Game review by Steve Cullum
Game – Metroid: Other M
Version – Wii
Rating – T for Teen
Obtained – Review Copy from Nintendo of America
The much-awaited direct sequel to Super Metroid (SNES) puts Samus in yet another world, where she is recovering and trying to figure out what happened after the battle with Mother Brain. In an effort to bring something fresh to the series, Nintendo teamed up with Team Ninja to add a deep storyline, voice-acting, and new gameplay elements to the popular tale of the female bounty-hunter. Was it worth it?
Story and Plot
As with the Metroid games before it, Other M puts Samus in a world where she is often on her own. She explores unknown areas, discovers and fights monsters, and gradually becomes more aware and capable of her surroundings. This time around, though, there is much more a focus on her story, which is told via fully-voiced cut-scenes and conversations she has with others. At times, this is incredibly well done, and you appreciate getting to know the bounty-hunter on a personal basis. Other times, though, it might just get in the way of you wanting to progress through the game.
Overall, though, the storyline and plot are well done. I did find myself really wanting to know what was going to happen, as if reading a thrilling novel. Diving deeper into Samus’ story helps to understand why she acts a certain way, and it aids the player in knowing how she got to this point in her life. For those who do not care about story, this might be annoying, as it does dictate the gameplay some, making it a bit more linear than other Metroid games. For the rest, this is a welcome addition to an almost plotless driven series.
Gameplay and Controls
Team Ninja and Nintendo decided to change things up this time around in many areas. Other than the storyline, the gameplay and controls were among the biggest changes. The majority of the game has you moving Samus in a side-scrolling fashion, similar to Super Metroid, utilizing the Wii Remote turned sideways. However, the minute you point the Wii Remote at the screen, you go into a fixed third-person perspective. What is the point of this? The idea is that you will feel more in the action during this time, allowing you to step into Samus’ viewpoint. Why did they not do the entire game like this? My guess is that they did not want to just make another Metroid Prime. Instead, they capitalized on the fun gameplay of previous Metroid games, but stepped up the intensity by implementing this first-person view.
How does it work in the gameplay? It is really hit-or-miss. Sometimes, it works great, and it really aids in making you feel like you are Samus in the fights. Other times, it just gets annoying, and makes battles harder than they should be. The problem is that some weapons can only be fired in first-person view, so you must switch to it, especially in boss fights. Other times, you may have to scan items with this mode. This is not something you can avoid, which may frustrate some players. Overall, it is an intriguing idea, but the fixed movement hinders it from being what it could have been.
Graphics and Sound
This is honestly one of the best looking games on the Wii. Yes, it is not high-definition, but the art team really pushed the Wii to its limits in this title. The colors are bright, and yet they still capture the essence of the lonely planet. The contrast is spot-on. And Samus has never looked better.
The sound is really good. It may not be the best soundtrack for a Metroid game, but you do still get the same feel you are familiar with from other titles. The orchestrated music along with the vocal choruses come together for an intense feeling. On the other hand, the new thing this time around is the voice-acting. This is also one of those things that is hit-or-miss. At times, they seem to fit perfectly with the character. Other times, their choices seem odd. However, this mostly comes down to preference. Some might enjoy how Samus sounds, but others will think it is horrible, because they have always imagined her sounding different.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
Metroid: Other M is a solid game that will keep most players coming back for more. The hard-core Metroid fanatics may have some things to complain about, though. The new gameplay styles and storyline, however, may draw new players into the series. So, unless you are a deep-down Metroid loyalist who dreams of being Samus every night, you will probably enjoy this title. I just wish they would have explored more options with the first-person perspective.
+ Good storyline
+ Music and sound effects
+ Graphics are great!
– First-Person perspective is hit-or-miss
– Feels a bit too guided for a Metroid game
“METROID AND ME” TRAILER