Metroid Prime 3 First Impressions

Today, the Wii finally got its first big release that wasn't a ported game from another console.. Metroid Prime 3 is out in stores, though you might have some difficultly locating it. I traded in Big Brain Academy and Rayman Raving Rabbits to Gamestop for a full-price reserve a month or two ago, so i was set. Also, when I went to pick it up today, I put in a reserve for Mass Effect. ^_^

I could hardly wait to play this game today. Don't get me wrong, learning about concurrency and thread-safety, while implementing processes for work is rather interesting.. but it can't really compare against shooting things with the Wii-mote.. or can it?

Let's begin...

As you wake up from Cryostasis, you are inside your spaceship. You can look around, push buttons, but eventually have to open communications with the Starfleet, rendezvous with them, and speak with the admiral. It's a very non-game moment where you're in character, much like the beginning of Half-life or Halo. Once aboard the ship, you can walk around and talk with people. Of course, you don't talk back.. you're a Nintendo Character, after all.

The gameplay is pretty fluid, but does take a little getting used to. The biggest hurdle I've been trying to get over is that the Z button holds your view, rather than the B button, as it is in Resident Evil 4. The B Button in Metroid is jump. So when ever I try to fire at something, I end up jumping around first before actually locking on to them. :slaps forehead:

As soon as I began walking around, Tony said that everyone online recommends switching your look to "advanced" rather than the defaulted "normal". Thank you Tony/Internet. Normal and Advanced are basically degrees of when your view will move with where you point the cursor. In Normal you have to point near the edge of the screen before your viewpoint actually turns in that direction. With Advanced, your viewpoint will always turn when the cursor isn't in the middle of the screen. It will turn to the degree with respect to how far away your cursor is from the middle. It feels much more natural.

There's also other neat little Wii-mote movements, like turning key-locks, pumping other locks, and swinging the nunchuck around to use the grapple-beam.. Everything is quite intuitive ^_^

Getting into it..

There really hasn't been much of a story yet.. Space Pirates attack, you repel them.. You get infected by Plasma or whatever it's called.. You investigate other stuff..

The story telling style is rather awkwardly paced. In some cases, you have full dialogue of your mission objectives and what is actually happening around you. But in other instances, when you're on the planet fighting, the gameplay is directing the story..

Spoilers: At the beginning you have a bunch of your Bounty Hunter buddies, that help you fight off the space pirates. Later, after you've all been infected, you search a planet where one of them had been last seen. You end up fighting one of your pals after he's been completely corrupted, but NOT once do you ever show remorse for his situation, nor when you kill him..

Metroid Prime 3 feels very disconnected emotionally because of this.. If Samus doesn't care about killing one of her friends, how am I supposed to feel any compassion towards her. I don't see this motif changing..

Achievements..

Something pretty slick Metroid has adopted, is the notion of achievements.. and they take many different forms. You get a little achievement when you scan a monster (red coins), when you scan some lore (blue coins), when you defeat a boss (yellow coins), and other little random ones (tags). There's also green coins, which I haven't figured out how to get.

All the coins you acquire can be traded in for unlockables: Concept Art, Background music, and, my favorite, stuff for your car (spaceship). You can get bumperstickers for your spaceship. You can get Bobblehead figurines for your dashboards. All kinds of stupid crap. Most of them require green coins, though :/

The tags, on the other hand, work with your friends list. I've gotten tags for killing 100 enemies, killing 200 enemies, and 2 other things which I can't recall. You can use these tags to send a friend voucher to someone on your list. I sent one to Erika and Dave.. What do they do?!

The Atmosphere..

One of the things I did love in Metroid Prime 1, was the music.. ESPECIALLY Phendrana, the Ice level. The music was absolutely ambient, subtle, and atmospheric. I just wanted to sit back and take it in.. So far, Metroid Prime 3's music has been sub-par to ass. Honestly, it's so un-memorable, I can't even remember what it sounds like when I try to recall it.

Music in a game is pretty important for me.. It'll make a mediocre game memorable, and a fantastic game boring, for me. All of my all-time favorite games have very much to do with having an excellent soundtrack. So when a game is somewhat boring enough for me to notice that the music is pretty stupid, there's a problem.

I'm pretty disappointed by this, but there is FAR more game left to surprise.

Where I'm at..

After I finally exited out of Metroid Prime 3, my time was 4 hours. I'm at 12% complete of the game, too. I'm guessing I'll probably finish the game around 20 or 25 hours. Remember, the percentage is the total amount of stuff done in the game, not your progression through the story.

Despite being disappointed by a couple things, I am having fun with it.. I can't wait to see what happens when we start getting into rogue Aurora Units and Metroid conspiracies.. I'll definitely be disappointed if neither of those two things happen.

Right now, there seems to be a lot going on.. So that's good ^_^




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