Review by lce_

Reviewed: 08/31/07 | Updated: 10/31/07

Samus Aran's most epic adventure

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is the final game in Retro Studios' Metroid Prime trilogy, which flawlessly brought the Metroid series into 3D starting with Metroid Prime, which could be called the Super Mario 64 or the Ocarina of Time of the Metroid series.

Metroid Prime 3 is the best game in the trilogy, and is also currently the best game for the Nintendo Wii.

Story [8/10]
Story was never the biggest thing in the Metroid series. The only game prior to this one that had some kind of emphasis on story would be Metroid Fusion. Metroid Prime 3, however, emphasizes on stoy even more, is more cinematic, and now has fully voiced cutscenes (save for Samus). Samus Aran, and three other bounty hunters, Rundus, Ghor, and Gandrayda, are ordered to investigate a virus spreading through organic supercomuters known as Aurora Units. Early on, Dark Samus conveniently shows up and launches a Phazon blast at the bounty hunters, corrupting them with Phazon, including Samus. You will receive the P.E.D., or the Phazon Enhancement Device, which allows you to use Phazon as a weapon. You will eventually wind up having to take out giant Phazon seeds, called Leviathans, on multiple planets, to prevent the planets from being corrupted, as well as going to war with the Space Pirate. Backstory details can also be figured out by scanning various things across the planet, giving you details on the history of planets and their creatures.

Control [9.5/10]
The controls for this game are practically perfect, and are, hands down, the best controls for any console FPS, ever. You aim around by pointing the Wii Remote at the screen, and there are three sensitivity settings, which basically change the size of the bounding box, which is the space on the screen you can move the cursor to before you start to turn. I'll tell you this, right away, when you start the game, go to options and switch the sensitivity to "Advanced". Don't even bother to try out the other two options. Advanced basically makes the bounding box a small rectangle in the middle of the screen, making turning and navigating speedy and simple, whereas Beginner makes the bounding box the size of the screen, making turning and looking around a hassle.

By default, the A and B buttons on the are shoot and jump respectively. These can be changed in the options menu, however. Down on the D-Pad is used for missiles, and while it isn't the best, there aren't many other options on the Wii Remote. To switch visors, hold down the - button and point at the visor you want to switch to, then release the minus button. Holding down the + button let's you enter Hyper Mode, and lastly, the 1 button brings up your Map, Inventory, Options etc. Additionally, you can flick the Wii Remote up while in Morph Ball mode to jump without the use of bombs. I find this doesn't really work if you give small flicks. It's a small annoyance, but nothing that hinders the gameplay.

The control stick is used to move around. Holding the Z button let's you lock on, and scan while using the Scan Visor, or command your ship with the Command Visor, and the C button switches to Morph Ball. Once you have it, flicking the Nunchuck forward while locking on allows you to use the Grapple Beam, to swing across grapple points, or pull various objects by pulling back on the Nunchuck. While in Morph Ball mode, the A button drops bombs, the B button boosts, the Z button allows you to use Spider Ball, and lastly, the C button returns you to normal.

Throughout the game, some machinery will require you to use the Wii Remote to operate. Simple gestures such as pulling, pushing, and twisting the Wii Remote are used, and the work just fine, without any problems.

Overall, the controls are the best for any console FPS, and set a standard for Wii FPS to come.

Gameplay [9.5/10]
This is Metroid, so I'll start with the basics. You'll be doing exploring, solving puzzles, and fighting enemies to advance though the game. You'll be going to multiple planets and different environments, making your way through them, and getting new upgrades and items along the way. The upgrades are things like a new beam, or an upgrade for a previous item. Things like the Morph Ball and Missiles are used both in combat and to solve puzzles. You'll start off in a Galactic Federation ship, which acts as a tutorial for the controls once you head out to the first planet. You can only travel to planets once you are needed to the first time around, but you will be able to travel through them freely, and it is required once you get new items, so you can explore previous parts of the planet. Boarding your ship at any of the landing pads will let you fly to another planet, as well as save, which you can also do at save points scattered across the planets. Prime 3 also introduces a checkpoint system, so if you die, you don't have to start all the way back at a save point. This is a very welcome addition, although the game is a bit on the easy side. Picking Veteran difficulty when you start your game could help that out though.

Please, everyone, play past the first planet before you say this is like Halo. Play past the first planet before you say this isn't like Metroid, because it is, and as always, it is excellent. The game starts out on the Galactic Federation ship Olympus, and acts as a tutorial level. During this, you are attacked, and until after the first planet, where you are fighting off Space Pirates, this is just like a normal shooter. Not that it's bad. Again, the controls work wonders here, but once you're off and on to the second planet, the Metroid goodness begins.

I'll start with the combat bits of the game. Metroid Prime 3 has a somewhat larger focus on fighting and precision than the previous two games, but puzzle solving and exploration is not hindered in any way. Corruption has a damn good balance between combat, puzzles, and exploration. First off, Retro Studios obviously realized the new controls would make the game easier, so they pumped enemies with more health. There are still the small one shot enemies, but many of the larger ones are tougher and take longer to defeat. They also push precision, most noticeably in bosses, where you are often required to hit a certain part of the boss, while the lock on only targets the boss itself, and not that specific area. Some foes also require the use of the Grapple Beam, which is usually grappling a part of them, and yanking it off. This also comes in to play during some of the bosses.

Speaking of the bosses, Metroid Prime 3 contains some of the best boss battles in any video game, ever, usually making you use most items you get throughout the game. This game is filled with epic fights, that are just plain fun to play, and some bosses you'll just wish you could face again.

Back to the combat now. Lock on works has two different options this time around, that can be switched in your options menu. With the default setting, while locked on, you can still move the cursor freely, with lock on simply letting you strafe around the enemy. The other setting acts pretty much like the previous Prime games, which locks your aim towards the enemy. I prefer the default setting, as it is much more useful, especially during boss fights. Lastly, beams stack in this game, unlike the Prime games. This pretty much means all your beams combine in to one beam with the powers of every beam you collect.

But it just isn't Metroid without puzzles, right? Never fear, Metroid Prime 3 delivers. You have stuff from the old Morph Ball mazes, to the new using your ship to move around items, which ties in to the visors. You get three visors in this game, apart from the Combat Visor. These are the Scan Visor, the Command Visor, and the X-Ray Visor. The scan visor works like normal, but instead of little squares on your screen, the entire scannable object is lit up, making scanning much easier to pull off. Scanning is also used a lot more in this game, often helping you solve puzzles much more than it did in the previous games. The X-Ray visor works just like in Metroid Prime, basically making everything see through, or making previously unseeable objects visible. This is necessary to work some machinery with the small gesture controls, or see through walls to find targets behind those walls, and of course, solving puzzles. Lastly, your Command Visor. This allows you to call your ship to certain spots. The most basic use for this is to land you ship on a flight pad, save your game, and enter your ship to fly to a new location. At other points in the game though, you are required to use your ship to move around large objects to progress, and at other points, you can call in your ship to bomb the area.

Back to the puzzles, Spider Ball puzzles aren't as good as before, but they are great nonetheless. Some puzzles can have you traveling different rooms just to figure out what to do, and a few make clever use of items like the Grappling Beam and missiles. The puzzle solving is overall, great, and has some clever environmental puzzles so it never gets old.

Next, is Hyper Mode. Hyper Mode makes use of your P.E.D.. Whenever you enter hyper mode, you are able to use your Phazon enhanced abilities to deal major damage. Entering Hyper Mode also costs you one energy tank, and it is necessary throughout the game, so you low% speed runners will have a tougher time than usual. Beating certain bosses will get you Hyper Mode specific abilities, such as the Hyper Ball and Hyper Missiles. Now, at the top of the screen, in place of your health, is a Phazon meter. You have to expel all the Phazon in your body in time, or you die. Obviously, paired with the fact that Hyper Mode costs an energy tank, you don't want to abuse it too much. Some enemies can enter Hyper Mode as well, making then resistant to all attacks except for Phazon based attacks.

There is also a sort of achievement system. Doing certain things like a defeating a boss or killing 100 enemies gives you a coloured token, which is noted on screen. These can be used to purchase unlockables in the Extras menu, such as art or music. Green tokens give you Friend Vouchers. Through WiiConnect24, you can give these friend vouchers to friends on your Wii Friends list with Metroid Prime 3 data, and you can receive. You can then choose to keep these as vouchers, or turn them into Green Tokens, which can be used to purchase extras as well.

Well that was a load, wasn't it? Overall, it's what you've come to expect from Metroid, but improved greatly.

Graphics [10/10]
As of now, the graphics on the game are the best on the Wii. They aren't on par with PS3 and Xbox 360, but they are excellent. From the Fuel Gel Factory of Byrro to the clouds of SkyTown, the game is absolutely beautiful. Using your Scan Visor, you can see a reflection of Samus' face. Phazon glows a brilliant blue, steam makes your helmet noticeably moist, and water and rain drops run off your helmet as you walk. The environments are brought to life through well animated creatures and plant life, and everything looks fantastic. Character models and animation are detailed and spot on, and are definitely a step up from the past Prime games. This game may not be comparable to PS3 and Xbox 360 games technically, but artistically, it's can definitely go up against the top games on other consoles.

Sound [10/10]
The fist thing you notice when it comes to the soundtrack, is the absolutely awesome title screen music, which happens to be one of my favorite songs in the game. The soundtrack is definitely more epic than previous games, but still has the same Metroid feel, including tracks from the previous Prime games, like Phendrana Drifts, the Space Pirates theme, and the Chozo Ghost theme. The original music is excellent too. The SkyTown music is nice, and there was a certain boss theme that really stood out for me, and is my favorite song in the whole game, if not the whole series. The more epic, and less ambient tunes don't drag down the experience at all, and is definitely more suitable for Metroid Prime 3.

Metroid Prime 3 also is fully voiced. You will pretty much never see speech without hearing a voice. The good thing is, it's done superbly, and not a voice seems out of place or acted out badly. It also fits well into the game, and doesn't detract from the Metroid experience.

Overall [9.5/10]
+Great graphics
+Amazing art direction
+Excellent control
+Good puzzles
+Great Boss fights
+Awesome soundtrack
+Great voice acting

-May be a little too short for some
-Getting 100% is easier this time around
-The game is overall easier than previous Prime games
-One late game puzzle might be a bit too hard

Metroid Prime 3 is an absolute must own game for the Wii, regardless if you've played the previous two games or not. The game is decent in length. I beat it in about 15 hours, but I didn't really take the time to look for everything. Getting 100% took me about 17 hours. If you just rush though the game will probably just last you about 10 hours, but the environments are just great looking, and fun to explore. Combine that with an extra difficulty after beating the game, achievements, friend vouchers, and unlockables, and you have yourself a "Prime" game.

That was bad. >_>

Anyways, with that said, go pick up Metroid Prime 3. Nao.

-This game's score has been rounded up to 10 for GameFAQs-

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (US, 08/27/07)

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