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...seeing as you're the group of gamers whose opinions I trust the most.
Picking up Other M today was a bit of a strange experience--the guy at Play-N-Trade revealed that one of his coworkers mistakenly told everyone that the game released today, so the store had preorder folks coming in all day to try to get it. However, this particular employee was pretty upset about the whole ordeal and decided to sell it to me anyway...then promptly called his manager and quit. I told him I didn't want to cause a fuss and would come back Tuesday for it, but he took a devil-may-care attitude and let me buy the game regardless (he was actually quite friendly to me, just upset about the mistake the coworker made).
So that interesting story of acquisition aside, I now have the game and have played roughly 40 minutes or so (just beat the first boss). It's quite early so my previews aren't going to be very in-depth, so I'll make this quick for now:
-Controls are better than expected, feels fun and pleasantly quick like Samus should -Voice acting better than expected; the ancillary soldiers and such sound pretty good -Samus herself seems to be directed to sound fairly cold and emotionless, which usually works, but sometimes her delivery is stilted (so far) -I'm kind of missing Retro's attention to environmental detail, but the areas still look decent enough -Killing classic Metroid enemies like Geemers and Rios in 3rd-person is somewhat cathartic. They made a 3rd-person Metroid feel work rather well, and I like the Wiimote so far -You can't seem to wall-jump off every wall, just select surfaces -Not sure what to make of the story yet, I kinda like a lot of it and some of it is sort of overbearing; we'll see. The direction and transitions are pretty nice though -Pretty cool first boss -Casper's right, it needs more music during gameplay
That's all for now. I mainly made this thread for everyone else to post their impressions too, but I wanted to give a few of my own first.
There were things in Other M that I hope they carry over to other Metroid games, but I hope they leave the following in the past...
- Long, MGS-esque cutscenes, especially when acted poorly. Metroid was always very forward thinking with its cutscenes, doing more by showing, not telling. More Metroid Prime, more Bioshock, less Other M.
- Wii-mote only controls - if this is a game for core gamers, why make it Wiimote only? The only benefit I saw from that was that it made running straight lines easier, but hey, that's what d-pads are for. This could actually be a great thing for WiiU though. A Metroid game similar to Other M, but with your map and whatnot on the tablet? That could be cool. I just better not be holding the tablet up to the TV to scan or go into first person. Blegh.
- Going first person, at least for combat. I wouldn't mind going first person to explore an area, but I don't want to do it in combat. All it did was add more challenge/frustration when shooting missiles. What was the point, really? To make it feel more like Metroid Prime somehow? How is it that Samus goes from a walking arsenal in Metroid, Metroid 2, and Super Metroid, but is all of a sudden incapable of moving while shooting missiles?
- It was too easy on the normal difficulty. Not only was there no challenge in terms of figuring out where to go next, but now there was no challenge with fighting enemies, because you could easily just dodge practically everything in the game, and that Diffusion Beam made it a cakewalk to take down multiple targets.
- Equipment. The only new piece of equipment that Samus got in the game was the Diffusion Beam, and even that was basically a mod to her existing weapon. Getting your upgrades, and the order in which you get your upgrades, felt like a lot of "been there done that." I'm all for nostalgia and fan service, but even though this was a full 3D game, I almost felt like I was just playing the same game over again. Get the morph ball. Get the missiles. Get the super missiles. Get the Varia Suit. And unfortunately, none of them are really used any differently than they were in other games. I always thought Retro did a pretty good job in giving Samus new goodies to play with.
- A hub overworld mentality. Is this all that Metroid games are allowed to be anymore? A bunch of isolated areas that have no interconnectivity at all? Whatever happened to having a world where one area may have multiple exits, or maybe even a shortcut between areas that you never found until late in the game? Other M does have an area that kind of links other areas together, but at that point, there's maybe like 10 minutes left in the game.
Prime 2 had an overworld 'hub' that let you run to the three isolated areas of the game. Prime 3 had you hopping in your spaceship to all the planets. Fusion had a hub as well, albeit a very minor shortcut system integrated very late in the game. But then you look at Zero Mission, and while it was a remake of the original, it still had that classic Metroid map mentality. You start out in Brinstar, which links to a few different areas. You're constantly retraversing Brinstar to get to new places, sometimes finding things off the beaten path. That's what I loved about Zero Mission, Prime, and Super Metroid. It wasn't really Samus that felt like the star, but it was the world design. Not once in Other M did I ever feel like the world was ingeniously concocted by some crazy game developers. There felt like there was too much attention put into this 'intricate story' and not enough on making the world.
And because you were on the space station the whole time, you never got a good sense of the scope of the game. Super Metroid gave a good sense of scope by offering so much of the map at one time. Metroid Prime did this by offering you a couple areas where you realized where you were in the world (looking at the impact crater, for instance). Other M could've been much more successful if they offered you some more views of the outside of the space station. I think they do this once in the game, where you morph ball on the edge of the space station and you see space outside. I would've loved more of that, and more things like that would've went a long way in terms of making the player aware of how big the space station was.
Things I DID like, however: - Third person and an automated camera. Was it completely perfect? No. Especially in wide open areas where judging platforms became quite tricky (especially with the d-pad). There was one room in particular where you have to scale some platforms around trees, and I always had a hard time just figuring out how far I had to jump, and in which direction. But I thought it was awesome. It was like playing Super Metroid in 3D, in a way. Samus was athletic and agile. The camera, on the whole, was quite smart. Navigating the map was quick.
- Auto aiming. I actually liked this a lot. It really isn't any different from playing Super Metroid or Fusion, aside from the fact that in the 2D games, you had to manually look up and down. They could probably let the player do that so as long as they go with a different control scheme (maybe the R button would let you aim up, with the L button letting you aim down).
- I'll be slightly hypocritical here, but I did like the combat. The dodging did make it quite easy at times, but I did feel super badass when dodging around and taking out enemies. Maybe they just need to have enemies do more damage, because the game is pretty hard in hard mode. Either that, or go back to the Super Metroid style of picking up health and missiles, rather than simply recharging your health when it is low.
- The speed of the game. I liked being able to quickly traverse the map.
So yeah....keep the speed, the third person, and basic combat, lose the shitty cutscenes and story, first person stuff, give Samus some new toys to play with, put the player in some creepier environments (make it a little scarier), and you have one hell of a game right there.
@PogueSquadron Creepier? Other M was easily the creepiest Metroid's ever gotten. It was very dark, and I didn't expect anything like this from Nintendo any time soon. Other M was a very pleasant surprise.
Some legimate complaints here but @Tranquilo was far too scathing.
I share certain complaints but none of them made me hate or even dislike the game. They were minor issues in what I consider an excellent game, a great Metroid game with a much needed change of pace. Zelda can learn from Other M. Mario too.
So some Metroid Prime fans say this game was kind of odd in a bad way. Totally different for first timers with the franchise.
So my older brother stayed with me and the folks for a couple of weeks and got me Metroid the Other M as a gift. Ironically, after me playing for 2 hours, he was the one that played the game the most for the days after, which is very odd because he is not a big time gamer at all. Him and his best friend, who also stayed at our place for the next few days just to play the game (and was also a Metroid virgin). I gotta say, I have never seen my brother this hooked up to a game before. They both would take 1 hour turns to play like they were 10 year olds playing the Super Nintendo. The taking turns thing included me, but only for using the Wii, because I decided to play Super Mario Galaxy 2. Funny part is that one could not stay in the same room the other was playing because of spoilery business. It was annoying at first, but then watching both progress and beat the game became a quite enjoyable experience. I, myself never got to play it until the end because I had already seen everything twice (not very good at dealing with spoilers).
After playing and beating the game, my brother's best friend instantly became a Metroid fan, while my older brother said to me that Metroid: the other M was his best experience with gaming. I think there are two reasons for that statement of his. One, he totally loved the whole "Let's work on the story" thing that Other M had. Two, he's always intense with everything, but I think he had his reasons.
I don't really have an opinion and thoughts about the game quite worked out yet, but I should give it a shot some day. Seeing them both so excited about a game reminded me of my childhood days when I would watch my brother play Super Mario World, also with his friend. They are both abroad now. I miss those days.
Maybe that's why I'm really into this game at the moment. I never really played anything Metroid until Corruption and I did enjoy that. Other M, though, I can't put it down. I'm itching to play more right now as soon as I'm done at work!
I really enjoyed the game and have yet to try Hard Mode. Nice to hear that your non gaming family/friends are enjoying it and it has brought them back into gaming. Do you think they will continure gaming or will they fall into another lull?
@gencid I probably agree. All 3 Prime games were awesome, but it was a tad stale by the 3rd one. I really love Other M, it's a classic. Modern classic. Feels like an SNES game (or NES if you prefer) with current tech, as the team themselves described. I pray for a sequel to Other M, with a very similar everything. Obviously there's room for improvement, but a sequel could only be better.
With some very minor gameplay changes (i.e. finding powerups instead of activating them, using a standard controller or wiimote/nunchuck configuration instead of a NES mode wiimote) and some major story changes (I don't think anybody gives a flying F for Adam or other FDR members), Metroid: Other M could have been reminiscent of Super Metroid's greatness. There's always hope for Another M.
Thinking back on it, the game hasn't left much of an impression on me. Prime and Corruption were a lot more memorable for me.
I think Sakamoto's vision for moving Metroid forward doesn't jive with me - Kensuke Tanabe seems a better fit for the series in this day and age.
For me the next Metroid should: - Have a story that is either told through the environment (Super, Prime), or unfolds in realtime (Portal 2). - Return Samus to being a badass. - Have a greater emphasis on exploration of an environment that at least feels less linear. - Have new powers for Samus that introduce new gameplay. - More sophisticated environmental puzzles. - Have a greater sense of isolation. - Have more creative locations and architecture that reward exploration. Corruption's locations were a series high.