New Play Control Metroid has a date in Japan

Thanks to developer Retro Studios being located in the great land of Texas, Americans have been able to play all three Metroid Prime games before anyone else. While this didn’t come close to making up for the agonizingly slow wait for Zelda to be released in the US of A while our Japanese counterparts were already sweating over the Water Temple, it was at least something.

Well now even that small edge has disappeared. American Metroid fans (even those in Texas) will not be the first to play the Wii-make of the original GameCube hit, Metroid Prime. Japan is getting it on February 19th, and the US isn’t.

According to the Nintendo Everything, “The obvious attraction here is that the game will make use of the Wiimote and nunchuck similar to Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. A true 16 x 9 mode and some finer textures are expected to be present in the game as well.”

That means a heck of a lot more freedom in movement and aiming than in the GameCube version. MP3 was the first Metroid game that based aiming on the player’s skill. The first two games in the Prime series were spectacular, but “aiming” consisted of holding down the L trigger and strafing around the enemy. In MP3, you could still lock onto and strafe around a target, but with the Wiimote, manual targeting became possible. This meant the player could lock onto one target but fire at another, or choose to fire at a specific part of the locked target. Very cool stuff.

When combined with the first Metroid Prime‘s more open ended exploration (MP3 was considered too linear by some), the Wii controls could make the Metroid Prime Wii-make (aka New Play Control! Metroid Prime) the best in the series.