Since Best Buy had it new for $4.99, I went ahead and bought Other M last Christmas, despite being a staunch critic of the story. After playing through it, I have to admit the story (while poorly done), isn't enough to make the game bad on its own. The game does have some virtues, like fairly impressive production values and very dynamic-feeling character controls and animation, but there are just so many weird design decisions dragging it down.
- The control scheme is so short on buttons that many things had to be automated, making the game almost feel like it's playing itself at times. I don't know how many times I triggered an impressive-looking finishing move purely by accident, and the dodging move (which doesn't always work like it should) is necessary for avoiding most attacks. This removes any need for precise maneuvering, and makes it seem like you're watching somebody pull off impressive moves rather than feeling skilled yourself.
- The game's camera angles and controls make things feel very chaotic, especially during boss fights. There are reasons you don't see many shooters that play like melee brawlers. For starters, you have to run around in circles constantly, spamming shots and dodges, and the sense of control or precision goes out the window. The dodge move in particular makes rapid button-mashing mandatory to stay alive. I'm not a fan of button mashing, especially on a D-pad.
- The mandatory pixel hunts were an atrocious idea. For instance, I was stuck for over 20 minutes before I could start the Ridley fight, because I didn't know I had to focus on an arbitrary portion of a completely innocuous object, NOT BECAUSE ANYTHING WAS THERE, BUT BECAUSE SOMETHING WOULD HAPPEN IN FRONT OF IT WHEN I DID.
-The ability to only use missiles when your feet are cemented to the floor was a stupid idea. Why in the name of sanity they decided to forcibly lock you into this mode for the final boss fight, I'll never know.
- Many parts of the game have a strong element of trial-and-error, with basicallly the only way to pass an obstacle being to die numerous times before you figure out what's required. There are options that seem like they should work but don't, seemingly only because the developers wanted you to play portions in a very specific way. The final boss fight is a great example of this. I don't know how many times I died on that stupid thing because I didn't know what to do. What makes things worse is that you're not given proper feedback to know that what you're doing isn't working. Many games even decades ago did better in this regard, with feedback like the "chink" sound in the NES Mega Man games that told you your attacks weren't having any effect. In other M, you can blast at an enemy hundreds of times and not know if it's doing anything.
- Similar to the pixel hunts, there are many times when you are limited to slowly walking Samus along corridors, at times even being unable to do anything except move forward. This doesn't make sense. If you're going to take away all options, why can't it just be a cutscene?
- It just seems like the developers really wanted to show how brilliant they were, and wanted everyone to play the game in the the best
way (AKA, the developer's way). I prefer to interact with a world based on logical rules of the world, not be tied to frustrating, arbitrary limitations because they better show off the "genius" of the designers.
There are more gripes I could list, but this post is already too long. In the end I resold the game, and (happily) made a few bucks on it, as well as getting 60 free Club Nintendo coins.