Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Reader Review
Mutiny on the Bounty... Hunter
I have no real need to introduce the bounty-hunting star of the show here. Anyone with a Gamecube should have already flung Miss Aran around Tallon IV and Aether looking for missle-based treasures and murdering the native creatures. Things have changed in this outing though, but is it for the better? Would Samus approve of Retro fiddling with her mechanics...? Ooh-err.
This is the first game chronologically where we are introduced to the Galactic Federation as anything but background characters or logbook data, because here it has major characters and spoken cutscenes within it. Spoken cutscenes at first feel unusual in Samus' universe and the very "American" feel of the galactic federation members feels a little out of place, but stick with it and you'll get used to it. Of course the bulk of the story still has to be snooped out by the player with skilled use of the scan visor. Samus remains understandably taciturn throughout, suffering from Nintendo's protagonist silencer raygun, unless she steps into a pool of burning fuel gel or encounters something else to make her scream (Like those spikey Geebers with the big heads...).
Samus begins this time with a band of allies, fellow bounty hunters of various natures. These are worth remembering because they will soon enough form fun boss battles with required upgrades attached to them. Much to the Samus' displeasure. The cause is simple, that lovely Phazon corruption this game likes to go on about. Spearheaded by the thought-defeated Dark Samus, large Phazon meteors have crashed into several planets within Federation space. These Meteor are named seeds and spread the Phazon corruption to the planets. The Federation's supercomputer network's Aurora units have also sucumbed to the corruption, which alerts them to Dark Samus' ploy, but not in time to predict a Phazon Meteor heading straight for a Federation colony.
Cue Samus and the other Hunters, who set about doing what they do best and try to power up the offline generator's before the Meteor hits. The Space Pirates, essentially enslaved by Dark Samus launch a distractive attack and you'll have to blast your way through in a traditional fashion. On the way you may also encounter an old winged nemesis of Aran's...
Taking control of the situation
In order to save the planets and destroy the numerous seeds, you'll have to take control of the Bounty Huntress, to a level that you haven't before. Your arm becomes Samus' gun-arm and when you wave it around like a psychopath, the orange-hued powerhouse will mimic your actions. Manually aiming is very immersive and unusually for a Wii title, it doesn't feel tacked on. There is a lock-on option that makes even the most hamfisted aimer hit the target but there is no fun in that. In order to not grow bored quickly, the default manual aim option is the way to go. In order to turn around, you need to place your crosshair at the edge of the screen, which could be a little tricky to some people, especially if the target isn't centred. Obviously Samus can also curl herself up into her morph ball and roll around with the tap of a button, allowing her to access the many, many morph ball puzzles and sections. You control the Hunter with the control stick on the Nunchuck, which the game nags at you to make sure you have even when it is plugged in.
The major new feature to this game is the previously mentioned Phazon corruption. The Galactic Federation have provided Samus with a new suit - dubbed the PED suit. This initially is pretty similar to the Varia suit with extra bits inserted into it. The most prominent addition is a plate on the front that looks an awful lot like Dark Samus' visor. This suit changes colour gradually throughout the game as Samus begins to really feel the corruption. This suit allows Samus to harness the power of Phazon and trigger Hypermode with a prolonged hold of the + button. In this mode most of Samus' abilities are transformed into Phazon versions (Though most will require upgrading first). The Hyper beam will probably be the thing that you'll use mostly while here, being the games only Phazon-based weapon and the only thing that can disrupt the many Phazon energy enemies, bosses and Dark Samus herself. There is a catch however, each time that this mode is activated, an energy tank is injected with Phazon. This means that wile using techniques in Hyper mode, energy will be drained and if Samus remains in this mode for too long without firing she will be corrupted and eventually be killed outright. Once the tanks energy is consumed, the hypermode will self-terminate. It will also terminate after you have fired enough, which is also required if Samus should become dangerously corrupted.
There are many uses for the Wiimote that you'll encounter, most of which are switches that require you to pull out and twist, others are switches... that you'll have to pull out and push back in. Basically, theres a whole lot of switches. Later on you are called on to power-up a derelict ship by looking for energy cells - battery-like objects that are extracted from various places using the twisty-motions. Theres also a trauma center-like use for the Wiimote that allows you to restore computer panels by soldering the gaps back together using the plasma cannon. The nunchuck can be used with the grapple beam to latch onto throwable obstacles or enemies with a very natural feeling flick of the wrist. The controls are implemented quite well, in fact, I'd probably go as far as to say that they're amongst the best "waggle-doodah" controls on the Wii. Another use for the Wiimote is found when changing Samus' active visor, where you point at the visor type you want to use after tapping the minus button. Though obviously, the use you'll be enjoying the most is shooting at wildlife til it dies like Dick Cheney after a particularly heavy weekend bender.
There are multiple endings to work towards, as is the theme with these games. Completing the game with minimal item collection will result in you being left out of the loop slightly upon conclusion so you should at least strive ahead at the 75% ending. Though these upgrades power up Samus significantly and make the game much easier so they are worth tracking down. The hiding places run from obvious to ingenius, though the element of surprise is removed when you download complete map data and discover the locations have been blatantly marked. These upgrades supply you with some of the games most challenging and fun puzzles, difficult screw jumps and feats of ass-kicking.
Players of Metroid Prime 2 may be noticing something missing. This time around, there is no multiplayer (Which felt tacked on last time anyways). To be honest, we aren't missing much and having to fire at the screen in splitscreen would be extremely annoying. It has been replaced with extra features to compensate though, including several community-based extras. While playing through the game you may notice little green icons popping up, rewarding you for things like 100 kills or discovering previously lost areas of a planet. This pseudo-achievement system is similar to the one found in Uncharted. These green tickets can be used to unlock new features like bumper stickers or a bobblehead of your Mii for Samus' gunship, but theres a catch. You cannot use your own green tickets, and no matter how many objects you scan or enemies you decimate, you will never get the handful of green tickets required for the coolest features and be simply limited to artwork galleries and the standard junk. This is where your Wii friends come into play, if they trade you their green tickets, you'll be able to purchase those features and return the favour. It's like Pokémon cards or coke in the slums, though much better for you.
This game will last you a while if you want to do everything. There are three difficulty settings to complete and many extras to unlock. In order to fill your logbook with its encyclopaedic data, you'll have to be adept at looking out for things to scan. Though the logbook can be filled in a single playthrough, only the most scholaristic or obsessive will notice everything without help the first time. Subtle things like having to scan an enemies feet halfway through a battle or scanning an enemy when it transforms into something else.
In closing though, this is the best adventure game on the Wii and doubles up as the greatest shooter to boot. Well, it sure as hell beats most of the crappy brain-training copies and "Generic mini-game collection 7000". I can't really tell you how wonderful the game looks on the hardware that supports it without showing it in action. Sure, it isn't Gears of War shinyness but it is significantly less brown... Ok, so some sections are brown but who is counting that? It takes Metroid Prime back to the spectacular original with the aid of a fluid control system, great design and an enigmatic blonde woman with a firearms fetish. It also brings what is expected from one of Nintendo's major franchises and this further forces Metroid Prime 2: Echoes to look the weaker episode. This isn't perfect but it is damn near the mark.
Oh, you know what? To hell with holding back... It's more fun than Halo's solo campaign by about eighteen chequered flags. Though the members of the Galactic Federation manage to provide the same tonnage of Space Eagle wanking and copious amounts of autofelatio. Be glad this Star State Samus holds her tongue and doesn't start attempting to ride Ridley after mistreating him. Quite why they always use the same Full Metal Jacket-esque lamewad for characters in a position of authority is beyond me... Aren't people tired of this yet?
10 / 10