Metroid Prime 3 Full Impressions

Getting into Metroid Prime 3 was very easy for me. I've been waiting for a game on the Wii that I could tear apart and dive into without hestitation. Metroid is that game.

It's very odd though.. What do I like about Metroid Prime 3? My overall feelings towards the game are very numb and complacent. There are so many mediocre points in the game, but are easily looking over while playing the game.

By the way.. this review will continue mountains of spoilers, so please don't read on if you don't wish to be spoiled
Playing the game..

Playing this game is a dream. I absolutely love the gameplay. Honestly, I can see why people are so ape shit about the gameplay and say stupid things like, "This is the best console fps experience you'll ever have." That's a bold statement, but I think I would agree that the controls are spot on. Overall, I do prefer this over dual analog sticks. You get FAR more control and precision shooting things with the Wii-mote. A little joystick cannot compare to the Wii-mote at all.

This is how you make a Wii game. This is how you make full use of the Wii-mote and motion controls with over burdening your gamer. The little subtle actions of showing off the motion controls are great because they only happen when you're completely focused are flipping a switch, turning screw controls, or pulling out energy containers.

Reviewing this game..

It's because of this beautiful gameplay that everyone loves the game. It's the same reason I love it. So many publications give this game a 10 or a 9.5 simply because of this, but I don't know why they didn't grade the game harsher on its fall backs. The gameplay is like that genius student in your class that makes up for all the others students getting Cs. The gameplay is that one cop that goes out on a limb to solve the case in the most elaborate and thorough way (like John Mcclain), while everything else in the game simply plays it straight and safe.

There's so much mediocrity in this game that is overshadowed by the gameplay that just isn't getting press, but with good reason. In good conscience can reviewers really just gloss over everything else because it is blantly bad and give it a perfect 10 based on gameplay alone?

It's weird.. I'm not dissapointed with the game, and I think they did a fantastic job with it too. Here.. I'll just tell you what I think about it..

The Music..

The music in Metroid Prime 3 is absolutely bland. They overuse that organic flange like it was pop rocks in the 80s. The music is so uninspired, so subtle... but it doesn't get in your way. The music doesn't push the environment on you; it's just there to create an ambiance, but doesn't fit with the environment at all. It reminds me of Doom for some reason, but far more low key.

The background music does feel very Metroid, but it doesn't feel alien at all. More mission driven and pumping.

However, this is completely overruled by One track in the game that had me blown away. Put me in a state of awe. That one track I was waiting for the entire game to blow me away. The Ice level has absolutely beautiful background music. Fluttering high-note piano music raining snow onto the land, the fields, the statues, and me in the middle of it.

This was the first point in teh game that I actually stopped for a moment and took it in. Listened to the beautiful orchestrated notes take me to this place, much like it did back in Metroid Prime 1 with Phendrana.. the Ice planet. That's kinda weird isn't it? How can the best two tracks in the Metroid Prime series both be from Ice worlds. They should make christmas music or something.. Metroid Prime 4: Lost in the Ice Kingdom would probably be the best videogame OST in the history of gaming.

But that's it. I went through the Ice world, collected the Screw Attack, and left.. That was it for the entire fricken game.. The only other track that comes close is the menu music.. That's somewhat decent.

It's rather funny that the quality of Music forms and equal parallel to game overall. There's one piece of music that keeps you from counting out the music all together.

The Environments..

This is the first Metroid where you aren't on One planet the whole game. Overall, you have 5 major planets and a few other places consisting of at least a dozen unique areas of exploration. Actually, the more I think about it, the diversity within a planet really tells the story of civilization on that planet. The 5 planets you explore are Norion, Bryyo, Elysia, Pirate Homeworld and Phaze, though I suppose Phaze really doesn't count.

The environments you encounter through the game are pretty standard. You walk around on a battle cruiser like in a Halo 2, go through a federation outpost which is pretty standard. Metroid begins very federation oriented which is unlike any other Metroid and everything like most space opera sci-fi. Once you finally break free of the federation and begin exploring, you start to encounter actual alien worlds.

The first alien world is Bryyo and is also the most under developed of the planets. It's quite interesting that because it's the most under developed, it is also the most varied in enviroments. You do come across a pirate outpost, but it is thick within the jungle. On the side of the planet, you have the firey volcanos. Within the fire pits, you come across a warp point to the Ice caverns. On this one planet, you have complete polar opposites, somewhat like Earth.

Because of the varied environments you have all kinds of plant, animal and sentient life, which doesn't make sense why it's the most boring planet of them all. Hurray i'm in a Jungle.. Hurrah I'm in a volcano. Hurrah i'm in an ice cavern (but the music is beautiful). Don't get me wrong, they all look quite good, but don't go that extra mile to really WOW me. All these environments have already been done in Metroid Prime 1.

Elysia. Now HERE is a planet that made me stop and just look around at everything. Elysia is a lot like Jupiter, a gasious liquid planet that nothing can live on, unless you were in the upper atmosphere away from the violent death storms. You walk around on a settlement built in the sky which is completely built on Steam. Oh baby.. A Steampunk planet.. fucking brilliant.

All the little robots are steam powered. When you walk around, they are little repair bots working on the station to keep it running and working. The enemy robots are straight out of 50s scifi. A very hostile andriod looking robot firing ring beams at you. I love Elysia, but what really annoyed me was everywhere you went was the same. You didn't have a multiple varied environments like you did back on Bryyo.

After Elysia, you go to the Pirate Homeworld was is more standard technology type stuff. It kinda reminds me of the Borg homeworld and to finish off the game you go to planet Phaze which is beautiful, but pretty standard stuff at this point after going into the Leviathan ships.

One other spiffy place you can go is optional and it is the remenants of a battle between Federation and Pirates which was over-swarmed by Metroids. This is my absolute favorite point in the game because you are investigating what actually happened to this federation ship and uncovering clues to the actual menance that awaits you at the end of the game.

Because this area is optional, you need to find Energy Cells throughout the game to repower doors, ramps and elevators in this deserted graveyard. There needed to be MUCH MUCH more of this, rather than just chasing around pirates. Focus the game on METROIDS, not the stupid pirate conspiracies involving metroids. Use your graphically power to show off how deadly the metroid race is, rather than some submissive controlled species.

Metroids..

Hey guess what.. let's talk about how under utilized Metroids are in Metroid Prime 3. How do you kill a Metroid? This is video game survival 101. You freeze it, and fire 5 missiles at it which will shatter the monster. That's pretty much what you do in Metroid Prime 3, however you also kill a Metroid through hypermode or a sniped headshot, which makes it way to easy.

The whole point of fighting a Metroid is to feel like you are David versus Goliath. Metroids are ruthless, energy sucking parasites which will devour every ounce of strength you have. Metroid Prime 3 portreys the Metroid species just as any other creatures in the game. Just another enemy in your way. In fact, there are more menancing creatures in the game than Metroids.

The only scene that came close to showing off Metroid brutality was one Metroid dragging a federation soldiers corpse through a hallway.

There needs to be a scene, NOT a cutscene, where a bunch of Metroids break free and run rampant through a planet, chewing on the nearby animals, all while you are fending them off and trying to get away before falling victim. Metroids are basically higher level alien zombies.. Why not feed on the anxiety and suspense of a zombie attack in a Metroid game?

You'd be fucked if you came up against 3 Metroids.. but not in Metroid Prime 3. blam blam.. they're dead, you're safe. bullshit.

The Story..

Besides that, the story is still rather lacking. You basically go through space, fighting off pirate advances and learn of the growing menance of Phazon. All while, the phazon inside of you is growing and slowly taking over.

Being slowly corrupted is a great plot device, but means nothing when your character doesn't talk or give any emotional indication of being corrupted. Samus is basically a robot inside of her armor suit. This is one of things I noticed right away after killing one of her friends in the beginning. She is emotionally disconnected with the story, which makes it really hard to play a character driven game.

HOWEVER.. This special ending finally brings emotion into Samus.. It's really a shame that you have to get 75% complete in order to view this ending, because this IS the emotion missing from the game. Samus lands on Elysia, takes off her helmet and looks into the clouds. She stares saddenly into the distance and thinks about her friends, their corruption into madness, and her duty to put them down.. It's very powerful, though has crappy music that could have made it more powerful.

The super special ending after getting 100% complete continues from there. She walks back to her ship, takes off the rest of her suit, and then goes into space. After flying into the distance, another ship rises from the surface as well, and follows her. OMG sequel!

blah blah blah..

To sum it up, Metroid Prime 3 is pretty slick. It is a great example of how game developers need to utilize the Wii-mote's abilities to the fullest. Definitely play this game. This is the best game on the Wii right now.

As you can see from all the text above, I don't really feel overly amazed by the game, but it definitely doesn't suck. There's a ton of potential that didn't follow through, but it is a joy to play and is very solid too.




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