I borrowed Other M from a friend recently. I’m not a huge fan of the Metroid series, but I really like the games I have played. I have always been a HUGE fan of Super Metroid. I’ve also played through Metroid Fusion and Metroid Zero mission, which were both good. I played through most of Metroid Prime, but I was never able to beat the final boss. I played the original Metroid countless times, but I never got very far in it, until very recently when I beat it. They’re all very good games, but Metroid has just never grabbed me like other video game series have. I’m honestly not sure why, because the premise for the series is really cool.
Anyway, I’ve always really liked Samus’ character. She seemed like a badass bounty hunter with a bit of a softer side, as seen with the baby metroid. I likened her to Ellen Ripley from the Alien movie franchise. Ripley was a bit green and scared early on, but was never a whimpering mewling of a woman. She got things done, and became more battle hardened as the movies went on. This was how I saw Samus. Maybe a bit green at first, but by Super Metroid, she was a battle hardened warrior.
To say I was disappointed by her characterization in Other M is an understatement. The softness toward the baby metroid didn’t put me off, but the fact that she totally obeyed a commander of a military organization she was no longer a part of pissed me off. Sure, she had history with General Adam Malkovich, but to completely disregard her own safety to follow his orders? Lunacy. Samus waits for Adam’s authorization to use her powers because teamwork? It doesn’t make sense. When I was running through the lava filled areas of Sector 3, without my Varia suit, I couldn’t help but ask why this battle hardened bounty hunter was waiting for some dude she hasn’t seen in years to authorize the use of something that will not only give her an edge in battle, but keep her from dying. Seriously, what the hell?
Additionally, I understand that Samus thought she had destroyed Ridley once and for all, but when sees “him” again, she breaks down and literally acts like a scared child, I lost it. She lets one of her best friends from her past die because, she’s a weak willed woman or something? I honestly don’t get it. This is a woman we’ve seen blast her way through countless planets, destroy those planets, face Ridley, mecha Ridley, Mother Brain, the Metroid Queen, and countless other horrors, and she is scared of a Ridley “clone”, or whatever the hell he is? Samus seems meek and unconfident throughout this game, and anyone who has actually been to combat can tell you, being unconfident in your abilities can get you killed. As experienced as Samus is, this new characterization really conflicts with who she is supposed to be.
Other than Samus’ poor characterization, the story was alright, if a bit cliched. Big government military organization wants to weaponize Space Pirates and Metroids. We’ve seen it a million times before in other forms of media, but it was okay. I did like most of the story content near the ending. I won’t spoil anything, though. There may have been too many cutscenes throughout the game, however. Samus does a lot of narrating that could have been cut down, honestly.
As far as the graphics go, they look really good. I played the game on my Wii U, and while you can tell it’s a last gen game, it actually looks pretty darn crisp playing on an HD TV. The environments are all full of life and interesting. The enemies all look really good, if a little goofy at times (see the big volcano crater boss from Sector 3). Samus’ power suit looks really cool, though I would have been happier seeing the more angular power suit shoulders for when she isn’t using the Varia suit add-on. All-in-all, Nintendo knows their hardware better than anyone else, and it shows. The only other Wii games I’ve played in the past that look this good are other games Nintendo themselves created.