Story criticized but action delivers in 'Metroid: Other M' reviews

Sunday 18 September 2011 14:44

The trilogy of excellent Metroid Prime games were always going to be a tough act to follow, especially as the bounty-hunting adventures of Samus Aran stem back to the mid-1980s on Nintendo's first console. If there is a consensus, it's that Metroid: Other M gets right more than it gets wrong.

Traditionally, Metroid stories have been told primarily through isolated exploration and intense action, but with Metroid: Other M, Samus's mysterious character and backstory is fleshed out.

Cinematic cut-scenes play a far greater role, referring to characters both familiar and obscure, and the habitually silent Samus is given a voice.

Developers Team Ninja are known for a glut of games comprising the recent Ninja Gaiden series reboot, so it comes as no surprise that the action in Other M is judged intense and robust, albeit with a few minor quirks.

Common gripes concerned the way in which that action was too obviously subservient to the storyline - many of Samus's cooler abilities from the Prime games are locked out for much or all of the game in service of the plot.

Another sticking point is the contrast between Samus's historical reputation as a calm and collected badass and her new vocal freedoms that seem to imply an uncharacteristic weakness or, even, immaturity.

The extent to which each reviewer was able to forgive the encroachment of these two things had a huge bearing upon their final assessments.

Those whose primary motivation is to explore the Metroid fiction will enjoy it, those that want to explore Metroid landscapes may find themselves disappointed.

Wired 9/10 "Feels contemporary while retaining the classic Metroid appeal"
GameTrailers 8.6 " Other M is one sharp-looking game"
8.5 "One hell of a ride and a wholly recommended experience"
Giant Bomb
8/10 "Extremely well implemented fan service"
1UP B- "Nonsensical story elements wrapped around generally excellent action"
Game Informer 6.25 "The most disappointing Nintendo release in quite some time"

Metroid: Other M has a release date of August 31 in North America, September 2 in Japan, and September 3 in Europe, where it retails for $49.99, ?6,800 and €39.99 respectively.

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