Metroid Prime 3
I have played all of the Metroid games released for the consoles I own (the versions for the portable game systems are the only ones I have never played). I love the Metroid universe, and although it's as repetitive as any Mario game, I keep coming back for more. I have, unfortunately, never beaten a single one. In the last two installments of the franchise (Metroid Prime, and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes), I have been unable to beat the last boss, despite repeated attempts.
When we got our Nintendo Wii, I was super excited to buy Metroid. The idea of controlling Samus Aran using the new Wii controls, as well as getting to explore new environments, had be really looking forward to the game. I was extremely disappointed to learn that it wouldn't be available for several more months.
In the interim, we purchased Wii Play, Zelda, Wario Ware, and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. All but the last have been a lot of fun to play. Carina really enjoyed playing Zelda, and the twins really enjoyed watching her play. A few weeks ago I received a copy of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon from my wishlist. That's a surprisingly fun game, and offers a lot of variety: in addition to the standard arcade fighter, there's Motor Kombat, an MK-themed racing game; and Konquest, a story-based game set in the MK realms. Konquest was a great blend of puzzle solving and fighting. Making your way through the story, you end up fighting a majority of the main characters from the arcade game. It's not terribly difficult, and makes for a fun diversion. It only took me a few days of casual play to finally beat it.
While chatting on IRC this weekend, I learned from shep that Metroid had finally been released. I bought it on Sunday, but didn't get a chance to play it until today. Thank goodness today was a holiday! I spent about eleven hours playing it today, and I can't wait to play more. The game is, in a word, fantastic.
The controls using the Wiimote and the nunchuck are wonderful, and much more comfortable than the old GameCube controller. The ways in which you interact with the environment are terrific. Opening locks, priming pumps, ripping off enemy armor all requires very tactile interaction. I love the fact that you can now jump while in morphball without having to first lay a bomb. It's also a very nice bonus to be able to interact with Samus' ship while inside of it, as well as to be able to call upon the ship's autopilot functionality to perform a bombing run! The music and ambient sounds are phenomenal, as always. There's an early fight with Meta Ridley This game fits perfectly in the mold of all the previous Metroid games: fight the Space Pirates, run around exploring, unlock doors, fight indigenous monsters, collect power ups, etc etc. The unique aspects of this iteration of Metroid are fun, so far. The story is interesting, and the addition of some new named characters is a nice treat. I'm still exploring Elysia, the second world, so it's not like I've made tremendous progress today. That's okay with me: what I've always liked most about Metroid games is the sense of exploration and discovery.