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26 Reviews

Metroid Prime Trilogy

Three (fairly recent) classic games in one package

Never tried Metroid Prime? Then we'd have to assume there's only a slim chance you're going to be in the market for a compilation that squeezes both Metroid Prime GameCube titles and the nifty Wii follow-up onto a single DVD. And if you are a Metroid Prime enthusiast, you'll have to have deep pockets to splash out another £45 on a couple of minimally updated old games plus one that you've almost certainly already got.

That's the Trilogy dilemma - exactly who is this thing pitched at? Because as brilliant as its components may be, there isn't the level of fan service you'd see in something like Valve's PC games, which are filled with DVD-style developer commentary. And it certainly isn't one for the expanded audience of casual players, because all versions of Prime require a big commitment of time and energy.

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Hopefully we've got it all wrong and this is exactly the thing you've been waiting for, in which case it's fantastic value. Three complete adventures, each rated at over 90% at the time of release (a lofty 97% for the first one), make this the pick of the New Play Control series.

The first Metroid Prime was one of the most critically acclaimed titles on GameCube, and the finest 3D update of a 2D series we'd seen since Mario 64 and Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time. One of the best things about it was a control system that enabled the developers to blend first-person shooting with precision jumping - the first time the combination had ever been managed with any degree of success - and while the follow-up stuck to the same formula, everything changed with the launch of Wii.

Corruption was the first game to really nail first-person controls on a console that, certainly on paper, seemed ideally suited to the genre. Given the freedom of the Wii remote, the Metroid Prime gameplay became faster, its levels more vertical and its enemies somewhat tougher. You could quickly spin the camera 180 and direct the targeting cursor anywhere on the screen with a flick of the wrist.

Consequently, the pacing of the game and the type of challenges you'd face had to be tuned to match a speedier Samus Aran, and there were other Wii-specific touches such as twisting/pulling motions for opening doors. It might not have been quite as hot a game as the original but the controls couldn't be faulted.

Now those same controls are in the first two games, with the result being that both feel less challenging when confronting bosses. It could be because we're so familiar with them after all these years, but hulking great monsters that we remember struggling with for ages on GameCube tend to keel over much faster on Wii.

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The structure of the earlier games is otherwise unchanged. Samus gets robbed of her equipment and spends the rest of the adventure exploring some truly spectacular locations in search of her missing gear. Bosses give up crucial bits of stuff, such as weapons and visors, and you're required to backtrack to spots where (with any luck) you noticed an unreachable area or tantalising locked door earlier in the game.

Enemies respawn every time you re-enter a room, but by the time you return with some of the more powerful weapons, creatures that once had you scarpering in fear can be brushed aside with no trouble at all. Few games give you Prime's sensation of burgeoning power.

Aside from the controls, the GameCube titles benefit from Corruption's achievement system, which rewards you with medals for accomplishing certain tasks. You can swap them for unlockable items, including the option to save screenshots that can be emailed to your friends. All three games run at 480p in widescreen, so they've never looked better. Maybe this is what you've been waiting for...

The verdict

In the unlikely event you're curious about Metroid but don't own any of the games on this disc, there's a seriously massive amount of gameplay per pound here.

9.1
Format
Nintendo Wii
Developer
Nintendo
Publisher
Nintendo
Genre
FPS

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