Metroid: Other M Is A Satisfying Game from Start to Finish
Metroid: Other M is the highly anticipated game from Nintendo which lets you once again take control of Samus Aran, one of the most powerful bounty hunters in the galaxy. It is co-developed by Team Ninja, the same people who created the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden series and Other M follows the same formula with those games in some shape or form. Like Metroid Prime, many people showed signs of doubts when this game was first announced in 2009 because of the way it was designed. While it may looked like something that fans are familiar with but somehow, it didn't look like anything the fans had ever seen before. I admit that I was a bit concern when I first saw the trailer because the idea of switching from first-person to platformer back and forth looked really confusing and unappealing. I began to worry thinking that the game will not be as good as they said it would but since I'm a fan of both Nintendo and Team Ninja, I trust their decisions and believe that they will deliver a spectacular game with both powers combined.
Now that the game is out and I've already finished the game, all I can say is that Metroid: Other M really does deliver. The game really is a brand new experience for fans and newcomers alike and it dismisses all the doubts we had with it...for the most part. First of all, the controls work really well and switching from third-person to first-person back and forth is perfect and responsive. Shooting enemies is pretty solid too thanks to the lock-on targeting system that automatically lock on to enemies with the ease of a button. It feels awkward at first with using only the Wii Remote horizontally without the Nunchuk but surprisingly, it feels natural. Normally platform games have problems with jumping precision when sometimes the character fails to reach to the next platform- leading to frustrations and madness but the jumping in Other M is executed really well and you should have no problems with it.
Metroid: Other M involves a lot of exploration in several areas but in comparison with the other Metroid games, they are a lot smaller and the completion time is a lot shorter too. When I defeated the last boss, I had no idea that was the last boss. That shows how short and sudden the game is. There's also a lot of Team Ninja feel to it all over the game like the way you perform finishing moves, the way the camera moves around during combat and the fact that Samus now has big boobs and curvy body. The only thing that doesn't resembles Team Ninja's work is the difficulty. Metroid: Other M is overall an easy game with items that are easily pointed out on the map, weapons that are unlocked sooner than you think and enemies that don't really put much of a fight. Enemies in this game also no longer leave health orbs or ammos to be picked up. You can now replenish your ammunition by pointing the Wii Remote up.
The story of Other M is the other thing that had everyone rambling about because it was advertised to have heavier narration than its predecessors. Storytelling isn't exactly the main attraction in the series because it has always been about aliens, narrow corridors, spooky atmosphere and nothing more. Not only that, Samus Aran talks in this game, making it her first speaking role in the series. For me, I love a good story and I love it when main characters talk so to have these things in the game, it does not bother me at all. It is definitely a big leap and a big risk that Nintendo and Team Ninja are taking but in the end it turns out alright. I actually enjoy the story and the way it makes you care for the characters. It's not just a story about Samus trying to save the universe but it's about her past, her relationship with her comrades and her desire to seek out the truth about the whole situation. There's also some plot twists on top of that that will keep you guessing with some sad moments. I'm not going to explain the storyline since I'm sure you're aware of it by now. All I can say is that it takes place between Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion.
Despite its deep plot and Samus' newfound ability to speak, there are some potholes in them. The story mostly consist of flashbacks that is interesting for fans to know but sometimes it can be too excessive and redundant to take in. It goes on forever and you wish it could just end as quickly as possible. Samus' speaking role doesn't help either because her voice over (as well as the other characters) is filled with dry and cheesy performance that is painful to listen to at times. It's one of those games that the translation from Japanese to English is poor and not well done. Another problem is that Samus talks too much in Other M and it's not just when she communicates to other people but when she narrates the storyline as well. This plus some bad voice acting equals to some dreary cutscenes.
Despite all that, the overall presentation is great. It's actually well executed than Metroid Prime since that game lacks story and voiceover and the graphics look a lot grayer than Other M in comparison. Don't get me wrong. Metroid Prime is a superb game and I enjoyed playing it but half the time, I forget what the story is all about and I get confused with where I'm suppose to be going. Other M fixes all that by having objectives, helpful maps and rich visuals. However, the one thing that I truly love about Metroid: Other M is the Theater Mode, which allows you to view all the cutscenes without having to play the game the second time. The neat feature about Theater Mode is the way it compiles all the videos together into one movie and putting in some gameplay footages in between, making it into one swift movie without any gaps. That's so rad. The other neat feature is that the game sort of gives you a open space before you beat the game to collect all the items and achieve 100% completion.
In conclusion, Metroid: Other M is a satisfying game from start to finish. It may have made some bad decisions with its overall game design but one thing that the game is not is boring. Its got high entertainment values thanks to its colorful graphics, responsive controls, versatile music score and the awesome Theater Mode. If you had doubts with this game before then perhaps you should rest easy now. Metroid: Other M is not a disappointment.
Gameplay: 1 Star
Graphics: 1 Star
Sounds: 1.5 Star
Replay Value: 1.5 Star
Overall: 1 Star
Total: 4 out of 5 Stars