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Metroid Prime Trilogy review

AT A GLANCE
  • A fantastic value
  • Two great games are even better
  • Strong design choices bolster aged visuals
  • All three titles are very similar
  • Minor issues with them are still present
  • Waiting to see what Other M does next year

All three games are quality, despite their flaws

We just spoke of the first game – it’s easily one of, if not the best GameCube game out there, now refitted with strong motion controls (set them to advanced!) and widescreen display. The strange thing is, this game still looks respectable even after seven years, and surprisingly stands above a large number of brand new Wii titles. Just goes to show the power of design and style over cutting edge horsepower.

With so many years between its original release and this re-packaging, it’s easy to forget what the first Metroid Prime actually did - usher in a completely new, universally acclaimed take on a series that hadn’t been relevant for eight years. This is a shining example of how to update, modify and radically alter a property while keeping it firmly rooted in its traditions. And while we cannot overstate how much we (still) love the first game, its sequels were so similar they retroactively lessened its impact.

Echoes, released just two years later, took everything the first game did and… did it again. The experience is almost identical - a moody, brain-teasing space opera with tons of power-ups, backtracking and mystifying lore. So while our review score was high, the sense of awe was gone, and now it was just a great game, not a great game that relaunched an ailing franchise.

 

Then there’s the extremely tired dark world/light world gimmick that Echoes relies on for almost all of its puzzles. When half of the planet causes damage (because it’s evilly dark, see?), and all the bosses have multiple forms with basic, time-intensive patterns, you lose the desire to press on. Then you get an amazing new power, like the sound-reflecting Echo Visor, and you’re enthused enough to see how it works and what parts of the world it opens to you. But you still can’t shake the feeling you’ve done this before, and the tacked-on multiplayer modes are even more outdated today than they were in 2004.

Corruption is barely two years old, and as such is the least-changed product on the disc. It’s definitely a step up from Echoes, with more emphasis on supporting characters and a plot that spans multiple planets, but it still has repetitive bosses and still doesn’t let you annotate maps (so you can maybe not backtrack for two hours trying to remember where that crack in the wall was). Even though we highly recommend Prime 3 on its own merits, there’s still an inescapable sense of déjà vu that detracts from the first game’s accomplishments… because now you’ve done this twice before.

Essentially, developer Retro Studios never learned from its mistakes. Every tiny problem in Prime 1 is also in Echoes and Corruption. The basic gameplay is copied directly. Hell, all three even end in lengthy fetch quests that needlessly tack on another hour or more.

Above: Well, it’s true 

We could piss and moan forever about ways to moderately improve these already stellar games, but instead we’ll move to what Retro did add. For those that plan on playing repeatedly, there’s now an Achievement/Trophy system that awards you medals for completing tasks. The more you earn, the more bonus content you can unlock. But uh, some of this stuff is prohibitively expensive.

Above: FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU 

Why not just GIVE us the friggin’ content instead of making us work for it? This is a greatest hits compilation, a supposed celebration of the trilogy’s accomplishments. Do you have to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy four times to unlock the bonus features? No, they’re just there. The ability to hear Metroid’s epic music or take (and share) your own screenshots should be similarly accessible.

More Info

Release date: Aug 24 2009 - Wii (US)
Available Platforms: Wii
Genre: Shooter
Published by: Nintendo
Developed by: Retro Studios
Franchise: Metroid
ESRB Rating:
Teen
PEGI Rating:
Rating Pending

57 comments

  • thing1amc - December 21, 2010 2:56 a.m.

    deserves a 10. no question. 3 of my favorite games of all time in a metallic box with art booklet? that 9 is disgraceful.
  • batmanboy11 - September 5, 2010 2:16 p.m.

    I really want this, but it costs $96 dollars on amazon.. looks like I'll have to spend that.
  • brickman409 - February 15, 2010 6:34 a.m.

    if you have a Wii but don't have this game then sell as much things as you can until you make $50 then buy this NOW!!!!! ..... or not
  • Triforce - January 27, 2010 9:43 p.m.

    The only time i have ever played any metroid related games was Super Smash Bros. Brawl and the samus on there rocks! I have always wanted to play but didnt know which to get first now i can get all three then other M.
  • rickie - January 26, 2010 3:03 p.m.

    Man, Metroid has come pretty far since I had it on my original Gameboy and Nintendo. This is pretty cool to have three dimensions to run around in. Something is lacking, or I'm too old, in that I', not intrigued by the puzzle solving anymore. It's a good game, but I see that it's going to gather some dust due to my impatience.
  • AkumaFalcon93 - December 4, 2009 12:50 p.m.

    seriously mp3c samus doesnt lose her powers play the game
  • taylorte10 - August 25, 2009 11:08 p.m.

    metroid sucks ballls
  • basil - August 21, 2009 5:40 p.m.

    I wonder if its going to have online multiplayer and if not, I hope it keeps the multiplayer from mp2
  • doomdoomdoom - August 20, 2009 11:07 p.m.

    Fuck Nintendo Fuck Mario Fuck Metroid Fuck the Wii And go fuck wii owners that like Mario And Fuck Street Fighter 4 This is a message from The Wii Sucks Dick Corps.
  • Dadyo238 - January 7, 2012 8:34 p.m.

    Fuck doomdoomdoom And before you go all " what a dumbass, a Ninty fanboy" I would like to let you know that I am of a proud PS3 owner, but people who ignore the importance of gaming's most experienced giant( there's a reason both Sony and Microsoft have both switched to motion controls) should go screw themselves.
  • Dadyo238 - January 7, 2012 8:36 p.m.

    Although I can agree on SFIV. ReCaptcha: cast+ Foomula
  • matt588 - August 18, 2009 5:31 a.m.

    I own all 3 games and loved them all, shame on you GR for making the controls for MP1 look so rigid, but since it was a great review I guess I can ignore it. I loved the way MP3 eventually gives you the map for the powerups, but having to pay for the bonus art and soundtracks was very annoying.
  • Embolado - August 17, 2009 9:11 p.m.

    never got into the prime series maybe if Nintendo ever lowers the price of the Wii I might be impuled to buy again..maybe
  • FlyinMX - August 17, 2009 7:49 p.m.

    I have all three, I just don't see the point in buying them again. I never found the original controls that bad to be honest. I'd recommend it to anyone who hasn't played the first two though. Especially the first.
  • Amatarasu - August 17, 2009 8:32 a.m.

    hmm,never much cared for metroid,and i;m still extremly dislike nintindo, the only thing i'll by on wii is a starfox,f-zero,or game staring luigi (i liked mansion more then galaxy) Recaptcha: Sam pups
  • TheWebSwinger - August 17, 2009 8:04 a.m.

    One of the few Wii games I would buy...if indeed I had a Wii.
  • PS3FANBOYKID - August 16, 2009 5:59 p.m.

    WHAT THE FUCK!!! THAT GAME IS AN 11 OUT OF 10!!!
  • dahsif - August 16, 2009 6:26 a.m.

    This can not come to Europa soon enough. It'll be the first real game I play on WII since... I downloaded SONIC1 off the virtual console ages ago. (Wii FIT doesn't count!)
  • Moschetto - August 16, 2009 12:07 a.m.

    Almost an insult to compare it to Bioshock.
  • magicwalnuts0 - August 15, 2009 5:56 p.m.

    Alittle like Bioshock. ALOT more like System Shock 2, AKA a shooter action RPG. Good review but sometimes I wonder how many games some of GRs writers have played. Instead of plugging dumbed down recent iterations of older games, why not cite the original?

Showing 1-20 of 57 comments

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