I feel sorry for Metroid in a lot of ways. The Zelda series really has it easy. In every game it makes sense that Link has to go and look for every single item that was available in the previous game because each game is separated by some vast period of time and it’s a completely different Link. Metroid unfortunately uses the same Samus over and over so game designers have to resort to alternate means to completely eliminate her arsenal of upgrades at the beginning of each game. Nintendo (via Team Ninja) thought they had a winner this time. Samus is on a mission and she doesn’t have access to all of her upgrades because those upgrades have not been authorized for use on the mission by the commanding officer. Simple, believable…unfortunately it’s SEXIST!!!
That’s right people, taking orders from a commanding officer is sexist. If you believe all of the internet controversy anyway. Personally I didn’t find anything sexist about this game – Maybe that makes me sexist too?
Sexism aside, game play is simple and fun. The world is rendered in 3D but the game engine uses a fixed camera for each room so it gives a similar impression as that of the old 2D Metroid games. Since you have no way to aim in 3D Samus automatically locks on to the nearest enemy that she is facing. It may sound kind of lame but I had a blast running through corridors blowing away enemies.
Anywhere in the game you also have the option of pointing your Wiimote at the screen and switching to a first-person mode to look around (Normally you hold your controller horizontally in both hands). When in first-person mode you also have access to some of your alternate weapons such as missiles as well as your grappling beam. The implementation of this feature is a little awkward but the game is better for having it.
Maps design is pretty much what you’d expect from a Metroid game. There are four sectors that you’ll have to keep running back and forth between throughout the game. The actual size of each sector is pretty similar to the size of each area in the original Metroid. Unlink the original Metroid this game always tells you what direction you’re supposed to be heading so it ends up feeling pretty linear. It would have been nice if they had an option to turn off hints and have more of an ‘open exploration’ game but to be honest with myself I would have probably left the hints on because exploring is a drag.
The game also features voice acting and cut-scenes at a scale not previously seen in Metroid titles. These types of features are always somewhat subjective by I found them to be done quite well. There are some story elements that will leave you scratching your head, but nothing too major.
Overall I really enjoyed the experience and my only major complaint about the game was that it was too short.
* Simple, Fun Action Game
Is it fun: Yes
Length: 10 hours