Review: ‘Metroid: Other M’ Invades The Nintendo Wii

Metroid: Other M (Wii - August 2010) - Nintendo/Team Ninja

I am a huge fan of Nintendo’s Metroid series dating back to the original game on the Nintendo Entertainment System in the mid-’80s. I am also a huge fan of Team Ninja’s Ninja Gaiden series on the XBox and XBox 360. Thus, when I heard that Nintendo and Team Ninja were collaborating on a new Metroid game for Wii, I was excited. Though I was disappointed that the first-person style of the Metroid Prime series was being scrapped, I figured a return to the series’ side-scrolling roots might be a good thing.

Unfortunately, my initial disappointment was the tip of the iceberg. Metroid: Other M is not only the worst Metroid game, it’s a bad game period.

The Metroid series has always been short on plot. The protagonist, Samus Aran, never speaks. She doesn’t need to talk – she’s a bounty hunter who’s out to kick alien tail. Nintendo and Team Ninja have changed that. They managed to take a bad-ass bounty hunter and make her a petulant, whiny brat. Samus now does things like give a “thumbs-down” to show displeasure with authority. It’s not just her childish actions; most of the game is spent listening to Samus do monotone voiceovers where she sounds bored and emotionless. It was like listening to the female version of Orlando Jones in Office Space when he pretended to be a crackhead to sell magazines.

Another staple of the Metroid series is exploration. As you progress, you access new weapons and skills that allow you to access previously inaccessible areas. This requires extensive backtracking and visiting areas over and over again. Most fans love the exploration element of the series; however, that element has been scrapped too. Granted, there are areas that can’t be accessed initially, but there’s no real incentive to backtrack when you get what’s necessary to get the items. And, in a completely idiotic move, instead of acquiring key powerups like new beams and armor from boss enemies, Samus has access to all of her weapons from the outset. Samus simply chooses not to use them until her military buddy (who plays a heavy role in the melodrama that ensues) authorizes her to do so. On one hand, I understand that Nintendo wanted to do something different because in every game, Samus has to acquire the same weapons over and over again. It’s silly – what does she do with all that stuff? Why doesn’t she keep any of it? But this move is idiotic and makes no sense. By way of example, Samus doesn’t activate her heat suit when she is in a lava stage because this guy who really isn’t her boss but she obeys anyway hasn’t given authorization, so your health drops quickly. It’s flat-out moronic.

Story aside, the gameplay is good with one glaring issue. The game is played using the Wii remote, held on its side. There’s not a lot to the controls, Samus autotagets the nearest enemy. Where the controls suck is the first-person mode. You have to point the remote at the screen to switch to first-person mode to shoot missiles. This is clunky and is complicated by your inability to move while in first person mode. Going back and forth between the two modes, particularly during boss fights, is frustrating. Speaking of bosses, this is another area where Other M fails. The Metroid series, particularly the Prime trilogy, features memorable, challenging boss battles. Such is not the case here, with one exception where Samus faces an old nemesis, but even that experience is shortchanged by Samus cowering in fear. Not what you want to see in a bad-ass.

And the ending is horrible. There is no final, epic boss battle. You don’t even see the titular creatures until the very end of the game. The end consists of a missile shoot-out that’s as exciting as pointing and clicking with a remote can be. You have the option to continue the game after the main story and you have access to weapons not previously available, which is stupid – why put them in the game at all? Frankly, I was so angry at the way the main story ended that I didn’t finish the rest of the experience, although there’s not much to say – there’s a few missiles and a boss battle. Why wasn’t that part of the main story? Why tack on a pointless epilogue where you access weapons that should have been part of the main game?

The environment is also not as memorable as other entries in the series. The game takes place on a spaceship that, aside from its general areas, has three distinct regions – a jungle, a lava area and a snow area. None of the areas are large and none have the lasting appeal of other areas in the series. It’s a shame, because the graphics are very good for a Wii game and the cutscene movies look really good. But, as Other M proves, it takes more than a shiny coat of paint to make a good game.

As for the sound and music, I didn’t find any of it memorable. There’s the familiar Metroid music and it’s cool to hear a remixed version of the original NES theme music at the beginning, but that’s it. As with all Wii titles, Other M suffers from not having stereo support.

I was excited for Other M but the product did not live up to the hype. Hopefully, Nintendo is smart enough to learn from its mistake and dump Team Ninja, whom I suspect was largely responsible for this mess. Unless you are a die-hard Metroid fan and must have this game, I wouldn’t waste your money. For less than what Other M costs, buy Metroid Prime Trilogy instead and get three five-star games for less than the price of one crappy game. Also, download the original Metroid and Super Metroid from the Virtual Console and relive the classics. — Pedro Moreno

Rating: 1.5 Little Goombas out of 5

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5 Responses to “Review: ‘Metroid: Other M’ Invades The Nintendo Wii”

  1. Review Reviewer says:

    Oh boy, the reviewer has his work cut out for him today. I dont think this one got anything right, not just the usual failures of not knowing who made the game… but I dont think this one got ANYTHING right.

    The metroid series has historically been the heaviest series on plot in the state side Nintendo stables, and definately of the big 3.

    The NES books were FULL of a whole metroid universe full of galactic governments, organized crime characters and what not.

    By the second game Samus was characterized in game (She failed her mission, because she couldnt bring herself to terminate a baby…. man did that bite her in the butt.)

    By the third game she began narrating. There was a 5 minute intro full of Saus talking about how she came about the infant metroid.

    By the fourth game, she monolouged at every elevator.

    Same with the remake of the first game. Other M is a natural extension of the original metroid franchise, particularly as a return to a console and not a handheld game. Metroid Prime is not Canon and does not exist in the original metroid series.

    Looks like this self proclaimed metroid fan is steeped in ignorance about his favourite franchise.

    He is also incapable of distinguishing past from present. He complains about Teenage Samus in flashbacks, confusing her with present day Samus.

    The story must have been utterly confusing to this reviewer as it revolves around Samus regretting the things she did back when she was young and dumb.

    He is also unfamiliar with what narration is, particularly of the noir style.

    It looks like a long list of these gripes is directly related to his lack of comprehension skills…. Man I called this one.

    At first he complains that exploration has been canned, making mention of the back tracking that metroid is known for, then, realizing that that is actually still in the game, they just give the option to the player whether they want to go search for powerups like missile expansion, charge accelerators, and energy tanks (Things that are never mentioned in the review… What exactly is he reviewing? A game or his ‘metroid pedigree’?)

    He then switches his complaint to the cosmetic change in how powerups are aquired…. And erroneously gets that wrong as well.

    He claimed that powerups were found under the foot of defeated bosses. Well, thats metroid prime 2 and up. Not metroid.

    Aside from metroid 4 and the aforementioned prime games, powerups are very rarely aquired from bosses. They are found hiding out in the game. Other M does have powerups aquired from bosses, about the normal amount for a typical classic metroid game, two.

    In other M, instead of finding a certain screen with a power up in it and touching it to activate the powerup, the player finds a certain screenm a situation comes up, and the powerup is authorized.

    Other M researched Military customs and doctrines for other M (THe thumbs up sign is a visual take on an auditory custom from many militaries throughout history, continuing today, and into the forseeable future). The one the reviewer is ignorant of is known as rules of engagement.

    In order to minimize collateral damage soldiers are restricted to using the minimum amount of force required to resolve a situation, and when that amount of force is shown as insuffecient they are authorized to kick it up a notch. Other M shows this in practice wonderfully. Samus’s mission in other m, after all, is not search and destroy, but rescue and extraction of civilians. Cant rescue them if you blew them up.

    He erroneously complains about a particular scene that didnt happen.
    Samus was never authorized to turn on her varia suit. SHe was reminded. The part of the game he was referring to is an action packed sequence of events that have Samus unwittingly entering a hot zone when sidetracked from her mission by a certain creature.

    During this time all kinds of crazy stuff happens in the hot zones, the player (and Samus) doesnt have a moment to think, as somethings always exploding, chasing, erupting, or swatting at them.

    Upon finding a break in action, the varia suit is NOT authorized, the word authorized is specifically NEVER used here, and is used every other time. She is reminded to turn the protection on when she got a break in the action…. But the break wasnt long enough, as the distraction from activating the suit got her snatched up….

    Hopefully this is all the misinterpereted story complaints for this review….

    Okay… good, to the journalists game skill failures.

    The review flat out lies about the switch to first person mode. Or it would be a lie if the reviewer actually knew how to play.

    THe player is NOT a sitting duck in first person mode, and can indeed leap out of harms way.

    The player is free to sense dodge (Another move omitted by this review… in fact, this review didnt mention ANY MOVES except the one they wanted to complain about… what the hell are they reviewing?) into and out of first person mode. Something that is absolutely necessary to beat the game in hard mode (Yeah… this review wont mention anything about that because it never beat the game…. He thinks he did… But he didnt.)

    In fact, the switch into and out of first person is so brilliant that it can link to other moves also not mentioned int his review, like the overcharge blast for custom created combos…

    For example, the player can leap over a baddy, fire a charged shot, press 2 in midair to go back into a spin jump, jump off the wall, land on the baddies head, perform an overblast attack (Samus lands on a creature and overpowers them with one arm, while shoving her charging arm cannon into something squishy, like a brain cavity, and fires a fully charged shot) the force of the blast lifts her into the air, the player can then switch to first person mode midair, in an awesome bullet time sequence (Also negated by the review, certain moves and cobos, and going into first person activates a breif few seconds of bullet time where the player can do AMAZING THINGS) and fire a missile into the enemy before ever touching the ground. THis is all one combo and takes place one after the other. Brilliant.

    Of course, not all gamers have the skill that 2d gamers used to have, so its easy to see how someone used to the slow non metroid pace of prime can be overwhelmed and blame the game instead of his own skills. Newer gamers tend to do that a lot with older games… And apparantly new games with old school values. Or maybe an old gamer whos skills atrophied over the years…

    The reviewers ignorance of the franchise rears its ugly head again with the incredible ridley scene. In fact, the games entire story referenced events from Samus’s origin story he doesnt seem to know anything about… It was published eight years ago as a promo for fusion so nearly a decade is a little late to start complaining. Then again, from his metroid=no story complaints it seems like he probably doesnt know fusion existed.

    Anyways, he says Samus cowers like a little girl, in reality, Samus has a bad case of PTSD, her cryptonite, and the trigger is the creature who murdered, bbq’s and ate her entire village and her parents in front of her eyes…. Ridley.

    He witnessed a ptsd episode, where Samus relived the moment that orphaned her. Fortunately, she did what is nearly impossible for most with ptsd, (with the rare exception of the combat veteran success rate…) shook off the shakes, stepped up to big ugly and pointed her gun in his face, ready to go head to head, toe to toe. EXACTLY what you want to see out of a bad@$$.

    And finally… The reviewer never finished the game.

    He stopped after the missile sequence shootout….

    And never saw the epic fanservice finale bossfight or the classic metroid timebomb race finale.

    Id be pissed too if I didnt see the finale and thought that was the ending. But I did.

    The reviewer goes on to complain about the sound and music (For which Nintendo hired one of the most acclaimed composers in Japan…. typically works on motion pictures….)

    THe soundtrack is excellent and a clear return to the classics, or you can take the guy who hasnt gotten a single damn thing rights word for it.

    He then turns his sights to the art, of which series creator and original art director Hiroji kiyatake picked up his reigns once again. And man does it show, this game bleeds classic metroid visuals.

    Or you can take the word of the guy who didnt get a single damn thing right yet.

    AH yes…. and here we go, the real reasoning….

    Team Ninja praise aside, this guy thought he knew everything that metroid was and should be (The former is clearly false, and the latter is subjective, but based off the former…. Not worth much) and formed a self fulfilling prophecy the moment he found out team Ninja was involved.

    So the second he found out his imaginary version of Samus, or the non characterized one from the primes wasnt the one the game went with, but the real Samus that was defined nearly a decade ago that he didnt know anything about…

    In actuality, the story was done by series creator yoshio sakamoto, continuing the story of the first three metroids, ignoring the primes, and fitting in perfectly witht he events to follow the story in metroid fusion, and referencing her origin story.

    When Sakamoto said this was to be a game specifically for real metroid fans, he wasnt kidding. If you dont REALLY know metroid, you are going to be lost in the sauce on this one. Do yourself a favor and find and read Samus’s origin story before playing other M. Relax, its free, always has been.

    So once again we step away from a review thats… Not really a review at all, just another person trying to stroke his metroid pedigree for a crowd.

    Well, his pedigree has been revoked, he doesnt know anything about the story, and didnt do his research on this game either.

    THis review gets a 1/10

    -Factual innacuracies
    -Comprehension failures
    -Main purpose was personal and not to review the game.
    -no description of the actual game whatsoever

    This article is not a legitimate source of information to base a purchase off of.

  2. Review reviewer says:

    WHoah, almost missed this one….

    The reviewer also claims about the game not having stero sound… Another falsehood… \\Other M, along with the primes, and pretty much EVERY Nintendo published game not only has stero support….

    It Has surround sound. Dolby Pro Logic II is supported by metroid other M, and in fact, the log is shown on the back of the box….

    Not exactly dolby digital, but the wii doesnt do dolby digital.

    While not as clear, it DOES however provide fantastic surround sound, there is a LOT in these environments, and everything from dripping water, an eerie screech to a rampaging beast is spacially placed in 3d sound….

    As long as you know how to switch to dolby prologic 2 compatability mode on your speaker system.

  3. Review Reviewer Reviewer says:

    The Review Reviewer, or as he refers to himself “The Reviewer has his work cut out for him today,” is way off base and exceedingly moronic in his ranting. Pedro, a seasoned gamer, reviewed the game (which is simply entertainment — not something to wet your pants over) as he played, commenting on dislikes and likes so gamers don’t waste their money on this crap. So RR, do you work for Nintendo? Were you paid to sit in your mother’s basement and tell the world how wonderful this stink-bomb of a game is, so as to confuse gaming minds out there?

  4. Jason Price says:

    The Review Reviewer has way too much time invested in the Metroid Universe and pointless review reviewing. Survey says…. he’s a douche.

  5. Pedro Moreno says:

    “Well, his pedigree has been revoked, he doesnt know anything about the story, and didnt do his research on this game either.”

    Danny Glover showed up at my house today to tell me that my Metroid pedigree has been revoked, just like he revoked that guy’s diplomatic immunity in Lethal Weapon 2. Great job. As for not knowing anything about the story or doing research, all I can tell you is the game is a steaming pile of dung and I wouldn’t buy it for $5. Period. Thanks for reading and giving us a thoughtful, well-written review. I hope your Thanksgiving sucked.

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