The Metroid series has gone through a lot of changes throughout its lifetime. We had the original Metroid for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Then a couple of years later we were blessed with Super Metroid for the Super Nintendo. With the Metroid Prime trilogy the side-scrolling action that we had once fallen in love with was completely removed. Does Metroid Other M follow in its predecessors footsteps or will it bring new life to the once great series?
Story: Metroid Other M takes place after the events of Super Metroid. The story opens up with our main character, Samus, having one hell of a battle with Mother Brain. Mid battle the baby Metroid sacrifices itself for Samus and gives her the Hyper Beam. With the Hyper Beam, Samus is able to defeat Mother Brain. Without spoiling the story Ill keep this brief. The game takes place on a space station known as “Bottle Ship”. As Samus is exploring this ship we find out Samus’s past and her relationship with Adam Malkovich, the Bottle Ships commanding officer.
Gameplay: The gameplay in Metroid Other M stays true to the original series in almost every aspect. The majority of the game is a side-scrolling action game however there are a few twists. The game is mostly presented in true 2D/3D platforming glory. When you are not side-scrolling your’e able to take advantage of the Wii’s motion controls with a first person view. True to the original series, Metroid Other M is very difficult. After battling with the same boss for an hour, you feel a sense of accomplishment when you finally take that bastard down. As you progress through the game, Samus acquires multiple upgrades that are mostly story related, so I wont give away any details on them. As difficult as this game may be, the gameplay is truly amazing.
Graphics: Metroid Other M is one of the most, if not the best looking games currently on the Nintendo Wii. Jagged edges are kept to a minimum, which is hard for any Wii title. Whether you are fighting in a space station, battling foes in an inferno, or blasting monsters in a jungle, this game looks good in any venue you choose to deliver your punches. The true graphics really show during the games epic cinematics. The cinematics in Metroid Other M have the quality to be a full feature animated movie.
Sound: The music in the Metroid franchise has always been on point. You can expect that same level of music quality in Metroid Other M. The music seamlessly flows with the story and really catches the multiple emotions that are shared throughout the story. The sounds in the game are top notch as well. I found myself charging up my Hyper Beam just so I could hear it go off. Well maybe not, but the sounds were definitely engineered with surround sound systems in mind.
Controls: For the most part Metroid Other M has a pretty solid control scheme. You control everything with one control, the WiiMote. This was a big concern for me when I got this game in for review. I wasn’t sure if both the Nunchuck and WiiMote were going to be used, which is what I did NOT want. After loading up the game and finding out that I would only be using a WiiMote, a smile immediately found its way onto my face. The only gripe I have about the control scheme is the first person view that they added. From start to finish I never got used to it. While in first person view mode the controls feel loose and not very accurate. It’s a shame because most of the key events in the game require you to be in first person mode. Other than that you control Samus using the D-Pad, while the 1 button is used for your Hyper Beam and the 2 button is used to jump. Yes, it really is that simple.
Wishes: I wish this game would have had a difficulty setting because this game is hard! Casual gamers beware, this game is probably not for you. I found myself extremely frustrated throughout the game. Another thing I would have liked would be the removal of the first person view mode. Although it was kind of fun, I don’t think the game really needed it.
Final Verdict: What can I say, it’s Metroid. It definitely is one of the best in the series, but it does have a few broken gameplay mechanics that keep it from being a truly amazing experience. If you are looking for a really challenging, reinvented old school game, then this is the game for you. I give this game 4 Michelas out of 5 rating.
Metroid Other M (Wii)
Developer: Team Ninja