So Metroid: Other M is now out. I haven’t played it yet. Notice that “yet” there. Don’t worry, I intend to play through this one as soon as possible, I just haven’t yet. Still, it’s my duty to inform our many, er, several readers about the big Wii game that’s got everyone talking. What I say here is more or less a recap of all other reviews, plus my own personal opinion on what I know. With those qualifiers in mind, let’s review us some Metroid.
As you’ve probably already heard, Metroid: Other M is developed by Team Ninja, the same developers behind Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive. You can rest easy knowing that Samus has not been sexualized past what she was already. You may be disappointed to learn that her other defining characteristic, staying silent, is completely done away with. She talks in cutscenes constantly, and apparently what she says is clichéd and obvious, as if she’s describing the scene like you were reading a book instead of watching it happen.
That seems to be a general complaint: The writing is dull and clichéd. It’s tricky because for a Metroid game to have Samus speak, you can’t just have “acceptable” dialogue for her. The consensus is Team Ninja couldn’t clear the bar for Samus’ character. They did soar right over the bar in terms of cutscenes though. The Wii’s processors must be spinning like crazy to keep up with whatever voodoo Team Ninja pulled off to craft cutscenes that look as nice as they do. Those alone might just be worth the $50 purchase.
The other big question comes down to whether the controls are good or not. Fusing 2.5D platforming with some First Person Shooting, Metroid: Other M takes a huge risk. Just like Metroid Prime before it, Other M either meshes perfectly with the player or pushes them away completely. You’ll either love the new gameplay style or you’ll hate it. Yes, I’m being wishy-washy, but that’s what I’m reading from everywhere. Some people think the game plays great, others think it needs a tune-up. There have been multiple complaints about some of the FPS sections where the game forces you into the fixed camera point from Samus’ perspective until you can find whatever thing you’re supposed to find, a task multiple reviewers claim took them over ten minutes in places. So be warned about that.
Other than that, reviewers are looking favorably on this title due mostly to the graphics but also from the more-or-less solid gameplay. The cutscenes are regarded as the selling points and while Samus needs to hush up, the story is said to have some pretty good twists in the later half. This one will certainly be a love-it or leave-it game.
But what do I think? I’m just happy that Team Ninja didn’t just put Samus in a bikini and parade her through some waterfalls, but I do wish she didn’t talk. I’m not going to be elitist and just not play Other M because of things I disagree with though since that’s just pointless. I’m sure I’ll love it when I play it, but Other M just means one thing I really hate: The Prime series is officially done. I want Retro Studios back at the helm of Metroid and I want to see what comes next. Metroid Prime 3 was too good a game to leave me hanging.
And that’s all there is to say about Metroid: Other M until I have it in my hands. The game isn’t terribly long, and the difficulty is said to be much simpler than previous Metroid games, so don’t feel too daunted by this one. Just don’t complain about the change of form. We’ve all been proven wrong in the past.
Want more game reviews? Check these out:
Also, be sure to read the Metroid Retrospective as well!