Friday, December 23, 2011

Metroid: Other M

I just played Metroid: Other M. I had heard varied opinions on the game – in particular, it has been criticized for being a lot more linear than other Metroid games (in the sense of not giving you many choices of where to go). While this is valid, and while there were a few other things that annoyed me, my final analysis is that it’s an awesome game. It’s arguably the least cool of the Metroid games (or at least the modern ones), but it’s still awesome.

So here’s what I like about it:

  • The 3rd-person-but-3D perspective is awesome.
  • It has lots of classic enemies, including bosses.
  • Like Metroid Fusion, it has a lot of boss battles.
  • The scenery and strategy (when you can figure it out) feels Metroid-y.

Here’s what annoyed me:

  • Although you can sort of scan your environment, you can’t get much information about what you’re looking at or how to interact with it. I got stuck a lot, and often it wasn’t in a situation that was supposed to be a puzzle. I miss the scan visor.
  • The map isn’t always super clear. 3D rooms are projected onto a flat image, and the dots that show item locations are the same color as the icon that shows where you are, so if you’re close to an item it’s easy to miss. The rooms aren’t named (like they are in the Metroid Prime games), so looking up help on a confusing room is really hard too.
  • There aren’t any catchy tunes; the music is just atmosphere.
  • I don’t mind the plot, but the fact that Samus supposedly has most of her power-ups but is forbidden to use them until Adam decides they are necessary is not believable. I just tell myself that she really found them in some secret room right before the game actually gives them to you. They really need to go back to actually exploring an alien world for the next game.

In the end, the Metroid feel of the game outweighs the implementation issues, and I definitely think it’s worth playing, at least for anyone who likes Metroid games in general.