Something incredibly special will happen this week. Three of the best exploration-based games ever made, the titular “Metroid Prime Trilogy,” will be available in one downloadable package, for $10 on Nintendo’s eShop on Wii U. This download includes more than 80 hours of hauntingly beautiful and atmospheric gameplay, with some of the most fascinating storytelling in the entire medium.
The premises for the three games are fairly similar. Famed intergalactic bounty hunter Samus Aran is called to several different planets in order to investigate strange goings on. In the first title, it’s an experiment gone horribly wrong. In the second, it’s a planet torn into two wildly different dimensions. And the third — well, the third’s premise is a bit more complicated.
I have already delved into the first “Metroid Prime” in a past review (http://bit.ly/1yICkTm), but for those not aware, it’s a game that excels in telling its story through its world and setting. One of Aran’s most important tools in the trilogy is the Scan Visor, which lets her scan the environment and get more information out of it. The entirety of the first game’s back-story and lore resides in these scans, and all of them are fascinating to discover. Add that to a beautiful world that’s fun to explore, and it’s an instant classic.
“Metroid Prime 2” relies less on scans for its story and relies more on exposition from other characters, which makes the world a lot less interesting. The world is still fun to explore, but it lacks the soul and atmosphere of the first title. There also feels like there were a lot of missed opportunities for the game’s sinister dark world, as well.
“Metroid Prime 3” is the most cinematic of the bunch, which probably isn’t the best approach for a “Metroid” title — something “Metroid: Other M” learned the hard way four years ago. However, the worlds and scans are far more interesting than the second title, and unlike the first two titles, there are multiple planets to explore, each with their own great themes and stories. While the cinematic flair isn’t entirely necessary, “Metroid Prime 3” still feels like a great conclusion to the franchise.
For the first week of its re-release, “Metroid Prime Trilogy” will cost only $10, after which it will bump up to $20. Even then, it’s a very impressive value for three of the best exploration-based games around, so players who have a Wii U should definitely give it a look.