The worst thing that can be said about Corruption is that you won't feel the urge to finish the game.

User Rating: 4.5 | Metroid Prime 3: Corruption WII
Metroid has always been known for it's spooky atmosphere and the emphasis on exploration and gargantuan boss fights rather than twitch blasting. Corruption tries to change that. No longer do you have a maze-like game world that you have to keep track of but instead have smaller planets to explore. The big mistake about all of this is that those smaller planets don't have the same, inter-connected level design of the original Prime. While Echoes at least had the game's various worlds connected to the main overworld, Corruption doesn't even do that. You can get to your gunship at any time you like and travel to any planet or any general location that you like. What's even more baffling is that some planets are split up into even smaller segments, but they again are not interconnected in any way, you simply fly to it by selecting it from your ship's menu.

Well, with the signature Metroid exploration out the window things already aren't looking that great for Corruption. But with the Wii's controls the action does feel a bit more fluid. It's a lot easier to simply aim the remote on the screen rather than to hold down a trigger to be able to aim, use one stick to aim and press the weapon button to shoot. Despite being far simpler to use, the controls don't feel intuitive and the experience has been considerably dumbed-down because of it. The minus button has all of your visors on it, and you simply press it and quickly select a visor. With that in mind, one would assume that the plus button would have all of your various beams for you to select on the fly for various scenarios, but that simply isn't the case. All weapon upgrades will simply take over the previous weapon you had rather than allowing you to mix it up and to use various tactics on various enemies or to solve different puzzles. The plus button allows for you to enter hyper-mode and kill just about anything really fast. Meanwhile, the visors in the game too have lost much of their meaning since one of them is meant to call in your ship to land, the other's the standard combat visor and the third is the scan visor. Basically you won't be switching between visors to see different types of enemies/boss modes, nor will you be switching beams to fight different enemies or the various stages they take on.

However, don't think you'll be treated to a sublime Halo-like experience with the focus going towards shooting. The enemies in Corruption have horrible AI and too much health. So expect to have the enemies in the game standing around and shooting at you while you constantly blast away at them until they die. The boss battles on the other hand fare a bit better, but they are easily the least imaginative of all of the Prime games and are all fairly similar. You tend to end up in an arena; the boss stands in the center and attacks you while you do your best to survive. The fail to make an impact on you, they often lack the massive sense of scale that should be expected from a Metroid boss battle and almost all of them are found in arenas that look exactly alike.

Your objective in the game and its various worlds isn't even to explore. You end up in different areas and your goal is to destroy a Phazon seed in order to reach the boss of that area. That would have been fine if it were used for one level, but as it stands, repeating again and again for every level becomes boring very quickly.

All of this planet hopping and creature blasting is surrounded by some hokey story about Phazon. The first two Prime games told their stories through their environments and the lore of left behind by various deceased creatures, whether they were Chozo, Space Pirates or Luminoth. It all built up very nicely and the effects on the gameworld helped explain the story, particularly in the first game. Corruption meanwhile tries to tell the story rather than show it. You start out the game in an almost Halo: Combat Evolved like intro by entering the Federation ship, being briefed by some captain or some soldier, and meeting three other bounty hunters. Then the ship is under attack. Except, Metroid and Halo are two very distinctly different sci-fi experiences and Corruption's opening lack the bombast of Halo's, it lacks the mystery, the suspense, the intensity and the drama. It ultimately is one giant sci-fi cliché. But the other bounty hunters you meet really take the cake. They would be laughable if they didn't look so ridiculous. They're in the game for about one hour, constantly talking in their grating voices. It all represents a benchmark low-point for the entire Metroid franchise, whether it's 2D or 3D, and to see the team at Retro Studios do this and for Nintendo to allow it to happen at all to one of their most significant game series is a travesty.

Once the unoriginal intro comes to an end you'll start flying off to various planets, though you can't choose which to start with. They may all be very different from one another, but there really was no point in having the levels spread across multiple planets rather than one world. The previous two Prime games managed to carry the entire game on one single planet and still make every single area startling different from the previous area, but they led into one another almost seamlessly. The multiple planets almost makes it seem as if the team at Retro didn't feel like having the levels interconnect in a visually exciting way that would also open up gameplay possibilities and brings about an experience that feels lazier.

But visually they do start to redeem the game. They never reach the highs of the original Metroid Prime nor do they have the originality of Echoes, but they do start to show a bit of the atmosphere that Metroid is so well known for. But they never go beyond the hints of glory. The fire world in the game is so basic and small, the steampunk city in the sky lacks the depth of the cybernetic world found in Echoes and Corruption's small ice-world with a remixed version of the song that plays during the original's Phendrana Drifts is like a white flag of defeat as if the developers admit to being unable to craft a level as significant as the first. Stylistically, they show signs of greatness, but they lack the substance to be truly great. Each world has it's own backstories left behind but having various small backstories rather than one truly meaningful one really is a disservice. Metroid Prime may have gone from being the cutting-edge of gaming to being the cutting-edge of the Wii's weak hardware, but that's no excuse for the mess Retro has offered. The worlds may be nice to look at, but they aren't any fun to explore.

The sound effects in the game are just too weak. The enemies don't sound intimidating at all, the weapons don't sound like they do any damage, the ambience of the world's is still present, but it hasn't been improved at all from 2002. The voice-acting works when AI are speaking to you since it all sounds tolerable, but hearing the other three bounty hunters speak or any Federation soldier just isn't worth it at all. The music is a mixed bag as well. On the one hand, you feel like it definitely adds to the game's atmosphere in a sense, but it also gets in the way. All of the chanting in the songs seems unnatural. The first two games kept up fantastic music, though, again, the original's was the best, but Corruption's music gives the impression that it wants to be this epic quest to save the universe, but not only does it fail at that it also fails to recognize that that's not what Metroid has been about, so much as it's been about the exploration of the unknown. There's no mystery behind the music, it just wants to pump you up, but the action isn't worth getting pumped up about.

Admittedly though, the worst thing that can be said about Corruption is that you won't feel the urge to finish the game. You'll get halfway through and you'll have seen everything that there is to see. Nothing will surprise you, nothing will wow you and the simple fact of the matter is that a series that was once held in such high regard, competing head to head with Halo, Grand Theft Auto and Metal Gear Solid is now far from worth playing. Metroid Prime 3 Corruption is a worse game than the previous Metroid games, whether they are 2D or 3D. This isn't nostalgia speaking either because the changes made in Corruption are changes for the worse. The mechanics may work well, with smooth controls, but when those controls aren't intuitive and when the rest of the game simply doesn't hold up, there's no point to it all. Metroid Prime 3 Corruption is a failure, it isn't broken, in fact, it's a solid adventure when held on it's own, but when compared to its predecessors it is unworthy of being called a Metroid game. Corruption won't satisfy Metroid fans; instead it will make them ask questions as they hold the relevancy of this proud series as well as Retro Studios in scrutiny, and rightfully so.