After almost two decades since the release of Super Metroid on the Nintendo Entertainment System, the true sequel to the long forgotten Super Metroid is finally here. After the long wait, Metroid fans can finally find out what happens to the infamous Samus Aran after the defeat of Motherbrain. Metroid: Other M is nothing like the Super Metroid but instead, it reinvents the game compeltely by taking the features from the past three Metroid games that were released on the Nintendo Gamecube and Nintendo Wii. Don’t worry, the Metroid experience is still intact.
Developed by Team Ninja ( who made the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden games) how does Metroid: Other M stand out with the rest of the competition? Everyone knows that Metroid is a big title from Nintendo but does this game lives up to the expectation of fans of the Metroid series since the NES era? Let’s take a look in the HOTs and NOTs of the game.
Unlike the 2D side scrolling game seen in Super Metroid, Other M switches to full 3D and third person exploration is now possible. The design of the game is what a gamer would expect in a Metroid game. Comparing it with other titles such as the games from the Metroid Prime Trilogy, Other M looks almost identical except with a few improvements on its cutscenes. The CG-rendered graphics of the game is a big plus in the presentation as Samus and the rest of the crew of the Galactic Federation look a lot better than the in-game graphics. Gamers playing Other M will be traversing inside the deck of the ship to the wilderness of the forest all animated with detailed and colorful designs. With impressive presentation comes good voice acting. Throughout the game, players can expect to see many cutscenes and hear the voice of Samus all the time. It is not a bad thing as Samus looks so damn sexy in the game.
The Action is Breath-taking
The basic shooting of beams from Samus’ gun is getting boring. In Metroid: Other M, there are ways to easily kill enemies and that is by executing a Lethal Kill. By charging up the beam and jumping onto the enemy simultaneously, Samus can deal a lot of damage on an enemy and will instantly kill them. The explosive action in the game can be found throughout Samus’ adventure.
After the defeat of the Mother Brain, Samus Aran sets off in another adventure where she lands in a Bottle Ship where a distress call from the Baby’s Cry is being sent to his ship. As she lands on the ship, she meets up with old friends from the Galactic Federation where she and the team team up to investigate the ship. What they find inside the Bottle Ship might have some sort of connection to the defeat of the Mother Brain. It is up to Samus and the team of the Galactic Federation to find out the secrets of the Bottle Ship. Hardcore fans of the Metroid series will be glad to see that Nintendo hasn’t forgotten to continue the story of one of the best Metroid games ever created.
Wii Remote Controls
Other M is not a game where you will need a MotionPlus controller in order to play the game. A single Wii remote control is all that’s needed and the use of a nunchuck isn’t necessary. Before the game starts, a player must use the controller in a vertical position. The controls are pretty much easy to follow as a brief tutorial will be shown to the player before they jump into the Bottle Ship. At a certain point in the game, a player will have to point the Wii Remote at the screen whenever a investigation will be needed and the game will shift from third person to first person view mode. In first person view mode, a player will be able to investigate the surroundings or use the cross hair to aim at the enemy to shoot a missile.
Classic Metriod Feel
Despite the game being on the Nintendo Wii and switching from a side scrolling game to a full 3D exploration game, Other M manages to have the Metroid feel that fans should come to expect. Players can expect puzzle solving, and the use of the Morph Ball to get into secret areas where an item might be at. A Metroid game will not be complete without its backtracking. In Other M, there is a lot of backtracking that needs to be done but it’s not a bad thing due to when you back track, a player will know that there is a hidden item waiting to be discovered. There are a lot of items that need to be collected and getting all of them unlocks a much harder mode.
A Reason to Play the game again
As soon as the credits start rolling after the game is finished, the exploration on the Bottle Ship is not yet over. For a completionist, a player can go back and explore the Bottle Ship to collect all of the items that is needed in order to complete the Item List. Upon collecting all of the items in the game, the player will be rewarded with a bonus that will be very beneficial to the player. It is highly recommended for the player to go back to areas that were inaccessible before as it will most likely give players an item.
The Bottle Ship that Samus will be exploring is pretty big yet the exploration can be pretty limited. The path that Samus will be going through is straightforward and getting lost will not occur as often as it did in the past Metroid games. The hidden Energy Tanks and Items that Samus can get are easy to find and you won’t need to find a guide at all. Similar to all Metroid games, a Map with the waypoint leading you to the direction will be available by pressing the + button. It is a good reference for anyone who wants to rush into the game and finish it in one sitting. It would be a lot better if they managed to expand the game to make the exploration more intriguing and exciting.
First Person Mode Controls
The idea of using the d-pad to control Samus is good but however, whenever the player wants to switch to first person mode at a time of a boss battle, the player will have to point the Wii Remote just to aim and back with the vertical position of the Wii Remote. Expect to get annoyed with this control scheme as it will take a lot of time before the player can get a handle of it. It will be beneficial if the controls were just done via the Wii Remote and a Nunchuck as switching from first person and trying to AIM at the enemy’s weakness and go back is completely annoying and the risk of dying is higher than usual.
Apart from the somewhat frustrating control scheme and linear level exploration, fans should be happy with how Metroid: Other M turned out. The fact you can play the game from both a first-person and third-person perspective makes the game unique and the graphics are not too dissimilar to past Metroid games. This truly is a worthy sequel to Super Metroid and the story and gameplay perfectly captures the feel of its legendary predecessor. Metroid fans should not miss out while newbies to the franchise should still get a kick out of playing this game, as it’s really that good despite its minor flaws.
[Editor’s Note: Metroid: Other M was played through completion. The game was provided to us by the publisher.]Metroid: Other M Review,