Following the groundbreaking Metroid Prime came Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Released in 2004, also for the GameCube, the sequel received nearly as much acclaim as its predecessor. In all respects aside from the newly added multiplayer, that is.
As you will already be aware, Metroid Prime kickstarted the Metroid series nearly a decade after its last outing. It was a significant change of pace; adapting the 2D combat/exploration adventure series to a 3D first-person perspective. But it pulled it off. More than just that, it went on to create a subseries of the franchise itself. Then, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes scaled up the action significantly.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Gameplay
The sequel followed the gameplay loop established by Metroid Prime (and arguably the 2D iterations). Players would explore a rogue planet inhabited by a race known as the Luminoth. However, soon after the game starts the players discovers that a rare celestial event has caused a mirror version of the planet to be created in a parallel universe.
The player is then able to transition between light and dark worlds (akin to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past). In fact, the player must do so to solve certain puzzles.
The map layout between both worlds is the same, however rooms can feature different objects or obstacles between each version. Changes in one will affect the other, and as such many puzzles revolve around trial-and-error as you switch between dimensions.
Furthermore, the dark world features a poisonous atmosphere. This is arguably the most annoying part of the game’s design. The player must utilise safe zones to allow their health to recharge, significantly limiting their options in combat.
Speaking of combat: that multiplayer. Definitely a secondary feature, the multiplayer in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was rather bare bones. Arguably, some of the staples of the single-player game – such as the lock-on system – didn’t translate well to the multiplayer. Unsurprisingly, it was abandoned in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
How does Metroid Prime 2: Echoes fit into the Metroid Storyline?
Continuing the side story that is the Metroid Prime Trilogy, the sequel develops the character of Samus Aran significantly. What’s more, the return of a mirror version of Samus, as originally featured in Metroid: Zero Mission, pushed the character into the limelight. Since then, Dark Samus has become a staple Nintendo character, even making her way into the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster!
That Dark Samus return became the grounding of the Metroid Prime story to follow. Featuring heavily in the following sequel, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Very few of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes‘ other innovations have been continued, arguably making it the weakest in the series.
The Future of Metroid
With the rumoured release of the Metroid Prime Trilogy on Switch there’s a high chance that many gamers will get to experience the game once again. Whether or not the Metroid Prime Trilogy on Switch will feature motion controls is up for debate, but either way a revisit on a modern console will surely be welcomed by many.