Beginning in 2002, Metroid Prime took Nintendo’s Samus Aran from her 2D side-scrolling roots into the first-person shooter in spectacular fashion. And since the Wii’s Corruption closed the Prime series to considerable praise in 2007, Nintendo has handed the franchise’s reins over to Japanese studio Team Ninja for Metroid: Other M.
Most famous for the hypnotic breasts and swirling violence of the Ninja Gaiden and Dead Or Alive games, there’s been some concern among fans that Team Ninja would transform Samus into a scantily clad strumpet akin to Ninja Gaiden II‘s Sonja.
As the footage shown here proves, Team Ninja has treated Samus with more respect than many were expecting. First, there’s a brief glimpse of what is presumably Other M‘s opening cutscene – described as ‘the birth of Samus’, it owes more than a passing debt to one of Stanley Kubrik’s most famous movies.
More exciting is the gameplay trailer, which shows off the game’s third-person action in a hugely positive light, mixing the shifting perspective of the God Of War series, or Team Ninja’s own Gaiden games, with the classic free-roaming exploration of Super Metroid on the SNES.
While we’re not exactly thrilled to learn that the game will be played by holding the Wii remote horizontally (a method we’ve attempted for long periods during sessions of Super Smash Bros Brawl, resulting in horribly numb thumbs), it has enabled Team Ninja to put a neat twist on the game’s two-dimensional gameplay. Point the controller at the screen, and the viewpoint shifts to Samus’ first-person perspective, allowing the player to lock on to targets and launch missiles.
Back in 2D mode, Samus’ jumping, shooting and morph ball skills remain unchanged, though there’s now the ability to batter enemies at close quarters with a new melee combat system. Whether this, along with the vast boss battles seen in other footage and screen shots, will bring Other M a little too close to the gameplay of the Ninja Gaiden series remains to be seen, but we can’t wait to see what Team Ninja has done with Nintendo’s long-running Metroid franchise.
Metroid: Other M is due for release on 3 September for the Nintendo Wii.