Metroid: Other M's quirky controls explained

We’ve been talking a bit about Metroid: Other M’s weird (and a bit worrisome) controls in both our podcast and a recent preview, 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



  • milesgregory - March 26, 2010 3:22 a.m.

    I actually think the d-pad will be comfortable. I own new super mario bros. Wii and the d-pad is extremely easy and comfortable to use there. Team ninja is one of my favorite creators (ninja gaiden anyone) and they might be one of the few to make a Nintendo title completely mature (cleavage, blood, and gore). Next comes mario, where Peach has triple D's. Oh and to all those who said they hate not being able to move in first person, you need to remember the good old days of super metroid. At least they decided to keep the first person. I love the prime games but this is going to be better.
  • MaynardJ - March 24, 2010 1:09 p.m.

    Now I've looked at the screenshots, I really want to play this game. Another reason to finally get a Wii, but i'm waiting for news about an HD version.
  • Tygerclaws - March 24, 2010 6:57 a.m.

    I think what you guys said in the 'Dar pretty much sums it up. You have to stop. Go into first-person. Find your -MOVING- target. Lock on to said target. THEN fire your missile. Eh. Give me the revamped Prime controls.
  • Samael - March 24, 2010 3:42 a.m.

    Laying them out like this just makes them sound even worse. My hope and initial hype for this game is fading fast...
  • Cyberninja - March 24, 2010 12:40 a.m.

    i want to try the controls for myself
  • GoodGuyWithACrappyJob - March 24, 2010 12:23 a.m.

    So to fire a missile, you have to point the remote at the screen first, and you have to move around in a 3D environment using the D-pad? These controls seem unnecessarily awkward in writing, but who knows until one has tried it for real? Although it appears that just button controls would have worked fine here, I am still very excited about this game. Hope it works out.
  • Fuzunga - March 23, 2010 10:57 p.m.

    It seems fine. Except for the not being able to move in first person thing.
  • Metroidhunter32 - March 23, 2010 10:18 p.m.

    Controls still look really weird. It's nice that they want to do something different with the controls, but either pure pointing or pure buttons would probally have worked better. Still buying it. (fanboy obligations you see?)
  • Romination - March 23, 2010 9:11 p.m.

    so are they still unliked? or do they make more sense now that you've layed it out?
  • gamingfreak - March 23, 2010 8:55 p.m.

    I'm a little iffy on Team Ninja taking over the Metroid series. I do like look of the game and the fact Samus actually talks is nice but I liked what Retro Studio did with the series.
  • BigBoss - March 23, 2010 8:43 p.m.

    I must admit I'm pretty excited but the new controls, it may prove awkward initially, but I am filled with reserved excitement. Something that could marry Super Metroid and Metroid Prime could be amazing.

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