Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes are an enigma in the gaming world. Both are heralded as top first-person shooters for their time yet never reached a wide audience being relegated to Nintendo’s disappointing GameCube console. Rather than find a way to push the games onto Wii’s Virtual Console to take advantage of Wii’s huge install base, Nintendo has applied the motion controls found in Metroid Prime: Corruption, the lone Wii entry in the series, to the first two games and bundled the trio in Metroid Prime Trilogy.
Loading up a single disc and being presented a menu offering all three Metroid Prime games in one convenient location is a dream come true for series fans. The new unified motion control system coupled with added 16:9 widescreen support and small visual tweaks for the first two games help unify the exploits of bounty hunter Samus Aran across a range of space outposts and worlds regardless of which game is chosen. Corruption’s unlockables and achievement system has also been applied across the previous games, a move Nintendo could have easily gotten away with skipping but honored the franchise’s fans by making.
Motion controls were a natural fit for the Metroid Prime franchise and were met with widespread praise when debuting with Corruption. When the Wii Remote and Nunchuk combination is applied to the first two Metroid Prime games, once difficult sections and frustrating boss battles are easier to complete with quicker and more freeform aiming movement than found on the more constrictive GameCube control scheme. Furthermore, it is simply more fun to interact with locks, doors and puzzles via thrust, turning and pulling movements than simple button clicks. It was hard to stomach the idea of going back to Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime: Echoes’ GameCube controls after experiencing Corruption. With Trilogy, no one will ever have to.
Those same motion controls make the older Metroid Prime games more accessible to the growing casual gamer base if they are willing to give the series a chance. Though Corruption has been in stores for a year now, familiarity of the brand outside gaming circles is relatively low compared to Microsoft’s Halo or Sony’s God of War. Nintendo has put together the best available package, complete with a tin case and translucent o-sleeve, collectible art and biography booklet, based on the games they had to work with. Trilogy is Samus’ best shot at wider exposure yet.
Nintendo has taken a lot of flack in the past for milking their marquee franchises with weak spin-offs and re-releases designed to make a buck and nothing more. Metroid Prime Trilogy is the antithesis of those complaints; a well conceived and executed upgrade and bundling offering something for new and veteran players alike. With a price of $50 for roughly 100 hours of gameplay, Metroid Prime Trilogy is arguably the best gaming value available on Nintendo Wii today.
– Dan Bradley
Shop for Metroid Prime Trilogy: Collector’s Edition for Wii at Amazon.com