Pointing the Wiimote towards the screen shifts Samus’ view in to first person mode, which is required to fire off the missiles you’ll need to open certain doors, and dispense with certain enemies. Unfortunately when you’re in first-person mode you’re immobile, like a turret – and it makes the first person bits gimmicky and largely pointless. There are thankfully infrequent moments where the game forces you in to first person, usually to scan over the environment for clues. I could have done without the first person bits, but the manual switching of perspectives eventually felt oddly empowering.
Visually, it’s incredibly impressive, considering its platform. Thanks to some excellent design and some clever tricks, Team Ninja have produced some stunning visuals, topping Super Mario Galaxy and rivalling even some games on more powerful hardware. The varied and detailed environments, thanks to the research vessel’s simulated terrain aren’t just recycled ship interiors making it a visual treat. Coupled with the quality CGI cutscenes and vivid, well designed monsters, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were playing on at least 3 gamecubes duct-taped together.
The first hour or so of the game portrays a misleading picture of the game and belies the fantastic adventure that awaits – but don’t worry, you’ll soon experience the lonely exploration that’s the series’ hallmark. It’ll take you up to 12 hours to complete the main game, but stick around and continue after the credit s roll and you’ll be well rewarded – just take my word on that one. The game opens up even more after completion; after completing the game I had only collected 40% of the game’s cleverly hidden power-ups and it took a few more hours to get the rest – and experience the game’s proper climax.
Metroid: Other M is brave and daring; Instead of playing it safe and create a sequel that largely played like the 2D Super Metroid – or continuing the 1st person trail started by Metroid Prime, the developers have created something that gloriously straddles the line between both. It’s unfortunate that not all of their risks paid off. I would have preferred more control options, and although the implemented controls work just fine, any problems with them would have been removed by the use of the familiar Wiimote/Nunchuck combo. It’s nice that they’ve fleshed out Samus’ story and characterâ€¦but did they have to make her emo?
Metroid Other M is a fantastic game that both benefits and suffers from the bold choices made by Nintendo and Team Ninja – but it’s one that any fan of Metroid really ought to play.
Interesting control scheme with awkward compromises. It works, but could do with more options.
Excellent design permeates, top notch CGI.
Wonderful orchestral soundtrack fitting of Metroid. Voice acting is excellent for everyone but Samus, who comes across in a wooden monotone.
10 hours for main campaign, maybe 3 or 4 more if you’re a completionist.
Overall: 8.5 (not an average)
Metroid: Other M is, I feel, a step in the right direction for the series. It is, despite first appearances a traditional Metroid game that will polarize fans upset with the change in direction – but frankly it shouldn’t.
[Reviewed on Wii]
Last Updated: September 14, 2010