Monday, September 6, 2010

Give "Other M" a shot

Alright, I don't generally use the "OverThinker" blog for anything but important stuff or new episodes, but I really want to jump into this whole thing:

If you've got a Wii, whether you're a "Metroid" fan or not, and if you ever take my advice on anything: Give "Metroid: Other M" a chance. Yes, even if you just rent it or buy it and sell it back right away if you hate it.

In this business, ANY game that takes a big risk deserves attention and respect, but taking a big risk with an established "franchise" deserves something close to a ribbon just for showing up. And make no mistake, ditching close to a decade of First-Person-Shooter "Metroid" games in favor of - think about this for a moment - a third-person 3D "Super Metroid" successor developed OUTSIDE the Nintendo inner-circle whose controls are mapped to what is essentially an NES CONTROLLER* is easily the biggest risk Nintendo has taken on a license since "Windwaker."

And though I've not beaten it yet, thus far I'm comfortable calling it dangerously-close to amazing.** So if my opinion counts for anything, I'm calling this a must-play - and it'd be a real shame if Nintendo and Team Ninja got the idea that this wasn't a direction they should continue pursuing.

So give it a shot, eh?

* Speaking of which, I would love someone from Team Ninja to explain to me exactly WHY this game - controlled with what amounts to an NES controller and, occasionally, an NES Zapper - controls better than any of their "Ninja Gaiden" games did with Dual Analogs and twice the buttons.

** Before anyone brings it up: YES, melodramatic voice-acting and YES, someone really should've caught what the unintended subtext of the narrative based solution to the "where do upgrades come from" problem might be to some people.

104 comments:

Benjamin said...

Oh thanks Bob. Every reviewer I've seen has near hated the game. I was beginning to think that I was the only one who liked it. By the way I think that it actually makes sense that Samus who have a different way of speaking then most humans, her being raised by aliens and all. (thought I am pretty sure that wasn't what they were going for)

Benjamin said...

hope to see your next video soon.

Michel said...

I've got to admit, I was really wanting to hear your opinion about the game, and I'm really glad you seem to be enjoying it.

Lately though, all I seem to be hearing is mixed opinions about it. Two sides of the fence: one loving the game, and another vocalizing that the game universe has been 'Ruined Forever' (Like we haven't heard that one before). --;

I've played the game myself, and I'm not afraid to say I've enjoyed it (To the point of staying up a little too late at night). The game is not flawless. It does cut off quite a bit on the exploration levels, and makes it rather linear, and I wish it were longer. But at the same time, the gameplay is addictive, combat is fluid, if not a little buggy here and there. The graphics are the best you've ever seen on a Wii game, and seem to really push the machine's limit line nothing else. It does take risk with the controller functions, but I got used to it rather quickly (Although I would wish firing missiles was a little easier). And I am so glad that we finally have a third person Metroid game again.

Unfortunately, I hear a lot of bashing from some of the malcontents that Samus' character has been spoiled completely. I don't wish to give any spoilers if you haven't finished the game, but a lot of people seem to claim that she's lost her 'tough woman' image in this one, and I for one have to disagree. I mean, how many people are going to jump on top of an alien to give a point-range blast to the face? She has a bit of exposition, and one small moment of emotions, and people seem to be crying 'murder'.

It's where I wonder if people haven't had their expectations met, and aren't happy with the results. We've had a mostly silent protagonist for years now, and we've had to input our own personality onto her. Now that she has something to say, she's not what they pictured.

But I'm glad we got this game. I'm glad it was brought up, and done, and I'd love to see Team Ninja give the franchise another go.

And I'd love to hear any more thoughts on the subject down the line.

Peace, man.

dvdwinter9 said...

I haven't finished the game yet, either but I'm having lots of fun so far. The graphics are great, especially the cutscenes, and I like the dodges and laser-curb-stomps. Shooting missiles is a little awkward, especially with bosses that don't give you much time to attack with missiles.

On the whole authorization system: Although I would rather have her take into consideration the safety of any survivors aboard the Bottle Ship and choose to limit her lethality for their sake than trip over a metaphorical pebble and lose all of her powers, I definitely think Team Ninja should have caught the unintended subtext of the upgrade system and thought of a better way to work that in.

Christopher Armstrong said...

Can you say something to the complaints about how they've ruined the tone and characters of the series, story-wise?

thenintenlord said...

No.

MrValdez said...

@Christopher

http://nerfnow.com/comic/372

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Greenmario16 said...

Oh yeah, did anybody else hate the part where Samus had to fight Ridley? Not the actual combat, that was glorious, but the cutscene before that? It is clear that only those who understand the Metroid Universe are going to understand why she would be terrified of Ridley showing up and having to fight him. But at this point in the Metroid timeline, hasn't Samus killed Ridley three our four times before this? Why would she still react this way?

Personally, one way to fix a large part of the story would be to just have it take place as a prequel to Metroid. Samus is still working with the Galactic Federation, still has to take orders from Adam, can be forgiven for not being a total badass due to this being her early years, and gives a great excuse for Samus losing faith in the GF and quiting to become the badass bounty hunter we all know and love.

It all falls together strangely well if you think about it.

HiPhish said...

WTF Bob?! O_o

The whole reson we should buy it, is because Nintendo has taken a risk? Come on, man. I might see a point if this were some small indie developer, but Nintendo?

Their job is to take risks. And a risk, by definition, has to have a chance of failure. If they took the wrong risk, then they must suffer the consequences. Or else it wouldn't have been a risk.

And there is no reason Nintendo should do whatever they want with their established franchises. Insteadof a claustrophobic, exloration heavy silen Action game we got a melodramatic space opera. The greatest risk was not handing the development to Team Ninja, it was turning Metroid into a linear drama movie. Team Ninja was just responsible for the execution, it was still directed from Nintendo.

So, here we have a game, which basicall f***s with all expectations of what Metroid is, and you want us to support it, beaus it is risky? Come on, that's just BS. How about this: George Lucas makes a new Star Wars Movie, where Luke becomesa bar dancer, Leia is a Sith lord and Han turns into a werewookie. Now that would be really risky. Would you support it?



Developers have to stop playing it safe with old franchises. Why not make "Super Space Opera Adventures" instead of Other M. Nobody would have complained then. And if it's really that good, it should have been a full success.
All I, as a gamer, want is sequels, that stay faithful to the originals, and yet offer something new. New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the perfect example.

Drake Sigar said...

I don't do hardcore Wii games. Everyone in my family has one Wii in their household for BBQs, and that's about it. I'll stick with World of Goo.

Nick said...
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Sean Aaron said...

Well, I bought it on release day (last Friday) and I'm not a fan of the Metroid Prime series at all, so I've actually been getting more hyped for this the more I see it.

Not played it yet because mahjong and Samurai Warriors 3 still own my time, but I definitely think I'll be firing it up by the week-end.

Scott said...

Hey Bob,

Bought it this past week. I've loved the metroid series. I discovered it in '96, and Super Metroid and I think it's critically underrated predacessor, Metroid 2, are some of best games of old school ever.

Unlike yourself, I did enjoy the primes, more or less. the first one was a pretty good take on "What would Super Metroid be like if it was an FPS?" I think it did have some good elements to it.

I am loving Other M, and am bemused my using an NES controller as you are, (It's weird. I mean, Nintendo trained me to us analog sticks and camera control for 3d and that it was complicated. I guess not.) I love the story so far... But what I do have to say, is that I have to train myself to not think of it as a metroid game, but as a "Samus's big space adventure" game. It's just way to linear to be a true "metroid" for me. And I've defended past linear efforts like 2 and fusion.

But ah well. I too would like another game in this style, but maybe with more exploration based gameplay like in the old days.

Scott said...

Oh, and bob? I don't wanna tell you your business, but a "game overthinker" about metroid would be most welcome.

just sayin' :)

benzn89 said...

I'd like to start off by saying that I thought Other M was a decent game, however, as a fan of the Metroid series I feel like Other M has failed on many aspects that makes a Metroid game unique.

The biggest disappointment in Other M was that the music is drastically different from anything we've had before in other Metroid games. In Super Metroid and Metroid Prime the soundtrack dominates the area you are in, adding to the atmosphere and giving the player an enjoyable tune to listen to. In other M, we are left with a different style of
atmospheric music, the soundtrack tends to be unnoticeable, in the background, and very forgettable. People who have played Metroid II would know that it also had a different style of music compared to the original Metroid and Super Metroid, but you have to consider that the music was still very audible, unlike in Other M where the soundtrack was very quiet and out-noised by enemies/weapon fire. Also consider that Metroid II was developed for the GameBoy and thus had limited hardware.

My next disappointment is that the Bottle Ship is an incredibly boring setting. Throughout the entire game you're stuck running down generic space-station corridors. Occasionally you'll find yourself in a ice/fire themed zone, but these feel fairly generic, small, and don't even come close to the quality of Super Metroids Lower Norfair or Metroid Prime 2's Sanctuary Fortress. The way I see it is this, Image if Super Metroid never left the Ceres space colony. I'd hate to compare the Bottle Ship to Metroid Fusions B.S.L, because I feel like Fusion pulled off an atmosphere of chaos and terror that just wasn't present in Other M.

Thirdly, It's in my opinion that the basic side-scrolling controls work fine, by no means are they perfect. The Wii mote is awkward to hold sideways, the sides are different thicknesses, the D-pad is small, and the height of the controller is only about an inch. After an hour or two my left thumb was in pain because of how small the d-pad is. Aside from straight controller issues (I would have much preferred a joystick to control with), the actual in-game mobility in side-scrolling sections worked fine. I occasionally had problems in facing the right way to make an energy blast after running away from an enemy, but that's nothing too serious. Also, the dodge and quick-time event take-downs were pretty much impossible for me to do on purpose, which I contribute to the lack of joystick support.

What really gets me about Other M is the first person view, this straight up does not work and is not fun. To go into the view I'm forced to physically shift the controller in my hand which takes a second or two, and in many (If not all) boss fights require you to go into first person mode. The inability to move while in this mode also leaves Samus vulnerable to attacks, during some of the more difficult boss encounters switching to first person mode only to get hit and have to re-setup your position is an exercise in frustration and is not fun.

While on the note of the first person view, there are those sections in the game where Samus is forcibly locked into first person mode because there is something hidden that needs to be scanned. I'll admit that these sections combined took a good thirty minutes of gameplay for me to solve, why the developers decided to make it so difficult is beyond me. These sections left me frustrated, after finding the item needed I was not relived, but angry because it was always "Seriously? That was it? I scanned around there seven times and I still missed it?".

benzn89 said...
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benzn89 said...

The last big disappointment was the story, I never expected to have Other M dazzle me with an excellently done story, but I did expect there to be a story presented well enough for the areas and music to fill in the rest of the atmosphere (which was not the case). What I got instead was some sort of emotional drama that reminded me more of a bad anime than a Metroid game. Throughout the entire game we knew exactly what Samus was thinking because she narrated her entire thoughts in every single cut-scene, repeating herself multiple times. Samus felt immature, which at this point in the Metroid story felt out of place, she has defeated the space pirates twice on Zebes, blow up multiple planets, and single-handedly stopped the phazon corruption, but for some reason we are expected to believe that she has the emotional strength of a teenage girl? Give me a break.

The other characters in the story are all one dimensional, none of them has any reason for us to like them, and SPOILER-SPOILER-SPOILER when they all start to get killed one by one, I simply don't care. SPOILER-SPOILER-SPOILER Even Adam's character is cheapened by this game, he comes off as a cold emotionless character that we are expected to respect and feel for simply because we are told that him and Samus have a past together. Screw that.

Some things I liked about the game were the homages to other bosses in the series, the way the Speed Boost was implemented, and the fact that generally the game has nice visuals(aside from the fact that those same visuals were generally boring).

To respond to Bob's comments, yes, I agree that Other M took a lot of risks doing what it did, and it should receive some attention. It is similar to the Metroid Prime series and Windwaker because they all made some huge changes, but the difference here is that both Metroid Prime and WW took the general formula of their respective franchises and added
a key change while still making the game "work". Metroid Other M made many changes, but in the end, it did not "work", and it does not feel like a Metroid game. Sure, some elements are similar, but when you change a franchises formula so much you are basically making a different kind of game and slapping the Metroid logo on the box. I feel like it is misleading the fans. It's the equivalent of taking a Mario game and turning it into a racing game, we all saw how that turned out, we got Mario Kart, which is great, but I wouldn't call it a good Mario game, because it has become something else entirely. And that is how I view Other M, an average game that is not a Metroid game.

Nic said...

When Other M was first unveiled I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I don't think narrative based games are the final destination of gaming and certainly not somewhere I ever hoped to see Metroid end up. On the other end, I was definitely excited as a fan of action games. Other M certainly looked like a fun take on the genre.

Building a 3D game around a d-pad context was indeed a huge risk, but one I don't think paid off. While certainly not needlessly complex and most definitely playable, the game feels too simplified and pampering. Where previous games might have required some coordination in your moves, in Other M it's all too easy just to face your enemy and automatically hit it. The dodge mechanic is also too forgiving, requiring you nothing more than to mash the d-pad to avoid damage with no consequence. Perhaps it have taken a note from Bayonetta where executing a dodge multiple times in a row leaves you vulnerable or something. Then there's firing missiles in first person which is just awkward and painful to execute. Easily an oversight in what seemed to be going for intuitive controls.

The cutscenes. While I don't have anything to say that hasn't been said before about the content itself, I'd like to express my disappointment that Other M decided to pursue a narrative oriented direction. According to co-creator Sakamoto, it was to clear up misconceptions created about Samus' character by the Prime games. Speaking of that, I know I'm not the only one who thinks he sounds a little butthurt towards the Prime games. Not even so much as an acknowledgment of their existence or their contributions to the Metroid universe. I'm somebody who enjoys replaying games, so narrative adds little value past my first playthrough. The problem isn't so much its existence but the fact that it's built around a narrative context, which even given the possibility of skipping them leaves the experience feeling like it's missing something. I felt the Prime games (1 in particular) did an excellent job with their storytelling and should be looked at as an example for all games alike. Basically, story exists for people who care about it and its non intrusive for people who don't. I personally never read any logs outside of the Space Pirates' which were nothing short of fascinating.

Finally, as a Metroid fan, I was probably most disappointed. The game offers little of the atmosphere the series is beloved for in its environments. The game felt more like Zelda with its progression through forest, fire, and ice environments. Boring! We already did the whole simulated environments shtick in Metroid Fusion. What's perhaps the worst crime is the music. How could they fuck up the music? In a Metroid game? This is perhaps the most difficult sentiment to express because of how unfathomable overlooking the music in a Metroid game is. I really do wonder if the development team has even played a Metroid game before.

I know this reads more like a review, but I'd like to express my opinion with little of the usual internet hyperbole. HiPhish already nailed what I was originally going to say. I do not think this game would have gone noticed without its crutch, the Metroid franchise, and while we can argue if it's because new IPs don't sell, as somebody who enjoys Metroid games, action games, and games in general, I'd say Other M is just not that appealing of a game.

V Gray said...

No Exploration + Bad Story & Characters + me being a broke ass gamer = not playing

Ezenwa said...

It's funny. The reviews I've seen, which I can trust for the most part, loved the game (GiantBomb, Gamespot, or the site GiantBomb left, and even EGM)

My opinion: I have the game, I bought the game, I enjoy the game. There are some problems I have with it, but perhaps it's me. Anyhoo, I think the game is solid.

beyrob said...

You know what's funny bob I actautly sent you a messege through Youtube saying the same thing. Glad you mentioned it

Bob said...

Re: "Personality," this IS sort of what happens when you try and add something like that in after the fact.

An apparently large cotingent of Metroid fans seem to regard Samus as this Ripley-times-a-million butch hardcase based almost entirely on PROJECTION - like Link and Mario, she has VERY little characterization in any of the actual games. So now having her show ANY emotional response is equivalent to "over-feminizing," or something.

Honestly, I fail to see how giving her latent "daddy issues" with a superior officer is any more a "betrayal" of this supposed-badass image than her having a sympathetic biological-clock "mommy/baby crush" on a Metroid, which was previously the ONLY characterization she'd really had.

REPTILE 0009 said...

If Link, Mario, and Samus are suppose to have little to no personality, then why do you complain about Master Chief having little personality?

REPTILE 0009 said...

Plus, I'm not going to buy Other M because I have better games to spend my money on. Like, Halo Reach, Call of Duty Black Ops, Dead Space 2, Gears of War 3, Medal of Honor, Fallout New Vegas, Killzone 3, F.3.A.R, and Mortal Kombat(2011).

Guybrush said...

Give Metroid Prime a chance! How can you seriously like Bioshock and not like the Metroid Prime games? They are absolutely perfect games and they are NOT stupid shooters that take less than ten hours to beat(thats more like MPhunters though). I recommend you buy Metroid Prime Trilogy(if you dont already own the games that is) and play it without the fps hating glasses and love every single backtrackingly atmospheric minute of it.

Guybrush said...

And most of the reviews I've read/watched for Other M have been positive (most of them gave it something around 8.5), And as far as I've played I'm absolutely loving this amazing game. not the worst Metroid(Hunters and Pinball which are ironically better than most games out there) and not the best(the Prime Trilogy and Super) It's just in the middle with Fusion, the original and II.

REPTILE 0009 said...

The reason why most shooters take ten hours to beat is because of budget restraints. Game developers understand their fanbase and they know that their fans will spend most of their time on the multiplayer component. So most of the budget goes toward the multiplayer component of the game. Developers simply can't afford to have a 15-20 hour campaign+a great multiplayer. That's just something that Bob simply doesn't understand.

Golemlivingston said...

Other M removed any aspect of exploration; why not just make it a series of stages instead of one large overworld? The doors are just arbitrarily locked behind me at every step, it's not like I can explore this one single world. The combat is bland; small enemies are just as boring as they are in any other Metroid game, and bosses are okay. (Not to mention the game overuses its minibosses like none other.) In the end it seems like a game with no content.

RestamSalucard said...

@benzn89 Now that's not fair, Mario Kart at least TELLS you it's a racing game.

@MovieBob I was actually thinking you might add some thoughts on the whole "Yoshio Sakamoto is a now sexist motherfucker" train of thought. Maybe a new topic for the Game Overthinker, "Pr0n: Legacy"

Kevin said...

I'm just gonna come out and say it, you really should make a video about what you just said. I'm still playing this game and it is fantastic! But then I look online and most people seem to dislike it. Thats not fair because these are the same people that say that Nintendo never takes risks and rehashes the same game. This game proves them wrong. You should voice your opinion on why this game is a winner and why it stands above other generic games just based solely on its innovation to the franchise.

AlgaeNymph said...

I believe the best explanation for why Samus acts the way she does in Other M is because video games are made in Japan.

You should do a video on the differences between Japanese and American culture.

Clayton said...

Man, it's a relief to see someone not bitching over Other M (go to a message board and you will find loads of people crying murder). I will say Other M might not be my favorite of the series (Fusion and Prime 1 take that spot) but it is one of the best games on the Wii and of the year. This is the biggest risk Nintendo has taken with one of their franchises since they decided to make Metroid a First Person Adventure.

And strangely enough I actually like the plot. Not because of the narrative (seriously, watch Aliens and you'll get the same thing), but because of Samus. You have to deal with some of her personal drama from her past and all but I like the personality they made for her. Yeah, she's got insecurities and issues but she still beats the hell out of all manner of beasts and baddies and looks awesome doing it. Plus it's nice to see a strong woman who doesn't devolve into that estrogen-allergic badass action girl stereotype plaguing games (and other media) these days. The plot does have its flaws though and Sakamoto should have cut back on the cut scene length and tightened the script. And yes, the cultural difference does rear its head with Samus taking orders from a male CO. But screw it, Samus is still awesome (arguably more so) and so is this game.

Clayton said...

oh, and Moviebob, be sure to have a paper bag ready for the last two boss fights because you are going to FAN SPAZ

Jamazz said...

It didn't seem like to me they put up a big advertising front on the internet. I don't watch much TV, but caught glimpses of Metroid: Other M here and there. The few ads that I did see didn't do the game any justice. Your two cents and coaxing pseudo-review of the game has led me to go and buy it. Your advice has not gone unanswered. Thank you for the spark of interest; it is an enjoyable game, thus far.

Kevin said...

You don't take issue with one of the icons of females in games needing permission from some spare who has never been in the series before to use her weapons?

Nathan said...

@ Kevin:

hell with the weapons, needing permission to NOT BE ROASTED ALIVE BY TURNING ON THE MOTHER FUCKING VARIA SUIT. to emotionally shut down at the sight of an enemy she's defeated two or four times now, and has never so much as flinched at. it's tantamount to Batman suddenly having a fit of existential horror that the Joker survived something that "Surely No One Could Have Lived Through(tm)" for the five hundredth time, having never had this reaction at any other point in the franchise.

personally, i have not played it. i'm broke, all the local places i could have rented it from have closed down, and even if i had money there is no way i'm handing over money to a developer to support what appears to be a dismantling of every beloved aspect of the franchise. but everything i've heard about the story sounds abysmal, rumors that they dropped the ball on the exploration and music is really disheartening. from everything i've heard, this is to Metroid what Star Trek '09 was to that franchise: functional, dumbed down, and made palatable for the masses at the expense of everything the fans loved about the franchise. only this one comes hot off the heels of three games that illustrated exactly how you translate Metroid game-play to three dimensional space.

Stephen Keating said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u72AIab-Gdc
Watch this instead of playing Metroid Other M. You will learn more, and not have wasted your time. Encouraging this game or any others like it, realistically, is a categorically bad idea. Bob, we're trying to move games forward, not prove that gamers really are so culturally inept as to not see what's going on here.

And even if we do see what's going on here, excusing it because "videogame story lol" is not acceptable. Perhaps at one time, but not anymore. As you've said many times, it's time to grow up. In the words of perhaps a wiser storyteller, "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." If we want the medium to grow up, we need to put these childish things elsewhere. They don't belong in games anymore. Accepting or encouraging them is making the situation worse.

Bob said...

@Kevin,

I think the "wait for authorization" thing is SLIGHTLY awkward out of context and they probably should've found another way around it, but I'm just not seeing this "HUGE BETRAYAL OF THE CHARACTER!!!" thing.

I get that this is gaming's cherished "tuff girl" character. What I DON'T get is why everyone immediately assumes that "Strong Female Hero" automatically means "Man-Hating Ice Queen Who'd Never EVER Accept Instruction From ANY Man."

And I definitely don't see how giving her what amounts to a projected Electra Complex over Adam is somehow "worse" in this regard than Super Metroid, which STARTS from the premise that a massive universe-wide threat - The Metroids - have been allowed to go on existing because she didn't kill the last newborn... because, as we "all" know, ALL women are pathologically maternal-fixated and will immediately abandon all sense of logic and duty at the slightest opportunity to nuture some sort of baby. Somehow, THAT - which until has been the only "characterization" she's ever recieved - is alright, but following some guy's orders is the worst thing ever? Not seeing it, sorry.

I'm especially surprised to see so many MEN so apoplectic over it. Samus Aran takes an order from a male C.O. and suddenly everybody turns into Gloria Steinham. It's actually beginning to sound like a weird kind of jealous/possessive thing - as though guys are kinda going: "Hey, Adam! Stop ordering her where to go and what weapon to use - that's MY JOB!!!" ;)

TheWon said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqVo5NDVbpQ

This pretty much covers Nintendo fans seem to have with Other M.

Matthew said...

personnaly i thought it was to much "depth" they added to her character when in the older games there really was'nt a whole bunch to her, and when there was it was subtle

oh and the metroid is'nt really comparable to adam, the metroid thing was'nt some "maternal" thing, just guilt from DESTROYING THE THINGS ENTIRE SPECIES(at least thats what i think) that and adam kind of a dick.

Stephen Keating said...

Bob, this isn't the betrayal of a character, it's the subjection of a character that's the problem here.

The fact that it's always been this way just makes matters worse, not better. On the other hand, there's never been any direct characterization of Samus's character until Super Metroid, and if we start from that point, she's still a bitch-queen, seeing as how her "maternal instinct" is to give the baby metroid to scientists so they can experiment on it. Her characterization up to the point of Other M doesn't fit for a number of reasons, but essentially destroying multiple planets and lifeforms with reckless disregard is probably proof enough that Samus isn't a whiny schoolgirl.

Even Terra, the whiniest of girls I can picture from the SNES days, has more personality than Samus does in Other M. We're actively seeing the devolution of character, and to defend that doesn't make sense with regard to everything else that you talk about all the time in your videos. Why would you actively encourage poor stories and bad design? This isn't even a case of paying to see bad design in order to know what good design is. It's bad. Flat out.

Clayton said...

Recently someone on VG Chartz did an article about the infamous scene in which Samus freaks out. Conclusion: she has PTSD (said writer consulted both a sufferer of PTSD and the founder of PsychCentral.com). Of course we still had people showing themselves as insensitive, ignorant assholes and saying "she should get over it". GOD we have a long way to go.

Ezenwa said...

I finished the game yesterday. I am now doing the epilogue and when I found out what she went back for, I could just feel the hate coming from people when they find out what. I also understand that they made the game with the intent of you getting these useful weapons later to increase the challenge of the game itself. I found the game much easier with everything intact.

That said, I think my only major gripe with Samus' character was her fear for Ridley. If she wasn't cripplingly afraid in Prime (which happened earlier in her career), why should she be afraid now? Oh, and another gripe: I can't backtrack as freely as I want to. Meh. It's not so bad, after that.

Charlie said...

Bob I've been wondering for a while if you actually played any of the Prime Trilogy. They feel more like exploration based action adventure games that just happen to be in first person and just happen to involve shooting. FPS games in my experience have been about combat above all else. The Prime Trilogy has combat that involves shooting yes, but the main emphasis of the gameplay is on exploration and collecting, the same as it has always been for the series.

I've played a bit of Halo 3 and Modern Warfare 2 and thought both were okay. Not my thing but good for what they are. Metroid Prime is my second favorite game after Ocarina of Time and the other two are really good as well. The first person perspective and the motion controls on the Wii remakes do an amazing job of making you feel like you are actually exploring a massive environment, and the worlds are, for the most part, large, varied, and beautiful to look at.

I haven't played Other M, but the more I hear about it, the less interested I am. It actually sounds more generic than the Prime Trilogy with its more action oriented linear approach. Also, Team Ninja is overrated and the further they are from series that I like (i.e. Metroid) the better.

kabal610 said...

I couldn't agree more

Adam said...

Already gave it a shot. Completed it 100% and I love it. I wouldn't call it perfect as the dialogue and story pacing could be a lot tighter, but otherwise it was fun.

The "authorized power-ups" was a clever idea that wasn't implemented as well as it could have been, usually more for dramatic effect rather than sensibly. But the argument that it makes Samus a submissive character makes me sad. She may be a bounty hunter, but she's involved with a galactic military team on a military station. She has no jurisdiction there and she either plays by the rules or has to step out. Is that really worth making such a fuss over?

Jeff said...

Gonna agree with Bob 100%.


The weird, out-of-nowhere "Sexist" crap is just that. Crap.

It is also very speciously selective to cry sexism at Metroid Other M when other games can have the literal objectification of women, such as prostitutes, barely clothed female characters meant to be eye candy only, and entire games based around pinup style cheesecake/softcore porn of fighting game women. Where's the outrage there?

And exactly what are we talking about here? That she takes orders from a C.O.? Who happens to be a man? And? Can we say the same thing about race relations when the black army guy does the same thing from the same white C.O.? Or does that not make sense?

And this big moment where Samus has a Heroic BSOD when faced with Ridley. We'll, in storyline, Ridley is the Space Pirate that killed her parents, so she's always gonna feel somethign when she fights him. Much like a Jew would if he were to fight the Nazi that shipped his family to a camp in a WWII movie. He'll probably freeze up a bit too. It doesn't matter how many he's killed. It's not the threat itself, but what the threat represents, which is the death of her parents and the extermination of his entire race, respectively.

Furthermore Samus certainly didn't expect to meet Ridley there, as she was absolutely certain she killed him for good in Super Metroid. Imagine again, the Jew who shot his Nazi oppressor only to find that he survived and is at the door. That would freak anybody out.

I think I understand the point of feminists better than most here, having one for a mother, so I showed her the scene in question. Her comments were something like "So they think her freezing up a bit and being a little scared before she sticks a gun in this alien's mouth and pulls the trigger is sexist?"

If she's not buying it, I'm not.

awwnuts07 said...

* Speaking of which, I would love someone from Team Ninja to explain to me exactly WHY this game - controlled with what amounts to an NES controller and, occasionally, an NES Zapper - controls better than any of their "Ninja Gaiden" games did with Dual Analogs and twice the buttons.

Sorry Bob, as a hardcore Ninja Gaiden and Metroid fan, I gotta disagree with you. Yes, both these games are part of the action/adventure genre, but NG emphasizes ACTION, while Metroid highlights the ADVENTURE. Comparing NG and Other M is like comparing Street Fighter to Smash Bros. Both are great fighting games that require a whole lot of strategy, but SF would not be anywhere near as much fun if it were two buttons simply because it would take away the variety of attacks one could perform. That's how I would feel if NG's controls were simplified to Other M's.

But enough with the disagreement. I also recommend Metroid to everyone out there. It's a whole lot of fun. A lot of people have been bitching about how you're left completely vulnerable when you enter first person mode, but I'm pretty sure these people are just too stupid to use a simple tactic like "Stun enemy with fully powered shot BEFORE entering FPS mode". Besides, being vulnerable if the whole f*cking point. The rockets are your most powerful weapon. I'm sure weighing the risk/reward was a major point in the design, and I applaud them for it. Having to set the first person shot is perhaps my favorite part of the combat. Without it, this game would have been too easy. Go Team Ninja!

Ian said...

I'm sort of torn on Other M. At most, it's a good action game. At worst, it's a horrid Metroid game. What made the Metroid games so appealing to me was seeing all the sealed off areas, and then getting an item that opened up most of those areas that revealed even more sealed off areas. It really made you feel immersed in the game world.

It's just sad to see most of that go, especially when the initial trailer got so many old school gamers pumped. I loved the idea of a simpler control scheme and combining old and modern gameplay philosophies. It needed better planning, however.

Then you have the story. I don't hate it like most other people do, I just think they could have presented it better. For one, I always imagined Samus sounding more... womanly, I guess? She's very tall, looks to be in her mid-twenties, and used to be part of the military, so to have her sound like a teenager seemed off, and it didn't help with all the monologues. I think this is one of those rare occasions where a more hardened voice (like Jane Shephard) or even a lovely voice would actually help with the presentation, since we have to hear her talk a lot. One thing I don't get, however, is the complaints about Adam having to authorize weapons use. Okay, yeah, from a gameplay perspective, it's very weak, but how does it not make sense logically? Even if you're not affiliated with the military, you'd still comply with officers to avoid any form of conflict, right? Not doing so could get you in a lot of trouble. Lastly, I think there's just too much story in too small a game. There wasn't enough time to establish things like characters, relationships, backstory, and the like, making the exposition and flashbacks feel rushed and forced, and ultimately just confusing people during certain events.

I don't know. At the very least, I just hope that lessons were learned and corrections are made to improve the current game model.

NathanS said...

I'd say in summary this game is the official base beaker of Metroid, and that both sides may just have to agree to disagree on how they feel about Samus' characterization, and whether the gameplay is mediocre to okay and whether the gamely is, Metroid. Because if you don't if you let this debate consume the fandom, that way lead to madness, just look at the Sonic fandom.

Jeff said...

No way Nathan.

Just as much, if not more shit was thrown around when Metroid Prime was released. They were saying it wasn't "Metroid" (and some still don't.) If Nintendo learns anything from this episode, it's that trying to listen to their closest fans ends in disaster.

And a sphere of sexism has yet to be explored. Why is Samus's characterization so important here? We've seen dozens of action/adventure games where the male characters have moments of fright and fear. We've definitely seen plenty of RPGs where this happens. We've even seen old game characters re-imagined like this (Solid Snake, for example.)

Why is it that Samus's character is so important? Why is the fact that she's a woman mean so much in this discussion, particularly in the context of other games where the female characters are merely eye candy or one in particular that uses STRIPPER MOVES AS ATTACKS?

I feel that bob sides with the creatives on this one, mainly because the creators are getting so much shit for basically bending over backwards to please some of their more vocal critics for the last few, only to make new critics when they do.

They are constantly berated for having simple characters and storylines. So here they tried to please fans on that regard.

Some fans have said that Metroid Prime isn't anything like Metroid. So they made one in the style of the older games.

Some accused the 2-D Metroid games of being too same-y and rote. They mix in some action to keep the combat interesting.

All things are addressed with great care and fervor, only to have more fanboy whining and bitching than before.

If this kills Metroid, it won't be because the game is bad. It'll be because the fans are hypocrites.

Dave said...

This ISN'T a direction thye should be pursuing. Creating sub par games designed to sell on the basis of nostalgia instead of quality is absolutley the wrong direction.

Creating game like metroid prime and zelda skyward sword is what they should be doing and ding far more of.

It's also not really that much of a risk, considering shadow complex came along over a year ago and already DID everything other M is trying to do...only it wasn't dumbed down to fit an archaic control scheme and thus was orders of magnitude more playable.

Peter said...

Agreed. The only serious problem I have with it is the game's a little too linear as far as Metroid goes, both in level design and in progression considering the way Adam forces you to go to specific points on the map. That's the only thing that's keeping it from becoming as good as the classics. But other than that, they pretty much nailed the combat. I don't think everyone will like it, but I'm sure they're going to remember it.

Jeff said...

"Creating sub par games designed to sell on the basis of nostalgia instead of quality is absolutley the wrong direction."

"Creating game like metroid prime... is what they should be doing and ding far more of."

Why should they make more games like Metroid Prime? There's already 3 of them (4 if you count the DS game). Are you perhaps, NOSTALGIC for them? Wouldn't Nintendo be guilty of that if they made Metroid Prime 4?

Wouldn't that also be playing it safe? Metroid Prime and the sequel are good games, no doubt. But Retro needs a break from Metroid and Metroid needs a break from FPA for now, if only to keep the passion alive and the franchise from becoming stale.

and LOL at the above comment,

"Insteadof a claustrophobic, exloration heavy silen Action game we got a melodramatic space opera."

If Nintendo never took risks and changed things up from time to time, we'd never have Mario Kart. The whiny people would be all "Instead of a 2-D platformer, they gave us some weird racing game! This isn't Mario!"

martikhoras said...

Most weren't happy at the idea of her being all my uterus is ticking, Bob. Its that she put that thing in a lab a moreover it was the sappy and sentimental creature through most cutscenes and gameplay. Samus... not so much. They sell you on her emotions being there by having a meaningful amount of hesitation and confusion

"I could forgive all that, though, if not for Samus' characterisation. . . I was unprepared for just how far they'd take it.. . In her monologues - which, as noted above, are frequent and lengthy - Samus is ceaselessly whining about her feelings, going on about motherhood, and confiding in the player that she terribly she misses her daddy, and that, under her rough exterior, she's really a delicate flower of femininity who needs to be coddled. Really, Team Ninja? Really? Every overused device in the book for rendering a female protagonist emotionally unthreatening to a male audience, all rolled together into one big, whiny ball? That's what you came up with?"

Valid coherent argument going on right there. And its getting me off the game. Moreover Samus is more know for her professional stature and accomplishments than emotional drama. Everytime its inserted it feels haphazard because how clumsy the alteration is. I lost a post but I feel this is not promised by the AWESOME promo which was more Solid Snake, retired badass, as to what I'm hearing happens (seriously she needs him to tell her to wear basic environmental protection. Ridley makes her suit fall off you that's a rumor so I layoff about that one)

Jeff said...

""I could forgive all that, though, if not for Samus' characterisation. . . I was unprepared for just how far they'd take it.. . In her monologues - which, as noted above, are frequent and lengthy - Samus is ceaselessly whining about her feelings, going on about motherhood, and confiding in the player that she terribly she misses her daddy,"

This is extremely hyperbolic and not supported by the ingame events. Samus does not "go on" about motherhood, nor does she ever go on about how she misses her father, only that she considered Adam to be a father figure.

"and that, under her rough exterior, she's really a delicate flower of femininity who needs to be coddled. Really, Team Ninja? Really? Every overused device in the book for rendering a female protagonist emotionally unthreatening to a male audience, all rolled together into one big, whiny ball? That's what you came up with?""

Overused? Seriously? Are we in the same medium? Female player characters in games other than JRPGs are usually rough, tough women who measure their worth by how many men they've beaten up and how many they've emasculated by this act, just the same as the male characters, though dressed to please the eye of the male characters and male players. They are the ones who are cliched. IF they aren't player characters, you can usually see them cowering in a corner, waiting to be rescued, or offering their sexual services for in-game money that the male character has. Where is the outrage of sexism against that?

"I lost a post but I feel this is not promised by the AWESOME promo which was more Solid Snake, retired badass,"

I'm sorry but I had to stop reading here from laughing too hard. We are talking about Solid "Love can bloom on a battlefield" Snake here right? The guy who spends 3/4 of the games he's in whining in endless codec conversations? This is who Samus must compare to, who gets a pass for being 30 times as wordy and not nearly as heroic? And he wins? I think we are seeing the real sexism rear its head here.

H said...

"I'm sorry but I had to stop reading here from laughing too hard. We are talking about Solid "Love can bloom on a battlefield" Snake here right? The guy who spends 3/4 of the games he's in whining in endless codec conversations? This is who Samus must compare to, who gets a pass for being 30 times as wordy and not nearly as heroic? And he wins? I think we are seeing the real sexism rear its head here."

Not to drag this discussion too far from the original, but when did Snake ever, EVER, "whine" in the MGS games? Are you saying a badass can't stop to think and contemplate on all the horrible things happening around him? Even then, he never went on paragraphs of tangents essentially saying "I AM GOING TO NARRATE ALL OF MY THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS AND TELL ALL OF MY HISTORY THROUGH MY INTERNAL DIALOGUE INSTEAD OF GAMEPLAY AND REPEAT IT PLENTY OF TIMES SO EVERYONE CAN BE SURE THAT I AM A DEEP CHARACTER." In such respects, I feel Snake was characterized better in the MGS series than Samus is in Other M. It's not even a matter of sex there.

I'm not going to argue that Other M is sexist yet, as I'm not finished and haven't made it to this supposed Ridley-breakdown scene, and I don't have a problem with showing the softer side of a character. It just seems it was pulled off sloppily here, when a video game is capable of incredible levels of subtlety. The authorization wasn't a problem either, as it made fine logical sense. At least until the Varia Suit, then it just completely lost me.

Dave said...

@ Jeff

So to prevent it from becoming stale we regress it to an even more stale formula? There were 5 games done in the sidescroller style and 3 of them were considerably more in depth.

It's especially egregious to call this a risk when Shadow complex already did it a year ago and was a vastly superior game.

I really don't think you understand what nostalgia means. The prime games weren't some abberation. they were the logical evolution of the franchise, just as mario 64 and ocarina of time were. Acting like they were some kind of gimmick insytead of the games we had every right to expect is just crazy.

And nintendo deserves no support for charging 3 times what they ought to for a game.

Jeff said...

"Not to drag this discussion too far from the original, but when did Snake ever, EVER, "whine" in the MGS games? Are you saying a badass can't stop to think and contemplate on all the horrible things happening around him?"

Hell, every game Solid Snake's a character in the Metal Gear Series, every player and non-player character has some kind of sob-story that the player is supposed to sit through.

And seriously, who cares what Solid Snake is thinking right? I don't care about him going on about his past or how he was raised by wolves or how FoxDie is going to kill him or blahblahblah or how he's got no friends or that he's a manly solider and love can bloom on a battlefield or whatever awkward script that actor has to read. I want him to get back to being quiet and hiding from enemies. But apparently Solid Snake is afforded the right of self-reflection ad infinitum.

"Even then, he never went on paragraphs of tangents essentially saying "I AM GOING TO NARRATE ALL OF MY THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS AND TELL ALL OF MY HISTORY THROUGH MY INTERNAL DIALOGUE INSTEAD OF GAMEPLAY AND REPEAT IT PLENTY OF TIMES SO EVERYONE CAN BE SURE THAT I AM A DEEP CHARACTER." "

Uhhh yes he does. He has at least ten times as many lines in Metal Gear Solid as Samus does in Other M. In fact he talks more in his briefing that Samus does her whole game, and MGS is full of stiltedly delivered and plodding script moments, only given a pass today because of nostalgia. And each successive game in MGS gets more wordy and boring, full of Solid Snake and several other superfluous characters just, fucking, talking. Sometimes not even about the game stuff itself.

And I'll disagree that Solid Snake is better characterized. Sure, he's older and more classic, but he still delivers some whoppers in his games that cause heads to scratch, and this is typically ignored because he delivers SO MUCH dialogue that it's hard to parse.

Samus is getting shit actually because she talks less and thus each sentence is analyzed more. And since the majority of gamer population is young to middle aged men now, they will have difficulty relating to a female game character. This is actually the belief held by longtime Castlevania director Koji Igarashi, and unfortunately it's turning out to be true.

Samus probably only lasted this long precisely because she was mostly silent and never talked about herself.

Jeff said...

"So to prevent it from becoming stale we regress it to an even more stale formula?"

Actually yeah. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. And it worked for New Super MArio Bros. Wii, didn't it?

"It's especially egregious to call this a risk when Shadow complex already did it a year ago and was a vastly superior game."

Oh no, it's a risk alright. Other M eschewed the First person style to go back to basics, They took a risk in partnering with Team Ninja, they definitely took a risk and giving the series slightly more narrative and story. And this is a big title full-disc release.

Shadow Complex, by comparison is a "we're not sure the general public will buy it" XBLA release not meant to overshadow GEars of Something. IF Shadow Complex was a Gears of War spinoff or main series game, then it would begin to be risky. But instead it's just generic characters doing things in an otherwise unforgettable game.

I'm not sure FPA was the "logical next step" for Metroid that you think it was. It was a pretty big risk and if you were to go back 8 years and find stories of when Metroid Prime was first announced to have a first person perspective, you'd see the kind of bitching you are seeing here, and probably more of it, even with similar words like "betrayal," "not Metroid," or even "out of character."

And I think you also misunderstand. I'm not saying I never want another Metroid Prime game ever. In fact I want Retro at their top form when they do it, so giving them a break before series fatigue sets in is the best way to do it. IT also helps the series from being too pegged into one style. IT's why you see Super MArio in a bunch of different games styles, even if some aren't universally accepted at first, like, say, turning a platformer into an FPS.

I actually hope Bob does do an episode about this now, because it would certainly help clear the fogged up air around this loud, vocal, whiny fan kvetch.

NathanS said...

Oh no doubt their was a furry over Prime before its release, but it quickly started to simmer down afterwards as most, obviously not all, were won over by it and came to see it as a successful transition.

Now obviously that can be debated, but let me put it this way, Bob has called Other M Super Metriod in 3D, I have seen others say that the original Prime is Metriod in 3D. Which one is right? Well I suppose we could sit down and list off what makes a Metriod game a Metriod game and compare and contrast the two games to that list. But that would be missing the point, because more often when people say stuff like that, and if you feel I’m putting words in your mouth Bob and do apologize, its more about the feeling the game evokes. And that isn’t something that can be easily pinned down as what evokes what feelings changes from person to person. So in essence they’er both right.

John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

Other M is the crowning example of everything that is wrong with gaming at present.

It is an established, nostalgic IP. While this is not bad in and of itself, it is bad insofar as the Metroid IP is used to move units, and nothing more. When you ask what this game does with the Metroid IP, the answer is a resounding "not much"; you could replace Samus with just about any power-armored space jockey and change Adam's name to whatever you pleased, and the game would not have been changed substantially. This is a Metroid game in which there are almost no metroids -- there are a grand total of six (or seven, depending on how you count) that show up as a gimmick boss fight that exists for no reason other than nostalgia-tugging.

They don't even play the nostalgia card correctly. There is a scene in the game where they gear you up to enter an area that *would* have been seriously nostalgic and potentially awesome, only to blow it up off-screen in a cutscene.

This is a Metroid game which has had nearly all sense of exploration stripped out and tossed aside. Because letting the player explore and figure out where to go on their own -- such as was done in Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, widely regarded as two of the best video games ever created -- would have gotten in the way of Sakamoto's insipid, melodramatic soap opera. God forbid the player be allowed to do ANYTHING other than follow the straight line from the beginning of the game to the end, with absolutely no deviation whatsoever. Each of the primary sectors is nothing more than a loop that starts and ends at the elevator to the main corridor, with essentially no side routes at all, and nothing to find that isn't 'hidden' in plain sight right out there in the open. And just in case the player is too rock-stupid to figure that out, they make sure to put giant blinking targets on the exact spot on the map where they're located.

And just in case you got that inkling of maybe going somewhere to use that new ability you just got in a previous area to discover new paths or power ups -- you know, that thing that's basically the core of a Metroid game? Yeah, no dice, they just lock every single door except the ONE that you are supposed to go through to hit the next story point. You are NEVER allowed to do ANY exploring.

John said...

And then we have Authorization. I won't even begin to delve into all the things that are wrong with this narrative, why this Metroid game that purports to be all about story actually has one of the most poorly-written scripts of any video game in recent memory. But I will touch upon this notion of Authorization.

Bob notes the unfortunate subtext of Samus literally doing nothing unless a man tells her it's okay. But you know what, I'm even willing to forgo any analysis of that sort of blatant misogyny in the story, because we don't even need to look *that* deep to see how utterly, soul-crushingly stupid this concept was.

Samus spends a good fifteen to twenty minutes in the lava zone, taking damage from the extreme heat the entire time... without ever activating the varia feature *she already has available*. She just sits there and roasts alive until Daddy Adam calls up and says "Oh yeah, I've authorized the Varia suit".

That is 32 different flavors of stupid. That is *beyond* stupid. I mean, not using missiles and bombs and beams and other things *she already has* that would make destroying enemies easier is stupid, but at least you can make the (exceedingly poor) argument that Adam needed her to not use those for safety reasons. But the varia suit? A piece of armor that makes her take less damage and NOT boil alive inside her suit in hot areas?

What possible justification is there for not using this immediately? We'll never know, because Sakamoto never even fucking *bothers* to come up with one, it is never explained or touched upon and she never questions it. She just sits there like a retarded lump, cooking alive, until Daddy Adam says it's alright to turn on the A/C.

Of course, this is AFTER she picked up the Diffusion Beam upgrade off of a defeated enemy and immediately used it without authorization.

They're not even *consistent* with this idiocy, for christ's sake! Authorization is, quite transparently, a lame, half-assed excuse to avoid doing the work of making map areas that lead to item rooms that contain these things.

I could find it in my heart to forgive Other M's stripped down, straight-line, zero-thought gameplay if it had a genuinely good story/script to present. But as it is, they sacrificed almost every ounce of gameplay that makes a Metroid game, well, a Metroid game, in the name of pushing a story that is, by any intelligent measure, completely fucking stupid.

I bought Other M on release day, and I completed it with 100% item acquisition on the first playthrough, so I gave it its shot. And I can say, with complete honesty, that it is an even MORE awful version of Fusion, which many already see as the black sheep of the series.

BlackShadowAX said...

John said it for me, this isn't a good game at all.

It's a below average action name with the Metroid name slapped on it to sell copies.

I spent $50 on game with 6-8 hours single player filled with mostly cut scenes, poor dialogue, & a very poor story. And while the control is for the most part good, and the cutscenes are some of the best looking the Wii has to offer, it doesn't make up for the lack of content.

There is nothing to unlock except a "hard" mode which is already pointless due to the whole concentration BS.

And before you ask I completed the game 100% in less than two days. it's a rental and nothing more.

If this is how Nintendo is with a "deep" story maybe they should keep their characters quiet cause in all honesty Nintendo sucks when writing serious stories.

Jeff said...

"This is a Metroid game in which there are almost no metroids -- there are a grand total of six (or seven, depending on how you count) that show up as a gimmick boss fight that exists for no reason other than nostalgia-tugging."

Zelda is not in Link's Awakening. Is that suddenly not a Zelda game? Hell Metroid Prime 2 barely had any Metroids as well. Besides, the same argument could be made that Metroid Prime was some kind of unrelated First Person game that Nintendo decided to slap Metroid on to sell more units.

"And just in case the player is too rock-stupid to figure that out, they make sure to put giant blinking targets on the exact spot on the map where they're located."

You're a moron. Super Metroid has dots on the map to indicate where items are, even before you pick them up. You're just flailing now.

"would have gotten in the way of Sakamoto's insipid, melodramatic soap opera."

Yeah yeah Sakaomoto stole your lolly and you're throwing a hissy fit. The story has been praised by some and derided by some, which makes it roughly equal every single story in a game ever. I personally think it's decent enough and nowhere near as terrible as some of the pre-cognitive detractors claimed. You may not like Metroid's "new direction" but several people didn't like Metroid Prime's "new direction" either, and they made threatening "poor me" "The series is ruined forever" type posts.

And since I've read most of them and seen all their arguments as simply angry, petulant whining there's probably no real reason to respond to them any further. It's not like I'm going to convince people who become positively unhinged when they hear Sakamoto gave an interview and parse every word looking for weaknessess. I mean if I'm not supposed to care about Samus's "overanalytical, self-centered whining," why should I care about yours? Food for thought.

REPTILE 0009 said...

I find it unfair that he can ask us to try Metroid Other M, when he won't try Halo Reach. And you know he's going to bash it anyway, and say how much he thinks it sucks, even though he's never played it.

John said...

"You're a moron. Super Metroid has dots on the map to indicate where items are, even before you pick them up. You're just flailing now."

Except that Super Metroid put a dot on the map cell the item was in without giving any clue as to its specific location, or how to get there. Other M puts a dot on the item's exact location, which is usually just behind a grate or "large object" enemy that makes it blindingly obvious. Not the same thing.

And you conveniently make no mention of the things you have no retort for, such as the complete lack of exploration, the way the game deliberately removes any and all ability to backtrack with new powers, and the unfathomably stupid and lazy 'authorization'.

And it's interesting that you don't mention the other half of the Prime story. Sure, everyone raged about it when they first heard it was Metroid in first-person, but once the game was released, nearly everyone loved it because it was friggin' awesome. This is not the case with Other M.

But of course, it doesn't matter. The Wii will continue to print money because people will buy and love any crap Nintendo shovels at them simply because it's Nintendo.

Jeff said...

"Other M puts a dot on the item's exact location, which is usually just behind a grate or "large object" enemy that makes it blindingly obvious. Not the same thing."

That's just wrong period. There are a few like that but there are some real stumpers, and some that require some real outside-the-box thinking. And even if true, how is that worse than Super Metroid having numerous powerups just laying around in your path that you'd have to go out of your way to avoid?

"And you conveniently make no mention of the things you have no retort for, "

I'm only limited to about 4,000 characters here. I'm not going to write a dissertation for some guy on the internet, espeically about the parts which are purely subjective. Statements of falsehood, however, I will take umbrage with, like Other M not being Metroid because of dots on the map, which has been in Metroid since Super Metroid.

"And it's interesting that you don't mention the other half of the Prime story. Sure, everyone raged about it when they first heard it was Metroid in first-person, but once the game was released, nearly everyone loved it because it was friggin' awesome. This is not the case with Other M."

More like they were shouted into silence by reviews and newer fans. Apparently you hold the key to what "is Metroid" and what "isn't." So you apparently think a few gameplay mechanics can ruin a game, but apparently changing a game's whole genre is just fine and dandy. And again,, I'm not ragging on Metroid Prime. It's great. And I think it's probably superior to Other M. But that's not saying I think Other M is a crime against humanity. It's just different. Kinda like Super Mario 2 (american) is different from Super Mario 1, eschewing Right-to-left speed action with some exploration and... turnip-throwing.

"But of course, it doesn't matter. The Wii will continue to print money because people will buy and love any crap Nintendo shovels at them simply because it's Nintendo."

So I guess you're final point is, "you're all idiots." Great. Nice talking to you too, friend.

spongeculture said...

I'm not going to pretend that we come from the same sort of gaming background or have the same tastes. I feel that Halo is one of the best games of recent years and you consider it to be the overrated contents of a swill bucket, for an example. You're a huge Nintendo fan, and I've recently done a countdown of reasons why I can't stand them anymore. You were around when the NES came out. You don't get Pokemon. We don't even live in the same continent, so the idea that the two of us share the exact same tastes is as laughable as the idea that a bird will last quite a while in a cardboard box containing three hungry cats.

I'm also not going to pretend that I can dictate your tastes or tell you what you should and shouldn't like (though that's what I'm doing right now. Hypocrisy forever!), and I enjoy your videos and feel you have a lot of wise and clever things to say that I agree on, but on the subject of Metroid Other M, I don't think you could be more wrong.

Firstly, on the part of Nintendo taking risks. You could argue all day about whether they did or not, but even if they did, is that really the best of reasons to enjoy a game, or a film, or a book? Everybody likes originality, yes, but not everything good is original or vice versa. Manos: The Hands of Fate was original. The quality of the idea, not the fact that it is an idea, should dictate whether or not something is worth trying out, and frankly, what's risky about a 3D third-person game? This is Nintendo and Team Ninja we're talking about, not some coder in his bedroom using a ZX Spectrum. This is a genre they basically defined, with a franchise Nintendo created, so they should KNOW how to make a good 3D game. Instead we have a 3D mess with little to no exploration (in a Metroid game, this is loopier than a loop made of lupins) and barely over five hours of gameplay, something I didn't expect for a game that costs the same as a game twice or even three times as long.

Bob said...

@REPTILE,

"Reach" will get the same rental test-run I give every "maybe." If it's actually a significant change-up for "Halo" you can be assured I'll mention it.

That being said, the comparison here isn't exactly valid - "Other M" was a fairly controversial release that's deeply divided critics and gamers, "Reach" is well-reviewed across the board so far. It's also not being sold as a total re-invention of the franchise. It's not like they've gone and made a turn-based Halo RPG or something :)

REPTILE 0009 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
REPTILE 0009 said...

@Bob,
To be fair, Bungie did take some risks for Reach, but not as much as Other M. Reach is a much darker, somber game than the past Halo's. The planet Reach is doomed, no matter what you do, making this game feel like a documentary about a tragic event. There's no Master Chief. But I do think that Reach has MUCH more content than Other M. All Other M has is an 8-hour campaign. Reach has a 8 to 10-hour campaign, plus multiplayer, and Forge, where you can create your own custom maps to play on. Firefight, where you and 3 friends face an endless wave of enemies to score points, and Theater mode.
Essentially, for their last Halo game, Bungie has made a Halo game that is so fricking amazing, that nobody can top them.

REPTILE 0009 said...

And yeah, I do agree that a comparison between Reach and Other M is a bit unfair. With Other M, half the population loves this game, the other half hates it. With Reach everyone, fans and critics alike, seem to love Reach:)

REPTILE 0009 said...

@Bob
If you plan to do an analysis of Halo Reach, could you at least have the decency to talk about Forge, Firefight, and Multiplayer, and not just the campaign.

Bob said...

@REPTILE,

I'm not a game critic. If I have something to say about "Reach" after playing it it'll be because it has something GENUINELY surprising or unique I find worth mentioning. If it IS just another Halo but prettier and with an expanded Forge, I don't plan on having much to say about that.

REPTILE 0009 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
REPTILE 0009 said...

@Bob
Ok, but what's up with the quotation marks around "Reach"?

Alex said...

I can't wait until the next mario game comes out and expands on his character!

"I remember when I a foughta the Kinga Koopa! It was a scary!"

Bob said...

@REPTILE

Quotation marks are generally how one signifies a proper noun and/or title in print.

Nathan said...

there's two more point i want to address here, because they're starting to aggravate me. Jeff raised the issue of us not being up in arms about the oversexualization of female video game characters, and Bob seems to think we're pissed because Samus isn't a super-macho hyper-militant feminist ice queen.

to the first, we're not bitching about that because these comments are in response to a blog post about a Metroid game, a series that's most notable for having the most well known non-sexualized female protagonist in the fucking medium. honestly, the second i heard Team Ninja was in charge of this, the single biggest fear i had was how the makers of DOA: Xtreme Beach Volleyball were going to do with Samus, and thankfully those fears were not realized.

which brings us to Bob's argument. now this goes back to the Bayonetta video you did a while back where you criticized the industry for by and large putting female protagonists into either the sexbomb ditz or sexbomb ice queen boxes, and that's a valid complaint. but, the thing is, Samus has never fit into either of those categories, nor does she have all that much in common with Ripley, the character you seem to think we want her to be. honestly, if i had to come up with a comparative film character that she seemed to resemble most, it would be Kyūzō from Seven Samurai, the zen-master badass if you will. this is a woman who has destroyed worlds, faced down the stuff of nightmares time and time again completely of her own volition, often out of a Batman-esque pathological desire for revenge against the space pirates. she is very, very good at what she does, and what she does is fly solo into uncharted worlds and blow the fuck out of everything that stands between her and her goal. we've seen her do this three times before in cannon, and yet only now does she start having emotional breakdowns in the face of recurring enemies. and if Sakomoto really wanted to change that image through her relationship with Ridley, he had the chance to do that in Zero Mission, back when it would have made sense canonically. as it stands, to see this kind of self-doubt, daddy issues and general wankery out of a woman who's purportedly the best damn bounty hunter in the 'verse is just utterly stupid from a narrative standpoint.

Jeff said...

"a series that's most notable for having the most well known non-sexualized female protagonist in the fucking medium. "

Don't kid yourself. One of the "rewards" of playing the earlier games is seeing Samus out of her armor and in various states of undress all the way down to a bikini, depending on your completion speed. Only recently have they redesigned her character to have a full body suit. She's certainly LESS sexualized than most characters now, and still is. But this is only a recent occurrence.

Your other point about how Samus's character design has changed is actually based on the assumption that, in the earlier games, the lack of character development due to space restrictions and such was actually intended to be Samus' character. She didn't talk much because nobody talked much in NES games or GameBoy games. In fact what little character development she had was her freezing when she saw the infant Metroid and not killing it, defying her orders to do so. Damn... and that was 1991. Imagine the uproar then if the was widespread then. Which means this sort of slightly emotional character trait has been a part of her since... Metroid 2.

I'd imagine Metroid II would also have split critics and fanbases and such if the Review Industrial Complex and the Internet Echo Chamber were as prevalent then as they are now. Haha imagine Mario 2 as well. Fans of the first would wonder why the hell they're picking up vegetables.

"and if Sakomoto really wanted to change that image through her relationship with Ridley, he had the chance to do that in Zero Mission, back when it would have made sense canonically."

Actually, HE DID. The story galleries that you unlock in Metroid Fusion and Zero Mission (they're in both) Show that it was Ridley who killed her parents and stuff. So as far back as 2002 it was signaled that she is somewhat afraid of Ridley, DESPITE having beat him several times. Really like anybody would, even supremely competent fighters like Samus.

James said...

the most obvious explanation for her episode immediately before Ridley is really simple, Someone else is present. She has never managed to save anyone who gets caught between Ridley and her, not her parents, the Chozo, the baby Metroid. its not her inherent fear of Ridley that shuts her down but but her fear that she will be unable to protect those around her.

As to the Authorization bit, tough shit, you do a job for the military you can be sure you'll be following the orders of the CO, doesn't matter what you think of them. this isn't the game were Samus goes and makes the federation her enemy by refusing to follow orders and compromising whatever control they think they have over the situation. (although that could be an awesome game after fusion since she is a fugitive at that point)

Jeff said...

I agree, authorization sounds weird at stretches logic at times, but it doesn't make any less sense than Samus taking all of her powerups, putting them in a locker, and then jettisoning them into space between each game.

KevinCV said...

I'm definitely gonna play this game, regardless of what you dipshits who are claiming "Character Derailmment" of Samus think. Why? Because it's FUCKING METROID! Also, because of this interesting article on Samus' Heroic BSOD: http://gamrfeed.vgchartz.com/story/81909/ptsd-or-weakness-real-experts-on-why-samus-didnt-shoot/

John said...

Showing a PTSD victim and a mental wellness professional a 30-second clip from a video game with incorrect context doesn't amount to anything.

Yeah, Ridley killed her family. She then went on to kill him FOUR TIMES, none of which caused her any problem whatsoever, before Other M. PTSD is not something that just switches on and off at the convenience of the plot.

People keep trying to blame her stoic characterization on a lack of technology, and they seem to be just conveniently forgetting that only two of the Metroid games took place on the NES/Gameboy. All the rest were on the Super Nintendo or later, all of which were MORE than capable of conveying stories through text and images. And none of them have her freezing up in fear at the sight of Ridley. Very few of them have her even pausing at it.

You can rationalize it all you like, but the fact remains that there have been many, MANY Metroid games with the opportunity and capability of doing this to her characterization before now, and none of them did. It's exactly like the beauty mark -- they could have done that back on the SNES, but they never did, because it wasn't part of the character until Sakamoto wanted to make her into a stereotypical anime heroine.

RestamSalucard said...

@KevinCV I'm definitely gonna watch this movie, regardless of what you dipshits who are claiming "Jar-jar Sucks" think. Why? Because it's FUCKING STAR WARS!

KevinCV said...

@RestamSalucard Now. that's not very fair. Granted, I AM a Star Wars fan. Did I like the prequels? Meh, I thought they were decent, but certainly not as stupid as damn near everyone's making them out to be. Did I like Jar Jar? Hell no! Did I think George Lucas "raped my childhood" by making those movies? See previous answer. There are many worse movies out there than the "Star Wars" prequels. And don't you fucking dare say that "Indy and the Crystal Skull" was worse, cos I thought that one was decent, too. I'd gladly watch that over "Batman & Robin" or the technology porn schlock that were the "Bayformers" movies any day.

Bob, I pray to GOD you'll do a TGO vid about this whole controversy about Samus' characterization. It needs to be addressed, and I think you're the man to do it.

RestamSalucard said...

@KevinCV The point is, just because something is associated with something good does not make it good. But you're right, here's what I should of said:

I'm definitely gonna watch this movie, regardless of what you dipshits who are claiming "The Twins Are Racist" think. Why? Because it's FUCKING TRANSFORMERS!

martikhoras said...

Don't kid yourself. One of the "rewards" of playing the earlier games is seeing Samus out of her armor and in various states of undress all the way down to a bikini, depending on your completion speed. Only recently have they redesigned her character to have a full body suit.

Super Metroid didn't even go for delayed gratification. Lose and enjoy the sight of Samus as hell biker chick in leather thong and bra with well defined curves.

That said. I've heard technical and gameplay issues, I've heard design issues, I've heard narrative and characterization issues.

Now I was expecting more delving into Samus. Of the existing Nintendo legacy franchises her's is both the blankest and the most potential holding canvas. Even the stuff I've heard of Fusion.

And Prime? Prime actually got me to play an FPS. Trust me on this. This ALONE is a miraculous feat. But all that but its like technofantasy scifi only serious? And even managing to lightly tap into cultural trend of such (nuBSG and others) while maintaining its distintion.

Its why I was looking forward to Other M. Three D Metroidvania with everything they've learned from the Prime experiment mixed in, hopefully with at least a serviceable this time retry at space survival horror story and narrative even including a good post nineties conspiracy story or hell a look at the Metroid verse (semi-cyberpunk, transhuman, classic colonial stuff, something else, a good scifi model is begging to be told.). Moreover expanding the series. if everyone's ripping off Aliens its time for Metroid to take the form and formula in new and exciting directions with a solid action lead.

So yes I'm all for experimenting. Hell out and out idea theft. Rip off Rachet and Clank, Deus Ex, Mass Effect and Endless Ocean for Metroid. Its okay.

Instead we seem to be ripping off Jason X and starring, as noted, terribly characterised player character the likes of which we wish never say this side of the Millenium with their hyper inserted angst.

Even if Samus wasn't thought of as Queen Badass by the Marines and authorization at least implies some changes it shouldn't apply to essential equipment.

"Private remember to wear your vest, and put on a scarf its cold outside."... yeah not feeling it.

martikhoras said...

Don't kid yourself. One of the "rewards" of playing the earlier games is seeing Samus out of her armor and in various states of undress all the way down to a bikini, depending on your completion speed. Only recently have they redesigned her character to have a full body suit.

Super Metroid didn't even go for delayed gratification. Lose and enjoy the sight of Samus as hell biker chick in leather thong and bra with well defined curves.

That said. I've heard technical and gameplay issues, I've heard design issues, I've heard narrative and characterization issues.

Now I was expecting more delving into Samus. Of the existing Nintendo legacy franchises her's is both the blankest and the most potential holding canvas. Even the stuff I've heard of Fusion.

And Prime? Prime actually got me to play an FPS. Trust me on this. This ALONE is a miraculous feat. But all that but its like technofantasy scifi only serious? And even managing to lightly tap into cultural trend of such (nuBSG and others) while maintaining its distintion.

Its why I was looking forward to Other M. Three D Metroidvania with everything they've learned from the Prime experiment mixed in, hopefully with at least a serviceable this time retry at space survival horror story and narrative even including a good post nineties conspiracy story or hell a look at the Metroid verse (semi-cyberpunk, transhuman, classic colonial stuff, something else, a good scifi model is begging to be told.). Moreover expanding the series. if everyone's ripping off Aliens its time for Metroid to take the form and formula in new and exciting directions with a solid action lead.

So yes I'm all for experimenting. Hell out and out idea theft. Rip off Rachet and Clank, Deus Ex, Mass Effect and Endless Ocean for Metroid. Its okay.

Instead we seem to be ripping off Jason X and starring, as noted, terribly characterised player character the likes of which we wish never say this side of the Millenium with their hyper inserted angst.

Even if Samus wasn't thought of as Queen Badass by the Marines and authorization at least implies some changes it shouldn't apply to essential equipment.

"Private remember to wear your vest, and put on a scarf its cold outside."... yeah not feeling it.

martikhoras said...

Don't kid yourself. One of the "rewards" of playing the earlier games is seeing Samus out of her armor and in various states of undress all the way down to a bikini, depending on your completion speed. Only recently have they redesigned her character to have a full body suit.

Super Metroid didn't even go for delayed gratification. Lose and enjoy the sight of Samus as hell biker chick in leather thong and bra with well defined curves.

That said. I've heard technical and gameplay issues, I've heard design issues, I've heard narrative and characterization issues.

Now I was expecting more delving into Samus. Of the existing Nintendo legacy franchises her's is both the blankest and the most potential holding canvas. Even the stuff I've heard of Fusion.

And Prime? Prime actually got me to play an FPS. Trust me on this. This ALONE is a miraculous feat. But all that but its like technofantasy scifi only serious? And even managing to lightly tap into cultural trend of such (nuBSG and others) while maintaining its distintion.

Its why I was looking forward to Other M. Three D Metroidvania with everything they've learned from the Prime experiment mixed in, hopefully with at least a serviceable this time retry at space survival horror story and narrative even including a good post nineties conspiracy story or hell a look at the Metroid verse (semi-cyberpunk, transhuman, classic colonial stuff, something else, a good scifi model is begging to be told.). Moreover expanding the series. if everyone's ripping off Aliens its time for Metroid to take the form and formula in new and exciting directions with a solid action lead.

So yes I'm all for experimenting. Hell out and out idea theft. Rip off Rachet and Clank, Deus Ex, Mass Effect and Endless Ocean for Metroid. Its okay.

martikhoras said...

(con't)
Instead we seem to be ripping off Jason X and starring, as noted, terribly characterised player character the likes of which we wish never say this side of the Millenium with their hyper inserted angst.

Even if Samus wasn't thought of as Queen Badass by the Marines and authorization at least implies some changes it shouldn't apply to essential equipment.

"Private remember to wear your vest, and put on a scarf its cold outside."... yeah not feeling it.

martikhoras said...

Sorry it keeps insisting my comment wasn't accepted, hence the multi-posts, sorry... I can't delete them either.

Smashmatt202 said...

I just bought the game. The voice acting was... tolerable. Nowhere NEAR as bad as Arc Rise Fantasia!

Getting used to the controls, but so far so good!

martikhoras said...

Rental. I've invest so much in the debate I owe the game a chance.

I didn't get far only down the corridor after restoring some of the power.
The controls...yeah I can see the complaints. See you have to point to the sensor bar. Admittedly my wiimote had a dying battery and once I adjusted my position I was better suited. But this was a decent idea that WASN'T Red Steel 1 level fucked up but still needs some adjusting. Third person mode was fine. Maybe xplay got a beta version but I was a fine shot in third person. Admittedly I'm a noob on the metroid franchise. A target for this game.

Narration, characterization, acting.

Yeah... okay. I'm willing to lighten up on the sexist fears and declarations. A little. But someone needs an editor or a better storyteller with game media experience. I can TELL what they are trying to do. Samus has just faced death and was saved by another's sacrifice. This has been her life's goal in a way.

So now what? What is she? What is she going to do? What has she become pursuing this lifestyle? Why is she still doing this?

I have no doubt over the course of the game we'll be going over and answering, or not, these questions.

How it proposes them.. kinda sucks. Very much so. I hate on NGE for bad storytelling more than anything, no story however ambitious deserves praise and consideration if it fails at basic storytelling. Other M isn't failing that bad (as far as I can see) but it has terrible choices with Samus NOT interacting well with the Marines (they're here why else?) to show not tell and having Samus TELL us everything even how she holds her hand and what it means. Worse the story isn't incidental its shoved unskippably in your face.

This isthe likes of late 90s video game cliches that are hated for their awkward adolescent attempts at maturity and mocked in japanese marratives nowadays for the NEET baiting for a damned reason.

I can see why Adam is pissing off gamers. We game to be badasses like Snake (Solid or Kurt Russell people need us and we don't take no guff and people respect us and our raving ego/id idiosyncrasies) or insufferable know it all pricks (like Dr. House or in a way Travis Touchdown). Adam acts like the mean boss from your summer job. You don't play games to be reminded of that.

martikhoras said...

One particular thing I like is that the game seems to be having a dialogue about breaking the ice queen/generic tough gal interpretation that pops up around strong women and action girls and Samus in particular. And they ARE working on a nice dichotomy between the bright natural lighting and warm and cozy flashbacks with an icy tough gal Samus who is trying too hard with the cold, empty and hostile BOTTLE SHIP (snerk) and her ACTIONS and speaking in the present that's more self-assured and experienced. They even bridge and hint at what they are trying to do with the monologues.
Its just the monologues are terrible and the subjects of them...offputting. Seriously even I had to roll my eyes at how overwrought her reaction was to "outsider." The problem being that even if its true to the human brain rolling out a soliquy of information in the thoughts of drawn out in reaction to microsecond of interaction comes off as LAME. It doesn't help about an hour in (ten minutes for you regular gaming superfreaks) she isn't thinking much technical, martial, or financial. If she "was" young and naive her adulthood and worldliness and wisdom AREN'T showing up. So much as emotional, wispy, and forlorn. We mock male characters doing this. On Females the warning lights go off because of the disarming that comes attendent.

Emotions, even ethereal contemplation, or forlornness isn't bad. But if there isn't a material core around it... well it gets indulgent. Look up the Angst Dissonance article on TVtropes to get a comprehensive look over why this can annoy/happen. If you're all emotional about your emotional state which is a result of your emotions/thoughts...well better be really sympathetic or the situation so or you'll lose us. And if the situation is something feminine to BLUDGEON us with the "humanity" of the character the bars go up and we ain't buying as its a bit patronizing and stereotypical.

Another compliment. They're treating the freaking power bomb like its heavy ordinance super move that dare not be used for bringing the battle to a level not attempted. The Power bomb, a decent but far from heaviest hitter in Samus's arsenal. Also I'm torn on Samus's authorization angst. It makes sense. She's worked with Adam and been a marine, she knows the procedures, she can tell what went wrong. Hell authorization MAKES sense in a close environment with ragtag group, procedure, same page, say nothing of being identifiable by indirect means (guy hear's enemy weapon and fires, oops turns out it was badass lone action man pushed to far using one of Their weapons...not going to end happy).

martikhoras said...

Samus has some insane ordinance and cohesion is what wins battles and it makes Samus sound, dare I say it, adult and responsible to show restraint and recognize authority and peerage. I didn't make it to the infamous Varia Suit incident though I'm already frustrated she didn't pull out the missile on the mountain of bugs (which DON'T look good, this isn't a graphics complaint, I'm impressed by Sly Cooper 1 in the graphics department I'm easy to please on many graphics fronts, this is an aesthetics of design complaint you make the cutscenes, mostly, work with ingame but the ship and that enemy look like cut test footage from my WALL-E dvd extras. WHY?) as that was a life or death thing.

The cast is from aliens minus that one dude from Screamers (ooh ooh spot the horrible traitor who will undermine the mission and get them all killed), so another point against it. Adam is NOT helping and is sounding like petty bullying martinet. Higgs...just annoys (its not his fault just military black guy, unless its Barret Wallace, rolls around in geekdom so much and hits a personal button. I have family in the military but black dudes in the military in geek media tend to act like the groups kids or pet bulldog well did but its a little patronizing how portrayed, oddly enough I like TF one, not the designs but human cast and how the contact is treated). the rest I don't know.

Overall it was an experiment but Xplay was wrong I'd give this a solid 3 out of 5. Which, honestly, is what I was expecting when I heard about the no moving and switches from third to first person and overall experimentation with gameplay and the franchise. I hope they keep refining in this direction. But this was a middling turn out but it weren't a failure. Just need to get it right for the future.