Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
|Metroid Prime 3: Corruption|
North American and PAL region box art
|Release date(s)||Original release
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is a first-person action-adventure game developed by Retro Studios and published by Nintendo for the Wii video game console. It is the tenth game in the Metroid series, and the final entry in the Metroid Prime trilogy—excluding two spin-off titles. It was released in North America and Europe in 2007, and in Japan the following year. The Wii Remote and Nunchuk devices are featured in a new control scheme that took a year to develop and caused the game's release to be delayed several times.
Chronologically, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption takes place fifth in the Metroid universe. The game is set six months after the events of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and before the events of Metroid II: Return of Samus. The story follows bounty hunter Samus Aran as she assists the Galactic Federation in its fight against the Space Pirates. While fending off a Space Pirate assault, Samus and her fellow bounty hunters are attacked by her doppelgänger, Dark Samus, who incapacitates them with a mutagenic material called Phazon. After losing contact with the other hunters, the Federation sends Samus on a mission to determine what happened to them. During the course of the game, Samus works to prevent the Phazon from spreading from planet to planet while being slowly corrupted by the Phazon herself.
The game was first shown to the public at the E3 2005 trade show. Reception to Corruption has been very positive, with several reviews specifically praising the gameplay. More than one million copies of the game were sold in 2007. It was re-released as part of Metroid Prime: Trilogy, a Wii compilation of the three main games of the Prime series with Wii Remote controls.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is a first-person action-adventure game. The player controls the protagonist, Samus Aran, using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk devices. The Nunchuk enables the player to perform actions such as moving Samus and locking on to enemies and targets. The Wii Remote allows the player to execute actions such as jumping, aiming, and firing weapons.
Corruption is a large, open-ended game that takes place across several planets, each with regions connected by elevators, rail systems, and bridges. Each region has rooms separated by doors that can be opened when shot with the correct weapon. The gameplay revolves around solving puzzles to uncover secrets, jumping on platforms, and shooting enemies with the help of a "lock-on" mechanism that allows Samus to move in a circle while staying aimed on an enemy. The game uses a first-person view, except in Morph Ball mode, in which Samus' suit transforms into an armored ball and the game uses a third-person camera. The third person camera is also used in conjunction with the Screw Attack power-up: in this case Samus' suit emits strange energy waves as she performs a continuous jump.
The game's heads-up display simulates the inside of Samus' helmet, and features a radar, map, ammunition gauge, health meter, and when engaged with a boss, its health bar and name. The player can change visors to enable new abilities such as X-ray vision, collecting information on many items, creatures and enemies, and interfacing with certain mechanisms such as force fields and elevators. Corruption also includes a hint system that periodically displays on-screen instructions and navigation assistance.
The game also has the addition of the hypermode, a feature in which one of her full energy tanks' contents are diverted to her phazon enhancement device' phazon tank. This device uses this energy to give Samus temporary invincibility and more powerful attacks. These attacks drain the phazon tank. Samus has two ways of leaving hypermode. The most common way is to completely use up the phazon in her phazon tank. The second way is to cancel hypermode which returns unused phazon back to her energy tanks. The final way of leaving hypermode is to let it run for 30 seconds. A safety system will then vent all of the phazon in her phazon tank, causing her to lose the remaining phazon. Remaining in hypermode for too long leads into corrupt hypermode, a version of hypermode that increases the risk-reward profile even more. This mode causes her phazon tank to slowly fill up with phazon, damage taken will further fill up her phazon tank, and she cannot cancel hypermode anymore. Damage taken in this way will not damage her non-hypermode shield energy, however. If the Phazon tank is allowed to fill up and overflow in corrupt hypermode, a non-standard game over results due to Samus being driven insane by the overflowing phazon. However, this growth in phazon can also be used to fuel her attacks, so she could use this to perform more hypermode attacks and retain her invulnerability as long as she fires her weapons often enough to keep the phazon tank from overflowing, though after 30 seconds, the phazon tank will activate an emergency vent and Samus will be forced out of hypermode.
The events in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption take place six months after Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. The game's protagonist, Samus Aran, is a bounty hunter hired to assist the Galactic Federation during its ongoing conflict with the Space Pirates. After facing initial defeat on the planet Zebes during the events of the first Metroid title, the Space Pirates sought to gain power by using a newly discovered mutagen called Phazon. However, Samus managed to disrupt their operations throughout the Prime trilogy and ultimately allowed the Galactic Federation to confiscate and replicate their Phazon armaments.
The Space Pirates' operation was left in disarray following defeat in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. In their desperation, they turned to Dark Samus, Samus' sinister doppelgänger, for aid. Dark Samus strengthened the Space Pirates' forces, while also slowly indoctrinating them into mindless servants. Their combined forces seek to corrupt the universe with Phazon by first executing a series of methodical attacks on three Federation planets: Norion, Bryyo, and Elysia. The game is primarily centered around these planets and three other locations that become accessible after completing certain in-game tasks.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption begins with a meeting between Samus, three other bounty hunters, and Admiral Dane, leader of the Galactic Federation fleet. The bounty hunters, including Samus, receive orders to clear a computer virus from several supercomputers, called Aurora Units, located throughout the galaxy, but the meeting ends abruptly when Space Pirates attack several Federation ships. Samus and the other bounty hunters are deployed to the planet Norion, where the Space Pirates are concentrating an attack on a Federation naval base. While suppressing the attack, Samus learns that a Phazon asteroid, called a Leviathan Seed, will soon collide into Norion. Samus and the other bounty hunters attempt to activate the base's defense systems, when they are suddenly attacked by a newly armored Dark Samus. With the other bounty hunters unconscious, a severely wounded Samus manages to activate the system just in time to destroy the Leviathan Seed before she is incapacitated.
A month later, Samus awakens aboard a Galactic Federation star ship, where she learns that Dark Samus' Phazon-based attacks have corrupted her. The Federation equips her with a Phazon Enhancement Device (PED) that enables her to harness the Phazon energy within herself. She is informed that her fellow bounty hunters, also equipped with PED's due to the same condition as Samus, who had been sent to investigate several planets embedded with Leviathan Seeds, have vanished. Samus is first sent to the planet Bryyo and later Elysia to determine what happened to her missing comrades. She soon discovers that both planets and their inhabitants are slowly being corrupted by the Leviathan Seeds, and she must destroy the seeds.
Samus encounters heavy resistance from the Space Pirates, Phazon-corrupted monstrosities, and even fellow bounty hunters who have been corrupted by Dark Samus. Throughout her mission, which eventually takes her to the Space Pirate Homeworld, Samus slowly becomes further phazon-corrupted. She manages to stop the Space Pirate assault with the assistance of the Galactic Federation Navy. The fleet then warps to the planet Phaaze, the source of all Phazon in the galaxy. Samus travels to its core, where she finally defeats Dark Samus, then the corrupted Aurora Unit 313. As a result, Phaaze is destroyed, and all Phazon in the galaxy is rendered inert. At the end of the game, if the player collects 100 percent of the upgrades, Samus is seen flying into hyperspace with an unknown spaceship following her.
Retro Studios intended to give Metroid Prime 3: Corruption larger environments than Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and enable the game to run at 60 frames per second. The developers were also interested in using the WiiConnect24 feature to provide additional content for the game that would be accessible from the Internet. Retro announced that Corruption would be the final chapter of the Prime series and would have a plot "about closure, told against the backdrop of an epic struggle". After the Wii Remote was revealed, Nintendo demonstrated how Metroid Prime 3 would take advantage of the controller's special abilities with a version of Echoes modified for the Wii and shown at the Tokyo Game Show in 2005.
The title Corruption and some of the first gameplay footage were revealed at Nintendo's Media Release at the E3 2006 trade show. Iwata said he hoped Corruption would launch with the Wii in November 2006, but a few months later the game was delayed to 2007. In April 2007, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime stated in an interview that Corruption was "not going to ship by June" and set it at a summer 2007 release date at the earliest. Later he opined, "when we release it, it will be perfect. And if that's a little later than folks would have liked, I'm hoping they're going to be happy." In late April 2007, IGN editor Matt Casamassina revealed that Corruption would be shown in detail during May of that year, and that the game would be released on August 20, 2007 in the United States. Nintendo of America later announced to have moved the release date to August 27, 2007, but Nintendo finally announced an "in stores" date of August 28, 2007. The game was released in Europe on October 26, 2007. At the Media Summit held by Nintendo during the week of May 21, 2007, Reggie Fils-Aime said that Metroid games "never played this way before" when referring to Corruption. He also noted that Nintendo employees who had seen the game in action claimed that it "will reinvent the control scheme for a first-person shooter".
Game director Mark Pacini stated that the biggest concern Retro had during production was the controls, which had "too many functions for the amount of buttons". Pacini also said the Wii Zapper, a gun shell peripheral, was never considered because it was announced when the game's development was almost done. Retro president Michael Kelbaugh said that the delays for the game's release gave them more time to tune the controller, which took a year. He also stated that while Retro did "a great job on the multiplayer in Metroid Prime 2", focus was centered on the single player portion of the game, which was considered to be "the core strength of the franchise". Art director Todd Keller declared the graphics to be focused in both texture detail and variety, with every single texture being hand-made and trying to "make every room its own custom stage". During development, the Nintendo EAD team involved with Corruption suggested Retro to turn Hypermode into the core of the game, saying it would enhance the tension as it made players powerful but if used excessively would lead to a game over. Retro initially disagreed, saying it would be difficult to implement the feature without dampening the entertainment value, but after discussion decided to turn Hyper Mode into a regular functionality of the game. Metroid Prime series producer Kensuke Tanabe said that a questionnaire on choosing the game's difficulty was made for Corruption's Japanese release.
Prime, Prime 2, and Prime 3 were bundled together on a single disc as Metroid Prime: Trilogy, released on August 24, 2009 for Wii. Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes feature the motion controls and achievement systems introduced in Prime 3.
The soundtrack for Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was composed by Kenji Yamamoto, Minako Hamano and Masaru Tajima. The game took advantage of the increase in the amount of RAM that took place when the series switched from the Nintendo GameCube to the Wii; this allowed for higher quality audio samples to be used and thus allowing a better overall audio quality. Yamamoto used Hirokazu Tanaka's musical design of the original Metroid in Corruption, by keeping the music and themes dark and scary until the very end, when uplifting music is played during the credits.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is the first game in the Metroid series to feature a significant amount of voice acting, compared to previous games in the series in which Samus "[acted] alone [... and] always came across as a lone wolf". The producers decided to include voices to create a stronger connection between players and the characters. The characters' voices were performed by Timothy Patrick Miller, Lainie Frasier, Christopher Sabat, Edwin Neal, Claire Hamilton, Brian Jepson, Gray Haddock, Clayton Kjas and Ken Webster.
Release and reception
IGN initially criticized Nintendo for its minimal marketing campaign for Corruption and compared it to the larger campaign for the original Metroid Prime, which included its own live action advertisement. The website concluded that the campaign was the result of Nintendo's new focus on casual games for their console. When questioned on the company's actions, Nintendo of America responded by saying, "Nintendo fans will be surprised by the quantity and quality of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption information that becomes available before the game launches on Aug. 27. Your patience will be rewarded (or Corrupted)." Following this promise, Nintendo released the "Metroid Prime 3 Preview" channel on August 10, 2007 in North America and on October 15, 2007 in Europe. The channel, available as a free download via the Wii Shop Channel, allowed Wii owners to view preview videos of the game that included a battle sequence and previously unannounced details on new characters. The Preview channel was the first in a series of new downloadable content including videos made available in North America. The "month of Metroid", as named by Nintendo, included Virtual Console versions of Metroid, available on August 13, 2007, and Super Metroid, available on August 20, 2007.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was released in North America on August 27, 2007 and in Europe on October 26, 2007 to generally positive reviews. Nintendo Power commented, "The stunning visuals and immersive gameplay of the finale to the Prime series proves that the Wii is ready for the mainstream gamer." IGN awarded the game an Editor's Choice Award, and noted that the game was beautifully designed and the best looking game for the Wii. They also praised the inclusion of "well-done" voice acting, in contrast to the lack of any voice acting in most other Nintendo games. Despite stating that Metroid Prime 3 was too similar to its predecessors, the review concluded that it was the best game in the Prime trilogy. IGN also said that it could be worthy of the same score as the original Metroid Prime (9.8), had it not been for the aforementioned reason. X-Play claimed that the game was enjoyable, but it had a few awkward control mechanics and was a little difficult to control on the Wii. They also said that although it was fun, there were problems that lead to odd lock-on mechanics and painful wrists from continuous motions.
Brand Jones from GameTrailers praised the more user-friendly and action-packed nature of the game compared to Metroid Prime and Echoes. Jones also praised the superior motion-sensitive controls, stating, "After playing Metroid Prime 3 you'll never want to play a shooter with dual analog controls again, it's that good." He further added that those elements make Corruption "far superior to the original Metroid Prime". 1UP.com was enthusiastic about the new control system and said the graphics were "some of the best visuals in gaming, period". Electronic Gaming Monthly gave Corruption a Silver award and ranked the title as Game of the Month in a three-way tie with FIFA 08 and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. GameSpot stated the game had enjoyable puzzles, boss battles, atmospheric levels, and smooth gameplay. It also explained that the game was more like a traditional shooter video game than an adventure shooter, and stated that the motion activated actions were too unresponsive.
GamesRadar named Metroid Prime 3: Corruption the 10th best Wii game of all time out of a list of 25, stating that "Metroid Prime 3 is the ultimate achievement of the series. The formula, which was repeated several times by Corruption, was been tweaked and pruned to its most perfect point, with some of the best shooting on the system." In IGN's Best of 2007 Awards, Corruption received the awards for Best Wii Adventure Game, Best Artistic Design, and Best Overall Adventure Game. GameSpy ranked it as the second best Wii game of the year, behind Super Mario Galaxy, and honored it as the Best Innovation on the Wii. Australian website MyWii named Prime 3 as the second best Wii game currently available, behind Super Mario Galaxy. Despite being released on August 27, Corruption was the fifth best-selling game of the month, with 218,100 copies sold. It also debuted at the fifth spot of the Japanese charts, with 34,000 units in the first week of release. More than one million copies of the game were sold in 2007, and as of March 2008, 1.31 million copies of the game were sold worldwide.
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- Retro Studios. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. (Nintendo). Wii. (2007-08-27) Logbook - "Our Mission": Phazon was discovered two stellar years ago, and since that moment, Command has been driven to control it all. Two operations have been established, at tremendous cost. Both have failed, thanks to the accursed Hunter, Samus Aran. Her Federation allies now move to secure what little Phazon remains on the planet Aether.
- Retro Studios. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. (Nintendo). Wii. (2007-08-27) Logbook - "First Disciples": Our struggles have ended. She has shown us the error of our ways. The way is now clear. All previous vows of fealty have been forsworn: we now pledge sole allegiance to our liberator, the great one, Dark Samus.
- Retro Studios. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. (Nintendo). Wii. (2007-08-27) Logbook - "The Leviathan": Our leader provided us with great wisdom on many subjects, including the improvement of our mighty battleship, Colossus. We followed her teachings, and turned our vessel into a ship without peer.
- Retro Studios. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. (Nintendo). Wii. (2007-08-27) Logbook - "Vanguard": Three worlds will be attacked, each important to the Federation. We shall destroy the spy base at Elysia, the fuel production of Bryyo, and the naval station at Norion. Each of those wretched worlds will become as Phaaze…each a foothold into the territory of the hated Federation.
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- Official Retro Studios website