Metroid: Other M is for Mediocre

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about my most memorable Metroid moments, in anticipation of Other M. Well, I’ve been playing the new Metroid game for about a week now. I’ve posted comments on message boards and blogs that I was rather disappointed with it, but I never explained why. So I thought I’d make a short blog and do just that.

Now, keep in mind that I don’t HATE Other M. It’s still a decent and playable game. But it doesn’t feel as much of a Metroid game to me. I feel that Retro Studios did a better job with that with their Prime games. You’d THINK I’d prefer a third person over-the-shoulder game more than a FPS styled one, but that’s not the case here.

Of course, the first complaint I have with Other M is the same as most others have had: the cutscenes. They are unnecessary, way too long, look horrible, and interrupt the game flow. I think the Prime games handled the storytelling better by allowing you to scan things. That way it was optional if you didn’t care as much about the storyline.

Like Metroid Fusion, at points in the game they seal off doors in Other M and keep you from exploring around. The exploration and freedom is what I like about Metroid games, and Other M doesn’t have that. There are also a lot of places with invisible walls, which makes it more constricting.

I also don’t care much for the controls. Switching from sideways to pointing at the screen to shoot missiles feels too cumbersome to me. It’s like the game can’t make up its mind as what kind of game it wants to be. The dodging moves and lethal attacks also don’t feel consistent.

You know how in other Metroid games, when you defeat an enemy, energy and missile icons are left behind so you can pick them up and refill your health and missile stock? Well that doesn’t happen in Other M (at least not yet). So basically it feels like one mad dash in order to get to the next save point before you die. You CAN refill your energy in a way, but it’s a pain. When you’re near death, you can stay still and hold the Wii remote up to refill a tiny bit of energy, but you can’t get hit while doing so.

It may seem minor, but another thing that annoyed me was when you are forced to look through Samus’ mask and you can’t move until you find something miniscule on the screen. Ugh! I paid for a Metroid game, not a Hidden Pictures one!

Normally graphics don’t bother me, even if they’re bad. But I will say that I also think Prime’s graphics were better than in Other M.

So anyway, those are some reasons why I’m not really digging Other M like I did the Prime games. And Super Metroid. I wasn’t really a big fan of Team Ninja before, and now I’m definitely not. So Nintendo, let us Texas boys handle your next Metroid again!

No Responses to “Metroid: Other M is for Mediocre”

  1. I agree with all of your points, Cary. This take on the Metroid franchise didn’t turn out nearly as well as it should have.

    I hope they take things in a different direction next time.

  2. Yeah, Cary nailed it. I’ve never been a console shooter – or Metroid – fan but I was having a really hard time playing this one. It just felt… off. After reading your write up, Cary, I’ve decided that the Mafia2 DLC and Amnesia deserve my attention more

  3. Cary, thank you for the write up. As a Metroid fan, I got the game on launch day and have made my way through the story since then. While I first loved the action, the pixel hunting “hidden pictures” moments killed the momentum for me. There were times when I thought the game should have been more forgiving. After spending 20 minutes, I know I must have passed over that spot in the background, but only resting exactly on it worked. Unfortunately, the combat was not as complex as GoW or other 3rd person action games, but at least it seemed to flow. The delay in shooting missiles and the pixel hunting really hurt the pacing.

    I do have to say, on a positive note that I enjoyed the story. I did not enjoy Samus’ characterization and can understand where G4 comments came from. But the story of the Bottle Ship was interesting. Ultimately, Other M made me eager to go back and play Prime for atmosphere and Zero Mission for exploration.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Cary.

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