In our last hands-on look at Metroid Prime 3, we were accosted by a huge, armored boss who looked ready to turn Samus Aran into a quivering mass of hot blonde mincemeat. Where that demo ended, our latest look at the upcoming debut of the Metroid Prime series on the Wii picks up--with Samus teaching the Berserker Lord, as he's known, a few lessons about girl power.
First, a quick primer on where we've been--Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is, quite obviously, the third chapter in the first-person shooter series that revolves around the bounty hunter Samus Aran. This being the debut on the Wii, it's important to note what has changed and what hasn't. While Samus still has a vast array of weapons she can fire from her high-tech armor, just how you go about enacting all that destruction has changed slightly thanks to the Wii's unique control scheme. Aiming your shots, for example, is done with the Wii Remote, and it's literally as simple as pointing and shooting to take down the bad guys. If you're looking to get some better aim on your opponent, you can lock in on your target with the Z button. At the lower difficulty level, locking in will mean that all your shots find their intended target--once you bump up the skill level in the game, you'll still need to aim your shots within the locked reitcle in order to make a kill. Locking onto a target will allow you to strafe around them as well.
You move Samus back and forth with the Nunchuk's analog stick and can have her turn around by moving the Wii Remote to either side of the screen--she'll turn around quickly, and that speed is intensified at the higher difficulty levels. As before, Samus will still be able to transform into the morph ball, this time with the C button, and this form will allow her to access, in a pinball like fashion, areas of the levels she might otherwise not be able to get to. Funny how most of the levels in a Metroid game--be they enemy bases or space pirates' ships--seem uncannily tailor-made for a hero who can roll into a ball, isn't it? You'd think the enemy-ship designers would mix in a triangular or square corridor here and there.
While basic movement and shooting doesn't take too long to get used to in the game, using all of Samus' different powers might prove to be a challenge. She's loaded in Corruption, as always, and in addition to her standard short and long-burst arm cannon, you'll be able to outfit her with missiles and even a brand-new energy-grappling hook that will come in especially handy throughout the game. To use the grappling hook, you simply whip the Nunchuk forward and then backward, and Samus will unleash her hook and you'll be able to do things like lift debris out of the way or yank away the shield from an approaching enemy, giving you the opening you need to blast them to wherever it is space pirates go when they die.
Now, back to that Berserker Lord fight. It's worth noting that this particular monster, in true Metroid fashion, is one tough cookie--his armor plating means that most of Samus' shots bounce off him like raindrops. He's probably 20 feet tall and he's got enough horns and spikes to mean real bad news if you get too close. Not that he's that much of a party at distance, either, thanks to his ability to shoot a nasty blue beam, or emit a stream of blue, acidic liquid from his face. After taking a few potshots at him, it wasn't long before we noticed a few purple glowing spots underneath his armpits, which we proceeded to blast with extreme prejudice. After taking those down, the Berserker Lord began to shoot huge circular blasts of white electricity at us--the first time we took him on, those blasts were enough to bring us down.
After a few practice runs dying at the hands of the Berserker Lord, the pattern of his attacks became clear--jump over the blue beam attacks, dodge the blue acid spews, blast him in the armpits. Then, when we shot the big blasts of electricity down, we noted that it opened up an exposed area of crystal on his back which we could then unload on with everything in Samus' arsenal. A few well-timed missiles and concentrated energy blasts later, and it was bye-bye Berserker Lord.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption looks like an intense and challenging game, one that isn't skimping when it comes to making the most of the Wii's various control possibilities. The game is due for release later this summer, and we'll bring you a full review once it's on store shelves.