Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Review

Introduction

Remember back when a few months ago when I promised to not review games of the same IP, unless it was on a different system altogether or a spin-off? Yeah…I kind of take that back to not make myself a hypocrite and to be even with some of you. When most people mention Metroid on the Nintendo Wii, they usually think of Metroid: Other M; however, Nintendo actually released a title before that back in 2007. Originally being a launch title, and later being delayed for a year to add in motion-control schemes and fix unknown bugs, it finally revealed itself as Metroid Prime 3: Corruption by none other than that of Retro Studios.

Being the sequel to Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes on the Nintendo Game-Cube, and the finale to the entire trilogy, Corruption has big shoes to fill in. It’s drastically both an improvement and innovation, or at least that’s what the critics say. If I’ve never reminded you before, I bought this with 4 other Wii games at A & C Games in Toronto during March 2014. I also originally intended this purchase at the Downsview Flea Market, but I got Other M instead. Believe it or not, I only knew about this game while playing Other M back in 2013.

Gameplay

To start off, Metroid Prime 3 is different from other Metroid titles; instead of being a 2D shooter, it’s actually a 3D first person adventure game with shooting mechanics. You take control of Samus from her own perspective through the suit’s visor, using different weapons and items at your disposal; in order to solve puzzles, explore new areas, defeat hordes of enemies and gigantic bosses. It basically uses ideas from Zelda and combines it with Metroid.

Shooting is a mechanic inspired by first-person shooters and traditional 2D shooters. It’s very simple – use the reticle to aim and shoot at enemies and targets, while being able to shoot charged shots and unlimited ammo (since Samus uses a beam that shoots energy). You can use a variety of weapons: beams, missiles, bombs, and grappling lasso. Beams can damage enemies and obstacles, as well as having different elemental or non-weapon effects such as solving puzzles. Missiles do heavy amounts of damage compared to beams but with ammo, and the grapple lasso can be used in both combat and exploration.

Suits usually have an effect on the environment and add extra durability to her health. Visors allow Samus to see her surroundings in different ways, allowing her to solve certain puzzles or kill specific bosses and enemies that she can’t without. Missiles and beams can no longer be used individually, as similar to Metroid: Fusion they are stacked upon each other, adding extra firepower and special effects –  which makes boss battles way easier than in Echoes.

Visors make a return with 2 veteran and 1 new visor that I’ll spoil later in this review. The new visor allows you to control Samus’ famous Gun-Ship for the first time in the Metroid IP (and only time…besides Smash 4 and Nintendo Land for the Wii U), to fly through strange planets and attack large armies of strong enemies. You can even go inside Samus’ ship inside the cockpit, where you can save, rest, or interact with it. There are some cool gimmicks such as an intercom system and a bio-hazard scanner which people don’t know of or never use.

For those that want a more difficult challenge (this game is very easy after all) there are 3 sets of difficulties to choose from though you only start off with the two. These consist of Normal, Veteran, and Hyper Mode with each one being harder than the previous. Normal is honestly extremely easy, and disappointing for Metroid fans/veterans and hardcore shooting gamers too. Veteran is where it’s truly at for those people, with stronger and more durable enemies with more intelligent AI making Normal look like a complete joke. Hyper Mode is the most intense and increase the enemies’ health and strength beyond Veteran, difficult even for experienced Metroid fans.

The overworld of Corruption is one of the few characteristics which makes this game shine; comprised of one galaxy, three solar systems, and also two ships and five planets. Each planet and ship is extremely rich in diversity, detail, exploration, lore, enemies, puzzles, and landmarks. While Prime 3 is less open-ended and much more linear than its prequels, the exploration is still present with the illusion of non-linearity in terms of planet and plot progression with back-tracking. At least it’s not as restrictive as Other M and Fusion LOL.

Planets consist of Norion, Bryyo, Elysia, Pirate-Homeworld, and Phazee. Norion is a moon-like terrestrial planet with rocks, trees, ships, and mountains that serves as a military stronghold of the Galactic Federation. Bryyo consists of a jungle, fiery inferno, and ruins of an ancient civilization that is now a “factory” to produce Fuel-Gel for the GF and its allies and clients. Elysia is a gaseous planet with an industrial/steam-punk inspired city called Sky-Town above the clouds, serving as a spying site for the federation. Finally, the Pirate Homeworld and Phazee are enemy territory; the former being a high tech urbanized militaresque base and the latter being of complete pure Phazon.

You start off with the Varia Suit in the prologue, an upgrade to the Power Suit that reduces enemy damage and provides extreme climate and temperature protection but is only used temporarily. Then, right after, Samus acquires the PED Suit, granting the ability to enter Hyper Mode (not the difficulty) that I’ll mention later in this review too. There aren’t any other suits, which is a letdown from the previous two Prime games as they had the Power, Gravity, Fusion, Phazon, Dark, and Light Suit too.

Beams include the Power Beam, default and weakest beam that also acts as a vacuum to suck up health/ammo; Plasma/Heat Beam, stronger than the former and granting the ability to melt and burn enemies and specific heat-based or conductive objects – as well as being a sauter to fuse broken wires to fix circuits to activate broken devices; and the Nova Beam, dealing the most damage and can pass through Phazite (an alloy composed of metals and Phazon) to hit hidden switches or kill certain enemies that have this armor.

Each of these have unlimited ammo can be, charged up for devastating effects, or be used to kill certain enemies, open certain doors – regular, heat based, heat resistant, and so on – and solve certain puzzles. Missiles consist of only the regular and ice missiles…oh, and also the seeker missiles but the Super Missiles do not return. All can be used as homing projectiles to take down flying or fast-moving enemies, and do hell of a damage. Regular missiles are self-explanatory, while the Ice Missiles can temporarily freeze enemies to slow them down and damage them (and still retain its explosive properties…somehow); create ice platforms in lava to cross over; and open heat-resistant doors.

Seeker Missiles home in on multiple targets simultaneously to deal massive damage and disable special locks; it also has the effects of the Ice Missiles but use 5 missiles per each use. Going in tight spaces or tunnels require the Morph Ball, changing Samus to go from first-person to third-person perspective. Upgrades to it include the Boost Ball allowing the use of kinetic energy to power up mechanical switches, cannons, doors, and elevators mostly in Elysia…and to go faster to kill weak enemies and use half-pipes to access high ledges; and the Spider Ball allows anti-gravity travel on certain magnetic walls and ceilings.

The Screw-Attack, Space Jump, and Acid-Shield are other items that do what they say or obvious of what they do – the screw attack has been nerfed to let Samus only jump 6 times instead of infinite, can only be used for large gaps and walls, and are ineffective in killing/damaging enemies and bosses. Last but far from being least are the visors, which are as promised: Combat Visor, Scan Visor, X-Ray Visor, and Command Visor.

Combat Visor is the default that has the HUD, health/missile count, map, and enemy radar as well as the lore, logbook, and settings. Scan Visor is a scanner that can scan anything from enemies to lore, and give background and detailed information about it (like how to defeat a difficult boss) and has different colors based on what you can scan. X-Ray Visor does what it says and can be used with the Nova Beam to kill specific enemies, see through walls and invisible objects, and find weak points of enemies and structures. Command Visor activates, flies, lands, and carries your ship…by command (pun intended…okay, not really).

Enemies are typically Space Pirates, Metroids, robots, aliens, and humanoid enemies. Many return from past Metroid titles; however, newer enemies include different variations of older enemies, stereotypical inhabitants of their environment, or just Phazon variations and enemies capable of entering Hyper Mode…kind of like Zelda and Mario. The sad part is that they’re all very weak, being able to die in a few hits with beams and missiles or with the right weapons. Only the bosses and mini-bosses pose a challenge…unlike those in Zelda and Mario.

Bosses are incredibly tough to beat and make up for the enemies since they’re durable, strong, and intelligent for a change unlike the enemies. If you played Zelda, Skyrim, Dark Souls, Monster Hunter, or pretty much any IP or game with gargantuan bosses, then you know exactly what Metroid bosses are like in terms of battles. Okay, not all are huge as some are normal-sized or numerous in quantity. Berserker Lord, Meta-Ridley, Rundas, Korakk Beast, Mogenar, Defense Drone, Ghor, Helios, Gandrayda, Metroid Hatcher, Omega Ridley, and Dark Samus are all the bosses.

Since to Prime and Echoes, the only side quests are collecting the pick-up items, going for 100% completion (by getting every pick-up items), and playing the other difficulty modes for extended game lengths. This time around though, there is the achievement system, which you earn Metroid icon-tokens called “credits” each time you unlock an achievement that can be exchanged for music, stickers, diorama, and art which is totally optional. Another is the Energy Cell Quest, a fetch quest much like finding the Chozo Artifacts in Prime and the Sky Temple Keys in Echoes in order to reach the final boss.

However, you only need 5 out of the 10 energy cells and most are obtained as you progress in the game automatically as you go in Elysia and Pirate Homeworld. This is the easiest game in the trilogy, and one of the easiest in the franchise actually, only harder than Fusion, Other M, and Zero Mission (with the last two absolute jokes). Unless you never played an adventure game before, then you’ll have some decent challenge. Enemies can be killed by button mashing and lock-on targetting; exploration is very linear and guided by NPC’s all the time; and puzzles and bosses can be overcome with common sense and the Scan Visor. Bumping up the difficulty though certainly takes these problems away.

Controls

Because this is a Wii game unlike its Game-Cube predecessors, the controls are mapped out completely different. Both the Wii Remote & Nunchuk so you have to buy it if you don’t already own one. Use the remote’s pointer to move the on-screen reticle or cursor to shoot and toggle menus. The d-pad is to fire/charge missiles; the A button is to shoot or select while the B trigger is to jump and cancel menu options; the – button brings up visor select menu and pressing the + button activates Hyper-Mode. Moving the analog stick moves Samus, whereas pressing the C button is to turn into a Morph Ball and the Z trigger to lock-on target enemies, objects, people, etc.

Motion controls and gimmicks is what separates this from other Metroid titles (except from Other M), with commands, gestures, and even puzzles utilizing such a feature. With the Wiimote’s pointer used as the reticle for aiming and shooting, the tyranny of slow, inprecise aiming has finally come to an end. No longer do you have to use only one movement mechanism and aim with a slow reticle that results in unfair difficulty – you can also shoot and move at the same time instead of just standing and shooting in the prequels.

It may seem gimmicky at first, but once you get used to it, I can assure you that you will never want to go back, even if you hate or dislike motion controls (just like using the sword and shield with the Wiimote & Nunchuk in Twilight Princess). This also comes with extra benefits – being able to lock-on target and shoot even more precision and accuracy when compared to a gamepad controller; selecting menu options, looking over one’s surroundings, and using the visors easily to save time, stress, and health/ammo.

Items such as the Grapple Beam and Spring Ball that wasn’t even possible with traditional gamepad controls can now be used thanks to motion controls. You can even adjust the sensitivity of the pointer for even more precision and responsiveness, and turn on or off lock-on free aim to move the reticle while locked-on or not. Getting back on topic, the Spring Ball allows Samus to jump upwards in Morph Ball form by shaking the Wiimote, which is the solution to jumping with bombs that caused huge anger in Echoes when fighting bosses or solving puzzles.

Grapple Beam was an item that I neglected to explain, though since it ties with the motion controls, I gladly do so now. Just like in past Metroid titles, it acts as a grappling hook to cross large gaps that can’t be crossed by jumping. This time, there are two new variations that act as upgrades: the Grapple Lasso and Energy Lasso. With the flick of the Nunchuk, Samus can activate the lasso to grab and pull away enemy shields, obstacles, debris, and even switches in order to open latches, doors, and platforms to assist in solving puzzles and fighting enemies. This multi-purpose item is something that should be a staple of Metroid but unfortunately isn’t as it get retconned in Other M.

Other than that, there’s the Energy Lasso, allowing Samus to give and receive energy from whatever she sticks the rope on to, whether it be energy-activated switches full of or lacking energy or even enemies. This turns Samus into a Metroid herself in a metaphorical sense as the player can easily replenish their health when need be, even without the Gun-Ship, save stations, Phazon, or energy orbs lying around which should have been in Other M. Both of these as well as the traditional Grapple Beam grants Samus to solve any puzzle or defeat any enemy efficiently that other items cannot.

Gimmicks used by motion controls are either awesome or atrocious based on whether you love or hate it.  They’re simply number key-pads to give access to restricted doors blocking new rooms; energy hand pumps that give itself energy through manual pumping to activate nearby devices such as Fuel Gel pipes; switches to activate doors and elevators; touch screens and hand scanners to control nearby lifts; and finally twistable knobs only twistable by Samus’ beam cannon. These serve both as innovative mechanics and puzzles that add more fun to Prime 3.

Music

Prime 3 has some of the best music in the trilogy; with compositions being diverse in many genres and instruments, as well as being atmospheric, memorable, intense, pleasing, and catchy for all that listens to it. Many songs are remixed variations of older tunes such as Super Metroid’s Prologue Theme or Meta Ridley’s Theme that adds some nostalgia for older gamers. It’s mostly the boss battle themes such as Rundas and Gandrayda  being more intense and complex while themes for planetary environments such as Elysia and Bryyo being more atmospheric – which I think was a deliberate and well made design choice.

You may not really notice it, but there’s alot of detail and care put into the quality of the sound effects to make Corruption feel more alive. Similar to other launch titles and first-party games, Corruption allows certain sound effects to be played through the Wiimote’s speaker for added realism. What most people don’t know, is that all of them are accompanied by controller vibrations. This adds more life to the game than it already does with the vast NPC interaction and first-person perspective. Such excellent examples include sounds and vibrations of and while walking, shooting, and using motion-activated devices.

Graphics

The graphics for Metroid Prime 3: Corruption are actually good looking for a change, despite it appearing to be at first a minor upgrade from the past Prime titles. It’s not just upscaling then resolution and screen output to native 480p SD with 16:9 widescreen, rendered at a smooth and consistent 60 FPS; or either just upgrading the lighting effects and engine with improved physics and bloom effects (though those do help with it alot). Retro Studios also increased the polygon count, added high-rez textures with so much realism and detail, and completely changed the art style after fans complained of the dark and ugly Aether seen in Echoes for more than half of the gameplay time.

Everything in Corruption is colorful and vibrant, yet still maintaining the serious atmosphere and realistic effects…kind of like Hyrule Warriors for the Wii U (not the leaked 3DS port). Textures and models are so detailed that it gives the illusion that it belongs on a HD-ready console, like say the PS3, Xbox 360, or even the Wii U, instead of the Wii combined with the excellent lighting and high polygons. Particles such as acid rain, lava, ashes are present and well made that increases the life and charm of Prime 3.

Another cool thing I’ve noticed is the presence of minor graphical effects on Samus’ visor like her facial reflection, water condensation, or build-up of smoke that also adds the charm. Modelling (fashion pun is not intended) is probably where the graphics fall short of being perfect. If you were to look past the polygons, resolution, frame-rate, textures, lighting effects, and art style, you’d notice the flawed character, enemy, and background models. Without the aforementioned factors enhancing the aesthetics, it looks almost exactly of past Prime games.

But don’t freak out, as I’m comparing this to the abomination of NEW! Super Mario Bros. Wii as it’s nothing close to that. The models have drastically improved from the past, but the shaping is somewhat blocky, rough, dis-proportioned, and inaccurate; also the engine derives from the Nintendo Game-Cube as the prequels are from that system.  Therefore, it sort of looks like a Game-Cube game at first glance, hence of what I said before when I first started analyzing the graphics of this game.

Plot

The plot starts off where Metroid Prime 2: Echoes left off – Dark Samus. After the dark version of Aether self-destructs from the death of Emperor Ing, Samus barely escapes and finds herself back in Light Aether, which has its planetary energy fully recovered and the Luminoth race finally at peace and alive. Unknowingly to all, Dark Samus somehow managed to survive the collapse of the dark dimension even after Samus finished her off; however, she can only materialize into Phazon particles and not her humanoid self.

Dark Samus camouflages into Phazon debris on Aether, eventually being collected by the Space Pirates for lab expirements and regenerating herself in Phazon tanks within the Pirate-Homeworld. Coincidentally, the real and good Samus Aran wakes up from a nightmare dreaming about her evil doppelganger being revived by Phazon tanks in the exact same location. Samus immediately activates her Varia Suit in the cockpit of her Gun-Ship, flying it to the atmosphere right alone Norion. Transmitting the correct radio code, the Galactic Federation grants access to Samus to the G.F.S. Olympus.

Upon landing in the ship, she quickly goes to meet up with Admiral Dane to start a new mission, solving simple puzzles and exploring the vast ship along the way. Entering the room she finds Admiral Dane, some other bounty hunters, and an exact copy of herself wearing the Varia Suit too. Dane proceeds to tell Gandrayda to stop, prompting her to morph back to her true form as a female bounty hunter with shape-shifting powers. The admiral then thanks all for coming and calls upon Aurora Unit 242, an organic super-computer in control of the GF’s network…wow, another rip-off of Mother Brain besides MB in Other M (wonder what can go wrong).

Anyways, it then explains four months ago how the Space Pirates invaded a ship called the G.F.S. Valhalla on a training mission to steal, destroy, and kill all those on board. Another super-computer, by the name of Aurora Unit 313, was stolen by the pirates in which they planted a deadly virus soon after departure in order to malfunction the entire network. The federation noticed, shut down the network preventing the virus from spreading, and created and used a vaccine to cure any infected Aurora Units which worked as hoped.

Admiral Dane then states how dangerous it is for the network to be open, and as soon as he’s done talking, Aurora Unit 313 notifies everyone of a Space Pirate invasion…knew something would go wrong. Before the bounty hunters leave, Dane also orders them to visit Norion below to help fight against the pirates and make its planetary defense system back online which also got disabled. Samus makes her way back to the ship, defending weak troopers, killing Space Pirates, retrieving a stolen Energy Cell, witnessing other bounty hunters fight, and acquiring new weapons and upgrades along the way.

Right when she wants to leave for her Gun-Ship though, a large monster crashes through a window after killing some Federation Troopers and fights her in a simple yet tedious battle after commanding her ship to escape. Once Berserker Lord dies from Samus, electrical fences, and an explosive impact with a ship, Samus heads off for Norion by calling her ship back. Flying in her newly revised ship, Samus lands as she swiftly dodges incoming lasers from both sides of the battle from both laser turrets and fighter jets alike.

As she leaves the cockpit, she is greeted by a rushing trooper tells Samus of the scenario – all 3 generators needed to power the laser satellite cannon are all offline, necessary to act as the planet’s defense against any outer space threat. Samus hastily does just that as she gets the Grapple Beam, defeat more pirates, solves more puzzles to clear away debris and unlock doors. On her way to Generator A, Samus is forced to fight a dozen pirates and a few ships when even more enemy back-up arrives.

In the nick of time, all ships and enemies get frozen into ice shattered by ice grenades by an unknown sources. Rundas appears as the bounty hunter that saved Samus, alerting her that Generator B being restored by him and word from the GF that controlling ships to fly and land ships is now authorized, unlocking the use of the Command Visor. With that, he leaves by flying on ice platforms and Samus continues to restore Generator A. Once that is taken care of, she goes to Generator C; a Berserker Lord tries to kill Samus but saved by another bounty hunter named Ghor whom uses a mech-suit and is a cyborg alien himself.

Entering Generator C, Samus accepts the duel with a small group of Space Pirates when one of them betrays and kills the other two. This “traitor” transforms back into Gandrayda, casually telling Samus to finish the job for her as she killed the pirates for her. Taking some time to solve more puzzles to reveal and take an alternate route to the generator, Samus successfully restores the generators back online and the planetary defense system too – when suddenly Meta-Ridley appears and brings her down to the long tunnel below, surviving their last encounter back on Tallon IV in Prime 1.

Easily defeating the beast, she blasts three charged shots into Ridley’s mouth and hoping to survive as they fall into the lava pit. Again, Samus is luckily saved again by Rundas who appears from an alternate tunnel route, flying both of them to safely telling her to reach the control room on time. A large meteor-like object comes out of a wormhole in outer space, heading straight for Norion within 5 minutes. Aurora Unit 242 warns Samus of this, demanding that she meet with the others after the GF’s attempts to stop the meteor failed prior when they were activating the generators.

When Samus reaches the elevator, all of the bounty hunters activate the cannon, though just as the cannon can attack, they all get ambushed and fatally wounded by…Dark Samus herself well and alive. With the last hope of stopping the meteor eliminated and the bounty hunters unconscious, all seems lost when Samus somehow manages to get back up and push the button to activate the cannon before entering a state of long coma. After a month’s time, Samus wakes up immediately in a medical lab within the G.F.S. Olympus to discover herself in a completely new suit.

This is the PED Suit, or Phazon Enhancement Device Suit, allowing the chick to enter Hyper-Mode: a state of total invincibility and use of unlimited Phazon; at the cost of one full energy tank, risk of death by corruption, and a time limit of mostly only 15 – 30 seconds. Any of you that played the prequels can already fathom at what just occured. The mose deadliest, radioactive substance capable of fatally wounding, killing, and corrupting its victims into mindless savage beasts – as well as killing Samus quickly with its high radiation – is now your new best friend.

And unlike when you could only use it once against Metroid Prime and Dark Samus back then and risked your life using it, you may now use it at your leisure, making Prime 3 even easier than it already is. Did you know that you can also standing in pools of Phazon can heal your energy? Yeah, doesn’t make sense at all. Plus, you can actually get upgrades to Hyper-Mode, which are Hyper Ball, Hyper Missile, and Hyper Lasso. Being partially corrupt (when your Phazon meter becomes red and the screen prompts you to rapidly shoot) helps you more than killing you, as it allows you to use the excess Phazon to kill even more enemies and stay in Hyper Mode even longer than usual.

Moving back to the story, Samus is also made aware that the other bounty hunters have woken up earlier than her and also received PED Suits too to use the Phazon inside them. This is apparently due to the bodies “naturally” producing Phazon from being hit by Dark Samus, and the scientist then tells her that there are no negative effects (yet) and to meet up with 242.

It explains to the bounty hunter how the others mysteriously lost contact and went missing a week ago her waking up, while they were completing their missions on 3 separate planets – and her job is to find them and finish their missions for the GF to thwart the plans of the Space Pirates. The heroine hastily leaves the G.F.S. Olympus, and 242 tells her in the Gun-Ship that both Rundas and Ghor travelled to Bryyo and Elysia respectively to stop the spread of Phazon corruption from a Leviathan Seed (the meteor in Tallon IV, Aether, and Norion).

Gandrayda though was assigned to find and infiltrate the Space Pirate’s home planet to gather intel and stop whatever scheme they’re planning. So now, basically for the rest of the game, you have to do what the others were supposed to complete…and the plot dies out here in terms of cinematic cutscenes but this is when the lore starts to bloom and multiply which balances it out evenly.

On Bryyo, Samus arrives in the ruins of ancient civilization highly advanced in both science and magic, now turned into a wasteland with its inhabitants devolved into mindless barbarics (totally useless, but very interesting lore). She explores it, noticing ice blasts and structures left behind by Rundas that are at first pure ice but become mixed with Phazon later on; salvages intel from a satellite in a run-down GF base; and visits the rest of Bryyo to shut down two shield generators creating a force-field that is protecting the Leviathan Seed.

Samus then proceeds to go to the factory that produces Fuel Gel, finding even more trails of ice when she actually sees Rundas from afar who now remains silent and mysterious. Giving chase in hot pursuit, Samus eventually meets up with Rundas after he saves her once more from Space Pirates in an open-ended area. Confused, she attempts to talk with him which he replies with an ice blast in return, creating ice glaciers to fill the area and blocking all doors to prevent escape. She realizes something is not right with Rundas as he challenges her to a battle to the death.

Eventually concluding that Rundas has become corrupted by the Phazon inside him after seeing a mirage of Dark Samus, Samus is shocked and depressed, but must put a beloved friend back into his own grave for her own survival. After a long and very depressing battle, Samus salutes her fallen comrade as he dies as soon as he escapes his possession from the corruption, rewarding her with the Ice Missile.

242 calls Samus back to the Gf base in order to upgrade her ship with missiles to destroy the generators after failing to disable them from the terminals. With these explosives in hand (or in the ship LOL), she backtracks and bombs the first generator, travelling to a deep jungle to bomb the next while bombing some pirates, satellites, and barricades blocking the path. Samus discovers the other generator is protected by anti-aircraft turrets as her ship gets heavily damaged, so she must disable each turret manually.

With the turrets and second generator destroyed, access to the seed is granted for Samus to destroy to free Brryo of further Phazon corruption. Entering inside, it is noted how bizzare and different it is from the other seeds explored in Tallon IV and Dark Aether. Reaching the center, a colossal mech-robot wakens from Phazon and magic, challenging Samus to a duel, which she wins after a long battle with Mogenar’s constant stalling and mind games. The seed becomes destroyed at a cost of vomitting and increase of bodily Phazon corruption, leaving Bryyo for good in its recovered state.

Aurora Unit 242 advises to visit Sky-Town as the next destination, a floating “city” that serves as a spying facility for the GF above the gaseous surface and dense clouds of Elysia. Arriving there, the super-computer reveals another Leviathan Seed is here; that Ghor is still here but his location is unknown; and that another Aurora Unit by the name of 217 is here but was also a victim of the network virus. The vaccine is transferred somehow through Samus’ com system to rid it of Phazon corruption, but the gate leading to it is blocked.

Defeating another boss whom is a robot called Defense Drone to receive the Boost Ball to unlock the gate. When the heroine downloads the vaccine to rid 212 of Phazon corruption, Ghor appears out of nowhere and melts the circuit boards with a heat beam, stating in a peaceful manner that the only chance of reaching the seed is to restore Sky-Town’s network online after being aggressive before when he was mocking her.

217 activates after using the vaccine, thanking Samus for healing it. The first mission is to find and assassinate Ghor, using a mech-suit to fight a pathetically easy battle using a force-field, missiles, melee attacks, and heat beams to fight. He also becomes possessed by Dark Samus upon death. Samus returns to fix the severed cables after acquiring the Plasma Beam, bringing back Sky-Town’s network back online to give total control and access to the rest of the city. Samus travels back to Bryyo to acquire the Screw-Attack to aid in exploring the rest of the city after 217 recommends it. She comes back to 242 asking her to visit the wrecked ship G.F.S. Valhalla after leaving an alternate dimension (but it’s not needed to go for now).

Going back to Elysia after realizing Samus needs energy cells to explore Valhalla, 217 explains how a ship upgrade is necessary to assemble the three parts of a thermal-nuclear bomb that can destroy the force field, since both generators are hidden beneath the dense clouds as a ploy by the Space Pirates, which is the second mission. Samus comes upon another GF base (which is just a landing spot for the Gun-Ship), repeating the same procedure to give the ship its own Grapple Beam.

With it, Samus goes off to assembling all 3 bomb parts; discovering a hidden part of Sky-Town; killing off more Space Pirates and another Berserker Lord; and accidentally finding and releasing the Phazon Metroids throughout the solar system in a hidden lab. With the bomb finally complete after alot of backtracking and fetch-questing, 217 assigns Samus a third mission: to plant and fuse the bomb in the Spire Pod manually to protect it from any threats. It seperates and launches it close to the Leviathan Seed, becoming under attack by Space Pirates that detected its presence.

The pod becomes protected, and she leaves with an escape pod after fixing its broken circuits just as it releases the bomb, destroying the shield to access the seed. As before, she enters, fights the guardian that is this time a commanding Steam-Bot called Helios with an army of robots, and ditches Elysia when all is back to normal. Inside the Gun-Ship, 242 explains that Gandrayda left behind a communication space capsule right before she lost contact, revealing that another Leviathan Seed has corrupted that planet too, meaning that the pirates have become corrupted themselves.

The bounty hunter flies her way there, uses her stealth skills to sneak past the pirates and security, and saves a kidnapped Federation Trooper that turns out to be…Gandrayda. Laughing at her enjoyment of tricking her, the two females fight a long battle of her using clever mind-tricks, difficult strategies, and morphing into past enemies as a means to mock and test Samus. With all the hunters but Samus dead, the protagonist stands in silence as she helplessly watches the possession of Gandrayda from Dark Samus knowing that her weapons are useless against the mirage, with the Energy Lasso as a reward.

Samus manages to get the Acid Shield to protect herself from the planet’s acid rain as ironically advised to get by Gandrayda, and visits the other areas of the base through subway…or freight train after receiving orders from Admiral Dane to disable the planetary defense system so the GF can invade the planet (now I actually wonder how Samus invaded it). The badass bounty hunter fights more pirates, gets past more security, and finally malfunctions the planetary defense system after getting the Nova Beam, starting the assault.

The Galactic Federation arrives to help Samus by offering, or rather Dane offering, Federation and Demolition Troopers – the latter soldiers being weak in strength and numbers but crucial for the invasion to work as they have explosives that can take down large gates that are immune to all of Samus’ weapons (even Hyper-Mode). All of the strongest minions of the Space Pirates ranging from Beserker Lords to Pirate Commandos battle with Samus and her supporters; though many fall, the few survivors team up to destroy the final gate.

In the next room, a small remaining group of Pirate Commandos and another high-ranking pirate, calling her ship to shoot down the true final gate leading to the last seed via cargo route. Taking off her ship, she finally reaches the Leviathan Seed and enters the center, meeting up with Ridley who shockingly survived the fall back on Norion, appearing to have a Phazite armor protecting his chest and becoming more biological than cybernetic from Phazon corruption.

This new form is called Omega Ridley according to the Scan Visor, and engages in combat with Samus with her winning after a long intense battle of mind games, stalling, chasing, and breaking the Phazite armor. With the beast now seemingly dead, the heroine leaves the seed for good as well as the Pirate Homeworld. Aurora Unit 242 thanks her for her efforts but claims there is still one last mission before the horrors of Phazon is over.

According to 217 who did some spying on the pirates, the origin of the seeds come from a sentient planet composed of pure Phazon called Phazee, or at least, that’s the name of 242 came up with. The Galactic Federation plans a full-scale assault on Phazee to prevent more seeds from appearing and stop Dark Samus once and for all. However, it is too far away via regular space travel, so it must be accessed with a wormhole with a teleporter that so happens to be disguised as a Leviathan Seed above the atmosphere of the Pirate Homeworld. Samus reaches it via another teleporting device hidden within the Pirate Homeworld itself, but discovers that a special input code is required to use it.

Aurora Unit 242 recommends that re-visiting the G.F.S. Valhalla to look for any clues since it’s the only place to look for left. Flying to the abandoned vessel, Samus explores the wreckage to find debris, corpses, puzzles, Metroids, and Phazon. Using the energy cells collected throughout Samus’ quest, all rooms within the ship unlock to grant access for the bounty hunter to inspect to gather more pick-up items, solve puzzles, and defeat the last remaining Phazon Metroids. After finding the code, she also finds a message left behind by Aurora Unit 313 to warn the GF of Phazee, the Leviathan Seeds, and Dark Samus a little too late now that 242 and 217 have both found out.

The chosen warrior hastily flies back and activates the seed properly for the federation to warp to Phazee. Samus then rendez-vous with Admiral Dane and off they go to the final destination (Smash pun not intended). Warping to Phazee is greeted by a swarm of fighter ships controlled by the remaining Space Pirates who followed Dark Samus like a religious cult. The GF and pirates battle it out, while Samus individually travels to the planet’s surface to face her evil counterpart alone (so technically only Samus invaded Phazee).

Travelling a straightforward and linear path, she eventually reaches the core, after destroying some infant seeds along the way, and then dukes it out with Dark Samus. The two fight, with the villian using techniques stolen from the dead bounty hunters as well as using some tricks up her sleeves such as cloning and regeneration. The good Samus is victorious but this is when the tables turn with Metroid Prime gaining the upper hand. In a last ditch effort after being defeated multiple times, Dark Samus summons up a corrupted Aurora Unit 313 to become one with it.

Samus must now defeat Dark Samus disguised as the Mother Brain rip-off, who is actually Metroid Prime…which is actually a Phazon Metroid that became the guardian of the Leviathan Seed in Tallon IV. Permanently destroying it after a long and hard-fought battle, Dark Samus is forced out to leave 313, screaming in pain as she explodes and disintegrates into Phazon particles that dissolve into the atmosphere of Phazee. This removes the Phazon inside Samus, forever ridding her of corruption, but also starts a chain reaction that destroys Phazee (since 313 was attached and controls it with biotechnology).

The Galactic Federation leaves just as it explodes, with Samus appearing just as Admiral Dane declares her dead, and the two part ways after stopping the evil of Phazon and Dark Samus once and for all to enjoy a peaceful day in the galaxy…until Metroid II: Return of Samus. Overall, the plot is greatly presented and well-written in a cinematic, complex, and realistic, and story-driven manner. It caters to long time Metroid fans who are now adults with the serious, mature, and dark mood/atmosphere yet still having that sense of nostalgia and child-friendly material.

There honestly isn’t any flaws or plot-holes as said before and reading the scanned lore, and playing Prime 1 and 2 for the Game-Cube, explains everything about the origins and history of literally everything; from the people to the planets, and even the items and enemies. Cutscenes and animation are also all amazing plot elements since Prime 3 is much more cinematic and story-driven by using the cutscenes to explain the plot, besides just showcasing bosses, areas, and puzzles like it was back in Prime and Echoes.

Animation is fluid, smooth, and natural with realistic and believable movements from characters, enemies, bosses, and background objects. The script is great too with the lines fitting each characters’ personality or job unlike the cheesy and dramatic lines in Other M. Another cool new feature is voice acting, which is a series first and actually leaves a good impression; everyone but Samus can talk, which works very well despite Nintendo being against such an act (or do it poorly when they allow it, like Other M).

Verdict

Despite appearing to be a short game at first glance, Corruption is packed with high replay value as you can tell with how much I wrote for this review, which is just as long as my first review on this site LOL. Pick-up items, lore, energy cells, and credits boost the gameplay time exponentially, not to mention doing it all again in Veteran and Hyper Mode for extra length and challenge. Getting 75% all of the pick-up items unlocks a cutscene showing Samus mourning for her fallen allies on Elysia; getting 100% reveals the true ending with the heroine showing off her sexy ass body…I mean the Zero Suit before leaving Elysia in her Gun-Ship with another ship following hers, which is claimed to be Dark Samus – but she died along with Phazee and she can fly too.

Beating it on your first try nets you around 20 hours, 30 hours for the side-quests on 100% completion, and 10 hours on all other playthroughs (with 5 hours or less with speed runs). There isn’t really anything I like that I haven’t mentioned, so let’s discuss what I don’t; there are alot of cheap moments where you’re either severely disadvantaged or can easily die, such as when you protect the Spire Pod or disabling the anti-aircraft turrets in Elysia and Brryo respectively. The ending is also very underwhelming and anti-climatic for something that serves as the conclusion to the trilogy of some of the best games ever made of all-time. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption earns a 9.1 out of 10, in which I highly recommend as a must-have to add to your Wii collection.

 

Advertisements

Metroid: Other M – Review Scoring Rubric

Gameplay: 7.4/10

How To Play: 10/10 | Mechanics/Concepts: 8/10 | Game Modes: 8/10 | Overworld: 8/10 | Items/Power-Ups: 7/10 | Enemies/Bosses: 6/10 | Side-Quests: 6/10 | Challenges: 6/10

Controls: 8.5/10

Functional Commands: 8/10 | Advanced Controls: 8/10 | Control Quality: 9/10 | Control Gimmicks: 9/10

Plot: 8.6/10

Plot: 9/10 | Cinematics: 10/10 | Animation: 10/10 | Plot-Elements: 7/10 | Narrative-Script: 7/10

Graphics: 9.8/10

Graphics: 10/10 | Textures: 10/10 | Resolution/Frame-Rate: 10/10 | Basic Models: 9/10 | Complex Models: 10/10 | Lighting Effects: 10/10

Music: 7.3/10

Soundtrack: 2/10 | Sound-Quality: 10/10 | Sound Effects: 10/10

Verdict: 7.7/10

Replayability: 8/10 | Pros/Cons: 7/10 | Opinion: 8/10


Pros (Benefits)

+”Next Gen” Graphics

+Great CGI Cutscenes

+Innovative Control Gimmicks

+Cross Between 2D Metroid/Prime Trilogy

+Plot Driven Style

+Monologues of Samus

+Evokes Nostalgia To Old Fans


Cons (Flaws)

-Forgettable Music

-Lack of Any Music

-No Originality/Creativity

-Underwhelming Metroidesque Gameplay

-Bad Control Mechanics

-Removed Visor/Grapple/Suit Upgrades

-Navigation Booth Placement


Total/Final Reviewing Score: 8.2/10

Metroid: Other M Review

After the success of the Metroid Prime Trilogy developed by Retro Studios for the Nintendo Game-Cube and Wii, fans were eager to see the next Metroid games and demanded more. In 2008, Nintendo showed a trailer of Metroid Prime Trilogy for the Wii that combined all three Prime games into one remastered collection. That following year, they showed a trailer at E3 2009 of a new Metroid game called Other M. It was going to be co-developed by Team Ninja, known for making the Ninja Gaiden and Dead Or Alive franchises. Released in 2010, this action adventure game was soon to be considered one of the worst Metroid games of all time.

Metroid: Other M is probably one of the most underrated video games as well. Many hate this game for having a bad plot, bad character development of Samus, lack of memorable music, and gimmicky motion controls. I never actually even heard about this game until watching a commercial on television in 2011, and never bought it until 2013. At first, I wasn’t interested or intended on buying this game, but after trying out the demo of Super Metroid in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, playing as Samus in the Smash Bros. franchise (except for Smash 4), and researching about the game, I finally decided to get it. Like Twilight Princess, this is my first Metroid game that I owned, played, and beaten. Although many fans hate this game, is it really as bad as they make it seem – let’s find out!

The game is played just like past Metroid games and a bit like the Prime games. You play as Samus, the galaxy’s most well known bounty hunter equipped with a Power Suit and futuristic weapons. Each game has their own specific goal, but the overall objective is to help the Galactic Federation (a human military organization in outer space) with their problems. I’m actually starting to wonder if Samus is actually an employee but called a bounty hunter to make herself seem awesome, as all of her work and pay come from the Galactic Federation.

Because Nintendo wanted Metroid: Other M to bring the Metroid franchise back to its old roots, there is almost no new mechanic in this game. Returning from previous games though are the weapon upgrade system and the pick-up item system, as well as new mechanics such as concentration, item authorization, and the changing of perspective from first person to third person. Although starting off weak, Samus will eventually acquire more items as the game progresses; however, she does so this time through authorization, in which Adam Malkovich (oops…early spoilers) must grant permission first before Samus can use the item. She basically already has all (but two) items and suit upgrades in the game – she just needs Adam’s call before she can use them.

Metroid: Other M is unlike many Metroid games, as the game only takes place inside the Bottle Ship, which is a top-secret research facility owned by the Galactic Federation. This space station is the only area in the game and doesn’t take place in any other satellite, planet, or dimension. Similar to Metroid Fusion, there  are different sectors that you can explore with each having their own unique “theme”. In total, there are six: Main Sector, Sector One, Sector Two, Sector Three, Sector Zero, and the Bio-Experimental Research Sector. This game is also linear like Fusion, as it states obvious objectives and hints, shows the route and location of the goals, and will always lock out restricted or unexplored areas. Unfortunately, this brings down the exploration for what the franchise is well known and praised for.

Besides energy tanks and missile expansions as pick-up items, there are also energy tank parts (similar to Heart Pieces in the Zelda franchise); accel-charge tanks (increasing the speed of charging weapons); and also concentration tanks (increases the amount of health that can be brought back via concentration). Unlike other games but Fusion, you cannot replenish your health by collecting floating orbs and missiles that appear inside containers or after killing enemies, but rather through navigation booths (similar to save stations in the Prime games) and concentration. Speaking of concentration, it’s basically a mechanic allowing Samus to replenish some of her health and all of her missiles when extremely low on health, but takes too long and can allow enemies to sneak up and kill you.

All suits and weapons (except for one) are returning from past Metroid games. There’s the Power Suit, Varia Suit, Gravity Suit, and the Zero Suit (umm…spoiler warning) as well. Then the weapons consist of the following: Power Beam, Charge Beam, Ice Beam, Wave Beam, Plasma Beam, Missiles, Super Missiles, Seeker Missiles, Morph Ball, Bomb, Power Bomb, Space Jump, Screw Attack, Speed Booster, and Shinespark. The only weapons obtained through boss battles are the Seeker Missiles and the all-new Diffusion Beam. This new beam is basically the Charge Beam on steroids – it has an even bigger range and collateral damage than the Charge Beam. What doesn’t make a return are the visor upgrades from the Prime games; the Fusion, Dark, Light, and P.E.D. Suit; and the Spider, Spring, and Boost Ball.

Enemies and bosses are really underwhelming in this game since they are generic, easy, and forgettable. Most of the enemies from past Metroid games either do not make a return or are significantly weakened. Most of the enemies from past Metroid games either do not make a return or are significantly weakened. Bosses are also extremely easy in this game, which makes boss fights more of a chore than a challenge. Only those who have never played a 2D Metroid game before will struggle. Ridley, Metroid Queen (from Metroid II: Return of Samus), Phantoon (from Super Metroid), and Nightmare (from Metroid Fusion) all make a return and are featured in Other M.

Overall, Metroid: Other M is an extremely easy game that takes away alot of fun and challenge for veteran players. However, Metroid: Other M does have its fair share of extremely difficult situations that can result in many cheap and unexpected deaths for both newcomers and fans alike, such as the broken elevator shaft or the mountain avalanche. Many challenges that were prominent in past Metroid games are now eliminated or greatly reduced, either due to overpowered items (like the Diffusion Beam); new game mechanics (like Concentration), or lame fighting techniques (like auto-shooting or auto-dodging) which can often be game-breaking.

Controlling Samus in this game feels like playing a 2.5 D game, since Nintendo wanted to go back to its 2D roots while still staying in 3D. The game is played with the Wii Remote alone, but Other M requires players to switch the remote from a horizontal to vertical position to change the camera angle in-game. Holding it horizontally changes it into third person view, which is a series first and allows moving and attacking, while holding it vertically makes it into first person view similar to the Prime games. This gimmick is implemented terribly as the first person mode doesn’t allow moving and only allows shooting missiles, locking-on to enemies, and viewing the environment, in which the third person mode could have easily done (well, except for the viewing part) – it’s even mandatory in many parts of the game.

When in a third person perspective, the Wii Remote is held horizontally with the d-pad on the left. Pressing the d-pad moves Samus, pressing the 2 button makes her shoot, and pressing the 1 button makes her jump. The A button enters Morph-Ball mode and holding down the 1 and 2 button separately makes  jumping and shooting more effective than before. When in first person mode, the Wii Remote is held vertically so that the pointer is facing the TV screen. Moving the cursor moves the reticle itself for aiming, shooting, and scanning targets. Pressing the B button locks on to nearby enemies, grappling hooks, and objects of interest, and can even scan specific items relevant to progression. The A button simply shoots out missiles and holding it can charge up a Super Missile, Seeker Missiles, or even a charged beam when not locked on to an enemy.

New control gimmicks that lower the difficulty are melee attacks and evasion maneuvers. The sense move is an auto dodge technique that allows Samus to dodge pretty much anything coming to her at the last second, which makes it game-breaking and if used right, can make you invincible against strong enemies or save your energy when low on health. The wall climb is basically wall jumping, the lethal strike is a finishing move that makes Samus release a charged shot at an enemy immediately after rushing into them, and the over-blast is shooting an enemy after jumping on top. There’s also a grab ‘n throw combo attack, though it’s never stated in the manual or recognized as an official attack nor can it be executed manually – I swear that I somehow randomly do it when fighting groups of enemies. Generally speaking, the controls feel too gimmicky and limited with just the Wii Remote alone, as allowing Other M to have the Nunchuk combo or Classic Controller as alternate or required options would make it more fun and easier to play.

The story begins right after where Super Metroid is about to end. After defeating Mother Brain, Samus escapes Planet Zebes and enters rehabilitation in a Galactic Federation space facility. When Samus recovers, she leaves the facility and pilots her ship to the depths of outer space. While she is flying, she recalls her emotional and mother-child relationship with the Baby Metroid and begins to show signs of PTSD. Suddenly, she receives a distress signal called “Baby’s Cry”, and as it reminds her of the Metroid she took care of, she quickly goes to investigate. Samus proceeds to head to its destination: the Bottle Ship, in which she encounters a small team of Galactic Federation soldiers who also came from the distress signal.

One of the members immediately greets Samus as he introduces himself as Anthony Higgs, a former team-mate of Samus when she was still part of the Galactic Federation. Another member gets introduced by Anthony as Samus’ former commanding officer and father figure, who is Adam Malkovich when he wasn’t a computer. At first, Adam distrusts her, but after helping the crew take down a boss and a door with some missiles, he earns her trust. As they head into the Main Sector, each crew member is ordered to investigate all three sectors (as well as other irrelevant areas). Samus is ordered to back-track to turn on the back-up electrical generator to power up the Bottle Ship, and then heading into Sector One to check up on the others.

In Sector One, Samus discovers a dead scientist, several strange monsters, virtual outdoor swamp environments, and a tall building in the middle of a virtual open field. The team soon hacks into a super-computer to discover that the Galactic Federation is secretly using bio-weapons via the captured monsters and that a scientist by the name of Madeline Bergman is responsible for leading the project. Along the way, Samus confronts a white bunny that soon evolves into a giant lizard monster which attacks her in the field and eventually eats one of the members alive. She is fortunately saved by Anthony’s plasma gun after a long struggle, but the monster quickly escapes into Sector Three. Samus then uses an alternate route to get there, and the tall building explodes afterwards.

Upon entering, Samus noticed she entered a volcanic area with fire, heat, and lava, and barely survives it due to the extreme temperature penetrating her Power Suit. When reaching a cylinder-shaped room that turns out to be the interior of a volcano, Samus isn’t granted permission to upgrade to the Varia Suit until she just barely escapes the rising lava and is nearly depleted of more than half of her energy tanks. After easily defeating another boss, Samus explores the rest of the area until she stumbles upon the next area, Sector Two, which turns out to be an area filled with snow, ice, and sub-zero temperatures. Samus doesn’t come upon anything special or significant here until she finds the dead corpse of another member (Maurice) who appeared to die from an ice blast, as well as a blonde female scientist watching from the distance inside a nearby building.

Giving chase, Samus almost reaches the scientist who claims that the Galactic Federation has sent soldiers to assassinate all the scientists when suddenly a gigantic construction robot-vehicle hybrid crashes in and tries to kill her.  Allowing the woman to escape and to discover more intel, Samus soon finds herself concerned and forced to battle the robot, which is indeed controlled by one of the members of Adam’s team. Easily destroying the robot, she goes back to the Main Sector when Adam gives her orders to check up on Anthony in Sector Three. In Sector Three, she confronts a giant bug mutant taking Anthony hostage and tries to drop him into a lava pit. She successfully saves him and discusses about Adam’s personality and how he sacrificed his brother’s life to save some civilians before they head off into the Geo-Thermal Power Plant.

Both enter the generator room and finds it to be dark and quiet, when she is approached by Anthony who arrived earlier. He asks her to find the exit as it’s dark and he is attempting to shoot down a monster that is disrupting the operation of the power plant. The bridge leading to the door then gets blocked by rubble and debris caused by a fiery blast from the unknown monster. Adam suggests and authorizes the use of Super Missiles to destroy a conveniently placed wall crack for lava to enter and brighten up the room. As soon as she does, the monster then comes flying to her, revealing that the bunny that evolved into the lizard had then evolved into her long time arch-nemesis Ridley. Scared from her childhood memories (and maybe that fact that she was shocked that he somehow survived the planetary explosion back in Super Metroid), Anthony distracts Ridley to save Samus’ life but at the cost of his own as he gets pushed by Ridley’s tail into the lava below.

Angered at the stupid loss and death of Anthony, Samus quickly gets to her senses and activates the Plasma Beam. Ridley seems to be defeated after a long (but again, super easy – pun not intended) battle when he wakes up and quickly tries to grab Samus to kill her, but fails as she immediately dodges and shoots the Plasma Beam to discourage him from repeating. With Anthony dead and Adam somehow losing communication with Samus, she returns to the Main Sector to find the assasin soldier going to Sector One. Samus soon follows but is stopped by a destroyed bridge that malfunctioned from a wrecked terminal.

Samus authorizes herself to use the Space Jump and Screw Attack, making a cunning remark to Adam. After reaching the other side, Samus takes an elevator to an entirely new area later known as the Bio-Experimental Research Center. Not seeing the soldier anywhere in sight, Samus hacks a super-computer which opens a giant locked door. The female scientist from earlier comes out but begins to run away upon noticing it was Samus who opened the door, but fails as Samus catches up to her. The woman reveals herself as Madeline Bergman, the person mentioned earlier as the head of this “illegal” project.

Feeling safe and secure, Madeline explains to Samus all of the evil plans that the Galactic Federation came up with to increase their military might against intergalactic threats. They planned to use monsters that were always a threat to the federation, genetically modified them, and used them as bio-weapons (kind of like what the Space Pirates did to the Metroids). Some of the “weapons” being used included Metroids and Space Pirates, even though they were all exterminated back in Metroid II and Super Metroid. Upon hearing this, Samus demands how this logically makes sense as she was the one responsible for killing off those two species. Madeline admits that the scientists that healed her while in rehabilitation lied to her about polishing her Varia Suit, as they actually cleaned the suit to extract DNA from the remains of the Metroids and Space Pirates while Samus was unconscious in order to duplicate it to create entirely new clones of them.

In order for the monsters to obey without rebellion, the Galactic Federation created an android that had the mentality and intelligence of Mother Brain that was able command the bio-weapons through telepathy. Madeline explained that MB became berserk one day and vowed to get revenge on all of humanity by using the monsters to her aid. As a result of the failure of the project, the federation then hired a double agent to travel with Adam’s team and kill anybody that found out about the project, including Adam himself. Samus then nick-names this person the “Deleter”, before vowing to protect Madeline from the assassin in the future.

Now knowing everything about the secret project, Samus then leaves Madeline to go to Sector Zero. In a flash-back that could have been part of earlier, she tells Samus that Adam was the true director of the project all along and advises her to investigate Sector Zero, which houses MB and all of the cloned Metroids so that they can be destroyed. She reaches it after exploring a hidden area in Sector Two containing heavy and anti-gravity rooms, and even a battle with Nightmare. Just as she goes inside though, Samus walks quietly to the gate after hearing strange sounds throughout the room. An infant Metroid suddenly appears before getting freezed to death from an ice blaster. Samus gets hit by it as well, knocking her out and temporarily disabling the Varia and Power Suit features, before waking up to realize it was Adam who shot her.

Adam sits with Samus and tells her that although he was involved, he initially disagreed but higher-ranking officers said otherwise. He also said that he was going to detach Sector Zero and make it enter self-destruct mode to kill all Metroids and Mother Brain inside. Samus becomes extremely emotional once again and pleads Adam not to sacrifice himself, but he reassures her that it is the sake for all of galactic civilization because the Metroids are extremely dangerous and he is suspicious that they may have been genetically coded to be resistant to cold temperatures. Adam finally tells Samus to stop Ridley before leaving for Sector Zero as he states that Ridley’s natural ability to command all monsters is just as much of a threat as MB.

Sad and depressed at Adam’s death, Samus quickly heads to the Bio-Experimental Research Center to hunt down Ridley as Adam ordered her to (but not before activating the Gravity Suit after another near-death incident). Upon reaching the room that Madeline Bergman hid in, Samus finds the dead body of James, strongly suggesting that he is the Deleter and that he died of Metroid predation. She goes deeper into the sector to discover a giant room full of emergency chambers. Another scientist is seen in one of them, in which she hides from Samus by closing the small window after expressing fear of the Galactic Federation. The scientist also granted access to another large room, containing a dead corpse of Ridley, suggesting he too was a victim of Metroids.

Out of nowhere, a giant Metroid Queen comes out and tries to eat Samus. She battles the beast and barely defeats it after killing the infant Metroids and destroying her crystallized skull, when the Bottle Ship itself is about to crash into Galactic Federation HQ. However, it somehow stops and stays idle in its current position, allowing the two to continue fighting. Samus finally kills the Metroid Queen by releasing a Power Bomb inside its stomach. Upon killing it, the scientist that was hiding earlier runs away. Samus gives chase and tries to persuade that she is an ally. After calming the scientist down, she tells and even proves that she is the real Madeline Bergman and that the other one she met was actually MB all along. After explaining the spark that caused Mother Brain to become insane and the origins of the cloned Ridley, MB herself appears at the door with an ice blaster.

Just as MB is about to shoot Madeline for being deceived, a horde of Galactic Federation troopers come in and start shooting MB. The ice blasts simply make her even more angry, and she then telepathically summons a swarm of monsters to aid her in battle. Samus guards Madeline and proceeds to shoot MB when Madeline screams to stop everybody (even the monsters) from fighting and attempts to use the ice blaster to shoot Samus. A loud voice from nowhere yells, “Fire!”, which commands even more soldiers to appear and take down Mother Brain by shooting her with several bullets. Madeline is sad at her death as she developed a mother-daughter bond with MB. A high ranking officer approaches Samus and asks her to leave the Bottle Ship or become arrested for becoming an outsider simply because all of Adam’s crew members got killed. A soldier grabs her and tells Samus to leave; however, she hears a familiar voice, revealing it to be Anthony all along – he admits that he survived Ridley’s attack and even stopped the Bottle Ship from crashing which would have allowed MB to win. Samus calls Anthony and Madeline Bergman to come with her, leaving the depths of outer space in her gun-ship to head to the Galactic Federation HQ.

According to many critics and haters, Metroid: Other M has a terrible plot that showcases the worst character development of Samus imaginable. Yes, her personality is extremely off and over-exaggerated compared to all other Metroid games, but after experiencing many traumatizing and strange events in Metroid II: Return of Samus and Super Metroid – and even developing a strong bond with an  infant Metroid that she was set out to kill that ironically saved her life by sacrificing its own, it’s more than possible. Many people assume that Samus is a bad-ass bounty hunter that can confront anything and nothing more, but if that was the case, why would she have saved that infant Metroid back in Super Metroid? Also, the plot itself, while not written well and leaves many confusions and plot-holes, is still acceptable and much better than other plot driven games such as the infamous Sonic The Hedgehog 2006 or Shadow The Hedgehog.

Cinematics in this game look extremely amazing, much higher quality, and more action-packed than before. Thanks to Team Ninja and their huge collaboration with several different movie/animation/CGI studios, Other M has mind-blowing CGI cutscenes that puts even the PS3 and Xbox 360’s HD graphics to shame. Other cutscenes that are in-game and not pre-rendered still look great and manage to present the game’s excellent graphics, textures, and character models. Speaking of graphics, the animation is much better than the Prime games as it feels and looks faster, smoother, and more realistic. The animations are superior to the slower and clunky animations of older games and aren’t just limited to cutscenes.

Voice-acting makes a return from the Metroid Prime Trilogy, specifically Metroid Prime 3: Corruption; however, it’s not as great and may seem to be very underwhelming. Characters sound forced to say awkward lines, express too much or too little emotion, or just sounds ridiculous with cheesy/corny phrases and obvious observations. It fails in comparison to Corruption, as the voice-acting is average for even a video game and nothing special. The script itself is also a bit mediocre, as many lines do not sound like they fit with the characters or in a Metroid game and most of the lines actually come from Samus’ monologues showcasing her thoughts and character development (these are the best and ironic since they are just monologues and she sounds like a robot). Though Other M strives to be plot heavy, it still lacks in quality when compared to the plot of the Metroid Prime games before it, especially since the trilogy had back-stories and lore to make up for the lack of cinematic cutscenes.

The graphics in this game are absolutely gorgeous and improve on the already appealing graphics seen in Corruption. It’s so high-quality that it looks just like any typical game on the PS3 or the Xbox 360, and shows just what the Nintendo Wii is capable of by pushing the hardware to its absolute limits – hell, they even used a dual-layer disc just for Other M despite not having a huge amount of blocks or compressed data. Although not as visually appealing as Super Mario Galaxy 2, Sonic Colors, or Super Smash Bros. Brawl, it’s still one of the best looking games on the Wii because of the efforts and reputation that Team Ninja put to developing Other M. What this game lacks in gameplay makes up for the graphics.

Team Ninja did a great job on creating high resolution textures that are extremely detailed and realistic. Some textures were specifically rendered to look more blurry or focused than others in order to fit with the different environments within the game’s settings. Since Metroid: Other M uses a graphics engine that is a mix of both cartoon and realism, it’s hard to determine whether the textures match it well. And because only the CGI cutscenes match the CG illustrations and artwork, the textures aren’t the best either when compared to the cinematics.

Metroid: Other M runs at 480p standard definition and rendered at a full 60 FPS. As expected for a game with shooting elements, Other M’s graphics become upscaled and enhanced to its true quality. It especially helps during the first person perspective and the fights with large groups of enemies in third person perspective, as it makes it easier to see and faster to react to the movements and attacks of enemies and bosses. The game really takes advantage of the high resolution and frame-rate as the camera frequently zooms in and out that focus or blur the textures, and there are even quick-time events throughout the game requiring fast movement and precision.

Samus and company are rendered well in the game and imitate the pre-rendered models accurately. Models are detailed and smooth, being less jaggy, blurry, and inaccurate than models rendered in the Prime games. They even went the extra mile by creating new suit models for Samus and the troopers for the Galactic Federation, as they look more futuristic and militaresque than the suits in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Corruption. What is a minor let down for the models though is that all of the suit models are the exact same and simply just color palette swaps for Samus. The Gravity Suit specifically is just a purple growing aura of light that surrounds Samus’ suit and entire visor to magenta. Other suits that were not featured in Super Metroid do not come back, nor is there any new suit upgrade that Samus can acquire.

Lighting is properly done and reflects the atmosphere of different sectors. Shadow and bloom effects enhance the lighting and does the same for mood as well. While some areas tend to get too dark or too bright, it’s perfectly acceptable as bright environments consist of volcanic and arctic areas, while dark environments consist of underground caves and rooms in the Main Sector. From a graphical view-point, Metroid: Other M overall has excellent graphics with a high polygon count, high resolution and frame-rate, high res textures, and diverse lighting effects that make it as good looking as a game with high definition graphics.

Unfortunately, Other M lacks any music at all, let alone have good music. Many of the rooms and areas throughout the game contains no music at all in the background; it only has multiple sound effects to make it seem like it does. The only music you do hear is during the mini-boss and strong enemy fights, quick-time events or cheap death situations, or boss battles. They are either too generic, too forgettable, or too low-quality to be even considered to be video game music at all.

Those few music compositions that are memorable and awesome sound absolutely amazing. I love listening to Ridley’s Theme and it’s so good and orchestrated well that it puts even the remixed composition in Brawl to shame. The other good music in this game includes the music you hear when you arrive on a new planet frequently used in Corruption, and the modern remix of Samus Aran’s Theme/Super Metroid Prologue. Finally, the infamous Escape Theme (which is a just a variation of Ridley’s Theme) sounds amazing even with the alarm sound.

As mentioned and mentioned before, Other M does offer some replayability value besides collecting the pick-up items. When you beat the game, complete the post-credit content, and collect all 100% items, you will unlock and be able to play the game’s Hard Mode. Similar to the Master Quest and Hero’s Quest seen in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Skyward Sword, and The Wind Waker HD, you basically play the game all over again (with previous save data deleted) but with a higher difficulty. However, you begin with 100 units of health and 10 missiles and end with that same amount. Sounds easy, but extremely challenging since all pick-up items are removed and you can only rely on concentration and navigation booths to replenish health and ammo.

Another new addition with replayability value is the post-credit gameplay. After beating the game and watching the credits, Samus will go back to the Bottle Ship to retrieve Adam’s helmet in the Main Sector before the Galactic Federation destroys it in a couple days. Since the direct route is blocked, you have to take a longer and indirect route to get there. Thanks to the newly authorized Power Bombs, this is no longer a problem because those locked doors that were vulnerable to Power Bombs (according to Samus’ visor) can now be destroyed and accessed. This leads for some interesting exploration and back-tracking, as many hidden rooms containing pick-up items can be discovered and an entirely new area within the Bottle Ship can be accessed.

What I liked most about this game is that each of the sectors contained its own environment or theme that seperated itself from others. Sure, it may ripped-off of the themes in the NEW! Super Mario Bros. games, but still better than the Prime games (except for the first one) that had different areas that blended in with one another as they had similar environments, themes, and textures – Dark Aether as well as Norion, G.F.S. Valhalla, and G.F.S. Olympus come to mind. Another thing I personally liked were the monologues of Samus that allowed me to directly witness her character development and personality throughout the game’s plot progression. I finally like the controller gimmick, as it allows you to have many different perspectives and play both in third-person and first-person. And although many hated it, I actually loved the authorization mechanic because I don’t have to waste time searching for the item and suit-upgrades and use them from the get-go when I’m allowed to use them.

What I dislike though about this game is that it lacks creativity and innovation, as it feels too much like the past Metroid titles with all the nostalgia it puts in and lacking new ideas that would have improved it. I find that the navigation booths are good for replenishing health and ammo, but terrible for saving progress as the booth placement is just terrible; quitting or dying before can result in data loss. After playing Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, I also don’t like how the visor upgrades are gone and that the Grapple Beam is limited to just locomoting instead of using it to absorb/give energy and grab/pull obstacles. This may be nitpicking, but I also dislike the melee combat system, as I find many techniques to be useless at times.

In my opinion, I think and agree that Metroid: Other M is a good game to play – nothing else and nothing more. Although I love playing Other M, there’s no denying how flawed and how difficult it is to ignore them. The benefits certainly do not completely outweigh the flaws, nor is it the other way around. I also wouldn’t think this game is average because it’s far from being horrible. I will admit and state that Metroid: Other M isn’t great, nor shit, nor mediocre, nor average – simply a good game and that’s it.

Having great looking graphics and cinematics, good controls, and being plot-heavy and more story-driven than before, Metroid: Other M succeeds to present the player a good impression and representation of the gameplay experience. But due to it having forgettable and shit music, gimmicky control mechanics, lack of originality/creativity/innovation, and underwhelming gameplay for a Metroid game, Other M fails to strive for excellence and will always remain as a a good but flawed game. Metroid: Other M truly deserves a score of 8.2 out of 10 for being a good game neither crap nor great.