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Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

by Zachary Miller - September 11, 2007, 6:19 pm PDT
Total comments: 14

9.5

Retro Studios brings its fantastic Prime series to a close with guns a-blazing. And you, dear player, will be the one blazing those guns. Readers be warned: Spoilers ahead!

As I spent the last week or so playing through every virtual centimeter of Retro Studio’s latest achievement, I couldn’t help but think that Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is the game they’ve been wanting to make for the last six years. This is not to say that their previous efforts have not been appreciated. Granted, I did not care for Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, but I still feel to this day that the original Metroid Prime is among the very best of the last console generation. Now, with the power of the Wii in one hand and more freedom to make the game they want in the other, Retro has succeeded in perfecting the Metroid Prime formula to the nth degree.

You will wander through towering, forgotten civilizations and organic landscapes packed with ambient life and bizarre flora. You will marvel at the mechanic inner workings of a floating city in the clouds. You will, for the first time, explore the dastardly Space Pirate homeworld. And you will find out where that most vile of space-faring substances, Phazon, really comes from. More than ever before, Corruption introduces the player to exploration in the grandest sense. This is partially because Samus travels to several different planets, each brimming with detail and worthy of its own game. But I’m getting ahead of myself. If I want to sing the praises of Corruption, I should start from the beginning.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption takes place six months after the events of Echoes. The Space Pirates are up to their old tricks and have infected the Galactic Federation’s numerous supercomputers, called Aurora Units, with a Phazon-based virus. Samus and three other bounty hunters are called to the scene to cure the Auroras scattered through the system and to investigate Pirate activity. Mere moments pass before the Pirates attack a Federation outpost, with the intent of seeding an entire planet with Phazon, much like what happened to Tallon IV and Aether in previous games. During the first tense hours of gameplay, you are given the task of preventing this disaster, and its outcome paves the way for a meaty plot that is distinct and refreshing after the passive storylines of previous Prime games.

The most notable change, of course, is to the control scheme. No longer hindered by a single-stick control scheme, Retro Studios embraced the Wii Remote and its Nunchuk counterpart. The player manually aims by pointing the remote at the screen, while the A button fires, the B button jumps, and the D-pad fires missiles. The + and – buttons get their own functions later on. Overall, it’s an incredibly intuitive control scheme. My only complaint is that the missiles are a little awkward to reach for, but I’m not sure where else they could have been mapped. Meanwhile, the Nunchuk handles movement, lock-ons, the Morph Ball transition, and, best of all, Samus’s increased Grapple Beam arsenal. By extending your Nunchuk forward, Samus zaps her Grapple Beam onto whatever object can be grappled. By snapping your arm back, Samus tears the shield off a Pirate trooper, rips a weak structure off a wall, and various other well-implemented tasks. In fact, complex motions are not performed by the Nunchuk alone: several manual doors, switches, and panels must be interacted with by moving and twisting the Wii Remote. While I got the feeling that Retro liked these concepts a little too much, they are a welcome change from the days where passively scanning a console would activate a door or a switch.

And while locking-on is certainly an option, it is not nearly as necessary as it once was. When dealing with a single enemy, it’s certainly helpful to have that monster in the center of your view, but when battling a battalion of Space Pirates, strafing and precision aiming become more critical. It’s true that you can lock into a single enemy, but fire at another; I found this option limiting when other enemies would leave my field of vision. The fact that there is no lag in response to your movements, and that merely moving the aiming cursor to the edge of the screen to make Samus turn makes for a wonderful shoot-‘em-up style that absolutely destroys the traditional dual-stick setup and, in my opinion, the mouse-and-keyboard option. Because Samus now aims where you point, and not where your pointer is, there is a feeling of immersion that lifts Corruption above any traditional FPS I can think of.

Samus still collects new weapons and armor suits during her quest, most of which have made appearances before. My least favorite item, Seeker Missiles, have made a return, but are luckily not used that much. Samus gets to go into Hyper Mode, in which her body is pumped full of Phazon energy, and her attacks become more devastating. You must watch your Phazon meter, however. If Samus stays in Hyper Mode too long, she’ll become fully corrupted and die. Also, using Hyper Mode "wastes" an Energy tank. The longer you stay in Hyper Mode, the more energy you’ll drain from the tank. Knowing when to use Hyper Mode and for how long quickly becomes a key to your success in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Perhaps for no other reason than lack of buttons on the Wii Remote, Samus’s beams now stack in power. This is actually a welcome change, as you will no longer have to switch your beam weapon to open a red, and then a green, door. The beams also have new secondary uses. The Plasma Beam, once only good for setting things aflame, now becomes a handy soldering gun. When combined with the upgraded X-Ray Visor, the Nova Beam can penetrate Phazon-based shields to activate otherwise invisible switches. None of these uses feel entirely gimmicky, although the Hyper Mode upgrades aren't used nearly as much as they could have been, nor is the Spider Ball. Your ship, which Samus gets to control in short bursts, is also criminally underused. Imagine a boss fight in which Samus orders her ship to let loose a barrage of missiles on a stunned monstrosity. In fact, I wondered why a feature like this wasn’t implemented, because some of the upgrades you pick up are Ship Missile Expansions. If your ship never uses its missiles, why would you need to upgrade them?

Like I said before, Samus travels between several worlds in this game. Norian, Bryyo, Elysia, and the Pirate Homeworld are all on the list of vacation spots. Although I enjoyed traveling between worlds, I did not appreciate having to travel to different checkpoints on a single planet. That is, each planet is made up several different, distinct maps, and these maps do not necessarily meet up at any point. So, when trekking through Bryyo on your quest to get all of the item upgrades, you will have to return to your ship after exploring the main hub, then the thorn jungle, and then again for the fuel gel factory. Ideally, all of these maps would hook up, but it’s not always the case.

Luckily, you tend to forget about all the wandering thanks to Retro Studio’s increasingly gifted art direction. Each planet feels complete and distinct, and if you take the time to read the logbook entries, each world has its own back story, too. My favorite planet has got to be Elysia, which resembles something out of an Isaac Asimov story, what with its alien gear works and immense, steam-powered generators. The light blooms, shadows, and particle effects all come together wonderfully to create a mesmerizing landscape that is constantly surprising, and I love it. All of this beauty comes as a price, however. Perhaps because of the larger Wii disc size, many doors now open exceedingly slowly as the next area loads. Normally this wouldn’t bug me, but there were many times where I just wanted to run back to my ship or to a save point and not deal with all the beasties on my heels, only to hit an eight or nine-second door load, which would force me to engage my attackers. By far, the worst offenders in this regard are Bryyo and the derelict Federation spaceship, but it’s a pain no matter where you go.

Overall, however, the door loading times and map configurations cannot bring this game down. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is the current high point of the Wii, and I cannot recommend it enough. From the immersive control scheme to the thorn jungles of Bryyo and everything in between, Corruption is a wonderful, nearly flawless game. It brings closure to a wonderful trilogy, and I can’t wait to see what Retro Studios develops next, be it Metroid or something else entirely.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
10 9 10 10 8 9.5
Graphics
10

No slowdown or jaggies, and character models are even more detailed and mobile than previous Prime games. When you add bloom effects and an essentially rebuilt particle engine, there’s no getting around the fact that Corruption is the best-looking Wii game, or Prime game, to come down the pipe so far.

Sound
9

Although not nearly as active and moody as previous Prime games, the tunes of Corruption get the job done, especially on Elysia and the final planet. The use of voice acting for NPC’s is hit-or-miss. The bounty hunters have good voices, but the Federation troops, and especially their general, make me sad.

Control
10

Again, my only complaint is that missiles are mapped to the D-pad, which is awkward to reach for when engaged in a firefight. However, the facts that the aiming is 1:1 and that your Grapple Beam has so many uses—which rely on YOU—really overshadow any meandering error I find with the button mapping.

Gameplay
10

I like this mission system better than the usual "get dumped on an alien world with no direction at all" style that most Metroid games rely on. There’s a feeling of purpose, the pacing is better, and you often have more opportunities to scrounge for item upgrades. And unlike Metroid Fusion’s mission structure, you’re never locked out of any important areas, so you can, if you want, explore at your own pace.

Lastability
8

My first play through, at 100% completion, was just under 16 hours. However, I intend to play through the game again on the highest difficulty setting, and I still have some bonuses to unlock.

Final
9.5

Corruption is the first Wii game that really shows us what that little white box is capable of. While it won’t interest any gamers who have snubbed the Metroid Prime franchise in the past, everyone else can rest easy knowing that this game is a no-brainer. For no other reason than to experience the innovative controls and beautiful art direction, Corruption is a must-play.

Summary

Pros
  • A storyline that you actually partake in
  • Did I mention how awesome the control scheme is?
  • You will not want to blink, lest you miss some incredible sight.
Cons
  • Irritating load times on several doors
  • Lots of missed potential in controlling Samus’s ship
  • planet is made up of several maps, which do not necessarily connect
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

Bill AurionSeptember 11, 2007

I thought this was going to be the re-review, where NWR went back to give the game the 10 it deserves! tpg.gif

Quote

Originally posted by: NewsBot
While it won’t interest any gamers who have snubbed the Metroid Prime franchise in the past, everyone else can rest easy knowing that this game is a no-brainer.


::Looks left, looks right::

It snagged me.

GoldenPhoenixSeptember 11, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Kairon
Quote

Originally posted by: NewsBot
While it won’t interest any gamers who have snubbed the Metroid Prime franchise in the past, everyone else can rest easy knowing that this game is a no-brainer.


::Looks left, looks right::

It snagged me.


Kairon is right, I can definately see this game snagging people who may not have been enamored with MP1 or 2.

UERDSeptember 11, 2007

Quote

Lots of missed potential in controlling Samus’s ship


Definitely. As of now, the only thing the ship has been good for, besides saving, plot advancement, and going from world to world, was getting beaten to death by that giant robot bounty hunter thing.

Bill AurionSeptember 11, 2007

Eh, what else could you do? Have space battles? I'm glad not... =)

UERDSeptember 11, 2007

I thought you were supposed to be able to kill bad guys with it, or something.

On the topic of space battles, do the combat HUD/manual thruster controls in the ship get utilized at any point? I kind of remember using the thruster at the very beginning, but that was all.

GoldenPhoenixSeptember 11, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Bill Aurion
Eh, what else could you do? Have space battles? I'm glad not... =)


They need to save those space battles for Factor 5 to do when they start whoring out the Metroid franchise again.

Bill AurionSeptember 11, 2007

But, uh, you can kill enemies with it... face-icon-small-smile.gif

Seriously...You didn't know that? In any open area, just pull up your ship visor!

UERDSeptember 11, 2007

Really? I got to try that sometime.

Quote

They need to save those space battles for Factor 5 to do when they start whoring out the Metroid franchise again.


I'm holding out for a good, original IP arcade space shooter. Just not anytime soon.

GoldenPhoenixSeptember 11, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: UERD
Really? I got to try that sometime.

Quote

They need to save those space battles for Factor 5 to do when they start whoring out the Metroid franchise again.


I'm holding out for a good, original IP arcade space shooter. Just not anytime soon.


Or Factor 5 could create Ridley Wars, where they have downgraded Lair's graphics and made the dragon look like Ridley.

Bill AurionSeptember 11, 2007

Bloody tears are welling up in my eyes...Thanks, GP... ;_;

aaronsullivanSeptember 12, 2007

Seriously... like someone said above (in invisotext for a reason I'm not sure I understand after an almost total spoiler of a review) the ship DOES have the ability to barrage an area. Not sure the reviewer deserves a 100% discovery rating, since he didn't read the panel that takes up about 1/4 of the screen when you are using the ship visor. You have to use it outdoors, though, so it's a bit limited.

Great game, btw. Took my wife and I 21 hours at 87% pickups. Savor it. It ends quick. face-icon-small-smile.gif

Yeah, see, I keep hearing this, that you can use your ship's missiles to fight bad guys in an open area. I guess I'll have to give it a shot sometime, but it's certainly not a necessity to winning battles. It's not like that's part of the game's tutorial--AU 212 doesn't pop up and say "hey by the way, you should totally trying blowing those irritating lizardmen up with your ship's missiles--here's how."

I still think that a boss fight involving your ship would have kicked ass.

They should've had a part in the end where the game has you pull up the ship's HUD and blast enemy fighters that scroll by, a little bit of a rail-version of Rebel Assault from the PC...

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Wii

Game Profile

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Box Art

Genre Adventure
Developer Retro Studios
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Release Aug 27, 2007
PublisherNintendo
RatingTeen
jpn: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Release Mar 06, 2008
PublisherNintendo
eu: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Release Oct 26, 2007
PublisherNintendo
Rating12+
aus: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Release Nov 08, 2007
PublisherNintendo
RatingMature
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