The battle of the titans has already been initiated; gamers are already stoked for two very, very important titles for the Wii and the Xbox 360. Only, the Wii60 is no longer going to be fighting on the same side, but rather, against each other. Gamers are going to have to make an executive decision between Metroid Prime 3 and Halo 3.
Interestingly enough, both games are key instruments for stabilizing our perception of both the Wii and Xbox 360's core capabilities. They'll key-note what the next-generation of gaming is supposed to be like from here on out, and what the competition will use as a measuring stick for success and achievement in interactive entertainment. So how do they measure up? And which one seems more worthy of your hard-earned dollars? Keep reading and find out.
Now the release dates for both games are neither entirely set in stone nor entirely floating rogues. But Halo 3 is definitely planned to make a late 2007 appearance, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has two very venerable release dates, which is either set for this summer or, the very risky but plausible release in the fall, alongside Halo 3. It’s easy to throw out the latter assumption because a lot of people would be convinced to believe that MP3C wouldn’t stand a chance against Halo 3. But then again, no one thought the Wii would stand a chance against the PS3. And, let’s not forget that the Wii had a much better (and continued) selling rate for its launch, as opposed to that of the Xbox 360. But enough dittle-dattle, let’s get right down to it.
$100 Legendary Edition of Halo 3 has already made to the top of the pre-order charts at GameStop. So obviously gamers aren’t afraid of dishing out the green-goods for H3, despite knowing very little about it. Metroid Prime 3, however, already has gamers wishing they could pre-order it–even though the retail price is still questionable. What could actually work in Metroid’s favor, is the price, though. If the game was released during the summer (even at $59.99) and had a $10 price drop during the release of Halo 3, a lot of gamers would be hard pressed to choose between the two titans. Nintendo’s market strategy for using price as an ace up their sleeve could really give them the leverage they need against Halo. And let’s face it, H3 isn’t going to drop below the $60 mark for the next three years, after its release.
A Mongoose versus a rolling ball, and the Spartan laser versus using the Wii-mote to aim like a mouse and keyboard. H’m, comparisons, comparisons. I hate to say it, but Metroid Prime 3 has a lot of innovation coming right off the boat. Why? Well, first off it has the Wii-mote and Nunchuk setup. If that's not original I don't know what is. Next, the gameplay itself has great utilization for the new Wii-mote schematic; opening doors using various motion-sensored movements, grappling to walls and other objects, and even the basic shooting mechanics are peaked on ushering in a new way to engage in FPS games. Halo 3, alternatively, has the Mongoose, has the Spartan laser, has the new Brute weapons, and...well...it’s Halo. I think more than ever Bungie is pulling the “Halo” card to promote the final outing in the trilogy. The biggest problem is that while Halo 3 is hot property, it’s not very innovative property. We’re not looking at a vast assortment of customizable vehicles or characters, and the weapon selection is sparse in comparison to other military games on the market. However, being that this article is specifically a comparison between H3 and MP3C, one must admit that Master Chief’s weapon selection in Halo 3 does look more inviting than his female antagonist, Samus. Dual-wielding the Brute pistols, or quickly dumping the Covenant auto-rifle for two, revamped needlers already has my fingers itching for some space-age shooting. And there are at least more operable vehicles in Halo, than a simple rolling ball found in Metroid Prime. Still, it’s a tough call. But Halo 3 seems to pull through with a few more generic gameplay features than Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
Why is this here if Metroid doesn’t have multiplayer? Says who? It hasn’t been confirmed, entirely, or denied, entirely. This is what could be the deciding factor for Metroid’s success or bust against the man in the green armor. We already know what the prime strengths of Halo 3's multiplayer are going to be, and at the same time that also proves to be its weakness. Simply, Bungie feels that 16 players are a good enough standard for online play for Halo 3. But if that’s also going to be the limit for Metroid Prime 3, then Halo won’t have much of a one-up over it’s supposedly “inferior” console rival. What would be more shocking, is if the Wii featured 24-player support for Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Bungie’s parochial features for Halo 3 would make it a laughing stock. Even now, the idea of H3 being the final outing on the Xbox 360 and only supporting 16 players really limits the game’s scope as a real next-gen title. Not to stray on a tangent, but Huxley is boasting 100vs100 PVP arenas, and Citizen Zero will be able to hold 2000 players in one area, with ease. Both games will be on the Xbox 360, so space, power, or availability is certainly not an issue. You can make all the excuses you want, but if you don’t want to play with more than 15 other people, then set the limit on the room. But for gamers looking to experience next-gen multiplayer action, it certainly isn’t happening with only 16 players.
Overall, both games have a lot going for them. And while Halo 3 is the odds on favor because of its track record, don’t be surprised if Retro Studios swept the rug out from under Bungie’s feet. Heck, that’s exactly what happened with the Wii and PS3. So it’s not entirely impossible. Regardless, both games will launch at the suggested retail price of $59.99, and you can look for both games to appear on store shelves sometime before the fourth-quarter of 2007.