Metroid purists do love the original Metroid game for the NES but they also admit that it was hard. Instead of save points in the game you had to get by with writing down codes on a piece of paper. The paper served as a memory stick, each letter transcribed meant something to the video game and the code as a whole was just a memory dump. Even though the game was hard I beat it. I then played it through a second time after having Samus remove her helmet.
Arguably the very best game in the Metroid franchise has to be Super Metroid for the SNES. I did not experience that game when it came out but I have since purchased it on the Wii Virtual Console. The maps are based on what I remember from the original game but it is a lot easier and more forgiving. Back when I played the original Metroid game it was a painful grind to refill your depleted energy tanks, not so much in later games.
The Prime series of games began with the Game Cube. The series took Samus out of the side scrolling environment we all knew and put her in a quasi-FPS game. I do not consider the Prime line of games to be true FPS games because even though you do shoot at space pirates the core of any Metroid game is problem solving, not combat.
Metroid Prime was a great game and I greatly enjoyed it. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, eh, not so much. Due to the dark imagery in the early part of the game I found myself unable to play it without getting motion sickness-induced nausea. Knowing my experience with Prime 2 I was a bit nervous about picking up Corruption. Would I be able to play it? Would I get sick playing it and hurl all over the Wii?
I took the plunge and picked up a copy. After a little bit of playing I found that I was fine, as long as I didn't do anything to make myself dizzy that is.
The Game Begins
The first thing we see when the game begins is the inside of Samus's ship. In the past this ship has not been used for much more than a glorified saving and refueling station. It was nice to be able to see the inside of the ship and interact with it.
After landing on the Federation Command Frigate we enter the beginning tutorial mode of all of the Prime games. As you walk around the ship the game begins to introduce you to the controls of the game. By the time you make it to the command deck for your briefing you should be in full control of Samus.
After the briefing all hell breaks loose and you have to get back to your ship. This is Metroid so you know right away that it will not be an easy stroll back. Instead you will find your pathway blocked by attacking Space Pirates. After a few detours and battles you will fight a mini-boss. After you win you will head down to the planet to help in the defense.
From here forward you will be in classic Metroid Prime land.
There are several options for setting up the controls for the game. If you are familiar with mouse and keyboard FPS games you should have no problem adjusting to the Wii-Remote and Nunchuk control system.
To make a long story short the stick is used to move Samus while the Wii-Remote is used to aim and turn Samus. Up on the stick is always the direction Samus is facing. Unlike in Zelda where there is no way to turn around in place with Metroid you can. Just don't turn to fast or use your Wii-Remote hand to scratch your ear or you will run the risk of getting dizzy.
The placement of the buttons is good with one exception. You use the minus button to change visors and the plus button to enter Hyper-Mode. Too many times I accidentally entered Hyper-Mode while trying to switch visors. Not a big deal but you should be aware of it.
This game also adds in the ability to actually operate switches and buttons. You will find yourself grabbing, twisting, pushing and pulling all manner of switches to progress through the game. Some switches are more obvious than others in their usage.
Once you acquire the grapple beam you will be able to grab things using the nunchuk. You can use this to swing like Tarzan or to rip enemies out of the sky.
As is to be expected Samus does not begin with a full complement of weapons. This is a good thing because as you acquire new weapons and gear you receive instructions on how to use them. If all of these weapons were thrust upon you from the start the learning curve would be steeper.
Weapons and Gear
So, what sort of weapons do you get? You start with the basic blaster and morph-ball. During the initial part of the game you will acquire the missile upgrade. Most of the upgrades you expect to receive are in the game but so is one special one, the PED suit.
After saving Noria from destruction Samus is given a Phazon Enhancement Device (PED) that harnesses the Phazon within her and puts her into a state called Hypermode. In Hypermode, Samus can destroy Phazon impediments and annihilate enemies with superpowered weapons ... but it drains her health to use it. If she doesn't empty her Phazon meter within a certain time frame she risks utter corruption under the control of Dark Samus. This weapon is activated by pressing the plus button and is an essential item in the game. Do not be afraid to use it!
Samus is not the only one to receive upgrades. Your ship also receives upgrades throughout the game and is used for more than a glorified save point.
Two such upgrades your ship recieves include bombs and a grapple beam. Both of these upgrades are used in the game and can be ativated via your command visor.
Once you get used to the controls the game play becomes very immersive. The voice acting is very well done and the environments are well detailed. To all those out there who call the Wii a glorified Game Cube, you know what? I don't care. The graphics may not be HD but playing the game on a standard-Def TV looks great. Couple that with great environmental music and you have a game that draws you right in.
There are two difficulty settings for the game, normal and veteran. If you like Metroid for the puzzles than play on normal. If you like Metroid because you want to kill things then play on veteran. The puzzles are the same either way but the game is very easy on the normal setting.
The game has a fair amount of backtracking but a plethora of landing spots for your ship insures that no area is more than a few minutes walk from a landing pad. Lucky for us thick players if a room requires you to have something that you do not have the game will tell you this. No need to sit around all day beating your head against the wall because you can't figure out why you can't access an area of the game not knowing you need a special item first.
The boss critters are moderately challenging in battle but you should not have too much difficulty in figuring out how to beat them. The hard part comes in figuring out how to replenish your supplies while beating said creature.
One often overlooked portion of the game is that you can unlock achievements as you play. There is a basic system in place to share achievements with friends over Nintendo Connect.
For example, once you kill 400 enemies you will be told that you have earned the 400 dead achievement. You can earn these for all sorts of things but they do not add anything to the game play, just bragging rights.
- The Bad
- No Multi-Player - I know Echoes had a very basic and not very good multi-player system tacked on but still, I want some Metroid multi-player action!
- Needs a Quick-Save Feature - Sometimes you just need to stop playing. Be it dinner, homework or a wife that wants your attention. I know that having too many save points can make a game too easy but sometimes you just want to do a quick-save and get back into the game a few hours later.
- Slow doors that take more than 15 seconds to open after being shot.
- The Good
- Exceptional Controls - If you thought the controls for Zelda were good you will love the controls for this game. Using the Wii-Remote as a pointer and the nunchuk for moving blows away any dual analog-stick control system out there. The only thing better would be mouse and keyboard support.
- Great Story - The story behind the game is excellent. The Hunters from the DS title make an appearance and are useful. There is a ton of lore hidden throughout the game that does a great job in fleshing out the Metroid universe.
- Great Pacing - Nothing kills a game faster than bad pacing. Metroid's pacing is very good and you should be able to complete the game in under 20 hours.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is a great ender to the Prime trilogy. If you have a Wii and you like FPS/puzzle games you should invest in a copy of this game.
The graphics is the best currently on the Wii and I never noticed any lagging or loading issues.