Review by james_corck
Console FPS with "mouse like" controls
When the first Metroid Prime appeared gamers were in a bit of a freak out. Nintendo was taking a franchise that had always been 2D side-scrolling into the FPS world. We had faith on Nintendo adapting Mario and Zelda, but this game series was going to be made by a third party, Retro Studios, so our hopes were, at best, a bit betrayed. But as Metroid Prime appeared on the GameCube gamers saw that Metroid is happy with the FPS format, that it works nicely well and it plays even better. So after two titles in the GameCube it was time for Samus Aran to make her space jump into the Motion Sensor gen, and the results couldn't be any better.
Metroid Prime stands out among all other console FPS games for having a lock on targeting system and a very smooth aiming control. It's no doubt that Nintendo surely wanted to adapt the lock-on combat from Ocarina of Time into this game, and truth is that it worked perfectly. On Metroid Prime 3 the things changed and for the best in my opinion. Many thought that the Wii Remote could serve for modern console FPS games as a substitute for the Mouse and Keyboard, and here's the proof. You can still lock on enemies on Metroid Prime Corruption, but you can aim anywhere you want with Samus' cannon thanks to the Wii Remote capabilities, allowing you to shoot down other enemies while you jump around the one that you have locked on your visor.
The lack of buttons on the Wii Remote forced Retro Studios to drop the inventory of different beams that we had in previous Metroid Prime titles, substituted this time for upgrades for your cannon, exactly like what we had in all the other 2D Metroid Games. So in the weapons aspect the game feels more traditional and stuck to the roots. Some may miss the ice beam but the upgrade of the Ice Missiles makes up for its absence.
Unlike other games, Metroid Prime Corruption is divided in planets in a system instead of levels inside a single planet. To travel between them you have to use your ship, which you will use to blast certain places, as a platform reach some areas or to remove elements of the stage that get in your way to where you want to go. We never saw Samus interacting so much with her ship, and it's a very welcome element.
Other aspects include the Nunchuk controls. Analogstick controls Samus, while aiming at certain enemies and objects and shaking activates the grappling hook, which is a satisfactory element to the gameplay. You will have a lot of fun tugging with an enemy to take off its shield and then blast the heck out of it. Another minor element is the scanning option, which you can use to learn more about enemies before planning a strategy to defeat them or get hints about the plot.
Corruption follows the Phazon story line that started with Metroid Prime, and it's deeply driven by narration. The title of the Metroid series with the most narration was Metroid Fusion on the Game Boy Advance, but it quickly disappears under the heavy dialogue scenes and plot development movies that Corruption has. It's not a nuisance but a great add on, and they only appear now and then so the game works and succeeds when creating an isolating atmosphere like previous titles.
This game has beautiful moments mixed with decent moments. Some graphics and effects will remind you of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, like the simple design of some surfaces or the water effects, while some others will feel jaw dropping, like the landscapes and backgrounds full of transparencies and effects that will get your mesmerized at any moment. The various number of effects and interactive elements squeeze quite well the limited capabilities of the Wii's engine, and while they don't look like what one can expect from a next gen console they surely look nice.
As for the sound and music, it's atmospheric and chilling. The sound effects will keep you in the mood when the music is not soothing you with alien tunes and frantic orchestrations for the boss fights. The voice acting is a bit...cheese, like an old 50's Sci-Fi serial, but that adds another element to the atmosphere and overall tone.
You will replay this game a lot. It looked like Nintendo noticed the Achievements that Microsoft included in their Xbox 360 games, and so added something similar here. You will get tickets and credits for doing several tasks like: scanning enemies or objects, kill a certain number of enemies, destroy an enemy in particular, or just finish the game. You can exchange those credits on concept art galleries, music collections or even get yourself a bobbing-head Mii for Samus' ship. If you are not interested in all this, the basic game can last around 20 hours, which is a good amount of time for your money and effort.
So Metroid Prime Corruption is a great videogame. It is a staple in the Metroid franchise, and if the best 2D Metroid is Super Metroid for the SNES, the best 3D Metroid is this one. It looks great, it plays great and it feels great. Fans will love it, and new comers to the franchise will easily get hooked by it. My recommendation is go get it now, and enjoy it, because that's the only thing you will do, enjoy.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (EU, 10/26/07)
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