I feel like Other M on the Wii got too much whipping from gamers upon its release, so I would like to balance out some of the things I think it did well, with some of the things it was less successful at.
What I enjoyed
-The overall direction was very engaging and dynamic. The world is very atmospheric and moody, and makes use of lots of interesting camera angles that change as you move around areas. Also, in cut-scenes, the camera has a very eratic and excited motion as it pans the various characters.
-Samus looks great. Team Ninja did an amazing job at building her and her power suit. She moves elegantly and with believable weight. I also appreciate the designers highlighting her softer side and making her come across as child-like and emotionally sensitive. It's suprising, but shows her human side underneath the power suit. And hey, she & the player still gets the job done.
-The world design and general gameplay felt very fast and energetic. Other M brought back the speed of Super Metroid (And the other sidescrollers) that was missing from the Prime games. It's an incredible achievement that the world felt fully 3D and secure, but player movement was as tight and as fast as in the 2D games.
-There were some very interesting ways that the player was able to uncover clues about what was happening in the abandoned space station. I enjoyed the way the game shifted player action and combat seamlessly into environmental investigation, and then fed that back into combat. For example, the part in the story where Samus has to detect a robot 'Zebesian', report it to the other team members, and then come back to make further investigations - and then just before leaving she gets ambushed by the enemies that leads into another fight. I wish there were more moments like these.
-Some great boss fights that were very dramatic. Especially the encounters with Ridley.
What I didn't
-Generally, too much combat. Too much padding. The arena-based fights felt out of place for a Metroid game. The combat also felt a little too easy and simple. But then again, the combat felt good because it was simple. It's a difficult point to get across...How the combat felt perfect, but at times incidental and effortless.
-Some of the cut-scenes were difficult to watch a second time and perhaps went on too long. It's odd for a Metroid game to rely so much on cut-scenes.
-The game world didn't feel big enough. Metroid works better with a huge world because with so many abilities it takes time to experiment with those tools.
-Item pick-ups felt slightly uneccessary/superfluous this time around. There's no need to divide energy tanks into 4 'energy parts'. There should have been better ways to encourage exploration of the environment, or some other ways that Samus can power up besides through item-collection. It felt too 'gamey' for the cinematic experience Nintendo were going for.
-The music and sound felt muted and un-defined.
-The controls took a lot of getting used to, due to the peculiarities of the wii interface. It was very much a compromise, and so the learning curve was steep. However, I maintain that when you get used to it the controls are fine...It's just that when you're just getting into the swing of things, the game is over.
I think Nintendo has a great framework in Other M to make a bigger and better Metroid next time. But overall the experience of this game is not very satisfactory for a long-term Metroid fan; not necessarily because it doesn't feel like Metroid, but because it relies too much on repeated enemy battles and arena-based combat, and lacks the explorative depth and environmental detail of the Prime games.
Other M is such a unique experience though, and has a lot of promise for the next game in the series. I think Nintendo are just getting warmed up here.