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Metroid: Other M

Dial M for mightily relieved

And relax. The news is good. Metroid: Other M is full of sparkling promise. Panic officially over. Since it was revealed at E3 last year, the world has been wondering (and worrying) about what shape Samus' new adventure will actually take.

It's probably best to answer those worries by talking about what it's not: it's not a follow-on from the Prime series, and you can banish from your minds the notion that this is just Ninja Gaiden in a yellow jumpsuit. It's a Metroid title with one foot rooted in the gameplay that made Super Metroid such a roaring success and another inching along its own new story arc.

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The first impression is one of pure simplicity, but for a few shaky seconds all those questions come flooding back when Nintendo speak of "cinematic action" while explaining that the game will be ridiculously simple to control. The second we learn that we play the game simply by holding the Remote horizontally we had to fight the urge to throw ourselves over that Other M code to protect it from anymore wrongdoing. As it turns out, our knee-jerk reaction was too rash.

Mother Inferior

The "cinematic" boasts are totally founded. Seeing as Other M is a direct sequel to Super Metroid, we're treated to some explosive back story that kicks in at that game's finale, the battle between Samus and Mother Brain delivered in sumptuous visual style. Cue Samus cutting lots of dramatic angles as she makes up for being pretty much invisible in her Prime outings, popping chunks out of a towering and frankly revolting Mother Brain before being half swallowed by a baby metroid - an action which saves her life as its gloopy body absorbs the full fury of a Mother Brain attack in a shower of slime, snot and fiery acid.

Next thing we know, Samus is in a medical bay being patched up, before being shuffled along to a training arena, where her Varia Suit forms over her Zero Suit and we get to find out what the fudge our Nintendo man was on about.

Digital Evolution

The controls work beautifully, just as they did 20 years ago on the SNES. Discarding the Nunchuk, the Remote handles everything: movement with the D-pad, blasting with the 1 button, jumping with 2 and rolling up into the Morph Ball with A. Picking up the Remote in your hand and pointing it at the screen slides you behind Samus's visor and by holding B you can search the screen for points of interest, or aim your arm cannon or missiles. You can't move your feet in this mode, but it's a surprisingly seamless transition that lets you aim with much more precision. Unfortunately it can also leave you rooted to the spot and vulnerable to attack.

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The interface is streamlined and with that comes a much speedier experience than we saw in the Prime games. Samus races through corridors and kick-jumps up shafts and across ledges with real velocity, blasting space parasites in her stride.

Because Samus is controlled digitally, rather than with the analogue stick, there is a form of automatic lock-on when firing, although you can't strafe around a target. When things get hectic, a manual lock-on would undoubtedly help. Still, while corridors are presented in 2D, with a fixed camera, you can still move inwards and outwards as though in full 3D.

The opening action takes place aboard the Bottle Ship, teeming with bristling bugs, but also company of a friendlier nature - Samus' former comrades in the Galactic Federation, marking a step away from the loneliness of Prime. In a thinly disguised nod at Aliens, we meet grizzled trooper Anthony Higgs and a certain Adam Malkovich, part of an 'incident' with Samus that caused her to leave the Federation. Presumably we're not talking about letting off fire extinguishers for a laugh.

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Comments

17 comments so far...
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  1. Ai64 Monday 26th Apr 2010 at 08:40

    This game is so at the top of my anticipation list. I'm so looking forward to the game and what happened to Adam Malkovich. It's a shame that the release date got pushed back to 31st August for the USA though.

  2. Hylian_Grouch Monday 26th Apr 2010 at 09:52

    shame about the release push back. however, you never know really as we didnt actually see a date for europe, we dont know the difference. i assumed we would get it in september anyway...

  3. Wiiki Monday 26th Apr 2010 at 11:10

    And Nintedo's battle to remain firmly in the past rolls on.

  4. Violet Monday 26th Apr 2010 at 11:25

    And Nintedo's battle to remain firmly in the past rolls on.


    Three Metroid Prime games say hello. Unless sequels of any sort are just attempts to remain in the past to you.

  5. seancuk23 Monday 26th Apr 2010 at 13:55

    I am not a very big fan of the Metroid Prime series but Metroid: Other M is fast becoming a must have game for me since the last Metroid game I enjoyed was Super Metroid. It is both a relief and an exciting prospect that the series is finally getting back to its roots! I look forward to reading your review ONM, with great expectation.

  6. riflesndaisies Monday 26th Apr 2010 at 15:01

    This game is so at the top of my anticipation list. I'm so looking forward to the game and what happened to Adam Malkovich. It's a shame that the release date got pushed back to 31st August for the USA though.

    Everything i was going to say 8)

  7. bowser boy Monday 26th Apr 2010 at 16:00

    i want this but it won't be out for ages

  8. capmanchris Monday 26th Apr 2010 at 16:17

    This game needs a classic controller add that and it's a must buy

  9. ale96gamer Monday 26th Apr 2010 at 18:09

    :) that is all

  10. JRush Monday 26th Apr 2010 at 19:32

    I tried the ds metroid and I don't plan on playing anymore in the series.

  11. Oiram 07 Monday 26th Apr 2010 at 21:23

    I tried the ds metroid and I don't plan on playing anymore in the series.

    http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/4474/15xpnk9jpg.gif

    You played the worst one in the series thats why..
    I suggest you try Super Metroid or Metroid Prime Trilogy.

  12. LuX Monday 26th Apr 2010 at 23:27

    I was gonna get this the first tralier I saw, I was sold then.
    I mean it showed Samus grab something by the head slam it too the floor and then shoot it a few times in the face, it also showed her jumping on another creatures shoulders and blasting the crap out of its head, why wouldn't I want this lol.
    No seriously it seems like a fantastic game in all respects.
    But we've seen Nintendo do this time and time gain (sometimes with help like from Team Ninja :) )
    Re-invent a series, alot of developers are afraid to do it, and i'm liking that Nintendo (sorry to be crude) still have the balls to do it.

    I just wish they'd do it with Zelda, not that Zelda needs changing, but, heres hoping Zelda Wii gets a shake-up.

  13. TheConch Tuesday 27th Apr 2010 at 17:15

    Ugh, sideways Wiimote feels awful. SNES controller all the way.

  14. aceowen Wednesday 28th Apr 2010 at 15:53

    auto lock? Playing through 2D metroid had a certain finesse to it and so i'm left wondering if that flow has simply been removed or just changed. you did mention wall jumping... is it still hard to learn or is it incredibly simple? just wondering. as ever.

  15. Everegreen Saturday 1st May 2010 at 12:49

    i'm suprised i am but im actualy lookin forwards to this :) (iv never benn that big of a metroid fan b4)

  16. FliByFow Sunday 2nd May 2010 at 13:19

    And Nintedo's battle to remain firmly in the past rolls on.


    Three Metroid Prime games say hello. Unless sequels of any sort are just attempts to remain in the past to you.

    nope hes right, NSMBWii, Metroid: Other M.

    Sure remaking older franchises is nice but i would much rather have something new as well. Other than the "Wii" series of games, what new franchises has Nintendo made for this gen?

  17. King-X Tuesday 4th May 2010 at 03:26

    Glad to hear it. My faith in this game has not wavered since the beginning though. There're just those titles you get that gut feeling about. The whole "ties to Super Metroid" thing had me convinced straight away. Let the naysayers say what they will!

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