Metroid Prime is a funny game series. The first one was universally well received. It was a really damn good game. Metroid made the jump from 2D to 3D with aplomb. The question came… what to do with a sequel? The expectations for Metroid Prime 2 were so high that I don’t think Retro Studios, the developer, could have reasonably met them. Yet, all of the stuff they did was mostly slagged. A lot of the changes didn’t sit well with core fans. Things like beam weapon ammunition, lots of environmental dangers (much more so than MP 1), ridiculous fetch quests, and a bitch of a final boss put the damper on what could have been an interesting game. Then they went and wasted their time with their worthless multiplayer mode.
I haven’t quite had the level of buyer’s remorse for a video game than I did with Metroid Prime 2. I really wanted to like it. It had some stunning visuals and some clever gameplay elements. The fucker was just really goddamn hard. The bosses were hard (ugh, Boost Guardian), the fetch quests were hard (it took me forever to find all of the sky keys), and it was just very punishing. I like a challenge, but MP2 was masochism. I defended the game for a while, but then I realized that it was, well, bullshit. Some would call that flip-flopping, but I believe people can change their opinions over time. The fun parts (few and far between) were pretty fun, though.
Metroid Prime 3 fixed a lot of the problems with 2. Yeah, it still had a fetch quest, but it wasn’t that bad. The new features like traveling between planets were welcome to me, and the new control scheme gave the game a lot of new flexibility. But it’s clear that they had run out of ideas with the game. The boss battles had some good gimmicks, as did the space pirate homeworld, but in the end, the game felt like a retread. I also didn’t like some of the places they went with the plot, either, but I suppose that’s a personal hangup.
There is only one game to buy Metroid Prime Trilogy for, and that’s the first one. It’s a perfect balance of challenge and fun. The third game is good to play, if you haven’t tried it on the Wii already, but since Metroid Prime 3 was released not too long ago, odds are if you’re a Metroid person you have that already. That makes it an even tougher sell. But if you’ve never played these games before, it would be a definite solid pickup for sure. Just watch out for Echoes, it looks at you funny.