Reviews Comments: 'Disappointing', yes; 'Disastrous', no
'Disappointing', yes; 'Disastrous', no
There are a few things about Metroid Other M that deserve praise; there are also things that deserve a foam bat to the head. This game did an excellent job of translating Metroid's core play mechanics to 3-D; the result is a game with the freedom of movement of a 3-D game combined with the intuitive controls of a 2-D game. There are hiccups; the sideways Wii-mote controls are unneccessarily restrictive, most egregiously limiting use of missiles to the awkwardly-implemented first-person mode. Metroid's trope-making game flow, however, is not kept intact, with all exploration elements being surgically removed; the player is kept on rails right up until the end and power-ups are mostly handed to you as you need them. The lack of exploration elements, while not intrinsically bad, is incredibly jarring in a Metroid game as well as disappointing, considering the freedom to explore that usually comes as a result of upgrading to 3-D. There are a number of unneccessary elements that add little to the play experience and could easily be done without, namely the Focus mechanic, the aforementioned first-person mode, and the constant, infuriating Pixel Hunts (imagine Wheres Waldo, where Waldo is a dark green smear on dull green grass in a poorly-lit green room). The writing... meh. It's trying hard, and it fails just as hard. The doomed GF troops are too flat to really care about (excepting Anthony, of course), the villain was cool but would have been more effective if their backstory wasn't told via a flashback long after any chance of resolving things peacefully had faded, and Samus' new characterisation could easily have been explored more deeply. Her idolisation of Adam would be much less unsettling if we were actually shown more examples of him being a loving foster father, instead of a careless, controlling jerk; I'm sure they're there, but it doesn't work unless they're shown. What makes Other M disappointing is that it's easy to see how it could be better. The base mechanics are all there; remove the Pixel Hunts and tacked-on first-person mode, improve or excise the story, and give the player more freedom to explore, and you would have a Metroid to remember. Other M is still enjoyable, despite its flaws. I feel perfectly secure in holding out for a Surprisingly Improved Sequel.
Well... I have to agree. I think exploration is harder to make in 3D, since you have to put more elements in each room than in a 2D game. However, the Prime games proved you could still have exploration in 3D, and I just wish Other M did that.
comment #9224 Scardoll 11th Aug 11
^ A 2-D environment is, if nothing else, simple to navigate through, and I think Other M translated that very well. However, a 3-D environment, done right, can be both more compact (due to having more dimensions to cram everything into) and more rewarding to explore thoroughly; the Prime games, I think, did an exemplary job at providing the player with an immersive, expansive world which was very fun, but never tedious, to explore. There are moments of that in Other M, but (and pardon me if I'm off-base here, as it's been quite a while since I've played), for the most part, the environments were rather dull and not much fun to poke around in (the lack of a scan visor to entice the player to examine their surroundings really hurt in this regard, I think) and the maps were a nightmare of long, redundant hallways and one-way paths.
comment #10450 superfroggy 2nd Oct 11
I pretty much agree with the last part, the potential is there, and as long as Sakimoto isn't allowed to work on the next Metroid game it should turn out good, it'll turn out great if Retro works on another title, but they are probably burned out and wouldn't be able to (or want to) top the Prime Trilogy.
comment #10637 trunks2585 7th Oct 11
Sakamoto has done a good job on other Metroid games, including Metroid Fusion and Super Metroid. However, he only worked well when he was kept in control (And he wasn't writing). In Metroid Other M, Sakamoto was able to make decisions like the no-numbchuck control scheme or the removal of the gravity suit (I still don't get this) without anyone able to really say "no". That's not a good thing for making a product.
comment #10673 Scardoll 9th Oct 11
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