Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

Over Labor Day weekend I was able to get my hands on the game and play it while I was at home (my family insists on keeping the Wii at home). My first impression of the game was mixed. The graphics are improved from the previous installment, but the new controls where you "point and click" your Wii-mote to aim, shoot, and look around took time to master. As an avid player of the first two Metroid Prime games, the new controls were disheartening. However, after a few hours of solid game play, the controls become second nature and I was able to sit back and appreciate the game without worrying about controller difficulties.

The controls themselves are quite intuitive. As I said before, the player shoots by pointing the Wii-mote and firing with the hard to miss A button. The rest of the most used controls are placed where your fingers naturally rest, which makes game play even more natural. Another fun feature is that the nun chuck can be flicked forward to use the "grapple lasso" on enemies and objects, a fun movement that makes sense and makes the gameplay all the more interactive. In addition to slinging your lasso, Samus will twist, turn, pull, and push the Wiimote to activate switches and levers to solve different puzzles throughout the game

As I mentioned before, the graphics in the game are upgraded from the first and second installments of Metroid Prime, yet some may criticize that the graphics are not of the same caliber as games found on the PS3 and Xbox 360. I'm here to say though that the graphics are quickly forgotten about in Corruption. The graphics are enough to create the look and feel that the game needs to achieve, and the controls are immersive enough to pull you even deeper into the action. Also, by not pushing for higher graphics, the game play is smooth and flawless. You won't find any hint of lag or glitches in the graphics even during the most frantic firefights. This smoothness puts a proverbial cherry on top and makes the experience seem all that more real. The game pulls you in so effectively that you lose all sense of time and you feel like you've just been deep into a good book.

Ice missiles have been implemented and work just like they do in Metroid Fusion (with the typical homing feature of Prime), and beam replacement has been implemented as well. Instead of having to switch beams like in the first two games, the Plasma Beam in Corruption works just like your normal Power Beam but with the added element of heat and fire. Hypermode has also been added to give you added firepower for short time periods and the mode is eventually extended to Morph Ball mode as well. Finally is the lock on feature combined with the new Wii controls. In the other Metroid Prime games, locking onto an enemy meant being able to fire at only one spot. However in Corruption, the locking feature works only to center your screen and allow strafing. Your aim is no longer constrained and you are free to fire at anything still in your field of vision.

One of the few complaints I would have about the game is the addition of friendly NPCs. In the previous Metroid Prime games, the player is stranded in a strange environment and the only other life they encounter is hostile. The addition of the NPCs in the game's space station setting also makes the first hour or so of play a bit sluggish, with much less action than the opening areas of the other two games.

Overall the game met my expectations and then surpassed them. I highly recommend the game to everyone who owns a Wii, even if you don't think you'd like a first person shooter. I can't wait to visit home and get my hands on the game again.

Not the best preview of the game, but it's the best I could find.

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