Stubborn Remote-Only Controls: The designers of Other M have said publicly that they were determined to make a Metroid game that could be played only with a Wii Remote. Why? Because they feared more complex controllers turn people off? This is already a game for people willing to take a plunge; it's hard to imagine that the addition of a Nunchuk would have scared them away. Because the game is Remote-only, players will learn how unwise it is to try to control a Resident Evil 4-style perspective with a d-pad. They will learn how annoying it is to, in the heat of battle, point the Remote out toward the TV to go into first-person mode, only to have the Wii fail to realize you did this because you are pointing a little off the TV screen. Remote-only would have been fine as a default, but the game would have controlled better, and elicited less frustration, if it supported a second control scheme for those of us who prefer to do things like control movement in three dimensions with an analog stick.


*Sappy And Conspiratorial: I had mistaken Nintendo's long-standing disinterest in making story-heavy, cutscene-loaded games with a tacit dismissal of the kinds of stories those types of games tell. I was wrong. Under the direction of longtime Metroid designer Yoshio Sakamoto, Nintendo unfortunately felt the need to tell a story that explores those tired themes of protagonist immaturity, weapons of mass destruction, and possible government conspiracy that have been strip-mined by the makers of Metal Gear and Resident Evil. Thankfully, the cut-scenes involving these themes are mostly placed near the beginning and end of the game.

I was skeptical of Other M. I thought it would not just be inferior to the wonderful Metroid Prime games but to earlier Metroid side-scrollers. I still can't say that it is better than most of them, but it is nonetheless a very good game. It is exciting to play and terrific to look at. It is a master-class in mixing gameplay genres, even though it is hobbled by a bad decision regarding its controls. Anyone with an appetite for classic Metroid combat and exploration will be satisfied with Other M. Those who wish to think of Samus as a grown-up without daddy issues may not be. Still, this is a fabulous Wii game that shows how thrilling it can be when sequel creators choose not to design it safe. This is a brave game, one that players would benefit from experiencing.


Metroid Other M was developed by Nintendo and Team Ninja and published by Nintendo for the Wii on August 31. Retails for $49.99 USD. A copy of the game was given to us by the publisher for reviewing purposes. Played through the campaign in about 10 hours, found 58% of items and warn all players of the following: Do not turn the game off when the credits are rolling. You will miss something significant.

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