Metroid: Other M's quirky controls explained

A snapshot of Samus Aran’s most essential moves

We’ve been talking a bit about Metroid: Other M’s weird (and a bit worrisome) controls in both ourpodcastand a recentpreview, but it might make things more clear if we break them down into chart form, so without further ado:

1) Most of the time, you hold the remote sideways, like an old-school NES controller. Pointing the remote at the screen puts Samus into visor mode. The B trigger pans the camera unless locking on with A, in which case it fires a missile. The D-pad cycles through weapons while aiming.

2) The D-pad normally is for movement. More importantly, it can activate Samus’ sense move – a jetpack-assisted timed dodge. Just double-tap when you see an incoming attack.

3) The A button rolls Samus into a morph ball, and charges missiles when the remote is angled upright. The same motion can recharge a sliver of health if Samus is in the red.

4)Running to, or jumping on, a tired enemy sparks a takedown move. Samus hurls bugs, knees spines and feeds her arm cannon into ears. The D-pad is a versatile tool in her arsenal.

5) The 1 button is all about the weapons: charge beams and morph ball power bombs. Holding it down charges both (the top-left bar on screen reveals the power).

6) Other M sees Samus in athletic form. Bounding with the 2 button, she’s surrounded by a shimmering force effect. Jumping is very advanced in the future.

What do you think? Do these old-fashioned sideways-remote controls sound refreshing, or unnecessarily awkward? We won’t know for sure until we review the game, but it’s going to be strange getting used to a D-pad as primary movement again.

Mar 23, 2010

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