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Amethystine avatar 8:40 PM on 09.04.2007  (server time)
Yet More Thoughts on Metroid Prime 3

Some spoilers about gameplay, I guess: No story spoilers here!

No, this isn't a review. I pretty much completely agree with Tristero's 'official word'.

I do want to say, though, that while they're really good, I thought the controls weren't that perfect. Not as awesome as everyone seems to say, anyway. All the hardcore people (I think) seem to prefer the 'Advanced' controls, where there's pretty much no dead zone at all where you can move the Wiimote without moving the screen. I thought it was smooth and all, but sometimes I just want to be able to keep my video game head from drifting around if my arm or wrist gets just a bit slack. After a handful of hours of getting tired of seemingly being unable to make Samus exert her neck muscles to keep her head in place, I switched to the middle setting of 'Standard' and thought I'd try it for a bit. Then when done the game, I realized I never thought about changing back. Oh well, that's a matter of preference, I know. I'm just surprised no one else seems to think the same way about the 'Advanced' setting.

Also, I was so focused on shooting people in the face with my Wiimote, I forgot to dance around and aovoid being hit like I used to. That's just me, though.

As for the overall feel of the game.. I don't know. Maybe it was how fast I went through it, and I barely stopped to smell the roses.. or maybe it was how I had just been playing BioShock for a solid week.. or maybe it was my intense need to compare Prime 3 to the first 2 to make sure it measured up that I missed how good it was while it lasted. Or my obsession with finding everything and scanning everything in as timely a manner as possible..

Anyway, I finished it in three days, and it seemed like I might have gone too fast, but I had all but one scan and only missed 2 pickups (which I got after another hour or two anyway), so how rushed could it have been if I completed it so thoroughly?

Oh, and those battles during puzzle sequences? Or rather.. puzzles during never ending battles? If you don't see it.. if you don't realize that you need to do more than kill everyone, because they just keep coming.. well, you wind up killing space pirates for a half hour before you figure out you need to do a bunch of stuff at the same time, too. (Stuff that might reset before you're done, even!) And then you're pissed off at yourself for not realizing it.. and you just get mad at the enemies that keep bugging you while you're trying to work! I bet it'd be fine if you knew it was happening, but you're just as likely to be really mad at the game for doing that to you. That sort of thing never happened before.. at least not in a Metroid game. Not that I remember. And, what if you come into a battle with several enemies and you start thinking there's a puzzle you have to do.. but it's really just the enemies to kill? That could be crappy too. I haven't heard anyone else mention these before.

And, while the grapple flinging in battle is cool, does it have to make you stand still to do it? Doesn't that kinda defeat the purpose of this awesome control scheme that lets you free aim and strafe and everything? But then you get locked in while you rip off a shield, or tear a bot apart while 4 others blast at you while you could be shifting and shooting. Oh well! I'm sure everyone noticed how much more grapple action there was in the game, just to make the nunchuk get used more. Not a bad idea, but.. well, it starts feeling a bit too much. Why does the grapple suddenly do so very much?! Whatever.

I'm not going to say anything about how you use the right handed Wiimote to move Samus' left hand because I understand most people are right handed.. and that the Wiimote is the main component. Actually, I don't have a problem with it, I just like bringing up stuff like that, because I'm a lefty.

Enough has been said about the inclusion of talking people and other things.. the only thing I'll say about that is I didn't mind it all, I just wish they'd get off the radio. I don't mind the hints and map things telling me where to go.. but when you stop me from scanning stuff while you talk to me on the radio, I get antsy! Didn't they let you turn off the hint system in the other two? Yes it did! Oh, and WHY is the hint system comprised of a giant QUESTION mark on a room? Shouldn't it be an arrow and an Exclamation mark. A question mark makes me think.. "Ok, Samus, there's SOMETHING over there, what is it? We don't know. Go look!" Most of the time, they know and they told you what it is. I know, sometimes they really don't know, but still.

Wow, this is turning into a rant. I want to remind anyone reading that I did love the game and I love the series and I love the Wii, so I think that's why I'm being so hard on Metroid, here. I'm bashing its little faults that kept it from being perfect in my eyes. I rant because I care!

One more thing: Stacking beams is great so you don't have to switch.. but I kinda liked the transformer stylings of the presto-chango blaster arm cannon in the first 2 Primes. That, and if you knew what to use, you could toast everything pretty well. In the new one, since your beam just gets more and more powerful, so do the enemies, leveling up like in an RPG. So you wind up just button mashing away at them. Or charge shooting them. I generally wound up just multi-missiling anything tough I came across. Like Pirate Commandos. (More like Pirate Commandon'ts!) Was the free aiming system really supposed to make us overlook the lack of strategy of picking the right tool for the job?

I just don't know.. I'm certainly going to play it again. I'll be able to relax and enjoy it more, I think. I find I appreciate everything more the second time, because my brain knows what's coming and isn't constantly grabbing every new thing it's presented with and clamouring for the next bit. Also, movies seem shorter the second time because of this, I think.. anyone else notice that?

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