Review by SeiferMaster
"New adventure, new controls, still amazing"
One of Nintendo's biggest franchise makes its debut on the Wii console. This could be considered the first major first party title from Nintendo for the Wii if you don't take into account the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess also available on Gamecube. It is safe to say everyone expected from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption to be an excellent title, especially with the wiimote and nunchuk combination that almost seemed to be made specifically for that game.
The first game in the Metroid Prime series pushed the limits of the Gamecube as far as graphics are concerned, and for what the Wii has to offer compared to the power of the other 2 current generation platforms, Metroid Prime 3 sure takes full advantage of the Wii console. Running at a steady 60 frames per second, the game itself may not be as breath taking as Metroid Prime was 5 years ago, but nonetheless, it's safe to say it's currently the best looking title available for the Wii. Each of the planets featured in the game has its own specific architecture and environment, creating an even better immersion than the previous games.
The visuals are superb, the frame rate will pretty much never drop, or these drops won't be noticeable, and the artistic design is one of the best out of all the games available on current generation consoles. Retro Studios kept the same level of attention to Samus' surroundings like they did in the previous 2 titles. From being able to see your own reflection in your visor to blowing up an enemy in a hundred pieces, the amount of details put into this game is unparallelled by any other games on the Wii.
The game offers 2 different difficulty levels from the start for casual or more hardcore gamers. Veteran will offer a decent challenge for most gamers, and I personally don't recommend playing the game on normal, especially if you played through the previous 2 Metroid Prime titles. A more difficult mode is unlockable after you played through the game once, giving a much better challenge to the most hardcore gamers. You are also offered some control customization allowing you to switch your firing/jumping buttons for example, but for the most part, I don't think most gamers will want to change anything to the default control setup as it is excellent.
The biggest change to this game compared to its predecessor is, obviously, the use of the wiimote and nunchuk combination. To say Retro Studios did an excellent job using the wiimote and nunchuk would be an under statement. The truth is, Metroid Prime 3 will set the standard for any upcoming first person shooters on the Wii. The controls are almost flawless. You simply use the joystick on the nunchuk attachment to move around, aim with the wiimote and shoot, it's really that simple. The wiimote is extremely precise, and less than an hour into the game, you'll find yourself already aiming the wiimote straight at the multiple enemies on screen without much trouble. Not only that, but you'll be required to use the wiimote to proceed further in your adventure. So make sure you're ready to twist, raise or lower your wiimote when the time comes.
Another minor change from the previous Prime games, you seem to be doing more shooting and a bit less adventuring than in the previous titles. While the Metroid Prime games could be considered more like first person adventure titles, the third one seems to focus a bit more on shooting.
Of course, Samus has a few weapons and special abilities to help her through the game. Like in previous Metroid games, you'll start off with pretty much nothing but your beam gun and the ability to turn Samus into a ball. As you progress through your adventure, you'll quickly gain access to more powerful beam weapons as well as other upgrades for Samus and her ship. Aside from the ship and weapon upgrades, Samus will also receive a few visor upgrades ranging from scanning ability to seeing through certain things. The game puts to use all these abilities and upgrades, would it be to unlock a new area or find one of the boss weaknesses.
Samus now has a new ability that allows her to enter a "Hyper Mode" after being corrupted with Phazon energy. The good thing about it: she'll be able to deal a lot more damage than she usually does with Hyper Mode turned on. The bad thing: Hyper Mode slowly overtakes Samus and could kill her if you don't let go of it fast enough. It actually adds an interesting twist to some of the boss battles, more particularly as some bosses will be invulnerable to anything other than Hyper Mode attacks.
One of the bad things that can be said about Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is about the loading time between some of the areas. The game will usually load areas behind closed doors fairly quickly, but you'll sometime find yourself standing in front of a door for a few seconds while it loads the next area, breaking the pace of the game at times, especially if you're cornered by a group of foes. Although this flaw can get particularly annoying at times, especially after fighting a big group of enemies or trying to escape from one, these situations do not present themselves too often.
One of the big improvements over the previous titles is the backtracking. While you had to go through an entire area just to get back to that one little thing you missed half an hour ago in the previous titles, this one features different landing spots on the planets, allowing Samus to travel back and forth between areas much more easily. Of course, backtracking has always been an integral part of the Metroid games, especially for anyone looking for all the upgrades, but it's been made a lot less tedious in Corruption.
The game also introduces a token reward system. These tokens come in 4 different colors, blue, red, yellow and green. You get different types of tokens by defeating bosses, scanning certain enemies, reaching a certain areas and other things like that. These tokens can later be used to unlock art galleries for example. The only exception are with green tokens, as you will need to trade these with your friends in order to receive credits allowing you to buy some of the stuff in the Extras menu.
Unfortunately, the game doesn't offer any multi-player mode at all, which is a big step backward, especially when considering the second game had a multi-player mode and Metroid Prime: Hunters for DS allowed online play. Even though the multi-player mode in the second Prime game was poorly done, Retro Studios could have spent some energy taking advantage of the wii online capabilities more than sharing tokens.
The sound effects in the game are excellent, and the music by Kenji Yamamoto will usually fit the atmosphere of a specific area extremely well. Some of the compositions are remixes from the older Metroid games, which should bring back some good memories to those who played Metroid since the NES era. Overall, an excellent score through the entire game that mixes new and old sound very well.
For the first time in a Metroid game, voice acting has been integrated in the game and is used for every conversations in the game, which is a very welcomed addition. The voice actors all did a very good job at bringing the various characters a little closer to life than they were in the previous titles. Samus doesn't say anything through the entire game, keeping the strong silent hero status she has been known for over the years.
While the story itself has never been the strongest aspect of any Metroid games, this one still delivers an interesting enough story to keep you interested until the end. Samus will once again have to come to the help of the Galaxy Federation along with some fellow bounty hunters to get rid of the Space Pirates forces now praising a new energy called Phazon that dramatically boosts their strength, but also consumes planets and possibly entire galaxies. In front of this new treat, the Galaxy Federation sees no other ways to stop this menace but to send Samus Aran to destroy all treats on different planets.
Although the storyline itself isn't very strong, it isn't poor either. The flow of the story is much better than in the previous Prime titles. Then again, most people playing a Metroid game know they're not expecting anything outstanding from the story, but it is a little better than it was in the previous games.
The game also offers an excellent replay value, thanks to the 3 difficulty levels, a wide variety of unlockables as well as 100 upgrades that can be found through the game. The only thing hurting the replay value is the lack of multi-player mode. While you will need to interact with people on your Wii friend list to unlock some of the unlockables by trading tokens you will find during your adventure, the game doesn't offer any real multi-player modes, or online mode for that matter, which is a step backward from the second Prime title, or even Metroid Prime Hunters for the DS.
Overall, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption will be considered by many as the best game currently available on the Wii. It is a 15-20 hours long adventure, and with its intuitive controls, the breathtaking environments, a solid soundtrack and voice acting, enough unlockables and hidden stuff through the game to make you come back for more as well as a decent storyline, the conclusion of the Metroid Prime series is sure to give every fans and newcomers to the franchise their money's worth.
Replay Value: 9.5/10
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/06/07
Game Release: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (US, 08/27/07)
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