Monday, June 24, 2013
Top 10 Games of the Seventh Generation Consoles - #7: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
I consider the original Metroid Prime one of the most bold and successful revivals of a video game franchise ever attempted. I also consider it to be one of the best video games ever created. While I enjoyed the sequel Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and its light world/dark world scenario, the layout of planet Aether’s different regions did not feel as intelligently crafted as the regions of Tallon IV in the first game. Whereas the distance between save stations, weapon upgrades, and the balance of puzzles and combat was relatively consistent in Prime, it was more sporadic in Echoes – Samus could traverse incredibly short distances at times and come across a number of missile expansions or quick and easy environmental puzzles, or it could be close to an hour between two save stations.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was one of the earliest big-name titles Nintendo revealed for their Wii (or as it was known at the time, the Revolution). While the original reveal trailer didn’t show much, the final product turned out to be a balance of familiar and fresh content. No longer was Samus limited to a single planet – in their alliance with Dark Samus, the Space Pirate forces had spread Phazon across the galaxy, requiring Samus to visit multiple worlds and undo the gradual infection and mutation brought on by the Phazon. While these individual planets were scaled down in size from the regions of the previous two Prime titles, they were still bold visions on the part of the creative team at Retro Studios. The skylines that run above the clouds of Elysia, the needle-like forests of Bryyo, and the haunting remains of the G.F.S. Valhalla all made for areas that were as interesting to look at as they were to explore.
For being one of the earliest titles to make full use of the Wii’s motions controls, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is arguably among the best on the system. Response times and targeting accuracy might not be perfect, but they’re pretty great even when you compare them to later Wii releases by Nintendo. Prime 3 spends as much time exploring the core mythos of the Metroid universe – the legacy of the Chozo, the properties of Phazon, the role of the Aurora Units and the connections they share to Mother Brain – as it does providing a satisfying conclusion to the story that makes up the Prime trilogy. To that end, Corruption does as much to send the Prime series out with a bang as it does to connect the dots of many underlying tales that helped to shape the Metroid story at large.