It’s nice that Metroid Prime 3: Corruption doesn’t make my hands cramp up like previous installments in the series did. And the maps are still big, winding mazes that take me back to the good ol’ days of getting completely lost and mildly airsick while playing Descent, just with less of the sickness and more of the fun exploration. Still, though, something about MP3 just feels kind of… lacking.

I don’t think the problem is the addition of cutscenes and radio chatter, although they do take away from the experience a bit. Previous MP titles were always gamers’ games — not in the sense of being über-hardcore or anything, but in the way that they simply tossed you into a space and said “just go play.” Story was something you could look for and collect if you were into that sort of thing (i.e., yet another gameplay element), but it was hardly the focus of the thing. The story in MP3 isn’t particularly compelling (space pirates are mean, and phazon is bad for you), and it makes the game feel a little more conventional, a little less unique.

The controls are for the most part pretty good, although if there was any doubt that the pointer/sensor combination was the weakest element in the Wii’s palette of controls, that doubt has been thoroughly erased. There’s only so many times you can wave your hands around in the middle of a fight, trying to figure out where your pointer went off the grid, before you start to get really sick of the whole thing. Still, moving around takes very little effort to get used to, and some of the tricks like grappling feel quite good.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just not in the right mood to go zapping door after door to get to the next savepoint. Or maybe there are just too many great games out right now for me to be psyched about playing something that’s not great, just good.