I had a strange experience overall with Other M. Again, it was a get in and get out sort of NZGamer.com lightning attack on parts of the Nintendo booth today, as we rushed around trying to see everything. I got to a console showing the new Metroid game in a back room near where I was supposed to be doing an interview – this is important information because it turned out to be a good game to see away from the show floor.
Why? Because Other M gives real good story.
The one issue I have with the swag bag of additional depth to Samus is that too much of it plays out in slow (beautifully rendered, but slow) cutscenes. The opening sequence is done in a creepy, Massive Attack video-at-the-start-of-House sort of way, reaching crescendo with Samus facing off against an epic flaming skeleton. All of this looks amazing, but I was standing in front of that unit a long time before anything interactive actually happened.
Could this be a bit of a chink in the armour? For so long, Samus has been voiceless, impenetrable and mysterious. Now, is too much being laid on at once? She's all of a sudden a livin' doll; human beneath that dangerous suit of hers. Is this what the fans want? Or do they like ther heroines leggy, silent and deadly?
Even in a quiet back room, there were parts of conversations I lost due to myriad distractions, so I wouldn't want to try and re-create those scenes in too much detail. Suffice to say Samus meets up with an old friend, and needs to kill some alien scum.
Holding the Wii remote and nunchuk, when I was first asked to make Samus walk using the D-Pad, I was a little confused. I push left on the D-pad to make her walk forward? What the hell were they thinking? It took me a second to realise I had no use for the 'chuk whatsoever. When I turned the remote to hold it like a classic control pad, things started to make a lot more sense. I don't know if I missed a tutorial screen or what, but two things consipired against me: lack of food, and the fact that I was handed the set up by a rep.
The game is presented as a side scroller, in part, with elements of 3D-shooter and parts where you'll be required to change grip to point the remote at the screen to fire off missiles. Bombs make their return, as a happy byproduct of the Morph Ball, as well as power bombs. Not only do these badboys create mass devastation, they look awesome.
In taking on your enemies, you've been equipped with lethal strikes; drop an enemy with gunfire, then finish him while he is laid out. Don't worry. They're only aliens. Taking out a whole room full is great fun with Samus's arm-mounted arsenal, and has a nice arcade feel to it that fits the side scroll aesthetic.
It's not just Other M's bombs that look... the bomb, either. The graphics we're seeing out of the Wii this E3 are something special, and the new Metroid outing jumps right on that bandwagon. I notice I scrawled “best looking game on the Wii?” in my notes from the press conference, but up close and personal it's just regular-impressive.
Apart from the shift in orientation, there are few doubts that Other M will deliver to fans. What we've seen here must be very close to final build, with the American release touted for the end of June. Hopefully us Kiwis see it before Christmas.
I didn't get long with this one either, as other commitments beckoned; but that's E3. I trust the surface has been eithe adequately scratched. If it's been maddeningly itched, post your questions below and we'll get the answers. There's still more to come from the Nintendo booth this E3.
The Good: Samus gets a voice.
The Bad: Long, slow cinematics.
The Ugly: Sweat soaked E3 Wii Remote wrist straps.