Metroid Prime and Console First-Person Shooter Controls Before The Advent of Dual Analog

Once upon a time, dual analog controls for first-person shooters wasn’t a thing. Even in an era where we had dual-analog controllers, it would take a number of years before developers would come up with that scheme and make it the standard. Going back recently to play Metroid Prime on the GameCube, its lack of dual-analog control has proven to be really jarring.

Back in 2002, Metroid Prime was a revelation. There was nothing on console that immersed you in its sci-fi world the way it did. From its beautiful-for-the-time graphics, to the complete reworking of the game to work in a first-person perspective, it’s a brilliant achievement in game design.

Even its controls, in a world before dual-analog, were great for its time. Nintendo and Retro Studios had come up with a system that allowed for strafing and free-aim with only one analog stick. With no one at the time not knowing any better, I had no qualms with it.

Going back now, the control scheme of Metroid Prime feels like a nightmare. By default, you walk and turn with the left stick. Holding the L button allows you to strafe while moving the left stick. Holding R while moving the left stick allows you to free aim. No, you cannot move and free aim at the same time.

Can’t speak to the adjustments made to this game within Metroid Prime: Trilogy that came out on the Wii, but should it ever get updated for the Switch, I would love to play this again with dual-analog controls. Not sure what it would break by doing this, but giving the game a modern control scheme would increase its playability dramatically. Even if Nintendo wants to keep the original controls in there for purity’s sake, the option for dual-analog would be amazing.

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