Pros: Two great GameCube games get Wii controls.
Cons: The final chapter.
When Metroid Prime Trilogy was announced, I realized it would be my opportunity to solve a small mystery: why didn’t I like Metroid Prime 3: Corruption?
I loved the first person shooter Metroid Prime when it came out for the GameCube in 2002 and liked Metroid Prime 2: Echoes even more, but when the series came to the Wii in 2007 with Corruption, it left me cold. It seemed quite similar to the first two, but in spite of much critical acclaim, the game just kind of annoyed me. Was it the new Wii interface that bothered me, or something else?
With the release of Metroid Prime Trilogy, a collection of these three games with Wii controls added to the first two, I finally know: I don’t like Metroid Prime 3. I just don’t.
Gameplay: Explore and Shoot Stuff
All three games follow space-age bounty hunter Samus as she fights a variety of bad guy aliens and monsters and uses her space suit’s fancy technology to navigate a series of strange worlds. Unlike games where players continually move forward to find new areas to explore, the Metroid games expand as Samus obtains new forms of technology that allow her to morph into a small ball that can roll through tunnels or use a grappling hook to swing across chasms. This allows her to explore previously inaccessible sections of her environment.
I was hugely impressed by the original Metroid Prime, which was almost a textbook example of how to make a game, with imaginative, varied gameplay, terrific graphics and fine attention to detail. I was equally impressed by Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. My impression at the time was that these two games were equivalent, but now, playing the sequel directly after the original, I can see that the second game was superior, with more varied and interesting plant and animal life and a more intriguing story.
The Third Game
When I played the third game, I thought it was pretty much like the first two, but with the close comparison offered by Trilogy I realize I was wrong. Metroid Prime: Corruption is a more action-oriented game that lacks the thoughtful nature of its predecessors. The gimmick of making Samus one of a number of operatives from various planets working together feels forced and a little silly. Even though all three games are a mix of puzzle solving, exploration and combat, Corruption has a macho quality to it that the previous games lacked and that I don’t care for.
The third game also suffers from attempts to use the remote in annoying and unnecessary ways, like pulling the remote in and out to unlock something, which doesn’t work well. The first two games lack these sorts of gimmicks and are the better for it.
Conclusion: Solidly refurbished Metroid Prime Set
While Nintendo doesn’t label it as such, Trilogy is in essence simply another in their series of Wii-retrofitted, “new play control!” games which simply spruce up old games for the Wii. Like those other games, Trilogy is great for those new to the series but unnecessary for those who already own the original two games, which both have a solid control scheme and, because squeezing three games onto one disk apparently resulted in some graphical degradation, are visually slightly more appealing.
Overall though, Trilogy is an excellent collection. Even though I found the last game in the trilogy disappointing, it is still one of the Wii’s better action games, and that combined with the superior gameplay of the first two gives players a tremendous amount of entertainment value. And the Wii Metroid controls, which I once suspected were the reason I didn’t like the third game, are actually quite effective … as long as you like the game you’re playing.