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Metroid: Other M

by Zachary Miller - August 30, 2010, 10:00 pm PDT
Total comments: 70

7

It's not great for a Metroid game, but there is some fun to be had... after the credits roll.

I beat Metroid: Other M on Saturday night and instantly sat down to write a very negative, raw, emotional review of what had turned out to be a very disappointing game. The next day, however, I sat down with it again and discovered that, bizarrely, it actually improves immensely once you load up your completed game. So, I binned the old review and played some more. And what I found was wonderful, so I have to try this review again. And the more I thought about the story and the pacing of Other M, famously lambasted by other media outlets, I came to realize that, really, none of us should be surprised by the direction the series has gone. We’ll get to that in a minute, but first, let’s talk about this newest game in Samus’s long-running adventures.

Other M takes place on the Bottle Ship, a biological research space station that bears an uncanny resemblance to Metroid Fusion’s BSL research station. During the course of the game’s story you will see many references to Fusion; so many, in fact, that you’ll begin to wonder whether Sakamoto gave the Team Ninja developers copies of that 2002 GBA game and said “make a 3D version of this.” Of course, the new kids on the block are Adam Malkovich and his squad of Galactic Federation soldiers, who are (supposedly) responding to the same distress signal that caused Samus herself to alter course. The story quickly spirals out of control, throwing every tired sci-fi cliché in a blender. To spoil absolutely nothing, you’ll hear about government conspiracies, vengeful AIs, cloning, and genetic manipulation. I rolled my eyes so often that I developed vertigo. While the game never devolves into a Metal Gear Solid-style “run from cut-scene to cut-scene”, there are times when it feels dangerously close to that, especially at the end.

But Other M’s main story is almost an aside to the center stage: Samus Aran herself. After more than 20 years of being mute, everyone’s favorite space-faring bounty hunter is in the spotlight, chatting it up through long-winded, robotic internal monologues. The problems are twofold: the writing is awful, and while intending to make Samus more human, it instead makes her whiny and insecure. Worse, Samus’s voice actress is phoning the performance in, sounding more like the Enterprise’s computer than a living, breathing human. The emotional depth implied in the writing is not adequately explored in the voice acting. What’s really sad is that Samus—the main character—is outclassed by every other character in the game who has spoken dialogue.

Even more disappointing, though, is that the story is presented in such a way that it actually affects your exploration of the Bottle Ship. It is impossible to get 100% of the items during the story. Doors are strategically locked off to drive your progress in a certain direction, and you don’t get full access to Samus’s suit upgrades until after the credits roll. For any hardcore Metroid fan like myself, this means that the story mode is essentially filler, existing only to make the player sit through the convoluted storyline. The real fun doesn’t begin until Samus returns to the Bottle Ship, at which point she can explore it at her leisure. You have to sit through the story to get to the real Metroid game underneath.

Once the post-game scenario begins, the real fun comes with it. While incomplete, the map now shows the location of every missile and energy tank, and you can go hog-wild trying to find everything before facing a final, awesome boss and the game’s second ending. I was really impressed with how the game uses all of Samus’s upgrades fairly evenly in pursuit of items. In one instance, you’ll look up at the ceiling while sliding down a ramp to blow a panel open with a Super Missile, then run back up the slope with the Speed Booster and hit a Grapple Point that was inside the panel on the return trip. All this to get a Missile Tank? Hell yes, and it’s what Metroid games are all about.

The control scheme is unique in that players only use the Wii Remote held on its side, NES-style. Using the D-pad to move through 3D space is not the most comfortable setup in the world, but the game does use some cheats to make it easier—forced perspective and a camera that follows Samus, not the geography, allowing you to keep pressing one direction to move around a continuous surface, for example. It’s also initially alarming that there’s no lock-on button, since our girl will often be shooting down swarms of enemies. There is a good auto-aim function, though, and Samus will clear the room as long as she’s looking in the right direction. She can also dodge by tapping a direction on the D-pad before an impact. One nice touch here is that if the player is charging the beam (with the 1 button), it will hit a full charge the second Samus dodges, and immediately releasing the button after the dodge will cause Samus to automatically fire at her attacker, like a reversal.

The other weird thing is that pointing the Wii Remote at the screen will make Samus jump into first-person view. At this point, she’s a stationary turret that can only look around by holding down the B button and moving the pointer. This mode is used for specifically targeting enemies, using Missiles and Super Missiles, and triggering events by looking at things. The lock-on is a bit loose: you have to “find” whatever it is that the pointer can target (it’s rarely obvious during non-fight sequences), then hold down B to lock-on, then tap A to fire a Missile or hold A to charge up a Super Missile. You won’t jump from third to first-person a lot during fights, as there’s rarely a need. However, certain boss encounters demand it, and the unintuitive controller movement sometimes gets you in trouble. During one late-game boss battle, I had to stun the monster’s helpers with my Plasma Beam, then blast them with Missiles. Unfortunately, because I couldn’t move while using the Missile, the other helpers (and the boss) were violently attacking me while I was trying to shoot the one I’d stunned! And when multiple targets are on-screen at once, the targeting system basically has a seizure. This makes the final, forced first-person battle extremely frustrating and, dare I say, broken. Most, if not all of these problems would disappear if the player was allowed to use the Wii Remote + Nunchuk, or, in a best-case scenario, the Classic Controller.

Happily, this is the best-looking game on Wii, no questions asked. Team Ninja, true to form, has crafted a visual experience that seems to betray the hardware it's running on. The Super Mario Galaxy games don't look this good. Even Metroid Prime shows a few cracks now and again, but Other M is colorful, atmospheric, smooth, and bright. Reflections appear on the floors and walls, and particle effects explode out of every enemy in the game. The detail on Samus' beam weapons and the explosions they produce are wonderful. The pre-rendered cut scenes are similarly beautiful, though some of the heroine's Federation compatriots look a little bland (don't worry; they don't play a big part). In short, Other M looks like it's running on higher-end hardware. The only blemish is that the game will, on occasion, experience slight but noticeable slowdown and some irritating “now loading” sequences during the post-game exploration. It’s especially annoying (but hilarious) when you’re in the middle of a speed boost.

Character design is similarly brilliant. Samus herself looks absolutely amazing, better than she did in the Prime games. The aliens that populate the Bottle Ship are weird and wild, with several modeled on prehistoric creatures, including cameos from Anamalocaris and a trilobite. The highlights for me, though, are the dinosaur versions of tree people (think of the Ents from The Lord of the Rings). While most of the series regulars are here—Zoomers, Shriekbats, Bulls—they are incomparable to the newcomers.

There is surprisingly little actual music. A musical score only punctuates certain enemy encounters, and you will not find the classic Metroid music here. Some might find that unnaturally out of place, but I enjoyed it, because the tradeoff is that Other M is filled to the brim with ambient noise. Creatures, rustling plants, Samus's footsteps and (sometimes) breathing all suddenly come to the fore in a way they haven't in past games. Running water, flowing magma, and cold wind impart the idea that the separate biospheres of the Bottle Ship are living, breathing ecosystems. While some players may miss the music, others will find the overall experienced heightened by its absence. The Bottle Ship itself is intricately designed, with impressive set pieces, plenty of variety, and lots of nooks and crannies to explore with the Morph Ball.

Because the Bottle Ship is locked down during your initial play through, it feels inconsequential, perhaps existing for the sole purpose of driving the story forward. The real meat of the game—of any proper Metroid game—doesn’t come until after Samus returns to the Bottle Ship to find something she “left behind”. At that point, you can go wherever you want, collect all the items, and fight a seriously awesome bonus boss. You’ll get a Theater Mode (which you’ll never watch) and access to concept art galleries. Ultimately, Other M doesn’t get good until you slog through the over-baked story; if you can handle that, you’ll be in for a real treat of a game.

Summary

Pros
  • Boss fan service
  • Clever, imaginative design
  • Gorgeous graphics
  • Great use of ambient noise
Cons
  • Iffy controls, especially the perspective-shifting
  • No new suit or weapon upgrades
  • Overall story is pretty terrible
  • Samus's voice actress might be a microwave
  • The game doesn't really start until the post-game scenario

Talkback

FZeroBoyoAugust 31, 2010

So the overall verdict on the game is that it's pretty good. That's pretty much all I need, so I figure I'll pick this one up tomorrow.  :D

KnowsNothingAugust 31, 2010

Sounds perfect for me.  There's about ten hours of action-oriented narrative-driven game play followed by free exploration and an apparently fantastic second ending.  Even if the writing and voice acting is terrible it's not like I have to sit through sixty hours of it, and afterwards I'll still have enough energy and interest in the game to actually explore postgame content (which honestly rarely happens).  I don't think I'll be bothered with any changes to the "traditional" Metroid formula seeing as how Fusion is my favorite after Super Metroid.  This game might not be what most people expected but honestly it sounds pretty fun.

That said it is still disappointing that the story and voice acting turned out to be so poor.  Perhaps next time they'll get it right.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusAugust 31, 2010

Zach, does it get a little harder during post-game, and does it let you you fight through the bosses again?  I only saw mention of a better final boss. It sounds like it does skip on the apparently poor story the second time in. I don't know the likelihood of me playing through eight hours of bad story only to re-run through that same (but now boss-less) environment just for the opportunity to max out a character for one boss and an alternate ending.

How strange is it that they had to come up with workarounds for a control issue that could have been fixed by existing controller hardware?

All of the story mode bosses are gone during your second playthrough, Nate. It's akin to exploring the BSL station in Fusion right before starting your "final mission."

As of two hours ago, I have 92% of the items, and the few that remain are really giving me a hard time.

There's also a Hard mode.

LOVEooAugust 31, 2010

Wow. Really if the final hour is what people call Metroid Im glad they've ditched it. The final hour or two was the worst part of the game. If the whole game was like that I wouldve stopped playing it early on.

I think the games great final hours are terrible and drag it down.

DAaaMan64August 31, 2010

I can't believe the people think the voice acting was sooo bad or the story. 4 people in my house have seen the entire game and they all thought it was fine. They even thought the story was pretty cool.  I just don't understand the combination of my household of opinions plus that of the other positive reviews versus reviews like yours that hate so much on the voice acting and story. I mean, it would be one thing if you said it was just okay voice acting and story. But you talk about it like it was a Klonoa game.

GoldenPhoenixAugust 31, 2010

Quote from: DAaaMan64

I can't believe the people think the voice acting was sooo bad or the story. 4 people in my house have seen the entire game and they all thought it was fine. They even thought the story was pretty cool.  I just don't understand the combination of my household of opinions plus that of the other positive reviews versus reviews like yours that hate so much on the voice acting and story. I mean, it would be one thing if you said it was just okay voice acting and story. But you talk about it like it was a Klonoa game.

I think everyone should play Resident Evil 1 before judging voice acting in a game.

PlugabugzAugust 31, 2010

This makes me wary on my preorder.

Not much though.

SundoulosAugust 31, 2010

Quote from: greybrick

How strange is it that they had to come up with workarounds for a control issue that could have been fixed by existing controller hardware?

You're right; it's bizzare.  I guess there's only so much that Team Ninja could do since they basically had a design constraint forced upon them; I'd be willing to bet that there are builds out there that we'll never see that actually leverage different control methods.  Say what you will about Nintendo having a giving a player a very unique control experience, I think it never makes sense to force a player to use a control scheme when there are others readily available.  (Unless of course, it would have broken the game.)  In this case, giving the player the ability to use a the Wiimote and Nunchuk would have probably worked fine.

This game really reminds me of a Metal Gear Solid game in more ways than the cutscenes and the arguably bad story cliches.  (At least tell me that the characters aren't espousing Sakamoto's nonsensical political commentary!)  The fact that the game seems to be a redesign (at least thematically) of the station from Fusion reminds me of MGS as well.  I haven't played MGS 4, but the first three MGS games all borrow heavily from one another, as well as their top-down view Famicom predecessors in the reuse of structure, themes, and even bosses. 

I'll perhaps change my opinion of the game once I play it, but I still say that a number of the walkthrough videos I've seen make Other M look like a weird hybrid of 2D Metroid, MGS, and Resident Evil.


All that said, thanks Zach.  This is a fairly even-handed, honest review, and I really enjoyed reading it.

From everything that's been said about it across the web, and based on what I've seen, I think I'll probably still enjoy this game a lot.  ...and I'll hold out hope that eventually another 2D Metroid might make a return on the 3DS.  I still say that I would have liked to see a remake of Metroid 2 on WiiWare!

broodwarsAugust 31, 2010

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote from: DAaaMan64

I can't believe the people think the voice acting was sooo bad or the story. 4 people in my house have seen the entire game and they all thought it was fine. They even thought the story was pretty cool.  I just don't understand the combination of my household of opinions plus that of the other positive reviews versus reviews like yours that hate so much on the voice acting and story. I mean, it would be one thing if you said it was just okay voice acting and story. But you talk about it like it was a Klonoa game.

I think everyone should play Resident Evil 1 before judging voice acting in a game.


Or to give them a more recent game, Arc Rise Fantasia on the Wii.  ;)

It's disappointing that the main game is apparently so mediocre-to-terrible, and that the post-game content is apparently the only part of the game that actually allows for exploration (i.e. what this entire franchise is founded on).  And for a company like Nintendo would made their name on gameplay and control, it is inexcusable that they allowed this game to release with control as apparently wonky as Other M has.  It should be interesting to see if all the concessions Nintendo made to try to make this game sell in Japan will pay off in the long run, or if this is just an experiment they'll quickly bury.

GoldenPhoenixAugust 31, 2010

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote from: DAaaMan64

I can't believe the people think the voice acting was sooo bad or the story. 4 people in my house have seen the entire game and they all thought it was fine. They even thought the story was pretty cool.  I just don't understand the combination of my household of opinions plus that of the other positive reviews versus reviews like yours that hate so much on the voice acting and story. I mean, it would be one thing if you said it was just okay voice acting and story. But you talk about it like it was a Klonoa game.

I think everyone should play Resident Evil 1 before judging voice acting in a game.


Or to give them a more recent game, Arc Rise Fantasia on the Wii.  ;)

It's disappointing that the main game is apparently so mediocre-to-terrible, and that the post-game content is apparently the only part of the game that actually allows for exploration (i.e. what this entire franchise is founded on).  And for a company like Nintendo would made their name on gameplay and control, it is unforgiveable that they allowed this game to release with control as apparently wonky as Other M has.  It should be interesting to see if all the concessions Nintendo made to try to make this game sell in Japan will pay off in the long run, or if this is just an experiment they'll quickly bury.

Mediocre to terrible? The game has been getting good scores and even this score isn't that bad.

SundoulosAugust 31, 2010

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote from: DAaaMan64

I can't believe the people think the voice acting was sooo bad or the story. 4 people in my house have seen the entire game and they all thought it was fine. They even thought the story was pretty cool.  I just don't understand the combination of my household of opinions plus that of the other positive reviews versus reviews like yours that hate so much on the voice acting and story. I mean, it would be one thing if you said it was just okay voice acting and story. But you talk about it like it was a Klonoa game.

I think everyone should play Resident Evil 1 before judging voice acting in a game.


Or to give them a more recent game, Arc Rise Fantasia on the Wii.  ;)

To be honest, though, I can't name that many games with good voice acting. 

It's too bad that we probably don't have the option of switching the language; I often do that when possible if I find the voice acting intolerable.  It's more enjoyable when I can't understand what they're saying.

broodwarsAugust 31, 2010

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Mediocre to terrible? The game has been getting good scores and even this score isn't that bad.


According to Halbred, whose review I'm responding to, the main game isn't all that good and is only saved by the post-game content.  Setting the other reviews aside, it sounds like what he looks for in a Metroid game is similar to what I look for in a Metroid game, so it's likely that I would find similar issues with it.  I'll judge the game for myself, of course, when I pick it up later today, but so far it's disappointing to see NWR so cool on the game.

Uncharted 1 and 2 have the best voice-acting I've heard in a game.  Everything else pales in comparison.

CalibanAugust 31, 2010

That's because you never played Mass Effect 2.

broodwarsAugust 31, 2010

Quote from: Caliban

That's because you never played Mass Effect 2.


Indeed.  Uncharted 2 has excellent voice acting, but the two Mass Effect games are just on a whole other level.

SundoulosAugust 31, 2010

The common denominator here seems to be that the games with the voice acting that tend to be lauded as great were made by Western developers primarily for Western audiences.  Are there any games developed in Japan that are considered to have great voice acting?  It's an honest question, but I'm not sure that I can think of any examples.

broodwarsAugust 31, 2010

Quote from: Sundoulos

The common denominator here seems to be that the games with the voice acting that tend to be lauded as great were made by Western developers primarily for Western audiences.  Are there any games developed in Japan that are considered to have great voice acting?  It's an honest question, but I'm not sure that I can think of any examples.


Final Fantasies 12 and 13 had good voice acting.  In fact, Square-Enix in general does good voice acting these days, though not quite at the level of Bioware.  I'd also say Tales of Symphonia and Vesperia had fine voice casts as well.

SundoulosAugust 31, 2010

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: Sundoulos

The common denominator here seems to be that the games with the voice acting that tend to be lauded as great were made by Western developers primarily for Western audiences.  Are there any games developed in Japan that are considered to have great voice acting?  It's an honest question, but I'm not sure that I can think of any examples.


Final Fantasies 12 and 13 had good voice acting.  In fact, Square-Enix in general does good voice acting these days, though not quite at the level of Bioware.  I'd also say Tales of Symphonia and Vesperia had fine voice casts as well.

I'd agree...but even in big-budget titles like Final Fantasy, the execution tends to be unbalanced.  There are great characters that have cool voice actors (Auron, Balthier, Basch) but they're always balanced out by the ones that are extremely annoying (Tidus, Fran, Hope)  I haven't played Tales of Vesperia, so I can't speak to that one.  For the most part, I suppose I did like the cast of the original Tales of Symphonia...

I also generally like David Hayter as the voice of Snake in MGS; I can't imagine anyone else doing it...and most of the dialogue is delivered well by characters in MGS, it's just that the writing is so ham-fisted.

broodwarsAugust 31, 2010

Quote from: Sundoulos

I'd agree...but even in big-budget titles like Final Fantasy, the execution tends to be unbalanced.  There are great characters that have cool voice actors (Auron, Balthier, Basch) but they're always balanced out by the ones that are extremely annoying (Tidus, Fran, Hope)


Here's the thing, though: I don't think that's bad acting, but bad scripting.  Hope could have been voiced by Crispin Freeman or Yuri Lowenthal and it still wouldn't have made his character any more tolerable because his part is written to be a whiny, angsty preteen.  I thought the actor's actual performance was fine.  It just wasn't a character I could stand early in the game.  It's been too long since I've played FF 12 (and yet not long enough...ugh), but I don't remember Fran having enough lines to really judge the performance.  As for Tidus, well...it was Square's first try at voice acting, and I thought Tidus got better as the game went along.

MorariAugust 31, 2010

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

Uncharted 1 and 2 have the best voice-acting I've heard in a game.  Everything else pales in comparison.

Have you ever played Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines? That had by far the best dialogue, voice acting, and general characters I've ever experienced in a video game.

I don't care too much about the story. I figure it'll be lame anyway... all video games stories are. This is probably no more cliched than the repeat of Zelda we get every few years. The controls worry me more than anything... I own a nunchuck for a reason, Nintendo!

I still welcome the campy nature of the story. I don't expect Metroid to have this epic amazing story. I expect it to be kind of goofy and heavy handed, and that's what this is. It's the equivalent of a B-movie from its ridiculous story to its questionable voice acting.

Ian SaneAugust 31, 2010

Exploration is the whole damn point of Metroid.  If I have to more or less beat the game before I can even access the, you know, Metroid-style gameplay that's a problem.  What if I get stuck on a boss or something?  I'm not very good at twitch gaming.  I'm better at puzzle solving and exploration in videogames which is a big reason why I like Zelda and Metroid so much.  However I never do as well with Metroid because the bosses are a lot harder than Zelda bosses.  I'm just not very good at that.  But at least with every other Metroid game I get to enjoy the Metroid gameplay until I hit a boss I can't beat.  With THIS I'm could very well get stuck without playing the Metroid gameplay I buy Metroid games for in the first place.

Can you imagine this in another game?  Imagine Mario made you have to beat a whole game of a different genre before it let you hit the platforming?  It wouldn't fly in a million years.  Didn't the infamous Star Fox Assault use this design?

I suspect that Sakamoto sees Metroid in a vastly different way than most Metroid fans.  As a former Star Wars fan I know that's probably the most frustrating thing a fan can encounter.

We were concerned about the story, the exploration elements and the controls and in the end we were right about all three.

To be fair, I found 30-odd Missile Tanks during the story mode. In the post-game, I've found 30-odd more.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusAugust 31, 2010

Quote from: Halbred

To be fair, I found 30-odd Missile Tanks during the story mode. In the post-game, I've found 30-odd more.

But why are you collecting them? To fight more difficult enemies and bosses, or just for the pure catch 'em all mentality of it?

Hunting for powerups would seem like more fun if there was some reason to power up. Unless the platforming to get to them is challenging and exciting in itself, I can't collect for collection's sake/

AVAugust 31, 2010

Zach a few things


1) what did you think of Metroid Fusion?
2) Do you think this game would work better if released before Metroid Prime trilogy. We now know how 1st person Metroid is supposed to work so maybe this would have worked better before that release.
3) Did Piranha's and Dinosaur's coexist and swim the prehistoric ocean at the same time?

Kytim89August 31, 2010

Is there enough justification for a sequel to this game? I mean I keep hearing bad things about this game, but I am still not willing to give up on it and intend to buy it as I get some money.

Quote from: Kytim89

Is there enough justification for a sequel to this game?

It's called Metroid Fusion.

DAaaMan64August 31, 2010

Quote from: Kytim89

Is there enough justification for a sequel to this game? I mean I keep hearing bad things about this game, but I am still not willing to give up on it and intend to buy it as I get some money.

Definitely, I think these game is pretty damn good. Also, I like the idea of Metroid moving from these different styles every once in awhile. (2D side, FPA, this) So maybe they could patch up a few ends, satisfy a few more fans and release an even better metroid in this same style again. Its definitely possible.

Kytim89August 31, 2010

Quote from: MegaByte

Quote from: Kytim89

Is there enough justification for a sequel to this game?

It's called Metroid Fusion.


No, what I meant was a game with the same style and presentation as this title, but with all the flaws fixed. I have to admit that this game is generating interest for Metroid: Fusion in my mind.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusAugust 31, 2010

Quote from: Kytim89

Quote from: MegaByte

Quote from: Kytim89

Is there enough justification for a sequel to this game?

It's called Metroid Fusion.


No, what I meant was a game with the same style and presentation as this title, but with all the flaws fixed. I have to admit that this game is generating interest for Metroid: Fusion in my mind.

If you haven't played Fusion, go do it. Sure, the game is a bit linear, but it is a treat nonetheless.

Kytim89August 31, 2010

Quote from: greybrick

Quote from: Kytim89

Quote from: MegaByte

Quote from: Kytim89

Is there enough justification for a sequel to this game?

It's called Metroid Fusion.


No, what I meant was a game with the same style and presentation as this title, but with all the flaws fixed. I have to admit that this game is generating interest for Metroid: Fusion in my mind.

If you haven't played Fusion, go do it. Sure, the game is a bit linear, but it is a treat nonetheless.


All I have is a DSi and I sold my GBA. :P:  This is why I am asking for a virtual handheld service for the 3DS, but this is not the place for that topic.

http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/forums/index.php?topic=32215.0

First, Nate, yes, I'm just collecting them all. I believe you get another page of concept art for getting 100%.

Quote from: Mr.

Zach a few things

1) what did you think of Metroid Fusion?
2) Do you think this game would work better if released before Metroid Prime trilogy. We now know how 1st person Metroid is supposed to work so maybe this would have worked better before that release.
3) Did Piranha's and Dinosaur's coexist and swim the prehistoric ocean at the same time?

I like Metroid Fusion a lot, and play it often. I don't care for checking in with the computer constantly, and there's a certain point where, if you continue forward, you get stuck in the ending sequence and can't explore anymore, so you have to know where all the secret tunnels connecting the sectors are.

I don't think they would have used the first-person view if Prime had never come out. You would have selected Missiles by holding down B or something.

I actually don't know how ancient piranhas are.

BboyAugust 31, 2010

Great review Zach, best one I've read. I just got my copy in the mail, so I haven't played it yet, but this seems like the most fair review based purely on criticism, not great like IGN's or hating on it like G4, both seem to have let their expectations to get the better of them.

It seems to me that, similar to Zelda (portable vs. main games) and Mario (2D and 3D), Metroid is being split into two types. There's the Super/Prime types and the Sakamoto ones. Other M seems to be a 3D Fusion or Zero Mission in the way Prime was a 3D Super Metroid. The best part of Zero Mission was the endgame too, even just counting after you get back into Zebes. Samus sounds to be the same as from Fusion too.

Hyrulian GuardAugust 31, 2010

I wondered who the sarcastic bastard was that reviewed this game. I
looked at who reviewed it, oh  i see.  The same person who gave Dementium II
an 8 cause he didnt know how to play it.
So in real people terms, its probably an 8.5

Again Zach, you missed the point, the voice actor for Samus worked hard
to get her voice mono tone, while trying to convey emotions.(what the director
wanted)
I played about an hour, after work, was tired so went to bed thinking 'why did
they make her a whinning brat'.

I think I said that in the review. Lessee..."needy and insecure." Check.

At the time I wrote the review, I was unaware that the voice actress was instructed to be as robotic as possible, but it doesn't ultimately matter--that means the direction was terrible. Okay, she did a great job playing a terrible part. Check.

Why are you ragging on my Dementium II review? The game forces you into kill rooms where you basically have to expend ammo to survive, but when the final boss shows up, if you haven't been conserving ammo like gold, you're screwed. That's not "don't know how to play," that's "a bad game design choice."

Also, and this is important, I GAVE THE GAME AN 8.5.

I'm about five or six hours into Other M, and I freaking love it. It's not amazing, but it's more Metroid-y than I feel some people are giving it credit. It's not like Super Metroid or the Prime Trilogy. It reminds me heavily of Fusion.

One thing that's worth pointing out is that the boss battles are very organic. There's no huge build-up to an end-of-the-area boss. They just kind of happen, and I like that.

Also, The Deleter. The story is so deliciously awful, and I'm eager to find out what ridiculous and stupid thing happens next.

Hyrulian GuardSeptember 01, 2010

Dementium II , Really?  " But they put u in kill rooms."  Please, anyone who plays
servival horror knows u use the infinate ammo of the knife whenever possible.

Where u one of those people who say " metroid prime is an FPS because its in
first person."  The view matters not, its the gameplay.

As for metroid other M, i liked having my own store of a girl (alien, not human)
who has a suit and the abilities from a long gone race.
She was spared the annialation of her people and raised by other aliens who
combined the remains of her technology with their own. then that peaceful race
was distroyed, yet she survived again, now to fight for good.

but nintendo decided to go a different route. so we will see
but i like this game, as an evolution of the Super metroid 2D game.

TJ SpykeSeptember 01, 2010

Samus is human. She has had both Chozo and Metroid DNA infused into her body, but she has always been human.

I don't think any of the games themselves have directly referenced her being infused with Chozo DNA, except maybe one of the Prime entries in the half-pipe temple room...?

Anyway, I only have four more items to get--one in Sector 1, two in the Bio Lab, and one in the Main Sector. None of them have been particularly hard to get. When in doubt, use a Power Bomb.

broodwarsSeptember 01, 2010

Quote from: Halbred

I don't think any of the games themselves have directly referenced her being infused with Chozo DNA, except maybe one of the Prime entries in the half-pipe temple room...?

Yeah, I think that particular piece of backstory might be a creation of the Nintendo Power comic.  All I remember from that Prime 1 Chozo entry is them training Samus and giving her their Power Armor.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusSeptember 01, 2010

Quote:

" Where u one of those people who say " metroid prime is an FPS because its in
  first person."  The view matters not, its the gameplay."


I was one of the jerks that said Super Mario 64 was a 3d platformer because it had polygons and jumping.

TJ SpykeSeptember 01, 2010

After checking, it does appear that that fact only appears in the Super Metroid comic and in the Metroid manga, although the character that gave his DNA has appeared in the games. Anyways, she is human.

I've said before that the manga is canon, but I'm starting to doubt it. The games and the manga contradict each other in places. I see them as separate things now. I would still like to see a game set in Samus' early and teenage years, growing up with the Chozo and training to become a warrior.

These pixel hunts are driving me nuts. They are the only truly excruciating thing about the game so far. The writing and voices are on par with typical video game production, meaning they are bad, but not any worse than we're used to. The difference here, I think, is that Metroid has usually avoided these problems, while Other M embraces mediocre video game storytelling. The really weird thing is that it could have and should have been saved in localization. Most of the really terrible writing is in Samus's narration and during CG movies, when there is no lip-synching. So the Treehouse could have cleaned up most of Sakamoto's script -- either they chose not to, or they actually made it worse. In particular, Samus uses about twice as many words as necessary to say anything, and the whole game has a tendency to tell rather than show, or worse, explain what's going on even as the visuals have already made it perfectly clear. It's really, really bad writing.

Kytim89September 01, 2010

Give the series back to Retro Studios and call it a day.

hydropieSeptember 01, 2010

looks like malstrom was right, this game is a ****pile. That may be an exageration but i guess the general consensus is that this game is uncharacteristically low quality for a nintendo game. This is obviously not worth my time. i guess i will just have to wait for DKC returns. Thats the only game thats really worth getting in the horizon in my opinion. 

broodwarsSeptember 01, 2010

Quote from: hydropie

looks like malstrom was right, this game is a ****pile.

*reads Malstrom's most recent blog entries on Other M.*

Ooh....kay.  Yeah...that guy's just a tad bit too extreme for my tastes (and one of those "games were so much better back in my day when no one could beat them!" nuts).  Yeah, Other M has its problems, but it is nowhere near as bad as that censored word you used to describe it.

GoldenPhoenixSeptember 01, 2010

Played the game for about 3 hrs and so far I am having trouble seeing why it isn't a metroid a game. It is a ton of fun to play and feels like Super Metroid or Metroid Fusion in 3D. The controls work just fine since the game tends to allow little 3D movement and what is there works fine. My only real gripe is that the 1st person view gets in the way when it comes to how the game flows, but it is a minor complaint since I can work around it.

The story is not horrendous, it is pretty much on par with most next-generation sci-fi games. Voice acting is adequate, not great, not terrible, just adequate. Probably the worse part is the clunky dialogue in places. Beyond that the story is fine, and I have yet to see anything majorly wrong with how they present Samus. It is pretty much cliche but that doesn't mean it is bad.

Seriously though the game is so much fun, and I love exploring the beautifully designed worlds and fighting in the engaging battles along with classic Metroid Puzzle solving. Also That bunny monster thing is so dang cute, I grinned so much when it first appeared.

One other problem I have with the game is what Johnny mentioned, having to find some obscure thing when you are forced to look around in FPS view. Beyond that, fantastic game so far and I can't wait to play it some more. Have to say I'm enjoying it more then the MP games though I also still believe the MP games are higher quality.

BwrJim!September 01, 2010


quick question,  Other M takes place after Super Metroid, so do the prime games take place before super metroid?

broodwarsSeptember 01, 2010

Quote from: BwrJim!

I cant agree with you more on that censored part. I just got past that not too long ago.  now im stuck in an area with big dino looking things that poop bombs.  Not sure what to do yet.  so I am currently looking around in fp mode to see what I may of missed.


quick question,  Other M takes place after Super Metroid, so do the prime games take place before super metroid?


All the Prime games take place between the original Metroid (Zero Mission, really) and Metroid 2, both of which take place before Super Metroid.

TJ SpykeSeptember 01, 2010

Quote from: BwrJim!

quick question,  Other M takes place after Super Metroid, so do the prime games take place before super metroid?

Here is the timeline:

*Metroid/Metroid: Zero Mission
*Metroid Prime/Metroid Prime Pinball
*Metroid Prime Hunters
*Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
*Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
*Metroid II: Return of Samus
*Super Metroid
*Metroid: Other M
*Metroid Fusion

BwrJim!September 01, 2010

Thanks, although i never knew pinball was part of it.  there was a story? 

Sort of. It just retells the events of the first game in pinball form.

Hyrulian GuardSeptember 02, 2010

I am pleasently suprised at how much fun this game is. Yea i liked the other 2D games, but they are hard a hickory nuts.  Maybe thats it, its challenging to me but allows for progression.

anyway, my vote is, DONT MISS THIS GAME!

BboySeptember 02, 2010

I'm about an hour in and I really don't mind the voice acting. It's not good, but none of the quotes (excepting "Confession time") are nearly as bad in context.

The only real problems are the pixel hunting parts and the upgrade system, they could have made it better by simply saying Samus' communication was jammed just like the other soldiers, so you can only get upgrades at save points, where the communication works. Then finding the save point takes the place of finding the item.

Hyrulian GuardSeptember 02, 2010

Possible spoiler folloing.  WARNING maybe]

The lava boss, kicked my A$$ about 5 times before i beat him. the Charging thing killed me
a couple times as it when to morph ball instead of charging.
but the real rediculous part is Samus waiting for authorization to use available suit abilities

ShayminSeptember 03, 2010

Quote from: Hyrulian

Possible spoiler folloing.  WARNING maybe Dont know how to blk out text

starts it, ends it. (Take out the spaces.)

Hyrulian GuardSeptember 03, 2010

Thanks

KDR_11kSeptember 04, 2010

Yeah, Malstrom is going crazy with his rants on Other M. Well, not on Other M but how he acts like Metroid 1 was so much better or hardcore than Super Metroid. I just played Metroid 1, it's piss easy once you get the screw attack. His talk about scary enemies is complete nonsense, especially about the bosses. Ridley isn't even remotely scary.

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

It is a ton of fun to play and feels like Super Metroid or Metroid Fusion in 3D.

That's a contradiction to me, it can either be like Super Metroid or like Metroid Fusion. If you consider them the same then you cannot see the elements that are crucial to me.

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

classic Metroid Puzzle solving.

Classic Metroid didn't have puzzle solving at all so how can there be classic Metroid puzzle solving? Classic Metroid didn't even have puzzle boss fights, everything was fought and killed by shoving missiles down its throat until it explodes. In fact I really miss that, it made missiles much more useful.

She might mean puzzles like "how do I get that item?" There's some of that in Other M, but not to the extent of Super Metroid or the Prime games.

BboySeptember 05, 2010

Wow, just having got to the point where you get the screw attack (I actually yelled, "Fuck yeah!" when she said, "Any objections, Adam?"), I find that I disagree completely with all the criticism around this game. I realize the faults, but none of them have really bothered me or hindered my experience. I find the controls work well enough once you're used to them, and that the story actually is good for a video game, even if it wouldn't make it without a good game to get me invested in it. There is very good stuff there, the twist with Ridley was pretty awesome, as well as the foreshadowing about the existence of Metroids, by using the enemies remains from Super Metroid was pretty awesome. I feel like the localization screwed up, but by accepting that it's not great acting and dialogue, I am actually invested in the story. I was legitimately sad when Anthony died. In the same way, accepting that I'm unable to explore all these places until after the end of the game, means I can just enjoy the ride.

KDR_11kSeptember 06, 2010

By the way, the only way into and out of lower Norfair in Super Metroid requires a deep dip into lava. Hot enough to destroy any organic substances.

gojiraSeptember 06, 2010

I basically agree with everything GoldenPhoenix says.  The game feels like a Metroid game.  I had a lot of fun with it and my only real issues were with the pixel hunts and was somewhat disappointed with the subdued music.  Although it was orchestrated.

zachs1997September 07, 2010

I am glad you liked it zach  ;D

FZeroBoyoOctober 18, 2010

I've rented it from GameFly and while I have enjoyed the three or so hours I've played, I found that I couldn't get into the mood to start playing again. Seems that I had to nearly force myself to do so. Perhaps it's my mind telling me that this is what the game mostly is.

SheckyNovember 13, 2010

Quote from: greybrick

Quote from: Halbred

To be fair, I found 30-odd Missile Tanks during the story mode. In the post-game, I've found 30-odd more.

But why are you collecting them? To fight more difficult enemies and bosses, or just for the pure catch 'em all mentality of it?

Hunting for powerups would seem like more fun if there was some reason to power up. Unless the platforming to get to them is challenging and exciting in itself, I can't collect for collection's sake/

To add insult to injury on this, you can't even properly use missiles on the bonus boss.  The use of missiles in the game is just broken period though.

I think this review does an accurate job of describing the experience.  The story is all over the place, vertigo is being kind.  So many things are forced they don't develop any story line and a lot of things just don't make sense.  For example, one of my biggest complaints is during the    Ridley boss battle.  What is with the trauma?  Why the flash to a little girl?  What is that all about? The sobbing and sudden turning into a 'damsel in distress'?  Why?!  Is Ridley like the Joker in Batman?  Did he murder Samus' parents when she was a kid?  Explain movie, explain!! The suit vanishing?  I'll even forgive the technical impossibilities of forming matter from nothing, but is his tail dipped in some sort of paint thiner?  I'm willing to accept some sort of answer.... Just Explain!  The supporting cast does a much better job even delivering the lines.  I think they tried to get a solitary feel by making all of Samus' lines monotone, but it didn't work.

What is amazing though, is the expressions of the characters in the cut scenes, particularly of Samus.  Typically to me, facial expressions in CGI are usually to subtle, to plastic, or exaggerated for effect.  They seem to hit it spot on middle.  The studio in charge of animation had to be working overtime.  Maybe that's the problem.  They blew the budget on animation. :)

They certainly didn't spend any budget on Sector 0 .  Talk about a disappointing buildup!  I would have enjoyed venturing into something like that game, thanks.

Edit: Magically appearing font and size tags

Chozo GhostNovember 13, 2010

Quote from: Shecky

The suit vanishing?  I'll even forgive the technical impossibilities of forming matter from nothing,

Well, this is set in a more technologically advanced universe than ours is (its the future, right?). And as far as matter forming from nothing, have you ever seen Star Trek TNG or later? The replicators on that show do that on a regular basis, except it isn't really forming matter from "nothing" but rather rearranging existing matter. Even right now science can convert one element into another using colliders and crap like that, but its expensive and it can only be done a few atoms at a time so its not really practical, but this is the future so who knows what might be possible?

I suspect Samus' Zero Suit is more than just revealing lycra. There is probably some advanced technology in there, like maybe nano-robots or something that can create her armor suit maybe by using just the matter in the air around her. Who really knows? But you can't say its "technically impossible" because we really don't know what sort of technology will exist in the future.

ETA: Nano-Robots can also explain how she is able to "heal" and generate new missiles by turning the wiimote upwards. She isn't really getting new missiles from nothing, the nano-robots are building those missiles. They're like Keebler Elves, you know...

SheckyNovember 14, 2010

I guess what I was trying to get at though is that they don't need to go to great lengths explaining how the suit works.  In the realm of science fiction, you can usually formulate some sort of plausible hand waving to make certain things work, whether it be teleporation, replicators, etc....


What they did need to explain, is why the suit seems to have sudden 'inconvenient' breakdowns.  I'm being somewhat rhetorical, as I know what the answer is.... they were doing it just to attempt to add drama to the scenes.  However, after absorbing lord knows how many hits only to be incapacitated by a single shot (and don't claim it's because she didn't see it coming... there are plenty of hits I absorbed that I didn't see coming when trying to use missiles! ;) ) you get a huge inconsistency and a feeling that they're just making this up as they go.

Edit: What is up with these font and size tags??

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Metroid: Other M Box Art

Genre Action
Developer Team Ninja
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Metroid: Other M
Release Aug 31, 2010
PublisherNintendo
RatingTeen
jpn: Metroid: Other M
Release Sep 02, 2010
PublisherNintendo
Rating12+
eu: Metroid: Other M
Release Sep 03, 2010
PublisherNintendo
Rating16+
aus: Metroid: Other M
Release Sep 02, 2010
PublisherNintendo
RatingMature

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