Skip to main content

Metroid: Other M: For Those Other Guys





I believe that Metroid Other M is the worst of Nintendo's core franchises that has been brought to the Wii. I say this, not because it's a radical departure from the past installments (it is), but because it is a bad game.


While I have enjoyed most of the past installments in the series, I would not considered myself a hardcore Metroid fan. I played Super Metroid back on the SNES, it was a very minimalist exploration game, with virtually no storyline, and a large world to wnader through, with each new upgrade letting you access more of it.


When they announced the first Metroid Prime game for the Gamecube, a lot of people were worried that it was going to become a first person shooter, lots of straight up action without the exploration and isolation aspects of the original games. This turned out to not be the truth. Sure it was a first person perspective, but instead of frenetic shooting action, it was more slow and deliberate. The exploration and sense of isolation were still present.


Now comes Other M. Our hero, Samus Aran, who has been all but mute in the previous games (she usually just doesn't have anyone to talk to) kicks off with a 10 minute long monologue. Then she ends up on a space station with a squad of space marines, and not only talks with them, but has a running monlogue about talking to them. It's the strangest thing, one of the earliest lines was someone calling her "princess" and then her talking about how there's only one person that calls her princess, and blah blah blah. Really, the problem isn't that she talks at all, it's that she talks too much, and it's so poorly written.


"But Bryce! Surely there's more to games than just the dialogue and writing?"


There certainly is, and I've certainaly played and loved more than my share of games with bizarre dialogue and awkward translations, so let's move onto the gameplay.


Other M feels like it can't make up it's mind as to whether it wants to be a first person shooter, or a side scrolling platformer. While running around you hold the Wii mote sideways, like a classic NES controller, the directional pad makes Samus run, 1 is shoot, and 2 is jump. Action in this mode feels really loose and imprecise, you have no lock on, and enemies are constantly coming at you, making you really wish you could shoot while walking backwards, but you can't. There are a couple of oddities added in here, such as the ability to gruesomely finish off criticially wounded enemies by closing in with them, and using the directional's to dodge enemy attacks just before they land, which really shows that the game's developers are the same people that made the Ninja Gaiden games.


Then, in order to fire missiles, you have to aim the wiimote at the screen, which brings up a first person aiming perspective, but effectively locks in you in one place. Add in that in order to fire the missile you have to actually lock onto the target, which means that while you're trying to hit a boss's weakspot, it's smacking you around like a pinata.


I finally decided to send this back to Gamefly after dying several times on the second boss. It's just not fun. But it does lead me into a rant that I want to get off my chest:


Why does everything on the Wii have to have motion controls?
When Nintendo first released the DS with a touch screen, a lot of developers said "I just don't see how my game can incorporate that" and Nintendo replied by saying "Then don't use it, just because the bottom screen's a touch screen, doesn't mean you have to have touch controls". And it took awhile, but a lot of the best games on the DS don't use the touch screen, or at least don't require the use of it.
I don't think that Nintendo has made that statement for the Wii about motion controls, but it should, and it should lead by example. Playing Zelda on the Wii is very tedious, I don't want to have to swing my controller everytime I need to smack something with a sword, that sort of thing works fine for mini games like Wii Sports that a marathon session would be 30 minutes, for something like Zelda or Metroid though, I plan to be sitting down for an hour or more everytime, and it's just tiring. Plus the Wii doesn't always recognize that the wiimote is moving, having your primary attack rely on something so fickle can be a serious liability when your guy is being mauled by orges.
There are plenty of ways to control videogames using the standard wiimote and nunchuck that don't require motion controls. Hell, there's even the classic controller, which is essentially a PS2/3 controller, which worked for games for seven years, use it why don't you?

Comments

  1. Pretty sure I've never played a Metroid since the first one for the NES. Can't even remember if I enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Toy Review: Tekkaman Blade & Pegas

Today I've got Tekkaman Blade & Pegas from Bandai's Soul of Chogokin SPEC line. SPEC is a subset of the Soul of Chogokin, and is supposed to feature more modern characters, in more toy like incarnations, also typically with less metal content. This is the first SPEC toy that I've ever picked up. There have been a couple of different cartoons feature the Tekkaman character, none of which have I seen, but from what I've gathered, this toy is based on the designs from the 90's OVA Tekkaman Blade. In the cartoon an invading alien force abducts humans and turns them into cyborg warriors called Tekkamen. Blade is the title character, and he manages to escape being fully brainwashed, in order to return to Earth and thwart the invasion. The conversion process being icomplete, he has some disadvantages, which require him to use the larger mech, Pegas as a means of transforming into his Tekkaman form, also he can only stay in his Tekkaman form for 30 minutes, or risk goin…

Optimus Prime World Tour Stop 8: Armada Optimus Prime

So, last time I covered Robots In Disguise Optimus Prime, which was the first Prime toy I bought as an adult, but what actually got me back into collecting was reading a Toy Fair magazine that had a feature on the upcoming Armada toy line. As I recall, the article didn't even have any pictures of the new toys, just some descriptions of a few samples, and an overall theme for the line. In the article, at least, Armada was described as the first full collaboration between Hasbro and Takara, prior to Armada, each company worked more or less independently, and would choose to use media or toys from the sister companies on a case by case basis. Most of the US cartoons were brought to Japan at some point, while Robots In Disguise was the first Japanese TF cartoon to be brought to the states.
So, what was Armada supposed to be about? The idea was Mini-cons, a new name for an old idea, which is little tiny Transformers. Look back at Star Convoy. The difference this time was that there wa…

GX- 59 Daltanious: Robbed Of Being Voltron

One of the things that I love about doing reviews for these old super robots is reading up on their back story and finding all kinds of interesting facts. So, quick! What's the first thing that you think of when I say "Voltron"? Pretty much, if you even know what Voltron is, you're going to think of this first:



Five robot lions that combine to make a giant humanoid robot. If you were a male child raised in the '80s, then you know who Voltron is. A smaller subset will remember that there were two Voltrons, the lion Voltron, and then a Voltron made out of 15 vehicles, often just called Vehicle Voltron:

An even smaller subset will remember that there were actually three Voltrons, the third being made of three smaller humanoid robots, and called Gladiator Voltron:



What's the deal with all of the Voltrons? Voltron was a similar project to Hasbro's Transformers, and Tonka's Gobots, where a company took existing toy properties from Japan, and used them to la…