Sunday, February 10, 2008

Metroid Prime 3 is Done!

Finally, I have completed Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Unfortunately, the progress estimate on my savegame was misleading; despite my earlier estimate of 40 hours, my first clear was 18:24, with a respectable 88% collection rate. Certainly not what I'd call a speedrun, but not as long as I expected. Still, that beats Halo by a fair margin I think; while a good game, I'm still disappointed at the short complete time.

I have to stand by my earlier assessment. This is a great Metroid game! It keeps all the core elements that make Metroid great (yes, even two Ridley fights!), built into a FPS designed for the Wiimote and nunchuck. Add to that a huge environment, lots of power-ups and arguably one of the longst Metroid games to date.

One technical flaw I observed though, is that room transitions can lag pretty badly. If you're backtracking through a sequence of cleared rooms, it can take upwards of 15 seconds for a door to open. It gets very annoying after awhile.

Two things bother me about this game, and both are nerfs.

1. Metroids.
The game is named after these creatures - round hovering jellyfish-like creatures that fly at you and can drain your energy. They were truly fearsome in the original. Twice your size, and ticking off nearly 10 energy per second (which, when you only have 5 energy tanks, is pretty extreme) until if you're very lucky, you shake it off. Your only hope is to freeze it and hit it with five missiles, terminating the fearsome creature. Every encounter is a brush with doom.

So, needless to say, walking into a research lab with small metroids in glass statis chambers along the wall, I was naturally nervous. Doubly so when I flip off the power, the lights go dim, and you hear the crash of the Metroids escaping. To the backdrop of spooky music, I go creeping back through the facility, dreading my first encounter with what would surely be an express train to my last save point.

Instead, I find something like this.

The Metroids are wussy. Beyond wussy. They spend more time thinking, building power, and hovering than sucking your lifeforce, and in case your ineptness got the best of you, and you find this Metroid on you.... ... ... .... .... .... .... .... ... ... ... ... oops it drained one point of energy [note: not exaggeration - literally, one point of your 600-1600 pts every five seconds or so]. Boo hoo, maybe in an hour or two, you might have to bother to shake it off.

This has been a trend in the Prime series that has really annoyed me. They've butchered Metroids, and it makes me sad.

2. Missiles
In the original NES game, missiles were the easy way out. When your firepower just wasn't enough, you unleashed these explosive goodies, and beat through anything that moved. In Super Metroid, they had "Super Missiles", thus making your original missiles less desirable, but still worthwhile in that they could be fired very quickly.

This latest game goes to great extent to put around 50 missile expansions for you to find. A shame that missiles don't do jack. Their damage doesn't even really compare to a regular beam shot, and unlike other Metroid games, fire slowly, and travel even slower. You don't even really use them except where the game says you have to.

But, I still like it.

Yea, it's a good game. I'll probably play again. My clear unlocked "Hypermode" (the difficulty above hard) - and given the rather yawnfest difficulty of normal, I think this might add a much-needed level of difficulty to the game.

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