Saturday, August 21, 2010

Metroid Other M: Not Convinced.

Am I the only one not convinced about Metroid Other M? I don't know what it is, but the gameplay approach taken with the game does not excite me for some reason.

I love Super Metroid on the SNES, and I really enjoyed Metroid Fusion and Metroid Zero Mission on GBA. I also thought the first Metroid Prime on Gamecube was good too, and although it was as close as you could probably get to Metroid in a first-person perspective, it didn't feel like a true Metroid to me. I get the same feeling about Metroid Other M. The original Metroid on the NES was great too of course, but it feels like a first draft when compared to Super Metroid. And, yeah - I'm not too keen on Metroid II on Gameboy. :)

This is all speculation and I may be wrong, but it looks like the shooting is using auto-targeting in the third-person camera mode. If you don't need to aim at the enemies in third-person, what gameplay is left in that mode, run and jump? What I like about Super Metroid, for example, is the intimacy of the level design and the enemy placement. You must progress with caution to avoid losing energy. An enemy may require you to simply shoot forward while running, or you may be required to aim up, or crouch, or aim diagonally up, or even jump and then shoot. There is depth in how you tackle each enemy. I would be surprised if this depth in gameplay was absent from Metroid Other M, but the gameplay videos seem to suggest it is.

Personally, I like the minimal story approach in the original NES Metroid, Super Metroid, and Zero Mission. I enjoyed the added story in Metroid Fusion, but it felt like a departure from the Metroid formula. Metroid Other M seems to be very story driven with a lot of cut-scenes and dialog and such. I don't know what it is, but I prefer my Metroids with hardcore gameplay and none of the other fluffy stuff to entertain me.

I hope my concerns are dashed when I play Metroid Other M. I want it to be great. Perhaps it is just the fact that I just want Metroid to return to the side-scrolling perspective. We'll see.

Here are some videos - what do you think?