Tuesday, January 29, 2008

First Impression: Metroid Prime 3

Yes, I am always behind the curve, even for me. I picked this game up at Christmas and just got around to starting it. Still, I've only put about 2 or 3 hours into the game, and I already have quite a bit to say about it.

I'll start with the good. People who praised this game's control scheme were speaking profound truths. I love the mouse and keyboard, but the wiimote pulls a very close second when it comes to controllers for first-person shooters. I've played Halo 3, and I spent every moment wishing I had a mouse. I don't feel that at all when I play Metroid Prime 3, and that is very noticeable.

Of course, the scheme is only about 95% awesome sauce. There are a few things that could have been done better. The "scanning visor" mode is clunky and awkward, especially when you're trying to identify the thing that is currently shooting you in the face. It's not terrible, but it could have been better.

Okay, now the bad. The game plays exactly like a first-person Legend of Zelda with lasers instead of swords. This is not a good thing. Each area is designed the same way Zelda dungeons are, except that you have absolutely no rhyme or reason as to the actual design of the place you're in. Why would all of these people have door locks that can only be opened by bombs and can only be reached by going through small tunnels? Yeesh.

I don't know the story of the series overall, as I never played any of the earlier entries, but the writing so far is about on par with Twilight Princess. The story, in whatever sense it's there, is simply whatever shuttles you along to the next dungeon. When you're in a "dungeon," suit upgrades are located exactly where you need them, again in spite of rhyme or reason.

Here, however, is the worst party that I've seen so far. At some point early in the game, you get knocked out during a firefight. You wake up one month later. Normally a month long coma would be a big deal. So what happens? You wake up still in your power suit, except some technicians tells you that they've been experimenting on you for the last month and hey! Check out your snazzy new powers! All right, back to work with you!

Um, so did they at least take you out of the suit to treat your wounds? Or did they just leave you in there while doing their experiments? It's both a terrible plot hole and extremely creepy to boot. Nintendo, what were you thinking?

So, only a few hours in and my overall thoughts? Fun to play, as long as you're not thinking terribly hard about it.

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