What’s this? A Wii game worth your time?
Yes, that’s exactly what it is.

 

With not a ton of quality software available for Nintendo’s Wii┬« game console, I was surprised when something I actually kind of wanted to play was released. I took a chance on this game since I enjoyed the Metroid game for Nintendo’s DS portable system. I enjoyed the new style of control in that game which the touch screen allowed and that in turn allowed me to bask in the fine experience of the game itself. Personally, I detest the FPS genre. It can go to hell. I’m not sure what so many people see in it. I wish it would die. If you like FPS games, then that is unacceptable as you need to like and dislike everything I like and dislike. Where was I? Oh yeah, I bought this game because it offered a new way to control it… I took a big chance and I came out ahead. So let’s look at the game, shall we?

Ripping things off with the grapple beam using the nunchuck feels pretty damned awesome.

 

STORY: ?/8.64459

After beating the game I’m still not really sure what Metroid Prime 3 is entirely about. This game doesn’t rely much on story other than to give you something new to do just when you finished cleaning up the previous mess. It’s basically about aliens who do stuff and suddenly there is all of this Prozac and you become infected with it and you have to destroy the Prozac or something, I dunno. Whoever wrote the story wasn’t tremendously creative and they didn’t need to be. It’s Metroid! Anyway, I have no clue how this game ties in to the previous Gamecube Metroid Prime games as I never played much of those. There is a Dark Samus and I have no idea what all of that nonsense is about. Amazingly, I didn’t care.

Jaggies! Jaggies everywhere! Like online gaming, Nintendo felt that HD was just a fad
and that people did not want HD games. Out of touch with reality as always.

 

GRAPHICS: 8.595/10.5548

This game wasn’t built from the ground up for the powerhouse console known as the Wii. The developers stated somewhere that they were well into programming the game before they learned what the Wii Remote even was, so it shouldn’t surprise you that this game has graphics very similar to the Gamecube versions. Not that that’s a bad thing. But Nintendo (surprisingly) had developer Retro add the 16:9 aspect ratio for people with such TVs. Nintendo was slowly getting better in this regard at the time, but unfortunately all of the bitmapped (non-polygon) graphics are stretched in this mode. That includes your HUD where the center circle becomes an oval. Overall the quality of the graphics doesn’t piss me off at all, except for the extreme amount of jaggies. Good lighting effects occur when special stuff happens and lots of crap like that.

I didn’t notice any clipping and everything looks and feels solid. If you scan your helmet near the beginning of the game you can see the reflection of Samus’ eyes. Later after you’re infected with the Prozac you can see that one of her eyes is kind of messed up. Lots of great touches in here. But if I were the graphics supervisor I’d have made them fix that 16:9 issue. If they didn’t everyone would be fired and I’d rule all of Nintendo. Then I’d give all of the company’s money to Sega so they could get rid of Sammy and release a new Sega console shaped like my smiling face. Then I’d sell Nintendo to Sega and make games only for Sega’s new system, which would be called the “Sega Ass Kicker”. It could happen!

You ride along “ziplines” during the game which is a mode of public transportation in Skytown.
Of course there are creatures who only attack when you’re riding it.

 

SOUND: 5.767/10.02

This game barely supports stereo, so don’t expect too many fancy surround effects here. Nintendo of Japan assigned accounting interns to do the music for this game and the result is exactly what you’d expect from an accounting intern forced to do music. There’s lots of crappy synth-choir here with next to no discernible melodies. It’s lonely and ambient, but extremely boring ambiance. It’s the type of music that reminds you of waiting by your window for the mail man. However the Skytown theme is acceptable and I actually kind of like it! Very fitting. The sound effects are good and pretty much what you’d expect from this type of game with lots of cool sci-fi bleeps and zaps.

The voice acting is alright and I can’t really think of much to say about it other than Samus never talks. They probably don’t want to spoil the fact that we’re actually playing as a female protagonist (oops, sorry!) I did enjoy the aural experience when fighting Rundar or Rangar or whatever that particular boss’ name is (all of the names in the game were unmemorable to me). He lets out a cool vocal noise when he is stunned, and the music actually has melody. Overall there’s no reason to mute your sound system, but certainly no reason to crank it up, either.

This is Ghor, one of the few bosses I didn’t like. I’d still rather fight him than play Call of Duty, though.

 

GAMEPLAY: 8.521/10.368

As I said in the first paragraph, I do not like FPS games. But with the control scheme that Metroid Prime 3 has, it’s actually fun! Metroid Prime isn’t really a true FPS game as you do more than wander around, shoot things and capture the flag. For one you can shoot as fast as you can press the button. There’s no reloading nonsense to bog down gameplay. Reloading is for losers. Also, you scan stuff. A lot of stuff. At first I didn’t think scanning was all that necessary, but it can really help. After a while I was addicted to scanning everything I could. For example after you scan something that you can grapple, a grapple icon will appear when you are able to do so. This can be extremely helpful in certain boss fights.

Speaking of boss battles, almost all of them have a jumping attack where you have to jump over the resulting wave as they land. What’s up with that? Many bosses have no apparent weak point until you wear it down by attacking other parts of the boss and even then it loses life pretty slowly. This was before I started scanning bosses and I was very annoyed with the long boss battles. I ABHOR long boss battles! It sucks to die right before defeating them and have to do it all over. However, I found that once you knew exactly what to do, the boss battles go pretty quickly and are really fun. I’d love to see a “boss rush” mode added to the extras of this game.

Since it is a Metroid game, there are various puzzles that you must solve to advance to a new location, etc. At first I tended to over-think these puzzles, but the answers were really simple in reality. Advancing throughout the game nets you tons of new upgrades which you conveniently need to access the very next area. I didn’t care much for the charge ball, but all of the other upgrades were pretty cool. You can earn Xbox 360 achievements by scanning certain things, defeating bosses or whatnot. These achievements are then used like money where you can unlock some truly awesome goodies, like the ability to listen to the title screen music without needing to be at the title screen. WOW!

Ah yes, the amusingly named “Screw Attack” suit upgrade. This is the only time that
Samus actually flips while she jumps as she did in 2D Metroid games.

 

The control works well, but with the Wii you don’t actually point at the exact area on your screen that you want to shoot as you would in a light gun game. Instead the Wii Remote acts as a simple mouse-like pointing device and does not represent where you’re really pointing. This is disappointing since light guns games aren’t truly accurate as a result. I also noticed some errors in the control. When I am instructed to tilt the remote up to pull up a lever on a train, it doesn’t work unless I tilt the remote down, and the reverse is true for putting the lever back down again. Odd. I also hate any part that requires me to shake the controls. Hate, hate, HATE! Still, it’s a million times better than playing with a dual analog controller. It’s closer to playing PC-style with a mouse and a keyboard, but I’ll take an analog thumbstick over 4 pissy keys to move myself around any day! Anyone who prefers using keyboard keys over an analog stick for this purpose likely shaves, collects and catalogs their ass hair.

The ball mode is kind of twitchy to control at first, but it’s manageable and becomes second nature with some practice. Another thing you’ll notice while playing this game is how slow the Wii loads its data. It loads slower than a freakin’ 3DO console. That’s just sad. Sometimes you’re trying to get through a door, but it won’t open for 10-15 seconds after you walk up to it and shoot it. Unacceptable! Interestingly as I was playing the game, I was suddenly informed that I had unlocked an extra special ending, but that if I wanted to see it, I’d have to beat the game. Gee, you think? I’d say that the difficulty of the game is pretty much right on. If it’s too easy for you, play it on a harder difficulty. I’d rather have “fun” than “tough” any day. Unfortunately the beginning of the game is not fun at all as you just wander around a boring ship in what amounts to sort of a boring tutorial of sorts. Did I mention that it was boring? If not, let me know. There isn’t any online play for some reason, but that’s never make-or-break for me since I prefer the single player experience on games like these. There is some weird online friend voucher thing that I was never able to get working, but it seems pretty lame. I really wish I was able to pick up the triple pack that included Metroid Prime 1, 2 and 3 as I’d LOVE to play the first 2 with these controls.

I hate this boss because she makes me shake my thing. I mean my controller. I don’t like shaking
things unless they are newborn babies. Then it’s OK. Congratulations, you are now offended!

WRAP UP:
This is one of the best games available for the Wii, by far. A definite must have if you own the console and you actually like real video games. My game lasted around 16 hours and I finished with about 81% since the percentage seems to depend mostly on the items you collect, mainly missile expansions and ship missile expansions (which are useless). I spent a lot of time looking for the expansions I did find! So if you want 100%, expect to spend a lot more game hours unless you use a guide. Also, if you get 100%, they show Samus naked in the ending on a beach with Reggie who is also naked. Buy it. Now. Unless you’d rather not.

Overall: 8.5/10.143