It is coming: the next epoch in the Metroid franchise. First there were side-scrollers, then there were first-person adventures, and now there is:
The game was announced to great fanfare at E3 2009, with the following trailer:
Developed by Nintendo SPD 1, a group that was formed in Nintendo's 2004 restructuring around the nucleus of the old R&D1 team, the old Metroid team. Helmed in this case by Yoshio Sakamoto, a veteran of the Metroid franchise from the beginning, Nintendo found that they needed help, so they contracted Team Ninja to do most of the main development, and CG Animation group D-Rockets to provide CG cutscenes. It releases on August 31st in the USA, on September 3rd in Japan, and on September 24th in Europe.
Under Sakamoto's direction, the game will attempt to really tell a story, which will involve use of cutscenes. Sakamoto hopes to make the transitions from cutscenes to gameplay seamless, in order to better tell the tale. The tale is the tale of Samus, of her past and present, to give us insight into the character of Samus in a way that no Metroid game has done before.
In the timeline of Metroid, this game is set between the events of Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion, which brings us to:
Metroid: Other M boasts a broader array of characters than most Metroid games (barring Prime 3 and Prime Hunters, anyway), including:
Yes, Samus Aran, renowned bounty hunter and heroine of the galaxy, destroyer of four planets (so far: Zebes, Dark Aether, SR388, and Phaaz). This time Samus is fresh off of her victory over Mother Brain (a la Super Metroid), and has just recovered, though is still recovering emotionally from the sacrifice of the Baby Metroid. Samus is summoned to the mysterious Bottle Ship to deal with a crisis, where she encounters:
Before Samus was a bounty hunter, she was a soldier with the Galactic Federation. Mr Smiley here was her Commanding Officer, but they had some sort of falling-out, and he treats her coldly in Other M. He liked to call Samus "Lady," a nickname that she accepted. We know that he dies, however, as he is dead by Metroid Fusion, where his consciousness has been transferred to a computer. We met Adam as a supercomputer that controlled a space station (similar to 2001: A Space Odyssey), but here he's totally alive.
Other characters that Samus encounters on the Bottle Ship include:
Remember him? No? You wouldn't be expected to, as he's a completely original character. He likes to call Samus "Princess." Not certain what Samus did to get all these pejorative nicknames, but i suppose we'll find out.
Mysterious Lab worker on the Bottle Ship (potentially). According to Sakamoto, she definitely isn't Samus Aran, but she definitely *is* important. Time will reveal all
This video (yet to be translated from Japanese to my knowledge. Update me on it if that changes) lists the names of the other Galactic Federation Troopers that Samus encounters on the Bottle Ship.
Part of what sets Metroid Other M apart, aside from the new focus on story and character development, has to be its unique gameplay. The gameplay creates a hybrid of the two previous epochs in Metroid: the speedy side-scrolling quick shooting of the side-scrollers, as well as the high fire-power precision of the Prime games, while also incorporating elements that either epoch lacked.
Pictures speak better than words, and video speaks better than pictures with words, so embrace the sweetness for yourself!
Monster Hunter: pissing me off since 2010.