Metroid Prime Pinball

The History of Metroid

Save us, Samus.

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.

Metroid 3 to launch with Wii

Metroid 3 to launch with Wii

Wave your wand at Samus.

Nintendo has revealed that the next instalment in the Metroid series will definitely be a Wii launch title, and that you'll be able to play the game using the motion-sensing remote controller.

Developer Retro Studios is still keeping quiet on the gameplay specifics, but have managed to pick up a few snippets of info - such as the fact that the X-Ray visor is making a welcome return, and it's being upgraded slightly to include a new wall-piercing beam that'll let you seek out cowardly enemies and frazzle them before they even know you're there. It's also going to play a bigger role in puzzle solving, but there's no word as to how exactly this will work.

Travel between the huge areas on multiple worlds will be undertaken in Samus' new gunship, and there's a distinct possibility of remotely controlling the ship as a puzzle solving tool - bringing in the heavy weapons to clear obstacles and open up new paths in certain areas.

Read more

Metroid Prime Pinball

Metroid Prime Pinball

Flipping hell.

The first thing you need to know about Metroid Prime Pinball is that it's bundled with a rumble pack. Nintendo, up to its old tricks again, has seen fit to launch a new accessory for a system by attaching it to a game, which works fine when it's the calibre of say, Lylat Wars (the N64's rumble pack bundle) but less so when it's a Donkey Kong 64 (the N64's memory expansion bundle).

All discussion of the quality of the game aside, the one good feature of the rumble pack bundled with Metroid Prime Pinball is that unlike the pack that came with Lylat Wars, it doesn't require batteries. Of course, the mere idea of it requiring batteries is ridiculous, but hey, I'm struggling for positives here. I could claim at least it's only the size of a GBA cart, but, oops, that means it'll still stick out of those DS Lites you're all eyeing up so lustfully. Even worse, the output from this so-called 'rumble' pack is so weak, and so ineffective, that the term 'a mouse's fart' comes to mind. Not only does the rumble pack offer a tremor comparable to the almost non-existent pressure a incontinent field mouse might exert upon your palm, it also has sounds like the aforementioned gastrointestinal agony. The manual helpfully states: "When Rumble Feature is on, the Rumble Pack will make sounds during game play."

It is, frankly, an embarrassing piece of kit, one that you'll rip out of the machine after a couple of minutes of mortification. Let's not speak of it again.

Read more