Review by latiosu

Reviewed: 09/09/10

This Metroid (would be) Other M

Team Ninja wanted to tell us the Story of Samus Aran in a game that would be incredibly good if it wasn't a Metroid. It's obvious that they did a great job about the Story but not a very good one in what really makes a Metroid. From the first game on the NES "Metroid" was synonymous of "Freedom" or at least apparent freedom in which even if you have to follow a previously defined path you had to discover it. Going to wherever you want and get yourself lost thousands of times made locating the next power up one of the most rewarding moments in gaming history.

Retro Studios knew it and opted for a story indirectly told to the gamer (via scanning documents) and a more “Where the hell is my Plasma Beam” approach in Metroid Prime (I, II & III). In Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion & Metroid Zero you could just forget about what you were doing and explore other rooms in other zones in order to get more of those really needed Missile Expansions, Energy Expansions or even a new power-up even before it was needed. And Metroid Prime Hunters just doesn’t deserves any mention because it’s just a multiplayer spinoff with no metroids in it at all.

Here you don’t get any power-ups, you get the permission to use them when the Story requires it. And I understand why Adam forbids me to use the Power Bomb but What’s the matter with the Varia Suit, the Gravity Suit, the Grapple Beam and the Speed Boost ? They don’t harm people in any way so why can’t him just allow me to use those from the beginning?

Other problem is substituting the enemy dropped items with the “Concentration” feature which means that you can recharge missiles and health whenever you want. Well that fact alone makes killing enemies just wasting your time so most of the game you’re just avoiding them. The Expansions aren’t as useful as they were either because when you run out of ammo/health you can just “recharge” it.

That said, let’s head to review every aspect of the game individually:
Visual Appealing: 9/10. Everything in this Metroid is about how spectacular can it become. With action scenes that look like you’re watching a movie, good music with some remixes from the old Metroid games it’s one of the most impressive games you can get on a Wii. Samus’ movements play smoothly while she gets her weapon inside some alien’s mouth and fires a fully charged beam.

Controls: 7/10. Making good controls for traditional no party games is really hard. Especially if you want to use the Wiimote without nunckaku but Team Ninja has come up with a good idea giving the two gameplay styles two different ways of controlling the game. Its only lack is the time when you’re switching controls. You can’t easily perform task that require switching them like jumping and use the grapple beam or shooting missiles in midair but once you get the ScrewAttack you forget about that.

Story: 8/10. A good story that tries and achieves to join Super Metroid with Metroid Fusion and tells us what happened in between. It answers correctly things that we asked while playing Fusion like “Who the hell is that Adam?” or “What computer are you talking about?” If you’d like to know what was Samus’ life before being a lonely bounty hunter this game will give a glimpse at it. And because Samus and the other people talk the cinematics alone are a great Metroid movie.

Duration: 6/10. This game is very short. Yes, after you finish the game you can try getting the 100% but still It is short. They even had to split some energy tanks in order to make it look longer. In 8 hours you have beaten the game without hurry at your first playtrough since there are not difficult puzzles save the “Look what’s wrong in this room and you can’t move until you discover it”. Everything else is pretty linear and easy which makes the game even shorter. If you get 100% you’ll unlock hard mode and if you complete that you’ll get just nothing so it doesn’t worth the effort. Come on Team Ninja, couldn’t they just have tossed a picture of Samus in bikini or something? You’re the ones who made Dead or Alive Paradise, you know.

Overall: 7/10. This mark would be higher if it hadn’t the name “Metroid” at the title screen. When you make a game from a very well known franchise, you have to respect not only its story but the feeling. Deleting the ability to get the power ups at your own peace, closing every single that leads you anyway far from the next target and marking and making every single save room in the game your “Next Target” and “Mandatory use or this door won’t open” may be good for a Ninja Gaiden, but in Metroid we should explore our path, not just follow it.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

Product Release: Metroid: Other M (EU, 09/03/10)

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