The history of the Metroid Prime series is well documented. From a shaky start in an unfamiliar genre, Nintendo’s faith in Retro Studios proved to be well founded as the GameCube original went on to be one of the few system-sellers on the troubled format. Gathering together Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption may seem like a cynical marketing move, but when you multiply the number of folks who missed out the first time around by the huge number of Wii owners in need of substantial gaming experience – well, you can probably guess which way the figures point.
Rather than simply taking the GameCube originals and pressing them onto the Metroid Prime 3 disc, Retro Studios have spent time furnishing the first two Prime games with Corruption’s refinements. The most immediate difference with Prime and Echoes is the addition of Corruption’s sublime motion controls. Say what you will about the number of developers that misuse the Wii’s unique controls, but pick up the remote and nunchuk, switch the controls to “advanced” and your arms become those of Samus Aran, with precise movement, aiming and interaction.
Keyboard and mouse aficionados may scoff, and how well this control scheme would work in a fast-paced multiplayer FPS may still be up in the air, but when it comes to exploring Retro Studios’ finely crafted galaxy, nothing beats the Corruption approach. Prime and Echoes benefit from the new controls enormously, making previously tricky boss battles much fairer and increasing the already incredible sense of immersion no end.
Corruption’s “achievement” system of dealing out credits for fulfilling certain tasks has been retro-fitted into Prime and Echoes, though it never fosters the kind of experimental play that Corruption’s friend tokens encourage, dishing them out instead for defeated bosses and inventory collection.