Metroid has always been a mesh of different DNA: a little of Zelda's exploration mixed in with the acrobatics of Mario and then tied together with some good old fashioned plasma ballistics. Even taking into account that heritage, there was nothing quite like Metroid Prime when it launched in 2002. Coming up to 13 years later, and despite a couple of high quality sequels and almost a decade of increasingly fevered begging from fans, there's been nothing like it ever since.
After what feels like a wait of ninety million years, this week finally sees Metroid Prime 3: Corruption reach our Euroshelves. To mark this epoch-making event, and to give me an excuse to dust off some really ace old games, here's a potted history of the critically acclaimed franchise so far. If you've always wondered what the fuss was about, hopefully this will entice you to sample some classics. If you're already in love with Nintendo's resourceful lady bounty hunter and her spherical gifts, maybe this will tickle some happy memories up from the sludgy bottom of your mind.