Metroid: Other M Preview for Wii

On: Wii
Metroid: Other M screenshot
Metroid: Other M screenshot

Metroid: Other M won't be out for a few months yet, but already the game seems to be splitting opinions. One side of the divide there are the naysayers, the people who are lamenting the decision to add a voice to the usually tacit Samus Aran. These same people are also getting a bit grumpy about the fact that the game shifts back and forth between first and third person perspectives, in accordance with how the Wii Remote is being handled at any given moment. Some members of Team Frowny (as I've decided to christen them) are also annoyed by the fact that Other M finds Samus fighting alongside a group of Federation troops, rather than working by herself.

So, that's the view from the doubters. But on the other side of the fence there's a bunch of happy positive types - let's call them Team Smiley. These happy-go-lucky funsters reckon Metroid Other M will be rather good, actually. In support of this view, they point to the involvement of Team Ninja - the studio behind the ooh-it's-dead-hard-but-also-very-good Ninja Gaiden series. The Smileys also like to trumpet the game's graphical slickness, both in-game and during the expensive-looking rendered cutscenes. On the whole, these people just seem happy about the fact that Nintendo is putting out another Metroid game. After all, this is one of the big N's classic franchises - one with a highly successful track record, to boot. Under the circumstances, it's reasonable to expect greatness.

For the sake of being wilfully contrary, I'm going to lump myself directly in-between these two warring factions. I'm probably far closer in temperament to the latter group, but I certainly wouldn't class myself as a hardcore Metroid fan either. I've seen Other M twice now, enjoying a generously large slice of demo play on each occasion, and both times the game has struck me as a big-budget project with oodles of potential - provided that the rather odd perspective-shifting mechanic doesn't get in the way of things. I'm still a little undecided on this, but I've certainly liked a lot of what I've seen and played of the game thus far.

The odd thing about Other M is that it's immediately reminiscent of Resident Evil - and by that I mean the original Resi, not the silly superhero fist-fighting stuff of Evil 5. The similarities here are principally atmospheric: the story begins when Samus answers a distress call and finds herself exploring the seemingly-deserted halls of the Bottle Ship, a massive space vessel. She runs into a group of Federation troops, headed by her old chum Adam Malkovich, and before long the gang has encountered signs of Serious Trouble - namely a goo-covered dead body, and a whole bunch of nasty insect creatures. Needless to say, Adam takes his tactics from a manual of horror movie clichés - ordering his men to split up and head off, alone, into the darkest corners of the ship. After getting the power back up and running, Samus finds herself working as a free agent; each section of the Bottle Ship is home to one of Adam's men, and as you'll explore your surroundings you'll also gain new abilities that let you access new areas.

That's the theory, anyway. Even after playing the game for the best part of an hour, I'd only gained access to a smattering of tools. Samus has a quick-fire blast that can be charged up for more powerful attacks, and shortly into the game you'll get clearance to use missiles that can only be fired from a first-person perspective (more on this in a bit). At the tap of a button our lady in red can switch to her iconic Morph Ball mode, allowing her to roll about on the floor and through tight gaps. You'll soon get given the ability to drop mines while in this state, and the in-game tutorial teases the player by letting them toy around with nuke-like Power Bombs, only to then snatch the ability away again. Samus can only make her biggest bangs when Adam says it's okay to do so - and by that point in the plot, things will probably have gone seriously tits-up.

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bencrosaby's Avatar

bencrosaby

I'm not looking forward to Other M that much purely on the basis that it's different from what I started out with with Metroid Prime and therefore, to me, this game is just a spin-off and will merely test the waters of what Nintendo can achieve with a different developer and a proper full blown storyline. I've never touched the 2D series but I've always found that the key to the Metroid atmosphere has been the loneliness. I just hope Team Ninja can recreate that atmospere with the said full blown storyline.
Posted 00:00 on 04 August 2010
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls

After their E3 conference they can have my promotional services for free, because god damn they deserve it.

That, and Shattered Memories only got a 78 metacritic... I mean what the hell, do the press really hate Wii that much? I know 78 is 'above average' and all that lark, but it's not even in the top 150 games released in 2010 on aggregate...
Posted 22:35 on 03 August 2010
Jamin's Avatar

Jamin@ Woffls

You on Konami's payroll or something these days dude?
Posted 22:31 on 03 August 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Yeah I did.
I was like the only person in the World who loved Mario Kart Double Dash
Posted 22:04 on 03 August 2010
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls

Mario Galaxy is calling you :D Did you have a Gamecube? Because if not then that's another few dozen titles still worth picking up.
Posted 21:59 on 03 August 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

This is annoying.
I really want a Wii now...
Posted 21:54 on 03 August 2010
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls

Yes. And buy Silent Hill Shattered Memories while you're at it :D

Sort of looking forward to this, but I don't care much for Team Ninja's pedigree. I think a lot of people hate the idea of giving a character to Samus, it's probably akin to giving Gordon Freeman a voice, wife and pie preference. I think it's a good thing, because Metroid wont be around forever, and they've yet to explore the character in this context so Nintendo might as well take a shot and reinvent the franchise again.
Posted 21:51 on 03 August 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Is now the time for me to a buy a Wii?
God damn it.
Posted 21:35 on 03 August 2010

Game Stats

Release Date: 27/08/2010
Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Action
No. Players: One
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 2,347
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