Sunday, October 4, 2009

Metroid Prime Trilogy

You notice a good game, when you don't hesitate to buy it again for another system and have lots of fun replaying it. Metroid Prime Trilogy offers three of those games on one disc. By now I've completed all three games at 100% and unlocked all of the extras with the exception of the Corruption soundtrack and some minor artwork. And allthough I've already played the previous versions of all three games, it was a great experience.

Of course the most important addition is the new control scheme for both GameCube games. In Japan Prime and Echoes are simply part of the New Play Control! series, but luckily Nintendo of Europe and America decided to release the Trilogy instead. The upgraded controls are very simple, it's basically just the aiming via the pointer and flipping the Wiimote to activate the Spring Ball while being in Morphball mode. There are no other big motion controls like throwing the Nunchuk for the Grapple Lasso or interacting with the environment with your Wiimote in Corruption, but that's fine. And the controls make the games much more easier. You don't have to target everything manually, which saves time, and some of the Morphball puzzles get a lot easier thanks to the Spring Ball, best example is the Energy Tank in Transport Tunnel A in the Magmoor Caverns. Overall the difficulty of the first two games was reduced a little, the new "Normal Mode" is more like an Easy Mode. But since I have beaten the games on the GameCube, which was quite challenging for me, I don't mind this as well. This way I could enjoy the second trip through the games much more and I was able to focus more on getting a complete Logbook collection, which I haven't done before. And there's always the new Hypermode difficulty for all Metroid veterans.

If you beat one of the games, your save state for this game gets erased and you start over from the beginning. But all your Logbook entries are saved, so if you have completed your Logbook in your first playthrough, you get a 100% filled Logbook from the start and everything is pre-scanned, which makes replaying the games even more relaxing. And if you've missed something, you just have to focus on the missing parts and not on the other scans. It's basically like the 2nd Quest in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, where you keep your Minintendo figurines and where it's easier to finish your collection. And completing your Logbook can be a challenging task, especially in Corruption. There you have like 10 different, exotic Space Pirate types like the Armored Shield Trooper, that you can potentially miss. Every time you encounter Space Pirates, you basically swap to the Scan Visor first instead of blasting them to Pirate Hell immediately. Or the bosses in Echoes, where every single body part can be a different Logbook entry, can bother you as well. But I don't have to worry that about anymore, because my Logbooks are filled and they stay that way for the next time, when I'm going to replay these games. Nice.

The scans are also important for the credits. Both Prime and Echoes now use the credit system from Corruption for unlocking bonus content like artwork, a complete soundtrack, dioramas, a screenshot tool and extras like the Fusion Suit for Prime and the Ship Bumper Stickers and the Mii Bobble Head for your gunship in Corruption. However, the credit system for Prime and Echoes is much simpler than the one for Corruption. You collect orange credits for beating bosses in Prime and purple credits for bosses in Echoes. Additionally there are silver credits for collecting the Chozo Artifacts and Sky Temple Keys and for completing your Logbook. Completing both games once on any difficulty level is enough to unlock all the bonus content for the games including the Fusion Suit. Unlike for Corruption you're not forced to play through the games in Hypermode again or to trade those stupid, annoying Friend Vouchers (thanks again to RossMadden and Howser1994 from GameFAQs/Gamespot forums for trading with me).

All three games got a global main menu with a nice new music track using the pointer controls similar to the menu in Corruption. However, the ingame menus of the GameCube games and the menu of the multiplayer mode remain the same and don't use the pointer, Nintendo really should have updated those menus too. Additionally an option to swap the menu style would have been nice. The Japanese New Play Control! versions got their own new menus similar to the original menus from the GameCube versions, which could have been easily included. They could have added them as an unlockable bonus and it would have been nice to use the classic style menus, I love the menu and menu music in Prime. But it's not that important, just an idea.

The multiplayer from Echoes works fine, even with a small TV. However, some new leves and online functionality would have been awesome, but I'm happy that they didn't just simply cut it out alltogether.

Overall this is one awesome compilation, definitely one of the best videogame compilations ever next to Super Mario Allstars and Unreal Anthology. If you have missed out one of those games or more, Metroid Prime Trilogy is a must-buy for you. But getting the Trilogy is still worthwhile for someone like me, who has played all three games before. The new controls really add something to both Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and make these games even much better and more enjoyable than they were already.

If you're a Zelda fan and wonder, if you should get this, do it. Zelda and Metroid both share a similar Action Adventure core gameplay. In Metroid you will explore large, coherent worlds and collect new items to proceed into new territories. There are also lots of puzzles and hidden collectibles like Missile Expansions, Energy Tanks and scans, which will keep you busy for a long time.

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