Review by Action
"Gaming's First Lady is back and better than ever!"
Before we get going here, let me emphasize one thing:
You do NOT have to play Metroid Prime and/or Metroid Prime 2: Echoes to follow the story of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
There's one more thing ... Samus is a girl. You can see this within the first few minutes of the game. If you can't ... either keep watching or you're not paying attention.
Now then, with that said ...
I've been following Metroid Prime 3: Corruption since it was announced as a release title for the Nintendo Wii. Unfortunately, it was delayed ... and delayed ... and delayed ... until August 28, 2007. Needless to say, it was well worth the wait.
GRAPHICS & SOUNDS : 10/10
The Prime series has always been known for its stellar graphics and Corruption is no different. It really shows off what the Wii is capable of doing. Although it can't compare with the high-caliber 360 or PS3 graphics, Corruption is still an excellent looking game that delivers. The scenery is lush and vivid and everywhere you look you can see the Wii's muscles being flexed. The weapons and enemies look great as well and don't slow the game down at all. Even Samus's HUD is smooth and great as well. When you're using the Scan Visor, you can actually see the reflection of Samus's eyes and nose; for that matter, you can actually see her eyelashes and her eyes move as you move the on-screen cursor. Yes, the game is that detailed.
In all honesty, the graphics are far more than what I expected to see out of the Wii. Even though the Wii can't create hi-def pictures like the 360 or PS3, that didn't stop Retro from making a beautiful game (for the record, the Wii is only capable of 480i or 480p graphics, whereas the 360 and PS3 support up to 1080p graphics). Even the small minute things like particle effects or smoke and lava look amazing when shown on a little system like the Wii. Corruption really pushes the Wii to its limits and shows virtually no signs of lag whatsoever (I've played through for at least 11 hours and have seen none). The only noticeable lag is when new areas are loading, so the doors won't open right away as you shoot them. I've also noticed that during those times, the Wii makes a lot of "loading" type noise from its disc drive. However, this does not detract from the overall game, but I found it worthy to point out, just in case you're ultra-impatient about load times.
The sounds (I'm talking sound effects here) are performed quite well. Fans of the previous Prime games will instantly recognize sound effects taken from the previous games. For new fans, the sound effects fit with their respective weapons well and there's no lag between the visual and the audio.
The soundtrack for the game mixes old tunes with new tracks. Even if the last Metroid game you played was on the NES, you'll still find some old school tunes that have been updated for Corruption. In addition, the new tracks are actually pretty catchy and really draw you in, making the game experience that much better. Right from the start, you'll be able to hear that Corruption will be a great sounding game.
Lastly, there's something in Corruption that you don't normally see in a Metroid game: voice acting. I'll admit, I've heard my fair share of terrible voice acting, but in Corruption, it's performed rather well. Of course, miss Samus Aran is (for the most part) completely devoid of any lines, sans the occassional grunt and painful cry. However, the other characters in the game have their own sets of lines and they're executed rather well. Good job Retro.
CONTROLS : 9/10
As a veteran who played Prime and Prime 2, I can say that Retro has converted the controls extremely well. Although it was somewhat difficult for me to get used to the new control scheme (I kept thinking that the B button would fire like other FPS Wii games; however, the A button fires and the B button jumps), it's not hard to get used to and the learning curve was about half an hour (maybe less). For newcomers, the controls are extremely tight and respond without any hint of lag at all. The controls have been simplified from the earlier games so newbies will have little to no trouble at all getting used to the game.
The aiming system is also executed better than any other FPS game for the Wii. As you move the cursor closer to the outer left and right sides of Samus's visor, her sight will move with it. When you move the cursor closer to the top and bottom sides of Samus's visor, her sight will follow; however, once you start bringing the cursor back towards the center, Samus's view will automatically shift back up or down (towards the center view). A similar system exists already in games like Red Steel and Medal of Honor: Vanguard (aka ones that I've played), but neither game has the re-centering of the line of sight like Corruption does; this makes the overall system in Corruption feels much smoother than in other games I've played.
When targeting with the Z button (the default button), you can move the cursor and target other enemies, even though you're target is set. Although you can turn this feature off, I find this feature to be extremely useful while in combat situations as it allows you to fire at another target while focused on a different one. Also, it adds slightly to the difficulty factor since you need to focus more while you're shooting.
No matter how menial some of the Wii's controller capabilities may seem, they actually serve a purpose. For example flicking the Nunchuk will allow you to use the Grapple Beam to tear off enemies' shields, or (after upgrading it) use it to swing from Grapple Point to Grapple Point, all Spiderman style. In addition, Corruption utilizes the Wii-mote's ability to recognize rotation and depth and has you turning and pulling/pushing switches throughout the game.
GAMEPLAY : 10/10
The gameplay, like the controls, has been simplified from the get-go. You don't have to spend a good portion of the game simply getting your basic Varia Suit back; you start off with a fair number of items that were upgrades in previous games: the Varia Suit (which is actually upgraded rather quickly in the game), the Morph Ball with Bombs (you can even jump while in Morph Ball mode by flicking the Wii-mote), the Charge Beam and the Space Jump. The visors from the previous Prime games are also available and simplified. By simply holding the - button, you can access all of Samus's visors. It takes a small while to get used to, but the system is extremely simple and works great.
There is also a completely new visor available: the Command Visor. With it, you can call Samus's gunship to either land at different locations, or you can use it as a weapon and call in an airstrike (when you're allowed to do so, and you require an upgrade to your ship). In addition, when Samus is aboard her ship, you can actually look around and interact with the inside of Samus's ship. This is actually more than just a superfluous addition though. From the inside of your ship, you can view in-game stats, Corruption status and travel to any world that you have unlocked during the course of play.
The upgrade system from the previous Prime games has changed as well. Previously you would obtain a different gun type and then it would be mapped to a different position on the directional pad or C-stick. In Corruption, everything stacks, meaning that when you get a new weapon, it simply enhances the previous version of that same weapon. This means no more weapon switching while in the heat of a battle.
Throughout the game, Samus will gain the Hyperdrive abilitiy, which is a "super" ability used by holding the + button. However, to prevent the player from using this ability ad nauseum, the game forces you to give up 100 life points (aka one energy tank) to simply initiate the Hyperdrive ability, after that, the Hyperdrive ability will only last 25 seconds, or until you run out of fuel (measured by the meter found on the top).
Now then ... the battles. With all the aforementioned enhancements and simplifications, the battles move much more smoothly than they did before. Fighting was pretty fun before, but in Corruption it's simply amazing; it really is an experience in itself. The fighting feels smooth and streamlined; the weapons you use can be switched easily.
The puzzles in Corruption are all built to be tricky, but not impossible to figure out. Of course, it goes without saying that some of the puzzles in Corruption will really make your neurons scream, but the answers are always there. It just takes some thinking outside the box to get the necessary answer.
In previous Metroid games, you needed to complete the game in X number of hours to see the "good" ending. Rejoice friends, for those days are long past gone. To view the "good" endings (yes, more than one), you must gather X percent of the 100 pickups available. So feel free to wander about aimlessly and kill anything you want, because the time limit is gone. There are tons of unlockables available, but those have been simplified as well. For each enemy/boss you scan, you obtain a Red Credit; for each Lore or special Research you scan, you obtain a Blue Credit; for each boss you defeat, you obtain a Gold Credit; all of these credits can be used to purchase the unlockables available. In addition, there are Friend Vouchers, which can be used to trade with your buddies online to obtain Friend Credits, which can then be used to purchase the unlockables available.
Before moving on, there's something that I feel should really be addresssed. Corruption has one gameplay aspect that no other Metroid game in history has: interactions with a large cast. Of course, Metroid Fusion had interaction with a few other characters during its story, but that doesn't even come close to what Corruption offers. When the story begins, you will go around to other characters and Galactic Federation staff and actually press the A button to talk to them. In addition, you'll encounter other bounty hunters, each with their own backstory and timeline. Of course, Samus will spend a vast majority of the game alone, but I found this aspect extremely interesting and worthy of note.
STORY : 9/10
The story is about what you'd expect from a Metroid game and it fits the bill rather well. Go to Point A, complete Objective B, kick Boss C's ass somewhere along the way. Even though the story isn't complex and intricate like some other games (MGS anyone?), the story in Corruption doesn't really need to be that complex since the game focuses a lot more on gameplay than the story. Of course, the story in Corruption really draws you into the game. I won't go into Spoiler Land, so just go out and get the game yourself. I will say that the story works for the game and doesn't feel worthless, nor does it feel like the entire game is just an interactive movie.
If you've played the other Prime games, most of what unfolds during the first half hour of Corruption will come as absolutely no surprise. Phazon returns, ass kicking ensues, bonuses and power ups galore. I will give out one spoiler though ... DARK. SAMUS. That is all.
FINAL SCORE : 38/40
This averages out to a 9.5 out of 10. Since GameFAQs doesn't accept half scores, I've decided to follow standard mathematical rounding, meaning that .5 is rounded up, hence the 10 you see on the previous page.
In closing, this game rocks. Period. If you're a fan of the Metroid Prime series, this is definitely a must-have game. Even if you haven't played the other two Prime games, it's not required for maximum enjoyment of Corruption. If you don't have a Wii ... you're really missing out. GET ONE NAO!!
With its simplified controls and excellent gameplay and graphics, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is truly a gem for the Wii. It's an excellent game for Metroid fans and newbies alike, FPS fans or not. I highly recommend this game for (almost) anyone with a Wii since it's an excellent game.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/29/07, Updated 08/30/07
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