When it was first announced that Retro studios, a Texas based developer, was going to be handling Nintendo’s much loved Metroid
series’ first 3D outing many people, myself included, did not believe it would work. On the game’s release, however, it quickly became apparent that Nintendo, in its seemingly “almost” infinite wisdom (i.e. Virtual boy) had made the right move.
The team managed to recreate the Metroid
experience almost perfectly. It didn’t just make a good game, it completely blew most people’s expectations away with unrivaled graphics and presentation. Five years later the third and final chapter in the Prime trilogy
, the first for the “hardcore game deprived”-Wii has finally been released, just under a year late and, like the original, it does not disappoint, though for very different reasons.
The original Primes
proved that 2D originals could not only survive in 3D but excel – therefore showcasing the GameCube as a powerful console, capable of breathtaking graphics. Prime 3
, however, shows that Metroid
can be Metroid
without following the exact same semi-tired formula and that the Wii’s controls can truly make a game when utilised correctly.
While you can still explore strange alien worlds and accumulate special powers that are used to solve puzzles, you no longer have to wander the exact same stretch 20 times; nor will you spend the bulk of your 20-plus hour adventure suffering from claustrophobia.
Our story begins with Samus waking from cryogenic sleep as her ship comes up to a cluster of Federation starships orbiting a bluish green planet. She has been called here, along with four other hunters, to help fend off an attack on the planet below. Without giving away too much, things take a surprising turn for the worse. You are given the general layout for the remainder of the game and provided with a few key power-ups that will enable you to really get things under way.
One of the standouts about this edition is that, unlike previous outings, Samus is not forced to start things from Square One. Right out of the gate you have the morphball and bombs and you receive rockets very early on to help you in your journey. All of your basic powers will be upgraded and expanded via power-ups throughout, but the bothersome ‘Get up to speed’ section has thankfully been left out almost entirely.
Another notable addition, this time around, is the voice acting that has been applied to every character in the game barring, of course, our heroine. Nintendo has been very hesitant in the past to allow voices in its games (due to fear of displeased gamers who can’t agree on what an Italian plumber should sound like?). So, it is no surprise that when it does use voices, they turn out to be some of the best implemented around. While some of the lines may feel a bit silly this is just inherent to the universe rather than a fault of the actors or the writing. It’s basically impossible to talk about “space pirates” and not sound a bit silly.