gamingsurvival's Metroid: Other M (Wii) review

Metroid: Other M Review

By - Richard J.

For the first time since 2002's Metroid: Fusion, Nintendo is publishing a brand new Metroid game with 2D side scrolling gameplay. Taking the lead this time is Team Ninja, known for the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive series'. Fans of Nintendo and Team Ninja have been dreaming of what this combination could produce. After a slight delay, the product of this great combination has finally been released as Metroid: Other M for the Nintendo Wii. Will Metroid fans love this new, but different addition? Or will it become the forgotten child of the Metroid series?

The story in Metroid: Other M picks right up after 1994's Super Metroid. At the end of Super Metroid, Samus escapes Planet Zebus as it is exploding. Other M has Samus awakening on a Galactic Federation ship. On the ship, she receives a coded distress signal -- titled "Baby's Cry -- which sends Samus to its source: the Bottle Ship. Once Samus reaches the Bottle Ship, she encounters a rouge group of Galactic Federation Soldiers after a monster attacks, they all split up to find the source of what is happening on the Bottle Ship.

As most gamers know, the Metroid series is not known for being focused on story. With Team Ninja taking a role in development, story has taken a more central role this time around. This time around, Metroid has also taken a much darker turn. The atmosphere and story are creepier, and includes people other than Samus. Other M is full of intense situations that grab you and demand the focus of your attention. I wish I could tell you that the intense story grabs you and doesn't let go, but it does let you go multiple times. There will be intense moments that you will love, then you will be running through the Bottle Ship for a few hours with no story aspect. After that, the intense story will grab you again and you will be interested. Despite the story dropping in and out, overall it is a great addition to the Metroid series. I hope to see more 2D Metroid games that incorporate story.

Other M's gameplay is divided into 2.5D side scrolling and 3D first person shooting. Players will quickly realize that most of the gameplay is in the 2.5D perspective. If you have played any Metroid game before Prime, you will immediately feel at home with Other M. Running through corridors, jumping on platforms, rolling through tunnels as the morphball and intense shooting are what Other M is all about. As noted, the exploration is conducted just like other 2D Metroid games. However, Other M is a much more linear and story driven game. This leaves the player little room to explore far from the beaten path.Although there are still plenty of times when gamers will have to explore a small area to figure out what to do next, it is severely cut down from the other games. Many Metroid fans may consider this a fault, but I consider it a positive to the game. I have always hated not knowing where to go/what to do in video game, and the Metroid series has been the hilight of that hatred. No matter which way you look at it, one thing is for sure: exploration in Metroid: Other M is damn fun.

The main difference you will notice in Other M's 2.5D gameplay is the combat. While it is classic side scrolling shooting at its core, it does have a slight Team Ninja flair to it. Most notably is how frantic it is. There are a lot more enemies than in other Metroid games and jumping around and blasting is mandatory. It should be noted that although there are more enemies, it doesn't necessarily make the game more difficult compared to other Metroid games. Also infused in the combat is the ability to dodge quick attacks and -- if prepared -- unleash a quick charge beam. This is very similar to "Witch Time" in 2010's Bayonetta. Games can also have Samus jump on the head's of certain enemies to unleash strong attacks on vulnerable spots, and unleash "Lethal Attacks" on certain downed enemies.

All of this exploration and combat would be nothing without a bunch of upgrades for Samus to come across. Upgraded beams, more missles, and new suits are all items that Samus will collect. Fans of the Metroid series will have a bit of deja-vu as all of the items have appeared previously in other Metroid games. The ice beam, grapple hook, and Varia Suit are just some of the classic items in Other M. While the items may be classic, the way you collect them is not. Previous Metroid games have players running around and exploring in order to find items, but Metroid: Other M gives Samus them from the beginning. However, Samus can only use them once she is authorized to use them. It may sound weird in writing, but it works so well once you experience it for yourself.

The other part of the gameplay takes place in a first person 3D perspective. This is identical to the gameplay in the Metroid: Prime series. By having the Wii Remote in the vertical position and pointing it at the screen, you can shoot missiles at enemies, scan the environment, and scan bosses to see how much health they have left. Unfortunately, this is not executed well. For the 2.5D gameplay, players hold the Wii Remote horizontally. Having to switch it vertically in order to shoot missiles and scan can become a huge nuisance. This becomes especially frustrating when players have to quickly switch in order to shoot an enemy with a missile. This paired with the so-so horizontal Wii Remote controls make the overall controls feel very clunky. The best way to describe trying to move Samus with the horizontal Wii Remote is to compare it to playing Super Mario 64 for the very first time, but with a NES controller instead of a N64 controller. Bottom line, the controls are not very good, despite the gameplay being quite good.

All of this exploration and combat would be nothing without a bunch of upgrades for Samus to come across. Upgraded beams, more missles, and new suits are all items that Samus will collect. Fans of the Metroid series will have a bit of deja-vu as all of the items have appeared previously in other Metroid games. The ice beam, grapple hook, and Varia Suit are just some of the classic items in Other M. While the items may be classic, the way you collect them is not. Previous Metroid games have players running around and exploring in order to find items, but Metroid: Other M gives Samus them from the beginning. However, Samus can only use them once she is authorized to use them. It may sound weird in writing, but it works so well once you experience it for yourself.

The other part of the gameplay takes place in a first person 3D perspective. This is identical to the gameplay in the Metroid: Prime series. By having the Wii Remote in the vertical position and pointing it at the screen, you can shoot missiles at enemies, scan the environment, and scan bosses to see how much health they have left. Unfortunately, this is not executed well. For the 2.5D gameplay, players hold the Wii Remote horizontally. Having to switch it vertically in order to shoot missiles and scan can become a huge nuisance. This becomes especially frustrating when players have to quickly switch in order to shoot an enemy with a missile. This paired with the so-so horizontal Wii Remote controls make the overall controls feel very clunky. The best way to describe trying to move Samus with the horizontal Wii Remote is to compare it to playing Super Mario 64 for the very first time, but with a NES controller instead of a N64 controller. Bottom line, the controls are not very good, despite the gameplay being quite good.

While Metroid: Other M may be retro with some of its gameplay, the graphics are far from that. Other M is a beautiful game. I would go as far as saying that Metroid: Other M is graphically superior to all other games on the Nintendo Wii. Nintendo and Team Ninja have out done themselves by pushing the Wii to produce graphics at a quality that I have never seen before on the Wii. The textures, environments, character models, and varying beams and suits that Samus collect all look fantastic. To top it all off, everything in the game is highly detailed. The only problem I have with the graphics is how they appear on an SD TV. The game attempts a native resolution of 16:9, opposed to the 4:3 standard for SD TVs. This seems to be a trend for newer Wii games, but does not make sense as the Wii is not designed as an HD console. Also, a large percentage of the game is very dark and is sometimes hard to see on an SD TV. If these slight do problems affect you, they can easily be overlooked.

The darker approach to Metroid: Other M is magnified by the audio. Walking down any hallway can be a nerve racking experience as the dramatic and ominous music pours from the speakers. While not a scary game by any means, it is definitely creepy. The soundtrack for the game fits this creepy and deserted atmosphere quite well. Best of all, the soundtrack is never overbearing. The daunting sounds can only be heard when you stray your attention away from combat and choose to focus on what is happening around Samus.

Although the soundtrack is perfect for the game, the voice overs and dialogue aren't so great. It is very obvious that Metroid: Other M had its original Japanese voice overs dubbed by an English cast. As with most media that chooses this form, the results are near disastrous. All of the characters in Other M have little to no personality. When they talk, they sound soulless. It is almost as if the cast was completely uninterested and ran through the dialogue in a day to get their pay check and get the hell out. Despite this, I maybe shouldn't be so hard on the dub cast as the source dialogue is also pretty terrible. Putting on subtitles will show you how forced, awkward, and at times generic the dialogue is. It goes without saying that Other M's story is best told without dialogue.

Once you get through the 10+ linear story, there isn't that much to do. Like most Metroid games, there is absolutely no form of multiplayer, competitive or co-op. However, if you are able to finish Other M with 100% of the items collected, you will unlock a "hard" mode. This is the simply Other M story mode with the difficulty cranked up. While this may not seem like a lot of replay value, this is a Metroid game. For a Metroid game, this is a ton of replay value. Nothing would have been worse than a shoe-horned competitive multiplayer mode in the game.

Metroid: Other M is easily one of my favourite games of 2010. Being a huge fan of Super Metroid and the other 2D Metroid games, Other M played on my retro love. The intense story, great gameplay, and fantastic graphics make Metroid: Other M a true winner. Although the controls are clunky and the story falls at times, Other M is still a fantastic game that all Wii owners should own.

PROS

  • Intense and griping story
  • Fast-paced, retro infused gameplay
  • Best graphics yet on the Nintendo Wii
  • Incredibly atmospheric audio
  • Great replay value for a Metroid game

CONS

  • Stories drops in and out
  • Frustrating and clunky controls
  • Terrible voice acting and dialouge

RATING

8.75/10

3 Comments
Posted by KingBroly

Fix your score

Posted by GamingSurvival

Why? The GiantBomb star system doesn't properly represent our review score. If it offends you that much, don't read it.    

Posted by evanbower

@GamingSurvival: Then don't post on Giant Bomb?

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