Friday, September 3, 2010

Metroid: Other M Review

I would like to start of by saying that I had high hopes for Metroid: Other M. It's been far to long since we've had a good Metroid title, and Other M's mix between 2D, 3D, and first person shooter seemed like it had a lot of potential. On that note, I would like to say that I was not disappointed by Other M, but at the same time the game did not meet my expectations.

Other M begins with the ending scene from Super Metroid, which admittedly is pretty damn cool. Seeing one of the greatest endings in video game history come to life in full-on 3D immediately gets you hyped to play this game. Unfortunately, immediately following this cut-scene is a tutorial on the games controls, which is where the problems begin. At this point you will have realized that the game is controlled by a single Wiimote. At first this was fine, everything was going swimmingly. Then first person mode is introduced. I immediately began to see problems, the biggest one being that fact that without a nunchuck it is impossible for you to move your character while in first person mode, and lets not forget that the only time you can use missiles is while in first person mode, meaning that the game literally forces you to use it when fighting a boss, or simply a strong enemy.

Notice how above I said "a boss or a strong enemy", well this is where my next problem with the game comes in. Usually you are simply fighting bats, or small rodents, that are easily killed with a shot or two from your cannon, but occasionally you will come across a stronger enemy, almost like a mini boss, which I could not stand. Nine times out of ten I found myself dying on these mini bosses more so than I did on the actual bosses. The biggest problem with the mini bosses was the fact there was always a specific way you needed to kill them, otherwise they would simply stay alive forever. Sometimes you would need to jump on there head, other times you would need to shoot them in a weak spot, perhaps you would need to go first person and fire a missile at them, or maybe you needed to do all three of these in a specific order before the mini boss would finally go down. It may not sound that difficult, but you need to keep in mind that these bosses would deal and overly powerful amount of damage (usually 40-60 points of damage), and they constantly stuck you in a 2-3 hit combo that you simply could not escape, and 90% of the time the doors to the room would lock until you had beaten this monster.

Which leads me to my next, and final, complaint about Other M. When I think Metroid I think of a few very simple things:

1) Exploring a deserted and unknown planet somewhere in the depths of the galaxy that contains...
2) Gigantic bosses that are guarding a wonder prize that is an...
3) Awesome power-up, sometimes old, and sometimes new.

Sadly, Other M disappointed me in all three of these areas. Throughout the course of the game you are taking orders from captain Adam Malkovich, he tells you exactly where to go, and exactly what weapons or power-ups you can use. With that I would like to thank everyone who ever complained about how "Samus always loses her powers at the beginning of every game", now I can only assume it is because of those people that Team Ninja decided they should switch it up. So, all you complainers, you got your wish. Samus starts with all of her powers from Super Metroid, but she decides not to use them until Adam tells her she can. This means that you will do exactly what Adam tells you to do, go exactly where Adam tells you to go, eventually fight a boss in these areas, and... receive absolutely nothing after defeating the boss. Now, I will admit that usually Adam gives you a new power-up while you are fighting a boss, but it doesn't have nearly the same effect as the classic Metroid style. The entire game I felt like I was accomplishing nothing, and that defeating the random bosses was completely pointless.

I realize that up until now I have basically done nothing but complained about what was wrong with Other M, but now that I have gotten all of that rotten stuff out of the way, I can focus on the things that I truly enjoyed about the game. The first thing that I would like to focus on would be the story.

I truly did enjoy the story of Other M, it was really what kept me going. Throughout the game you will find out a bit about Samus' past, why she quit the Galactic Federation to become a bounty hunter, and my personal favorite: How Ridley continues to re-appear in every game. That's right, as far as the story goes, Team Ninja definitely did their homework, and it certainly shows.

Another thing that I enjoyed was the battle system. I know that this is odd for me to say, considering that I was complaining about it earlier, but earlier was me complaining more about how over powered the mini bosses seemed to be. In the end the only problem I really have about the battle system is the fact that you can't move once you have entered first person mode. Other than that I liked how they went about handling the battle system, I enjoyed the way they allow you to dodge oncoming attacks, I enjoyed how fast paced the game was, but the thing I enjoyed most of all was jamming my cannon into a monster's skull, throat, or gut and firing a charge beam. It truly is a good feeling, especially if it's against a mini boss that has killed you 5 times.

Continuing with the three ideal things that each Metroid game should have, Other M was rather disappointing when it came to exploring and power-ups; though it did have a good amount of gigantic bosses that you needed to face. And on top of that, there were also a few recognizable faces among the bosses. Ridley being one of them, of course, but there was also an appearance of another Queen Metroid, just like the one you fought in Metroid II. Another familiar face is Nightmare, the gravity controlling monster that was first seen in Metroid Fusion (which takes place after this game).

All-in-all I think that the biggest problem with Metroid: Other M is simply the fact that it is a Metroid game. If it was a game that had no connection to the Metroid series whatsoever, like a new project from Nintendo and Team Ninja, I think I would have enjoyed it more, but the game truly just didn't have a Metroid feel to it. Still, if you're a die-hard Metroid fan like myself, and want to collect all the games, then you will not regret buying it. If not, then Other M is definitely worth a rent; you'll probably end up liking the game much more than I did because you won't be judging it against the other Metroid games.

Overall Score: 7.6/10


kioshi83 said...

you are a frickin moron, it sounds like your crying about a game that you die in, for for the sake of dying. i know its been years since games have been hard enough for seasoned gamers to die in but come on. it sounds like you completely skipped over ALL the exploring, alot of the pickups are seamlessly hidden in the rooms and have quite clever puzzles to them, which i enjoyed greatly. i did kind of miss getting items for suit upgrades/beams/powerups but thats really about the only complaint i have with this game, it really feels like metroid4

Wade said...

What you seem to fail to realize is that I'm not complaining about dying, I'm complaining merely about how there is no way to tell exactly how to defeat certain enemies. When I play Metroid (or any game really), I expect to have to die trying to figure out how to kill a boss, but there were many times where I died trying to defeat some enemy I met in a hallway. And the worst part was that the enemy would flash red when hit with a charge beam, so I would obviously assume it was being hurt, but after shooting charge beams at it for a good 10 minutes I began to realize that, that is not the case. It was just rather tedious and frustrating, and greatly affected my enjoyment of the game.

Digman14 said...

While I feel that the lack of gaining power-ups in traditional Metroid fashion is a let down, It doesn't ruin the game. Of course I would have much preferred if it was a more even balance, say you get an ability after a boss, which was defeated using a weapon Adam authorized.

The Missile regeneration system was a terrible idea, it makes missiles WAY too easy to get. I would like to see a balance between the Prime games- in which you would spend hours struggling to find that missile you needed to open that door- and the 2D Metroid games- in which missile are very easy to earn by simply killing any enemy. It also makes getting another missile tank practically worthless. Which, did I mention, only gives you one more missile? Yippee!

Aside from all this: Gameplay, Music, Story, Graphics, Presentation, Sound Effects, and Even Voice acting is all top notch. While Samus' constant asides do kind of slow the game down and make it a bit cheesy, be mindful that this is the first time Nintendo has tried significant voice acting. Samus spoke the exact same way in Fusion text bubbles, but no one seemed to notice until now.

All in all, Other M is a great game, its flaws are present, but they're manageable. Nintendo fans and Metroid fans will buy the game regardless of their opinions of it, but to those unknown to the series, its a nice idea to pick up and rent for 2 or 3 days.

Bruno said...

SOME COMPLAININGS ARE NONSENSE. Let's clear some of them...

- Samus is NOT dramatic in this game and she NEVER changed. The baby metroid died to save her life, of course she would be grateful to it. The meeting with Ridley was a surprise to her, her reaction was normal. And Adam was like a father to her, it's natural to feel insecure for meeting him again after years and crying for his death. Besides, she's a woman, women cry more than men, but man or woman, who doesn't cry when someone you love dies?
Who played Metroid Fusion, which story is chronologically AFTER Other M, saw how grateful she was to the baby metroid and how much she loved Adam. Other M has many conversations, like Fusion. But only Other M has many videos with conversation, showing her personality 100%. All other games don't have enough videos to show her personality, then she didn't change at all, she's just starting to show who she is;
- Following a superior military orders makes sense, specially the man she admired most. Adam's order to reactivate powers gradually was a way to test Samus' discipline, even she not being a Federation soldier anymore, and was part of his strategy to avoid problems. This way they could make us retake the powers a different way, instead of losing them and collecting artifacts again, that would be repetitive.
Only that part of heat damage, Adam took too long to tell Samus to reactivate the Varia Suit, but the rest is okay;
- About the items, that accel charge was unnecessary and I thought they would put at least 1 new power, but that's okay, they made a good job anyway;
- The scenary looks like Metroid Fusion very much, so what? Super Metroid is the same place of Metroid 1, right? And same enemies. The Bottle Ship and the secret experiments were a good way to show the zebesians and metroids back and explore many kinds of ilusional environments;
- No problemas about the bosses, I liked the very most. I just wish we could fight Melissa, not only watching her die in a video. But she was very creatively planned, she's an special Aurora Unit (like Mother Brain was) in human form, with the power to control all beings in that station;
- And Adam's helmet could explain how his mind was copied to a computer in Fusion. Then the extension was necessary. As we know, the Federation decided to exam the Bottle Ship for 2 days before exploding it. They must have found his helmet, in which there should be a chip with his memories. When Samus found the helmet, she watched his last moment next to it, it was all recorded, like he could see what she saw from her suit. They didn't say that in the game, but it makes sense, doesn't it?

Metroid Other M is amazing. I know all Metroid games and this one is surelly one of my favourites. I give 9 to this game, maybe a little more.

dhagens12 said...

My complain, this game was WAY TO EASY! The only one I had any problem with was the Queen Metroid, it was a big time pain to freeze all those little buggers chasing you around. Ridley, I died once then ruled him, the annoying boss that kept coming back, died twice the first battle with him only, phantoon, beat him the first time, he was flippin easy. In the prime series, I remember all the boss's being tough, that's what I loved about older metroids, on Super, Phantoon was a bleep of a lot harder, I actually think that Nightmare was harder on this game and the ending to him was cool, didn't expect it to still be alive when I walked back into that room lol, it was kind of demented, like a baby alien trapped in a machine, but it was fun, but as stated, WAY TO EASY for a Metroid vet, they better not go weak like they have done with Zelda, I can push 1 button practically and beat bosses on zelda these days, zelda is to kid

Metroid Other M Action Figure said...

It's not like Nintendo was ignorant of Samus' stature in the video game world; she's typically seen as the one solid female role model in a sea of exploitation, fake tits and "aw shucks, thanks boys!" characters. I collect this amazing METROID series from at PIJ.