Prime 3 complete. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Adam (Vergil)   
Friday, 30 November 2007
Well I finished Metroid Prime 3 last night, bringing the number of games I've finished this week up to 3 (provided you don't count beating the last boss of Twilight Princess for dad or beating Portal a second time which explains why it feels like I've beaten 5 games).

Overall Metroid Prime 3 is quality and anyone looking to get some legs out of their Wii should get it.  At the same time though its hard to shake this strange feeling of disappointment.  That's not to say the game was bad by any means but in the end it wasn't what I hoped it would be.

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Let's start with the good.  Controlling Samus on the Wii is fantastic.   It makes me wish more good non-WWII shooters were on the Wii (because I hate WWII shooters) especially ones with online play.  We're it not for Wii's lack of voice support I'd go so far as to say I really wish TF2 was on the Wii, supporting some sort of "shake the remote for a quick melee attack" feature or something.

That said, because you're not fumbling around with the controls encounters that used to be hard in previous Prime games are now quite simple. Boss designs that were once difficult tasks to pull off now go off easily.  Not that this is bad but Retro failed to scale up the difficulty in some cases with the new controls.  This streamlined Metroid Prime ends up playing like a streamlined Metroid Prime.

I think this also comes from the way they streamlined beam weapons.  I think one of the things I really liked about Metroid Prime 1 was the fact you had four beams to control and each beam felt like a different weapon.  Power beam was your rapid fire weapon, plasma your accurate and deadly one, ice had a sort of shotgun effect while wave had a neat homing trick.  You switched beams to achieve the kind of effect you wanted from switching guns in other FPS games.  However in Prime 2, the Light/Dark ammo system made you hesitant to use your special beams due to being worried about not having the ammo you needed when a tough fight came up. 

In Prime 3 though, beam  upgrades upgrade your one beam.  Through out the whole game your beam shots are either normal or hyper mode.  If you get plasma beam, you replace your power beam with it.  Combined with the game's lack of power bombs and super missiles, the reduces the number of weapon systems your foes can be weak against significantly, forcing them to use the phazon-based hyper mode to do damage, which does SO MUCH damage,  I felt cheap almost every time I used it.  Were it not for the Corruption mechanics, I really would hate hyper mode, but the corruption mechanic keeps it fun and interesting and gives justification for the power you have while you use it.

The puzzles, though unique and different in many ways, also seemed easier than in previous prime games.  I'm not sure if that's just because I'm a vet, in fact I'm sure that's a big part of it.  Still, the fact remains that given how fast I beat it, the game didn't hold me back for too long and that's a shame.  The multi world set up, while doing a great job of keeping your locations unique, also makes me feel in the end like I don't know any of those worlds as well as I do Tallon IV or Aether.  That's not to say the multiworld set up doesn't have some cool-ness to it and it works quite well inside Prime3's plot, but it means the level design is a lot simplier and less sprawling, meaning it feels less Metroid.

Anyway, in the end Prime 3 is still a great game that's a lot of fun, but I can see now why reviewers didn't it go as far as 9.0/10 on it.  It comes just short of being that good, but is still worth a playthrough, especially if you want to see how the Phazon story-saga the Prime games tells ends.
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