A few years ago the Metroid series finished a three part adventure in the Metroid Prime trilogy, the game focused heavily on bringing classic Metroid gameplay to a 3D enviornment and brought Samus back into the mainstream. Now a different developer, Team Ninja looks to expand Samus’s story and give players a new experience that brings old school Metroid gameplay together with her latest 3D adventure.
The first thing everyone will realize when they start up the game is that this is not a typical Nintendo game, while so many of the company’s games keep their general format Metroid: Other M completely branches out, mainly through the fact that it has an expansive story, something that’s almost unheard of in a Nintendo game. The game has a cinematic feel to it from the very start, Samus’s back story is slowly explored as she begins her next adventure right after Super Metroid. Throughout the game in-game and CG cutscenes look back on Samus’s time involved with the military and her relationships with other soliders and her commanding officer. It’s a nice change to see a classic Nintendo character to get a full featured back story and almost feels like players are finally meeting Samus for the first time. One thing to note however is that the voice acting is not always incredibly done, some lines sound forced while others sound very monotone, but overall the story and dialog are done well.
Gameplay is also a significant change from Samus’s previous adventures. The camera angle is fixed to it’s own location so it gives the feeling of playing a sidescroller however the environments are fully in 3D and players can explore in all directions. Metroid: Other M uses a unique control mechanic that hasn’t been used much before, the game limits players to using just the Wiimote. The Wiimote is held on it’s side during regular gameplay, however when you point the Wiimote at the screen the view will go into first person mode and allow players to see through Samus’s eyes. Important to note however is the fact that you can’t walk around in first person, so the ability is usually used to shoot things with precision but not for long battles. Although the controls work well for the most part, switching into first person is somewhat cumbersome, sometimes the Wiimote can get stuck if players don’t point it directly towards the sensor, and even when it does work smoothly it can take a second or two to adjust to the change in perspective. This can slow player’s reaction time dramatically in a fast paced fight.
Graphics are done very well considering the Wii’s limited graphic capabilities, environments look nice and clean and there a few nice details across the game. It’s no where near being on the same level as an HD game but it is definitely one of the better looking games on Nintendo’s machine. Some might argue that the Prime series looks slightly better but overall it’s still a good effort from Team Ninja.
Sound is where things are on different levels, the sound effects are nicely done and the music has some surprises as well, however the voice acting quality takes a dip on several occasions. In a game where the story is the central point the voice acting should be at top quality and several times I found myself very aware of the voice actor’s flaws. Still though points need to be given for effort, this is the first time a Nintendo game has had such an extensive amount of dialogue.
Overall Metroid: Other M succeeds in what it attempted to do, give one of Nintendo’s main characters a back story and explore her emotions. The story has a few twists and although the cutscenes can be frequent at times they are interesting and engaging. The gameplay that accompanies the story is by nature limiting, using the nunchuck would have opened up more possibilities and would have provided a better way of switching from first person to third person view but as it is it still works good. Metroid: Other M provides a unique and quality experience for Wii owners. However its not quite up to the status of other big Nintendo games but is still a very well done game that all Wii owners should check out.
Overall = 8.5