The original Metroid Prime on the Gamecube is one of the best titles of the last generation. I haven’t quite completed it due to becoming lost at some point, and then some other games came along, and well, I suppose I would have to start from the beginning after so much time, now. But nevertheless, it’s very near perfect.
Prime’s sequel, Echoes, was said to be more of the same, so I wasn’t that interested in it. Now part three’s come along for the Wii and suffice it to say that it’s… more of the same.
It works well. Aiming is more precise, movement less so, as I tend to find is usually the case with the Wii. I think it’s because you’re holding the Nunchuk in just one hand, movement on the analogue stick just isn’t as precise as when you’re holding a pad safely in both hands. There is nothing wrong with the controls, but I didn’t feel like they added anything to the game. I still use Prime’s excellent lock-on to shoot stuff, for instance, despite the increased accuracy of the Remote. The admittedly fun yanking moves with the energy whip thing (“grapple”) would work equally well with an analogue stick, I reckon.
It looks very much like the original did, which despite the game’s age is not a bad thing. However, atmosphere is lacking. You begin the game running around with all sorts of fellow bounty hunters and space marines, which is alright in some other game, but not Metroid. The game is also much more linear than the previous ones. This would not necessarily be a bad thing, but when you remove the exploration element and replace it with more shooting, you end up with a stylish first-person shooter – nothing more. Metroid is not supposed to be a combat game.
If Metroid’s solitary feel and considered, easygoing exploration is what makes the series great for you, I’d give this one a pass. If you’re just interested in a quality game for the title-starving Wii, there isn’t anything really wrong with this. I had a good time with it, but something was missing.