Metroid Prime: Trilogy
|Metroid Prime: Trilogy|
Packaging artwork used for most regions
Metroid Prime: Trilogy is a compilation of action-adventure games developed by Retro Studios and published by Nintendo for the Wii video game console. It 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 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. It was not released in Japan, because the Prime and Echoes ports were released as standalone games in the New Play Control! collection for that region. In January 2010, Nintendo discontinued the Metroid Prime: Trilogy in both North America and Australia. Metroid Prime: Trilogy was well received by critics, with much praise to the new controls. In January 2015, the compilation was made available for download from the Wii U's Nintendo eShop.
Metroid Prime: Trilogy is a video game compilation, which covers Metroid Prime (2002) and its sequels, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (2004) and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (2007), all contained on a single disc; the first two Prime games were originally released for the GameCube console. 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. The Spring Ball ability featured in Corruption is also implemented in the first two games. Other updates include shorter load times, upgraded textures, bloom lighting, 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.
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 game 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. The save data for the original release of Corruption cannot be carried over to its Trilogy version. The compilation also features the multiplayer mode from Echoes, which is limited to a local four-player game and does not feature online play. 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. The games are accessible through a new, unified start menu, which also allows independent access to the Echoes multiplayer mode, the extras menu, and other settings.
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, while the word "damn" uttered by the character Admiral Dane in Corruption's original release was also replaced with "no".
On October 2, 2008, Nintendo presented the New Play Control! series of GameCube ports, with Prime and Echoes among the initial games in Japan. In May 2009, Nintendo announced that all three games would be packaged in a single-disc compilation internationally. 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.
In April 2011, a copy of Trilogy—signed by Retro Studios staff and Tanabe—was auctioned, with 100 percent of proceeds to be donated to the relief efforts for the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. In August 2013, a gaming retailer GameStop acquired a significant stock of pre-owned copies of Metroid Prime: Trilogy, alongside Xenoblade Chronicles, without shrink wrap. The retailer stated that the Trilogy would be available for purchase from their website as a "vintage" game for US$84.99, a higher price based on a market value driven by supply and demand. Kelbaugh stated at the 2011 Game Developers Conference that the studio had no plans for Metroid Prime: Trilogy to be re-released. Despite this, Nintendo announced in their January 2015 Nintendo Direct presentation that the compilation would see a re-release alongside Super Mario Galaxy 2 on the Wii U's Nintendo eShop. It was made available in North America and Europe on January 29, 2015, and in Australia and New Zealand on January 30, 2015.
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 of America has stated that some Wii consoles may have difficulty reading the high-density software due to a contaminated laser lens. Nintendo offered a free repair for owners who experienced this issue.
Metroid Prime: Trilogy was released to critical acclaim. 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".
The compilation 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 compilation "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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