Metroid Prime Trilogy Review
Finally, Nintendo re-releases Samus Aran's first person adventures for the Nintendo Wii, and all on a single disc! If you're considering purchasing this collector's package, or aren't sure, then be sure to check out this review!
A Gift from the Big N
Once in a blue moon, Nintendo will release a series of games all in one package. The last real treat like this that we've seen was the Super Mario All-Stars cartridge for the SNES This collection stuffed Super Mario Bros. one through three and Super Mario Bros: Lost Levels into a single cartridge. Now, Nintendo graces us with a collection of games with starring a totally different, yet equally popular star: Samus Aran.
The Metroid Prime Trilogy, as the name implies, is composed of all three Metroid Prime games on a single disc. This is a fantastic opportunity for those gamers who weren't able to experience the first two on the Gamecube, or those who haven't played any at all but want to get in on the action.
For those who haven't played any of the games, Metroid Prime is a first person adventure series that takes Samus Aran across the galaxy to stop the threat of a radioactive substance called Phazon. Her quest takes her through ruins, icy domains, enemy ships, and more; all the while challenging the player with puzzles and huge boss battles. There's plenty of action and story in all three games.
The disc contains all three Metroid Prime games, spanning up to 20 hours of gameplay each, depending on skill. All three games are whole and unchanged in content (except for Metroid Prime 2, which had some of its bosses made slightly less frustrating.) Metroid Prime 2's multiplayer mode is still present, although, to be honest, there are better FPS games to play in multiplayer settings.
An extras menu features music, art and bonus features, such as giving Samus an alternate costume in Metroid Prime 1. These extras will all cost tokens, which come in various colours. Tokens are awarded to the player for things like: defeating a boss, rescuing a Galactic Federation Trooper, or completing an exceptionally challenging puzzle. The better extras will cost more tokens, while music tracks and concept art will generally only take one or two.
While Metroid Prime 3 didn't receive any huge changes, both Prime and Prime 2 got a nice little graphical facelift. The first Metroid Prime was especially gifted, as Retro Studios was able to add bloom lighting to the presentation. Prime 2 unfortunately did not get that treatment, but it still looks gorgeous. All three games look great, and the two that originated on the Gamecube still have some of the best graphics of any current Wii games. The look and feel of each game gives you the feeling of a grand sci-fi epic, where the heroine could face her doom around the next corner. There are plenty of colourful (but dangerous) locales in each of the three games, and plenty more dark, sinister places to explore.
And while many 3D games still, to this day, have issues with cameras, the Metroid Prime games have no such problems in the few third person sections present. As a whole, there are very few -if any- problems with the lighting and cameras in these games.
There really is no noticeable difference in sound quality between this disc and the original games. The soundtrack remains beautiful and haunting, filled with triumphant fanfare and soft, eerie tunes perfect for trekking through alien worlds. Why Nintendo hasn't released this music on CDs is beyond me. However, at the cost of a few tokens, you can unlock music from each game in the extras section to listen to as you please.
The only major difference I noticed in playing each of the games is that the sound effects in Prime 1 and 2 have been altered to be consistent with the sound effects present in Prime 3. It's a nice little change that helps to make all three games flow more smoothly together.
The controls for Metroid Prime 3 are unchanged from the original version, and that's to be expected. The Wii Remote and Nunchuck controls work exceptionally well for a first person adventure game like Metroid Prime. And now that the first two games in the series have adopted the Wii control scheme, players can enjoy the games all over again (or for the first time) with more satisfaction. Using the Wii remote and Nunchuck combo almost gives the feel of a keyboard and mouse combo used in PC first person shooters. It does take a little getting used to, but it works much better than playing with a Gamecube controller.
The menus are smooth and allow for quick jumps into each of the games, the extras, and the options. Since all games are saved under the same file on the Wii system memory, the player doesn't need to start up a particular game before selecting their save file. Upon selecting their chosen file, the player can launch any of the games and continue their progress. And for those players wanting to enjoy a little bit of multiplayer action, Metroid Prime 2's multiplayer mode can be launched without needing to start up Metroid Prime 2!
Only one thing bothers me about the trilogy's presentation; when you quit a game, you are taken directly back to the title screen. This forces you to reload your save file before accessing the main menu again. It's just a small thing, but it's the small things that gamers tend to take note of right away.
As stated in the beginning, this is a fantastic package that Nintendo has put out for fans and newer gamers alike. For those that have only played Metroid Prime 3 for the Wii, or haven't played any of the trilogy at all, then this is a great buy, and well worth the price you'll pay. For just $49.99 US you're getting three games for the price of one! For people who tend to trade in games, the credit you'll get for trading in the original copies will take off half or most of the cost of this edition.
The game itself comes in a metal game case, with a foldout booklet inside summarising the whole of the Prime storyline on one side, and a selection of art on the other. These bonuses, combined with the trilogy of games, make it an excellent purchase for collectors as well.
For the average gamer, however, who owns or has played through all three games, this may not be the best use of your money. Nintendo has other games coming this year, and other developers are hard at work to bring gamers some pretty interesting titles. But the choice, as always, is in the hands of the gamer.