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Metroid: Other M Preview

Josh_Laddin By:
GENRE Action 
T Contains Animated Blood, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Samus + Ninja = A space pirate's worst nightmare.

The threat of Prime is over, Mother Brain is dead (again) along with the baby Metroid, and those pesky X parasites haven't yet been unwittingly unleashed upon the galaxy. In the Metroid universe, things can't get much more peaceful, right?

click to enlargeNot so, says Team Ninja. With Other M, another in-between-quel in the Metroid series, Samus responds to yet another distress call only to find yet another extraterrestrial threat to life as she knows it. But this time around, she runs into a squad of Galactic Federation soldiers who serve a little bit more purpose in the gameplay and the story than the faceless laser-fodder from Metroid Prime 3.

Chief among those NPCs is Adam Malkovich, Samus' former CO (and who was questionably close to her in the past). Adam, first referenced in Metroid Fusion, is at first standoffish with our bounty hunter extraordinaire upon their reunion, but after they're attacked by an amorphous blobby tentacle monster made up of a myriad of purple bugs, he understands that they need to work together once more to figure out what kind of deep space terror (or fugitive Japanese concept artist) they're up against.

The game plays pretty unconventionally, but it's actually quite simple once you get used to it. Essentially you'll have to switch frequently between two control schemes. By default you control Samus in third-person, while holding the Wii-mote sideways and using the D-pad to move and 1 and 2 to shoot and jump.

click to enlargeBut you can point at the screen at any time, controlling Samus in first-person mode that's comfortably similar to the Prime series. The only difference is that you can't actually move in first-person, only aim and shoot. The end result is almost a guerrilla warfare style of play in which you run around looking for openings and stop to set up your shots and blast in first-person while you have the window.

One other action of importance is Samus' new ability to do a quick evade by pressing the D-pad right before an attack hits, regardless of the point of view. This is clearly a stamp made by the guys and gals at Team Ninja on the game, as it gives Samus some extra nimble athleticism that she lacked in Prime.

You'll get your chance to explore this untold chapter of Samus' saga on August 31. The Metroid universe may never be the same.

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