Alright, I have a few hours under my belt and decided to write some impressions:
First of all, the graphics are beautiful…easily one of if not the best looking Wii games out right now. The game runs at a silky smooth framerate and I haven’t come across a hint of slowdown. The level design looks simplistic if you judge it by the map, but has enough turns, secret areas, and visual variety to keep you guessing.
The camera in this game is absolutely perfect. I haven’t had one instance where the camera wasn’t where it should have been. Considering so many 3D games have had this issue, it’s nice to see it gone from Other M.
I honestly don’t find the controls that hard to deal with. Yes they can be at times clumsy, but I kind of like switching from first person to third person to shoot missiles. The game has an incredibly generous amount of auto aim which helps when things get frantic in first person. As long as you can remember that Samus will aim in first person at the last place you were looking at in third person, you shouldn’t get too disoriented.
The one complaint I have with the choice of control scheme is the game forcing you to press down B to free look when in first person. I find this to be pointless and should have just been that way automatically. As is I end up always hold down the B trigger when I aim in first person to help with auto aiming the bosses and aiming at objects of interest.
It’s also kind of awkward to let go of the D-pad in order to morph into a ball. Sometimes I’ll bring my right hand over to press the A button, but that really isn’t any less awkward. It’s a minor quibble, but still something worth mentioning.
As far as gameplay, I really like what Team Ninja did. It’s 2D metroid on a 3D plane and a welcome change of pace from the slower pace that Metroid Prime seemed to have.
There is also a generous amount of auto aim in third person as well, but once you get the hang of how it works, you can use it to your advantage. The pace is frantic without going into Ninja Gaiden levels of frustration and difficulty.
The platforming works well here and you never feel like you are fighting against the controls while jumping from ledge to ledge.
I can see where Team Ninja and Nintendo made this so it would be more accessible for everyone. I can totally see my 8 year old son playing this and having a blast, which is more than what I can say for the Prime series.
Now onto the story, probably the most controversial aspect of this game amongst reviewers. Although I can’t speak for the overall story itself since I haven’t beaten the game yet, it seems like the narrative isn’t getting a fair shake since this is the first Metroid game with a proper story (with cutscenes and tons of VO work).
Unless something changes later in the game, I’m honestly not seeing how sexist the plot is quite yet. As I mentioned in an different post, everyone keeps saying how weak and submissive Samus is in this story, but most of that is told via flashbacks of when she was a teenager. There really hasn’t been a part of the story up to this point where she’s acted like that in present time. Sure you can hear her inner monologue but it’s a welcome change from the minimalist approach that the Prime series has taken to story.
Despite the fact that Samus has always been the silent type, it seems that everyone has forced this badass, doesn’t take shit from anyone personality onto the character. Most people have taken issue that Samus exhibits personality traits to the contrary.
I think this is kind of unfair considering that the Metroid universe really isn’t all that fleshed out. It seems like some people had certain expectations of what the character should be like and when those expectations weren’t met, they decided that the game isn’t worth experiencing.
Sure some of the dialogue can come off as hokey and there’s a few things you can tell probably came off better in its native Japanese language, but I haven’t seen anything thus far that makes me feel that the story is taking a sexist approach.
Another issue some are having with the plot is that Samus is taking orders from Adam because she chose to join his squad and he states that he has to authorize weapon use before they can be used. Apparently some people thought this was a contrived way to take away Samus abilities, but Adam explicitly says not to use power bombs because she could accidentally vaporize every human in the vicinity and that other weapons will be authorized after analysis of the station. To be honest, that’s a good enough reason for me.
For a game that’s about shooting aliens and Space Pirates with a woman in a space suit, people are perhaps expecting a bit too much from the story.
So overall, I’m really digging this game. I most definitely do not regret purchasing it and I’m looking forward to playing it some more. I think the Prime series honestly ran it’s course and I’m glad that Nintendo was willing to try something different with Other M. I don’t know if it’ll go down as my favorite Metroid game of all time yet, but if it doesn’t, I’m honestly okay with that. Not every game has to be a perfect masterpiece. I will settle for really really good anyday.
Hopefully the game can keep up the same quality throughout my playthrough.