Metroid Prime Trilogy brings together all three of the classic Metroid Prime titles in just one game disc for the Nintendo Wii. While Metroid Prime: Corruption remains untouched, the first two entries in the series have received various enhancements, namely motion controls and 16:9 widescreen support, which make them even more enjoyable than you may remember. What’s more, multiple difficulty levels ensure that casual and core gamers will get the most out of these sensational games. The only bummer with this collection is that a bit more could have been done in terms of additional content to keep the experience fresh for diehard fans.
Metroid Prime Trilogy gives players tens of hours of engrossing Metroid gameplay, presenting the entire series’ story-arch in one neat compilation. These first-person shooters put players in control of Samus Aran, one of the galaxy’s most renowned bounty hunters, as she fights and puzzles her way through dangerous planets even Galactic Federation Marines can’t tame. Metroid Prime starts things off by having Samus investigate a distress call from the loathed Space Pirates above Tallon IV – the ruined ancestral home of the Chozo civilization; mystiq bird-like aliens that trained and raised the orphaned Samus to be the guardian of the galaxy. From there it’s off to the planet’s surface in order to uncover the machinations of the Space Pirates and their dastardly experiments gone wrong.
After besting all of the mutants of Tallon IV, players will then move on to Metroid Prime: Echoes. In Echoes, Samus travels to the dark and stormy planet of Aether. While there, she discovers that a Phazon meteor (a source of mutagenic dark energy) has crashed into the planet, essentially cutting it off from the outside and creating an alternate, sinister reality – Dark Aether. An advanced group of Galactic Federation Marines were no match for the onset of this twilight world and its augmented creatures, and Samus is forced to wade through the dangerous world in order to prevent the original inhabitants of the planet (the Luminoth) from being slaughtered at the hands of the terrible Ing. Also, the poisonous atmosphere transforming the planet is caustic enough to deplete Samus Aran’s Power Suit, harrying her every move and adding a layer of challenge and tension to the game unmatched by other Wii titles. Making matters worse, a mysterious enemy called Dark Samus presents Samus Aran with her toughest challenge yet.
Finally, Metroid Prime: Corruption presents Samus with the task of hunting down Dark Samus and the Space Pirates before they corrupt the entire galaxy. After protecting the planet Norion from a major Space Pirate attack, Samus herself ends up being corrupted by the very Phazon asteroid she destroyed whilst protecting Norion. Harnessing her new dark abilities, Samus has to travel from planet to planet, ridding them of the Phazon Seeds – called Leviathans – that Dark Samus and the Space Pirates have sent to corrupt the galaxy, bending it to their will.
Of course, Metroid Prime Trilogy is a lot more than a complex storyline. All three games provide players with compelling first-person action as well. The platforming, puzzling, and shooter elements are all seamlessly incorporated into quality level design. Players will have to regain and use all of Samus Aran’s abilities to advance through the games, which makes for varied and satisfying gameplay. Also, just before levels succumb to the onset of grind, they are punctuated by monumental boss battles that enhance the sense of accomplishment.
The motion controls afforded the series by the Wii Remote and Nunchuk adds an element of interaction and precision previously impossible. Case in point: Metroid Prime and MP: Echoes no longer depend on lock-on targeting – the free aim mechanic introduced in MP: Corruption is now the default setting for all three games. Of course, if you are a casual player or prefer to use lock-on aiming, the option is still available through the control settings’ menu. All in all, the motion controls work magnificently for all three games, though MP: Corruption, having been initially designed for their implementation, does have a few additional interactive elements that help bring the player into Samus’ Power Suit. Regardless, the shooter elements are where the controls truly shine, and each title in Metroid Prime Trilogy uses them to great effect.
In addition to the standardization of motion controls across all the games, the 16:9 widescreen presentation of MP: Corruption has made Metroid Prime and MP: Echoes shine like never before. Interestingly, the visuals between all three games are practically at par despite the fact Metroid Prime released for the GameCube back in November of 2002. Naturally, improvements such as visor reflections and more detailed environments make the later games that much more polished. Nevertheless, all three games look great, not quite The Conduit great, but certainly some of the most impressive visuals available on the Wii.
Sounds in Metroid Prime Trilogy are presented in high fidelity. The classic Metroid tunes, like most iconic Nintendo franchises, have the ability to instill wonderment and a sense of accomplishment with short musical phrases made of a few notes. Furthermore, ambient sound effects from creatures and your weaponry are perfectly attuned to the action on the screen. On the other hand, voice work has always been sparse in the series; reading lines of text from scanned data entries rules the day. Although, Metroid Prime: Corruption often bucks the silent trend. Still, Metroid Prime Trilogy is no Oblivion or Fable II to say the least.
One thing players will notice in Metroid Prime Trilogy is that there is a definite attempt to make it appeal to casual gamers. This is evidenced by the fact that two difficulty settings have been included in all three games: Normal and Veteran. While an Easy setting is conspicuously not present, the Normal mode is practically a misnomer – anyone who wants to experience the trilogy should be able to do so quite easily via this setting. Also, strategically positioned save points further temper the challenge. That being said, core players who want a more combat-intensive game must look to Veteran in order to get the true Metroid experience.
Metroid Prime Trilogy does include a local multiplayer game. The four-player competitive feature from Metroid Prime: Echoes will allow you and three other friends to duke it out to see who the king of the couch is. Unfortunately, the addition of this local multiplayer offering is as lackluster as it was when it released in 2004. While its inclusion is a must in order to remain true to the series’ second release, I don’t think gamers will log very many hours in it.
This leads me to my biggest (and practically only) complaint: there is not enough original content in this release. I would have loved to have seen an online multiplayer component added to the mix. For instance, if Metroid Prime: Hunters (though not a Retro Studios creation) would also have been included – at least the multiplayer portion or some variant of it – it might have made the Metroid Prime Trilogy’s purchase more amenable to long-time fans. In the end, returning gamers are left with three excellent games they’ve likely already played to death.
Despite this glaring issue, Metroid Prime Trilogy is a great release. Any Wii owner who has not played these games simply must go out and pick it up. If you’re a returning fan, you may be disappointed with the lack of bonus / original content. Still, the widescreen presentation and the motion controls do breathe a significant amount of life back into the titles. As such, this is likely a must-buy for any Nintendo fan, regardless. Having access to all three games on one disc is a luxury you probably can’t afford to pass up.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 4.2 Graphics
The visuals are about as good as it gets on Wii. The enhanced 16:9 widescreen presentation brings Metroid Prime and Echoes alive on a flatscreen. 4.5 Control
Controls are extremely accurate and user-friendly. The new motion controls do a good job of freshening up the original GameCube titles. Also, being able to change how a few crucial buttons are mapped is nice. 4.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The simple yet iconic Metroid themes and quality ambient effects are pleasant to the ear. 4.3
Three excellent games on one disc means you’ll be playing Metroid for tens of hours. On the downside, bonus content is non-existent, leaving the package feeling a bit underwhelming for veterans of the series.
4.4 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.