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‘Metroid’, the best Wii game yet

September 20, 2007

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Sam and Max: Season OneRemember those wicked and amusing promos released at the time of the Wii launch? Recall the one that featured a nameless gamer rolling, ducking and spinning like a S.W.A.T. team member as he played 'Metroid Prime 3: Corruption' in his living room? Of course, you do. That scene alone sold me on the Wii as being a revolutionary console. Nintendo hasn't disappointed me in that regard and neither has the first ‘Metroid’ game for the Wii.

The bounty hunter with a conscience, Samus Aran, returns in the final chapter of the 'Metroid' trilogy and even through the gameplay hasn't evolved all that much from the original, 'Metroid Prime 3: Corruption' takes its position as a first person shooter more seriously than any of the other instalments.

Wii and the FPS genre haven't exactly gelled very well in the first year of the console's lifecycle. Most of the offerings have been hit and miss due to control systems not working as well they should and because some of the releases were rushed into production, the artificial intelligence hasn’t been up to snuff. Patient FPS Wii fans now finally have something to cheer about as ‘Corruption' and its developers Retro Studios have come through setting a very, very high standard for other developers to shoot for.

Donning her battle suit once again, Samus joins her compatriots in trying to unearth the source of an unusual virus which seems to be infecting and "corrupting" everything in its wake, including her soldier-for-hire buddies. Just to spice things up, there is even a 'Dark Samus' who appears and disappears at the most inopportune times.

In between traveling to alien worlds, solving puzzles, battling strange creatures and even stranger bosses, Samus receives some really cool upgrades that take full advantage of the Wii controllers such as an energy whip you can use to yank shields out of enemy hands. The developers have thrown in other scripted events which don't really figure into your success or failure at the game but are there to enhance the look and feel. Many times you will be called upon to twist and turn the controller to lock or unlock things as well as push it back and forth to press buttons or operate controls in the game. On the whole, the controls are smooth, flawless and feel completely natural. Everything works as it should. It would be no surprise if Retro’s system becomes the unofficial industry standard when it comes to FPS on the Wii.

Another awesome upgrade is Samus' new battle suit. The PED Suit (Phazon Enhancement Device) allows her to harness and release alien energy with explosive results. The power comes with a high price though if not used sparingly. The suit can become overloaded and rupture, killing Samus in the process. That is hardly a good thing. Knowing when to use the suit’s power becomes part of the challenge and adds a neat little twist.

Sam and Max: Season OneOne knock against the Wii is that because of its processing power, it will never be able to match its next-gen brethren when it comes to graphics. Even Nintendo themselves have admitted that gameplay rather than presentation was their focus when they created the console in the first place. Playing ‘'Metroid Prime 3: Corruption', you would never believe the Wii has any such limitations at all. Retro has squeezed every last possible ounce of power out of the Wii making ‘Corruption’ the best looking Wii game to be released. Everything from the lingering sparks cast off from explosions to the level of detail and hues found in all of the surroundings clearly shows that the Wii has far much more potential than perhaps anyone thought it had.

Me, I like the reflection of Samus’ eyes and face in the scan visor. It is just a small detail but it is just too cool.

If ’Corruption’ could be taken to task for anything it would have to be that sometimes the game just isn’t all that challenging. The majority of the lesser foes are merely petty obstacles and offer no real test of your skills. The puzzles can be aggravating but usually if you employ your trusty scan visor and survey the surroundings, helpful clues are right at your fingertips. As has always been the case with the ‘Metroid’ series, the boss battles remain as the gameplay highlights. They are fast, furious and demanding.

It is rare that a game lives up to all the hype surrounding its launch but 'Metroid' does that on a grand scale. The N64 had ‘GoldenEye’. The GameCube had ‘Resident Evil 4’. The Wii has 'Metroid Prime 3: Corruption'. There is no cause for debate. ‘Corruption' is the best game made for the Wii at the present time. Period. End. Of. Story.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Format: Wii
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Retro Studios
ESRB Rating: (T) Teen
Official Site: http://wii.nintendo.com/site/metroidprime3/

Rating: 9.5 / 10

 
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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.