The Crown Jewel of the Prime Series
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is finally here making the launch of the Wii feel complete. Gamers around the world have been patiently waiting for Retro Studios to release the final installment of the Prime series, and grace their not-yet-fully-tested console. For those of you naysayers out there that thought the Wii was incapable of being cool, you have been proven wrong. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption may not be wholly original, but the control scheme sets the standard for first person shooters for ALL consoles.
The graphics are the best we’ve seen on the Wii, the sounds are classic, and the boss battles are everything you’d expect from a Metroid title. If you’re tired of creating Miis, you’ve re-beaten all the Zelda games on the Virtual Console, and want a single player challenge to accompany the fine collection of Wii party titles, Samus and her fellow hunters will not disappoint.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption will have you, Samus Aran, team up with fellow bounty hunters to foil the latest dastardly attempt by the Space Pirates against the Galactic Federation. This time a virus has been spread that has attacked Federation technology. The corruption of computer systems and the compromising of key networks has plunged the Federation into chaos. Luckily for us, this means a galaxy-spanning adventure through amazing alien worlds. The environments, creatures, and boss battles are all masterfully created. The title is truly entertaining from beginning to end, and I simply cannot say enough about how fun and creative the boss battles are. Cruising around the worlds is great, but taking on the honchos and besting them while utilizing all your available skills is a thing of beauty. You will have to use all of Samus’ powers and abilities in coordinated combination, often in inventive ways. If you use the abilities harmoniously, you should have no problems advancing past the mega foes she’ll face.
As in the other Metroid Prime titles, you’ll find yourself doing a lot of scanning and flipping between visors. I find this to be tedious at times, but I also understand its place in the title. Scanning interactive objects increases your logbook entries thus helping to explain sub-plots and characters; it also helps the player by giving contextual clues to solve tricky puzzles, and the scanning of every object and creature makes for an interesting side quest that keeps even the most devoted gamers busy. All in all, scanning is time consuming, but adds to the feel and depth of the game.
The most amazing aspect of the title is, of course, the Wii controls. Everything you interact with is perfectly managed and realistic via the Wii remote and Nunchuk. The Grapple Lasso/Beam is very satisfying and shows off just how well the unsung Nunchuk works; it’s far more than an analog stick. The Wii remote is the perfect implement for the shooter genre because of its realistic feel and deadly accuracy. You will flow from room to room and world to world in no time. This may make the game seem too easy to some, but for me it just feels right. We’re supposed to be Samus Aran after all, and the Wii’s control scheme makes it possible. A perfect example of this is when taking on shielded Pirates. Pressing the Z button targets the unfortunate victim, casting the Nunchuk forward deploys the Grapple Lasso, quickly tugging back on the Nunchuk will rip away the shield allowing you to aim and fire at will with pinpoint accuracy. All of this can be done in an instant with incredibly natural movements. It’s an experience that should be enjoyed by any gaming enthusiast. When all’s said and done, the controls are second to none and set the standard for all FPS to come.
The story is well plotted, but by no means epic. The game, in general, feels a bit unoriginal. You can’t help but feeling as if Samus has been there and done that all before. Of course, this is the third chapter in the trilogy. Fortunately, the game is so good that unoriginality could probably be better described as authenticity. The crew at Retro Studios did mix things up a bit, however. The addition of Hypermode to Samus’s suit is a great new element. Once acquired, Samus will be able to inject pure energy into her suit in order to enter an extremely powered-up state known as Hypermode. While in Hypermode, Samus is invincible and can shoot incredibly powerful beams from her arm cannon. Of course, entering Hypermode consumes an entire energy tank and can have further repercussions if abused. If you remain in Hypermode past the metered amount of time, you will become corrupted, as if berserk. Should you not successfully control your berserk state by repeatedly firing off the corruption, you will become wholly corrupted and the game will end. I really liked the addition of Hypermode and think it helps to push the series forward. I would have liked have seen more inventive features introduced, however. I’ll have to say, I am excited for the Prime trilogy to end so that a boost of originality can be brought back to the series. I don’t think they should reinvent the wheel, but I do think the current style of the title feels a bit too familiar. I think the current format has reached the event horizon.