Metroid Prime: Trilogy
|Metroid Prime: Trilogy|
North American box art
|Release date(s)||NA August 24, 2009
Metroid Prime: Trilogy is an action-adventure video game compilation developed by Retro Studios and published by Nintendo for the Wii video game console. The compilation features three games from the Metroid series: Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Prime and Echoes, which were originally released for the Nintendo GameCube, were updated with many of the features that were first implemented in Corruption, such as a new control scheme based on the Wii Remote and a credits system that was supported by WiiConnect24.
The compilation was first announced by Nintendo in May 2009, and was released in North America on August 24, 2009, in Europe on September 4, 2009, and in Australia on October 15, 2009. In January 2010, Nintendo discontinued the title in both North America and Australia. It was not released in Japan, because the Prime and Echoes remakes were released as standalone games in the New Play Control! collection for that region. Metroid Prime: Trilogy was well received by critics, with much praise to the new controls.
The updated Wii versions of Prime and Echoes, which were released separately in Japan as part of the New Play Control! series, utilize the same Wii Remote control scheme introduced in Corruption. Other updates include shorter load times, upgraded textures, bloom lighting, altered visual effects, and 16:9 widescreen capabilities; however, the heads-up display is always displayed at the original aspect ratio, causing it to be stretched horizontally when in widescreen mode.
Additionally, the award system from Corruption was incorporated into the first two games. Players earn credits by accomplishing certain tasks, allowing them to unlock in-game items such as artwork, music, a screenshot feature, decorative items for Samus' ship in Corruption and the Fusion Suit in Prime, in which the latter was previously unlocked by connecting the Game Boy Advance title Metroid Fusion to the game. Credits could also be shared with registered Wii friends, who also have a copy of Trilogy, via WiiConnect24 which used the Wii's own 16-digit number as opposed to a separate Friend Code. Save files from the original version of Corruption cannot be transferred to the Trilogy version due to changes made to the source code.
The game also featured the multiplayer mode from Echoes, but was limited to local four-player games and did not feature online play, which is faithful to the original. In response to complaints from players and critics about Echoes's high difficulty during some of the boss battles, the difficulty of the encounters was lowered. All three games were printed on a single disc, and accessible via a new, unified start menu designed differently from any of the previous editions of the included games. The menu also allows independent access to the Echoes multiplayer mode, the extras menu, and other settings.
Originally released in 2002 for the Nintendo Gamecube, Metroid Prime was the first 3D title in the series, changing the perspective from sidescrolling third person to first-person view, with third-person being used on the Morph Ball gameplay. The game starts with protagonist Samus Aran receiving a distress signal from Space Pirate Frigate Orpheon. After an accident causes the ship to be destroyed, Samus lands on the nearby planet, Tallon IV, where the Space Pirates discovered a powerful radioactive substance known as Phazon. Samus fights off the Pirates and their biological experiments, eventually leading to a battle with Metroid Prime, a highly mutated Metroid that had been feeding off the core of a Phazon meteorite. The game received universal acclaim by critics, winning several Game of the Year awards, and sold over two million units worldwide.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
Released in 2004, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes continues from the events of the first Prime, and featured a multiplayer mode. Samus is sent to rescue Galactic Federation Marines from a ship near Aether, a planet inhabited by a race known as the Luminoth. There, she discovers that the troops were slaughtered by the Ing, an evil race that came from an alternate dimension of Aether created by a Phazon meteor. Samus travels to three temples to ensure the destruction of the Ing, while battling Space Pirates and her mysterious doppelgänger called Dark Samus. Although it was positively received, criticism of the game was driven on the steep difficulty and multiplayer components. Sales for Echoes were lower than the first, with a total of 800,000 units.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Released in 2007, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was the first title in the series to be released on the Wii. While fending off a Space Pirate assault, Samus and her fellow bounty hunters are attacked by Dark Samus. After Samus loses contact with the other hunters, the Galactic Federation sends Samus on a mission to determine what happened to them. During the course of the game, Samus works to prevent the Phazon from spreading from planet to planet while being slowly corrupted by the Phazon herself. The game received high critical acclaim, and as of March 2008, 1.31 million copies of the game were sold worldwide.
In 2004, while Retro Studios was finishing Echoes, senior producer Bryan Walker suggested to studio president Michael Kelbaugh to "do something for the fans by putting all the games together on a single disc in a collector[']s 'trilogy' edition". Kelbaugh sent the proposal to Nintendo, which the company accepted. Development on the compilation started shortly before the release of Corruption, and used only a few of Retro Studios' staff, as most of the crew was busy with Donkey Kong Country Returns. Prime series producer Kensuke Tanabe asked the staff to resolve most of the glitches for the Trilogy release to prevent sequence breaking.
Walker considered the compilation to be "an almost unheard of opportunity to take something you had already released and make it better". Senior designer Mike Wikan said most of the content additions were subtle changes, such as streamlining the engines for steady framerates and shorter loading times, and higher resolution textures. Prime had the addition of light bloom, and Echoes had difficulty tweaks to make it "more accessible to those who were really intimidated early on". For Corruption, the code was examined to find ways to make it run faster and better than in the original Wii release. Besides the changes, the particle and water ripple effects found in the original versions of Prime were reduced. The word "damn" uttered by the character Admiral Dane in Corruption's original release was also replaced with "no". Corruption voice actor Timothy Patrick Miller recalled on a minor dialogue alteration for his voice work: "I realize that video games even more than film is a Director[']s medium. The Director will take any actor[']s performance, edit it, cut it and in general mold it to fit his vision of the overall project. Not only do I not have a problem with that, I don’t see how it can be any other way. Should they find it not to work I expect the voice will be dropped."
On October 2, 2008, Nintendo presented the New Play Control! series of GameCube remakes, with Prime and Echoes among the initial Japan titles. In May 2009, Nintendo announced that all three games would be packaged in a single-disk compilation internationally. In April 2011, a copy of Trilogy — signed by Retro Studios staff and the Prime series producer — was auctioned on Amazon, with 100 percent of proceeds to be donated to the relief efforts for the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. At the 2011 Game Developers Conference, Kelbaugh stated that the studio have no plans for the Trilogy to be re-released.
Metroid Prime: Trilogy was released in North America on August 24, 2009, packaged in a steel-book case, along with an art booklet. The European release in the following month maintained the booklet, while the Australian release in October only had a metallic cardboard slip cover. On January 8, 2010, it was reported that Nintendo of America was no longer producing or shipping Metroid Prime: Trilogy, and stated that players may still be able to find second-hand copies of Trilogy via video game stores. On January 11, 2010, it was reported that Nintendo Australia had also discontinued the game. Following Nintendo of America's announcement, Nintendo of Europe assured that the game was not discontinued in their region. Although, the game had since been out of stock at most retailers.
In August 2013, U.S.-based retailer GameStop announced they acquired a significant stock of pre-owned copies of Metroid Prime: Trilogy, along with Xenoblade Chronicles, another game that Nintendo published with a limited print cycle. GameStop stated that the game is available for purchase exclusively via their website as a "vintage" title (despite being released merely four years prior) for $84.99, and "with no shrink wrap", suggesting their pre-owned copies is slightly or never used, including intact Club Nintendo redeeming codes. Whilst the price is high for a pre-owned game, it relatively much cheaper than other copies of the game being offered by other resellers via trade sites such as eBay, as demand remains high for Metroid Prime: Trilogy against the low supply.
Metroid Prime: Trilogy uses a dual-layer disc to allow all three games to fit on a single disc due to the size of the game data. Nintendo has stated that some Wii consoles may have difficulty reading the high-density software due to a contaminated laser lens. Nintendo is offering a free repair for owners who experience this issue.
Metroid Prime: Trilogy was given generally favorable reviews. GameSpy's Phil Theobald praised it for being the compilation of three great games for the price of one. Matt Casamassina of IGN awarded Trilogy a score of 9.5 out of 10, citing the "fantastic gameplay" and "brilliant presentation values", while Martin Kitts of NGamer UK complimented the addition of achievements system, and said the package had a good money value, calling it a "massive amount of gameplay per pound". Eurogamer's Kristan Reed thought the new implementations made it attractive to newcomers and old-time fans, and declared that "not since Super Mario All Stars in the SNES era has Nintendo taken an opportunity to unite one of its great series in such an irresistible way". 1UP.com's Jeremy Parish liked the implementation of the new control scheme, stating that "the smooth precision of the Wii Remote makes the older games well worth revisiting".
Metroid Prime: Trilogy has also been subject to criticism. GamePro's Ashley Schoeller said that graphically, "the games do look a bit dated" and complained that the HUD was "out of aspect" to fit the widescreen. Official Nintendo Magazine's Fred Dutton said that some aspects of Prime and Echoes had aged, saying the backtracking "feels like more of a chore than it did seven years ago," and that it is "not until [Echoes] enters its final third that things really start to pick up". GamesRadar considered the achievements too expensive, and that the similarity between the three games gives "an inescapable sense of déjà vu". Edge noted that the control scheme was not very innovative, and that Echoes and Corruption "favoured graphical flourishes over design innovation". While Ben Reeves of Game Informer praised the game, the "second opinion" reviewer, Adam Biessener, considered the collection "subpar", saying it lacked innovation, and that the Wii control scheme, particularly aiming and panning, "is inferior in every way to the traditional scheme from the GameCube titles".
In IGN's Top 25 Wii Games list, Metroid Prime: Trilogy ranked third (2011), and fourth (2012). In a feature article regarding games collections, Bob Mackey of 1UP.com listed Trilogy as the "Hardest-to-find Work of Greatness", noting that it "had a conspicuously low print run; finding a copy in the wild proves difficult, and eBay prices often reach 100 dollars."
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