Metroid: Other M (Wii) Review
Posted by Adam Larck on 09.17.2010
Metroid tries a combination of third and first person. Can it pull of both, or does it suffer from trying to do too much? Find out inside.
Title: Metroid: Other M
Developer: Project M
Rated: T for Teen
(Note: This copy of Metroid: Other M was a review copy given by Nintendo.)
I didnít have a problem with the Metroid: Prime series, but Iíve 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, itís 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 Motherís 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 wasnít made for games like this. An analog stick would have been much better for controlling Samus.
The other view that youíll 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 canít move around. Sometimes youíre 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 donít 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 youíre almost dead in a mode called Concentration.
Another new feature is that Samus can fully charge her blaster and jump on an enemyís 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, thatís another new thing for the series: lots of cutscenes. The cutscenes tell some of Samusí 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 isnít silent like she always has been.
Now that Iíve mentioned some of the better features that have been added, I want to talk on one that annoyed me. You donít have to find Samusí powers in the game. Instead, Samus has all of them, but wonít use them until Adam authorizes it.
While I understand that this basically replaces the item finding, it just bugs me that sometimes items arenít 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. Thereís 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 youíre 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, itís still weird to hear Samus talking.
The third person sections of the game are fun and a great throwback to old Metroid games.
Itís great to get some backstory to Samusí 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.
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 third person sections in Other M are great. While the first person sections can suffer due to aiming when moving the Wii Remote, it doesnít 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, itís 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 thatís a lot of fun to play.
The graphics are great. The areas vary quite a bit, as do bosses. Samus also looks really good during gameplay and during cutscenes.
The 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.
As 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.
Besides the main game, you can collect all power-ups like in previous Metroids. Besides this, not much else can be done after the game.
Battling Ridley and using some of Samusí memorable weapons were a lot of fun that the first person sections didnít hamper.