Moving away from the first-person gaming of the Metroid Prime games on the GameCube and Wii, Metroid Other M takes the series into 3rd-person mode which goes some way to recreating the retro feel of Super Metroid, of which this game is a sequel.
The game begins with Samus destroying Mother Brain, the Space Pirates and the entire planet of Zebes before being called to a research facility to answer a distress call named ‘Baby’s Cry’. And so the action begins after lots and lots of exposition. This time around Samus has a voice and even though it sounds like she’s been taking horse tranquilizers, she tells stories of her past in the military and her thoughts as she meets her old colleagues, explores the facility and fights some big bosses as well.
You play the game using the remote like a classic controller when running around and shooting, but then point the remote to the screen to go into first-person mode to scan things and fire rockets. Unfortunately you can’t actually move in this mode so at first it does feel a bit odd but luckily you do get used to it. You also have to wait for permission to use your powers from the squad leader which again seems a little bit strange as surely Samus would just use her big guns without question if she got into a sticky situation.
You’ll find the game is more linear and action-oriented with pick-ups and collectables not too tricky to find this time around – and arrow always points to your next objective so it’s impossible to get lost or stuck which in my mind is a good thing after the brick walls I’ve run into before playing the Prime games.
One thing you’ll have to master is Samus’ new dodge move. Press the d-pad in any direction just before taking a hit and Samus will roll out of the way.
Charge your gun when you do this and it’ll instantly charge resulting in a quick counter attack. You can now kick jump up high walls and once again roll into a Morph Ball to race around the levels and access ducts and pipes.
Although the cut-scenes and exposition do break the flow of the action, Metroid Other M delivers a tight arcade action experience with a bit more substance added to Samus’ back story and so it gets an excellent 8 out of 10.
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