What is Dark Samus planning? Is she out to destroy? With new controls, you'll wonder how you played otherwise!
Norion is the Galactic Federation base on the fringe of their space. Terraforming projects have turned an inhospitable planet into a luscious forest planet. This is where you first make your journey, as you have to activate power generators to stop an unknown meteor.
Bryyo is more of a primitive planet. Most of the inhabitants are dead, with only few warriors remaining. Exactly what happened, you'll have to read the various Lore data you find. 96% of the planet is inhospitable due to the meteor, or Leviathan Seed, striking the planet and pitting half in eternal sun, and the other in an eternal darkness. Only the remaining 4% have any reasonable resources to live on. This planet is some forest, and some desert. It's also filled with a substance called fuel gel, much like lava from Magmoor Caverns of the first game.
Elysia pits you in the skies above the planet. A good comparison would be that of Planet Venus. Minus the scorching temperatures. Elysia is a serene planet with a beautiful atmosphere to look at. You land in Skytown, where a mechanoid race resides. Below Skytown are the storm clouds of the planet, continuously raging and never-ending.
Now for gameplay. Metroid Prime 3, being that it is a Wii game, has new controls for you to play with. Honestly, I find these controls more natural than the GameCube controller. You will quickly learn to enjoy the new style of play and wonder how you can live without it. Thankfully, Retro Studios updated the last two games, Metroid Prime and 2, with Wii control-style and released it as a trilogy pack.
Graphics, again, don't look much different than that of the first two. They still look stunning to look at. This time, however, many new monsters are here, very little of the old monsters make a come-back. Shriekbats are of the few monsters you'll see making a return. You will have completely new bosses to destroy, each requiring new strategies. The Space Pirate models also got a new look. Honestly, I think they're more ugly than the last two. Maybe that's what they were trying to go for? Who knows.
Music... Man did this get a humongous boost compared to Metroid Prime 3. You will recognize at least 3-5 tracks, hopefully, from the first game. A couple have been reused (or remixed) into the third soundtrack. Much of the music now is stunning. Many places give you a calming feeling, others distinguish the land and environment, some you can just fall asleep to. Some other areas give you an eerie feeling that something is bound to pop out in front of you. Just another amazing soundtrack from Retro Studios. Awesome job!
Now to add a new mechanic to gameplay. Your HUD got some updates as well. You will notice on the top with 4 lights, blue, yellow, or red. This depends on the battery level of your wiimote. If it gets low, you'll notice it at the top above your energy bar. You also have a new visor along with the Combat and Scan visors, the Command Visor. This allows you to control your ship at specific points in the game, such as landing pads at specific sites, or bombing runs to destroy shield generators, or hulling large objects with the ship grapple beam. New puzzles await you with this new ability.
The X-Ray visor makes a return, but got some updates. The visor does the same thing as the previous Dark Visor does, giving it a sort of thermal imaging and allowing you to see through certain objects. There is a little known trait that certain enemies have a weak point. I've only found this on 2 monsters, the Pirate Commandos and the Metroid Hatcher. If you flip on the X-Ray Visor, you'll notice that when you target, it'll zoom in on the weak point. Shoot this spot and they will instantly die. Neat thing to keep in mind when you acquire this upgrade.
This time around, you only have one beam you can ever use. Retro Studios put in a stacking upgrade system, much like the old Metroid games. You only acquire two beam upgrades, however, the Plasma Beam and the Nova Beam. But, they retain the traits of the previous beams, so you can rapid fire Plasma shots, while burning enemies as well. The Nova Beam has similar traits to that of the Annihilator Beam from the second game. Except, the nova beam is a high-frequency beam able to travel through certain walls such as phazite and hitting weak points of certain enemies.
Unlike the last two games, this one is longer than the previous two. There's also some significant voice acting. Let me start off that I'm not too fond of the voice acting. Though some of the actors do fit their characters, but they're not the best. Samus doesn't get an actor at all throughout the entire game, so she remains silent much like any other Metroid game. I believe the one voice you will probably be annoyed with is AU 213, as it'll be contacting you frequently throughout your journey.
With that all said and done, Metroid Prime 3 is a truly amazing game. The soundtrack is amazing to listen to, especially the Elysia environment. Boss battles can be annoying, but they're fun to some degree. There isn't much backtracking, I haven't found any serious bugs that could ruin the game, new places to go to, few old enemies return, completely new environments to explore. Retro Studios did a stunning job, and would be a fine piece of gaming to add to your collection. Or, if you haven't played the first two, pick up the Metroid Prime Trilogy and you get 3 games in 1. A truly amazing game to end the trilogy, and hopefully they'll do more things in later games.