Monday, July 18, 2011

Yet Another M

I just finished Metroid: Other M for the third time. Considering the fact that quite some people including myself gave this game a not so good review, this might actually be surprising. And most of the flaws are still present and an issue, the game is still very linear and still focuses on a bad story. And you still get annoyed by the stupid idea of authorizing items, it just doesn't make sense why Samus doesn't use Varia or Gravity Suite from the start for example. And that all the free exploring and item collecting basically happens at the very end of the game, where nothing much is left to do, doesn't really work either.

But some of the earlier issues are basically gone. The confusing scanning sequences are not a problem anymore, because you know what to look for. The story doesn't bother you as much, because you can skip all cutscenes, which really adds to the replay value. And if you mastered how to efficiently use the Sense Moves and Lethal Strike, the game gets rather easy actually. Not even Ridley could give me a fight this time around, because I finished him with a Lethal Strike (didn't know you could do that). So, the game actually gets a little bit more enjoyable, when you play it for a second or third time.

But this alone isn't a good reason to replay the game. I replayed the game two times now simply because I wanted to. For once I enjoy how the game is played. I really like the controls and the fast and fluid action. It just feels great to play this game, I enjoy how the beams feel, how the Missiles blast and how the Screw Attack saws through things. How you fluidly can switch between First and Third Person modes. And I enjoy using Sense Moves and Lethal Strikes. The fights in the game are fun. And this is the main reason, why I enjoy replaying this game.

The Metroid Prime Trilogy games were certainly awesome, but they could also be quite slow and low to the ground. And some things from the earlier Metroid games like the Speed Booster just wouldn't work with the first person view. Metroid: Other M really offers a great, fast and fluid hybrid of both playing styles and I really would like to see another Metroid game using this style.

I also really like the atmosphere inside the Bottle Ship. Originally I stated that the lack of music is quite disappointing, but by now I really appreciate the atmosphere created by the simple ambient sounds orchestra. This space station really gives you a great feeling of isolation, it's so huge and empty and just thinking about the gigantic simulated outdoor areas can be overwhelming.

Well, that's it, for a game which I originally didn't hold in high esteem it's surprisingly fun to replay. It's certainly not the best Metroid game, but it's also not the worst. And if you know what to do, the game can be finished rather quickly, it took me less than eight hours to finish the game this time. It's perfect for two evenings of fun and fast Metroid gameplay.

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