Quantcast
View Post

Metroid Prime Trilogy (Wii)

Not many of the respected series of the 8-bit and 16-bit eras made the jump to 3D successfully, especially when they were known for reflex-based gameplay. RPGs had it easy, but for other genres embarrassing failure was the norm. The common theme of the few successful transitions of an IP from 2D to 3D was to keep what works, abandon what doesn't work well in 3D and in exchange have new things that work because of 3D. Metroid's direction of a first person view was met with a lot of skepticism initially, but the result was so impressive that Metroid Prime is named along Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This review is about the entire Metroid Prime trilogy which was also released as a compilation on Wii. However, I will break it down to individual games and forego posting a table for the whole package because it's redundant work. You can easily figure out the final score for Metroid Prime Trilogy by taking the average.

What all three games have in common on Wii is the Wiimote+Nunchuk control setup that allows the player to comfortably turn and aim even in conjunction with platforming. The lock-on mechanic of the GameCube originals is still present, but now it's possible to freely aim at other enemies while being locked on to one. All three games feature worlds with collections of rooms and corridors that can vary in their complexity, but everything is tied together. Upgrades unlock new paths and possibilities. The essence of Metroid, a very high level of immersion, was kept intact. The integration of story and lore leaves it to players how much they want to know. The scan visor is needed every now and then to progress, but such instances usually stick out enough that it isn't a hassle to figure out when it is time to switch to that visor. It's worth noting that the difficulty settings Normal and Veteran actually stand for easy and normal, respectively.

Metroid Prime

A space lab gets attacked and serves as an intro stage to Samus Aran's new mission. Tallon IV is a planet with varied environments and full of danger. Progress is fast in the beginning because you stumble across one miniboss after another to pick up your first few upgrades. The biggest flaw in the progress structure of Metroid Prime is that the content gets stretched by making you go from point A at one end of the world to point B at the other end, only to make you return to point A in order to proceed to point C. This happens a couple of times, although the first time you play it, it's hard to notice because there's so much else to discover along the way. Exciting boss fights and the overall very high quality easily make up for any shortcomings though.

Controls 10 The updated controls from Metroid Prime 3 unsurprisingly work
great, although missile combos are a bit trickier now.
Gameplay   Metroid adopted to the third dimension. Some concessions
needed to be made, but new positives were added.
Story   It's up to the player to decide how much story they want.
Scan creatures, objects and terminals to learn more about Tallon IV.
Single-player   A fully connected world to explore with plenty of cool
upgrades to find. Highly immersive.
Multiplayer   Not
available.
Graphics   The art design and execution is exceptionally good.
Only small improvements for the Wii version.
Sound   Remixes of mainstays in the series are joined by
excellent new compositions.
Value   10-15 hours to complete the game, more if you try
discover all secrets of the world.
Replay Value   Higher difficulty setting and slightly different endings
depending on the completion percentage.
Score 10 One of the greatest single-player games ever made.
No problem whatsoever to stand the test of time.

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

Echoes is a bit of a love it or hate it affair. It's a sequel that keeps much of the original, but at the same time has a very distinct feel to it. The light/dark world concept adds a lot more complexity to the level design, so it's much easier to get lost. The ammo system for beams is weird at first, but it makes sense given how effective the new beams can be; the logic to replenish your ammo is also sound. The difficulty is a notch higher than in the first game and some bosses have garnered a bad reputation for how punishing they can be. I don't consider any of the aforementioned things a negative, but I also think that Majora's Mask is a much better game for not sticking too close to Ocarina of Time. This analogy sums it up quite well, although Echoes' place in the timeline isn't a mere sidestory to its predecessor.

Controls 10 The updated controls from Metroid Prime 3 unsurprisingly work
great, although missile combos are a bit trickier now.
Gameplay   Metroid adopted to the third dimension. Now with an ammo system
for light and dark beams, plus an altered Space Jump/Screw Attack.
Story   Still largely up to the player to decide how much story they want.
Scan creatures, objects and terminals to learn more about Aether.
Single-player   A fully connected world that picks up on the light/dark world concept
of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
Multiplayer   A barebones multiplayer with only a few stages. Serviceable,
but the clear attraction of the game is the single-player.
Graphics   The art design and execution is exceptionally good.
No improvements in the Wii version.
Sound   Remixes of mainstays in the series are joined by
excellent new compositions.
Value   12-15 hours to complete the game, more if you try
discover all secrets of the world.
Replay Value   Higher difficulty setting and slightly different endings
depending on the completion percentage.
Score 10 A worthy sequel to a fantastic game that carves out its own
identity. Also no problems to stand the test of time.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

The criticism of the rather convoluted world design of Echoes was heard, so Corruption is a much more streamlined game. Another major change is the increased importance of cutscenes and characters, so this time around Samus Aran isn't alone on her mission. For the most part that's only a formality and gets first and foremost used as a setup for some cool boss fights. The locations are spread out across a galaxy, so Corruption isn't limited to a single planet; I have no problem with this because travelling from one planet to another one is almost the same as the elevators that connected the individual regions in the predecessors. The theme of corruption shifts the priority of your attack power to energy tanks, so missiles lose quite a bit of their value and become more of a collectible. Metroid Prime 3 features motion controls; while handling switch mechanisms can be a bit shaky, the implementation of the Grapple Beam is simply amazing.

Controls 10 The new control scheme is easily superior to the old one. The use
of the Grapple Beam is among the most satisfying motion controls.
Gameplay   Metroid adopted to the third dimension. Complaints about Echoes'
complex world design led to a more straight-forward affair.
Story   More cutscenes and characters than in the predecessors. You can
still scan creatures, objects and terminals to learn more about all planets.
Single-player   This time Samus Aran travels through a galaxy and visits several
planets with markedly different designs.
Multiplayer   Not
available.
Graphics   The art design and execution is exceptionally good.
Special effects look better than in the predecessors.
Sound   Remixes of mainstays in the series are joined by
excellent new compositions.
Value   12-15 hours to complete the game, more if you try
discover all secrets of the world.
Replay Value   Higher difficulty setting and slightly different endings
depending on the completion percentage.
Score 10 A satisfying conclusion to the trilogy that has its own unique feel.
It will be hard to live up to these standards with future games.


Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club