by John Constantine
This game is in the running for “Biggest E3 Surprise of All Time”. Just look at the facts. With Nintendo re-releasing the “Metroid Prime” trilogy on a single disk, you’d think they were winding down the series, trying to placate fans with one last package. Nintendo R&D 1 hasn’t worked on the “Metroid” series in five years and their last all new franchise entry was “Metroid Fusion” in 2002. And Team Ninja, well, “Dead or Alive” and “Ninja Gaiden” aren’t exactly games that jive with Nintendo’s family friendly, “Everyone’s Game” ethos. Yet here is “Metroid: Other M” in all its glory, co-developed by Team Ninja and R&D 1.
The short trailer Nintendo had of the game at their E3 press conference raises more questions than it answers. Some of the trailer shows the same first-person shooting we’ve come to expect from modern “Metroid” but the majority of it is all third-person action, with Samus running, shooting, and platforming on both two- and three-dimensional planes. The trailer also shows a surprising variety of environments. There are familiar industrial and sci-fi settings, but forest? Samus, what are you doing in the woods?! How much of the game will be third-person, how much first? With all those crazy cinematic confrontations, like the one against Ridley, are there quick time events? Time will tell.
For the “Metroid” devotees out there, the story elements in the trailer are also extra intriguing. The gentleman speaking to a young, short-haired Samus at the beginning of the trailer asks, “Any objections, lady?” Huge nerds will remember from “Metroid Fusion” that this is the exact phrase Samus’ old CO Adam used to say to the bounty hunter, which would indicate that “Other M” is yet another prequel to the first “Metroid” series. Where in the timeline does it take place? Who the hell cares. It looks amazing.