Metroid Prime 3 becomes the Wii’s defining title

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Metroid Prime 3 becomes the Wii's defining title

Game Review – With some of the system’s best graphics, an unbelievably fluid control system, and deep, compelling environments, Metroid Prime 3 proves that the Wii can seriously play in the next-gen arena.

See Samus in action on the Wii in Metroid Prime 3
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is billed as the final installment in the epic Metroid trilogy, as iconic bounty hunter Samus Aran takes on what Nintendo calls her “one last mission”.

The real story about the game, though, is the way it’s played.  Using one of the most masterful and complete Wii control schemes to date, the game flows unlike any console-based first-person shooter has done before.

Literally every button on the remote and nunchuck are used for crucial controls.  The B button makes Samus jump, the A button shoots, the “-” button is used for information scanning, the Z button lets Samus lock onto a target, and the C button envelopes Samus into her famous “morph ball” mode.  That’s just the beginning of a very well crafted control scheme, which should be used a blueprint for every developer working on the Wii.

It’s tricky to talk about the game’s visuals.  I expected the new Metroid to be the poster child of what a Wii game can do graphically, but it’s really just little more than a light upgrade from the Gamecube titles.  However, the Metroid Prime Gamecube games showed off some pretty amazing graphics for the limited hardware.  Even a slight enhancement to that makes it one of the most visually impressive games on the Wii, but I didn’t feel it pushed the envelope as far as it could.  Additionally, sluggish frame rates and some hazy image refreshes stick out during periodic moments in the game.  I also felt a bit disappointed because I knew the game could have looked so much better had the Wii been capable of producing HD visuals.  I also noticed problems with the camera, which seemed to act a bit funky every now and then, especially when going back and forth between morph ball mode.

The audio in the game is very nicely done, though.  The same orchestral music that graced the first two Metroid Prime titles is back, adding the perfect ambience to a game that might otherwise fail to capture the mood visually.

Criticisms aside, Metroid Prime 3 is the most pulse-pounding first-party Nintendo game I’ve ever played.  With intense battles and a few truly challenging puzzles, I almost forgot it was from the same company that had a previous Wii repertoire exclusively of stuff like Warioware and Mario Party.

Corruption quashes pretty much every skeptical remark about the Wii.  It’s not just some quick, casual game, it’s not a gooey sweet children’s game with bright colors, and at times there are some impressive visuals.

Different control elements and new weapons are introduced continuously throughout the game so there’s rarely a boring moment.  It’s great as a Wii game, it’s great as a first-person shooter, and it’s just great without any qualifiers.

Forget Mario and Zelda for now. Metroid Prime 3 has easily become the defining title for the Wii, as well as for Nintendo as a whole.  It shows that the gaming giant can actually pose as a meaningful combatant against the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Metroid has one of the best track records in the industry, without a single black mark in the series’ 20-year history.  Corruption continues that tradition in a big way.  It’s able to capture so well the essence of the entire series and yet make it feel like a completely new adventure with the advent of really sophisticated Wii controls.  It’s a title well worthy of any gamer’s Wii library.


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