We revisit an old friend in Metroid Prime Remastered, then check out Like a Dragon: Ishin and Audio-Technica’s ATH-M50XSTS Streaming Headset.

Updating a modern classic can often be quite the difficult task. Is any change a good change or can too many cooks spoil the broth? Should the task even be attempted at all? These questions have surrounded Metroid Prime (first released for the GameCube back in 2002) for the last few years as whispers of a re-release have circled the rumour mill.

Now, seemingly out of nowhere, Nintendo has done the unexpected and shadow dropped Metroid Prime Remastered into the wild. And the good news? It’s an absolute bloody masterclass in reviving a beloved video game.

First things first: the main adventure of Metroid Prime Remastered remains untouched. That means the atmospheric adventure of bounty hunter Samus Aran on the enemy-ridden planet of Tallon IV that wowed fans will feel exactly as it should.

How it looks, on the other hand is another tale entirely, with this remaster going completely above and beyond to breathe new life into each and every environment. Not only does everything look a whole lot sharper, Metroid Prime Remastered just has more detail across the board. From better shadows to new lighting, it’s instantly clear how much TLC has been put into this project to make it look just how you remember and cementing it as one of the best looking Switch games of all time.

Even more welcome though is the complete rework of the controls which are no longer stunted by pause and shoot movement. Adopting a much more modern dual-stick FPS control scheme (although the original can still be retained should you prefer it) makes firefights slightly eaiser and a whole lot more enjoyable.

It’s a through line that is evident across all aspects of Metroid Prime Remastered. It feels as though every decision was carefully considered and implemented, all in the mission to make an outstanding remaster that is absolutely worth your attention and money.

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Metroid Prime Remastered is out now for Nintendo Switch. You can grab via Amazon here.

Also out now…

Like a Dragon: Ishin (PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, XBO, PC)

It must be the season for video game face lifts, because as luck would have it, Like a Dragon: Ishin also reworks a beloved adventure. In Ishin’s case, it’s a total remake of 2014’s Ryu Ga Gotoku: Ishin, which was only released in Japan on PS3/PS4.

That means it’ll be your first chance to check out the tale on our shores, which itself is an engrossing drama set amongst the dying days of the samurai era as you try to clear your name while simultaneously trying to avenge a fallen parent.

There’s a lot to keep track of, but if you give it the time of day there’s plenty to enjoy and it’s all backed up by a pretty solid combat system. With a number of stances to make use of (ranging from swords, to guns to bare-knuckle brawling). Being able to mix things up keeps the combat fresh and exciting as you try different tactics for different encounters.

Add in some spruced up visuals Like a Dragon: Ishin delivers plenty of historical action that is bound to please long-time Yakuza/Like a Dragon fans and should do well to lure newcomers into the fight.

Hands-on with the Audio-Technica ATH-M50XSTS StreamSet Streaming Headset

Whether you watch live performers or podcasters, the presence of Audio-Technica headsets within the audio space is undeniable. For good reason too – the company having built a stellar reputation for impeccable fidelity and sturdy design over many years. Now, the powers that be are trying to make more serious inroads into the streaming landscape, and if the ATH-M50XSTS is any indication, things are only looking up from here.

Simply by shipping in two makeups, it’s clear that Audio-Technica has thought their latest device through. The ATH-M50xSTS for instance, is available in two models – the ATH-M50xSTS with a 3.5mm headphone jack plug and an XLR connector ($399) and the ATH-M50xSTS-USB which connects via USB ($469). That shows foresight into the different markets/users and allows for great flexibility depending on your needs.

No matter which option you choose though, you’ll still be utilising the core design structure of the ATH-M50x, meaning Audio Technica is able to leverage its own tried and tested winning formula. We spent our time using the ATH-M50xSTS-USB and were impressed with not only the speed of connection and ease of use, but the well-rounded studio-quality audio that we’ve come to expect from the headphone maestros. We were also impressed by the thoughtful addition of an extra pair of breathable ear pads, designed to be utilised during longer gaming/streaming sessions.

The big difference with the STS however is the addition of an in-built microphone based on the company’s iconic 20 Series microphones. As expected, the quality of the microphone’s output is equally exceptional. Audio via the mic is well balanced and clear, without any unexpected pops that might aggravate listeners.

It is worth noting though that you may need to lower the receiver slightly lower than you might initially expect. Doing so will likely result in slightly lower audio depending on your voice, but will help avoid any additional background noise (like heavier breathing) for a generally cleaner end result. And when it’s not in use, the microphone nearly tucks itself away, leaving you once more with a pretty nifty set of earphones.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50XSTS might not suit every streamer setup out there, but it certainly helps lower the cost to entry, has the potential to seamlessly fit into countless workflows, and most importantly, sounds great.

An all-around winner worth looking into.

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