Metroid: Other M Continued

The first reviews are coming in for “Metroid: Other M,” and so far they’re looking a bit more modest than the franchise is accustomed to. I have to admit, I saw this coming. I played the game at E3 for a good twenty minutes, and my experience left me with some very serious questions about the finished product. Here’s a few of the reasons I was worried from that initial playthrough, all of which you can find listed in the “Versus” piece I did on Tuesday:

-First Person Perspective. Pointing at the screen to go to FPS mode was not only buggy, it didn’t even feel good when it actually worked. Control mapping is about satisfaction, every button press needs to feel satisfying, and wagging the nunchuck at the sensor bar has a hollowness that causes real problems.

-Story. An emphasis on story from Team Ninja is like Sylvester Stallone writing a book on linguistics.

-Gameplay. I distinctly remember being disappointed by the combat, especially outside of the boss fights. Auto-aim is a necessity for this title (at least as it is), but at the same time, it completely robs “Other M” of any satisfaction in winning a battle. You point and shoot, but it doesn’t really feel like your victory. You know the great combat systems from the mediocre ones within two seconds, and “Other M” is mediocre. I can’t believe that’s true, given that this is Team Ninja at the helm, but that’s the way it felt to me.

Still, I’d like to give the game a try. I am hearing surprisingly positive things about the story, which is a nice change of pace, and some of the gameplay footage leads me to believe that there’s still potential for this to be a solid entry in the series. What can’t be disputed, I’m afraid, is that “Other M” is the end of the “Metroid” hot streak. It’s the first one that isn’t a stunning success. Probably far from a disappointment, true, but it sounds like Team Ninja needs to sequel this thing, rethink their strategy, and attack it again.