Monday, August 31, 2009

Metroid Prime Trilogy (Wii) Review

So I managed to finish another review after all. For August's last review (I'm serious this time), we're taking a look at Metroid Prime Trilogy for the Wii. How do these three titles shape up in 2009?

Three Times the Prime

Sold separately as three games elsewhere, Nintendo has decided to combine all three Metroid Primes into one collection for the steal of a price of $49.99. It's a great deal considering each of the games is considered one of the best of their respective consoles: Metroid Prime 1 and 2 on the Gamecube and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for Wii. Not content on just porting over the games, developer Retro Studios has added bonus content and Wii remote controls to the entire package. What it all adds up to is a collection that no fan should be without.

Samus is back and ready to roll.

Metroid Prime Trilogy comes packed with the three Metroid Prime adventures. First off is Metroid Prime which many were blown away by. When it originally came out in 2002, many were hesitant that Metroid could work in first-person, much more 3-D. By some kink of fate, Retro Studios pulled it off with a masterful adventure with stunning level design, incredible art, and a copious amount of fun thrown into the mix. For the first time, players got to control Samus in full 3-D. The goal of the Metroid games is all the same. You explore areas in order to acquire new upgrades. These upgrades are then used to access areas previously unreachable. In Metroid Prime, Samus' arsenal of upgrades included the morph ball, the spider ball, missiles, super missiles, three types of beam upgrades, the power, gravity, and ultra-cool phazon suits and much more. Tallon IV was the planet that Samus tracked the returning Ridley towards, but little did she know that there was more to the little planet than she had originally thought. Space pirates put up a base there and were breeding metroids, and an ultimate evil rested in the heart of an impact crater. Overall, Metroid Prime is the best of the bunch purely on originality alone.

Bosses are as big as ever.

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was Nintendo's gift to Retro for their fantastic work on the first Prime. They were essentially allowed to create the game of their dreams with little order from Nintendo. This game featured a dual world mechanic much like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. There was a light world and a dark world. The light world was your typical Metroid fare while the dark world slowly siphoned off Samus's health if she strayed away from protecting light beacons. The main hub was the Temple Grounds which connected all of the other worlds together from the sandy dunes of the Agon Wastes to the tumultuous rain showers of the Torvus Bog. In Echoes, Dark Samus was Aran's main antagonist. Somehow the planet of Aether was split into two dimensions, and the evil monstrosity known as the Ing were the end result of the dimensional split. Samus had plenty of moves returning from the original Prime including super missiles, the spider ball, and grapple beam along with returning favorites from Super Metroid such as the deadly screw attack, utilized for the first time in 3-D.

Nintendo loves dark versions of their characters.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was a much more linear experience than the previous two Primes. That isn't to say it held your hand. Samus could enter her ship and transport to various destinations. This wasn't just one cohesive world like the past two games had. This was the game that brought motion controls and the pointer functionality of the Wii remote to the Prime series, and boy, did it do so splendidly!

Speaking of the controls, these have been added to Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2. There's no choice for Gamecube controls, but you won't miss them after playing with the Wii remote and nunchuk. That's how wonderfully they work. You point at the screen to aim, and when the cursor is on the edge of the screen, Samus will turn or look up or down. Jumping is relegated to the B button while shooting is with A. The minus and plus buttons bring up Samus' various visors and beams respectively. In Metroid Prime 3, the plus button changes Samus into hypermode where she'll take off more damage but risk facing corruption if she's in it for too long. Samus can also lock-on and shoot enemies, scan them for detailed information, and roll around in the morph ball by pressing C on the nunchuk. The controls feel tight, responsive, and Samus is a dream to control.

Metroid Prime 3 is still one of the Wii's best-looking titles.

Metroid Prime Trilogy comes in a sexy steel-book case covered by a slip-cover. Inside the box are instructions for all three games rolled up into one booklet as well as a fold-out poster with art work and history of the trilogy. Speaking of art work, you can purchase music, concept art, and other bonuses by earning medals in-game. These are earned by performing such tasks as taking down a boss, scanning a high percentage of items, or collecting new power-ups. Friend vouchers return, so get ready to scour the internet for vouchers if you want to unlock everything.

Visually, the trio of titles are still darned good-looking games. They outclass and outshine a lot of current Wii games showing that great design trumps great power any day. Some alterations have been made to the graphics including improved textures as well as true widescreen support for tech savvy gamers everywhere. Each game runs at a smooth clip throughout the duration of each adventure. Some liberties have been taken, however, such as the questionable removal of certain in-game special effects such as not seeing Samus's right hand when the X-ray visor is equipped as well as the alteration of a NPC's "Damn" to "No".

Metroid Prime Trilogy is a fantastic deal no matter how you slice it. It combines all three Metroid Prime classics onto one disc with bonus content to boot. Each adventure may take anywhere between 8-15 hours to complete offering great longevity to the titles. The Wii remote controls make playing with the Gamecube controls of yesteryear feel archaic (though still functional) in comparison. Metroid Prime Trilogy gets a high recommendation for fans and those new to the Metroid franchise.

[SuperPhillip Says: 9.5/10]

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