The rumours of a Metroid Prime Trilogy Switch release are gathering pace. As such we felt it was about time we looked back at the games which made this subseries great. The original Metroid Prime debuted on GameCube way back in 2002 (2003 outside the US) and with it changed the way gamers think about Metroid.
The original Metroid games established a genre all of their own. They were essentially 2D side-scrolling adventure games. The general principle is that the entire map is presented at once but certain areas remain locked until specific items have been acquired. Thus, players will see routes they can take earlier in the game which they must then return to later. It sounds simple on paper, but in effect this creates a gameplay loop of cat-and-mouse; a constant teasing followed by excitement when the next goal has been achieved.
Metroid Prime Gameplay
These principles made their way over to Metroid Prime and it’s first-person viewpoint. It’s a game of exploration more than it is combat (though there is of course shooting involved). Playing as Samus Aran, you travel through the world of Tallon IV searching for twelve Chozo Artifacts. Throughout the game players must find items that improve Samus’ arsenal and suit. These include weapons, armor upgrades for your Power Suit and items that grant abilities. The Varia Suit, for example, protects Samus’ armor against high temperatures, allowing her to enter volcanic regions. The Morph Ball is another infamous example, allowing Samus to compress herself into a ball in order to roll into narrow passages and drop energy bombs.
It’s easy to see how each of these items can be used to engage in puzzle solving as well as combat. As stated above, Metroid Prime concentrates much of its gameplay on the former, though the pacing is so well placed that the energy of the game rarely lets-up. You’ll constantly be shifting between intense battles and brain taxing.
How does Metroid Prime fit into the Metroid Storyline?
For long-time fans of the series Metroid Prime acts as an interesting aside. The entire trilogy takes place between the original Metroid and Metroid II: Return of Samus. These titles released to critical acclaim, and a third, Super Metroid, is considered to be the pinnacle of the series. There was a long wait between Super Metroid (1994) and Metroid Prime, however Nintendo continued the 2D editions at the same time as moving to 3D with the Game Boy Advance release of Metroid Fusion.
Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion could be connected via the GameCube to Game Boy Advance Link Cable. Doing so would reward players with a new cosmetic – the Fusion Suit that Samus wears in Metroid Fusion – and the ability to play the original Metroid game.
Metroid Prime performed incredibly well, both critically and commercially. Since release, the core Metroid Prime series has of course become a trilogy, but we’ve also seen numerous spin-off titles. Metroid Prime Pinball launched on Nintendo DS, alongside Metroid Prime: Hunters. The multiplayer-orientated Metroid Prime: First Hunt was also released on Nintendo 3DS to mixed reviews.
The Future of Metroid
The release of a trilogy compendium on Nintendo Switch has been rumoured for quite some time. With the fourth title in the series suffering delays Nintendo are rightly looking for something to fill the void. The Wii received a compendium of its own after the release of the third title, adding motion controls to the original and the first sequel.
So, while a new title is highly anticipated, revisiting the original game on new hardware – and portable, to that end – is undoubtedly a good way to go. Hopes are high that the release of the trilogy will be officially announced for Nintendo Switch in the very near future!
Have you played the original game? Will you be interested in revisiting the GameCube classic on Nintendo Switch? Let us know in the comments below!