News Article

Metroid Prime Trilogy: Visually Worse Than Original Releases?

Posted by Damien McFerran

Footage seems to suggest as much

Before this turns into a mud-slinging match, let's just point out that Metroid Prime Trilogy is fantastic. Being able to play all three games on one disc is a godsend and we rightly awarded it a whopping 10/10 when we reviewed it recently.

With that out of the way, it's time to face up to an inconvenient truth - the versions of the games on Trilogy don't look as good as they did originally.

The video below illustrates the visual differences between the two, with the Wii installments taking a hit in terms of texture quality and particle effects. Water effects are also less impressive.

Not that it makes any difference to how well the game plays, of course, but it's interesting to see that we're actually taking a step backwards in terms of graphics on the Wii.

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Updated: It seems this issue has been widely talked about and thanks to you, our readers, it's become clear that the "missing" effects are a combination of features that were either added to the European original version of Metroid Prime and weapon effects that were fixed on-screen that had to be removed due to the Wii version having moving on-screen weapons. We'd suggest you scan down the comments for this article and read the longer ones.


From the web

Game Screenshots

User Comments (64)



Syr said:

How strange, they advertised that the textures were better. Bugger.



Terra said:

Having 3 games that size on the disc, Nintendo probably had to do some compression work. To be honest, I probably wouldn't have noticed this without you guys mentioning it. Doesn't really matter to me though, the game is still amazing (Don't own the Trilogy set yet but I've played it twice on Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2 at a friend's)



calculon said:

Heavenly mother of God, the less than impressive water effects have gone! And look - less sparkly things - whatever shall we do?!? Quick someone call Ghostbusters before dogs and cats start living together.

Surely there must be more interesting things to report ... Good fodder for the 360/PS3 fanboyz but really, who cares?



Drake said:

These effects were only in the European GameCube version - So for some reason they just decided to remove them again for the European Trilogy version. They kept in other European-exclusive GameCube features though, for some reason.



Stuffgamer1 said:

The only thing in that video I probably would have noticed on my own is that the Ice Beam doesn't freeze over on the outside when charged anymore. That's a shame, and as Syr said, quite strange considering that they advertised BETTER graphics, but it doesn't REALLY matter. The games are still awesome fun to play, right? Good enough for me! That said, I kind of hope we hear something from Nintendo/Retro to explain what's up with this, even though I expect we probably won't.



calculon said:

@Drake: I always knew Nintendo thought we Europeans were a bunch of fairies. Splashing about in water and enjoying all the sparkly things



Drake said:

None of the EU GameCube features are pretty big, but they're still neat:

  • A ton of bugs and sequence breaks are gone
  • Loading times (Including for each door) are a second or two longer to prevent crashes (US version sometimes crashed if a room loaded too fast)
  • Narration during the intro and ending
  • The same voice says "Tallon Overworld" and "Impact Crater" when you travel between those two areas
  • Your suit talks when you lose your equipment at the start, whenever you scan something, when you get near dangerous areas, etc.
  • Certain enemies don't appear in certain rooms, whereas there are enemies in certain rooms that aren't there in the US/JP versions
  • There are missile pickups which give you 3, 5 and 10 missiles, instead of just one that gives you 5
  • Certain enemies deal more damage and take more hits to kill (Baby Sheegoths, Omega Pirate, Metroid Prime)
  • Meta Ridley has completely different attacks
  • In addition to the amount of missiles you're carrying, you can see the maximum number of missiles you can have (So instead of just "45" you see "45/60")
  • You can see your logbook scan and item pickup percentage on the pause screen
  • Special visual effects for weapons and water


skywake said:

@Stuffgamer1 I don't remember them claiming it had "better graphics". All I can remember hearing is that the loading times were faster, the difficulty in some areas was refined and its now in 16:9. All these things seem to be true.

As for it looking worse than the originals.... Less effects? maybe, Worse? that's a bit of a stretch.



Chunky_Droid said:

I remember reading a review on another site claiming a lot of the 'muddy' textures in the original's were spruced up, and the original Metroid Prime was glossed over with Corruption's engine.

Still, I had the US version, so I had no idea that EU got more bang for their buck



Jockolantern said:

This post is basically every other thread over on the GameFAQs boards and has been addressed to death so many times it's getting ridiculous.

The particle effects on the gun were removed for a very simple reason: poor coding on the part of the Gamecube version. The effects themselves were on their own seperate layer and didn't actually move with the gun itself. Retro fixed this problem for Prime 2 and 3 but since they went to the superior motion control setup, they had to ditch them for the original game. I imagine the same is true for the water effects, which could also have something to do with the Wii's own video hardware. Who knows and better yet, who cares? Boo-hoo... big loss. We lost a couple of barely noticable particle effects (because we ALL know that pedantic water motion effects which can only be seen in 2% of the entire game while in morph ball form makes or breaks the game) while managing to pick up all the superior fixes made to the PAL and Japanese versions of the game. I honestly never would have noticed these differences had not a dozen or so graphic whore, hissy-fit nit-pickers on GameFAQs brought it up. I guess they can't pick it apart on its near-flawless gameplay, so they have to try and take it down a peg by bitching about how pixels aren''t exactly as they should be when a particular texture tile is looked at up close. They probably have two TVs set up just to compare both versions knowing how much time these people seem to have on their hands to be this idiotically and overly analytical.

As for the textures themselves, I'm going to have to go ahead and call total BS on the claims that somehow the texturing is worse. There are a lot of textural improvements which are quite noticable if you grew up on the Gamecube version and up close nothing looks worse than it did on the Gamecube version (a seven year-old game, as is); as reviews all across the board have said, the games still look better than most Wii titles. Reviews wouldn't be saying that if texture resolution was noticably lacking over the originals. Again, there are a lot of areas where one can actually notice definite improvement in texture resolution and detail; there's no question about that. Not to mention the bloom lighting in the first game, which makes certain boss fights even more epic (I'm looking at you, Thardus).

If one equates "looking worse than the original" to "missing a couple nonessential particle effects which may as well have been nonexistent to begin with," then... yeah, I guess it looks "worse." If you do equate those two, however, then perhaps you're better off being a programmer yourself if you so desperately want to make sure the original Metroid Prime never has to be rereleased sans four particle effects ever again.



Roopa132 said:

Well it kinda sucks since the sparkles and glints just belong to a proper space laser beam And the Water effects were nice, too but it's not that big of a loss. It's still a good game and I'll get it anyways.



AVahne said:

huh,didn't know that the graphics are slightly worse...huh don't really care either



warioswoods said:

The fact that, as Drake points out, these effects were not in the original release but only in the EU version completely changes the story here, to the point where the article itself is misleading at best and, to be honest, rather disappointingly unprofessional. Either amend it or delete it; most people who play the trilogy (J & US versions) will not be seeing less effects than they did in the original game, and in fact will definitively have a better product visually, with widescreen support etc. All they did was to apparently base the trilogy off the US or J versions without some of the changes in the EU version that, again, the majority of us have never seen.

Typical Kotaku flamebait. Every time NintendoLife decides to pull an article from Kotaku, my respect for this site drops considerably. And, every time without fail, the headline turns out to be misleading and dishonest when you know all the relevant facts.



Machu said:

I am stunned.

As someone who played the original pal versions to death, and took those particle effects for granted, I may now downgrade my MPT back to it's originals, having recently traded them all in for the trilogy (crazy). I can't play the flapping Wii version anyway cos of dual-layer, why didn't they just put it on 3 discs, thus keeping the graphical effects, and removing the dual layer problem for those who experience it. I can't beleive they actually took things out of the game, as a massive Prime fan that kind of upsets me.

warioswoods, the source is kind of irrelevant, as this is important news for a PAL gamer and one I'm very glad I've been made aware of. I'm going to do some research now and if it turns out to be so, this decision will be a huge disappointment for Prime fans like me.

Anyone here, who has the Wii and GC PAL version, can you comment?!



Machu said:

warioswoods "The fact that, as Drake points out, these effects were not in the original release but only in the EU version"

As far as us Europeans are concerned, the EU version WAS the original release. Yeah?!

@Jockolantern: I care actually! This story has nothing to do with Americans so I'm not sure why you feel the need to comment so strongly. For me, those features will be missed, and more importantly, I don't like your tone.



dimpap28 said:

I have both PAL Metroid Prime for GCN and Metroid Prime Trilogy. I don't have my Wii right now, so I can't check on this one for now. But when I played the Trilogy I didn't see something that bothered me... It comes as as surprise to see the video above... It's something so small compared to the magnificence of the Trilogy... I'll check that tomorrow, just of curiosity...



Adam said:

Nintendo Life started its life as a Euro-centric site and in some ways continues to do so. You should always assume articles are intended for European residents by default unless told otherwise.



Klapaucius said:

I can't tell what the differences are from watching that video. Would have been better if it had them both running side by side.
Anyway, seems this is a moot point.



Jockolantern said:

@Machu: I can think of one reason they didn't release Trilogy on three discs: pricing. One disc undoubtedly allowed them to keep the price down (after all, a Wii disc can hold three times that what a Gamecube disc could) where printing three discs per package would undoubtedly have cranked up the cost. And if you don't have a Wii that reads dual layered discs properly, send your Wii in for repairs (which you may have already done; I don't know) or trade it in for a newer Wii that will allow you to play Trilogy. Contact Nintendo Support directly if you have to in order to make sure you have a system that can actually play the game. There are always solutions to these problems, regardless of the hassle involved. The hassle is just an unfortunate fact of life.

And what about the truth made my tone unlikeable? My tone was one of aggrivation not towards you but directed at those (mainly on the GameFAQs boards) who have taken this issue to a new level of nonsensical. You want your particle effects? Fine. Go play the Gamecube version. I, for one, really don't understand how four unrepresented, non-essential particle effects across the entire stretch of the three games makes this a deal-killer for so many, considering how many visual enhancements, refinements, and gameplay superiorities the first two titles now contain. Retro clearly didn't think it was worth the time, effort, and resources to overhaul the Prime code just to get a few particle effects back on screen that even they knew wouldn't be missed by most. They've spent the most time with these games; they oughta' know.

Should Nintendo R&D go back into Super Metroid to make sure that each beam has a particular "particle" effect when charged? Of course not. Whether they were there to begin with or not, they have no bearing whatsover on the gameplay itself and we wouldn't even be having this discussion had they not existed in the first place. The rest of the ambient effects have all been left intact, certain textures now look sharper, AI has been improved, and the enhanced 16x9 view makes the entire experience of the first two games that much more immersive. I simply don't see the "big deal" over four minimalistic particle effects. That's all.



antdickens said:

@Jockolantern, agreed, but some could (and probably do) see this as cutting corners... rather than making something the best quality possible - something we all trust Nintendo to do - it seems that maybe they've skipped things here (abet very minor). Especially if its marketed as the "definitive" collectors edition. A lot of Nintendo fans are total purists and want things perfect



romulux said:

strange, if you watch this video you might be lead to the exact opposite conclusion:

i played the US version 100% through when it originally came out; i'm not clear on whether it had these beam effects also or if it really was the EU version only, but either way i certainly didn't notice they were missing while playing the trilogy. in fact, the only changes i noticed were positive ones, such as the bloom lighting which is clearly visible in many rooms and is obviously an improvement... and it's much more noticeable than those unconvincing water effects that i sincerely doubt anyone is really going to miss. the beam effects are pretty cool to look at, but if i couldn't even pick up on the fact that they were missing then i doubt that their absence hurt my experience much, right?

even if the loss of those effects is a big deal to you, it's only the first game that's missing them; prime 2 and 3 supposedly don't have any losses compared to the original games, so it's not fair to say the entire trilogy looks worse. if echoes retains everything it's original version had while gaining the bloom lighting and updated textures, isn't that game outright better? i haven't gotten to corruption yet, so i can't say if it's a carbon copy of the original release, but i've been floored by the graphics in prime 1 and 2 so far and think that anyone willing to write off the visuals in the entire trilogy due to the necessary sacrifice of some poorly coded effects from the first game is seriously overreacting.



Machu said:

@Jockolantern: Again, I'm not sure why you feel this story is worth so many of your words. I wouldn't know about any flames licking about the GameFAQs boards as I hate forums and the kind of poo you read in such places. As pHaT-aNt_ stated, being a Nintendo fan, I expect a certain level of quality, and if that level is reduced so as to squeeze on a disc for the sake of cost, I'd rather they just hadn't bothered. Feel free to add a further three paragraphs but it won't change how I feel about this news.

So yes, whilst I have been very excited by the Trilogy, I may now re-buy the originals. I'm unsure tbh, as I need to do a comparison for myself. Perhaps I'll keep the Trilogy but get Prime1 for the fussy Nintendiod that I am. I'll have to see.



bro2dragons said:

i still think it looks better than the originals. a few effects are missing sure... but alot of the textures are much cleaner in the original game, and there seems to me to be a little more detail. but, what do i know?! i'm the one who tells all my friends graphics don't matter anyway, so...



MrPinguy said:

Grow up people....



Megumi said:

gasp Oh noez, the rippling effects in MP1 are gone, this game is horrible

Gotta be honest though I am going to miss that special effect when you charge up the ice beam, but everyone else is saying, who cares, lol.

(gotta try that thing at the end of the video, where he charged up the cannon and all that XD)



retro_player_22 said:

Worster graphics? Don't really care, Donkey Kong Country GBA look worst than Donkey Kong Country SNES but I still enjoy the GBA version so Metroid Prime is no different.



Rapadash6 said:

You know, I didn't even notice the partical effects were gone, but it's really not that big of a deal to me either. Why do people keep saying these effects weren't in the US version of the game because I specifically remember them being in there? I also remember that the gun didn't really move around as much on the screen as it does in the Wii version, so it makes sense that they would remove those effects if they were programmed with a still arm cannon in mind. I suppose they could've taken the time to reprogram them but they probably thought the majority of us wouldn't even notice, which I think is the truth of it. All in all the Trilogy versions are superior if only for the controls, which makes the game far more intuative to play.



Supermarioman said:

So Basically the EU version of the Metroid Prime Trilogy is exactly how each of the Metroid Prime games have been over here? Well boohoo, we already put up with this so you can too!



Supermarioman said:

Also, I would never play the original Prime and Prime 2 on Gamecube! I couldn't stand their cintrols!



Jockolantern said:

"Again, I'm not sure why you feel this story is worth so many of your words."

Because I like words. And lots of them.



Vendetta said:

Yeah, they're totally right! The moveable weapon "effect" is missing from the original!

The ice weapon's barrel freezing effect is pretty cool, I gotta be honest. Will it be missed? Sure, by some. Just don't fault them for appreciating the details!
I noticed the raindrop effect on the visor looks awesome in the trilogy though. I didn't even see it at all in the original in the video. Nice touch! Even trade? Pro'ly not, but whatever...
Sucks that sacrifices had to be made - when something is billed as "definitive," all the cool stuff should carry over, and those effects were kinda cool, yeah. But in my opinion, the trilogy is an upgrade from the individuals for the controls and 16:9 alone.



XyVoX said:

Mmmmmmm Purist or not there seem to be alot of irrational, illogical and perspective lacking statements in this thread,very insightful



Knux said:

After reading this, I might not buy Metroid Prime Trilogy for awhile. My Wii cannot read dual-layer discs right now anyway.



Outrunner said:

@machu: I played through and finished Prime 1 on the Trilogy disc and enjoyed it as much as I ever have. In fact maybe more so. The new control method is why I bought Trilogy and it was worth the trade. I didn't even notice these effects were gone.



Machu said:

I can't help being a dork who dribbled when-ever charging their beam. I'm all about the details me.

I thank those here who chose not to mock me and brandish labels. This news was important to me.



Lotice-Paladin said:

Small sacrifices have to be made for a bigger reward imo.

I can't tell that much really but if people don't like what they see they should stick to the originals. I'm not saying you shouldn't be disappointed but look at the bigger picture. Three games in one has more benefits then getting rid of the smaller details.

Either way I hope you enjoy it with or without the effects (to fellow Europeans).



SwerdMurd said:

wow.....this arbitrary crap got 47 posts already. Let's all go get jobs/more important demands of our time.



Jockolantern said:

"I thank those here who chose not to mock me and brandish labels. This news was important to me."

I meant no offense, Machu. As I said, I was venting my frustrations over the situation in general from all the ramblings I've read elsewhere and seeing the news carried here to NintendoLife was the straw that finally broke the camel's back for me. I apologize if it felt like I was targeting you specifically; I assure you I was not. You certainly have a right to be upset for wanting the games as you remember them. It is important, however, to keep the bigger picture in mind too. "Can't see the forest for the trees" and all that jazz.



Machu said:

Don't worry Jocko, I wasn't including you in that.

I've had sand in my pants all day, so was gonna bite whatever.



MrPanic said:

@Machu: Those effects aren't taken out because they wanted to fit it on 1 disk, they're taken out because they don't mix with the new controls. Those effects on the weapon were just cheap 2d-ish pictures, that worked on the gc because the gun didn't really move from it's position. Since you can move the gun all around on the Wii version, that 'effect' can't work on the Wii. If they wanted to put in these effects, they had to remake them from scratch and put them in after that, which would be absurd for a remake since it would never look the same.

Seriously, they removed some cheap effects you rarely notice and added the bloom effect, something you'll enjoy the whole game, that's a win situation imo. And I'm not even talking about the way better controls and better textures, if you trade Trilogy in for the gc-versions, you're just a fool.



Kid_A said:

Well it probably had something to do with the disc space. This is really more about the improved controls anyway, right?



Twilight_Crow said:

Honestly, except for the ice beam, I see not big difference, of course I have a very bad sight. By watching Firkraag's video (thank you for that ) all I can say is that the Wii version looks a bit sharper, but that's all, so that should be the NA GC version; whatever, I'll never get rid of my original copies, even if I ever get Trilogy.
I'm sorry EU's version is missing the cool effects they had previously added, I guess Nintendo didn't want to make any difference between regions this time.



vherub said:

I didn't realize there were any changes, let alone so many for the EU version. Cool.



Odnetnin said:

Wait, so the effects of the US version are the same or improved, but the EU version's effects are slightly worse? Amirite?



Sabrewing said:

It's not fair of them to comment on Samus' suit effects. She's wearing the Fusion Suit, which is SUPPOSED to look inferior to the normal Power Suit, since it has something of a "rubbery" appearance from the organic parts. But yeah, things like Samus' gun-arm freezing over when charging up the Ice Beam are hard-coded into the disc and are affected by the fact that she can't manually aim in that game without turning her head to face what she's shooting, so they wouldn't have worked right with a free-moving cannon.



Machu said:

Maybe I wouldn't have freaked out and gone mad if I could actually play my copy. I probably would have said 'so what!?' In fact, I'd probably never even see the news report cos I'd be too busy playing Metroid!

I amuse myself sometimes, having a duff Wii, does not!!!

btw thanks 4 the vid link Firkraag, panic over, ha!



Sylverstone said:

It's like what I always think, "Graphics may make the game, but it isn't the game. The game is played, the graphics aren't."



BobberyFan98 said:

OBJECTION! I have to say though, i think that they are "better", not "worser", because the MP Trilogy has some of the best graphics ive ever seen on a wii game.



jbrodack said:

As long as the overall look is better its not a big deal if some minor stuff is left out. If anything it adds a bit of extra value to the original game. There are tweaks and subtle differences among versions of the game. It happens.




To be honest, I wouldn't have noticed I imagine. We're not PS3/Xboxites on here who want graphics over gameplay anyway.



RogueTwo said:

I'm late to all this, but I really think you should edit this article.

"With that out of the way, it's time to face up to an inconvenient truth - the versions of the games on Trilogy don't look as good as they did originally."

What we have to face is that only ONE of the THREE games is missing some effects, while at the same time it have new ones like the bloom and better textures.

Also, I think that saying "sorry, we are wrong, read the longest comments down here to know the truth" is not exactly a professional fix for this : /



RadioShadow said:

So people are morning because most of the "EU" features got in the Metroid Prime Trilogey (Prime 1) that Drake has listed (well in the EU Wii version anyway) besides the graphic effects? WHO CARES!?



romulux said:

i finally got to corruption and i have to say, if beam and water effects are important to you, the ones in that game are far cooler than the first. seeing the small flames rise out of the barrel when charging the power beam is amazing, as is wading through liquid phazon; THOSE effects might be worth getting mad about. you only really notice the charge beam effects the first few times you use it anyway; after that you ignore them.

corruption seems unaltered aside from slightly faster loading, but i did notice that in a lower part of skytown there used to be a revolving wall that you'd have to screw attack into with perfect timing to get through that is removed in the trilogy version. instead there's just a blue energy shield that appears every few seconds that requires the same timing to get through. that's got to be a disk space issue, unless the wii isn't capable of playing wii games.

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