For eight long years, it was torture. After the finely crafted masterpiece that was Super Metroid, I and many other fans of the series waited, expecting to see Samus’ return on the N64. Other than a teasing appearance as a playable character in Super Smash Bros, the N64 was devoid of the armored bounty hunter and a her new adventures, and we felt cheated. I mean, there were already two Zelda games, but no new Metroid?
Then in 2002 the wait was over. After initial outrage skepticism at the new first person format, I was blown away by the quality and scale of Metroid Prime. And in the span of five years a total of six Metroid games were released, the biggest of course being Metrioid Prime’s sequels: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. It is only fitting that that these games get the “collector’s edition” treatment as the Metroid Prime Trilogy, with all three games on one disc.
Originally GameCube games, Primes 1 and 2 are now outfitted with the same Wii control scheme as 3, along with shorter load times, altered visual effects, upgraded textures, and widescreen capabilities. So do the Wii controls work for the first two Primes? You bet they do. Other than a little bit of awkwardness bringing your thumb down to the 1 and 2 buttons to bring up the map screen and the pause screen, respectively, the controls work in such a way that both exploration and combat feel more natural. Just point with the Wii Remote where you want to look, move with the Nunchuk, and hold the Z button to lock onto any targets. It is definitely worth revisiting Tallon IV and Aether again, and the enhanced control scheme is a great excuse to replay these games. I’ll even go as far as to say that the Metroid connoisseur should trade in all three individual Metroid Prime games to get MP Trilogy because of the sleek metallic packaging, included artwork, and unlockable extras.
Of the three, the original Metroid Prime remains the best for several reasons. It is the most “traditional” of the trilogy, resembling its predecessor Super Metroid in many areas. Tallon IV is a unified, richly detailed game world with contrasting geological features. In a way it is comparable to the planet Zebes. Samus’ beam weapon enhancements (ice, wave, and plasma) return, and you’ll recognize some of the background music as well. Mostly the eight year gap combined with the initial wow factor makes the original Prime stand out so well.
The sequels, though great themselves are a little bit of a departure from the Metroid formula, understandably. Simply rehashing the same gameplay on a different planet would’ve been safe, but Echoes, taking inspiration from Zelda: Link to the Past with its Light/Dark World concept shook up the formula just enough while keeping the spirit of the series intact. I found it to be the most cerebral of the trilogy. Though it would have a nice bonus if Retro took advantage of the Wii’s WiFi capabilities and took the rather basic multiplayer online.
Corruption is more action oriented than the other two, with more direct firefights with the Space Pirates. The addition of competent voice acting, the cast of other bounty hunters, and having the adventure take place on several planets gave the story a lot more scope. Corruption’s visuals are also so good that I could just stand in certain areas for a few minutes and just admire the graphics. The only minor issue is the inability to skip the cutscenes of Samus’ ship traveling to each planet.
Metroid Prime Trilogy is busting at the seams with excellent gameplay and makes a great collector’s item. It basically amounts to about $17.00 per game, which is a real bargain. To spend a few weeks playing all three back to back may result in lost productivity and maybe some gained weight, but it would be time well spent.
“Well, Ridley, it looks like you have strep. How about I take a culture..WITH MY ARM CANNON!!”
- All 3 Metroid Primes on 1 disc, duh!
- Wii controls enhance first 2 Primes
- Extras and sleek metallic packaging
- Online Echoes multiplayer would’ve been nice
Final Verdict: Enshrine It