When Nintendo announced Metroid: Other M at E3 2009, many long-time fans of the series were ecstatic. But then, with the first-person viewpoint aspect and Team Ninja's involvement with the game was revealed, many wondered if Metroid: Other M was straying too far away from its roots, even with Nintendo's Yoshio Sakamoto at the helm. From what Gaming Union got to experience during the demo on the show floor of E3 2009 last week, we can easily say that it's a Metroid game through and through.
To play Metroid: Other M, you switch between holding the Wii Remote sideways like an NES controller or pointing it at the screen. The former allows you to move just like you would in the non-Prime Metroid titles, albeit with the ability to move back and forth since the areas are in 3D. Due to being able to move in four directions, the game now auto-aims when you fire your weapons, although you have to be facing the enemy, so one can't just blindly shoot and kill everything. As for the latter, you look through a first-person viewpoint much like the Prime series, but you can't move. In the demo this view had access to missiles, but it's currently unknown if these are usable in the third-person view or not. The nice part is that the game, outside of a boss battle which required switching from form to form, Metroid: Other M doesn't force the player to either mode, allowing players to play how they want.
Outside of Metroid Fusion, the series hasn't been known for its storytelling, but Metroid: Other M seems to have a deep story and an exploration of Samus Aran's character and how she became the person she is known as in the later titles. The game takes place after the events of Super Metroid, and has Samus landing on an abandoned space ship after receiving a distress call, where she meets up with a group of Galactic Federation soldiers exploring the ship. One of the people there is Adam Malkovich, a name which should be very familiar to those who played Metroid Fusion.
One interesting change was that certain weapons, such as missiles, were deactivated until later in the demo when Adam re-allowed their usage. According to recent news from the developers, later in the game Metroid: Other M is much like the original titles where you are given access to weapons once you obtain them, so long-time fans who are worried that the game will "hold their hand" too much shouldn't be worried.
Metroid: Other M is set to hit the Wii at the end of August in both North America and Europe.