reviews\ Sep 4, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption - WII - Review

Metroid Prime.  Ahhh………..Metroid Prime.   How can I profess my love for such a great game?  For many gamers, including myself, Prime is considered one of the greatest games of the past generation.  In the same way that Mario 64 pushed Mario, Metroid Prime pushed the Metroid series from a 2D juggernaut to an amazing 3D experience.  The same incredible gameplay in the early 2D versions successfully made the jump to 3D while giving the game the proper visual representation it deserved.   You finally felt as if you were just a small visitor to an enormous alien planet full of secrets.  The second Metroid Prime game seemed to fall off the radar since it was released almost simultaneously as a certain Chief had his second adventure.  Now with the incredible popularity of the Wii, Metroid Prime 3 offers hardcore fans and new fans a tremendous sendoff for the Prime series. 


The story of Metroid Prime 3 centers upon the title: Corruption.  The mysterious Dark Samus has infected Samus Aran and the other bounty hunters with a deadly virus that slowly takes control.  It’s up to Samus to discover the secrets of the infestation in the hopes of freeing herself from the virus before it’s too late.  The journey to find the cure will send Samus on a journey across several planets with experiences familiar to veterans of the series along with new elements not found in previous Prime games.




The gameplay in Corruption continues the quasi First Person Shooter/Adventure game found in the previous two games.  The series has been about you controlling Samus Aran in a first person perspective: fighting enemies and exploring every corner in the game to uncover hidden secrets.  The game has always more about exploration and adventure than combat.  The combat would usually happen the first time you visited a location, but after the combat was over it was time to explore. 




The first Prime game had to reinvent the shooting elements since the game didn’t rely on the typical dual analog stick popular on PS2 and Xbox FPS games.  Instead you had to hold down a shoulder button to move your arm/cannon and the game offered a lock on targeting system to keep you centered on an enemy.   This control scheme worked fine for the first two Prime games but now with the Wii motion sensing controllers the game has been revamped to work on the Wii.   This is one area where Prime 3 really shines when compared to the previous games.  Controlling Samus during combat is now a much smoother experience since the game retains the lock on targeting feature while incorporating a free moving target reticule. 



You simply lock on to a target, by holding down the Z button on the nunchuk and then aim & blast away with the Wiimote.  While you’re locked on to a target you can move the Wiimote in any direction you want, which lets you fight off multiple characters at a time.  Honestly at first the controls did feel a little strange, especially coming from playing the first two Prime games.  Aiming with the Wiimote feels natural enough but it could cause veteran players a brief moment of discomfort as they get used to the controls.  But for new players to the series the freedom of the controls might be a non-issue.  You see your target, aim and fire in almost perfect precision.   Corruption seems to have pushed the action level to the max due to the freedom offered by the controls.   Every stage in the game is always bubbling with enemies for you to take out and some at a relentless pace compared to the earlier Prime games. 




Aiming and targeting aren’t the only changes offered by the motion sensing Wii controls.  One great feature that I loved was the grapple hook that allows you to pull items in the game.  Once you see a hook icon appear on the screen you will need to lock onto the item, with the Z button, and then pull back on the nunchuk to pull the item back.  There are numerous items you can grapple onto in the game but the best has to be enemy shields.  You might have seen this in an early video for the game but it always felt great in combat to rip the shield from the enemy’s hands.  Another motion sensing feature in the game revolves around pushing and pulling locks and switches in the game.  You might find a switch that requires you to push in and out towards the screen with the Wiimote in order to unlock the switch. 


Another big change for the series is the inclusion of the ship controls.  Samus’ ship has always been a focus of a Metroid game but this time her ship takes on a bigger role.  Now you can interact with the ship from inside the cockpit, order air strikes and move from location to location within the game.  The cockpit controls will let you determine which part of the planet you want to explore as various landing points are highlighted on your map.  You can also check your Corruption level to determine how far along the virus has taken over your suit.  The air strikes play a key role in the game since you will need the ship to destroy or clear out certain areas in the game.  If you can scan a strike icon then you will order the air strike.  Thankfully the backtracking of the previous Prime games is limited this time around since you can move from one area to another using the ship. 


Metroid Prime 3: Corruption does a great job of closing out the series while re-inventing itself with the Wii controls.  The motion sensing combat is second to none for a console first person shooter and the additional Wii specific controls are fantastic as well.  The game’s scope and layout is just as grand and expansive as in the previous Prime games.  Almost every stage in the game has a secret or two waiting to be discovered.  The action in Prime 3 has definitely been turned up compared to the earlier games since almost every location is full of enemies to destroy.  Key parts of the game are relentless at times with waves and waves of enemies coming after you from location to location with no save point near by.  Regardless if you’re a newbie to the series or a die-hard fan Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is an excellent title for the Wii.


Review Scoring Details for Metroid Prime 3: Corruption


Gameplay 9.3 

To me the controls do have a small learning curve since most of us have never played an FPS game with this type of control layout.  My only real gripe about the controls is the placement of the Scan Visor, which is critical to the game.  Now you have to press the minus button and then select which scan visor you want to select with by pointing with the Wiimote.  It felt very awkward during the first several hours of the game.


Graphics 8.8 

Yes this is a Wii game and yes Metroid Prime doesn’t look like a 360 or PS3 game.  But visually speaking this is still a nice looking title and the best looking Prime game so far.  No problems with the framerate or any issues with slow down even during the heaviest of combat. 


Sound 9.2 

For the first time in the series we get actual voice acting in the game.  The majority of the voice acting is very well done with only a few head shaking moments wondering what the actor was thinking while performing the lines.  The music in the game continues the excellent music found in the previous Prime games along with the legendary Metroid themes found in the earlier games.  Sonically the Prime series always did an amazing job of shaping the atmosphere in the game and Prime 3 is no exception.


Difficulty Medium 

Retro Studio seems to have taken the freedom of the Wii controls to mean we need a harder challenge.  Along with the great puzzles you get a tremendous amount of intense moments of combat that will keep you on your toes.


Concept 9.0 

This is the third game in the Prime series but the one game that almost re-invents the game.  The Wii controls are the biggest change for the game and thankfully the game doesn’t fall apart due to the motion controls.


Multiplayer N/A 

Why no Multiplayer Nintendo?  Was the built in Wi-Fi too much to handle for Multiplayer Metroid?


Overall 9.1 

Metroid Prime 3 is the game that everyone with a Wii should own, regardless if you’ve ever played a Metroid game.  The great controls, amazing size and scope and incredible music are just a few elements that should get you hooked into the game.  More gamers need to experience just how special a Metroid game can be and Corruption should be just the game to introduce a whole new audience to the franchise. 






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