ping5000's Metroid Prime Trilogy (Wii) review

You kind of maybe probably should get this.

 A compilation like this gets a perfect score practically by default, since all three games sit comfortably as some of the best games on their respective consoles. You have what is personally my Best Video Game Ever, Metroid Prime, coupled with its relentless sequel, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and the Wii installment that capped off this trilogy, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Metroid Prime: Trilogy is a lot of game. To be more specific, this is a lot of quality game. Time hasn't done much to dilute what are still great adventures. You should really buy this. It’s a compilation that should be bought even if you own and have exhausted all three games, but if you haven’t, then, well, man , lucky you.

Hey, 

Even if you’ve thoroughly exhausted both Metroid Prime and its sequel, there’s good reason to go back, because the control scheme that worked so well in Corruption is directly integrated into the two GameCube games. It’s practically a remake, since the pointer controls do so much in speeding up everything you do in both games. If you’re a scanning addict, the controls change everything. Excavating and perusing through the Space Pirate and Chozo Logs is easier and much, much more intuitive, especially in the original Prime, since that’s the game that went absolutely crazy with the scanning concept. There are a few more tweaks, like the Morph Ball Jump that was in Corruption and some really subtle bloom lighting effects in the original Prime (the green LEDs on her suit have a nice, spiffy glow, which is probably the only truly noticeable visual upgrade) and a few minor visual and gameplay tweaks here and there.

Besides all the updates, small and large, it’s just worth playing through these games again. Metroid Prime is still an exemplary example in amazing level design. Everything is so tightly bound together and the sense of exploration still feels incredible. You really dig into Tallon IV, punching out new paths with new tools you attain with formidable boss fights interspersed throughout it all. Echoes takes the basic blueprint laidout by Metroid Prime and adds a light/dark dichotomy, which is mostly successful due to the strong level design. The greater point of is interest, though, is that Echoes pushes the boundaries of difficulty, walking the fine line between rewarding and difficult and frustrating and difficult. It’s not hard in the sense that death is a common occurrence; it's hard in the sense that the going is always tough. Samus is going to get battered and bruised (to what degree depends on your aptitude), but death never seems to occur often, at least in my experience. It's an extremely impressive game in that regard.  

Prime 1 & 2 still look good. 

Both Primes are polished, expertly crafted adventures that were still way fun to play before this Tuesday, because the pointer controls happened. The controls really do make the GameCube iterations feel much more archaic. The absolute best and definitive version are the Wii versions. They still look really good, too, which is either a sad reflection of the efforts put into most Wii games graphically or it’s another aspect of both Prime 1 & 2 that have aged incredibly well. I sit somewhere along the latter. The intricate art and geometry at display here are still pretty impressive, especially in some of Echoes’ later areas, like the wildly imaginative Sanctuary Fortress.

There’s not much to say about Corruption other than you’re getting another Metroid Prime game in this box. Compared to the others, there’s nothing here that’s noticeably improved aside from a cool projection that appears inside Samus’s ship when you’re sitting in the cockpit. Load times still range from good to nearly unbearable. If the load times did get shortened, I honestly couldn’t tell. Everything’s mostly untouched, which is fine, because Corruption is still a great send-off for the trilogy. It’s pretty controversial for some of the things it does, like allowing sentient, intelligent life to play a much larger role in the game, even moreso than what Metroid Fusion did with Adam, but it’d probably only tick off the purist of Metroid fans, which, I guess, makes up for most of Prime’s audience. Whatever problems Corruption had, it’s still a great game.

So, just think about it. 
What’s just as great is what houses this metric ton of content. It’s wrapped around a lovely case you’d usually find in collector’s editions and it even includes a nice little foldout adorned with some amazingly detailed concept art and  a brief timeline summary that goes up to the end of Prime’s  trilogy. At an alarmingly moderate $50 price point, there's seriously no reason to not get this unless you bought a Wii to not use it, which apparently, is what a lot of people do with the system.

Well, okay, there are a few reasons why you might not want to get this. Metroid Prime seems to have lost some minor details, like the smoking barrel effect that appeared if you rapidfired the Power Beam for a bit, the Ice Beam doesn’t have that dry ice smoke effect that seeps out of the beam and fully charging it doesn’t make your arm cannon freeze over. Also, the original title menus from each game have been cut in favor in a general menu, which does make the entire thing a tad more cohesive. If you’re anal retentive like this, like I am, then you have a couple reasons to not get this, but don’t be an idiot like that, like me. If you're still on the edge because of the loss of some minor details, you should know that a lot of the unlockable artwork is completely brand new and never before seen. Though, Friend Vouchers make a dubious comeback, so if you want all the unlockables, then there's some friend code punching and internet begging to do. I think I'm starting to unsell the product, but don't think twice about this. Get this set. It’s the kind of send-off Retro’s work over the years deserve. Jamming all three games into a single disc would've been more than enough, but once you factor in the effort put into the packaging, it's impossible to not pony up some cash for this fantastic compilation.

9 Comments
Posted by padrino

Very nice review. I also missed the inclusion of the original menus but I did not get far enough yet to notice some of the other missing touches you metioned. Like you said, those things are only likely to be noticed by hard core fans of the original anyway but as one of those, it leaves you a bit hurt :). 
 
The load times on MP1 seem almost instant (which is better than I remember) but its also too bad they could not improve them for MP3. 

Posted by JacobForrest

If only I had a Wii I would get this in an instant. Good review.

Posted by Dudacles

Fantastic review. I've never been into the Metroid series (they were before my time, and I don't own a WII, among other factors) but if I had one, this review would have made me buy this compilation in an instant.

Posted by SJSchmidt93

I have Metroid Prime 1, and I played about an hour of it and can't get into it all. Maybe I'll give it another try, and if I find I like it this may be a purchase.

Posted by SuperfluousMoniker

No smoking barrel after spamming the power beam?! Unsold.
 
Just kidding, but that was an awesome effect. Wonder why they took it out?

Posted by twhalen

It's disappointing that the original menus aren't in it. They were all very cool. But that, of course, wouldn't keep me from getting this-I have just enough money saved up to get only the games I really want this fall and next spring. Considering I've played through all three twice already, I'll pass on this for now. But the Wii controls will make this a buy for me sometime in the future-a great excuse to play through them again.

Posted by Claude

I played the first two on the Gamecube, the first one was great, but I never finished it. The second, borrowed and yeah, no. The third on the Wii, borrowed and yeah, no. I'll pass... maybe I'm not that good of a gamer.

Posted by Carlos1408

I playhed through all three, except for the second I got stuck near the very end when you're getting all these keys for the final boss (I had most of them). I found the 3rd one a lot easier than the other 2. I don't think I'll pick this up though... I need to save up for other games.
Posted by Cloneslayer

man, I actually loved the beams' effects on the barrels. The small details is one of the best part of the Primes.

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