Review by MithosderHeld
"Other M review from a TRUE metroid fan."
Other M review from a TRUE metroid fan.
Other M has been placed in a shadow of doubt almost similar to the doubt that was cast over Retro Studios when it was announce Metroid would be portrayed in a 3D First Person Shooter styled adventure back when the first Metroid Prime's information was publicly released. While Retro at the time was a nobody, Team Ninja on the other hand, has had a portfolio of several games under their belt before and after management changes. Whether or not you liked the Dead or Alive or Ninja Gaiden reboots, this cannot cloud one's judgement of Other M based on this fact alone. To me Other M is never going to best Metroid Prime or Super Metroid, but it's still a GOOD game. A very, very GOOD game...
Gameplay/Controls: (8) One of the first things when you pop in the game is that you are told to remove all attachments from your wiimote and hold it in a horizontal fashion reminiscent of the old blocky Nintendo controller of yester year. This felt like at home. It does take a little adjustment to get the finer movements down as perspective and curved and slightly change how Samus moves, it still works great. From this mode you can dodge - very vital in this game, shoot with an auto aim assist - never gave me trouble, and of course do all the jumping and morph balling we've become accustomed to. At other times, you spin the wiimote around and use it as a pointer, which brings up a first person view very much akin to Metroid Prime. In this you can first your beam, lock on missiles, uncover objects, and scan objects. Only down fall is your are planted in the ground. At first it can be frustrating, but within only 30 minutes, popping off some shots them quickly switching back out to then dodge becomes almost second nature and never really becomes an issue again. Major tip: Sit in a chair directly in like with your sensor bar. This way you can quickly switch views and always remain centered. Makes it immensely easier to acquire targets and get the deed done so you can get back to dodging. Gets an 8 only because of the initial annoyances in the beginning and sometimes wonky locking on.
Graphics: (9) The Wii is weakling compared to the graphic power of an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, but this game sports some of the nicest graphics on the Wii. Much of effects are improvements upon Metroid Prime: Corruption. Nice use of things such as reflection, spectral lighting, and so on. Effects from things like weapons look great too. Environmentally the game has ups and downs. The Brinstar-esque area looks great, vines and plant life all over with lots of color. A pleasant departure from the bland browns of most modern games. On the opposite end of the scale is an area not unlike Phendrana Drifts in Metroid Prime. It's a dark arctic world which everything is shrouded in snow. Things such as wind blown snow and some particle effects add a nice touch, but like in almost any game arctic areas are usually bland and devoid of much color. There is some nice layouts for the maps and which add some good architectural details but there are some unnecessarily long corridors which become bland over time. Cinematics are FMV video and they look amazing. Well crafted details on everything. Character expressions are well made and give a good visual backup to what the scene is about. Not much else to say on that except that the video quality isn't that bad at all doesn't really show signs of artificating.
Sound: (7) First the music and sound effects are quite top notch. Some themes were remixed and if you know any of the music at all you'll catch on really quick. My only major gripe is some theme's are missing, most notably for me is the item acquisition theme. As for the sounds they are very much like any of the Prime series. Play one of those, and you get the same feel. Now for the most controversial part, voice acting. I have to say it's a mixed bag, but overall a good one. Right off the bat, Adam... best voice actor of the game. Normally calm and collected only Samus seems to bring out his emotions, which are relayed perfectly. The Marines are also pretty decently voice, no academy award winners, but not terrible ones like in the old PlayStation 1 era days. And of course the most controversial part of the controversy is Samus having a voice. All in all the voice actress did a commendable job. Some moments of excessive monotone issues that can maybe cause a cringe or two, but nearly as bad as some games, even recent ones. (i.e. Arc Rise Fantasia). But when Samus's emotions kick in the actress really got into the character so at least when it counts the voice acting was very good. Needless to say the missing pieces of music and moments of voice blandness does knock it down.
Story: (9) Read the Manga! This is a canonical part of the story. Without it, you are going to whine and complain on moments when Samus shows her "femininity" as it were. I won't spoil but there are moments when the emotionless (though not nearly as completely as people like to perceive) bounty hunter shows true distress and is even terrified. With that set aside, you are sent on another distress call but meet up with a bunch of Federation Marines who are commanded by General Adam Malkovich. He runs the show. You can't use weapons without his permission and can't move on without him telling you so. This is a little lame and the only downside to the story. Normally you lose or start with no weapons, in Other M you have them all and you can't use them unless Adam says you can't (Even Samus thinks this is a dumb idea as you learn later in the game when she takes it upon herself to activate a weapon or two.) This I do see as a major Achilles' heel for hardcore sequence breaks as this really makes it a very linear game. But other than that the presentation of the story is great. The overall mission and twists are well implemented and towards the end really suck you in wondering what's the true intention of Galactic Federation is. I will say the story is slow in the beginning by only showing snippets but once you learn of the "deleter" the story picks up and paranoia begins. This is by far the most involved story of the series, there are some heart wrenching moments, and is not a let down in the least... as long as you have read the Manga and played Metroid Fusion.
Replayability: (6) This the lowest number on the list mostly due to the fact the first part of the game is absolutely linear. If there are videos of sequence breaking without tools I will be amazed. After the "first ending" you return to the ship and have basically free reign to find all the missing items you had before fighting the final boss and in true metroid fashion, getting the heck out of there before the base explodes. Finding the items is good fun, but once you've done that there isn't much to do. You do get a hard mode if you get 100% which forces you to play with just your original energy tank and 10 missiles and no upgrades, but still the same linear path. It's very much like Metroid Fusion including the Navigation Rooms. So once you beat hard mode, I don't really see you coming back for more.
Overall Metroid: Other M is a grand game. Some bad decisions were made, but overall mostly good ones. I bought the original Metroid day one for my NES and have considered the series to have never had a single bad game (even Metroid Pinball) and to me it still is. Other M is subject to much backlashing but these people aren't true fans to the series, just narrow-minded people who can accept a gaming for taking a new direction. It's far from perfect, but is far from bad. It's just a good game. A very good game.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/09/10
Game Release: Metroid: Other M (US, 08/31/10)
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