Saturday, January 19, 2013

Samus Returns To Her Roots - With An Overblast

The METROID franchise was slowly going astray, falling "victim" to innovations that mostly worked yet, at the same time, were turning METROID games into a typical space shooter. Don't get me wrong, I greatly enjoyed the Metroid Trilogy - it just did not give off the sense of a classic METROID game. Well, NINTENDO made sure to take care of that.

Metroid: The Other M is an old-school platform shooter, only equipped with the latest innovations that enhance rather than hinder the true character of the game. Samus Aran can now move in 3D (and not only in a sidescrolling manner), yet this is and feels like a classic platform game. There is some puzzle-solving and expect to spend quite some time in the form of a morphing ball, zipping through pipes, bypassing obstacles, unlocking security doors and finding powerups; and the FirstPerson perspective is still available to deliver devastating missile shots (while keeping Samus stationary and vulnerable to enemy attacks, one cannot play the game as an FPS). Nevertheless, this is an pure action-shooter game that is greatly enjoyable.

Visually this must be the best game I ever played on Wii, with beautiful and distinct environments than never get boring and never interfere with the gameplay. And, following the tradition of the classic Metroid games, the The Other M experience is enhanced by great orchestral music. Nothing epic, but it sure fits the mood of the scene it accompanies.

The Other M is a tad story-heavier than I would have liked and the cinematic sequences are unskipable(?) whereas, annoyingly, the story at times throws Samus in the midst of her enemies with minimal firepower and often without her Varia suit. Other than those minor complains (and the game being a bit short), this is one of the best games I have ever played on a console. I would dare say, this is a title that is comparable to the monumental Super Metroid on the SuperNES.

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