Metroid Other M
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Game Reviewed: Metroid Other M
Developer: Team Ninja/Nintendo
ESRB Rating: T
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Metroid: Other M opens with an updated cut-scene of Samus Aran’s final battle with Mother Brain, from the Super Nintendo hit Super Metroid. A few beats later, Samus completes a quarantine inspection and then leaves in her ship with nothing but the many questions she still faces.
As she mulls over recent events, her ship picks up a distress call and once again she changes course for more adventure, this time on the ominous “Battle Ship.” Immediately, the player is drawn into the mystery of the call, leading Samus into dangers unseen and unknown. She does not wait long for the plot to thicken as a squad of elite Marines reveals their presence and, with reservation, their mission. Samus joins the marines under the leadership of Adam Malkovich, the squad’s commander.
When the team spreads out to discover the cause of the distress signal, Samus is left with strict orders not to activate her full arsenal until cleared by Adam. Obeying Adam’s orders, Samus continues her own investigation of the ship. This leads her eventually to a woman calling herself Madeline, the scientist overseeing the ship’s experiments. Before long, Samus discovers an alien presence, which eventually evolves into the form of an old enemy, which attacks her and another Marine that Samus is unable to protect. As Samus delves deeper into the mystery of what led to the distress call, she discovers the presence of a “deleter,” an assassin who is systematically killing the members of the Marine squad and any survivors they encounter. With each increasingly violent and powerful attack, Samus waits on Adam as he grants her the use of certain weapons at the last possible moment. Despite the loss of several Marines, Samus eventually learns the truth to the ship’s distress call and the truth behind the appearance of metroids.
What Parents Need to Know
Due to the overall plot of the game’s story, the player battles a variety of creatures with various types of guns, bombs, and special moves. Some objectives require Samus to protect other human characters from attacks and in some cut-scenes, dead human bodies can be seen (although little or no wounds can be seen.) Some finishing moves involve Samus firing her weapon into the heads or open mouths of some creatures.
There is no bad language in this game.
While there are no sexual situations, some cut-scenes show Samus in her “subsuit” (a blue spandex-like coverall that she wears under her armor.) Her figure is emphasized by the tight clothing.
In another cut-scene where the origin of the main boss character, “Mother Brain” is revealed, the shape of a young woman is seen during an experiment. While there are no details, the visuals allude to the character being nude.
Other M takes place in a future universe where genetic manipulation is a crime and the moral implications are experienced first-hand by the characters.
The game also explores the differences between courage and sacrifice, questioning authority, the value of life whether considered innocent or malicious, and one’s ability to override moral direction with selfish ambition.
While there are not any direct spiritual implications in the game, Other M does consider the implications of sacrificing one for the salvation of many, whether that one is you or someone under your command. Other M also explores the corruption of excessive power in comparison to the use of restraint and discipline.
As a fan of the Metroid series, Other M is an excellent addition to the lineup. The change from static first to third person hybrid views offers a bit of a challenge and a refreshing redesign. Most of the usual weapons and features are still available with some tweaking to a few, such as increased power from PowerBombs, the lack of SpiderBall option, and no more need to switch between visors or weapons.
The third person view allows Samus to move through the levels quickly and with little difficulty. However, once in first person (which can occur and lock-in at key moments) directional movements, including defensive, are not allowed. Only locking onto specific objects or creatures for the purpose of firing at or examining is possible.
Aside from mechanics and gameplay, the overall feel is Metroid through and through. And the developers did a great job of filling in some of the mystery of the overall Metroid story, including how Samus Aran became a bounty hunter and her link to the metroids and space pirates. While most of this story is told through stunning cinematics, some scenes can run on the lengthy side (one scene in particular ran nearly ten minutes). That aside, everything about this game is true to the story of Samus and a welcome continuation of the series. Metroid Other M is appropriately geared for the “teen +” audience.