Metroid Prime Trilogy

September 8, 2009

In theory, this should be a very simple review. What rating to give a single $50 Collector’s Edition disc that contains Metroid Prime (SBG Rating: Purchase), Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (SBG Rating: Purchase), and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (my own SBG Rating: Purchase)? Um… how about “Purchase?”

Sure, all three games are already playable on the Wii thanks to its inherent backwards-compatibility with the GameCube, but Prime and Echoes aren’t just lazy emulation ports; the guys at Retro went in and added Corruption’s awesome Wii controls to the two earlier chapters, as well as widescreen support and some graphical touches (mostly to Prime, which already looked amazing the first time). The biggest question is how the GameCube titles would handle the copious beam-switching that was absent in Corruption, but those games don’t have “Hyper Mode” so that button simply calls up the beam change HUD, which works just like Corruption’s visor change HUD. These controls also include the Spring Ball feature (jumping while in Morph Ball mode simply by flicking the Remote up), which will certainly make a few puzzles easier than the first time around. Corruption’s Achievement-like token system is also retro-fitted (no pun intended) to the older games and is how you can unlock the Fusion Suit in Prime, among other goodies like art galleries and sound tests; yes, this also includes the online “Friend Voucher” trading. (Sadly, you cannot unlock the original Metroid like you could the first time around with a Prime/Fusion link-up; that’s since been relegated to the Virtual Console.)

As if that were not enough, the packaging itself has been made extra-special; a metallic casing gives the case some serious heft (as does the triple-sized instruction manual). There’s also a fold-out recollection of the entire Metroid Prime Trilogy storyline with more concept art. This can be a little hard to read under certain lighting conditions (white text on silver… not a good choice) but is still a neat little addition. The best part? These bells and whistles cost you nothing; the entire three-game, one-disc metallic package won’t cost you any more than any other new Wii title (that isn’t bundled with some sort of controller). That’s some seriously awesome customer service on Nintendo’s part.

Of course, not everything is perfect with Metroid Prime Trilogy. Perhaps most annoyingly, there is no way to import old save files — including those from Corruption, which theoretically didn’t even need any adjustment. You’re just going to have to play through these excellent games again from the beginning of each one (oh, no… the horror!). Then there’s the related problem of the fact that you probably already own all three of these titles (and it’s too late to get good trade-in value now that this is on shelves), which admittedly is a serious obstacle to some. Finally, while the Friend Vouchers are traded online across all three games, the multiplayer aspect of Echoes is still split-screen only; regrettable, but hardly essential to enjoyment. 

But in the end, whether or not you decide to buy MPT probably comes down to one question: did you like the Wii controls of Corruption so much that you were wishing they’d somehow been available in the first two games? Much like the other “new play control” re-releases like Pikmin and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, that’s really all this is: “New Play Control” Metroid Prime + Echoes with Corruption thrown in for free. That being said, this is still an incredible deal for any Metroid fan — and an especially great present for anyone who has (somehow) never experienced the series but would like more of a challenge than most typical Wii fare.
ESRB: Teen for Animated Blood and Violence. The box somehow doesn’t mention the terror caused by having a shrieking metroid latch on to your face in a first-person perspective.

Plays like: Metroid Prime and MP2: Echoes with MP3: Corruption’s Wii control scheme.

Pros: Three incredible games with superior controls in a special edition case, one amazing price.

Cons: Three incredible games that you probably already own; no save file import

Score: 5/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.