Metroid: Other M
Review by EliteChozo
"Can I have something Other than M?"
Metroid has always been one of many triple A titles from Nintendo and one franchise we could always depend on. A different take on with a series known for it's epic 2-D adventure to a mysterious, yet skeptical 3-D world is pretty scary. Why? Because you never know what's going to happen with it whether your going to like it or not. Retro Studios took the franchise (after a disappointing absence from the N64 era), and proved that not only is Metroid great from a first person perspective, but that Retro Studios could provide an experience like no other. Now Team Ninja steps up to the plate (known for the popular Ninja Gaiden series) to take on a task no one has performed before: a 2.5-D Metroid game. With the same skepticism Metroid Prime received, Other M had some major hype behind it from the "intense and epic" game play videos provided from E3 2009 and 2010. Did it live up to the hype it got and does it live up to it's predecessor's? If you hoped yes, you were oh-so wrong.
Metroid Other M starts off a little after the events of Super Metroid on the Super Nintendo. After being recovered from the events on Zebes, and defeating the Space Pirates for good, Samus gets a distress signal from the BOTTLE SHIP. BOTTLE SHIP is a decommissioned facility where scientists from the Galactic Federation could study life forms and research their behaviors in particular environments. The distress signal read Baby's Cry. As she gets to the BOTTLE SHIP she meets up with her old friends from the Galactic Federation. Adam Malkovich is one of the friends she reunited with. Adam was her former general back at the Federation before Samus became an independent bounty hunter. Anthony Higgs is one of Samus's closest friends. He's always been nice to her throughout their time together and was the only one who would ever call her "princess".
As the game progresses the story really doesn't pick up and doesn't really make you think "I wonder what's going to happen next?" and provides an adrenaline rushing experience. Many major events happen in this game and will either make your jaw drop or it will go right over your head. The movie clips and the overall storyline of this game are to brag about. Mediocre is the first word to mind.
One thing you will notice before you get anywhere in this game is that you can only hold the Wii remote sideways. Being limited to what could have been done, after a few hours you will get used to the difference. The game play is really different from it's predecessor's. It's not first person shooting nor 2-D side scrolling instead it's a free roaming adventure similar to Mario or Zelda. Auto lock-on is implanted to allow you to blast your foes without having to press a button. Though this can be clunky at times especially if your looking into killing a specific enemy. Pressing the D-pad in the opposite direction of an enemy attack will allow you to dodge. Shooting missiles can't be performed by pressing a button when attacking in real time any more, instead to shoot a missile this time around, you will have to point the Wii remote at the screen and go into a first person mode (a la Metroid Prime). In this mode, intentionally is very clunky especially if your fighting a boss or your trying to save up time to quickly take down an enemy. Physically pointing the remote at the screen is a tad much especially when being attacked. To move your arm to shoot accurately, you need to press the B button and hold it to maneuver and lock-on. To fire a missile press and hold the B button because it is the only way to shoot it. Certain scenes throughout the game require you to find a specific detail in an open environment. This can get very annoying, for example: trying to figure out you need to locate some green blood that's on the ground when no one gives you any indication of what your looking for and where, can drive anyone mad. Scanning environments/enemies/bosses has been taken out which was disappointing on my part and also not very helpful for us gamers. Also the bosses (besides Ridley and a little someone else at the very end that fans will find amazing to say the least), are lacking. This is very disappointing and leaves me with a different kind of feeling in my stomach. Creature variety is lacking as well, and the holographic environments are just a big middle finger to your face. Morph ball controls are still meh, to me as many others (it's also not used too much throughout the game which goes one of two ways more than likely). Another thing I'd like to address is the fact you can't skip movie clips even if you have seen them before you died. This can get very annoying sometimes.
Wall jumping has never been so easy to perform. As in Super Metroid I had many problems with it. Once you get a grip of the controls the fast paced game play is fun. When enemies fall to their knees you can perform a melee attack which differs depending on the creature. Certain rooms throughout the game force you to go into a slow paced, Resident Evil 4 type of game play style as you walk through different environments leading to an event. when this happens you know something is up. Enemies do not drop missiles or health at all. Running low on either of these can be solved by pointing the Wii remote up and pressing the A button and holding it.
Not being able to use your weapons throughout the game is a ridiculous approach. Adam orders Samus to use her certain weapons when he tells her to. Throughout the game Adam will tell you to use whatever weapon that is necessary to use at that time rather than finding the weapons or even using them at free will which in my opinion doesn't make any sense. In Sector 3 (the lava area) Adam didn't tell me to use my Varia suit until I was near death and in a safe room. I was furious. I questioned myself and went on with the game ignoring that small little feat. Unlike all of it's predecessor's, in Other M getting 100% is very easy. Let me tell you now that if you go through the game and beat it just once, you can go back and they'll show you how to get every expansion/energy tank you missed. There is an alternate ending too, and after getting 100% you will unlock hard mode. Hard mode will.... well lets not spoil too much more shall we?
The graphics are absolutely amazing. The environments all look so detailed but in some areas look bland. It also lacks atmosphere. Something most Metroid games have that help you engross into the experience. The character design is very well done along with the explosions, blood, etc. The cinemas are very good too. Samus and the environments shown in these movies are gorgeous to say the least. I'd watch a movie in those cinema graphics without a doubt. CGI programming aloud this to be possible. Voice acting in Other M resembles the same quality found in Metroid Prime 3 Corruption: very well done. Everyone throughout the game has a lot of emotion in their acting. Congrats. Sounds effects sound just like any Metroid game should, creepy, disgusting, and funny. Though the music throughout the game is very lacking. Nothing from the score really stood out like in the other Metroid games. I was really disappointing by this.
If this is your first Metroid game your going to be set back around 13-15 hours. Otherwise your looking at a little over 10 hours of game play here. Unlocking hard mode is an option for you to go and play through the game in a ridiculous difficulty curve. Coming back to this game (unless you really liked it and it impressed you) is very unlikely.
Metroid Other M has failed to impress and to fulfill it's hype. The game play is very awkward at times (especially for beginners), and turning the Wii remote to do whatever that is needed can be very annoying at times. Other than the CGI movie clips and the voice acting, nothing in this game really impresses me above an average opinion. If someone owned a Wii this is one of the only Nintendo made games that I'd never recommend and the overall experience is diminished especially when compared to it's predecessors.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 09/13/10, Updated 12/03/10
Game Release: Metroid: Other M (US, 08/31/10)
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