Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kabuki Quantum Fighter: He Whips His Hair Back And Forth

One of my favorite movies is Tron, the Disney Epic about a programmer sucked into a computer network. While the video games based on that story were okay, they never fully got my attention. However, in 1990, Hal Laboratory released Kabuki Quantum Fighter for the NES, and while it played off some elements of Tron, the absurd coolness of this game was completely original.

The story focuses on a defense computer that has been corrupted by a virus. This virus intends to essentially enslave humanity by taking over all weapons systems. in an effort to stop the virus, Scott O'Connor volunteers to have his mind converted into raw binary data and dropped into the computer system to combat the virus. What made this even stranger is that when he is re imaged in the computer system, he takes the form of one of his ancestors, who was a Kabuki actor. See, I told you this game was weird. I'm just trying to figure out how this dude with an obviously Irish name, who isn't said to be even partially Japanese, is the descendant of a Kabuki actor. This is a video game, though, so the plot doesn't need to make much sense.

As far as gameplay goes, this is a run of the mill side scrolling action platformer. Like most side scrollers on the NES, it's the little things that make it special. O'Connor's basic attack is a hair whip. Yes, you read that correctly, he whips his hair back and forth like Will and Jada's daughter. He also uses several projectile weapons that are typically upgraded when you defeat a boss. One thing that makes this game kinda easy is that if you are low on health, you can pause the game and transfer ammo from your projectile weapon to your health bar. If you don't use a lot of ammo during levels, this can be a godsend during tough boss fights.

Kabuki Quantum Fighter is a dope game, but it can be a tough game. This certainly isn't a game you'll beat in 45 minutes like Ikari III, but it's a lot more forgiving than Ninja Gaiden. In a lot of circles, it was compared to Batman on the NES, which is really good company. You can find lots of copies on Ebay for under $10, so there honestly is no reason to not get your hands on a copy of this game.

gameplay footage from

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

EA And Activision: Two Jealous Heads Of The Same Monster

I was stumbling through the Internet recently and came across the latest little spat between Activision and Electronic Arts. Their little back and forth is sad considering they are the two biggest publishers in electronic media. The paths both have taken to this point in history have been quite parallel, with both growing from small independent roots that evolved into ridiculously large publishers who buy up small developers and assimilate them much like The Borg from Star Trek. Many at one point considered EA evil because of it's practice of absorbing independent developers and immediately changing there name to EA(insert location here). They attempted to do this with Take Two Interactive last year, but the parent company of 2kgames and Rockstar rejected every buyout offer. Had it gone through, that merger would have been disastrous for gamers looking for variety in their collection. Activision isn't much better than EA is, however. Activision's acquisition of Blizzard was the only thing to come close to the EA Take Two deal. The only difference is, Activision won out, and got their hands on the creators of WOW and Starcraft. After RedOctane and Harmonix created the wildly popular Guitar Hero, Activision bought RedOctane while EA bought Harmonix and created Rock Band. Activision was wildly successful with the Tony Hawk series even though it got stale about 5 years ago, and EA published Skate. The two publishers share the same methods behind their madness, and they intend to stop any and everyone who tries to stop them. For example, in 2005, after the success of 2K Games' NFL 2K5 game, EA sought, and got, an exclusivity deal with the NFL which is set to expire in 2012. This made Madden the only game in town and gave EA guaranteed revenue for about 6 years. Activision has some dirty skeletons in its closet as well, especially with the drama surrounding Infinity Ward, the team behind Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, as well as the decade long partnership deal recently inked between Activision and Halo creators Bungie. Another wrinkle in the Activision - Infinity Ward situation is that former Infinity Ward employees recently started a new development studio, called Respawn Entertainment, and this new company was seeking funding from EA. This development has got to have something to do with the verbal barbs being thrown between the heads of the two companies. It's sad two, because I remember both of these companies existing as small, talented developers and publishers in the 80's and 90's. Sadly, we may be at the point with EA and Activision that we'll never see quirky little games like Pitfall, James Pond, River Raid, or B.O.B.(no relation to the rapper) ever again. I think growth, power and success has gotten to the heads of these publishers, and if it isn't corrected, those same growing pains are going to lead to both falling apart.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Game Review Videos Coming Soon

I'm planning on doing a series of game review vids soon, and and if there is anything in particular you want me to review, let me know. Keep in mind that I'm not going to be a cheap knockoff of the Angry Video Game Nerd, but I won't be extra bland either. Anyways, if there is something you think I can track down and review, then dammit, I'll take the case...word to Harvey Birdman.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Video Stores PWN Gamefly

So, today is Friday and I couldn't think of anything to write about. Then I got struck with a huge bout of nostalgia, and thought back to my younger days as a gamer. Back then, I got most of my video game exposure thanks to the assorted rental stores in my small town, and they came through like a champ. I got to play so many now legendary games because of rental stores, and in some cases, got to test systems before I bought them. Because of Rental Stores, I was able to beat the first three Castlevania games, get the hang of Mega Man 2, and discover hidden gems like Power Blade and Metal Storm. Without these places selling off old stock, I would have Contra Force and Mr. Driller in my collection. The rental stores in my area also make Saturday gaming binges a ritual with me and several friends growing up to the point where we were easily beating 2-3 games a week. I wouldn't have found out that most of Acclaim's catalog was trash without rental stores, but I also wouldn't have played single player Smash TV using both NES controllers without them. You see, while services like Gamefly are cool, they are ultimately impersonal, and most of the few rental stores are rendered obsolete now because of game demos and the laziness that makes online renting so popular. However, my issue with Gamefly is that they will ten to send you what they want to send you, and if you haven't updated your queue, then you might be stuck getting a rental that you may have already bought. I said all of this to say, I miss going to a place and renting a video game. developing a relationship with the clerks at those stores that allowed me to get the new stuff first, get free rentals, etc. But, personal interaction is antiquated now, and the experience of not hiding behind a computer screen has become a novelty, not the norm. For that, I say, these new gamers missed out.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Prince Of Persia: A Game So Good, Disney Adapted The Story Twice

I recently sat down and watched the film adaptation of Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time. It was okay, and it didn't deviate too far from the source material to cobble together a decent story, but This wasn't the first time Disney had touched the principles in that story. If anybody remembers the original Prince of Persia game, it was essentially the same story as Disney's Aladdin. In order to make their cartoon more appealing to kids, they threw in a cute monkey and a funny ass genie, but it's essentially the same story. Back to Prince of Persia, though, it was a classic damsel in distress story and it was done in expert fashion. Jordan Mechner crafted an exceptional platforming experience with smart puzzle elements and instances where patience can beat twitch reflexes any day. In an attempt to make his project as realistic as possible, Mechner used videotaped footage of his brother as the basis for his programming of the main character. The Storyline, as stated earlier, was pretty straight forward, with the games hero, who was never named, having a limited amount of time to rescue the princess before she is killed by the vizier. That adds a major tension element to a game who's sparse sound effects, dark environments, and relentless enemies and traps already makes it a heart racing experience. The original game has been seen on virtually every major platform, either as a stand alone game, an unlockable feature in the Sands of Time and Forgotten Sands games, or as downloadable content. A sequel was released, but it isn't as readily available now as the first game. Anyone who claims to be a fan of the Prince of Persia franchise, but has missed the games that preceded the original games are doing themselves a major disservice. From the engaging plot, to the smart gameplay elements, Prince of Persia is a gaming icon that stood the test of time (no pun intended).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

R.I.P. Midway

Mortal Kombat, Robotron 2084, Smash TV, Rampage, Defender, Gauntlet; I could honestly make this post a list of classic arcade games released over the years by Midway. They were one of the giants in gaming for close to 20 years. Their legacy was carved in arcades. The downside of that though, when the bottom fell out of the arcade scene, it seemed like the bottom fell out of Midway's business. Sad thing too, especially considering how much promise some of their projects were. Let's be honest, if it wasn't for the horrible loading times, Blitz: The League would have been something special. The Suffering was a decent horror action game, but a few nagging issues kept it from being better than the Resident Evil series. Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks was a piece of co op action game greatness, but for whatever reason, it just didn't sell. Midway survived those last few years primarily because of their illustrious back catalog of arcade games, but attempts at bringing a few of those franchises to the present with updated graphics and new gameplay mechanics. The problem was, a lot of these games were sad imitations of there classic big brothers. Spy Hunter, for example, wasn't bad when the remake hit the PS2 and Xbox, but the sequels to that remake were utterly horrible, because they tried too hard. Narc is another example of Midway trying too hard to bring back a classic game. Narc was a hard boiled, hyper gritty shooter, but the remake was a blatant rip off of True Crime, which wasn't that good a game to rip off in the first place. Out of all the games that they did bring back, Gauntlet and Rampage were the two that stayed true to the original formula, and were largely successful because of that fact. The economy, combined with poor sales of it's new games, led to Midway dying a quiet death. Many of it's franchises were sold off, and high profile reboots of NBA Jam and Mortal Kombat are on the horizon, and a remake of the speedboat racing game, Hydro Thunder, was recently released, though I'm not sure if that was a good thing after seeing how bad it turned out. Regardless of how bad they looked going out, Midway will always be remembered as THE giant in arcade gaming through the "golden age" of gaming.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mutant League Football: Bribing The Ref is Okay In This One

Today, Electronic Arts is known primarily for their highly successful line of sports video games, but not long ago they made fun ass games regardless of their genre. One of my favorite games made by EA was a quirky little football title that was equal parts intense and utterly hilarious. That title was Mutant League Football, and contrary to what a lot of fans will tell you, in many ways it was better than a lot of EA's more recent football offerings. The game featured a lot of the stuff you find in similar EA football games in the 16 bit era, but everything feels like a crazy midnight monster movie snuck into Monday Night Football. The field is littered with craters, lava pits, land mines, and other hazards. The players, which consist of skeletons, lizard men, robots, ogres, zombies, and a bunch of other random stuff, perform pretty much like you'd expect them to if placed on the gridiron. plays are standard, except for trick plays that include bribing or killing a referee, self destruct plays on defense, and all manner of craziness. Since the game was using the gameplay engine for Madden 93, a lot of the Mutant League squads mirror actual NFL franchises. For example, the Midway Monster were an obvious spoof of the Chicago Bears, while the Icebay Bashers are a take on the Green Bay Packers. Mutant League Football spawned a spin off of its own in the form of Mutant League Hockey, which was released a year later. Sadly a third game, Mutant League Basketball was never finished by EA. This might have been for the best though, since it probably would have run off the engine for NBA Showdown 94, and that game ran like frozen dog poop(that means it was slow). The Mutant League games were also big in that they were one of the handful of video games released in the 80's and early 90's to get a cartoon based on it. Mutant League Football was given a rebirth of sort on the PSP a few years ago when Electronic Arts released EA Replay, a compilation that would have sold in a major way had it received a home console release. It also got a little love in the Xbox 360 version of Madden 09. If a player creates a character, names it "Bones Jackson", and places him on the Chicago Bears' roster, they will be awarded the "Midway Monster" achievement, and get 50 gamer points. Over the years, both Mutant League games have been extremely popular, so the chances of finding them dirt cheap may be slim, but they are plentiful. Mutant League Football and Hockey are definitely games that EA could make a mint on if they are remade and done properly. This is also true of NBA Jam, but sadly I think EA is about to botch that one.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jim Was Almost As Big As Mario and Sonic...Almost.

David Perry is a name most gamers nowadays don't recognize, but in the mid 90's, he was responsible for one of the most exciting, personality laden video game experiences ever. You see, Perry was the head of Shiny Entertainment, and their first major project was a little game called Earthworm Jim. Now, any gamer worth their salt knows the principles in the minimalist storyline for Earthworm Jim, so I won't get too deep with it. Let's just say it's a variation of the classic hero saves damsel in distress storyline that was done to death in video games. It's was just done with such an amazingly goofy flair that I still stand up and applaud the game's ending cutscene(if you want to check that out, you can easily find it on youtube).

As the game's title suggests, you control Jim, an earthworm who crawls into a super suit that gives the worm almost human intelligence, super strength, and other powers. Jim's quest to save Princess Whats-Her-Name leads him through worlds inhabited by all manner of weird crap out to kill Jim. For example, one of the boss fights involves a goldfish with an army of overly muscled cat slaves, while another was a giant blob of snot called Major Mucus. The characters aren't the only thing that get major praise for originality. In the sequel to Earthworm Jim, Jim takes the form of a blind cave salamander as he travels through the intestinal passages of a larger creature.

Shiny wasn't known for pumping out a lot of games, but the ones they made were great. They started with the Earthworm Jim series, and continued with Wild 9 on the PS1. they were also responsible for that turd Enter the Matrix, but I'd prefer to forget any game they developed after 2000. I look at Shiny's Earthworm Jim games like I look at the 16 bit Sonic the Hedgehog games...when they were on, they made some of the best video games around, but when they fell off, oh man.

You can easily find both Earthworm Jim games for a cheap price on Ebay. If I never talked you into getting a game before, you might want to look at getting the first two Earthworm Jim games.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Stretch Panic: It Might Be Too Weird For You

So, I figured I wanted to touch on a really "different" game in my collection that some of you probably have never heard of. So I started looking...and for a minute, nothing stuck out to me. Nothing, that is, until I remembered Stretch Panic nuzzled gently against Alien Hominid on my game shelf. You might say, "What about Katamari Damacy?", but Katamari isn't that original. It was basically a lot of item collection and took major inspiration taken from games like Super Monkey Ball and Marble Madness. Stretch Panic, however was a platformer where the player had to play with the level's elasticity in order to traverse the landscape. It could be frustrating to folks not into thinking out of the box with their video games, and Stretch Panic didn't sell particularly well, but I dig it.

Stretch Panic puts players in the role of a little girl who is essentially a punching bag for her sisters. Each sister has some bad habit that reminds me of the seven deadly sins. Anyway, a box is delivered to their house, and the older sisters tear into the box. The box releases a demonic presence into the house, and transforms the sisters into monstrous creatures. being knocked away from the box, the little girl is not affected, but her scarf is. The scarf becomes possessed (kinda like the guy's hand in Vampire Hunter D), and becomes her weapon against the demons that have invaded her house and stolen her sisters.

The first time I played this game, it stuck in my mind because of the first enemies you fight. When you land in the first level, you are confronted by a group of women with breasts bigger than their bodies. They moved slowly, and if they fell, they would use the boobs like helicopter blades to fly back to their position. To say the least this made Stretch Panic a cult hit among people I know who played it, and was forever dubbed, "The Titty Game". I'll let that giggle you just developed settle for a moment before I continue.

All in all, this a fun game, but it's not for those without imagination. If all you're into as a gamer is what somebody told you is required gaming, then this isn't your cup of tea. If, however, you can get with a little girl fighting off crazed demons with a possessed scarf, then Stretch Panic might be a good fit for you. I'm more than certain you can find this game cheap, since I got it it brand new around 2005 for under $20, so there's no real excuse to miss out on it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros. is 25 years old. That's a big deal considering how many games in that time span that Mario was in that ranged from good to required playing among gamers. Most current gamers will contend that Mario Bros. games are too childish, but many of those same gamers have probably had trouble beating any of the games in that series. The thing about the Super Mario Bros. games (even that weird one that wasn't really a Mario Bros. game) is that they tell a classic story in what isn't a conventional way. The little construction worker originally called Jumpman has evolved so much since he was trying to rescue "Lady" from the clutches of Donkey Kong. He changed careers, got his brother involved, got sucked into an alternate universe inhabited by talking mushrooms, evil turtles and flowers that allow those holding them to throw fire. Somebody explain why Super Mario Bros wasn't criticized for advocating drug use. Anyway, Super Mario Galaxy 2 came out earlier this year, and has again been praised for being a stellar game, and flash based mods of the original game are more popular than ever now with the rise of Super Mario Crossover. What many consider to be the greatest video game ever made is 25 years old, and I think I'll celebrate it with a binge game of the original Super Mario Bros. trilogy...while drinking a 40.

Shout out to Nintendo for producing this dope tribute video.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Want Answers!

There are a few folks in the video game industry I'd actually like to sit down with. I'd like to pick their brains about projects they created as well as stuff they want to make. I'd also like to ask them some random stuff. These are those people:

Hideo Kojima - Kojima created some of the best video games ever created, and they weren't all called Metal Gear. The main thing I'd pick Kojima's brain about the bleak chance at a sequel to Snatcher, or for that instance, a third Zone of the Enders game.

Shigeru Miyamoto - The man who gave us Donkey Kong, Jump Man / Mario, Link, Zelda, and many more legendary characters. I'd be more interested in how Miyamoto felt to almost be fired if he couldn't do something with those old Radar Scope games Nintendo had laying around(google Radar's a part of video game history).

Yuji Naka - Simply put, I'd ask Yuji Naka about his thoughts on all the REALLY bad Sonic the Hedgehog games that have come out since the end of the Genesis.

John Romero - I just want to know why Daikatana was so incredibly over-budget, and why it looked and played like digital vomit after it's release.

Ed Boon, John Tobias, and Mark Turmell - as a trio, these guys gave us gems like NBA Jam, Mortal Kombat, and Smash TV. I wonder how they feel today about the house they built being sold off, with EA, Warner Bros., and other picking the scraps of Midway.

David Jaffe - I understand you are a genius of game design, and you made one of the greatest action games ever with God of War, but did you have to be such an arrogant prick about it?

Yu Suzuki - What a brother got to do to get a new Space Harrier?

I'm just saying...

*This post contained references to two games that may be unfamiliar to many of you. I plan of writing fleshed out pieces on Snatcher and Radar Scope soon.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Quarter Munchers That Deserve A New Life...

I've been sifting through the lists of games set to appear on the various download services, and I came to the conclusion that some classic games have been forgotten. Besides the resurrection of several high profile Dreamcast games, most of the stuff listed for the PSN and XBLA are expansion packs for games currently in development, while the lists for the two Nintendo services are pretty slim all around, which says either nothing is coming out, or Nintendo is being tight lipped and media outlets just don't have the info. Well, there are a few games that I think would be great additions to the arcade games on PSN, XBLA, or WiiWare / VC.

Run and Gun - Konami: This classic arcade basketball game has online multiplayer written all over it, and it could work on all three consoles, since it isn't extremely graphics intensive.

Power Stone - Capcom: I still don't know why there is no third game in this series. But this is another one that would be amazing if online multiplayer was done properly.

Warlords - Atari: This one was the first competitive video games that wasn't a sports game. it was also one of the first primarily multiplayer games.

BallBlazer Championship - Lucasarts: An update to this Atari 7800 classic could combine the intensity of an FPS with a sports game. If done properly, it could be a major hit.

WWF Wrestlefest - Technos Japan: THQ has the WWE license, but who says they couldn't make an arcade style wrestling game that doesn't handle like that turd Legends of Wrestlemania. It could even feature the full WWE roster.

The Grid - Midway: If anybody has the rights to this, they need to bring it to home consoles NOW. This was truly one of the last great competitive arcade games released in America.

Dolphin Blue - Sammy: Dolphin Blue was, at it's heart, a spiritual successor to Metal Slug, but it was so much more. It's a game that every fan of action games needs to play.

Baseball Stars 2 - SNK: The greatest sports video game ever made deserves to live on. either in a downloadable game format, or as a full fledged remake.

That's my list, but if have any more that I might have forgotten, feel free to post them in the comments section.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Technos Japan > THQ...Yeah, I Said It!!

Technos Japan made a lot of great video games during their history, but nothing in their library was stronger than Double Dragon...unless you were a fan of their WWF games. In the late 80's and early 90's, Technos crafted 2 masterful arcade wrestling games featuring the WWF's top stars. While Acclaim and LJN was making a mockery of the WWF name with crap like Wrestlemania and Steel Cage Challenge, gamers with good sense were avoiding those games for WWF Superstars and WWF Wrestlefest. the only problem those games had was a lack of singles matches. The tag team action there though provides great action for anyone up to try it out.

The first game, WWF Superstars, only features six playable characters, but it retains all of the unique "attitude" of the wrestlers featured. if you are good enough to beat the opposing teams in the first few matches, you get a title shot against the team of "The Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase and Andre the Giant. The games cast almost reads like a Hall of Fame Class: Hulk Hogan, the Ultimate Warrior, The Big Boss Man, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, The Honky Tonk Man, and "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Everything Superstars lacked was present in Technos' second WWF game.

WWF Wrestlefest hit arcades a few years later, but it was leaps and bounds ahead of it's predecessor. Wrestlefest featured 10 playable characters, and unlike te first game, in addition to the Tag Team mode, players could also fight it out in a battle royal. This time around, players are attempting to usurp the Legion Of Doom from their seat at the top of the Tag Team mountain. the playable superstars this time around were: Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Earthquake, Sgt. Slaughter, Axe, Smash, Ted Dibiase, Big Boss Man, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, and Mr. Perfect. Each character did a lot of the moves he did during matches on TV, which added more to the experience of playing with a particular character. Each character also performed his trademark finisher, although Slaughter's Cobra Clutch and Dibiase's Million Dollar Dream are the same move, so Slaughter's move was altered, everything else was pretty spot on.

The best part of these two games was that a player never felt like they had to button mash to do moves. most of the WWF games in the past featured a button mashing mechanic that was actually quite annoying. Even current day WWE offerings from THQ have button mashing crappy little mini games as a part of their gameplay.

This year's E3 had an announcement of a more arcade WWE title coming out soon called WWE All Stars. Hopefully, this new title features some of the magic that was captured in those Technos Japan games. If not, it'll end up in the bargain bin just like Legends of WrestleMania.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Metroid: Other M Is A Must Play, But That Is Clearly A Matter Of Opinion.

Samus Aran has been around since 1986, but she's held up incredibly well over the years. The gaming industry's first major female protagonist starred in 10 games over the years, but none of those previous games was as controversial as her latest adventure. The 11th game, titled Metroid: Other M, is a joint developmental effort between Nintendo and Tecmo's Team Ninja. Team Ninja is best know for it's Dead Or Alive and Ninja Gaiden games, and their games are typically far more "mature" than those of Nintendo. Early previews of Other M showed off a game with a grittier feel than previous games in the series, as well as a bigger emphasis on story than ever before, and of course, message boards went crazy with speculation on how the game would turn out. As Other M neared release, though, many media outlet decided to fuel gamer fears by letting the world know that Team Ninja butchered the story in Other M, that Nintendo screwed up the controls because the game is controlled by using the Wii Remote only, and other concerns that effectively told gamers that Other M was a pile of garbage that should be avoided. The thing about so called video game journalists, though, a lot of these outlets have bashed any and everything released on the Wii, while lauding praise upon far worse games on the 360 and PS3 (Bayonetta anyone). Is Metroid: Other M perfect, no, but is it a very, very good game? Yes, and not just by Wii standards.

If you line up the games in the Metroid canon in chronological order, Other M takes place just after the events of 1994's Super Metroid, which makes it the last game in the time line. When things start up, Samus is recounting the final battle between her and Mother Brain, which resulted in the death of the last Metroid. Samus is debriefed on her mission and allowed to go on her way, but her peaceful ride through space is interrupted by a distress call that she refers to as "Baby's Cry" and she rushes off to investigate the call, which is originating from a research facility called the Bottle Ship.

Turns out, Samus' old unit in the Galactic Federation is also investigating the call, and Samus finds herself back under the command of General Adam Malkovich, which explains the way Samus acquires new weapons. Because of the instability of the Bottle Ship, some of Samus' weapons could harm the other humans on board, therefore, Malkovich authorizes the use of new weapons as needed. This was a story point that was maligned by other reviewers, but it makes perfect sense in the scope of this games story.

The rest of the story unfolds through a series of well put together, yet occasionally long winded cutscenes. The story does a good job of injecting some actual human vulnerability into a character that has been a stoic ass kicker for more than 20 years. To say that Samus is whiny is an extreme overstatement, and if anything, she seemed kinda dry in small bits. That had nothing to do with the character and more to do with the voice actor.

with Story basics out of the way, it's time to get to the meat and potatoes of why gamers spend money: gameplay. A lot of people were concerned with the Wii Remote only controls, but I'm glad to say, the controls are very responsive, and I was able to jump into the game with very little in the way of a learning curve. Switching from standard gameplay to first person "Search View" also felt quite natural, as long as your Wii Sensor Bar isn't obstructed by random crap. Fighting enemies is fast paced and even though the game has a built in auto aim, there are enough enemies on screen at once that there is still a lot of challenge.

All of the weapons and special maneuvers from Super Metroid return for this game. Even the Shinespark returns without the energy penalty for use of the move. One major note is the Power Bomb. you don't acquire the weapon until very late in the game, and since so many rooms early in the game require the weapon, multiple playthroughs will be a must.

One thing players will notice about this game that wasn't present in previous Metroid games is a definite upturn in terms of Samus' aggression when it comes to dispatching enemies. Samus now has an Overburst move that cripples enemies, preparing them for all new "Lethal Strikes" which often spell death for any enemy that receives one. Another major gameplay tweak is that players no longer have to hunt for health and missiles. By holding the Wii Remote vertical and holding A, Samus will regenerate missiles, and if she's about to die, she will regenerate a small portion of her health as well. This makes boss battles even more frantic affairs if a player is on the verge of death.

I admittedly went into this game with a bit of trepidation, especially after the vicious review that G4's XPlay gave the game, but I learned a long time ago that nobody should pay attention to one review only, even if I'm the author of said review. This game has proven to be one of G4's most controversial review, and it proved that opinions are truly like assholes. In this gamer's humble opinion, most fans of Metroid who played more than the Prime series, will be quite pleased with Metroid: Other M. If you're skeptical, this game is as good a reason as any to get a Gamefly subscription.