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Metroid: Other M (Wii) Review

September 17, 2010 | Posted by Adam Larck

Title: Metroid: Other M
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Project M
Genre: Action-Adventure
Players: 1
Rated: T for Teen

(Note: This copy of Metroid: Other M was a review copy given by Nintendo.)

I didn’t have a problem with the Metroid: Prime series, but I’ve always been a fan of the third person games in the series. So, I was particularly interested in Metroid: Other M.

Combining both the third and first person sounded good in theory to let Samus battle enemies and explore at the same time. In implementation, it’s good too, but there are a few small problems that can hinder the overall experience.

Before I get into the gameplay, though, I want to set the story of the game. The game takes place immediately after Super Metroid, with Samus mourning the loss of the baby Metroid. After getting debriefed on the mission and flying around, she encounters a Mother’s Cry distress call from a ship that she investigates.

While there, she meets up with some Galaxy Federation soldiers, some of which she knows, such as Adam (the same Adam from Zero Mission). Samus agrees to help them, and the main part of the game finally kicks in.

Most of the game is played in third person by holding the controller sideways. It plays on a 2D plane, but Samus can move up and down on it. While in this control style, she can dodge attacks, charge her blaster and go into ball mode. While shooting, Samus auto-locks onto the nearest enemy to attack.

There was one main problem I noticed while in this mode: her turning is stiff. The main reason for this was the D-Pad, which wasn’t made for games like this. An analog stick would have been much better for controlling Samus.

The other view that you’ll use in the game is by pointing the Wii Remote at the screen. This will make the view go first person. This view is the only way you can lock onto an enemy and fire a missile, and also lets Samus find key items in certain sections.

The biggest drag during the sections where this is needed is that Samus can’t move around. Sometimes you’re stuck trying to fire a missile at an enemy while attacks are coming in at you. While trying to find something, it can sometimes take a while to find out the exact thing the game wants you to find.

Now that the two play styles are out of the way, I want to mention some of the other new features in the game. Players don’t have to worry about finding missiles and health in the game to replenish their supply. Instead, players can hold the remote straight up and hold A to replenish missiles fully and to replenish your health a full bar if you’re almost dead in a mode called Concentration.

Another new feature is that Samus can fully charge her blaster and jump on an enemy’s head to blast them at point blank range for more damage. Sometimes, this will also down enemies and will let her perform a lethal strike. The strike is a short cutscene that has Samus instantly killing the opponent.

Speaking of cutscenes, that’s another new thing for the series: lots of cutscenes. The cutscenes tell some of Samus’ backstory, along with explaining what happens on the ship. During these scenes, Samus actually talks. She has a good voice, but it just seems weird that Samus actually talks and isn’t silent like she always has been.

Now that I’ve mentioned some of the better features that have been added, I want to talk on one that annoyed me. You don’t have to find Samus’ powers in the game. Instead, Samus has all of them, but won’t use them until Adam authorizes it.

While I understand that this basically replaces the item finding, it just bugs me that sometimes items aren’t given to you until much later than needed. My big complaint here is during your first time at the lava world (Sector 3). You make it through quite a bit of the lava world that slowly drains your health before finally getting the Varia suit to cancel the health loss out.

Not everything has been changed about Metroid, though. You still save and get maps from save rooms, and starting at these rooms can give you a brief update on what you had done up to that point. You can also find expansions to your health and missiles throughout the game. The game also encourages backtracking to open doors to get power-ups.

A lot of enemies you fight in game are from previous games in the series as well, including a boss battle with Ridley. Also, as a quick side note, make sure you go back to the game after beating the final boss. There’s a bit more of the game to play after it.

Graphically, the game looks really good. The environments in each sector differ quite a bit, and you sometimes forget that you’re on a ship until you see some metal in areas. Samus looks nice, as does the members of the Galactic Federation.

The music is also great. It keeps the suspense going as you walk through areas, and really helps keep the flow of the game going. The voices also sound good. But, as mentioned earlier, it’s still weird to hear Samus talking.

Pros

  • The third person sections of the game are fun and a great throwback to old Metroid games.
  • It’s great to get some backstory to Samus’ life and get a direct sequel to Super Metroid.
  • Lot of the key weapons for the Metroid series are found here, along with some regular enemies and bosses.

    Cons

  • First person sections can drag and aim can be thrown off coming from third person.
  • Would be nice to get some power-ups sooner than when Adam gives them to you.
  • Hearing Samus talk is still strange after having her silent for all these years.

    The 411:

    The third person sections in Other M are great. While the first person sections can suffer due to aiming when moving the Wii Remote, it doesn’t hinder the game any. Another thing that may annoy Metroid fans is having Adam authorize the use of weapons. But, when you think of it like trying to find the weapons in other Metroid games, it’s about the same thing.

    Overall, Metroid fans should definitely pick this game up to see the continuation after Super Metroid. Wii owners ought to check this out as well for a solid Wii title that’s a lot of fun to play.

  • Graphics8.5The graphics are great. The areas vary quite a bit, as do bosses. Samus also looks really good during gameplay and during cutscenes. 
    Gameplay8.0The third person sections are good, beside some minor D-Pad issues. The first person sections can sometimes slow the game down a bit, but the gameplay is still solid. 
    Sound8.0As weird as it is to hear Samus, the voice acting for her and the rest of the crew is good. The music in the various areas is also nice to listen to. 
    Lasting Appeal7.5Besides the main game, you can collect all power-ups like in previous Metroids. Besides this, not much else can be done after the game. 
    Fun Factor 8.0Battling Ridley and using some of Samus’ memorable weapons were a lot of fun that the first person sections didn’t hamper. 
    Overall8.0   [ Very Good ]  legend

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    Adam Larck

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