Thursday, August 30, 2007

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption review

Alright, folks, here we go with the Metroid Prime 3: Corruption review! I've plugged about seven hours into this one so far, and I think that's plenty to base a review on. So, without further adieu, LET THE GAME (Review) BEGIN!!!

Developer: Retro Studios
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: August 27th, 2007 (North America)
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
ESRB Notes: Violence and Animated Blood

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has many tasks to achieve. It must carry the legendary Samus Aran to the Wii, successfully finish of the Prime series, and above all, prove that first-person-shooter (FPS) controls CAN be pulled off on the Wii better than any other console. Does it achieve all of these goals? Or does it fall short of expectations, and simply fizzle out? Read on to find out...

The gameplay in Metroid Prime 3 is quite possibly the most intuitive, lifelike and engrossing I have ever experienced. First of all, the controls are just AMAZING. But before I get to the really cool stuff, let's get the boring junk out of the way. You can walk around with the control stick, shoot and jump with A and B, respectively (Reversible via Options menu), fire rockets by pressing down on the D-pad, and aim by pointing at the screen.

Now, for the really cool stuff! First, we have the Grapple Beam, which I touched upon in my impressions. Whenever there's an object or enemy that can be grappled, you can do so by simply targeting the subject, and flicking the Nunchuk forward. Once attached, you can flick back hard with the Nunchuk to rip away or pull whatever it was you have grappled. This can be useful for pulling away debris, activating levers and taking shields away from armoured foes, as well as a few more things I dare not spoil for you. Basically, the Grapple Beam is Samus' answer to Links bow and arrow, in that it quickly becomes a very important and versatile weapon.

Next, we have Samus' trademark Morph Ball, which can be triggered by pressing the C button on the Nunchuk. While in this form, you can roll around quickly and enter small places far too tiny for regular Samus to explore. The Morph Ball can also be used offensively, by dropping small timed bombs. These bombs can also be used as a means of jumping while in the Morph Ball form, useful for accessing ledges too high to simply roll up onto. Next to the Grapple Beam, this is probably Samus' greatest unique ability.

One really amazing use of the Wii's unique control scheme is the way in which you interact with your environment. For example, the interface in Samus' ship is the most amazing thing I've seen on the Wii yet. When in the ship, you can look around the cockpit by moving the Wii remote's pointer back and forth. See a button you want to push? Simply press A to gain control of Samus' hand, then position her finger above the button. Then, press A, and Samus will touch the button and activate whatever it is the button is connected to. And how about that lever for the thrusters? Why, simply press the button to fold out the lever, grab on, and push the Wii remote forward to push the lever into position. All of this could have been simply replaced with a menu, but it wasn't. Retro Studios went the extra mile to make this as interactive as possible. And let me tell you, it payed off big time.

This is your brain on Phazon

Shortly into the game, you will become infected with Phazon. Sounds bad, doesn't it? Well, actually, it has a pretty good side to it, too. Once corrupted (Hence the game's title), you can enter Hyper Mode by holding down + for about a second. While in Hyper Mode, all of your attacks become incredibly strong, allowing you to defeat some special enemies, as well as dispatch normal foes much more easily.

But, of course, this corruption has it's fair share of downsides as well. First of all, you cannot enter Hyper Mode without at least one full Energy Canister (Kind of like a Life Bar). Furthermore, when in Hyper Mode, performing any sort of attack will drain your health. If you constantly attack during Hyper Mode until you run out of Phazon, you will lose one entire Energy Canister. Even firing only a few rounds will cost you a hefty amount of health. Needless to say, Hyper Mode should only be used when necessary.

There is also quite the inconvenient symptom associated with being corrupted, and that's a Phazon Overload. Happening at seemingly random intervals, you will instantly and involuntarily enter a sort of unstable Hyper Mode. This is due to abnormally high levels of Phazon within your body. Whenever this happens, you must quickly purge all excess Phazon from your system by rapidly firing your weapons. This may be triggered by entering Hyper Mode too rarely, but I'm not sure.

During your second mission in Metroid Prime 3, you will gain the ability to remotely summon your ship. This is helpful for destroying large obstacles in your way, as you ship can be programmed to fire missiles at objects. Simply equip your Command Visor, target whatever it is you wish to bomb, and your ship does the rest. However, only certain things can be bombed, and it should go without saying that your ship can only attack something if it can reach it.

In Metroid Prime 3, this ship is at your beck and call,
even when you're not in it.

Something else to help further immerse you into Samus' world is the fact that there are no menus. Well, at least not in the standard meaning of the word, that is. Instead of a menu coming up out of nowhere, an image is projected onto the inside of Samus' visor. Sure, there's a menu, but it is seamlessly integrated into the game's interface. Never again will you feel detached from the game's world while accessing the map or reading up on some lore. It's all actually happening within the Samus' helmet.

Much of the land on the planet Bryyo is covered with thick, boiling, highly combustible liquid called Fuel Gel. This gel can be ignited by firing a charged shot at it, but that's not the only way it can be manipulated. During your time on Bryyo, you will obtain an ice power-up for your rockets. Using Ice Rockets on Fuel Gel can freeze it. This is useful for creating ice platforms on large bodies of Fuel Gel, as well as freezing gushing springs of it to create temporary ledges useful for reaching far-off areas. Fuel Gel is but one example of the many interactive environmental effects in Metroid Prime 3, all of which come together to create a living, breathing universe far more realistic than that of most other games.

As is the case with any Metroid game, there are several boss battles scattered across each world. These bosses are far evolved from the simple "Attack the weakpoint for massive damage" bosses of the past. Yes, each boss has one or more weakpoints that must be targeted, but getting to these weakpoints is far more difficult than simply wailing on the boss until they submit. I won't give you any example for fear of spoiling the game for you, but basically, these bosses are a step above what you see in Zelda or Mario.

The level design in Corruption is also rivaled by few (If any) other games on the market today. The planets and ships you explore are so believable, you almost start thinking that there actually are worlds and crafts out there that look exactly like what you're visiting in the game. Incredibly realistic, and totally convincing.

A major driving force behind any Metroid game is the storyline, and this is especially true in the case of Corruption, the final game in the Prime sub-series. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption starts off simply enough: Samus gets debriefed on a new mission, goes off and does it, etc. But then you become corrupted with Phazon and several fellow bounty hunters go missing. It then becomes your duty to locate all of these lost comrades, as well as investigate some anomalies along the way. This turns out to be no standard mission, however, and ends up encompassing most, if not all of the rest of the game. I won't say anymore, for fear of being mutilated by irate fanboys angered over the story being spoiled, but Corruption has one of the most messed up, convoluted and, above all, well-written storylines I've seen in a long time.

If Metroid Prime 3 doesn't set the standard for controls on the Wii, than it surely sets the standard for graphics on the Wii. It's been a long, long time since I've played a game that had visuals that just made me say "Wow". Metroid Prime 3 breaks this streak. This is, without a doubt, the most beautiful game yet on the Wii. First of all, the character models are far crisper and far better detailed than anything I've seen in any other Wii game. When characters talk, their mouths move in perfect synchronization with their voices. When they walk, they don't look wooden or robotic (Unless they ARE a robot, that is). It almost make you feel bad to see a deceased comrade. They seem so real, there's almost a bit of sadness creeping up on you as you see them dead or dying.

If you think this game looks anything less than
stunning, you need to get your eyes checked.

The worlds and their environmental effects are also incredibly realistic. The amount of detail out into each and every little thing is just stunning, and the way liquids flow and shadows lie is comparable even to some of the XBox 360 titles you see on the store shelves today. Steam even fogs up your visor temporarily, hampering vision. Retro cut very few corners here.

Of course, this great illusion of reality would be completely shattered if the audio wasn't astounding as well. Hearing the classic Metroid "puzzle solved" chime amped up to Wii audio standards is a fanboy's dream come true. And the other sound effects such as gunfire, explosions and electrical crackling are just as impressive, if not more so.

Marking a major first in any Nintendo title, Metroid Prime 3 boasts full character voice-overs. That's right, every last word is spoken here, instead of merely appearing in a conversation box (Although the words are projected on Samus' visor, just in case you can't hear). Every last Federation troop, captain and bounty hunter has their own voice. The only character without a full voice-over is Samus herself. She's never been much of a talker, so why start now? Sure, you'll hear screams of pain and such, but she'll never utter a single word. And that's exactly how things should be. If voice-overs aren't implemented similarly in the next Zelda title, I'll be extremely disappointed.

The music is just as impressive as the rest of the package. From the most action-packed battle sequence to the calmest situation, there's a tune right for the job. And it's all beautifully composed, although whether it's real or computer done I am unsure. Sometimes, when things get really tense, the music will turn off entirely. Some situations are just too intense for music to do it justice.

And now, the last section of this incredibly long review: Longevity. This game will last most gamers quite a while. I've played for over seven hours so far, and I see little sign of the story ending any time soon. Even if I do beat the game, I'll probably miss several scans, a whole load of power-ups, and perhaps even an entire hidden stage! Beating this game reportedly takes about twenty hours, but completing it could take forever.


Gameplay: 10/10
This is the most immersive game I've ever experienced. From the ship interface to the grappling hook, it all feels so real. In this game, even the controls are fun!

Storyline: 10/10
The story in Corruption is solid, and there's really not much else to be said. Besides the main story, there's all the lore to be read which can give you an amazing backstory to all the planets and ships you visit.

Graphics: 10/10
Again, it's simply perfect! This is the best looking Wii game I've ever played! I have yet to see any sort of graphical glitch, no matter how small. And the way things move is so seamless and lifelike, I swear it's almost like watching a movie.

Sound: 10/10
Just beautiful! The music is amazing, the sound effects are incredibly realistic, and the voice-acting is astounding. Everything single audible aspect of this game was worked to perfection.

Longevity: 10/10
Yep, you guessed it: Perfect! This game looks like it will last any gamer a long time, and I doubt I'll even be able to finish it by the time I have to return it on Monday! Beyond that, I could see myself playing this over and over again, just to re-experience all the amazing things this game offers.

OVERALL: 10/10
This game receives the first ever perfect score in the history of One Duck's Opinion. Now before you go screaming "Who cares, he's a fanboy!", listen up: I looked VERY HARD to find ANYTHING wrong with this game, and I found nothing. This game is perfect in every way. But that's not to say a better game could come along in the future. By all means, Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros. Brawl have a very good chance of outdoing Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. The thing is, Metroid is just flawless. Not unbeatable, but flawless.

...I have no more to say...

The Duck Has Spoken.


Trance Gibson said...

This is without a doubt, the best 3D Metroid ever made. It even beats Prime in my book. Echoes was frustrating, traveling from dimension to dimension was real enduring.

But I must say, the voice acting in this game really makes it come alive, and the mission briefing from the Aurora Units add a nice touch to the whole "you're a badass bounty hunter chick" experience even further.

Unfortunately this game will be overshadowed by Halo 3, and soon the stupid "HALO IS BETTER THAN METROID LULZ" rants will begin.

After playing this, I am now quite saddened that Corruption is the last in the Prime series.

alexanderpas said...


Anonymous said...

This is the worst Prime game. Too much of the Metroid formula has been altered to even enjoy the title as a Metroid game. As an FPS game on a console it delivers, but as a Metroid game it completely fails.

Isolation is no longer a key part of the game, and exploring is now just an illusion. You have a narrating voice telling you where to go, what to do next, and how to do it. This game was definitely dumbed down to appeal to the Halo crowd.

Items are seriously lacking in this title, as most of the good ones seemed to be replaced with goofy Hyper mode items that serve as Phazon barrier removers throughout the game. You might as well get a colored keycard for a colored door.

The world is completely disconnected with it being split up into a galaxy, and it breaks the flow of the game. The inescapable cut scenes of the ship traveling, and the load times really drive home the dissapointment.

Sorry, but I would rather play Prime 1 or Prime 2 easily over playing this game again. The only redeemable thing about the game are the controls and how amazing and fluid they are. As a hard core Metroid fan, I was severely let down.

Unknown said...

This is the first metriod game I have ever played completly through... So in my luigi opinion, its my "favorite". I am not qualified to say anything more because I am such a newb at FPSs...and metroid.

Anonymous said...

halo 3 = obsolete gameplay and controls and no dout bugs and glitches and long loadtimes PRIME 3 = NINTENDO POLISH NO COMPARASON