Mother Brain is back again

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The Spectrum

Title: Metroid: Other M

Platform: Nintendo Wii

Developer: Nintendo of America

Category: Shooter

Grade: A-

Samus Aran returns again in the latest installment of Nintendo's popular Metroid series, Metroid: Other M.

Set between Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion, Metroid: Other M delves deep into the history of Samus. Offering up a look into Samus' development as the galaxy's greatest hero and most feared bounty hunter, the game begins with a short sequence detailing Samus' defeat of Mother Brain and escape from Zebes.

After escaping the space pirate home world, Samus awakes a short time later in a Galactic Federation vessel upon receiving a distress signal from a distant corner of the galaxy.

Hoping to find some answers, Samus responds to the signal to find an isolated space station filled with monsters, Galactic Federation assassins and even Samus' old pals Ridley and Mother Brain.

Metroid: Other M is an excellent addition to the Metroid franchise. The game offers a solid mix of classic and modern gameplay to keep new and old fans interested.

A noticeable change in the game's development is its viewpoint. Despite its rising popularity in the Metroid Prime series, game creators (Project M) replaced the first-person viewpoint with the traditional third-person perspective.

Samus is controlled in the third-person mode by simply turning the Wii remote sideways. By pointing the remote at the screen, however, the game switches into first-person mode to scan an entire environment or blast enemies through the eyes of Samus.

But first-person scanning mode can be extremely frustrating at times due to the game's complexities in scanning various objects in a map before moving onto the next stage of the game. Gamers often will find themselves spending a lot of time scanning environments to find obscure and indistinct objects. The process becomes tedious and will tempt you to turn off the system in annoyance.

One of the most striking features of the game, however, is the overall quality of its visuals. No other game on the Wii console has produced cut scenes of Other M's caliber. In the opening sequence alone, players will be amazed that the Wii is even capable of such high-quality graphics.

Unfortunately, the cut-scenes tend to be more of a constant interruption to the flow of the game and force gamers to watch overly long sequences of Samus' past experiences every 15 minutes.

Another notable feature of Metroid: Other M is Samus' new sense moves. With nothing more than a well-timed tap of the directional pad, Samus will flip, dodge and roll away from enemy attacks. The dodging mechanism is incredibly smooth and makes gameplay that much more enjoyable.

Another new addition is the lethal strike, allowing Samus to carry out high-flying fatalities on enemies that reduces them to nothing more than a big pile of alien goo.

Metroid: Other M is an incredibly well developed and well-executed game. For a console that has lacked big titles in recent years, Samus' new adventure is a necessary addition to any Wii owner's library.