Metroid Prime Official Nintendo Player's Guide (2002, Nintendo)

Nintendo's guidebook for Prime is laid out in a very useful format, with numbered maps introducing each segment of the game and those numbers corresponding to easy-to-follow walkthrough information in the following pages. A very sleek, cool looking layout that's also easy to read and provides quick and easy access to any information you need. The index in the back lists every weapon, item, and Chozo Artifact along with their locations and the page of the guide on which you'll find more details. Nintendo's book also features complete maps and a walkthrough for the unlockable NES Metroid! Out of all the official Metroid Prime strategy guides, Nintendo's, appropriately enough, is the best.

Metroid Prime/Metroid Fusion Official Strategy Guide (2002, Prima)

While Prima had budget-conscious gamers in mind by being the only publisher to put out a combined Prime/Fusion guidebook, the layout for both games is complete, but very tightly packed. The crowded layout makes it less than appealing to look at and a little difficult to follow. Still, if you're gonna buy both games but you only want to spring for one book, this is the only one that covers both.

Metroid Prime Official Strategy Guide (2002, Brady)

Brady's offering is sort of the opposite of Prima's. Whereas Prima's book has all its information crammed tightly together, Brady's guide is laid out in more widespread paragraphs. Lots of reading to do, as opposed to the conveniently organized nuggets in Nintendo's book. This guide also contains some factual errors (e.g., it states that Metroid Prime's second form only produces "normal Metroids, and not the Fission Metroids" -- the author must have gotten extremely lucky and not had Prime send out the Fissions and Hunters), which is difficult to overlook in a guide. However, the advantage that Brady's book has is its handy appendices containing maps, item/weapon/artifact locations, complete Pirate Data logs, complete Chozo Lore logs, Research Data logs, and enemy scan data at a glance. Plus, it's the cheapest of the Prime guides at only $9.99.

Metroid Prime Official Strategy Guide (2002, Versus)

Delayed until a month after the other guides were released, Versus' offering is a thick volume complete with a free poster. However, the guide is basically a fully-written text walkthrough (much as you'd find in .txt format on any website) peppered with screenshots. It does contain 3D-modeled maps, lists of the locations of all the Missile/Power Bomb/Tank expansions with screenshots, and a full guide to NES Metroid (although it, too, is a text walkthrough more than anything), but I still find the Nintendo guide to be the most efficient and useful.

Nintendo Power, Volume 163, December 2002.

Metroid Fusion may be on the cover, but Volume 163 marks Nintendo Power's first Prime strategy coverage. This also probably makes it the most Metroid-centric issue of Nintendo Power ever published. The tips and strategies these 7 pages offer are extremely summarized, only touching on the bare essentials while leading you up to Phendrana Drifts. The coverage continues in Volume 164. Magazine scans from Retro Mags.