"It's good for helping you familiarize yourself with a DS' capabilities."
Plot / Concept: 5 / 10
Set in a Virtual Simulation room, Samus is able to test herself in a variety of exercises, outlining her combat potential. Beyond that, there is not a whole lot else to the game. It is considered a "Demo" after all, so it would not have a real amount of game content built-in. However, it does deliver three different training exercises, plus an extension to challenge herself against multiple Samus dopplegangers.
Gameplay: 6 / 10
The game play concept is similar to a 3-D Prime-style game for sure, with full control over how Samus looks around and examines a room. The only real thing it does not have from the Prime series is the scanning ability, but given how little content there is in the game, it would be a rather pointless accessory to have. Your enemies typically consist of floating blobs with claws, Zoomers, and full-blown Metroids. Since you have no opportunity for Ice Beam in this game, Metroids can be taken out with regular weapons. However, if they clamp onto Samus, they can drain her energy FAST, so it is important to break their hold as quick as possible. It is also interesting to note that this game uses an ammo. system for all weapon settings, including the basic power beam. However, you can never run completely out of ammo. If you reach zero, the suit takes a second to build up to "1" again, giving you another shot. Ammo. expansions are available in levels where they apply.
This is the second Metroid game to offer a multi-player feature and the second game to allow multiple Samii to combat each other. With this multiplayer, you can soak up a LOT of energy tanks
There are three testing grounds: Regulator, Survival, and Morph Ball Training. Each one tests you in different ways. Regulator has you survive and reach the end boss within a 10-minute countdown. Survival is simply: Hold out as long as you can until you run out of energy. Metroids are the biggest threat in this mode and they start to appear regularly after a while. Morph Ball Training has you run a course, picking up markers along the way until you reach the end. The "No. of Timed Escape Sequences" is listed as 2 since two of the single-player games involve a time limit for completing the objective.
Controls: 3 / 10
The controls are even worse. While with a normal DS it is not too bad on the hands, but a smaller console like the DS Lite can make playing the game taxing on the hands. At least players can customize if they wish to use the stylus for part of the game control or not.
Music: 6 / 10
Not a lot of variety, but what it does offer is fairly consistent and satisfying.
Sound Effects: 7 / 10
A lot of the sound effects appear to be custom-built and ripped from Retro's Prime games in one way or another (namely the Metroid effects). So while they are made for the DS and sound slightly cooky, they do the job just fine.
Graphics: 7 / 10
To create an effective 3-D setting on a DS and not overload it's capabilities, yet keeping it looking lively and rich enough to do the job is quite a feat for this game.
As a demo, it does it's job in showing off the potential the DS and succeeds quite well. As a Metroid game, it plays alright, though the multi-player would probably help to extend it's rather short life expectancy.