The weakest link in the Metroid Prime chain
While not technically impressive, the artistic design behind Corruption is flawlessly imaginative. The set pieces are so large they will blow your mind, and that is a very good thing! The models are very good, tons of detail and it all runs very smoothly. The texture work is downright impressive, some of the best I've seen in a video game, to date! The effects (sparks, energy blasts, explosions, etc...), all look superb. The environments, from the fiery lava pits to to the abandoned spaceships to the pirate home world all look amazing, giving you the feeling that you are truly in a real place, and the nearly endless draw-distance doesn't hurt, either!
Something surprising about this game was how well animated and realistic the various characters were. The game features fully voiced- over dialogue, a feature not usually seen in a Nintendo game.
The only hitch is the shadowing, as some enemies have a standard circular shadow that looks downright awful. This of course is a small gripe, and does not greatly effect the overall quality of the visuals.
The sound here is spot on. Everything sounds the way it looks like it should sound, and the background music is excellent and really drives the atmosphere of each location.
Gameplay: 3 /5
Metroid Prime 3 is in on odd position. After Metroid Prime 1 & 2, it was time to mix things up a bit.
The result: Corruption feels more like an action game than its predecessors, but not so much that it doesn't feel like a Metroid game. At Corruption's core beats the heart of a First-Person-Adventure game, but thanks to the Wiimote Retro Studios could inject some more action and excitement. There are portions of the game that have you taking on hordes of enemies and at times you begin to fee like you are playing an FPS. Then, a moment later you find yourself solving a puzzle or readng up on some data you recovered from your Scan Visor. The two genres are blended with a suprising amount of finesse, and the pacing of the game remains steady and engaging throughout the adventure.
This leads me to the negatives....
The game breaks itself up into many different planets and locations, which you can fly in between using your ship (no flying mini-game or anything , thankfully). Each planet has a boss, who resides in a shielded area that you must unlock. This is a big no-no for Metroid games. By breaking the game up into parts it feels like the game has been created with levels or stages. This is not a good idea in a game series that stresses deep exploration and tension: it's hard to dive deep into exploration when there is a warp station near every area you go to! Metroid Prime 1 and 2 featured huge continuous environments, with relevant boss fights that suited the area. Everything felt in it's place, like it belonged exactly where it was. This is not the case in Corruption. The areas feel disjointed from each other, and the bosses are not relevant at all. They seem to have no relation to the area they inhabit, and it feels sufficiently lame, and too easy.
In the end it was a disappointment on the gameplay side. The conventions are there, and as cool as ever, but the game does not have that Metroid feel that made Prime 1 so atmospheric and engrossing: too many ally NPC's around (ruins the tension that Metroid games are known for), too disjointed, and the boss fights were uninspired and too random.
The controls are arguably the best FPS controls I've used on the Wii. Aiming is a breeze, although I was left with hand pains due to the uncomfortable Wiimote. Plenty of customization available here, allowing you to adjust aiming speed button placement untill it suits your fancy.
Replay Value: 4/5
Collection freaks will have a blast finding all of the items and data to unlock the 100% completion ending. The game also has a reward system based on how well you play, which allows you to unlock a multitude of extras including stickers, skins, and sound bites.
A good game, but not a good Metroid game, and for fans of the series it might be a slight letdown.
Regardless, I had a blast with the game, and all Wii owners should consider picking this one up!