When I saw on the January Nintendo Direct that amongst the new digital Wii ports announced for the Wii U was the Metroid Prime Trilogy I sat back down nearly as fast as I’d leapt up. Initially I was glad that we were going to be able to replay these classics without having to pay the ridiculous amount of money it costs to buy a physical copy of this rare Wii game on eBay. My happiness was rather marred though as I realised this meant we weren’t going to get the HD remaster of these games I had been hoping for. Yet after re-playing these timeless classics I’ve realised that actually they benefit from not being remade into something new, in that they retain that original Metroid Prime feeling.
The Metroid Prime Games are still as perfect as ever, gorgeous visuals and an incredibly unique soundtrack all instil a sense of loneliness as you, Samus Aran traverse the various sci-fi environments. Exploration is key and nothing is obtrusive, the game subtly nudges you towards your goals as you discover new environments, solve puzzles and find secret areas. Boss fights require skill and planning in true Nintendo like fashion, and the worlds are all swarming with interesting creature profiles and back story.
Modifications have been made from the original GameCube entries; the game is now thankfully in wide-screen, although with black boarders along the sides. The difficulty has also been modified slightly to make the games more accessible, this is particularly welcome for Metroid Prime: 2 which is a notoriously difficult game. All three entries now use motion controls and so using a Wii Mote and Nunchuck is required, this gives a sense of continuity to the Trilogy though honestly it’s a shame there is no option to use the Wii U GamePad as a controller considering the first two games were originally designed for use on twin stick GameCube Controllers. I personally would have loved to plug in my Smash Bros’ GameCube controller adapter and play Metroid prime on the same controller I did back in 2002.
HD remakes and remasters are everywhere today, so many games are being remade or are due to be remade that it’s difficult to keep track. Some get it better than others and opinions are definitely divided on whether or not they’re just filler for a lack of new modern IP’s. I am of the disposition that if a game is good enough to play again I’m happy to replay it with improved visuals and UI tweaks here and there, I loved the MCC and I can’t wait for Majora’s Mask 3D. Though even with my pro-HD remake stance, I found myself feeling incredibly nostalgic during my play through of the largely unmodified Metroid Prime Trilogy, a feeling that I now realise I didn’t feel with the majority of HD remakes I’ve played so far.
The release of The Master Chief Collection featured the Halo: 2 remaster as its primary selling point, it was a brilliant game that deserved to be re-done with new visuals and soundtrack. With the ability to immediately swap between original and remastered versions I found myself playing more often than not in the original version. The new version looked and sounded great but it wasn’t the Halo: 2 I had played at 11 years old. The new music sounded improved and atmospheric but as soon as I swapped back to the original score I was transported to those beautiful summer days spent shielded inside from the sunlight playing Halo with my friends as our families worried about our unhealthy aversion to the outside world.
Obviously the immediate benefits of remakes are that they appeal to a newer generation that may have missed the original or that particular era altogether, for instance I was a huge fan of my Nintendo GameCube but unfortunately didn’t play The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker, and so given the chance to play the remaster on the Wii U I leapt at the idea, buying the special edition console to go with it. With the Metroid Prime Trilogy however I’m finding that the dated graphics are the major point in evoking my nostalgia. In the same sense that I still go back to play the Original Super Mario Brothers or Sonic The Hedgehog I am happy to go back to play Metroid Prime. I would climb aboard the hype train if a new Metroid Prime were to be announced and would of course expect current gen visuals, but if the trilogy had been given a HD make-over I think playing it would invoke a sense of familiarity rather than nostalgia.
It’s clear that HD remakes have equal arguments for and against, in the one hand they potentially transform an older classic into an accessible game for a modern audience, though in doing so the original is left unseen to a certain degree. If someone played Halo: 2 for their first time with the release of The Master Chief Collection and they didn’t play in the original visuals or hear the original soundtrack did they play the same game I did at 11 years old? It just doesn’t feel right somehow, and so my stance on HD remakes has taken a turn, I no longer hope for a Metroid Prime Trilogy remake, and I urge you to play these games whether you’ve played the originals or not at least with this release you’re getting access to some classic unaltered games, warts and all.
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Currently living in a tiny Village in North Yorkshire with the Missus and our two cats, Knuckles and Snape. I've been into gaming ever since having to decide between the Sega Mega Drive or a SNES at age two, (Sonic won me over in the end) and I'm a collector of all things Zelda. Mistook my adoration of Videogames and ended up doing a Bachelors in Film production, then ended up living in America for a short while and then Vancouver, Canada for 2 years. Now I'm back home, living in the middle of no-where ready to live the dream and write about Video games!