Can you hear it? That muffled, almost strained noise at the edge of your perception? It's the sound of excuses being silenced; the voices of every external developer who's ever made a Wii game being gagged as they struggle to tell you that many of their games looked like PS2 titles because the Wii is 'last-generation technology'. There's just no excuse for such talk any more, no leeway for anyone to actually believe that we're stuck forever with visually unimpressive titles on our shiny white console. And why? Because Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is finally here and damn, does it look good.
She Shoots, She Scores
Before you say it though, we know that looks aren't everything - but, having sat here moaning about how many titles are clearly just PS2 games with Wii controls since the console's launch, humour us a little while we enjoy this moment. We've been waiting for it for nigh-on nine months. Heck, even Zelda: Twilight Princess in all its GameCube-upgrade glory didn't look this great, and that looked lovely.
It's a controversial stance to be sure, but we're of the opinion that Corruption is the game that the Wii needed at launch - the one that said to everyone "Look at what I can do!" and stopped all the rubbish sub-PS2 Wii titles of this world from even existing. Would it have stopped them? Probably not; there are too many publishers out there trying to make a quick buck off the Wii's success. But still, the Wii finally has the ammunition to shake off that attitude. We always knew it could do so much more, and now there's finally a game that proves it.
And if there's one other thing that Corruption proves so incredibly well, it's that first-person shooters actually work on the Wii. Yes, we're aware that should go without saying but so far, nothing's actually proven it. Between Red Steel's love 'em or hate 'em controls, Call Of Duty 3's good-but-not-great effort and Medal Of Honor: Vanguard's general rubbishness, the FPS genre has been badly represented on the Wii and no mistake. Not now though. With some of the most spot-on and tightly honed controls we've seen so far (and we say that honestly, without wanting to sound biased), Corruption's smooth handling and pinpoint accuracy just feels... right.
That's not to say that more casual Wii players haven't been accounted for - the more simplistic controls from the last two Metroid Prime games are also offered, if you want them - but undoubtedly, Corruption isn't for them. Corruption is a gamer's game. Moreover, it's the game that those of us who've been loyal to Nintendo since the very beginning have been waiting for. Sure, we can appreciate how the Wii has brought more people into the gaming fold but for some of us, there's only so much brain exercising, casual sport and general mini-game action you can take before you crave something more filling. While Wii Sports, WarioWare: Smooth Moves and Big Brain Academy are the casual hors d'oeuvre then, Corruption is the gaming equivalent of a 24oz sirloin steak; rich, tasty and dripping with fatty goodness.
Easy Does It?
Retro Studios hasn't overdone it on the hardcore side though. Corruption is certainly more of a proper game than most other Wii titles, but it's still more accessible than previous Prime titles. Part of this has to do with the controls which, as we've said, are incredibly intuitive - bump them up to Advanced and you'll soon be sprinting down corridors, whirling round to blast
a Space Pirate full in the face and then double-jumping over the one behind him
to deliver a missile to the back in no time.