going, especially in a 3D environment, whereas now there is space between your directions. Still, I didn't know that they had custom contols for lefties and that is some good looking out by Nintendo. Hopefully 3rd parties will follow suit.

My guess is the d pad controls Samus's movement, then L will lock Samus in place and the dpad will aim (providing a button is free on the right side of the DS to shoot).

mouse_clickerJune 17, 2004

All they'd really have to do is shift the aiming to the D pad and the firing to the L button- the L button obviously wasn't being used for anything since your left hand was holding the stylus anyway. The face buttons are for movement and the R button for locking on (or perhaps the functions of the L and R buttons could be switched, to comply with most FPS-esque setups).

UniversalJuanJune 17, 2004

For anyone concerned about the possibility of analog? Direct your attention to the VERY under appreciated Neo Geo Pocket Color. Why this thing never got to take off vs. GBC I'll never know.

RizeDavid Trammell, Staff AlumnusJune 18, 2004

Hunters should control exactly like Prime. How is that possible? Easy. Just map the analog stick (move/turn) to the d-pad and the z-button to the select button. All other buttons would work the same (the 4 face buttons would jump, shoot, morph and missile). So how do you select beams? You just put the action on the upper screen, get rid of that silly map and use the touch screen for visor and beam selection. It might not be great use of the second screen and touch capability, but then again, is a map a great use for a multiplayer death match?

nitsu niflheimJune 18, 2004

is this game just a multiplayer shooter, or is it going to be an adventure game with an actual story adventure to go through like Prime?

BloodworthDaniel Bloodworth, Staff AlumnusJune 18, 2004

There is a single player mode that we know next to nothing about.

nitsu niflheimJune 18, 2004

Thanks, and good, but I think I'll wait until the game comes out just so I know what I am buying.

anubis6789June 18, 2004

UniversalJuan, the NGPC thumb stick was a digital micro switch joystick, no analog at all.

UniversalJuanJune 19, 2004

Yes but the design let you think otherwise. And that's the beauty part. An actual analog stick made like that could be quite well for a handheld wanting/needing analog control.

Perfect CellJune 19, 2004

Thank you Juan for mentioning that.... the PSP will have an analog stick as well so its possible... Nintendo will miss out if they dont add one IMO....

Koopa TroopaJune 19, 2004


Thanks, and good, but I think I'll wait until the game comes out just so I know what I am buying.

I know with pre-orders this is a valid statement, but it still strikes me as humorous face-icon-small-wink.gif

Kobun HeatChris Kohler, Staff AlumnusJune 20, 2004

Two things:

1) I asked this question in the NOM UK interview.

2) I'd like to point out that this wasn't in response to complaints - the alternate control method was already in there before E3.

sparkylikeplDecember 01, 2004


the ds does have a way of using the toutch screen without the stylus. they have a little hand strap thats attached to the ds. it has a little plastic ball-like end that slips on your finger. it works very well. and your thumb can reach all parts of the touch screen.


KDR_11kDecember 02, 2004

We know by now. Back in june we didn't but june is long past.

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