Review by papercup
Finally, a true 3D Metroid game...
Long time Metroid fans know what it's like to wait. We waited 8 years from Super Metroid, to Metroid Fusion and Metroid Prime, both fantastic games, and fantastic Metroid games. While Metroid Fusion stayed true to the Metroid formula, 2D sidescroller, with emphasis on exploration, Metroid prime went the FPS route. Don't get me wrong, the Metroid Prime Trilogy is fantastic, it's just not Metroidy-enough. I was beginning to give up hope for a 3D Metroid game more like the original series, then Other M made an appearance at E3 last year. I had some doubts at first, mainly about the controls, and a story-heavy Metroid game. But have no fear, Other M blends the 2D exploration with an emphasis on 3D action, and story telling almost flawlessly.
Metroid Other M is a fun. It had me hooked from the moment I got to control Samus. All my doubts about the controls vanished as I went through the tutorial and learned how to play the game. The game is played in a 3D environment, but with a control type almost identical to the original NES game. The big difference, though, is if you point the remote at the screen you go into a first person view. This is the only way to fire missiles, use the grapple beam, and even scan certain items and objects. There are a few times in the game where it forces you to stay in first person view. In these sections you have to point at an object, or even fight enemies. These sections can be annoying, because the object you are supposed to inspect is usually very tiny, and not immediately obvious where or what it is. This is the one downside to the gameplay, besides that it's excellent, and feels like a Metroid game. Classic abilities like walljumping and shinesparking are easier than ever, and will have you traveling around the Bottle Ship in style.
The story is weird. It feels out of place for a Metroid game, and the pacing is inconsistent. There are times when you get long cutscene after long cutscene, and times when you might see a short one every hour or so. We do learn a bit about Samus' backstory, but some fans feel this might have actually ruined her character. Without spoiling too much, the story might appeal to some Metroid fans, it attempts to combine the setting of Fusion, with references to events, places, and bosses all over the Metroid series. I did crack a smile when the word "Tourion" was used in a cutscene. But when you learn what's actually going on on board the Bottle Ship, you might be a little confused as to what it has to do with Metroid. One more note, the ending is just as strange as the rest of the story. The game just sort of stops, it doesn't really end. But then the whole ship is open to be explored with an additional boss fight, and a little bit more story to see.
The graphics are good, not great. I really don't have much to say here. Enemies look very much like their 2D counterparts. Samus's suit looks nice and shiny. The cutscenes are pleasant to look at, people look realistic, environments look nice. There are some nice effects with the simulated environments on board the Bottle Ship. There are parts where you're in a jungle, or a desert, and you push a switch and little pieces of the ship start to poke out and phase through the environment.
This game sounds nice. Everything from Samus' gun to enemy screeches and roars sounds nice. The voice acting isn't that great. The music is very atmospheric, suspenseful moments are accompanied by suspenseful music. The music speeds up if you're using the speed booster. There are also some classic Metroid songs played throughout the game. Overall the sound effects and music are pretty good.
As is the case with almost all Metroid games, this game all have you coming back for more. The gameplay is fun and addictive, and everyone likes to try to speed run a Metroid game, right? When you beat the game with 100% items hard mode is unlocked. In hard mode no power ups can be picked up. What you start with is what you have for the entire game. Once you play this game, you will find yourself hooked, and unable to stop. This will quickly become one of your favorite Metroid games.
Buy or Rent?
Some people might tell you to rent it since it's short. It can be completed in about 8-14 hours. But I say buy it. Metroid Other M is a great game in the Metroid series, and a great game for any Wii library. With its fun gameplay, and unique charm and style, the blending of the classic 2D Metroid gameplay in a 3D environment, Metroid Other M is a hard game to pass up.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Metroid: Other M (US, 08/31/10)
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