Bits & Bytes: Primetime

Robert is talking Metroid Prime 3 this week!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 07/11/2021 22:17 Comment on this     ShareThis

Bits & Bytes is a weekly column where Editor-in-Chief Robert shares his thoughts about video games and the industry on a lazy Sunday. Light reading for a day of rest, Bits & Bytes is short, to the point, and something to read with a nice drink.

To keep my collection of consoles in top shape, I keep them in a fairly steady rotation. At least, I try to. It’s been several years since I had my Wii plugged in and running. In fact, when Wii U launched I transferred everything from my Wii to it, so it’s probably been close to six or seven years since the last time it was turned on. I recently discovered a set of Wii component cables at a nearby thrift store, so it got me anxious to plug the system in and try it out.

Although the picture tops out at 480p, which is more or less as good as the visual quality of a DVD, everything looks way better with the component cables hooked in. I never owned an HD TV when Wii first launched, so it’s been an absolute treat taking games and trying them out with the increased fidelity. Of course, with my Wii plugged in and outputting in glorious sub-high definition, I couldn’t resist popping in one of the greatest compilations Nintendo has ever released: Metroid Prime Trilogy.

For those who don’t know or might have forgotten, Metroid Prime Trilogy features all three of the Prime games on one disc, with the first two games retrofitted with motion controls much like those found in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. It’s been a few years since I’ve completed any of the Metroid Prime games, but the one it’s been the longest since I’ve played is Corruption. That’s where I decided to start—and man, how I’d forgotten just what a glorious game it is.

Prime 3 stuns. And not just because of the beautiful art direction, or the unforgettable surprise entrance of Omega Ridley towards the end of the game. No—it’s all about the control scheme. While many people liken motion controls to nothing more than a gimmick, developer Retro Studios’ incorporation of the Wii Remote is so much more than that. Flicking the Nunchuk to grapple foes and objects adds a visceral sense of physicality that is unique to Prime 3. Aiming is a breeze, but it’s the little stuff like manipulating door controls, pulling out energy cells, and activating the boosters on the Gunship that really stand out.

Prime 3 launched 14 year ago, but feels as fresh and exciting as anything available today. After beating it, I can’t help but wonder if Retro is going to be bringing the series back to traditional controls for Metroid Prime 4. I suspect it has to be—Nintendo likely isn’t going to want to cut off Switch Lite owners, at least if Skyward Sword HD is any kind of indicator—but part of me wishes this wasn’t the case. I’d love to see Retro expand upon what it did with Prime 3. It’s arguably the most exciting entry in the entire trilogy. Imagine how much more precise and tight the control scheme would be with a pair of Joy-Con in hand. And HD rumble? The possibilities seem so endless.

Ah, well. I’ll just have to get my waggling fix from my Wii games, I guess.

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