Wii Review: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for WiiMetroid Prime 3: Corruption blasts onto the Nintendo Wii in Europe today (October 26th) and in Australia on November 8th. The game is already available in North America.

As has been widely publicized, Metroid Prime 3 is the final game in the Metroid Prime trilogy, which originated with the first Metroid Prime on Nintendo GameCube (released in the US on November 15, 2002) and was followed up by Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (released two years after the first game on November 15th, 2004 in the US), also for the GameCube.

While Metroid Prime 3 plays very similar to the first two titles (you view the game from a first-person perspective from within her helmet), it also has some new control enhancements and gameplay tweaks that make the game much more improved over the last two titles. And of course, the game makes extensive use of the Wii Remote and Nunchuck controllers to make it play unlike anything you’ve seen before. The game also has extensive voice acting, which is a major step-up from the last title.

So get ready to step into the metallic boots of female heroine Samus Aran once again, as she gets set to eradicate evil in the universe once and for all. And as such she’s a positive role-model for women and people everywhere if there ever was one in gaming. 😉

Read our in-depth 20-page, spoiler-free review for much more information on the game. Enjoy!

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption logo

System: Wii
Also On: None
Debut: August 27th, 2007 (US), October 26th (EU), November 8th (AU)
Genre: First-Person Action Adventure
Players: Single-Player with token trading between friends via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection (but no online play, only trading with people on your friends list)
Save: 3 slots. Saves via “save stations” on the maps or via your ship.
Developer: Retro Studios
Publisher: Nintendo
Origin: United States

Samus Metroid Prime 3 artwork (official)Metroid Prime 3: Corruption marks the end of an era for Nintendo, who has finally brought the 3D First-Person Adventure Metroid series to a close. Where will the series head after this? No one can say, but what can be said is that they certainly went out on a high note.

It has already been announced that Metroid Prime 3 is the last Metroid Prime game to be done by American developer Retro Studios (based in Texas), who has pumped out the last three titles in the franchise and will not be heading up another one, at least for the foreseeable future. After 5 years of making Metroid, they are going to move onto something else. Personally I hope the series will return to it’s 2D roots in a console revival of the 2D Metroid-style . . . but that’s a discussion for another day.

When you first fire up Metroid Prime 3 (from here on out also called “MP3” for short), you are greeted by a very slick intro and music that will immediately sound familiar in style but different from what you’re used to hearing in Prime games, as it has a grander feeling to it.

Once you have entered the file select screen, you will select from one of three files and then attach your Mii to it (a very cool way of marking the files so you know who’s is who’s if more than one people are going to play the game. A slight complaint from me with games in the past, which could get confusing particularly when you added multiple memory cards, each with three files on them, to the mix). Your file will display the percentage of the game completed, how much time you’ve spent playing, as well as how many energy tanks you’ve collected. Pressing the B Button moves you back a screen, while A selects, and the bottom of the screen has buttons for erasing and copying files.

Upon selecting a file you will see “Play Game”, “Options” and “Extras”. Extras is a very unique feature to Metroid Prime 3. Unlike the past games in the series, you will not simply unlock extras by playing the game. Instead, you earn tokens (called “Credits”) by doing various things. There are four kinds: Red, Gold, Blue, Green and Black. More on how you earn them near the end of the review.

Dark Samus Official Artwork - Metroid Prime 3The options menu has three categories: Controls, Display and Sound. With Controls you can change the Sensitivity, switch the function of the A & B buttons (so B shoots instead of jumps, which some people prefer given the B’s more trigger-like feel), turn rumble on or off, as well as switch between “Lock-On” mode (like the classic games) and “Free Aim” which allows you to aim anywhere on-screen even if locked on to a target (so technically you can lock on to one thing but shoot at another), as well as switch the function of the Plus and Minus buttons. Display and Sound options are as you’d expect.

As should be obvious, the biggest change to Metroid Prime 3 comes from the controls. The game fully makes use of the Wii Remote and Nunchuck controllers. You aim in the game by simply pointing the Wiimote at the screen, and look around by moving it left, right, down, or up. To control Samus’ movement, you use the Control Stick on the Nunchuck, so obviously the Nunchuck is required to play the game. The A Button shoots, while B jumps. You use the Z Button on the Nunchuck to lock onto targets and the C Button to roll into Samus’ Morph Ball. Quickly tilting the Wii Remote upward will make her jump while in ball form (No collecting a “Spring Ball” power-up necessary, it comes built in!). On the Wii Remote, you will use the Minus Button to access your different visors, and the Plus Button to go into Hyper Mode, which will be explained later. The 1 Button goes into your menu/map/pause screen, and finally, you will have a few uses for the D-Pad as well, later on. So the game essentially uses all the buttons on the Wii Remote and Nunchuck.

Dark Samus - Official Metroid Prime 3 artworkThe aiming and pointing works well, and it really does give Prime 3 a completely different feeling to it than previous games simply by having to use the Wii Remote to look around while moving. To turn you even have to point the Wiimote at the sides of the screen. At first this will feel really slow and awkward, but you will get used to it. The controls are a bit cumbersome and will take a while to get used to, but once you do the game feels just as it should and you shouldn’t have a problem playing, although it does take some time before you memorize what button does what. Expect to accidentally turn into a ball when you meant to look-on many times in your first moments of playing.

So how is the story in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption? Well it definitely is more complex than what we’ve seen previously. Here’s the gist of it: Six months have passed since the events on the planet Aether in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. The Galactic Federation’s network computers, Aurora Units, are suddenly and completely corrupted with something like a virus, and only quick action saves the entire network from going down. The Federation believes Space Pirates may be behind the problem and, beginning with Samus, starts to contact bounty hunters. As it explains the situation to the assembled hunters, the Federation is attacked by the space pirates. Samus and the other hunters leap to the defense of the Federation capital, only to find that the enemy the hunters face is the presumed-dead Dark Samus. Dark Samus defeats Samus and the other bounty hunters, corrupting them with Phazon in the process. They are all subsequently outfitted by the Galactic Federation with Phazon Enhancement Devices (PEDs) that can harness their corruption to enhance their powers. After learning to use this enhancement, called Hypermode, Samus sets off after Dark Samus, who has begun to seed other planets with Phazon by launching enormous Phazon seeds called Leviathans into them. As the Phazon begins to slowly corrupt Samus, the final saga in the Metroid Prime trilogy begins.

Aurora Units Trailer

The storyline isn’t anything special
, which has been the case for all the Prime games, but there is enough exposition there that if you want to you can find tons of info about the storyline and the Metroid universe. The Chozo do make an appearance in the game although their role is much less than you’ve seen in previous games, luckily some very cool statues reminiscent of the Chozo statues of old are in the game and will wow you when you come across them. And like with Metroid Prime Hunters on Nintendo DS, MP3 features other bounty hunters in addition to Samus. This is the first time we’ve seen these other Bounty Hunters make an appearance in a core, console game in the series so that is definitely a cool touch, and it adds some character to the game that was lacking in previous titles (particularly since all the new Bounty Hunters are voiced).

Metroid Prime 3 Screenshot - Bounty Hunters

Metroid Prime 3 incorporates a multitude of new elements into the storyline and gameplay that you have never seen in a Metroid game before as well. First of all, the game features full voice acting. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes had voice acting but it wasn’t fully voiced, as some of it was simply text. Here it is full voice, which means that anytime a character speaks, it is always audible (although it is all subtitled as well, which is good). This is a big step-up for the series and for Nintendo franchises in general. And what’s even better, the voice acting in MP3 is surprisingly good. I had no complaints at all with the voice acting, it actually surprised me how well it was done. So kudos to Retro Studios and Nintendo for getting it so right, cause we all know that bad voice acting can really hamper the mood and feel of a game, if not your actual enjoyment of it.

The initial area of Prime starts you off on a ship called the G.F.S. Valhalla and it’s here where you will get to talk with numerous Galactic Federation Troops, who you will also come into contact with throughout the game. For those of you who have played the past Metroid games, the Galactic Federation has always been in the background, it’s the same government organization that originally sent Samus out on her first mission in the original Metroid and in Prime 3 they really went a long way in fleshing the Metroid universe out in ways we’ve never seen before, particularly with their use of the Federation and Federation Troops. The Federation Troops played a part in Prime 2, but it wasn’t nearly on the scale as it is in Metroid Prime 3. Where they are treated more like something you’d expect from your typical sci-fi piece of fiction. You will come across the soldiers all over the ship and in various other locations, and if you go up to them and press the A button you can talk to them (they even all speak audibly). And this is only a small part of the enhancements to the feel of MP3 that really put it on the scale of say the Halo franchise in my personal opinion.

Your main goal in MP3 is to fly from planet to planet, fighting your way through the various environments with Samus’ gun-arm, solving puzzles, defeating enemies, mini-bosses and bosses, collecting new armor, weapons and abilities that open up new areas for you to explore and solving puzzles in the environments to get ahead to the next section. All of this will be par for the course for any fans of the previous two Metroid Prime titles, or Metroid games in general.

Like the aforementioned though, many new features have been added to enhance and separate Metroid Prime 3 from the previous games. And thus MP3 is the first time Samus’ gunship has been incorporated into all aspects of the game, from the storyline to the gameplay itself, your gunship is an integral part of MP3. In the past games, your gunship was always a place for you to heal yourself and save your game (in all games but the original) but never before have you gotten to see the inside of your ship.

Metroid Prime 3 Screenshot - Codes

And boy is it exciting the first time you see it! You’ll be in awe, and particularly for Prime fans it is a really cool moment the first time you get to look out into space from the inside of your gunship. And not only can you look out, but you can also access a variety of buttons from within your ship. By pointing your Wii Remote and clicking on a button, it’ll turn into a finger. You then literally point the finger and use A to press a button. Most of the buttons aren’t really for anything (at least initially), but one button gives you some very cool detailed stats, they are: Enemies Killed, Shots Fired, Damage Received, Data Saves, Rooms Visited, and Hypermode Uses. In the middle of the cockpit you will find your main navigation tool, and you use this to fly to other locations.

Your ultimate goal in Metroid Prime 3 is to make it to the “seed” of whatever planet it is you find yourself on (you’ll open up more planets and locations as you get further in the game) and to destroy the Leviathans that are corrupting the planet, which of course will include fighting many cool bosses that always offer up quite a challenge and are all fun to fight.

But the very idea that you actually get to use Samus’ gunship to fly to locations (you will find a few landing pads on each planet where you can summon your ship, more on that later) is very, very cool and it instantly separates Metroid Prime 3 from the previous games and really is a cool mechanic, I can’t think of any other game that uses a ship in this nature (not that there isn’t one out there, there may be, but it’s still a cool feature nonetheless).

Hazardous Worlds Trailer

The Aurora Units (AUs) are also an integral part of the story. These sentient beings are the heart of the Federation Ships, and they work like commanders; they are networked and are a source of infinite knowledge. Not only do they remind me of the machines in The Matrix or something, but it’s actually not that foreign a concept for Metroid when you think about it, considering that Mother Brain was the leader of the Space Pirates in Metroids past, and the Aurora Units aren’t that far removed from that idea, except for the good guys this time.

It is an AU that will give you your missions in Metroid Prime 3 . . . No that is not a typo, you actually have MISSIONS this time around, but really they don’t work that differently from what you are used to. Just as the previous Prime games would show you where you needed to go next or where to go if you got stuck, the missions are basically the same thing, only this time you get a log book that tells you what missions you have done and what missions you are currently on in the Start Screen. Which is a nice touch.

As you are playing the game you will get messages sent to you, sometimes from the AU telling you where to go, sometimes from a trooper or others, you press the 1 or A button to go to the next message, these will appear at the bottom of the screen and kind of have the feel of an intercom link in Metal Gear Solid or something (except here Samus never talks back). But it all makes sense when you think about it and really it’s what you’d probably imagine Metroid to be like if you went behind the scenes, so it’s great to see how Retro worked to add these touches that really make Metroid feel more realistic and on par with other science fiction games.

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes vs Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Comparison Video

Gameplay-wise, Metroid Prime 3 will be familiar ground for anyone who has played a previous Prime game. If you have not played one, then you are in for a very fun experience that plays differently from any first-person game you’ve played before.
You view the action through Samus’ visor. On the HUD at the sides of her visor are a few readouts that give you typical game info (and I mean a few, much less than in the last two games). At the top of the screen in the middle are small boxes, these represent your Energy Tanks, and each holds 99 units of health energy. Below the tanks is a bar, and to the left is a number, both are a visual representation of how much energy is in the current tank, if it goes below zero a tank will empty. If all tanks empty then you will die (natch). To the left of your Energy Tanks is a radar, this will show enemies in red with your location being the center as well as your field of vision represented by the cone. To the right side of the Energy Tanks is your mini-map, this basically shows the room you are in, where the doors are located, and other such features.

In the middle of the screen is your targeting reticle, and this will move depending on where you point the Wii Remote, pressing the A Button will shoot your arm cannon wherever the reticle is pointing. Unlike in the previous Primes, you no longer have to hold a button to look around the screen, you do that simply by pointing, and this immediately makes the game and Samus feel more agile, you can now even shoot up or down while in the middle of a jump.
Metroid Prime 3 Screenshot - New Weapon

To the bottom right of the screen you will see your Maximum Missiles displayed as a number on the top, with your current amount of missiles on the bottom. Run out of Missiles and you will have to collect more from defeating enemies or by destroying crates. Of course you can also refill all your energy and missiles by entering your gunship.

When in Ball Mode, you will see the number of current bombs as orbs at the top left of the screen, using a bomb will empty it, you can only lay three bombs at a time, and must wait a few seconds for it to refill before laying more.

As in all Metroid Prime games, gameplay basically consists of going room to room, destroying enemies with your blaster and solving puzzles, as well as navigating the various environments, jumping platform to platform and scanning objects. You will consistently come across hidden Missile Expansions as you play that will increase the number of missiles you can carry by 5, as well as hidden Energy Tanks and of course new power-ups that will give you additional weapons and abilities, such as upgrading your blaster to a more powerful weapon, giving you a more powerful suit that allows you to go where you couldn’t before or enhancing the abilities of your Morph Ball.

Like all the games, your Morph Ball is a significant part of the game, and you will use it to fit into small spaces that you can’t fit into normally, and pressing the A button while in Bomb Mode will lay bombs that you can use to destroy certain blocks in the environment or prop yourself into the air.

Unlike the previous games, you will start Metroid Prime with certain default abilities. You will be able to double jump from the beginning of the game (this was a separate power-up in the previous games known as “Space Jump”). Jumping allows you to reach higher areas and leap from platform to platform, and double jumping, particularly when timed right allows you to jump much further than you’d think, and it really opens up Samus’ agility. You jump with the B Button and tap it again while in the air to jump a second time.

You also come equipped with your Morph Ball and Morph Ball bombs. Pressing the Z Button on the Nunchuck turns you into the small sphere, while pressing the A Button, as mentioned above, allows you to lay bombs. As previously mentioned, you can actually jump while in Morph Ball mode by tilting the remote upwards quickly, this makes navigating as the morph ball and reaching small holes that are high a lot easier and less annoying than before because in the previous games you’d typically have to bomb yourself up by laying bombs to prop you into the air, so it’s very nice that they decided to make the Ball Jump (called Spring Ball and usually a power-up you found late in the game in the previous Metroid games) available from the beginning.

Metroid Prime 3 Screenshot - Charge Beam included!

Pressing the A Button shoots your gun and it can be charged (called the Charge Beam and a separate Power-up in past games) by holding the A Button, which allows you to shoot a much more powerful shot that is required to destroy certain large crates and such. Pressing the Z Button allows you to look on to targets. This focuses your attention towards them. However unlike in the previous two games, you cannot simply target, shoot, target, shoot, repeat to take out a room full of enemies. Because your aiming is dependent on where you point the Wii Remote on the screen. The minus button is used for Scanning and the Plus button is Hypermode.

The 1 Button brings up your menu. It defaults to the map, which appears in the middle. By holding the Z Button you can move around the map, from room to room (your location and the direction you are facing are represented by a little arrow icon in whatever room you are in). The map in MP3, like in the previous games, is in full 3D, so you can actually see the layout of the room, and moving the control stick around will change your viewpoint.

Moving the pointer (which goes where you move the Wii Remote) over a room will show you it’s name (every room has a unique name), and by pressing the plus and minus buttons you can zoom in and out. Doors are represented on the map as colored squares, and the color of the door tells you what type of weapon is needed to open it (typical to Metroid tradition).

Samus PED Suit Artwork - Metroid Prime 3 (official)Pressing and holding the 2 Button will bring up a little “Help” screen that shows you the map controls (which are also always displayed on the top) and also shows you other useful information. An “S” on the map represents a save room, while an “M” is a Map Station room. Question Marks (“?”) represent your current mission, telling you that you need to get to that room. Eventually you will even find a way to get hidden items represented on your map! These will appear as small white circles, and when you collect the item an X will appear in that spot. This is a great help (it also appeared in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes) and even though you know an item is in a room, it does not tell you how to GET that item, and figuring that out is of course half the fun of Metroid Prime 3 and all Metroid games.

Around the map are more buttons that will display different categories of information when pressed. In the upper-right is Samus’ helmet, clicking it will move the map to your current location to quickly show you where you are if you have scrolled around the map. Below that is the “Current Planet” Icon. Click it and the map will zoom out to show your current planet. Places you can land in your ship will be in orange (more on that later as well). Do look at the maps for different sections of the current planet simply click on their landing pad icon and it will take you to the map for that location, hit the “Current Planet” icon to zoom back out again.

The button below the “Current Planet” is the Galaxy Map button, clicking this will zoom you all the way out of the planet or current location so you can click on the various other planets and places and view their maps as well. As previously mentioned, you will unlock more planets as you play, and the galaxy map shows you all the planets and locations that you have gone to so far.

On the left side of the screen, starting at the top is the Logbook button. Clicking this will show your objectives: Current on the top, and Completed Objectives on the bottom, use the Control Stick to scroll down (as with anything on the Menu that you can scroll). While on the Logbook, new buttons will appear on the right. At the top is Objectives, below it is Creatures that you have scanned, below that is Research scans, and at the bottom is Lore scans. This will be familiar to anyone who has played the previous games. More on scanning, if you don’t know about it, in a bit.

Metroid Prime 3 Screenshot - Space Pirates

In the middle on the left is your Inventory. Clicking this will show a model of Samus with categories for: Hypermode, Weapons, Morph Ball, Visors, Suits and Grapple. Anytime you get a new ability, weapon or armor upgrade, you can view info about it here. As with the Logbook, new category buttons will appear on the right-side when you have clicked Inventory. The top is the just mentioned Samus screen, below that is the Ship Button. Clicking it will show a diagram of Samus’ gunship with the categories: Save Station, Missile and Grapple. As you gain new upgrades to your gunship they will appear here (more on this later) so you can read-up on your new abilities.

Below the Ship Button on the right-side is the Energy Cells button . . . Energy Cells act similar to the Chozo Artifacts in the first game. That means that these are required to beat the game, although it’s pretty downplayed as you go through your adventure until you hit near the end of the game and you find out that it’s required to progress to the final confrontation, and thus if you don’t have all the Power Cells you will need to backtrack to find them all. So it’s better to know ahead of time that you should be on the look-out for Power Cells, and this screen will show which ones you have, which you have used, and hints on how to find certain ones if you have scanned the hints. The Power Cells will be used at a certain location later in the game and this location will seem completely optional at first, in fact if you are like me you might skip it entirely not realizing it’s significance. To save you a bit of time, the Valhalla ship is where you will use the Power Cells, and you need all of them to make it all the way through the ship. So keep that in mind.

Finally the last button under the Inventory screen on the bottom right is the Bonus Credits button, clicking it will tell you how many of each colored token you have and what they each represent. I’ll talk about this near the end of the review.

Valhalla Trailer

The last button on the bottom left of the Menu is simply the Options screen, these are the same options as mentioned in the beginning of my review. On the right-side while under the Options you will see buttons for Controls at the top, then Sound, Display and at the very bottom is Quit, this allows you to exit the game completely, resetting it, from the menu.

While in the menu, pressing the B Button will take you back a page and A is always used to confirm. To exit completely back to the game you can simply press the 1 Button on the Wii Remote again. Press 2 at any time while on the Menu to view a diagram of the controls.

Lastly, at the top of Samus’ helmet you will see four lights . . . these tell you how much battery life is left in your batteries! A very, very cool little touch.

So what’s new in Metroid Prime 3 you ask? Well the biggest innovation of course is the integration of gesture controls using the Wii Remote and Nunchuck.

Early on in the game you will come across the “Grapple Lasso”, this is really the biggest new item addition to the Metroid Prime saga. If you see a certain grapple icon, that means that you can use your Grapple Lasso on that enemy or object. To use the Grapple Lasso, you lock onto the target with the Z Button, then you “cast” the Lasso out, by making a “casting” motion with the Nunchuck (just as if you were fishing!) Samus will cast her grapple beam onto the target. You then pull back with the Nunchuck, (again as if fishing) and Samus will yank the target. You can use this to rip off objects (such as the cover to a hole), to destroy certain enemies, and even to rip the shields out of the arms of space pirates! This is only the first use of your Grapple, which is an integral part of Metroid Prime 3 and an item that you will be using throughout and that will get more upgrades as you make your way through the game. The uses for the grapple are plenty and while some of them are logical (and have been seen before) others aren’t so guessable which is always nice. Even if I think the last use for it is pretty pointless . . .

Metroid Prime 3 Screenshot - Grapple Lasso

As mentioned above, you can Scan in Metroid Prime 3 like you could in all the previous games. Scanning has been an integral part of the franchise and it is back in full force. To get to Samus’ Scan Visor, you press and hold the Minus Button, the screen will divide into three parts with a small circle in the middle. Going to the circle takes you back to her normal view, while highlighting the top activates your Scan Visor. When you do this, you will see Samus’ eyes and face reflected and it will darken.

This is one of the coolest new effects in the game and it amazes me that no one else (*cough* Master Chief *cough*) has done something as simple but oh so cool. And watch her face closely cause you may notice it change throughout your adventure . . . When in Scan Visor mode certain objects, enemies, people, etc. will be highlighted. Blue means you haven’t scanned it before, Orange means you have, Red are objects that you have to scan to complete the game. Scan to read information about something. And certain things that you scan will be recorded in the logbook in your menu.

As in the previous games, you can Scan to learn the weaknesses of enemies, to help you discover what you can do to solve puzzles or progress in the game (scan all objects in the room and read what they say) or simply to learn more about the world of Metroid, as you will find Lore scans throughout the game. These come in different forms, the basic one being tablets, and scanning them will bring up a journal written by the people of the planet you are in. These help to flesh out the world and add tons of additional (mostly useless but welcome) story details to the game.

Probably the next major addition to MP3 after the Grapple Lasso is Hyper Mode. Due to the corruption by Dark Samus, you can enter a Hyper Mode state by holding the Plus button for a few seconds. Any fan of the SNES game Super Metroid will know where they got this “Hyper Mode” from. 😀

Hyper makes your weapon extremely powerful, but to enter it you have to sacrifice an energy tank! Once in Hyper Mode the world will darken and your gun will shoot blue beams. This effect looks really cool but It’s a really useful, if quite risky, ability. Charge your gun and shoot while in Hyper Mode by the way for a cool shot.

Hyper Mode will be required many times throughout the game for you to make your way through the adventure. When you are in Hyper Mode a bar will appear at the top of the screen, it will be all the way full. If the bar drains you will forcibly Exit Hyper Mode, and each shot will drain the bar a bit. To cancel Hyper Mode you can press the Plus button again. However, if you stay too long in Hyper Mode Samus will enter a Corrupted state and the bar will turn red. You then MUST keep shooting to drain the bar which will start rising. If the bar fills up all the way Samus will be utterly corrupt and you will die!

Phazon Enhancement Devices Trailer

This is a very cool new feature and it adds a good deal of new strategy to the game, as well as a sense of risk. What it also does is makes use of the excess energy you have always had in the Metroid games, where you generally don’t die unless you are fighting a tough boss. I do want to say though that I wish they would’ve brought back the Reserve Tanks from Super Metroid, which haven’t made an appearance again since that game, but would’ve fit in perfectly here. And with the Reserve Tanks you could’ve survived absolute corruption if you went over. It could’ve easily been used as a sort of continue, so that if you were corrupted and had a full Reserve Tank you would be revived and wouldn’t die . . . a bit of a missed opportunity for this Metroid fanatic.

The last new feature in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is how the game makes use of the Wii Remote and Nunchuck for some unique gesture controls OUTSIDE of the Grapple Lasso. You will come across points in the game where you will have to imitate specific actions with the Remote to progress. For example, you will come across switches where you must tilt the remote downward, and then upward. On-screen, Samus will pull the switch down, slide it, and then push it back up corresponding to your motions. Another cool one requires you to “pump” by pushing the remote forward and then backward several times. And of course, the most common is the one you have probably seen before, where you must push the remote in, twist it, then pull out; this is used to take out Power Cells, and it is very cool to watch Samus’ hands mimic your movements on-screen.

However I do have one slight beef with these gesture controls
. This is no fault of the games, but it sometimes will barely register any movement to the remote as the correct movement. In fact there is one part in the game where you have to make the movements on a cue, and yet I failed this twice even though I was trying to keep the remote still, but the simple shaking of my hand (ever so slight) would register, causing me to fail. And you also are aware of this super sensitivity when making the aforementioned pumping and other motions, so in that sense it doesn’t feel like you are really doing it, cause it’s too sensitive and it registers sometimes even before you have made the complete motion. But regardless Retro Studios definitely deserves some credit for thinking outside the box and using the Wii Remote in unique ways directly connected to gameplay. And these motions are cool, especially the first time you encounter them. But you often want to exaggerate the motions to feel like you are really doing it, and if you do that it will register way beforehand, and that kind of throws you off. So, cool idea, but it wasn’t executed perfectly. Either way though the game is definitely better for including them.

Metroid Prime 3 Screenshot - Gesture Controls

The ship feature is also a huge surprise and an area that really not only separates Prime 3 from the previous games but takes the franchise to a whole new level entirely. It’s just really cool to use your ship. Holding the Minus Button and moving the cursor to the right-side of your screen will enter your Command Visor once you get it. Throughout the course of your adventure you will come across landing pads. By entering the Command Visor you can scan the icons that the visor reveals, mainly at Landing Pads, and command your ship to land. This not only turns the landing pads into an instant save point (and as such, you will find less actual save points in Prime 3 compared to the last two games) but it also allows you to bored your ship and fly to any other launch pads on the current planet, or on any other Planet that you have been to before. In some ways this works as a kind of teleport, letting you skip around to any point on the planet. But is of course required to get through the game given that you have to fly to other planets. You can even upgrade your ship, and it’s additional abilities will be required to access areas of the game that are previously blocked. Sadly though, you never manually get to fly your ship. But oh well you can’t have it all.

The whole planet thing is an interesting direction for Prime 3, because previously one of the main distinctions of the Metroid series was that all the areas in the game were interconnected and it was all a seamless world. In the 2D side-scrolling era, this meant that unlike other games of recent times (such as Mario) there were no “levels” in Metroid, it was just one giant world. And that was also the case with the original Prime, which was one giant planet. Prime 2 was also one giant planet but it had teleporters that would take you from the light to the dark sides of the planet.

Prime 3 forgoes this and instead has you flying to completely separate planets to see the new areas, instead of taking the typical Metroid elevators to whole new areas. That means that each planet also has it’s own look and theme. But in all honesty, this really doesn’t change the gameplay as much as you’d think, it’s simply a way to have you make your way through the levels differently, and thus it breathes some fresh air into the normal way of doing things, which you would’ve been doing in 3D for a third time if they had stuck with the regular conventions established in previous games.

Dark Samus Trailer

And unlike the last two titles, in Metroid Prime 3 new beam weapons replace your old weapons, just as they did in the original Metroid, Metroid II and Metroid Fusion. This means that you can’t switch between beam weapons anymore, but it’s hardly a complaint since the new weapons are more effective anyway and the characteristics of the previous weapons are still carried over.

One complaint that I lodge against Prime 3 comes from the fact that virtually all the weapons and abilities found in the game are from a previous Metroid, including one that was introduced in Metroid Prime 2. And while still very cool and ever-as-fun to use in this game, it’s a bit disheartening that they didn’t revive a few of the weapons they haven’t revived before, such as the Spazer Beam from Super Metroid. But you can’t really blame them, as recycling old weapons IS a trademark of the Metroid series. Oh well.

A few of the upgrades you get in Prime 3, particularly later in the game, are also pretty useless. You’ll only use them a few times and mainly the whole point is to simply gain access to a few areas you couldn’t previously. And while this isn’t entirely un-expected either, it again is a bit disappointing. You even get one special missile that I swear is only used that one time you get it . . . and you’ll never really use it again. In simple terms, it’s a waste.

Thankfully, Metroid Prime 3 is full of really cool and fun boss battles, some against rather large creatures. These battles are always fun and make good use of your abilities. Although once again I feel that the bosses in Prime 3 are not as memorable as the bosses in the first game . . . not exactly sure why that is but it remains true at least for me.

Finally, you will encounter some really cool moments in MP3 similar to the Morph Ball sections in the previous games. These sometimes work as little mini-games or as puzzles that you need to solve to progress in the game, although some are just cool mechanics, including one that’s like riding a roller-coaster in first-person!

Metroid Prime 3 Screenshot - Rollercoaster!

One really memorable moment has you falling down a shaft while fighting with a giant boss. This scene is ripped straight of Lord of the Rings, and even so it is awesome! Since the game is first-person, you see the sides of the shaft rushing by as you blast down at the enemy. After a certain number of hits though, it reverses and you will find yourself shooting UP at the boss as you are falling down! He will also sometimes grab you, and you then have to shoot him in the face before you are thrown and released. You’ll also need to destroy objects that comes rushing towards you. While in the shaft you can move around but will be damaged if you touch the sides, and you’ll need to dodge both fire from the enemy as well as the objects that come towards you. I must say that this is easily one of the coolest moments in the game. It happens quite early on as well and definitely manages to impress.

Another cool moment has you in ball form in a little shaft, where an enemy has parched himself on top. He will bite into it and you must move left to right to avoid his mouth, while dropping bombs to damage him.

You will also come across quite a few puzzles in the game, and some of them can be a bit complex and require some thinking to figure out. All of them though aren’t too far removed from anything you have seen in the previous games, but they will use the environment in cool ways and it’s always satisfying when you solve these kinds of little puzzles. You shouldn’t get stuck in Prime 3, but there are a few places that can be a bit confusing. My main tips are to SCAN EVERYWHERE (even under and above you and everything around) and to always check all parts of the environment for little holes and secrets. There are a few maps though that are large and the map on the map screen will be complex, making it hard to figure out which way to go to get to the exit. This happened to me a few times and is very annoying. Also annoying will be the fetch-quest at the end of the game if you didn’t get all the Power Cells, but this should be expected if you have played the last two games. But regardless it’s quite annoying that they returned it for an encore, even if it could be avoided if you do find the Power Cells beforehand. Most people won’t though. It does make the game longer, but that shouldn’t be a sacrifice for fun.

Metroid Prime 3 Screenshot - Enemies

Metroid Prime 3 has quite a lot of unlockables. Like the previous games it keeps track of how many scans you have done, as well as your time, and you will be rewarded for scanning everything, as well as for collecting everything in the game for a higher completion rating, including an extended ending. But in a first, you now get tokens depending on what you do in the game, and you use these tokens to purchase Extras as mentioned previously. The tokens and how you receive them are:

Red: Scan creatures and bosses
Gold: Defeating Bosses on different difficulty modes.
Blue: Scanning Lore or completing special goals.
Green & Black: You can only gain a Green Credit by receiving a friend voucher. By completing special fun things in the game (such as bowling over bots with your Morph Ball or scoring 500 kills) you can earn these Black Tokens, known as “Friend Vouchers”. You can then send these to your friends via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, earning them a Green Token. It is the only way to get Green Tokens, although you only need five Green Tokens to get all the Extra items that require them, so don’t send your friends any more than five or so black tokens!

The credit system is a very cool new feature and the Black Tokens work kind of like Achievement Points in Xbox 360 games, and being able to share them with friends to help them unlock all the extras is definitely cool. Kudos again to Retro for shaking things up. Although I do wish the game at least gave you a checklist of what special things you did to earn the black tokens, so you could keep track of how you got them and could talk with friends to discover the rest.

One of the coolest unlockables you get is the “Screenshot” utility that allows you to take a snapshot of the screen by pressing Up on the D-Pad. Once you do this your picture is sent to the Wii’s menu, and you can further send that to friends as a message. Very, very nice. You can almost take screenshots at anytime, except on a few rare occasions, you can even take a screenshot during most movie-scenes! So make sure to buy this awesome utility early on as soon as you get enough tokens.

Other extras include a bobblehead of your Mii that will appear on your dashboard in your gunship, bumper stickers that are placed on your gunship according to what Nintendo games you have saved in your Wii memory, concept art, music and diorama’s of battle scenes within the game.

Graphically, Metroid Prime 3 could be mistaken for the first or second Primes in the series, as the game isn’t necessarily a huge leap over the last two titles. But there are a lot of cool effects, like the aforementioned eye reflection, that will still make you go “Wow”. And the graphics do get quite a bit better as you progress, or at least, you will come across some very cool environments.

One part in particular reminds me of the alien level in Turok 2 (read my Turok: Dinosaur Hunter review here)! And the graphics are so pretty that I was dazzled and just wanted to stare at the wall and admire the beauty! And there’s a particular space environment as well that has the same effect. So you will definitely find some “WHOA” moments in Prime 3. But it’s kind of like going from Halo 1 to Halo 2 (read my Halo review here), or even say Halo 3 to a person who hasn’t played the previous games. Lots of nice graphical details in MP3, but it’s still Prime and it still looks like Prime and if you haven’t played the previous games it won’t necessarily wow you, except maybe with the aforementioned moments.

One area that did really make me happy though is in the animations for Samus, both in the way she comes out from her ball form (she will now flip up depending on how the ball is rolling, if you’re rolling backwards then she’ll do a backflip into her normal stance) and the way she holds herself up, which has been changed to make her look much cooler. But the biggest improvement is when you gain new power-ups. Now when you gain a new power-up, she has an ultra-cool animation for how she acquires each one and they are all different! Unlike the first game, where she did the same thing every time you got a new beam weapon. This gives the game variety and make it fun to pick up a new power-up just to see what she’ll do when you get it.

Metroid Prime 3 Screenshot - New Weapon

Music and Sound Effect
wise, the game feels the same as the last two titles, although the music has been changed to have more of an “epic” sound to it . . . this is both a good and a bad thing. The music itself actually isn’t very memorable. You can’t necessarily say it’s bad, but the game simply LACKS good tunes, it contains a few remixes but these aren’t even as good as the remixes you heard in the first Prime, so in those respects I was disappointed by the music in Prime 3.

But having all the voice acting and such balances it out I guess. The voice acting, as mentioned, is great. Not only does it raise the bar for the titles but it also is performed really well and brings the series into the modern day, as virtually all games now have voice acting, so it’s good that Metroid finally stepped up, even though Samus doesn’t speak, but hey what would you expect? She’s not Master Chief!

In conclusion, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is a fun game that took me over 20 hours to complete my first time on normal. You’ve got all the things you’d expect from previous games: Lots of shooting action, a bit of puzzle solving, enough cool moments, large bosses and good enough graphics and effects that you will hardly be disappointed with it. And the added Wii Remote controls, gesture movements and the additions of your ship, Hyper Mode, full voice acting, the token system and such really raised the bar and add in a lot of cool surprises for fans of the franchise. However if you weren’t a fan, Prime 3 probably won’t change your mind. But even so, the game is fun enough that I’d recommend it to anyone who has a Wii. There’s lots to do, the game will keep you busy for a while, and it does make very good use of the Wii Remote & Nunchuck in a natural way. It’s also the type of hardcore game that the Wii needed, it’s not another mini-game collection, and it proves that “normal” games can definitely exits, and benefit, from being on the Wii.

Now, let’s rate Metroid Prime 3 based on how fun the game is.

Samus Aran Unmasked - Unofficial artwork
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is no less fun than the previous games. It has lots of cool moments, cool weapons and abilities for you to obtain, fun boss battles, and is just a great game that will keep you entertained as you explore the various planets, find hidden power-ups and fight lots of enemies. The added sheen to the graphics and the whole Metroid universe really raises Prime 3 a step above the last two games as well, so if you enjoyed those, you will definitely enjoy this one.

Graphics: 9.0
The game looks good. Sharp and sleek, it also has plenty of pretty environments and great effects. However it does look a little too similar to previous games. But that’s to be expected really, given that it is a sequel. By the way, the stills and even videos you see here DO NOT do this game justice.

Music & Sound: 8.0
The sound is a definite improvement, at least in the realm of voice acting, as Prime 3 is full of it. The music is not as good as the first Metroid Prime in my opinion. It totally lacks memorable tunes, which is a disappointment.

Ingenuity: 10
Metroid Prime makes great use of the Wii Remote & Nunchuck in very natural ways. From the simple control scheme and the ability to look anywhere, to the gesture controls that are totally natural for this type of game, yet something you’ve never seen before. Add in the rest of the upgrades: Your ship and being able to climb inside it and fly to other locations, Hyper Mode and such and you can’t say the developers didn’t try their hardest to make the game feel new again. In a way they re-invented Prime.

Presentation: 9.5
From the start screen to the file select screen to the in-game menu, the credit system and the graphical sheen, Prime 3 is presented very well and will definitely make good use of your Wii to impress people watching.

Replay Value: 8.5
Lots of unlockables for you to get, tons of hidden stuff to find, the game even keeps track of how many shots you have fired! There is no multiplayer, but Prime 3 doesn’t need it. I wouldn’t say it has more replay value than previous games, but it has enough to definitely give you your money’s worth and last a while if you are really into it.