Let?s start with a confession. Ready? The Metroid series, to me, isn?t all that. It started well, don?t get me wrong. I remember loving the original on the NES and was delighted a few years back when I picked up the big box version of Super Metroid on the SNES for a few quid in GameStation, but the later variants left me a bit cold.
Those early 2D games were the perfect mix of exploration and challenge, but when the series made the leap to the third dimension, I gave up. It all got too bloody fiddly for a cranky old man like me ? I wanted fun, wandered off with Super Mario
and never looked back.
Until now. Metroid: Other M
dropped into my lap a couple of days ago and, of course, I am obliged to play the hell out of it to tell you fine folks about it. Meant to be a harder edged take on the series (taking place between Super Metroid
), it?s a more story-based experience than the games I played in the past. But how does it play?
Initially I was a bit worried. The mix between kind-of 2D and 3D gaming meant that I found the controls were fiddly to begin with ? when I first fired it up I was expecting two handed play but no! This uses only the Wiimote, requiring you to hold it differently depending on what you want to do. Most of the game will see you holding it sideways as you explore the huge ship. Pointing at the screen automatically switches to a first person view that enables you to look around, target and break out the big weapons at your disposal.
It took a bit of getting used to but by the time I got to the first boss fight (which is a bit gross ? if you have any kind of aversion to bugs, Other M
is not for you) I was more comfortable with it. A couple of hours in and I was switching between both views quickly with no issue, so stick with it ? it does get easier.
is (mostly) beautiful. Team Ninja has done its best to make the game as cinematic an experience as possible, putting as much effort into the look of the game as they have in the (regularly appearing) cutscenes.
The game runs smoothly, although there?s the occasional issue with rough edges around some of the scenery, especially when you?re running around trying to take out yet another swathe of enemies who have just dropped on your head. I must say I was pretty impressed with how much they?ve managed to wring out of the Wii, so the occasional bit of roughness is forgiveable.