Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
The Metroid Prime series by Retro Studio, who successfully managed to bring the games to the world of 3D, has come to a suiting end on the Wii. Thanks to the new controls Metroid Prime 3: Corruption managed to bring enough innovation without having to change the basic gameplay all too much. Before we start looking for a spiritual successor of this trilogy it’s good that we go on a third and last (for now) mission with Samus Aran.
The story that takes us along on an adventure is all about Dark Samus and starts when an organic supercomputer gets infected by an unknown and dangerous virus. What follows is what we’re used from Metroid Prime: beautiful environments, puzzles to lick your thumbs and fingers, a lot of varied gameplay and of course the necessary shooting. It’s there that we quickly notice that the makers have opted for more action and accessible shooting violence and less mysterious and lone wandering around. Luckily the balance is kept and the uniqueness of the game remains so it doesn’t become just another sci-fi- shooter.
You’ll need your visors to analyze objects in your surroundings and solve puzzles. Switching between combat and research mode is easier than ever (just pushing the “-“ is enough) so that you quickly feel like that daring bounty hunter. Details like the reflection of your face on your visor immerse you without a problem. Also surprisingly atmospheric are the controls. Aiming is precise and tight with the remote, while strafing and moving is done with the nunchuck. The combination of both, together with the possibility to lock with Z, make for the best FPS control scheme up to now on the Wii.
Meanwhile the controls allow you to do fun stuff like throwing and pulling your grapple-hook with your nunchuck like you’re working with a real fishing line. Only the opening of doors feels less natural, just like the use of the extensive and beautiful 3D cards, and the first two hours you’ll have to get used to the quite fast moves you’ll have to do!
After that it’s enjoyment as always. The images may not be of the same technical level as on the heavier console brothers, but the makers have overdone themselves in creating a believable and rich world that you’ll be happy to explore. Puzzles are perfectly integrated in the environment (just look at how machines really exist out of different parts that need each other to look real) and the many bosses are all unique, have their own personality and complex, exciting way of getting beaten. And they look spectacular without a doubt!
The biggest and most impressive enemies will have to be beaten by a combination of using all your skills quick and precise. Morph into your ball-shape (something that next to the battles also guarantees some very pleasant and surprising passages), tear shields off with your grapples, shoot with your beam or fire rockets at certain parts of a sky-high opponent or go in hypermode to finish him. Do I still need to explain that each of such encounters is one to cherish and offers hundred times more entertainment that the boring bosses you have to defeat in other games all too often?
The hypermode is something new by the way. Thanks to the Phazon Enhancement Device (PED) Samus can become immensely strong and powerful for a short while and use phazon energy to kick ass. Beware though as if you don’t control yourself this can also mean the end of your life. There are also a couple of new upgrades for your weapons that allow you (amongst other things) to shoot through walls accompanied with the suiting sound effect. Those that like strong soundtracks won’t be disappointed with a purchase either, the song that plays in the menus is by the way one of the most atmospheric tracks to ever be in a game.
Although, as we said, the exploring and searching is a bit more balanced with the shooting, you’ll have to discover, search and use your brains a lot. If that isn’t enough motivation for you, collectors will be happy to hear that there are tons of unlockables present. You can take screenshots and send them as well as of course free a ton of music and art. You can even buy nice bumper stickers for your ship! That’s especially funny since you can upgrade your ship and will use it a lot more as you can now summon it to certain points in level to afterwards save your game or fly to another location.
Also here it’s clear that the makers really did their best to make the game as accessible as possible, in this case by limiting the backtracking (returning to areas you visited before). Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is the last and most accessible game in the series. The well-known lone exploring and dwelling through beautiful and inventively shaped worlds is varied with quite easy but o so immersive and original combat, some of the most inspired and creative bosses and puzzle sections that always manage to surprise. The controls are, except for a few details, perfect and the entire experience leaves nothing to wish for. A big fat suggestion for those that want a top game on the Wii!