I fired up Metroid Other M today. I knew this one had a sort of divisive reputation. And I was a bit apprehensive about using the Wii mote sideways (NES-style) for a 3D game. But so far, it seems like it just really works. The opening tutorial thing felt really boring. But now that I'm in the game proper, I'm already enjoying it more than I expected. I should note, I'm not a big fan of 3D platformers in general. But somehow this feels like a 2D Metroid on a 3D plane. If that makes sense.
It does seem way more linear so far than your typical Metroid game. But I'm okay with that. I honestly really like the style of the visuals and everything so far. I haven't played much - just an hour or so. But I have high hopes now.
I'm about two hours into Other M now. It's far from a perfect game. Early on there were parts that were so dark, that it was hard for me to fully make out the environment. I even tweaked TV settings, but it didn't help much. Luckily, once I got the power on in the area, it made things better. Also, I don't love the thing where you have to switch to first person view by pointing at the screen with the Wii remote. I find that transition awkward. Like going from playing it 'controller style' to 'light gun' style feels weird and jarring to me in the middle of combat.
That said, I still find it a totally interesting game. And I'll always say that I'd rather play a somewhat-bad-but-interesting game over a just-good-but-boring game. So there's that.
Yes, it's super linear. This has been a complaint since launch. But at the same time, it's still not always obvious how to proceed. There's often little crevices to get into in morph-ball form for instance. And I must say, rolling around Monkey Ball style is actually quite fun.
I do like the visuals quite a bit as well. There was a section where there was a sort of virtual reality nature section with waterfalls and stuff. It was really nice looking - almost a kind of Pandora thing going on there. And some of the alien life is very cool to look at.
I also appreciate the well distributed save spots - something that the linear nature has afforded. I don't need to backtrack a lot to find a save place, which is handy given that I have a baby in the house. So in a lot of ways I can tackle this game in pretty short chunks, which is helping a lot.
Other M is turning out to be a FASCINATING game. There are moments where it is baron and boring; moments where it is genuinely thrilling; moments where its story is a baffling mess; and moments where I'm cursing the controls. And all of these moments may present themselves in the span of just ten minutes. It's mind-blowing. I'm not sure what happened. And I think that Team Ninja had good intentions. And there are some truly great things in this game. Unfortunately, they tend to be buried under poor design decisions and an overall mess of a game.
I played another hour or so last night, and could feel my brain having a tug-o-war trying to decide if I like this game or not. Back and forth, back and forth. I'll run down an empty hallway and feel the tedium, get to a boss fight and think it's awesome, feel the frustrating set in because the controls aren't doing what I want, or I'm not realizing I need to switch to first person mode, hit another boss fight and think it's awesome... Everything about this game is baffling.
For instance, last night I hit a room that had a sort of boss battle against three flying drones. They move FAST and can only be hit when they telegraph a certain beat; this makes auto-aim feel useless because you'll continually target the WRONG drone instead of the one you want to hit. Ugh. They drop a scattershot upgrade. Immediately after that battle, I go into a save room, and then the next room is... a boss battle. This time against two big snake things. I dodge their attacks and try to use the new scattershot I JUST received which would seem obvious. But nothing's working. Finally I check a walkthrough and learn that this battle requires going into first person mode. Ugh.
A bit later, I hit another boss battle. I drop into a hive and the game sort of freezes me in first person mode. I spend FIVE MINUTES just looking around trying to figure out how to start the battle. I eventually think the game's bugged. I check a walkthrough again and find I'm just missing the specific little spot on the screen I need to target to start the battle. Ugh. It's like one of those hidden image puzzle games. Ugh. But then that battle ends up being awesome and fun. It's a mess!
I think I'm sort of enjoying how bad it is, honestly. I can't stress this enough: the vast majority of the game makes NO SENSE. Like, there's a little fuzzy alien thing that you keep spotting in cut scenes. It looks like one of those puffin things from The Last Jedi. Anyway, it's obviously meant to be cute in a Moogle kind of way. And then Samus says something about "this disgusting creature..." and I'm like, "what even IS this story it's trying to tell me?" Wow.