While we're on the subject of the first boss (known as the Berserker Lord if you get around to scanning it), he appears to be harder than he actually is - in typical Metroid Prime fashion ("I've never seen anyone get past him," admits the Nintendo rep). But success isn't far away, once you shoot the glowing red balls around his chest area - this forces him to shoot giant white balls of death at you - but shooting them right back at him opens up a weak spot which you can then unload everything you've got into. Standard laser fire's fine, but if you want a quick kill, then pressing down on the dpad unleashes your newly acquired missile attack. After a typically satisfying death animation sequence it's onto the next section - arguably the first 'proper' part of the game.
Shortly after this we gained one of Samus' trademark upgrades - the grapple. By locking onto certain obstacles (such as grates, rocks, broken doors and even enemy armour - as a mini boss section revealed), you can cast your Nunchuk forward to 'throw' the grapple towards your target. Once attached, pulling the Nunchuk back towards yourself in one swift motion yanks the attached item towards you. It immediately felt quite natural, and, more importantly, a lot of fun. It also immediately added a new puzzle layer to the general exploration, forcing you to think about whether to blast something out of the way, or simply attach the grapple and pull it.
Needless to say, the morph ball comes into play early on too, with a couple of sections for us to play around with - including one where you you have to time your leaps to co-incide with little gusts of air. Either you'd have to studiously avoid them, or time it just right so you ended up with a bit of wind assistance to see you across a gap. Control, once again, felt slick, responsive and intuitive - certainly no complaints here.
Occasionally you might come across a door entry system that requires you to twist the lever like you would in real life, or line-up a pattern until four bars appeared on the screen. Both felt like typical Wii mechanics in as much that they didn't really add anything to the game other than, perhaps, a degree of immersion to otherwise mundane tasks. Whether we'll still appreciate the novelty value of it 20-30 hours through the game we'll let you know.
In terms of how the game's shaping up technically, that's an easy one - it hasn't really changed or moved on a great deal since the last one, with the early levels, at least, giving the impression of Retro Studios wanting to keep the look and feel consistent, rather than go for a dramatic overhaul. Given that both Metroid games were arguably the best looking titles on the Cube, we're not exactly complaining, as it's still a slick looking game with plenty of nice effects that look sweet even on a big screen.
One thing we did notice over the course of the first couple of levels is the Retro appears to have given Corruption a more cinematic push, with a greater emphasis on longer animated cut scene interludes, and more characters to talk to on your travels. Whether this approach extends to the rest of the game we'll have to see, but it's a promising venture into making the game feel a little more 'alive' than previous the almost 'silent movie' approach of old.
With the review code a matter of days away, we're certainly looking forward to getting stuck into the next Metroid - and being tested to the very limit once again. Check back soon for our in-depth thoughts on this first-rate Wii exclusive.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption will be released on October 26th. The US version is due on August 27th - expect an import review around its release date.