The day has finally arrived - Metroid: Other M launches in North America today! At last we can all begin to find out for ourselves if Nintendo and Team Ninja struck gold or not, and where we stand in relation to the mixed reviews circulating around the web. We only first discovered Other M's existence a little over a year ago at E3 2009, so at least the wait hasn't been that long.
The game will continue its worldwide release this week for Japan and Australia on Thursday, then Europe on Friday. That'll be it from me for a while as I take this bird for a spin - it's been a whirlwind of an August with all the news, screenshots and videos to process so I think a good break is in order. I'll begin to produce our regular coverage for the game over the next few months, but it will take quite some time before everything takes shape (guides, maps, etc.) so please be patient! Enjoy the game!
Another new trailer for Metroid: Other M arrives today - this one is labeled as an Action/Story trailer and covers plenty of each facet. Originally available on the Japanese Metroid website, this is the English-translated version.
That was the easy part, now for the hard one. Reviews for Other M have started sprouting up all over the web, and at this point it unfortunately looks like the game is drawing mixed results. Some reviewers liked it, others... not so much. I'm trying not to get too discouraged by the more negative comments, but if you want to check out some of the reviews listed below, be warned that you'll be finding opinions from all over the scale. I'll be remaining cautiously optimistic at this point.
So there you have it. It's been a long time since we've had a Japanese-developed Metroid, and it looks like this is one of those games you need to try out for yourself before deciding if it's hit the mark or not. Nintendo have taken another big gamble as a developer, but will you take that same gamble as a player?
Don't forget, The Returner's Metroid Marathon begins in just under 12 hours at 6:00pm CST (midnight GMT). The marathon lasts for 72 hours so there's plenty of time to drop by and see what they're up to!
N-Sider have also continued their Metroid features with a look back on Metroid Prime 3 and Metroid II. Reviews for Metroid: Other M should also begin popping up between now and the game's release (literally just days away). An interesting one has already arrived at Infendo; while it doesn't give the game a radiant review, the points they raise sound valid - should be interesting to see how other sites rate the game.
A few more details of next week's big game are trickling in... Supposedly the game with be printed on a dual-layed DVD much like Super Smash Bros. Brawl, naturally to squeeze in all those pretty CG cutscenes. We also learn that Samus' Gravity Suit won't be represented by the usual purple style we're all used to (but it looked so pretty!).
Reviews for the game are also starting to roll in, with Japanese gaming mag giant Famitsu giving the game a generous 35/40. They had plenty of good things to say about the game's control system, but mentioned that at times the game is tough and that a difficulty selection might have helped balance it out... So long as there's no Metroid Prime 2-style difficulty or the odd Spider Guardian in the game, I think we should be fine. Special thanks to Luis for the news!
One week left! Before the big day arrives, The Returners are planning an insane 72-hour Metroid marathon to raise money for Child's Play. They plan to start at 6:00pm CST on August 27, 2010 (which is midnight GMT on the evening of the 27th), and will play through all the mainstream Metroid games in order of series chronology (minus Metroid Prime Hunters). The event will be live-streamed and feature a live chat commentary - head over to their site for more information, details on how to donate and how to get involved. They recently finished up a Mega Man marathon (which is no easy feat), so the Metroid run will definitely be worth checking out.
N-Sider are also continuing their run of Metroid retrospectives, check out out their latest two articles for great reading: Looking back at Metroid: Prime target identified and Looking back at Metroid: Echoes from the aether.
The North American version of the official Metroid website lagged behind the recent updates to the Japanese and European ones for a reason - the site has been fully upgraded with its own new fresh look and boasts the recent Metroid: Other M live action trailer in superb quality. It's a great new site to poke around in, so be sure to have a look and enjoy the sights! Special thanks to Luis and Kyle for letting me know about the update!
Gaming websites are sure to start celebrating the upcoming release in just over a week's time too, so keep an eye out for special features out there like this great retrospective piece from N-Sider. The folks at Destructoid also received the snazzy GameStop pre-order bonus art gallery.
I've also grabbed the live action trailer from the official site and am now hosting it locally here with downloadable versions, but this one is just too good to hide behind a link, so check it out again (for the likely millionth time) below:
Ready for more? The folks at 1Up have posted a great interview with Yoshio Sakamoto and Yosuke Hayashi, and it's great to see that both developers are still happy to talk about the game and all the nuances that went into the development of Metroid: Other M. We learn about the lack of health drops in the game, how items will be unlocked for use as well as traditionally located by players, and the inclusion of everyone's favourite space-dragon Ridley. Well worth a read!
A second part of the Iwata Asks feature has also been made available on the Japanese Nintendo website, this time featuring staff from both Team Ninja and Nintendo's dev teams. At the moment it's only good for those who can read Japanese, although there are a few concept sketches and a screenshot or two to be found. A higher-quality rendition of the piano theme can also be found halfway down the fourth page for some nice listening.
To round up today's news, let's take a look at something we haven't seen for years. Remember the magnificent live-action trailer produced to promote Metroid Prime? Nintendo have stepped up to the plate and produced an amazing new live-action trailer for Other M! For now, check out the 30-second and 1-minute flavours below, and hopefully soon we'll be able to find some higher-quality material. You should also be able to catch the 1-minute version on the Nintendo Channel. Special thanks to Phil for the head's up!
The onslaught continues! Swing by our screenshots page for a hefty batch of fresh new screens - with so many filling up the page I've reorganized them so that all the new ones appear at the bottom neatly (I know, it's a bit odd having the latest ones at the bottom, but this brings the format in line with all the other screenshot galleries).
We also have the official Metroid websites slowly updating to the flashy new format the Japanese one has been enjoying for some time now. At the moment the European and Australian websites have been given an upgrade, while the North American website is still waiting for its turn. On that note, the Japanese website has two new TV commercial-style trailers up and running, with yet more cinematic previews and gameplay elements. Check them out!
More trailers! They just keep on coming... Firstly, swing by GameTrailers again for a nifty interactive trailer. Lots of exploration in this one... who knew that a massive space station/starship could have such incredibly varied environments?
Next up, do you remember that Metroid retrospective-style video found only on the Japanese Metroid website? We finally have an officially-translated version. "Metroid and Me" follows a narration from Samus herself as she takes us through the events of the first three games in the series, leading right into the lap of Metroid: Other M. Swing by the official Metroid website for a look (in their Movie section) or drop by our Other M videos page for a copy hosted here.
Finally, the Official Nintendo Magazine in the UK is gearing up for plenty of Other M coverage in their September issue. Check out the fantastic cover art:
The mag also features an interview with Yoshio Sakamoto, so if you live in the UK (or can pick up an import copy) this issue's definitely a keeper. There's also been rumblings about Metroid: Other M taking around 15 hours to complete (on a fast play-through), so we're definitely looking at a Prime-sized game here. TV commercials should be popping up now as well (heck, even here in Australia), but I'm sure Nintendo will still have a new trailer or two to show before that fateful day arrives. Special thanks to the MDb and GoNintendo for all the news!
Yet more screenshots arrive today from Nintendo - swing over to our Other M gallery for the latest five! They've also released a raw feed of the originally-exclusive GameTrailers video, check out our local copy if you want a clean downloadable version. Only two weeks left!
Check out a fantastic new Other M trailer at GameTrailers for a great look at Samus' equipment in the game. Here we learn a bunch of new details like the ability to launch the Grapple Beam from first-person view and the capacity to switch equipment on and off much like in Super Metroid. New footage is always welcome, so be sure to check it out! (one region of the game boasts sunny blue skies which sounds completely out-of-character in a Metroid game, but we'll be finding out how it all fits together in only two weeks!). Special thanks to Varia for letting me know about the trailer.
In other news, the guys at the MDb have been hard at work on a few new projects. I don't normally comment on Metroid-related ROM hacks, but if you like seeing what fans can do with an old game and a splash of creativity, be sure to check out Infinity End's MDbtroid. They've also started up an interesting new blog titled Lonely on Zebes, which is a new take on fan fiction and seeks to bring Samus' thoughts to life, blog-style. Have a look!
Recently, Nintendo of Japan posted a lengthy Iwata Asks feature on their official website. Each Iwata Asks feature consists of the President of Nintendo himself - Satoru Iwata - interviewing developers of recently-made games. This time it's finally Metroid: Other M's turn, with Project M's Yoshio Sakamoto, Yosuke Hayashi and Ryuzi Kitaura in attendance.
While the interview is incredibly long, it's more than worthwhile reading material - the group discuss just about everything we've heard about the game so far and it includes numerous video clips to give us a better idea of what they're talking about. Got some spare time in your day? Definitely check this one out!
As we move closer and closer to the (virtually) worldwide release of Metroid: Other M (woohoo!), Nintendo have released a batch of five new screenshots. There's also been a ton of impressions popping up throughout the web on gaming sites, check out some of these below for more details about the game:
It also looks like the official Japanese Metroid site is rolling along with updates, and it's still fun to click around and view all the pretty new images even if you can't read the Japanese text.
We've also had Karakasa-kun from Karakasa Music write in to tell us of new Metroid fan music project called "The Metroid Renaissance EP" by H.P. Sneakstep. The two tracks they released are remakes of Kraid and Ridley's themes from the original Metroid, and are quite good takes on the classic themes. Go listen!
In probably some of the best news to report about Metroid: Other M, we learn today that Other M's Australian release date is set for September 2, 2010, the exact same date as Japan's version! Nintendo of Australia have confirmed this, so it's all legitimate. This is phenomenal news, as I can't remember another occasion where Nintendo have managed a big release like this all in the space of one week for every major region - we're extremely lucky and should be very thankful for this positive turn of events!
Metroid: Other M begins its release window in North America at the end of this month on August 31st, and follows up in Japan and PAL regions a few days after. Special thanks to Kyle for the head's up!