This morning I awoke to my Wii's disc tray pulsing with that seductive blue glow that implies internet activity is going on. I was curious as to what might be updating. Most recently that glow brought news of a Wii system update. (Incidentally, the new Wii store shopping experience is an improvement for Virtual Console perusal.)
Game Description: Metroid Prime Hunters challenges your skills as you control Samus Aran, the space bounty hunter made famous in the Metroid series. A ferocious race, now extinct, has left behind relics of their once powerful warrior culture. Now bounty hunters from across the galaxy are racing against each other in order to lay claim to these relics hoping to harness their power for themselves. It's the race of a lifetime, as you guide Samus to the relics before other hunters can reach them—and use them on her.
Bringing Metroid to three dimensions seemed like an impossible task, but it was done and done to perfection. After such an accomplishment, squeezing it onto the Nintendo DS seemed challenging, but not as vast a leap.
On the subject of Echoes, however, Andrew and I couldn't have more diverging opinions. Where he has appreciation and tolerance, I have nothing but impatience and scorn. Simply put, Metroid Prime: Echoes was far and away the most tedious and inspiration-free game that I actually bothered to finish in 2005.
That little has changed in two years is a testament to how excellent the core ingredients of Prime were in the first place. The map is still flawless, as is the first-person platforming, as are the camera transitions, etc.
Game Description: In this highly anticipated sequel to Metroid Prime, become the bounty hunter behind the visor once more and travel to a planet torn into light and darkness. Hunted by a mysterious entity and a warring race called the Ing, Samus Aran must explore the light and dark worlds of this doomed planet to discover secrets and augment her suit's weapons and abilities.
Borrowing the slick control mechanics and stylish aesthetics of 2002's excellent Metroid Fusion, Zero Mission stands as a timely and more than competent re-telling of the series' origins for those of us eagerly awaiting the next installments.
Game Description: A Game Boy Advance update/remake of the original adventure shooter, that adds a whole new mission continuing the story after the defeat of Mother Brain. She's battled baddies on nearly every Nintendo system, cleaned house in the Super Smash Bros. series and recently blasted off for heroic adventures on the GameCube and the Game Boy Advance. Samus Aran returns to her roots and relives the story that started it all revealing for the first time full details of her meeting with the Metroids.
The greatest fault I can attribute to Fusion isn't its restrictive form, but its overly predictable progression. I've never played any previous Metroids extensively and I could still sense where the game was taking me a mile away. Fusion doesn't put much effort into disguising its gameplay devices.
I agree with Matt when he says Nintendo's franchise updates have been ahead of the curve. As noted, keeping the good parts and reinventing what doesn't work really is the "secret" to making it happen. Nintendo's not the only company to successfully pull off revamping a classic, but they certainly have a higher rate of success than most. However, I fully expected their winning streak to end in a big way when it came to Metroid.
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