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Old 02-15-2008, 04:31 AM   #57
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Troy, MI
Posts: 11,005

Nintendo Wii
1 Player
Developer - Retro Studios
Publisher - Nintendo

My Bias
-I love the Metroid series
-I liked Metroid Prime but not MP2
-I hate console First Person Shooters

My Completion
Beaten with 73% completion

Much to my dismay, I discovered you really don’t need to play the previous two Prime games to understand this game. So if you’re worried about jumping in with the 3rd game in this trilogy you won’t be lost. The story this time around is much more prevalent that the previous games in the series. Unlike the other two Prime games, in this game I knew what I was doing and why at all times. To me this is a big improvement as it felt like I had a sense of purpose outside of just “beating it”.

A big addition to the series is voice acting. Samus still remains the silent protagonist, but the people/computers she interacts with talk up a storm. Having the storyline told this way makes the game feel less like a Metroid title and more like your average story driven FPS. I’m not saying its worse, but it’s certainly different than Metroid’s usual isolation theme.

I didn’t think the story itself was too bad. Dark Samus is back and badder than ever. The game even makes some references that link to future titles in the Metroid timeline. While the storyline isn’t going to win any awards for writing or execution, it is still pretty interesting up to the end.

Supports 16:9 Widescreen and Progressive Scan

In my opinion as of right now (02/14/08) Metroid Prime 3 has the best looking graphics on the Wii. It is still full of excessive attention to detail that the previous 2 Prime games were known for, even more so. On top of that the Retro Studios has made brilliant work of bloom lighting. Everything in this game is covered in bloom lighting and it makes for some simply breathtaking rooms.

This game litereally glows

The games choreography is also vastly improved and Samus and crew now move like real people. None of the movement in this game looks stiff or forced and looking back at the first Prime, they have come a long way. The character models however are a mixed bag. Samus looks better than ever, her model is much more improved over Prime 2’s and she now looks closer to how she does in Smash Bros Brawl. Although some character models look pretty bad, the Army General in particular, and remind me of Sega Dreamcast level visuals.

The environments in this game are like a giant breath of fresh air coming from Prime 2’s. Fiery lava areas, frosty artic areas, metallic spaceships. Every area is different and done very well from an artistic standpoint.

The music in this game is the worst in the series. The opening title screen music is the only track in the entire game that stood out to me. Whereas the previous two Prime games at least had remixed Super Metroid tracks to liven things up, this game has none.

I just can’t remember a single piece of music from this game. I understand the game is going for an atmospheric feel but even ambience can have melody if done right.

Wow. It’s ironic that my biggest complaint with the first two Prime games was the controls because this game has pulled a complete 180 in this regard. In the old games controlling a FPS with one analog stick felt horrible. The controls in Metroid Prime 3 are about as close as perfect as you can get. It’s almost as if the Wii Remote + Nunchuk combo was designed for this game.

There are different control modes available in the options menu. Each method changes the size of the invisible bounding box that controls how close the cursor can be towards the edge of the screen until the viewpoint will start turning. I played through the entire game on the Advanced mode, the method that offers no bounding box. This took a while to get used to because unless you keep the pointer perfectly center the camera will always be slightly moving. At first this was frustrating because every time I stopped to look at something the camera would slowly move to the left or right. However the adjustment period was well worth it as advanced mode allowed me to run-and-gun like a pro.

Finally easy looking around in Metroid Prime

The only complaint I can think of regarding the controls is the rare instances when you must perform a push/pull action with the Wii Remote. It could just be my personal setup, but I have never found push/pull functionality to work well and here it’s no different.

Regardless, the controls are THE reason this game is so enjoyable. In the previous Prime games if I didn’t have to kill a pack of enemies, I would save myself the work and run past. In this game I found myself shooting anything that moved. The combat is just a riot of fun. As a big fan of FPS games on the PC I will make a bold statement: FPS’s with the Wii Remote in this game are more fun than Keyboard/Mouse. Not as accurate, but more fun.

So how is the actual game? I am glad to say the awesome control method is complemented by an awesomely designed game.

It seems Samus finally smartened up in this game, you don’t throw away or lose all your powers at the beginning. Granted you throw away some of them like Boost Ball, but you don’t have to painfully go through the process of re-getting simple things like Morph Ball and double jump. However this in turn makes the upgrades you do get way less exciting. There aren’t many new or fresh upgrades in this game that weren’t previously in the other two primes, which is disappointing. Half the upgrades you do get are of the 1-2 time use category and will only be used to open a new door. You get upgrades for Samus’s ship too, but I have yet to figure out what some of them do (like missile expansions).

The Morph Ball puzzles are as clever as ever

This game does not start off promising. The opening scene is much like that of Xbox franchise Halo’s. You have tons of goofy looking space marines talking to you as they walk you through the controls. You then meet some army general who briefs you and a bunch of uninspired American looking bounty hunters of your mission. This opening just gives the impression of “I don’t want Halo I want Metroid”. Luckily you don’t have to deal with the space marines much thought the game.

Yes sir Master Chief sir

During the game you will be awarded Extras credits for performing tasks. The first time it happened I started laughing as it’s an obvious ripoff/mockery of Xbox 360’s Achievement system. The credits you earn can then be used in the games extras menu to unlock stuff. None of the things you unlock pertain to the actual game, they are more like DVD bonus features. I thought most of them were pretty worthless like Art (boring) and Music (what music? lol), but one of them was really neat. You can unlock a screenshot tool that allows you to take a snapshot of the screen anytime during Gameplay. It then sends this screenshot to your Wii Message Board and can be viewed from there. It’s a cool way to not only save screenshots of your favorite moments but also send them to friends. Unfortunatly this cool screenshot tool can only be bought with Friend Vouchers. To get Friend Vouchers you need to know friends who own this game and have them send you some over the internet.

Anytime during Gameplay you can hold down the + button and enter Hyper Mode. In this mode you use your life energy to fire out Phazon blasts that kill anything in a few hits. Stay in this mode for more than a few seconds and you become corrupted which will constantly suck life to fill your Phazon ammo. If you allow the bar to overflow this way you die, so when corrupted you must rapidly fire all your ammo out to exit hyper mode, therefore depleting an entire energy tank. It makes for a really cool element and can be very helpful in the games tight spots.

Samus has several Hyper Mode powers

Unlike previous Metroid games which encourage exploration to the point of cluelessness, this game is pretty straight forward. As soon as you finish one objective you are told what the next one should be and given directions on where to find it. You are basically directed from point A to point B throughout the entire game, which was kind of nice for a change since I never once had to look at an FAQ. There is even a fetch quest at the very end like the other Primes, but this one helps you out a bit and isn’t frustrating.

The games difficulty is set just right. The bosses provide a good amount of challenge. The difficulty is on par with the first Metroid Prime, and a lot easier than the frustrating Prime 2.

Some of the flaws that have plagued the Prime series are back. The doors still do not open immediately due to slow loading, and is now even more prevalent. There are a few doors in the game that are just out of control ridiculous, taking up to 10 seconds to open. I lost an entire health tank sitting and waiting for a door to open while being barraged from behind. The map screen still snaps to the nearest highlighted area, making it impossible to zoom in on a specific section of a room. However since the maps aren’t nearly as complex this problem isn’t as bad.

Start shooting doors this far away, they could be halfway loaded when you reach them

And again, for the third time, this game pulls the true ending 100% only crap. I finished with 73% completion only to realize I don’t get to see the rest of the story. Granted in this game it’s not nearly as big a deal as the other 2 because it’s the end of the trilogy, but its still just bad design. I miss the days when the reward was Samus in a bikini instead.

Lasting Appeal
My final game clocked in at 14 hours. I didn’t take the time to search every nook and cranny, but I probably will when I have more time. This game was so fun to play I was disappointed when it was over and can see myself replaying it in the future on a harder difficulty.

Completionists will get many more hours out of the title as there is a lot to discover.

Final Thoughts
You don’t need to play the previous games in the series to enjoy this one. I think this is hands down the best game in the trilogy.

This is one of the few games that I will say every Wii owner needs to play, it’s that good. It’s one of those system seller games that justify a console purchase. Forget what other FPS's you have played on Wii, and go play this game.

Gameplay Video

Last edited by Seraph; 08-04-2009 at 10:16 AM.
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