Oh boy, this game.
This was it. The franchise breaker. The game that marked the drop off of Metroid content for the next seven years. It wouldn’t be until Metroid: Samus Returns on the 3DS that the franchise would finally be revitalized, and that game is just a remake to satiate our hunger before Prime 4 comes out.
But we’re not talking about that, much to my dismay. Today, we’re talking about what many consider to be the worst game in the entire franchise: Other M.
Now, before we get into the dumpster part of this dumpster fire, let’s talk about the positives. For one, this game looks pretty great for a Wii game. Not spectacular, obviously, but the cutscenes look nice, the character models are as solid as the hardware can allow, and the environments are well detailed and very pretty. It’s a solid looking game. The music is… okay, I guess. You’re not gonna be humming any of the tunes in your car, but it does the job fine.
Some of the boss fights are pretty cool too. There are some new ones that are pretty fun, and there are a few returning bosses that are pretty cool, such as the redone Nightmare from Metroid Fusion, the Queen Metroid from Metroid 2, and the gigantic Phantoon from Super Metroid, the ladder of which serves as the secret final boss of the game.
The third-person 2.5D gameplay is pretty fun. It controls just fine, and flipping around enemies and blasting them in the face is reasonably entertaining. The different kill animations Samus has on the enemies are fucking sick, and they really give the feeling that she’s an unstoppable killer.
And… that’s it. It looks nice, half of the gameplay is solid, and some of the bosses are pretty cool. So why do people hate this game so much?
The story, that’s why.
Story wise, this is the single worst entry in the history of Metroid. It hardly makes any sense, only one of the new characters is any good (that being the Plasma gunner Anthony) or even remotely memorable, the setting is boring, and the gameplay is constantly being cut off by really long and boring cutscenes.
And that’s without mentioning the voice acting.
While the other characters are cast just fine, Jessica Erin Martin as Samus Aran is just… a dreadful casting. She sounds bored ninety percent of the time, and the only emotion she can portray (quite poorly, I might add) is fear. I’m sorry, but this casting is just fucking terrible.
They did know that this was only her third acting role ever when they cast her, right?
Her performance, paired with the god awful writing, completely butcher the character of Samus Aran. She’s no longer an isolated, unstoppable bad-ass with a heart of gold; she decides for no fucking reason not to use her gear until Adam authorizes it as a lazy way to lock off the player’s abilities, even though she’s a completely independent bounty hunter. She can’t get out of a single problem without some outside help, and she’s incapable of solving any problem until she gets the proper authorization or someone else helps her.
Because the woman who has literally fought her way through entire planets out to kill her single handedly can’t handle the same monsters she’s slaughtered a thousand times on a space station.
This is particularly emphasized in the Ridley boss fight. When Ridley returns once again, Samus breaks down and has a panic attack, only pulling herself together when Anthony nearly gets himself killed. Fucking… why?! You’ve already killed him twice up to this point, and that’s not counting the Prime games or Samus Returns! Samus has no reason to be afraid of this fucker anymore!
This lazy, nonsensical writing carries out through the entire game. Things happen with no rhyme or reason, subplots are introduced with no payoff as a lazy way to write off the other characters, and the story completely resolves itself with no agency from Samus’ actions at all.
Thanks for playing! Nothing you did matters! No one cares!
Ugh… so the story is super intrusive and terrible. That’s fine, right? I mean, Metroid has always been about the exploring, not the plot! So how’s that?
Non-existent. You can’t explore the station at all. Each level is completely linear, and the story takes you from point a to point b without ever letting go of your hand. Very rarely do you need to go back to get a collectible with a power up you get later, because all of them are stupid easy to get and very obviously placed.
In an entry in a series all about exploring, you can’t explore. Does that make you mad? Cause it makes me mad!
And then there’s the first-person combat. See, in this game, you can switch between third person and first person views by rotating the Wii remote. If you want to use missiles, you have to be in first person. Otherwise, they are completely inaccessible to you. But there’s an issue: you can’t fucking move while in FPS mode. The only way you can move is by counter-dodging by flicking the controller.
This game blows. There are inklings of good here and there, yes, but they are completely drowned out by the bad. Each moment of fun is ruined by the terrible plot and acting. Don’t play this one. No matter how much you love the series. You won’t find enough of what you love here.