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  #1    
Old September 24th, 2010 (06:34 AM).
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Despite my long stay here at PokeCommunity and the Internet's Pokemon fandom in general, I would rank Pokemon as only my second favorite game series of all time. My first being Metroid. I've been following Samus Aran and her long-standing conflict with the Space Pirate Confederacy long before Pokemon Red/Blue even came out were I live.

So it should come as no surprise that when a new Metroid game made by the developers of the original trilogy was coing out for the Wii, I was absolutely stoked. I mean, I loved the Prime trilogy as much as the next person, but they were missing a certain edge that made the original trilogy memorable.

So, did Metroid: Other M live up to my expectations? Read on to find out.

Visuals
This game is perhaps the most beautiful Wii game to date. Samus, as well as all the monsters she will fight, are rendered and animated smoothly. Even the small explosion effect to get fallen enemies off the screen made me gasp in awe the first time I saw it.

On the negative side of things, some of the details in the environments are a little bland. In one room of the ice area, I noticed that the icicles hanging from the ceiling were just flat white spikes, and some of the foliage in the jungle area are just a texture on a flat plane. Overall, the rest of the environments are rendered pretty well, so those few exceptions won't bother you too much.
9/10

Audio
All I can say is, it's a mixed bag. All of the game's sound effects were reused from the Prime trilogy. Not that it's a bad thing, the effects from Prime 3 were pretty good, but it's like they didn't even try to make their own sound effects.

The voice acting, and believe me you'll be hearing it a lot for a first-party Nintendo game, is actually pretty good. Samus's VA in particular initially got a lot of crap for being too monotone and emotionless in some of the trailers, but in the final product, she comes off as just right considering her character. The rest of the characters have excellent, if a bit stereotyped, voices.

The music is...different. Metroid music traditionally is very ambient and creepy while still being melodic and memorable. The only two tracks in Other M that meet those criteria are remixes of older Metroid tracks. The rest of it seems pulled straight out of a Metal Gear Solid game, existing only to add to the tension of the plot and keep you on edge in case you run into any enemies. The music even changes to something appropriately fast-paced and edgy when Samus is actually fighting enemies just like in MGS. The music's not bad, but it's just different and few tracks are memorable.
7/10

Story
The story is very archetypal and predictable if you're a fan of anything sci-fi. Even if you're a veteran of Metroid games, you'll find the story to be more-or-less a copy of Fusion's. Samus is sent to a derelict space station housing a defunct biological research lab to fight off some monsters running amok only to discover that some great evil is controlling the monsters and making her life hell. The difference is that Samus has allies in the form of a squad of GF soldiers in Other M, led by a close friend of hers, which allows for the game to drop backstory on you when the present story is getting too dull. Admittedly, the plot twists in Other M took me by surprise, but I should've seen them coming from a mile away. Overall though, the story did what it's meant to do in a video game, keep me coming back to see how it unfolds.
8/10

Controls
This had me skeptical more than anything prior to the game's release. The game's director said in interviews that he wanted Other M to feel like the old, classic Metroid experience and to that end he made sure the game's only control scheme was a Wiimote-only one. But when I had it in my hands, it wasn't that ad. There was room for improvement, but it wasn't bad. The d-pad moves Samus around in 3D space along the ground, 1 fired your beam, 2 jumped, A morphed into a ball, and + opened the map. Point the wiimote towards the TV screen and you get a first-person view used for examining things in the room that you can't see in the third-person view. While you can't move in this mode, it's the only way to fire your missiles, so you'll have to find a safe place to use it in boss fights a lot. There's more to the controls than that, but then I'll be getting into petty details. I'll just let you know that they made excellent use of a single wiimote, although I still wish you could fire missiles in third-person view, I means there's nothing mapped to the - or B button at all.
8/10

Gameplay
Here's the most important thing right here, and I'm personally a little disappointed. Metroid games are typically nonlinear and you're free to wander about at your leisure until you come to a barricade, turn back and find the upgrade to get past said barricade, proceed until you come to the next barricade, repeat as much as necessary, throw in a boss fight here and there, and you're done. Other M deviates far from that concept to the point that it's more reminiscent of an arcade-style beat-em-up than Super Metroid. You're told exactly where to go at any given time and any attempt to deviate from that path is met with a locked door that won't be unlocked until your commander needs you to go past it. Upgrades aren't found like they are in previous Metroid games, but rather Samus turns the features on once her commander authorizes it, and he only does that when you're in a situation where Samus will die if she doesn't use said upgrades. Yeah, this spawned a lame "Adam hasn't authorized _____" meme in the Metroid fandom. -.-

Like I said, this game is more akin to old beat-em-ups, and to that end, this game is very difficult compared to previous Metroid games, and the extra challenge is appreciated. There's a huge emphasis on combat by introducing instant-evasion moves, melee attacks, and finishing blows...not surprising considering that it was co-developed by Team Ninja. This emphasis on combat and good timing and reflexes leads to perhaps the most epic boss fights in the series, and this is a series known for having the most epic boss fights that aren't against twenty-story colossi. The most fun of them in my opinion is the battle against classic Metroid villain Ridley, and boy does the game throw in five minutes of cutscene to bookend the epicness of it all. Again, it's a very difficult fight and it took me about ten tries to beat him. With the exception of the final "boss" every boss past the halfway point of the game, including the bonus boss you fight after the credits roll, will take a couple of tries at least.
8/10

Overall, I like this game...more than I'd like to admit considering the amount of hate it's getting among the Metroid fandom. The story is entertaining despite its plotholes, the combat is intense and challenging and and the boss fights are epic and fun.

The only real disappointments are the lack of a memorable soundtrack, the linearity of it all, and the fact that the game can be beat in 8 hours, but I'd highly recommend it fans of Metroid games, fans of Team Ninja franchises like Ninja Gaiden, and anyone who likes arcade-style beat-em-ups like Double Dragon or Battletoads. Be warned though, the game is difficult.

Visuals: 9/10
Audio: 7/10
Story: 8/10
Controls: 8/10
Gameplay: 7/10
---------------------
Ovarall score: 7.6/10

PS: Since this is my first review here, let me know if I'm missing any important or relevant details, or need to clarify some of my statements. Sometimes things sound good in your head and as you're typing them, but go way over the heads of your readers. XD
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  #2    
Old September 24th, 2010 (11:22 AM).
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Really good review. As a fellow Metroid fan it's been hard to read the reviews on other sites. You've done a good job pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of the game. I think mentioning that the game sorta ties into the prequel manga would've been a good idea as that elaborates on Ridley and Samus's history with each other and consequently her reactions in Other M. I do agree with most of the rest of it. Only thing i dont agree with is the idea of using Missiles in 3rd person. That auto aim feature doesnt work well enough and it added a nice level of challenge to the game. In example:
Spoiler:
defeating Metroids was actually hard during the final battle.
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Old September 24th, 2010 (08:50 PM).
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Yeah metroid was great first game i ever owned then zelda then pokemon in mo i think Zelda is at top then metroid then poke... but i never had the chance to play most of the metroid games i found the 3d ones much harder.
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Old September 24th, 2010 (09:57 PM).
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Zelda was my first game but I just started liking Metroid and I'm currently playing Trilogy and in the second game echos.

Pretty disappointed for the mixed reviews for Other M, I believe it was because of the different controls or something.
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  #5    
Old September 25th, 2010 (06:00 AM).
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Quote originally posted by RUBY8:
Zelda was my first game but I just started liking Metroid and I'm currently playing Trilogy and in the second game echos.

Pretty disappointed for the mixed reviews for Other M, I believe it was because of the different controls or something.
Most of the more negative reviews for Other M just exaggerate the fact that the game is so linear and there's little freedom to explore until the final stages of the game. Indeed, Metroid Fusion was structured very similarly, but people found ways to sequence break the hell out of it. Give it time and people will probably learn to sequence break the hell out of Other M. XD
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Old September 25th, 2010 (11:28 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Timbjerr:
Most of the more negative reviews for Other M just exaggerate the fact that the game is so linear and there's little freedom to explore until the final stages of the game. Indeed, Metroid Fusion was structured very similarly, but people found ways to sequence break the hell out of it. Give it time and people will probably learn to sequence break the hell out of Other M. XD
And isn't that what gaming is all about? Breaking what others have created? :D
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