Review by BoyLover X
"A review by someone who actually finished the game!"
Metroid Prime was an excellent game, and if you don't know that by now, that's probably because you didn't play it. Two sequels were made, dubbed "Echoes" (or "Prime 2") and "Hunters" (which didn't have a number attached since it was a side story) and both fell noticeably short of the greatness of the original. Thankfully, "Corruption" manages to hit the mark.
On the surface, Prime 3 may look just like the first two. The first-person perspective and cool behind-the-helmet immersion elements (example: liquids splatter on your helmet, temporarily obscuring your vision) return. The graphics are only slightly better than the GameCube games, although they were very good looking for last-gen games. The only improvements are widescreen support (which I am grateful for, don't get me wrong) and better lighting. The art direction is pure Metroid and the game has lots of interesting environments to explore (unlike the boring Prime 2). It's a nice looking game overall, but it could definitely look better.
Although it may look mostly the same as the old games, it definitely plays better. Let's start with the controls: you can aim while moving, which is a huge enhancement over the first two games since they relied on an unusual "lock-on" system rather than the typical dual analog moving/aiming. The ability to simply point and shoot with the Wii remote makes combat much smoother, and you'll need this degree of control since you'll be fighting trickier enemies, and in greater numbers.
It's not all about combat though. The Metroid series has always had a strong focus on exploration, and this game is no different. There are plenty of alien contraptions to scan and figure out what to do with, just like previous Prime games. Backtracking is still a part of the game, but it's not as unnecessarily confusing as Prime 2 and there seems to be a bit less of it overall. One big compliment I have for Retro Studios is that the pacing of the difficulty is perfect, and level design just gets better and better the more you play. In other words, the game starts out linear and too easy (in terms of both combat and puzzles). But the deeper you get into the game, there is less "hand holding" and you are free to explore a number of areas at any time. Puzzles also get more interesting, and bosses more difficult to figure out how to beat.
A lot of people said "Oh no, it's gonna be a linear FPS and won't be Metroid at all! The atmosphere will be ruined too because it has voice acting!". This turned out to be completely wrong. It feels like Metroid, and the voice acting is actually a good thing (the main character, Samus, never talks though) since being able to see and talk to others makes it feel like a more fleshed out world. So what exactly ARE the issues? Well, the game could have been longer, it seems like some abilities were underused, and the game didn't get really good until about halfway through. Most importantly, the game didn't go the extra mile to impress me. It met my expectations, but didn't exactly blow me away.
Graphics: 9/10 - Great art direction... but textures could have been better
Sound: 9/10 - Great music (in the same style as previous games)... but it's still MIDI based
Gameplay: 9/10 - Plays very well, and feels like Metroid... but it just didn't give me that "perfect 10" feeling
Play Time & Replay Value: Low - A single play through is about 15 hours assuming that you are trying to find all items and scans. This isn't the kind of game you'll want to replay multiple times in a row, but it is a very enjoyable game so you will probably want to play it again eventually.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 09/04/07
Game Release: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (US, 08/27/07)
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