Metroid: Other M
Welcome, internet! It's beginning to draw closer to the end of April, and you know what they told you back in elementary school back when you were a kid. “April showers bring May flowers.” If you're reading this, and you're still a kid, good job! But, remembering how often I was told this when I was a kid got me an idea. I've always wanted to review a questionable game on this blog, and now I have the chance to do just that!
First, I should mention the cutscenes. Yes, there are cutscenes in this game. That's weird because The closest thing to a "Cutscene" people saw was in the Metroid Prime series, which lasted maybe 30 seconds. This is, and was, a shock to Metroid fans everywhere. For those of you who don't know, Metroid is a series that builds itself from limited character development within story. It's a game where you learn what you can and can't do with an item or weapon, then explore and experiment accordingly. This doesn't happen as much in Other M. Actually, to an extent, this one's been turned on it's head. You see, the game gives you situations where it's much more difficult to get somewhere without a certain item, and you don't acquire the item until you're stuck in the area where you need it to progress. Let me use the Varia Suit, for instance. Samus crosses multiple areas where the heat alone can damage her. The problem is that it's necessary to cross these areas, and you don't get the Varia suit until you get to the end of these areas, and face the boss at the end. Metroid is a series where you learn where to go, and where not to go, simply by the items you have, and the items you've recently acquired. In most Metroid games, when you see an item you can't yet reach, you have to wait to acquire an item that gives you access to it , such as Super Missiles, or the Grapple Beam. This isn't the case with Other M, the underlying bonus to each item you get feels more cosmetic than anything else, especially later in the game, with items like the wave beam.
Next, I want to tell something to the people who consider this game sexist. I can see how people who haven't played the game all the way through would consider it sexist. Samus has all of her abilities from the start of the game, but her Male commanding officer orders to not to use them without his permission. It's easy to see this as sexist. But you easily learn throughout the game that this commanding officer, while he was once her actual C.O., is actually not so much anymore. Being a freelance bounty hunter, She points out in story that following his decisions will be crucial during the mission. Later in the story, she points out that she sees Adam as a father figure, and that the two have had a relationship in that exact nature ever since her days at the Galactic Federation. So it would make sense for her to listen to him when you consider her history. It shows she respects Adam, and this respect is seen throughout the game.
One enjoyable thing is the gameplay, however. It's essentially Super metroid's gameplay, but in 3D. I'm surprised how well they made it work. You don't have to worry about the camera, considering it stays in on a separate angle in each area. It's nice that you don't have to work the camera in this game, because the enemies will give you a run for your money much more than the environment. It's not that the enemies are tough in this game, but they're knit-Picky. You can't take them out easily until you get something new. At a certain portion of the game, you're faced with this near indestructible bug which constantly dodges your attacks, and has these long tentacles that can also reach you when you try to dodge. Only when you finally get your Super missiles (which is after having faced it at least three times) can you fully defeat this wretched thing. You can also get stuck in these scenes where you have to fend off tons of enemies at once. The diffusion beam would be incredibly useful, if it worked favorably in these situations, the diffusion sparks tend to be put in random places and only help when they manage to freeze one of the enemies you're facing. All in all, this game can sometimes be frustrating to progress in, and not through the environment.
You know, I'm sitting here saying bad things about the environment, when it's not actually all that bad. Their design is great. They do feel restricted, but streamlined, as well. Everything does what it needs to, and leads where it needs to. It feels like a huge world, even though it's a top-secret space station where they did questionable experiments. There is one thing that (kind of) bugs me, though. All of the areas are separated entirely. Sector 1 is a forest/wildlife atmosphere. Sector 2 is an arctic/oceanic atmosphere, and sector 3 is a volcanic/desert atmosphere. Another thing is the references to life it makes. She constantly refers to the baby metroid from Super Metroid as “The Baby”, gets a distress signal known as a “Baby's cry” and it's seen constantly throughout the story the references to parenting. It's even in the title: Other M (Mother).
The game also makes a great habit of building suspense, especially in these cutscenes. As you see the story unfold, you really feel on edge, waiting to see what is happening. There are these awkward search and progress scenarios , though. You get stuck in first person view halfway through a cutscene, and the cut5scene doesn't continue until you find a certain, very tiny, target. The cutscene won't continue, and you won't be able to leave first person until you find it. Also, the first person mode used throughout the game can be kind of awkward. I'll admit, I'm not a huge fan of first person shooters. I honestly find them stale, And the Wii was never a fitting controller for Shooters. The pointing, though making it realistic, can seem flawed at times. This game is no exception. Pointing can be tough when you don't have your wrist rested on your thigh, which is what happens often with the Wii and shooting games. Unless, of course, you have one of those gun peripherals, which doesn't work all that well with this game, considering the switches between controls.
I think that's enough for today. I'd actually like to talk about much more than just what I have now. It's got tons of content to talk about, and is much more enjoyable than fans gave it credit for. It's an interesting take on the series, and though not an amazing sequel to Super Metroid, It still made itself into a pretty solid Metroid series. It also makes me want to play another Metroid game, but for now, I'll leave it alone. I need to think of something for friday. In the meantime, see you guys soon!