Nintendo is known for two things: great first-party titles and taking risks. Their latest risk was putting Team Ninja – a development team that isn’t really all there when it comes to respecting women – in charge of the latest Metroid title for the Wii.
Metroid: Other M takes place before Metroid Fusion and after Super Metroid. Been awhile, eh Metroid fans? It shows the ending events of Super Metroid (very beautifully, I might add) where Samus destroys Mother Brain after the Infant Metroid sacrificed itself for Samus. Samus finally gets back to her ship and talks about the baby. I’m just going to stop right here and say that the script is just awful. I’m all for making Samus three-dimensional and not some soulless bounty hunter, but in the soliloquies her voice actress just sounds so monotone. Thats about all i’m gonna say for the voice actors though. I enjoyed the voice acting when Samus wasn’t in soliloquy-mode. I’m gonna break the rest of the review down like this.
Team Ninja returns the game to its roots.
When Samus is fighting, you feel like you’re untouchable. Now some people may find that to be a bad thing but I honestly was kicking the shit out of enemies just as much as I was dying. The combat is fluent and never boring. The entire time you’re dodging, charging up your attack or just shooting at things with the auto-aim (which is perfectly fine to me) and destroying those dirty space pirates. One big gimmick of this game is the Mini-Fatalities. When you get an enemy to a certain point in their health you can jump on their head and release a devastating charge beam to destroy them, or perform a mini-fatality by running up to them quickly while charged up and executing an instant kill. The animations are awesome. I absolutely loved destroying all of these baddies. The game feels like a mix of Fusion and Super Metroid. That makes me a very happy camper as I loved both. The platforming is fantastic and the three dimensions just make it that much more fun. The action is fast paced and continues to deliver throughout the entire game.
The Visuals and Sound
Team Ninja has absolutely pushed the Wii to its limits graphics-wise. Other M is unbelievably crisp and just a delight to look at. The rendered shapes and colors are outstanding for a Wii game. The graphics help build the atmosphere for the game the entire time. Keeping you hooked on the detailed enemies and Bottle Ship areas are just fantastic. The In-Game cutscenes look fantastic and put plenty of games to shame. There are 3 corridors to go to whether it be Fire, Ice, or Nature. They’re all very great looking and really add to the game in my opinion. The sound is damn good. The remade songs from previous Metroid Titles sound beautiful. They’re just awesome songs that fit both the atmosphere and just make the entire game worth while, to me. Although there is a bit of a negative to the sound where occasionally it’s just silent throughout the level. It’s a bit annoying but, when the music is there, it’s damned good.
The Epic Boss Battles
These battles will continue to keep your blood pumping throughout the entire game. There are plenty of new bosses this time around like Goyagma, Vorash, King KiHunter, or even the returning bosses like Queen Metroid, Nightmare, or Ridley. (Oh and P.S. Samus. Did not. Cry. People are over reacting. DID. NOT. CRY.) The music plays a huge part in these boss battles. Whether it be Vorash, Queen Metroid, Ridley or even the last boss (which I will not spoil for those who haven’t played it yet). It’s a great mix of old and new with awesome looking new bosses and fantastically updated versions of old bosses…SAMUS DID NOT CRY BECAUSE OF RIDLEY NOR DID SHE EVER CRY….okay i’m done with that.
The Conspiracy and Overall Story
If you haven’t played the game…then Spoiler Alert right here. but there’s a “deleter” inside of the group trying to kill everyone who found out about the Bottle Ship. It ends up with Anthony being the only one alive but he’s confirmed to not have been the deleter. There’s even a boss battle against the person who people suspect is the deleter…but then the deleter sub-plot is thrown out the window…and I just don’t understand why? The story itself seems okay…but then it just takes a whole turn for the worse in the later act. Samus has to help the Galactic Federation with a distress call they heard in the galaxy when they meet up on the Bottle Ship. Samus can’t use her weapons because her Commanding Officer for the Mission (Commander Adam Malkovich from Metroid Fusion) orders her not to…well that’s fine. It’s better than having her trip on a rock and lose all of her powers AGAIN…but when you don’t activate your Varia Suit because Adam didn’t tell you to while you’re losing health…thats inexcusable. Team Ninja dropped that ball on that one. I love that Samus was given actual emotions and was made human. A little too human at times but that’s to be expected.
Unnecessary First Person
Let me explain that while in combat and just throughout the game the First Person to 3rd Person conversions are fluent and enjoyable. I didn’t have much of a problem with them…what I did have a problem with is that right after a cutscene they lock you in first person mode until you find the thing you’re looking for…What the hell is this adding to the game? Here’s an example. I just got finished with an “unnecessary” boss fight in First Person with what they at the time called “Mystery Creature”. (Spoilers: Turns out it’s Ridley in his 2nd form) The boss was more frustrating than it was challenging. That’s not supposed to happen. Especially with a Wii-Mote you need to point at the Screen, but anyway, After the Boss Fight I was locked in First Person until I found a little green puddle (resembling blood) and it took me 5 whole minutes (I shit you not) to look around and find this bastard. It’s ridiculous.
It pains me to say this, being the fan that I am, but unless you’re a diehard Metroid fan just rent this one. Try it out. It’s worth at least the first few hours. I personally feel that it’s a love/hate game within the Metroid Canon. That’s to be expected. I loved this game, but I love Metroid and the character Samus Aran. It’s entertaining and keeps me going, even the Final (Final) Boss after the credits and real ending is just how a Metroid game should end! Team Ninja; as long as you fix what you did with the story I’d invite you to come join up with Nintendo again anyday.
I’m giving the game.
Hardcore Results: Buy
Casual Results: Rent