Metroid Prime 3 Corruption: a decent action-adventure (8/10)

Nov 24, 2008

Another week, another game down. Just finished Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.

I played it in the easiest, Normal mode, but I can't say the beginning was too easy. And spent 24 hours of gameplay on it, judging by the game's counter. If I factor in also the failed attempts where I got annoyed and quit, I think a more realistic estimate is 30 hours in total since September. In general, for a single-player game like this, somewhere between 24 and 40 hours seems the right time.

Here's a demo video.

The Normal mode and especially the boss battles in the beginning were quite a challenge, until you got the hang of it. In the end, the rest was easy, but bosses kept getting harder. It has two harder modes, but I don't think I'll bother playing them.

I have not played Metroid series before, but I have played many action-adventure FPS games. (My working definition of "action-adventure": you go around shooting bad guys while accomplishing missions/tasks and solving puzzles.) The nice aspect about this game was that it was not entirely linear. Yes, you had missions that kept advancing the plot, but you could take a break and just roam the world to scout for powerups or such. There are 100 powerups to be collected (100%), and I got 97%, but this was only because at one point if you go back to a particular location, you get a map of them.

Location design and planning in general was very nicely done. In a huge majority of the games, you only go through locations once. But here it was common to go back to the same place two or three times, because you saw cues that you'll come back, such as doors or switches that you could not operate with your current equipment. And then you got upgrades and came back.

Here are the interesting/unique aspects of the game relative to my experience.

  • Being able to lock/target on enemies and then strafe-circle them while maintaining lock. Very handy, especially for homing missiles.
  • Morph ball and its variations. Transform to a different shape to get through many places and have unique attacks.
  • Scanning everything, but especially bosses to reveal their attack points. In some other games, you see a boss and you have to shoot a particular area on them but you have no idea how or what exactly. But here, scanning the boss helps with that.
  • VERY nice use of Wii controls. Sometimes had to do interesting waves with two hands in coordination, to e.g operate a switch while shooting at bad guys with the other hand. I am so happy with my decision to get Wii over Xbox or PS3, where I would be stuck with only joystick-style controls that I am not a big fan of.

I am giving it 8/10 because there is so much more potential to be uncovered in the following game in the series. This game was already great as it stands, but guys, you can do better in the next ones :)

I am now wondering what nice action-adventures to play next on Wii. Somehow this game reminded me of Tom Clancy Splinter Cell series (although the latter is much less shooting and more covert). I'll probably try that. And then there are all the WW2 franchises, which are also great, but I need some change from them. Oh, and my next one will be Prince of Persia: Rival Swords. But in addition to these?