Thursday, September 20, 2007

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Review

When Metroid Prime launched for the Nintendo Gamecube back in November of 2002, there was a great deal of uncertainty about the game. How would Metroid work in 3d? Why is it 1st person instead of 3rd? Who is Retro Studios and how will they handle Metroid?

Well, it turned out that Prime 1 was one of the best, if not the best, games for the Gamecube. Retro managed to translate the game almost perfectly to 3d and the 1st person perspective worked great.

Fast-forward to 2007...we now have Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for the Nintendo Wii. Prime 3 is a fantastic game that takes what was great about the first two games and combines that with a unique control setup only possible on Wii. The main concern with this game has been the controls. Rest easy...this game shows what a first person game can be on Wii. The controls work wonderfully and the game is best played on the "advanced" control setting. Beginners may opt for lesser sensitivity settings. What players may not know is that this version differs from the first two in the way it controls.

In Prime 3, you wii remote acts as Samus' hand throughout the entire game. You'll be pressing buttons and pulling levers in addition to blasting baddies with pinpoint accuracy, all because of the Wii's unique controls. The lock-on control present in early games can be selected from the options menu, but hardcore gamers will definitely want to play on with the "free-aim lock-on." With free-aim lock-on, gamers can still lock on to an enemy, but they are still free to move their targeting reticule anywhere on screen. Basically, your view is focused on the enemy, but you are allowed to strafe around the enemy and shoot at anything in site. This creates the opportunity for some truly intense battles, as you can lock-on to a large enemy, but still fire at those pesky little enemies who may come your way.

Graphically, Prime 3 improves upon the first 2 games and easily stands as the best looking Wii title to date. The game is also locked at a constant speed of 60 frames per second. Despite the good graphics, this game doesn't come anywhere close to say, Gears of War. But this is Wii, and the focus with this console is on control, not graphics. As for art direction, Prime 3 would stand against any title. Retro has some truly amazing artists as no two environments look the same and the detail in these environments is astounding.

I do have a few minor complaints that keep this game from a higher score. For one, the doors sometimes take too long to open. You may wait at one door for 10-20 seconds, while others will open almost instantly. It all deals with how the game loads as you progress and it is definitely a minor complaint considering the game has hardly any load times (there are a few when you move from one planet to the next). My other complaint is that the game has too much of a "been there done that" feel to it. IGN also mentioned this in their review and when I read it I was irate. How can you fault a game that does something good and sticks with it? Well, after playing Prime 3, I think I have to agree with that assessment. Some things just get redundant after a while, and this game could never be as revolutionary as the original Prime was. Don't get me wrong, the game contains plenty of new elements and the new controls take the game to a whole new level.

In the end, Prime 3 is right up there with Twilight Princess in terms of the best Wii games, but unlike Twilight Princess, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has been clearly built for the Wii. The boss battles are amazing and the action is intense, yet Prime 3 still manages to keep the feel of a true Metroid game. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption gives the hardcore gamer a reason to own a Wii...this is the hardcore game everyone has been wanting.


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