Review by SamFisherDS
"You want some Samus to go with your awesome? (Review may contain spoilers)"
Let me start out by saying I'm a huge Metroid fan. In many forums and AIM, my name is MetroidJunkie. When I first started playing Metroid Prime 3, the game blew me away in all areas, which I will now list off.
Story: The story is more fleshed out than previous installments, as phazon is corrupting planets and it's up to you to break it. Interestingly enough, you become infected early on, giving you phazon power. There's a lot of personality behind Commander Dane and they actually show you an origin planet of the space pirates, adding a never before seen layer to the story as well as where the pirates came from. Basically, Dark Samus is back to her old tricks after reviving from Aether. She, apparently, took the space pirates up on their offer and became their leader. In the main time, the Galactic Federation has had some upgrades such as a PED suit or phazon enhancement device and use super bio computers known as Aurura units. Old school fans will recognize the Unit as a throwback to Mother Brain, especially if the preview video is any indication, as it clearly shows a room identical to Mother Brain's chamber.
Controls: The game controls like a dream. The free aim really does add a lot to the enjoyability and precision of Samus' beam weapon. Sure, lock on may have been weakened but it was for purpose, as the precision controls make the lock on unneeded most of the time. Thanks to the tight control, you can aim for weak spots manually very easily. It feels natural shooting. Overall, excellent and tight control so, for those that worried about the Wii mote, put your fears to rest.
Gameplay: The gameplay is reminiscent of the first 2 Primes, with tighter control and alterations, this can be good or bad, depending on whether you like the gameplay of the original 2. I, personally, enjoyed it and continue to enjoy it here. The metroids are more challenging if you're trying to freeze them so atleast they're not push overs like the original Prime and, to some extent, the second one. The bosses may not be the hardest but the game's got difficulty levels for a reason. Hyper mode feels appropriately juiced up with a fair system that drains health from usage to avoid abusing it too much. It's good to see that many of the improvements from Echoes carry over, such as color coding to tell if an object is scanned or not, 3D models of scanned creatures, the missile launcher design, etc. The ability to command your ship to destroy obstacles or go on a killing spree outdoors is fun and the hyper mode based weaponry went beyond my expectations. Knocking a space pirate off its feet is still as entertaining as the first Prime. Some bonus features that require friend exchange online adds some replay value to the already shining game.
Graphics: Visually, the game is a dream to look at. Retro Studios always managed to have gorgeous looking graphics on the Gamecube Primes and this one takes it to the next level, though you have to look at textures close up to really see the improvements in sharpness. The draw distance can span for what seems to be miles, the environment is all true 3D, from canyons to backgrounds, the particle system is top notch, the 3D models are very well put together and, despite all this, the framerate is still silky smooth, never once giving slowdown. Best of all, since the game stores the 3D models in logs, you can gasp at the incredible detail at your leisure. The art work is equally impressive, streaming true sci fi feel to each and every planet. The Pirate home world was my personal favorite, offering an alienistic world that would make a Stars Trek fan smile.
Sound/Music: Equally impressive. The music sounds pretty good and some tracks in it are truly worthy of being great Metroid sound tracks. Of course, the real treat is full voice acting. From commands to Doom 3-esque marines talking to you casually to random gibberish as you test the radio frequency, everything shines through. The voice acting really adds a layer of atmosphere. On Norion, when the marine describes the situation, it really brings a feeling that text alone can't accomplish.
Overall: This is an excellent game that, IMO, succeeds at just about every category and I would definitely recommend it, not only for Metroid fans, but for Wii owners that are itching for a good game to pick up and play. If you want sci fi, a good adventure, gorgeous visuals and sound wrapped up in large worlds, engaging enemies, and addictive gameplay, pick up Metroid Prime 3: Corruption immediately if you have not done so.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/22/07
Game Release: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (US, 08/27/07)
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