Review by Valroths

Reviewed: 09/03/10

Metroid: A different approach, anOther M

I have finished the game twice, once on normal mode getting to 100% completion, and afterwards a hard mode run-trough.

- Controls/gameplay: 4/5 -

Metroid: Other M's core gameplay consists of you moving in a 2d/2.5d spectrum from a 3rd person view occasionally switching to 1st person view for firing missiles and scouting the area. That said, swapping from and to 3rd person to 1st person is very smooth. You play the 2d/.5d with the Wiimote on the side using the D-Pad to move and 1/2 to shoot/jump, and when required you aim the Wiimote at the screen to enter first person mode where A becomes shooting and B becomes free look/lock on.

The switching from 3rd to 1st person is all but a gimmick, it is a system that was given thought and was worked out really well. However not having the precision of the analog stick to move Samus around in 2d/2.5d can be a bit annoying at times, but no more then that.

- Story: 2/5 -

Metroid games are normally not story driven, Metroid: Other M is however. Sadly its story is all but remember-able, there are a lot of turns and twists in the story to try and keep you interested but sadly you see most of them coming from miles away. It is nothing more then a story from your average sci-fi movie.

- Sound: 3/5 -

Nothing special here sadly, the sounds from moving/going into morphball/shooting etc all feel organic for a Metroid game, but the music.. Team Ninja & Nintendo have played it way too safe here. The music in Metroid: Other M are mostly classic remixes (most of them unaltered just "tuned up") from older Metroid games. Their also played too softly on the background, except in boss battles when you sometimes get deafened from becoming used to the soft background music. (The music volume goes from 50% to 200%)

- Graphics: 5/5 -

This is where Team Ninja & Nintendo have been spending 90% of their time on, the graphics are OUTSTANDING, if it had anti-aliasing (smooths out blocky curves) it would look like an AAA+ title from a PS3 developer. Nothing more can be said about this part, the graphics are superb, virtually impossible for any Wii developer to achieve.

- Longevity/Re-playability: 2/5 -

Metroid: Other M can be finished in under 10 hours on a first playtrough not counting cutscenes. The main reason for this is that the game is much too linear. Re-playability zero, simply because of the fact that exploration is non-existent. Getting to 100% completion is also way too easy.

- Final Word & Score: 3/5 -

I have finished the game twice, once on normal mode getting to 100% completion, and afterwards a hard mode run-trough. In neither cases did I feel satisfied about having beaten the game, it is much too linear with little to no room for exploration and the story wasn't of such an outstanding quality that it felt remember-able.

Now, I personally don't care much for a story in Metroid games, what a Metroid game for me has to do is give me the freedom to explore and tease my brain and intellect multiple times on how to advance with clever puzzles or hidden required items.

Other M has neither of these; I got "stuck" once on a very silly spot (this is quite embarrassing to admit) , a giant Icepillar blocking a jump. Turns out all you had to do was stand on the side and lock on with a missile. This was a total downer for me because usually when such a big obstacle blocks your path you need an upgrade for it, not standard equipment.

Then again, you don't find your upgrades yourself. In short: Metroid: Other M is a continuation of the series following up Super Metroid. This means that Samus starts out with every item she found in Super Metroid apart from the Energy Tanks and Missile Upgrades (Gravity Suit, Space Attack etc all included), but for some silly reason she decides not to use any of them unless Adam (the Commanding Officer of a Space Federation unit) tells her she can.

Let me tell you right here and right now that this was the most frustrating part for me of the whole game. Mainly because when Samus gets permission to use a "new" item, well, it's too predictable and you barely put in any effort towards it. Add in that you know she has all these juicy abilities, it just doesn't feel right. It'd have been much better if say Adam stripped Samus of her kit and had hidden them around the Bottle Ship (the zone Metroid: Other M takes place in).

That said Metroid: Other M is an "ok" game on itself, it's just quite saddening that with an innovative system as this you are limited to using it in a linear story. Having more open-ended exploration available would've greatly added to the 3rd person/1st person switch. The possibilities for search puzzles are endless!

As a hardcore Metroid fan I would not recommend this game to another Metroid player for the gameplay, it is an insult to the series especially in terms of exploration. You are constantly limited on where you CAN go. Backtracking is next to non-existent. Doors are constantly locked behind you and even after getting permission for using upgrades you still cannot backtrack and explore.

- Buy or Rent? -

Rent it, Metroid: Other M is a short game clocking in under 10 hours on a first playtrough with 100% completion. The re-playability is next to zero.

Players new to the series will find a fun to play game, players familiar with Metroid (in particular Super Metroid) will feel disappointed if they buy this game with those expectations, rent it,

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Product Release: Metroid: Other M (US, 08/31/10)

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