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Phase into Phazon: Introduction: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is the final game of the Metroid Prime series, and the closing of the Phazon saga. Metroid’s first jump to 3D was successful enough for not one, but three games. As the ending of the trilogy, it has more to live up to than Prime 2 did. So, is it good? How well does it do its job of ending this epic story? That is the question I intend to answer in this review. Full Review: Story: Metroid Prime 3’s story starts out with Samus waking up from a nightmare, in which Dark Samus is resurrected after the events that happened on Aether. If you saw the secret ending of Prime 2, then you saw this coming. After waking, she is ordered to board a federation ship and meet up with Admiral Dane who has a mission for her and three other bounty hunters. The other hunters are Rundas, basically an ice lord. Gohr, who is apparently obsessed with giant robots. And Gandrayda, who appears to resent Samus and thinks she’s better than all of the other hunters. Admiral Dane informs the hunters that the galactic federation’s Aurora units have suffered from Phazon corruption, and hires them to hunt down and eliminate the viruses and rescue the Aurora units. The Aurora units are basically the federation’s own mother brains and run the information networks for the Federation. The mission briefing is cut short by a pirate fleet who comes to ruin the party, and a meteor that is about to crash into planet Norion. So Samus and the fellow hunters immediately go to Norion to reactivate the cannon generators there and destroy the meteor. But Samus gets derailed not just by pirates, but the Berserker Lord, a baller status trooper that knows how to make one hell of an entrance. He gets defeated but not before absorbing a ton of punishment. After reaching Norion and repairing the first generator, Samus encounters Meta Ridley, who's back again with a vengeance. Samus then defeats Ridley and Rundas rescues her before she falls into the abyss. After activating the final generator, the hunters hurry to the cannon before the meteor hits Norion. When they get there, however, they are attacked by Dark Samus. Damn, those dreams came true! Dark Samus kicks all the hunters butts and leaves as Samus desperately crawls towards the cannon and fires it to destroy the Meteor. Overall, the intro sequence of this game does a solid job of building up tension before shit hits the fan. I like it a lot. Samus then wakes up a month later and discovers that all the hunters who were attacked by Dark Samus are now corrupted. Samus acquires the PED (Phazon Enhancement Device) suit as an upgrade of her iconic Varia Suit. Admiral Dane tells Samus to go and cleanse the Aurora units from Phazon infection and destroy leviathans that have landed on three different planets. She will encounter the other hunters who have been completely corrupted by Phazon, so you are forced to kill them. Honestly, the hunters lack enough character development for me to feel sad about their loss. The only exception is Rundas, who is a great character that had a good amount of interaction with Samus before his corruption. It looks to me like Retro Studios ended up putting a lot of detail and depth into the story, but sadly not much to the character development (except for Rundas). That’s my only gripe about the story. Otherwise, it’s very well presented, with epic cutscenes to boot. Every character except Samus is fully voiced, and every planet you visit has its own backstory, told by a series of logs. Of course, that means none of them have even close to the amount of depth that Tallon IV and Aether had, but it's a fair trade off. Graphics and Presentation: Metroid Prime 3 is the best looking game in the trilogy, at least on a technical level. The game has really good lighting for the Wii and the textures look really good. Artistically speaking, it’s more impressive than Prime 2, with some gorgeous environments. But for every Skytown, there’s a Pirate Homeworld which is kinda repetitive on the visuals side, and the leviathan seed levels all look too similar to the impact crater. But from a narrative standpoint, I’d say it makes sense. But there are a lot of good looking vistas and areas, which are memorable this time around, unlike in Prime 2 where I kept getting lost, at least in the Temple Grounds. Two little notes on the graphics side, one is that the Plasma and Nova beams can sometimes fire from locations away from the barrel if you tilt the Wiimote enough while shooting them, but it's not a big issue. A brighter note is that you can now see Samus’ face fully reflected when you use the scan visor, complete with eye tracking. The game’s sound design is on par with the rest of the Prime series. I’m not sure how I didn’t mention this in earlier reviews but I like how the game has a sound effect when you near a power up or expansion. The soundtrack is on par with Prime 2, but I think it could’ve used more memorable tracks if it wants to catch up to Prime 1. It focuses a bit too much on the atmospheric tracks, but I like the Super Metroid pirate remix in the Pirate Homeworld. The voice acting is superb, both in cutscenes and in-game dialogue. All of the characters feel down to earth and the lines are delivered convincingly. Overall, Prime 3’s presentation was awesome, but then again, it was not really lacking in the previous two games. Gameplay: Prime 3 proves to me that I made the right call to review these three games separately, as they always do some things differently. First of all, the objectives are more clear. The Aurora Unit give Samus all of the objectives and hints she needs to progress through the story. It’s like the hint system from the previous two games except it’s more frequent, it’s voiced, and it’s forced. And you now have a log to view your objective, now described in-depth. With that, the game’s exploration feel is somewhat hurt since I know where my goal is and don’t have to search for it as much. It's understandable since the developers were probably trying to appeal to a wider audience; it’s just I’m not particularly a big fan of that. Since this is the first Wii Metroid game, it was bound to have motion control gimmicks attached to it, but I actually like them in this game. The motion controls help immerse the player further into the game. Stuff like pulling handles, twisting them, pumping power into some machines, inserting codes and accessing elevators all felt natural, with nothing too gimmicky about them. Some of the power ups you obtain such as the grapple lasso are pretty fun to use. Speaking of power ups, the game doesn’t take them all away from you; instead it just doesn’t give you that much in the first place. But you still have to collect them all over again, but having played Super Metroid and the last two Primes, I’m already used to that. So let’s do it and re-obtain our lovely missiles, beam weapons, grapple upgrades, and the good ol’ Screw Attack. You actually get the screw attack quite early this time around, which is good because one of my complaints in Prime 2 is that you got it so late that you couldn't experience how cool it is that much. But to be honest, it was still utilized way better in Prime 2 despite getting it earlier here. And it’s still a pain to hit enemies with it. The seeker missiles have returned, which were useful for me in Prime 2 and just as good now. The morph ball has a new-ish type of puzzle, air puzzles which allow you to use bombs to launch yourself into the air. Your missile combos are gone now, but later in the game you obtain the Nova Beam, which lets you shoot through Phazon. Combined with the X-Ray visor, you will go to town on any enemies or bosses that gave you trouble beforehand. The beam weapon system is different from the first two Primes. This time around, your weapons stack their effects by the new ones. The power beam is replaced by the Plasma beam which now fires as rapidly as the power beam. The Nova Beam is essentially a green plasma beam, but the awesome thing about it is that you can shoot through Phazon with it and destroy enemies from their weak spots. The Ice Beam is not back, but instead you’ll get Ice Missiles which were featured previously in Fusion. And it still freeze your enemies regardless. I think Prime 1 had the best weapon system of the trilogy because you had four completely different guns that never became obsolete and always had their uses against different enemies. I would also say that Prime 2’s weapons were better than 3, honestly. But the weapons are at least different enough that it’s exciting to get a new one. You can now use Samus’ Gunship in more ways than ever before. You can travel not only between planets, but also different landing zones on each planet, which cuts down on the backtracking present in pretty much every Metroid game. Not all that necessary since the only Metroid game where I felt that backtracking was a pain in was Prime 2, but this is still greatly appreciated, and perfect for newcomers to the Metroid series. You can also command your ship on specific parts of levels, with commands including landing, attacking, and picking up or dropping off cargo. It’s kinda disappointing though. I never used the ship missiles at all because I never knew what specific parts of the map I could use it on, and it wasn’t needed because Hyper Mode destroys every enemy out there. Frankly, I would’ve preferred having the power bomb back. If there is ever another Metroid game, it would be nice to have the ability to fully pilot Samus’ gunship. It would be epic. Another cool new thing introduced is the achievement system. Bowling Bots is a funny one. They’re satisfying to earn but I didn’t pay much attention to them. There are green ledges that can be grabbed onto, so Samus can now finally grab ledges outside of Smash Brothers. 'Atta girl! The game’s boss fights are once again well done. The Berserker Lord is the best first boss in any of the Primes. Omega Ridley and Meta Ridley are epic fights. Helios is a fun, challenging and complex boss battle with many different attacks. Gandrayda is my favorite of the hunters because of how many different forms she uses through her shape-shifting powers. Rundas’ battle is epic and the music is fantastic. Mogenar, on the other hand, is a terrible boss. He never gives you room to attack - at all! It’s impossible to get a straight hit on him without screwing up a thousand times over. And the Metroid Hatcher is annoying and you fight it three times, but the second and third are not that bad because you can defeat it easily with X-Ray Visor + Nova Beam. Speaking of the Metroid Hatcher, I got stuck during the Norion fight. I dunno why but I just jammed for 40 seconds before regaining control. I thought that the Repticlus Hunters were gonna be the new Chozo Ghosts/Pirate Commandos but they’re much easier and you only encounter them once or twice. The Steamlords, however, ARE the new Chozo Ghosts/Pirate Commandos, but they’re not nearly as bad or common. Let’s talk about this game’s biggest gimmick, Hyper Mode. Hyper Mode is basically god mode. It’s the Phazon Beam from the first Prime that you only got to use during the final boss battle. Now you can use it all the time as long as you sacrifice a single energy tank. Despite playing on veteran, the game is still generous enough with health drops that you can use Hyper Mode almost all the time, I didn’t abuse Hyper Mode to keep the game fairly challenging, but there are some enemies who have a Hyper Mode of their own which can only be countered by your own Hyper Mode. If you stay in Hyper Mode too long, it will fill up and lock you in until you consume all of your Phazon. But that actually makes the game easier since it gives you more time in Hyper Mode. Overall this is the easiest of the Primes. It even has save points right before bosses, but this is a plus since it kinda bothered me that it didn’t have that in the first two games. The game was fairly challenging while not abusing Hyper Mode and the pacing remained solid throughout. Even collecting energy cells for the Valhalla wasn’t bad because you can collect them throughout the main story. In fact, I had 7 by the time I reached Valhalla. And you only need 5 of them to proceed to the final level anyway. As for the final level itself, without spoiling anything, it is terrific. Unlike the Impact Crater and Sky Temple, Retro added a challenge to their final level this time around. The time crunch scenario feels rewarding to pull through at the end. But the final boss was really disappointing. The concept and execution behind it were decent enough, but it could have been done better. In Prime 1 and 2, the final bosses were a test to all of the skills that you acquired throughout the game. And in Prime 3, the final boss gets his ass whooped by Hyper Mode! It's way too easy. Thankfully, the boss preceding it was spectacular. Despite the game having a big and large scale feeling it was actually not that huge, as I finished it in 12 hours unlike the first two games, which took around 20. But at no point did I feel like the length was bad - the story covered most of what it needed to, and the ending was great. So there’s not that many complaints I can throw toward it in that regard. Final Verdict: Prime 2 and 3 were great games, but the highlight of the trilogy in my opinion is the first Prime. It was the perfect blend of exploration, puzzle solving, and storytelling, and it was an absolute blast to play through. But Prime 2 and 3 were also a blast, despite not having as much impact on me as the first Prime. All and all, the Metroid Prime games are some of the most atmospheric that I’ve played, and I loved how each of them had their own personalities, their own differences to distinguish them from each other. Retro Studios have succeeded not only in adapting the Metroid series into the 3D realm of gaming, but also providing quality games in that dimension. And that is an achievement I find very admirable. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is a great ending to a well crafted trilogy. It is an excellent game that has served its job well in ending one of the best game trilogies of all time. The ending was climactic and satisfying, despite the final boss not being all that creative. The game felt too easy at points but at no times did it feel like a chore to play through. It may not be a new gold standard in the first person shooter genre but it’s a great entry in an already great series of games. And a great Metroid game in general. Final Score: 9/10 Update on Upcoming Reviews: Hoo, I didn’t expect to come back this early, not even a month after my Prime 2 review. I got a week off, and I took the opportunity to play through and finish Prime 3. At this moment, I am 60 hours into Square Enix’s Bravely Default for the 3DS, I still got a few chapters to go, but after I finish it, it’s gonna be my next game to review. So please stay tuned for that. For those of you who were with me throughout my run through the Metroid Prime Trilogy, I must thank you for doing so. Since game reviews are pretty much my favorite side hobby right now, I am here to stay. Sin & Punishment: Star Successor is on my radar since Zera recommended it to me. I will definitely play and review that at some time in the near future.
A thread for one of Nintendo's best and most underappreciated franchises. Discuss what you like; share your favorite games, favorite moments in the series, favorite weapons/equipment, etc. etc. Let's try to avoid getting too heated on the topic of the Metroid franchise's latest game; discussion of Other M's controversial portrayals and shortcomings are inevitable, but let's try to keep it respectful and positive for the most part.