Pin It

The Player 

by Marty Demarest & r & & r & Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

Rated Teen; Wii & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & N & lt;/span & intendo's 1987 classic Metroid starred Samus, a space-suited lady bounty hunter with a cannon for an arm, who ran, jumped and blasted at enemies while seen from the side, in profile. In that respect, she was like every other videogame hero of the side-scrolling generation (except that she and Princess Peach were the only girls). Metroid was distinguished by Samus' ability to shoot all around her, the game's tall, jump-filled levels instead of horizontal maps, and the eerily persistent presence of a planet's hostile native life forms. Atmosphere, design and gameplay all came together so memorably that it spun off a franchise.

In 2002, Metroid Prime transformed Metroid's two-dimensional side view into three dimensions. Samus could now rotate her arm through a full sphere of angles, calibrated precisely by the GameCube's dual-joystick controller. The more immersive first-person view allowed the designers to pepper the game liberally with outer-space details and enough gunplay to earn the game a "Teen" rating -- rare for "Everyone"-oriented Nintendo. It was an exciting experience to play Metroid from the perspective of Samus, and the shift in dimensions was enough to restore some of the enchantment the franchise had lost during its spin-off years.

Now, Nintendo has migrated Metroid to its latest system, and the only innovation it has brought to the series is a motion-sensitive targeting system. Certainly Corruption takes advantage of the Wii's slightly better graphical capabilities. Walls, floors and lava flows are detailed in intricate patterns of dark, opulent colors, making the game look almost Moorish. But the storyline -- presented through elaborate cut-scenes, in which Samus is shepherded through her mission by an entire empire's bureaucracy -- depletes the out-on-an-adventure charm of the whole enterprise. And though a new angle to the Metroid universe is revealed and new planets are discovered, they rarely display any variation on the lava/ice/desert/machine levels Samus has already explored in other, better Metroids.

THE GOOD: On the innovation front, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption integrates the Wii's motion-control controller in a way that finally makes it more than a gimmick. The pointer-style Remote becomes Samus' cannon. Waved across the television screen, the targeting crosshairs move exactly where I point them, and when they near the edge of the screen, my view turns in that direction. Coupled with the joystick-equipped Nunchuk, moving and aiming become instinctive and immersive. Nothing that two joysticks couldn't achieve, but the Wii Remote is faster and more accurate.

THE BAD: Forget sitting back and relaxing -- Metroid Prime 3 is played while perpetually pointing the Wii Remote toward a TV-sized space. Bigger screens will work better, but smaller displays will make aiming a tight, fussy procedure. Nothing will help the motion-sensitivity in the Nunchuk, however, which must be waved forward, then yanked back to use Samus' grappling hook -- a process that works approximately half the time. And as if to further undermine their good work with the Wii Remote, Corruption's designers, Retro Studios, included numerous move-the-Remote-to-move-the-lever sequences, all of which reminded me that I was playing with a plastic toy.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption marks the debut of a beautiful new control scheme for first-person shooters, but without Metroid's trademark spark of surprise, the game feels like more Metroid Prime.

3/5 Stars

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • OK, Hold Your Nose
  • OK, Hold Your Nose

    Everything you need to know before Election Day
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • Base of Support
  • Base of Support

    Polling local leaders and opinion-makers about presidential politics
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • The Messenger
  • The Messenger

    Local leaders weigh in on how Donald Trump's campaign has impacted racism in America
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap

Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap @ Boots Bakery & Lounge

Last Wednesday of every month

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Marty Demarest

  • The Cowboy's Cowboy
  • The Cowboy's Cowboy

    A Canadian sings about the life —  not just the lifestyle — of the new West
    • May 15, 2013
  • Completing the Trilogy
  • Completing the Trilogy

    Mass Effect has finally arrived
    • May 23, 2012
  • Minecraft
  • Minecraft

    Adventure and survival too often give way to mindless crafts in this building-block simulator.
    • Feb 8, 2012
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • Murrow's Nightmare

    Debate moderators need to be much more than an onstage prop to make our democracy work
    • Sep 15, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

election 2016

trail mix


green zone


Readers also liked…

  • Hopeless for Heroin
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Taxes: Idaho vs. Washington
  • Taxes: Idaho vs. Washington

    How do the two states stack up?
    • Feb 11, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation