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Keeping Metroid Fresh,
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This review is from: Metroid: Other M (Video Game)
Objective Part of review:
Just like New Super Mario Bros. Wii, this game is controlled by holding the Wii mote sideways. Using the D-Pad you control Samus' movement in a 3D space. Although ideally a control stick would have worked more smoothly, the movement is surprisingly not that rough or game breaking. There is an auto-lock on feature when targeting enemies: If Samus is facing an enemy, then she will automatically target that enemy when firing; however, if the enemy is ever behind you, and Smaus is looking the other way, the only thing you will be shooting is the wall, which can be frustrating at times.
3rd person combat is worked around a dodge/shoot mechanic. A player taps the control pad before an enemy attacks, and Samus dodges, which leaves the player in a prime opportunity to follow up with a beam attack (dodging is very forgiving)*. Samus also has the ability to use melee attacks. With a charge beam, Samus can finish off enemies by either jumping on them or quickly approaching them when they are down: this mechanic does not work as smoothly as it should, as precision is often needed to be executed correctly.
To execute some of Samus' other abilities it is required to point the Wii remote at the screen. When you point at the screen you will be in the perspective of Samus' visor: first person mode. Whichever direction Samus is pointing is where you will be looking upon entering the mode. The transition can be seamless, but sometimes their will be a jump in cursor movements depending on how vigorously you are playing. In first person mode you are able to target enemies with a missile or beam shot, which is usually required to take down bosses or solve puzzles. However, in first person mode you are not able to move around. Don't expect to gun down all enemies in first person mode like Metroid Prime, you would only be making the game harder than it needs to be. A play style of combining 3rd person combat, and first person mode would be ideal and beneficial for the player.
Note: The controls won't come naturally, but the more you play the more fluid they can become. There is also a tutorial in the beginning of the game to help players get used to the play mechanics.
*Dodging also can be done in first person mode, just flick the cursor off the screen before an enemy attack hits you, which is hinted by green bars.
The classic Metroid formula is still intact. Work your way through various environments by using Samus' abilities: Morph Ball, and Grapple Beam to name a few. Defeat bosses and solve often times simple, but sometimes difficult, platform puzzles.
Note: It is important to listen when abilities are granted to Samus. This will help you understand new abilities effects, and make solving puzzles and defeating enemies easier. Some players have noted that this Metroid game is very linear compared to previous installments. You are often forced to travel a certain path for story purposes, and sometimes are barred from going to an area just visited. Once you complete the main story all paths are open.
Subjective Part of Review:
Very beautiful and moody atmosphere. The color palette is saturated, which harkens back to side-scrolling Metroid games. Sometimes textures can be plain, but everything else looks high production. Enemy design varies, and fans will get a kick out of seeing old baddies again. Samus' and enemy animations are fluid during battle. Sometimes character animations during cutscenes look a little awkward, but supposedly real actors were used for motion capture.
Note: This is of course a Wii game. Compared to games on other systems, Other M appears lack luster because the lack of HD.
Music is vacant for the less climatic parts of the game, but the scores pick up when tensions rise. This helps with the mood of the game and can be compared to a movie. Fans will enjoy an infused classic-Metroid soundtrack, but might miss the constant use of a score.
The voice acting is not half bad. This might not be a pixar movie filled with experienced voice actors, but the cast does a good job with conveying emotion and character. Fans may complain about Samus' actor, but she is fit for voicing the often times stoic Samus.
Beam explosions, enemies roaring, and metal echoing. Not ground breaking, but it helps with the atmosphere.
Nintendo's first go at modern cinematic story telling, and a good game for someone who hasn't played a Metroid game. The story can occasionally get confusing -- even for some Metroid fans, but the basic plot is fun and engaging. Is it recommended that you are familiar with the series? No, but for those who are, you have a nice treat awaiting.
Some fans may complain about the direction of Other M, especially how Samus' is portrayed. Western audiences in particular might be put off by typical Japanese story/character elements. Some of the lines can be a little cheesy, like most video game scripts.
The writing is a hit or miss with some dialogue being extremely ham-fisted: the baby, the baby.
I love Metroid. I've played all the games, I've read the Metroid manga (fan translated; if interested, then google it), and I complete speed runs just for fun. If you are like me, then this game has a chance to not disappoint. Once you complete a 100% run of the game, a hard mode is unlocked; One where expansions of all sorts are vacant. Good LUCK!
Q. How do they compare to the Prime games?
In terms of quality I'd say the Prime games are are better, but Other M is still great. Same name different beast.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 24, 2010 4:21:35 PM PDT
Thanks for a great review, very well written. I must agree with all you said.
Posted on Jan 21, 2012 10:08:50 AM PST
This is the best Other M review on Amazon. Reading the other reviews here, and the votes for positive ones, it's no wonder we get the same games repackaged over and over again when every time a developer takes a chance and makes something new, people complain that it's different. Am I the only one who remembers when sequels that offered next to nothing new were criticized? It's not much of a challenge creatively to be a developer anymore. These kids just want the same formula over and over again, and investors know this. It's not even remotely challenging to market to them.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2013 11:35:51 PM PDT
I don't think people hate change itself. History has proven that if change is good for a game and improves upon what was previously established, fans would love it and proclaim it as better than the original. They only really hate change if the stuff being changed was originally good and the result was something horrible.
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