|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Team Ninja / Nintendo||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 31, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Nathan Meunier
June 5, 2009 - Those who bow down before the altar of Samus Aran may have been enthusiastic about recent news of the Metroid Prime trilogy's upcoming three-in-one re-release on the Wii with full motion controls implemented across the board. However, word from the E3 camp this week about a new Metroid game in the works for Nintendo's console - one that's being made by the boob and blood-spray-loving staff at Team Ninja, no less - is raising more than a few eyebrows and has us salivating for Samus' next interstellar adventure set to launch in 2010.
Regarding the new project, dubbed Metroid: Other M, NOA president Reggie Fils-Aimé said it promises to be "a Metroid Game unlike any you've experienced before." Another entry in the Metroid series on the Wii was all but expected to rear its head at some point, but the fact Team Ninja is onboard has many speculating about how far the development team - responsible for busty brawler DOA (and its bikini-laden volleyball variants) and the eviscerating, over-the-top bloodbath in Ninja Gaiden 2 - will push the limits. Will Samus be armed with breast jiggling physics and a penchant for gory decapitations? Perhaps not, though the exciting E3 teaser trailer does dial up the sexiness a bit and show off some of Samus' improved ass-kicking abilities.
Purportedly, Metroid: Other M will take us even further into the Metroid universe and learn much more about Samus than we've seen before. The game will offer up a healthy portion of the heroine's back-story, which should be a real treat for fans that have followed the series closely. The teaser trailer shows Samus both in and out of her power suit, and we're also treated to brief glimpses of a futuristic cityscape and other human characters. Samus' past interactions have been focused primarily on encounters with various forms of deadly alien life, and it should be interesting to see how this human-to-human contact plays out. We're also introduced to a mysterious new female character that seems to have some familiarity with Samus as well as some possible ulterior motives. Precious little has been revealed about the actual story itself, yet it appears Samus will spend time both amongst others of her kind and deep into alien territory, tearing up the galaxy.
Straying from the Metroid Prime games, this new adventure will unfold primarily in a third-person perspective, though game footage did show some first-person gameplay. Team Ninja's involvement seems to be pushing the game in a more action-intensive, brawler direction than we've seen in past Metroid games - with a lot of the fast-paced melee style action seen in Ninja Gaiden 2, only with out the flying limbs. It's definitely a large departure from what we've experienced up to this point. However, what we've seen so far definitely has us intrigued and itching to go hands-on with the game to see how all of this comes together.
Samus still makes good use of her arm cannon and accessories like freeze beam, missiles, charged shots, and more, though the developers put her nimble, athletic form to good use in other ways. Game footage shows her executing a dizzying array of melee moves, leaps and dives, even throwing maneuvers. Her new touchy-feely approach to combat looks pretty badass. At one point, the heroine puts a dinosaur-like creature in a headlock and then shoves her arm cannon in its face for some good old-fashioned dentistry. We're curious to see how the game will balance out between this new hyper-violent gameplay and the more deliberately paced item hunting and scan-fest found in the Metroid Prime trilogy.
Control wise, you can likely expect to see some combination of the Nunchuk and Wii Remote, though exactly how much, if any, motion control will be incorporated into the final game is still up in the air. One thing Team Ninja did confirm is Metroid: Other M isn't going to be compatible with the Wii MotionPlus accessory, citing the increased range of 1:1 Wii Remote motion sensing provided by the peripheral didn't fit with the game's design.
Metroid: Other M has some very impressive visuals to gawk at. The cutscenes we saw are gorgeously rendered and characters bear the distinct look and high level of polish found among Team Ninja's past work, though costumes, accessories, and body-types are noticeably less outlandish. In-game footage is surprisingly colorful and has a stylish flair that sets it apart from past Metroid games on the Wii.
Despite taking the gameplay in a different direction, Team Ninja's collaboration with Nintendo on the game is indeed something for hardcore Wii owners and series fans to be excited about. This edgier, more mature Metroid game looks like it might hit the sweet spot. Stay tuned for our ongoing coverage as more details emerge on Metroid: Other M.
CCC Staff Contributor