Metroid: Other M (2010)

by Nish
7 minutes read


Metroid: Other M combines traditional Metroid gameplay with new mechanics and a focus on narrative. It introduced melee combat and a significant story focus, exploring Samus Aran’s character. While the game’s reception was mixed, its ambition and innovation make it a noteworthy entry in the series.


Metroid: Other M stands as a bold experiment within the Metroid series, merging traditional gameplay elements with new mechanics and a deep dive into narrative and character development. Released for the Nintendo Wii in 2010, it aimed to blend action, exploration, and story in ways the series had not attempted before.


“Metroid: Other M” is an action-adventure game developed by Team Ninja and Nintendo SPD, published by Nintendo for the Wii on August 31, 2010. It is part of the Metroid series, taking place between the events of Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion.

The game focuses on the protagonist, intergalactic bounty hunter Samus Aran, who investigates a derelict space station with a Galactic Federation platoon. This includes her former commanding officer, Adam Malkovich.

The game begins with Samus reminiscing about her previous mission, particularly her confrontation on Zebes with the mechanical monstrosity Mother Brain. She awakes in a Galactic Federation facility and is directed to a training room by a quarantine officer, where he tests her various abilities.

Sometime later, she receives a distress signal known as “Baby’s Cry” from a decommissioned vessel later identified as the Bottle Ship. After boarding, Samus soon comes into contact with the Galactic Federation 07th Platoon, headed by her former commanding officer, Adam Malkovich.

Samus tries to discern their reason for boarding, and she, as an “outsider,” is denied this information, and the platoon moves on ahead. Samus meets up with them in the Main Sector’s Control Room, where they find the corpse of a scientist.

The Brug Mass is engaged shortly thereafter, and upon its defeat, Adam allows Samus to offer the platoon aid under the stipulation that she follow his orders. The platoon is then briefed, and exploration of the facility begins.

Samus rendezvous with the platoon in the Exam Center, located in the Biosphere Test Area. Before this, however, she encounters the body of another scientist (found in the Biosphere’s Breeding Room) and a peculiar bird-like creature.

Samus and the platoon learn that the Bottle Ship is operated by the Galactic Federation and was designed for the propagation of bioweapons. The main environment is the vessel interior, known as the Main Sector, along with other environments contained in “sectors” or gigantic spheres within the ship.

These include the Biosphere, a lush, tropical region; the Cryosphere, an arctic environment; and the Pyrosphere, a heated, lava-filled area. The gameplay revolves around solving puzzles to uncover secrets, platform jumping, and shooting enemies.

The game unfolds in a linear manner, and the in-game map highlights the next objective. Similar to Super Paper Mario, the game operates between two perspectives with differing controls, depending on the orientation of the Wii Remote.

“Metroid: Other M” received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised its elaborate cutscenes, graphics, and action-oriented gameplay. However, heavy criticism was directed at its narrative and Samus’s characterization.

The game was the third-best-selling video game in Japan during its week of release, and the ninth best-selling game in North America during September 2010. It was re-released on the Wii U’s Nintendo eShop in 2016. The Metroid series entered an extended hiatus following its release, not seeing a mainline entry until Metroid: Samus Returns in 2017.


Samus Aran, the protagonist, is a bounty hunter with a complex past and deep connection to the game’s events. Adam Malkovich, her former commanding officer, plays a key role in the story, influencing Samus’s decisions and actions. The game also introduces various characters tied to Samus’s past and the mysteries of the Bottle Ship.


Gameplay in Other M combines third-person action with first-person exploration. Players control Samus, using her arm cannon, missiles, and the new melee combat system to navigate and combat enemies. The transition between third- and first-person perspectives is integral, especially for exploration and combat strategy. Unique mechanics like the Sense Move and Overblast add depth to battles.


Metroid: Other M is a divisive yet important chapter in the Metroid saga. It offered an unprecedented look into Samus Aran’s character and backstory while experimenting with new gameplay mechanics. Despite its mixed reception, it remains a bold entry in the series that pushed the boundaries of storytelling and gameplay.

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