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Features: Don't Touch My Samus: Metroid's Controversial Turn

Posted by Jacob Crites

Why the latest Metroid game's depiction of Samus isn't a complete departure for the series

Metroid isn't a franchise that is known to rest upon its laurels. While each entry maintains the same basic elements that made the first game successful, one could hardly say that the series has gotten comfortable over the years. Whether it's adding a narrative, introducing immersive motion controls or completely changing perspectives, Metroid has been able to stay fresh and unique while still managing to resonate with fans and critics alike.

And then Metroid: Other M came along and rubbed seemingly everybody the wrong way.

It's been a while since we've had a Metroid game that hasn't been hailed as the second coming, and while some (us included) quite liked the game, there seem to be just as many that flat out despise it.

Much of the venom-spitting regarding Other M actually has very little to do with the gameplay; most of the complaints have risen from the game's portrayal of the classic heroine, Samus Aran. It's been controversial, to say the least, with critics calling it everything from inconsistent to downright sexist.

Now, as mentioned earlier, we at Nintendo Life don't feel the same way; in fact, it's one of our highest-rated games of the year. That's not to say we're fanboys blind to its flaws, though: we'll fully admit that the game's script is mediocre at best, and the voice acting is far from perfect. But we'd like to do a bit more digging before making any further judgments regarding Samus's allegedly inconsistent portrayal.

IGN's Audry Drake opened up her article, “Killing Samus,” with the statement: “In Metroid Other M, the formerly silent character is given voice for the first time, a voice that goes against everything her character once stood for and backtracks on the trails she once blazed.”

Let's examine that phrase, “formerly silent character.” We'd like to consider as a counterpoint the concept of a book-to-film adaptation. For example, think about this: was James Bond a silent character before Dr. No was adapted into a film? Obviously not. He was in countless books, in which he had thousands of words worth of dialogue. Just because Sean Connery hadn't spoken those words out loud on camera doesn't mean James Bond was a silent character before the films. So why is Samus Aran, who has spoken numerous times throughout the series prior to the latest game, suddenly a “formerly silent character”? This isn't just a rant about the incorrect usage of the word “silent”, here — Samus's dialogue prior to Other M is imperative to understanding her character. Just because it wasn't voiced by an actress prior to this year doesn't make it any less important to her history.

Take, for example, this quote from one of Samus's many inner monologues:

As for me, one life ended... yet I survived, reborn as something different. Pondering this fact, I realise... I owe the Metroid hatchling my life twice over.

If you've played Other M, you've likely heard your fill of this kind of introspective brooding for which some critics panned the game. But this isn't a quote from Other M; it's from Metroid: Fusion, a game released eight years prior. Even this long before Other M was released, Samus was still presented as a largely emotional and introspective character. More important still, it shows that the bounty hunter's feelings for the baby Metroid did not come “completely out of the blue."

Suggesting that Samus, prior to Other M, was the stereotypically emotionless “loose-cannon [insert profession here] who doesn't play by the rules” character, with absolutely no feelings towards anything or anyone living, would be a tad short-sighted. You would have to completely ignore the emotional ending to Metroid II where Samus, tasked with obliterating all the Metroids on SR388, completely disregards her orders in order to spare a baby Metroid's life when it mistakes her for its mother. You would also have to ignore the tragic ending of Super Metroid, where her relationship with the baby comes to a peak when the Metroid hatchling sacrifices its own life to save that of Samus. Other M's reflections on this relationship may have fallen a little too much on the side of melodrama, but they certainly weren't a complete incongruity for the series.

Then again, her feelings toward the Metroid were the least of many critics' concerns. More than anything, it was Samus's relationship with Adam Malkovich that sent a good chunk of the gaming media into a catatonic shock.

The fact that there was shock, though, is actually a little shocking in itself. Miss Aran's feelings for Adam Malkovich were actually well established long before Other M came along in Metroid Fusion – and it was just as eye-rollingly sentimental even then:

For some reason, this awoke a nameless fear in my heart, and now I am being sent there to investigate. My mission on the B.S.L station will be overseen by my new ship's computer. Following the commands of this blunt, computerized CO is something I have to bear, as it was a condition of my taking the ship. For someone who dislikes taking orders, this is the second time I've found myself having to do so. It makes me recall my other CO [Adam]...The real Adam would have said the same thing about that incident, but he would have softened the blow. He was relentless in his criticism, but he always cared... He was not a machine obsessed with duty. No such compassion could exist in that computer.

Try reading that in your best, “emotionally detached” monotone – sounds like a quote right out of the pages of Other M's script, does it not? Everything, from the “nameless fear in my heart” line (which sounds eerily similar to the “pierced my heart” line in Other M, by the way) to the way she quietly reveres her former commander, just smacks of the latest Metroid game — in fact, if you put excerpts from both of their scripts side by side, it's almost impossible to tell them apart.

There's also an incredibly important line in that above passage, where Samus refers to herself as "someone who dislikes taking orders." That might be construed as an inconsistency right there – after all, she does take orders in Metroid: Other M – but it could also be looked at as an example of just how consistent Other M really is. Samus dislikes taking orders from commanding officers, something she makes clear in the game, but Adam Malkovich – a man whose importance was first hinted at in Fusion – is someone she “views as a father figure” (as she clearly states), and so she respects him enough not to go chucking around Power Bombs and Super Missiles willy-nilly and eviscerating every human aboard the Bottle Ship.

Now, as for why she couldn't use her Varia suit from the beginning of the game... well, what can we say? The authorisation aspect of the game was ridiculously contrived, no question. But then, so is the idea that Space Pirates have Morph-Ball mazes and Spider-Ball tracks built into their spacecrafts. Or the idea that they have missiles and purple balls of energy-refilling spheres packed into their bellies for you to collect once you kill them.

Not everyone will agree with this, of course – G4 took Samus's willingness to submit to Adam's authority as an example of Other M portraying Samus as a “submissive, child-like and self-doubting little girl”. Yet for us, this is one of the most fascinating parts of the game – the duality of Samus. On the outside she's still a stone-cold bad-ass, shoving her arm cannon into enemies' mouths and blowing their heads off or grabbing them by the tail and whipping them around the room like a lasso.

Inside, though, she's conflicted, distracted by her past decisions and mistakes. The fact that she sometimes questions her own abilities to the point of even seeing herself as a child in the face of a massive monster adds some serious depth to her character. Suddenly, she's not just this blank, emotionless avatar who happens to be good at killing stuff – she's a human being with emotions with whom the player can relate and even sympathise. After all, who of us hasn't ever felt helpless and childlike in the face of a huge challenge, even if it's one we've faced many times before?

But then there's the big question: is Metroid: Other M truly sexist, as some have suggested? Well, the answer to that question is really up to your own personal beliefs, and depends upon how exactly you interpret the word “sexist.” But we will say this: if Other M is sexist, then Fusion and Corruption are, too.

The biggest sexism argument seems to be the fact that Samus is forced to submit to a man's authority. Interpret it as you will, but let's not forget that she views the man in question as a father figure. The game tells us that she submits to him not because she's forced to, but because she wants to prove to him that she's not the immature, authority-hating youngster she once was. It may read in part as sexist for a female youth to feel this way, but to disregard all other aspects of her character and reduce her to her gender for this interpretation is a bit sexist as well. Still, it's not a completely closed case: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Metroid Fusion both place Samus in a situation where she is forced to obey orders from a male (or in the case of Fusion, a computerised male) officer, yet somehow both these titles managed to slip past the ol' sexism radar and gain huge amounts of critical acclaim. At least Other M tried to give a reason as to why she decided to submit, something that even Corruption failed to do. There's nothing inherently sexist about submission or self-doubt, and the notion that female characters must always avoid both to be considered strong is a bit sexist in and of itself.

G4TV complained about the game's flashbacks portraying Samus as “bratty and childish,” but in the flashbacks in question, Samus was still in many ways, a child. In her Galactic Federation days she was a teenager; “young and naïve,” as she puts it. Is it really that big of a stretch to assume that Samus didn't come out of the womb as a stone-cold, perfectly mature, alien-blasting lone wolf? Teenagers, both male and female, are somewhat notoriously bratty and childish. Those flashbacks are supposed to show Samus's often immature nature during her Galactic Federation days.

Metroid: Other M is a massively polarising game, and there's a good chance that it won't be your cup of tea. It's quite linear compared to Super Metroid or the NES original, and the emphasis on cinematic cutscenes is bound to rub some the wrong way, not to mention the tendency toward melodrama. However, there's a lot to consider before we can write it off as sexist or inconsistent.

How much more deeply should we consider dialogue in a cinematic cutscene compared to the written speech of games past? How sexist is her portrayal, and is it sexist for reasons we've left out? Is it sexist at all? Do you believe Samus's fear and naiveté, or do they resound falsely to your ears? It's a case not worth shutting at this point, and we'd like to hear your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.

[via wii.ign.com, g4tv.com]

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User Comments (137)

CanisWolfred

#3

CanisWolfred said:

Tell that to Rei- mmm...nevermind.
Certainly an interesting article and one I can get behind. I liked Samus as she was before, and while I suppose it was inevitable for them to try to delve into her character some more, I don't think the end result was all that amiable.

Mr_Nose

#4

Mr_Nose said:

My beef was never about her 'depiction'. In fact, I was ready for it. My dislikes all stem from odd game-play mechanics, to omitting established ones. I'm almost weary of listing them at this point.

I feel that Sakamoto simply wanted to put a movie out there. Regardless of the game it threaded.

Slapshot

#5

Slapshot said:

Great article Jacob!

I actually am the complete opposite with Metroid: Other M. The game play was the biggest flaw with the lack of strafing and the forced FPS mode to use missiles. I think that had the game had the option to use the Pro Controller or the Nunchuk attachment I would have enjoyed it more than I did, but it was the controls that were at fault for me, enough so that I didn't even finish the game.

I enjoyed the cut-scenes and the dialog that I saw though, but it was just the controls that kept frustrating me. This may be due to the fact that I'm a fan of Team Ninja and I know how great of control schemes they put together with Ninja Gaiden and Metroid: Other M felt like a major set-back to me.

I'm glad that Metroid fans have grabbed hold of Other M and enjoying it, as I truly thought I would myself, but it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#7

Philip_J_Reed said:

My only complaint about this article is that I don't have time to read it right now. But the byline assures me that it'll be well worth looking forward to. :)

pikku

#9

pikku said:

that was an excellent read, Mr. Crites.
I agree with you on pretty much every point, actually.

n0body

#10

n0body said:

My only complaints about Other M were that it was too short, and there wasn't enough free-from interaction outside of the main story...
Other than that, LOVED every minute of it! Honestly...
which is why it saddens me that there will probably not be a sequel to address those issues... or even just offer more of the same...

ZarroTsu

#11

ZarroTsu said:

I'll just go ahead and quote myself from a comment I left on TSE:

Other M: (I've not played the game, so my comment is by Spoony's description of it)

Am jumping the gun when I say that it sounds like they went all-out sexist in their portrayal of Samus? And for all the wrong reasons. It sounds to me that they molded Samus around the other events and scenarios, rather than vice versa. I'm going to shoot myself in the foot here, and say I could damn well write a better story myself.

Adam was... a flashback concept in Metroid Fusion. He was speculated her commanding officer at some point "in the past" - however, in fusion it was subtle, and she only brought him up a few times due to the on-board computer having his voice and memories, leading to the eventual conflict of the computer having a consciousness, and snapping out of its pre-programmed droning. (Spoilers: It does.) Fusion was very short, however the story was actually well told. And Samus' relationship with Adam wasn't a whiny stupid worshiping, but a simple mutual respect. No where near love. Just respect for Adam and his position in the federation. While Samus is a freelancer kicking ass and taking names, Adam worked under a military, did his time, and gained the respect of the military and its followers as he rose his rank -- freelancers working toward the same goal as that type of person would have every means to respect the guy, and Samus is no different.

And that is how Other M's story should have been based. Not a downright sexist disarming, but a mutual respect for the guy. Gameplay-wise, it should have been entirely optional to follow Adam's judgment in limiting your arsenal. If it were done in a very simple change of dialog from "Good job, Samus" at the end of the conflict, to Samus stating "Sorry Adam, but now's not the time for games--!", followed by "Damn, Lady, watch it next time!", then by god it would have probably been a thousand times better.

I really need to get into writing more.

childofacid

#12

childofacid said:

G4 made some really good points but it wasn't enough to justify the score they gave it. I didn't like the game at all, It lost its Metroid feel. It felt awkward playing it.

A 3DS Metroid will probably make up for its faults.

TheBaconator

#13

TheBaconator said:

I don't care what anyone else thinks, but this game made my brain vomit out my ears. Now how long did I play it for?
...25 hours!? Holy @#%$! I must have been really bored.

Ivan_Winchester

#14

Ivan_Winchester said:

Well those were exactly my toughts, i love a cold ass-kicking silent bounty hunter but i love even more a cold ass-kicking silent bounty hunter that is also a human being. i also think that the control scheme was it biggest flaw. excelent article!!!!

Taya

#15

Taya said:

I have never played a Metroid game and I've never been interested in Metroid no matter how many times people recommend Super Metroid or Prime. But for some reason Other M appeals to me. It looks fun. I haven't played it yet because the mixed reviews but I'll certainly pick it up in the future and it will probably be my first Metroid game. At least then I won't have a preconception about what Samus should be like.

pixelman

#16

pixelman said:

This game just oozed Japanese cheese. Spoilers ahead.

I think I should say right off the bat that I was hyperventilating at the E3 2009 reveal, and that this was the first game I ever bought on day one. It's also the first game I've ever sold.

I've never considered Samus to be a loose cannon, not giving a hoot in hell about her surroundings. On the contrary, I was really looking forward to seeing more of her personal side. Unfortunately it was just about as poorly executed as that damn Super Mario Bros. movie.

During the more "emotional" parts of the game, I found it almost insulting that the camera would ogle over Samus' ass-ets. After all, isn't it the intent of the director for the player to be concentrating on Samus' emotional conflict? Then why in hades is he distracting us with close up shots of her butt? And then she goes on her poorly written spiel about "trusting her". It was idiotic things like this that made me care for and respect Other Samus less and less.

The one part of the game where I really felt moved was the Ridley scene. This was the only scene where I could forget everything I knew and remembered about Metroid, and become completely enveloped in the story. This is also pretty much the only emotional scene where Samus was in her Power Suit. This allowed us to only see her eyes, which was incredibly effective. Oh yes, and she hardly said a word.

Even so, this is incredibly inconsistent with the previous games. She had never so much as flinched when encountering Ridley before, so why should she be traumatized into paralysis now, especially when that trauma came from her childhood? Continuity, please.

I'm all for her internal monologue (loved it in the previous games), and I actually really dug her newly acquired voice. The script was just laughably bad. Still, I probably could've forgiven Other M if the gameplay had any redeeming qualities about it -- but it didn't. The series has always been incredibly atmospheric, dark, and moody -- perhaps barring Zero Mission, which I found a bit dull. Other M had none of that. Most of the level design consisted of recycling the same corridor over and over again with a few different skins. There was no exploration, something that's a staple of the series. The game also utilized "permanently" locked doors, which compared to the previous games is an outright crime.

The "innovative" combat consisted of mashing the d-pad and spamming the charge shot, and firing a missile whenever you had to. It was unbelievably repetitive. Hell, even Super Metroid's combat was more interesting. And of course, don't even get me started on the authorization gameplay. Besides not making any sense at all for most of Samus' powerups, it completely destroyed the joy of finding a new item.

This game is incredibly flawed, from the soppy, poorly written story to the repetitive combat and complete disregard for the previous Metroid games. I'm all for giving a character emotion, but do it right, please.

LunarJade

#17

LunarJade said:

Haven't played the game... or actually any Metroid game for that matter.

I remember when the first video was released though and my fiance seemed disappointed by it. The video showed no game play and he said that it felt like they Final Fantasied Metroid up.

We haven't picked up a copy of Other M yet. Usually Metroid seems to be an immediate buy for him. Though I think we'll end up picking it up eventually I kind of wonder what he'll think of it.

I also wonder what I'll think of it. He's played all of Metroid and I haven't played any. So I expect our opinions will end up differing.

SKTTR

#19

SKTTR said:

I've encountered none of the so-called flaws. For me this game is perfect.
The second best game of the year (after Super Mario Galaxy 2) and the second best Metroid game overall (after Super Metroid).

Robotgamer64

#20

Robotgamer64 said:

People can brag about how much they put into the story, cutscenes, graphics, but what I really care about is the game play and controls, you know the thing that lets you actually play the game? Metroid Other M's controls were terrible, ex. i could not move while scanning or while firing missiles. this is made worse by enemies who attack you while you're doing this and keep hitting the ground like a sack of potatoes. G4 was right to give it a 2 out of 5 for that reason alone. All i could follow from the story is that Samus has some daddy issues with this commander person and that i wanted to skip the cutscenes to actually play the game. This is nothing more then a bad game. Sexist or not, it should be about control, not story nor anything else in that matter. besides if all of you hate G4's take on it, you should see the Zero Punctuation's review on Other M. then you tell me who was more merciful!

KaiserGX

#21

KaiserGX said:

If anyone actually bothered to read all the scans and stuff you would see that Other M isn't out of character. I haven't played it yet but I'm not to keen on those long cut scenes. Cut scenes are all right but not if they are that long.

kevohki

#22

kevohki said:

The game is flawed (story, character development, all around stupidity of "unlocking" Samus' abilities) but the biggest problem for me was that it was too easy. Pathetically easy. Even on the hardest setting, I only died three times... all on Ridley and his hax. Also, certain aspects of the game were badly designed (first-person search-fests and a dodging mechanic that made you practically untouchable and almost broke the game) but I blame that on Team Ninja whose games never have any sense of balance to them (Ninja Gaiden, Dead or Alive, well... everything they have ever done). Just pointing out it's flaws. I enjoyed the game but it's nowhere near Super Metroid or the Prime trilogy.

That_Guy_from_Faxana

#23

That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

You can present a character in a competent or incompetent way. Feelings are good. Ellen Ripley in Aliens should be the rolemodel for Samus, Sigourny Weaver displayed a very believable mother/ child relationship while still being badass. Just like many other japaneese productions Other M:s characterization is too pathetic.

MasterGraveheart

#24

MasterGraveheart said:

I've tossed myself back and forth on this matter, but I've come to a conclusion about Samus Aran and the "sexism" argument.

Yes, there is sexism in the game. No, not because of Adam. No, not because of Samus' characteristic depiction. No, not because of the baby Metroid. No, not because Metroid: Other M is an acronym for M.O.M.. No, there is sexism in Samus Aran because they gave her high-heels, evidently put Samus in the drier, a beauty mark reminiscent of Marylin Monroe. While I can live with the beauty mark, the high heels... next time, they got to go. I mean, seriously, what athlete wears high heels when performing sommersaults, climbing large-scale walls, or sprinting out of a dangerous area?

When I realized she was wearing high heels, I also realized that this would also actually make her shorter than her actual depiction. Samus, in Super Metroid, is clocked in as being 6'3" and weighing 200lbs. Safe to say she's, in fact, taller than a lot of the men in the Galactic Federation (unless you wanna tell me they're all 7' Big Show wannabes). And at 200lbs, you'd expect a little bit of muscle on her frame. Samus looked... rather petit. This is how I always invisioned Samus following Super Metroid, with or without the best ending to said game.

http://www.metroid-database.com/sm/art/smart_sam03.jpg

I know... purple hair... hey, we all have those times in our life. ;)

Maybe this was the catalyst for me that got me hating on Samus' portrayal in the first place. While I appriciate the fact they wanted to make her relatable... I wish they didn't take so many liberties with her apperance over the years. Don't get me wrong, current Samus is drop-dead gorgeous, but characters like Mario and Link have remained fairly consistent over the years in terms of design. I'd just like the same for Samus and I hope Other M isn't the springboard for something wrong.

Again, I do love Samus Aran as she is now with her Zero Suit (still no Super Metroid bikini, but you gotta be practical in fighting Space Pirates, y'know). I can live with her beauty mark. I appriciate the boob job they gave her (...wait a minute...). But I'd like to see her traditional height be restored and those high-heels GONE.

But in terms of story, do you want ot know what I think? I think if this game's portrayal of Samus took place BEFORE the original Metroid/Zero Mission and was played with that young Samus as she was in the Galactic Federation, we woudln't be hearing so many complaints about her character as we are today. Then again, you'd miss out on a lot of the important character points that being after Super Metroid offers, such as her soured relationship with Adam and being haunted with the events on Zebes.

My biggest complaint about the game was that it was too short. But, in many ways, isn't that a GOOD complaint to have? It means the game was fun and enjoyable. :)

Rawk_Hawk

#25

Rawk_Hawk said:

This was everything I wanted for a Metroid game. Atmosphere, action, secrets, boss fights galore, and amazing cut scenes. I'm very satisfied with Other M.

Kid_A

#28

Kid_A said:

Thanks for the feedback guys, I'm really enjoying your thoughts in the game. I'm surprised at the amount of people who had problems with the controls: I never encountered any problems with them (in fact it's one of those games I keep coming back to because of how great it feels to play) but they're certainly unorthodox. I like the default scheme, but I agree that they should have had some alternative control options.

Omenapoika

#31

Omenapoika said:

Thank you! I thought the whole world was joined against me and Other M.

The first Metroid I played was the Fusion, so as you said, the caring kind of Samus the player could get into was the first I ever encountered (well except for Smash bros. but I wasn't expecting to know the character from it...). In my opinion Fusion is clearly the best Metroid game and the best Gameboy Advance game, being in my top favorite games. So I was overjoyed by the Samus in Other M, which so finely bound together two games I love: Super Metroid and Fusion.

After finishing the game I ran merrily to the internet forums to join hands with fellow fans and celebrate the victorious return of our heroine, but everyone was moping and bellyaching. Almost everyone from critics to casual opinion givers were ranting and openly disliking the new game I had enjoyed. It was a genuine surprise for me.
It's far from perfect, but it's more than fit to be an example of a successful game.

There shouldn't be an outrage from emotionally sapped tidal wave of sexist hairyhands who are insulted by being forced to play their favorite game with a character they can relate to.

Mikau94

#32

Mikau94 said:

This is the view I took from the beginning. I think Samus has the right to be emotional, she been through a lot!

Objection

#33

Objection said:

Very interesting article, although you might want to put a spoilers-warning somewhere near the top.

hylianhalcyon

#34

hylianhalcyon said:

This was certainly a good read, nice job. My opinion of Other M seems to constantly be changing. One moment I'll at least like certain parts of it, and other times I'll wonder in disbelief how they got it so wrong.

People interested in this stuff should read the article @JackMack posted, it's a very good read, as was this article.

Kid_A

#35

Kid_A said:

@Pixelman
Nice comment! You made some interesting points.
I will say, though, that I don't agree with you about the game capitalizing on Samus' assets. Team Ninja is known for this, but I thought they showed a shocking amount of restraint here. The only part where you ever really see Samus' figure is when she's in her Zero Suit, but I don't remember Brawl being panned for being sexist...and in the first Metroid game she wore nothing but a bikini under that Power Suit!

Where I do agree with you is that for all the hullabaloo Nintendo made about adding voice acting, the most emotionally resonant parts of the story were still largely the parts with no dialogue (like the Ridley scene, as you mentioned, which I also thought was great).

But this was an article about whether the game was sexist or inconsistent with past games in the series, so I didn't go into too much detail about the stuff that didn't pertain to that.

AVahne

#36

AVahne said:

Metroid Other M. The people who like it are the ones who actually understand it.

burnedmatch

#38

burnedmatch said:

Nice article. I believe in MOM samus is how she always was and now that she has a voice people can see how she is and people dont like it. it happens all the time. People love what they dont know. She was always super emotional they were just smart enough to leave that stuff out of the games but we kept asking for it and we got it. I myself enjoyed the game but how about a Zombie Metroid game.

The_Fox

#39

The_Fox said:

Metroid: Other M was an embarrassment for the actual character. Horrible writing, a laughable story and some particularly unimpressive voice acting are reasons enough for me to hate this game. Oh, and the terror Samus showed when facing Ridley? A pathetic attempt to humanize the character.

I could have overlooked that all if the gameplay have lived up to the series expectations, but in truth it was just a slightly above average action game that gets sunk by the narrative.

pixelman

#40

pixelman said:

@malnin: Not even a stretch, it'd be outright false. The game definitely implied that her fear of Ridley was due to an encounter with him in her early childhood.

@Kid_A: I forgot to tell you, nice article. I actually did read the whole thing, which I've been rarely doing lately, lol. :3

You're right about the former versions of the Zero Suit, but at the same time they weren't a distraction from the story, and if I recall correctly in the original Metroid the only way to see her in a bikini is by beating the game in extremely hard conditions. It was the same for Metroid 2, Super Metroid, and Metroid Prime 3 too.

I'll admit that the use of the Zero Suit wasn't as gratuitous as I would've thought (what with Team Ninja's reputation), but in comparison to the past games it was still hundreds of times more than what we're used to. Fact remains that in the emotional climax of the game, where she encounters Adam for the last time, she's stumbling around in her Zero Suit while the camera's panning around her at all angles. I thought it was really immature and unnecessary, and coupled with the silly dialog and stiff animations it was hard to take seriously.

It seems like all the production values of the game went into the cheesy cutscenes rather than focusing on the outstanding gameplay that Metroid is known for, and the game suffered for it.

Pavel_Wii

#41

Pavel_Wii said:

My only complaint about Other M was that it completely stole the major plot twists of Metroid Fusion.

bboy2970

#42

bboy2970 said:

I didn't read this yet(but I will later). I just wanna say how I'm a little sick of hearing all the whining and moaning from people about Other M. So Samus has feelings. Big deal! So she has to wait to take orders from Adam, Its called taking orders from a higher ranking commanding officer, nothing unusual. I wish people would just judge it on its own merits instead of on what THEY think a Metroid game should be. I for one think its a fantastic game and absolutely love the driection change it takes.

bro2dragons

#44

bro2dragons said:

THIS ARTICLE IS SEXIST! 2/5 ;)

I totally agree with the article. I've still not yet played the game, but everything I've watched and read on it (and that's quite a bit) has only made me want to play it more, and so far, I'm very much for what they've done as far as her personality, and the duality you talked about in the article. Well said! :)

greenellow

#45

greenellow said:

i'm surprised that every time i read one of the articles (or from the people responding to it) no one mentions the f***** deleter. Unless you had a check list of everyone who died, it was still very unclear who it was. I had to go to a fan site to figure out who it was. Why the hell include the damn plot device if it didn't have some big reveal or conclusion telling you who the hell it was (or even why I should care).

jkshaz

#46

jkshaz said:

I'm going to attempt to censor myself here. I am truthfully so sick of hearing about/discussing this. Was the overall story pretty rough....yeah probably. Certainly nothing really noteworthy. However, a lot of people want to go out and make these grandiose statements about how terrible this game is. All I have to say is get over it and yourself. Maybe I've just gotten old. All I know is the gameplay was pretty solid (for the most part) and for me at least enjoyable. I honestly couldn't give a damn about what was said in the story. The game was fun to play I can get over a forgettable story. I doubt many of you have cared about the "story" in the past metroids.

Kid_A

#47

Kid_A said:

@greenello: Take it easy. This wasn't an article about the deleter, so we didn't talk about it. (Plus I thought it was pretty easy to figure out personally)

Back on topic: honestly I'm a bit surprised at the outcry over the writing and voice acting. Yes, it's bad for the most part, but definitely not the worst I've seen. I think it's just because we expect perfection out of Metroid, and this is the first Metroid game in awhile that hasn't been "perfect."

I think your reaction to this game has a lot to do with how open-minded you are as a gamer. After playing through Super Metroid and Prime I found it refreshing that this entry was kind of linear and actiony. I can see why people don't like it--the story/voice-acting are mediocre and the controls are strange. I was just sick of hearing all these complaints that this game was a complete 180 from everything we've come to know about Metroid and Samus.

Sylverstone

#48

Sylverstone said:

Honestly, I really hate how G4's sexist attitude spilled over into a review which earned it a 2/5.

Worse, seeing how Morgan Webb reviewed the game killed me a bit inside.

Aside from that, there were parts of Other M that had me scratch my head sometimes, and her submissiveness is a bit questionable.

I hope she keeps a voice, just not her attitude in Other M.

Token_Girl

#49

Token_Girl said:

JackMacks/Jesus Saves article is really good. Basically it argues that the Samus/Adam's relationship is highly unhealthy. This doesn't make the game sexist. However, the fact that the game seems to glorify and idealize this relationship as opposed to recognize it's unhealthiness makes it not the powerful portrayal of flawed, human, people it could have been. It just makes you sort of glad you don't know any of the writers yourselves...if that's what they think a good relationship is! Even with things as subtle proper lighting, music, facial expressions of other characters, etc., the game could have potentially made this distinction and had a really amazing and powerful story.

I am really looking forward to playing the game at some point though, because it seems really fun...gameplay wise. It's just a shame. It seems they really had the potential to create a story that would have been cinema-quality, and instead crapped all over it by not spending some of the dev. budget on decent writers (given how long some of the cutscenes were, they probably would have saved money in the long run too...good writers know how to trim the fat from the script).

zionich

#50

zionich said:

Great article, but I think by now there is no convincing people how the story really does mesh with the series as a whole. That is if they've already decided it doesnt.

I know alot of people seem to take to the Ridley scene as being out of place with Samus fighting Ridley so many times prior. The way I see it though, is that while she might have "defeated" Ridley in previous games, Other M has us to belive she "Killed" him. " ...and my long standing nemisis, Ridley.." . So this is why the Ridley scene makes sense and fits for me.

Another aspect of Samus' emotions that critics tend to forgoten is the final ending of Curruption when shes recaping all that has happened. The look on her face says it all. She not a cold- hearted bad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2Rl1HWN6JA about 2:20-3:30

The_Fox

#51

The_Fox said:

That Moonbase article linked up in post #44 is well worth a read and sums up pretty much my problems with the game exactly.

SamIAm69

#52

SamIAm69 said:

It's funny that this was posted today, Just last night I was re-watching reviews and reading about the controversy its made. I personally thought it was a great game, and that a lot of raters when too hard on it. I'm not saying this 100% but it seems that some sites are biased towards certain aspects of games, therefore grading them lower because they think its Bullsh*t. Also, I think some people are becoming biased towards Nintendo (ratings, what they have to say about them, obviously not this site, I check it every day for updates on what I want, always something interesting.) I think its funny that I was planning on playing through it again today, and thinking about how much grief it got, I honestly had no problem with it, I enjoy character development, it makes the game deeper.

Edwin

#53

Edwin said:

In Corruption, Samus is not forced to follow orders from a male. She is a bounty hunter accepting an assignment willingly, and probably for a lot of money.

kurtasbestos

#54

kurtasbestos said:

Thanks for a very well-written article. Metroid: Other M had its flaws, but as a long-time Metroid fan I thought it was great to see Nintendo try to do something new, and pull it off reasonably well. To the people who complain that this game shames the series in comparison to Super Metroid or the Metroid Prime trilogy, why don't you just shut up and go play those games? The biggest challenge Other M had to overcome was the fact that gamers, in general, are terrible people. I'm talking about the kind of people who spend all their time not playing games on the internet trying to prove that they know how games should work more than anyone else (including the people who make the games). Yes, I'm being hypocritical by posting in this thread, but at least I understand that it's not a remotely good use of my time. I guess it's mostly nice to know that not everyone who played (or criticized without even playing) Other M isn't a pretentious know-it-all video game-playing jerk, and that other people can appreciate what Nintendo and Team Ninja were trying to accomplish.

Kid_A

#56

Kid_A said:

@Edwin
Yeah. She's a bounty hunter and made the choice of accepting that mission, which happened to be headed by a male officer. Same situation in Other M. Samus could have ignored the distress signal from the bottle rocket or left them to fend for themselves. But she didn't. That was the point of my argument really.

@Everyone
Does anyone know what the critical reception in Japan was like? I'd be interested in knowing how much of the script's poor quality can be chalked up to bad localization. I'm thinking not much, since Nintendo is usually spot on when it comes to localizing their games, but it might be interesting to look into.

RonF

#58

RonF said:

Good article. Although I concede the writing and acting in MOM was mediocre at best, I still think it is a little better than average for videogames. It seems to me that people are complaining about it just because they didn't liked the characterization and thus criticizing too much the writers and actors.
Concerning the characterization, from the point of view of someone who only played Super Metroid and the Prime series, I welcomed the fact Samus was portrayed as a human being. In all other Metroid games I played she wasn't anything but a puppet under my control. As such, there weren't any characterization at all. I guess that people projected their own empowering fantasies on Samus and thus rejected her development as a deeper character with some weakness.

nmozdzier

#60

nmozdzier said:

I agree with this, and I don't think it's sexist. It's culture. I mean, let's be honest here, who would have thought it odd if Admiral Dane was a girl. It just wouldn't make sense, would it. And Nintendo had to work around that issue because they really wanted to go out with a bang in the 80s or whenever in making her a woman. Had Samus been a man, would we still have considered the Admiral and Adam as sexist? But my point is that with what they had to work with, I'm quite happy with what they squeezed out of it.

moosa

#61

moosa said:

Thanks for writing this. You're right that Samus has always been this way, we just haven't seen it out in the open in previous games. Oddly enough people seem to WANT her to be a generic, cold-hearted, one-dimensional Master Chief with boobs.
Anyways you didn't mention the official Metroid Manga at all, which reveals so much about Samus' life growing up and her existing character. Her reason for losing it at the sight of Ridley in Other M is that this pterodactyl guy killed her parents and everyone she knew, and ate their bodies in front of her, WHEN SHE WAS THREE YEARS OLD. Unfortunately, the thing that makes this reaction hard to believe is the fact that she's already faced and defeated this same monster a number of times prior to Other M, but everyone just thinks "NO! Samus is a chill badass killing machine, she would never freak out like that!"

moosa

#62

moosa said:

@Kid_A I've wondered about the localization as well. You also have to consider that the style of the script may appeal to more in Japan than in the West, and the fact that (I think) Nintendo has never put out a game as simultaneously verbose and dramatic before.

Mr_Nose

#63

Mr_Nose said:

JesusSaves' link...
http://moonbase.rydia.net/mental/blog/gaming/metroid-other-m-the-elephant/article.html
Is the most intelligent, and thorough, I've ever read on the subject. Almost makes me believe in 'gaming journalism'.

Now, there's a good read for you. In fact, it should be required of every supporter.

I have a sinking feeling, though, that the same people who refuse to read anything beyond a couple paragraphs, are also more accepting of shallow writing efforts.

Present company excepted, of course.

Odnetnin

#64

Odnetnin said:

I think it's a great game personally, though the story is my least favorite part.

I have no problem with Samus actually showing emotion and developing as a character, but on most counts Nintendo/Team Ninja handled it poorly. Terrible, monotone voice acting is bound to drag down actual dialogue quite a bit, and Samus' stupidity (as cited by one critic: it is mentioned by a character that the Galactic Federation has been testing bio-weapons and seconds later Samus asks, "Do you think they were testing bio-weapons?) is pretty unforgivable. There's no explaining her restraint of the life-preserving Varia Suit in the Pyrosphere either.

Despite these many minor inconsistencies and flaws, I've found Other M's story so far to be about as enjoyable as a mindless/cheesy action flick, and see nothing wrong with trying for a cinematic, personal angle of Metroid's heroine. There's a lot Nintendo could learn from their mistakes with this game going forward, but for my money this is at least a step in the right direction.

@Kid_A Wonderful, engaging article and a breath of fresh amid all of the whining about this subject seen elsewhere on the Internet. It definitely kept me reading to the end.

SkullMan

#65

SkullMan said:

This game deserves the venom spit. The gameplay was subpar, strong heroine Samus has now been turned into a helpless little girl. Way to ruin a great character. The game felt way too Japanese...the writing was on par with Resident Evil, it was so bad. Japanese can't write a game, the way the characters interact and speak isn't the way people actually do. It was groan worthy again and again.

SwerdMurd

#66

SwerdMurd said:

Just give me a real battle system next time, please...and a bit less linear. There were definitely some good moments, but upon trying to play it a second time I was bored to tears almost immediately...it's got this almost offensively easy difficulty that randomly spikes during any room where you need to rely on the gimpy sensemove...making hard mode (no powerups) one of the worst gaming experiences available. Run from room to room fighting monotonous battles hoping an enemy doesn't no-response kill you directly out of a sensemove or after a head jump (which was itself an iffy mechanic).

Just more work next time...and give us a planet instead of a ship. I honestly did enjoy the ensemble-cast presentation...if only there were some more interesting characters in it.

TheGameSquid

#67

TheGameSquid said:

Alright, time to add my two cents to this article!

First of all, I respect everyone's opinion about this, and I have no intention to offend
anyone (I can often be a bit harsh), but I do have a rather strong opinion on the subject.

Let's get some things straight first. I like Metroid: Other M. It's a great action game, and
despite some occasionally wonky controls, I think it's a great attempt to bring the classic
Metroid side-scrolling games to a more modern 3D style, and I would like Nintendo to continue
down the 2D/3D road. However, I have some problems with the story in Other M, and I think this
article largely ignores the TRUE reasons of the negative backlash.

You see, Other M is not the first game to portray Samus as a character with real emotions.
Pretty much every game since Metroid II have given us insight into the protagonist. I think
the designers have always managed to put a great amount of story into the key sequences of the
games, and I do have the feeling that Samus has developed a strong character over the course
of the games, perhaps a little slowly.

Other M differs in two different ways for me:

1) The narrative framing is TOO different. Let's take the previous Metroid games and have a
look at them. Samus does talk a few times during those games, but it's all pretty limited.
It's safe to say that Samus remains largely silent throughout the series. To me, Samus was
always a character that seemed cursed in a way. Since the assault on KL-2, Samus seems
destined to hunt down the Space Pirates, and the Metroids they try to abuse. All of her
attempts seem futile, as she constantly seems to re-encounter the enemies she thought she had
wiped out for good (Ridley, the Space Pirates, Mother Brain, the Metroids). She's locked in an
eternal battle that is both intensely personal and of intergalactic important at the same
time. And yet, she seems to accept this terrible destiny without hesitation. She knows she was
made to do this, and I find this strong selfless behavior very touching. I think we all wish
we could of be of importance to someone, but we get scared when it asks too much of ourselves.
Not for Samus. She has no home. She knows no peace. She's always out there. Now, some people
might say: "She's a bounty hunter, of course she's always doing missions!". For me,
that's not entirely true. Sure, Samus frequently receives "missions" from the Federation, but
we don't actually see that happening in the games. In fact, we never see Samus receiving a
"true" reward, we don't see her enjoying fame and the biggest reward I can remember that she
gained was either the 5 second applause from the Luminoth in Prime 2 or a salutation from
Admiral Dane in Prime 3. Other M creates a stronger connection between Samus and the
Federation, featuring a large amount of Federation soldiers and a HUGE amount of voice acting.
To me, this diminishes the feeling of selflessness that was always such a strong part of Samus
because it once again puts an emphasis on the fact that she, after all, a bounty hunter.
Metroid Prime 3 already had voice acting and a more cinematic presentation, and I never liked
that. However, I could sort of understand the decision. After all, Corruption was the end of a
trilogy, and no doubt Retro wanted to give the game a more "epic" feel to make sure players
really felt like they were playing the closing chapter in a long saga.

2) The next issue is the biggest problem with the game. In fact, I'd say it's a huge problem
that's been plaguing Japanese gaming for the last 12 years or so. I'd something I always like
to refer to as "explicit characterization" (I know, it's a stupid term). What this means is
that the developers try to make the protagonists more interesting by giving them several
different characteristics. And then they shove it in your face. They shove it in your face so
HARD that your nose starts to bleed. How common is to see characters from Japanese games
complain about their feelings or give you elaborate explanations about how the feel or
experience a certain situation? It's pretty much in every contemporary jRPG.
Now, you may say "What's wrong with that?". My problem is that this is not how it works.
People aren't like this. Our minds don't work like this. For starters, we usually don't talk
openly about our problems. Two people often have to work very hard to truly "understand" each
other. We also don't understand our own minds well enough to explain our behavior. We often
find ourselves being happy or sad, but can we truly explain why? We are often afraid of
things. For example, I'm afraid of talking to people I don't know or entering buildings that I
don't know the layout of. I would have a lot of trouble explaining someone why, even though
it's a big part of my life. The human mind is immensely complex, and we lie to ourselves
constantly to make things even more difficult. I now of very few people that are willing to
talk so openly about their ACTUAL emotions. Sure, you must of met hundreds of people that
complain about this or that, or act like they were hurt by something, or who say they hate
someone, etc. But these are all very superficial emotions that mostly take place within the
frame of our society. Samus is open about her feelings in a way that not only works in an
alienation way, but also in one that comes across as unconvincing.
Let's take another medium/form for example. Let's say you were watching a (good/mature) movie
about a dysfunctional family where the husband and wife are having trouble living together.
How would we notice this? Would the film be successful by letting the husband or wife narrate
the entire thing in first person rambling on and on about how she feels towards her husband?
Most likely not. The feeling of social discomfort is often achieved by given away by small
signs of annoyance. They might not take much interest in each others hobbies. They might talk
about different things to each other over dinner, or they might be silent during a ride in the
care. Perhaps the wife would never looks her husband in the eyes, or they might sleep with
their backs turned to each other. These are all small and perhaps silly examples, but I think
you get my point. Telling us about the characteristics and emotions of characters is much more
satisfying when it is slowly revealed and when the viewer/player/reader has an active
involvement in the process (the process of deducting those very emotions from the behavior of
the people that play a large role in the story). In other words, it's often better to avoid
the "explicit characterization".
I recently saw the film adaption of Richard Matheson's brilliant novel I Am Legend. I didn't
expect all that much from it, but I still wanted to give it a chance because I loved the novel
so much. In the end I thought it was a piece of for various reasons.
The most obvious criticism would be that the film was not even remotely similar to the novel
(Here's a small anecdote: leading up towards the release of the movie, there was a small qui
that was being organized on the main site of MSN. My sister saw it and asked me to answer the
question because she knew I read the novel. The question was "What creatures live on the post
-apocalyptic Earth in I Am Legend". I said the answer was "Vampires". Everyone who read the
novel knows that this is the correct answer. But according to the quiz, it was incorrect. The
correct answer was "Zombies". And indeed, as I afterwards saw, the movie barely explains that
the creatures are Vampires, and it is indeed more likely to assume that they are zombie-like
creatures. THAT'S how unfaithful it is to the novel. But I'm getting off-topic). But another
criticism is that the main character was WAY too vocal for my tastes. If I would have made the
movie, I would have chosen to let the Robert remain largely silent. The power of telling us
messages through visual and aural means is HUGELY underestimated these days. Another example:
The Thin Red Line. A lot of people I know HATE Terrence Malicks third masterpiece because of
the voice-over narrations. To a lot of people, the poetic first-person narrations (I couldn't
find an example on YouTube, but a good quote/sample is used in the first part of a song called
Have You Passed Through This Night by Explosions in the Sky, which you can listen to here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cr1w9liUjE) of the movie sound pretentious or impenetrable. I
don't agree. I think a lot of people mistake the actual words being spoken for true things
being told by the characters. I don't see it like that. To me, these narrations are simply
thought from the deepest subconsciousness of the characters put into words. These thoughts are
unframed by the definitions of emotions found in our contemporary society, thus making them
more free for interpretation and (for me at least) more touching.
Yet ANOTHER example would be the first person narration used in the film adaptation of The
Road (which I thought was a very fitting, beautiful and humble adaptation of a deeply moving
novel). In the opening lines The Man (played by Viggo Mortensen) gives us an overview of the
situation on the devastated Earth. He talks to us about the death of trees, animals, the
cannibalism, and the fading hope in both him and his son. Some people once again interpret
this as an "explicit way" of talking about the emotions of the characters. ONCE AGAIN I
disagree (are you surprised?). It is the cold, dry and hopeless way of speaking about these
terrible things that makes this scene so beautiful and haunting, not the actual things being
said per sé.
One last example from that same film. There is a scene where The Boy basically says he want to
go up to his dead mother, who he believes is in heaven.

They could have said it like this:
The Boy: "Pop, I want to die so I can be with Mommy in heaven."

But that would have ruined the entire movie and would have resulted in either a facepalm or a
loud yelp of agony from me. Instead this is what was really said.

The Man and The Boy are sleeping in a truck. The Man is still awake but The Boy is lying in a
bed behind The Man.
The Boy: "I wish I was with my Mom."
The Man hesitates: "Do you mean you wish you were dead?"
The Boy: "Yeah."

When I first saw this scene in the movie it hit me like a sledgehammer. I literally felt like
the air was knocked out of my lungs and I immediately felt tears well up in my eyes. It's a
moment you only experience a few times in your life.

Okay, now I'm really getting a bit off-topic. What I'm trying to say is that it's pretty much
NEVER a good idea to serve your story, characteristics and emotions in an "explicit" way to
your reader/player/viewer. It makes little sense compared to our real world, it destroys all
room for interpretation, and it insults the intelligence of the reader/player/viewer, as it
insinuates that we wouldn't be able to figure it out on our own. All those things are
situations a competent script-writer would want to avoid. The writes of Other M made those
mistakes on top of a script that was already mediocre, and slaps some so-so voice-acting on
top of it, including a rather unfitting.

And, as a final note, I would like to chime in on the entire "high heels" issue. I usually
find high-heels very unattractive, and I often find it irritating that this is imprinted on
the mind of women as "universally attractive and feminine". We should all wear what we find
attractive, not just because we know other people think we look good because the person
resembles the stereotype built up in the media. It makes Samus more of a female stereotype
than she ever was in my opinion (Yes, I know she only wore a bikini at the end of the first
Metroid on NES, but how else would you make it so that there would be absolutely no mistake
what so ever about her femininity with 8-bit graphics?). On top of that, it makes absolutely
ZERO sense for the tasks she has ahead of here, including sprinting at lightning speed and
wall-jumping! And it makes her look like the stupid shoe-shopping shallow blonde that I always
thought she wasn't.

There. That's pretty much all I've got to say about the subject I think. It's not her emotions
that are most bothersome, but the way she shows them to us. Sorry for going on for so long,
but I wanted to make my first post here super-awesome! :)

Great game though ;)

romulux

#68

romulux said:

it's disappointing that so many people still hate this game. everyone agrees it's not the best metroid, but it's still pretty damn good. the story wasn't any worse than any other game out there and the controls were perfect if you knew what you were doing.

pixelman: _"this is incredibly inconsistent with the previous games. She had never so much as flinched when encountering Ridley before." _

how would you know? when did the 8 bit sidescrollers ever give you any indication of what samus' internal feelings were? she didn't even have a visible face, let alone expressions you could read. the prime games at least showed her eyes, but that's as far as it went and they were made by completely different people.

everyone making this argument ignores the fact that ridley died in super metroid. samus had been trying to kill him for so long and finally succeeded, so i think it'd be a little shocking for her to see him suddenly pounce right in her face out of nowhere a year or so later.

pixelman

#69

pixelman said:

"the story wasn't any worse than any other game out there"

Yeah, no.

And thanks for not quoting the rest of my sentence. I'll finish it for you:

"so why should she be traumatized into paralysis now, especially when that trauma came from her childhood?"

There is nothing whatsoever to indicate that there was any trauma between her and Ridley in any of the previous games. In the past, whenever Ridley appeared you'd dive right into a fight with him with absolutely no hesitation. Granted, she could've felt fear before without indicating it externally, but you'd think she'd be over it by now after her, what, 5 encounters? 6? I've lost count.

At any rate, it's not in the realm of probability that she'd be struck by paralysis at this point, even if she did think that he was dead. After all, if she had defeated him so many times before, should she be so shocked to find that he wasn't actually dead? Again? I mean seriously. In at least Metroid 1 and Metroid Prime when you defeat Ridley he explodes into tiny little pieces, which (to me at least) is highly indicative of death. Yet he repeatedly returns alive. So why in this particular case should Samus be so utterly shocked? It makes no sense at all. Chronologically this is her second to last mission, so with that and what I mentioned above, you'd think she's had enough experience to handle situations like this.

moosa

#70

moosa said:

There are SO MANY games out there with worse storylines, worse writing and worse voice acting than Other M... People are completely out of control in how they're picking away at this one game. If just about any other game was put under so much scrutiny, it wouldn't hold up much if any better. They took a bold move in trying to portray a character that was more than just a generic soldier/action hero in a videogame, and apparently the videogame community isn't capable of handling that. It isn't perfect, but so what?

moosa

#72

moosa said:

Finding worse writing/voice acting is easy as pie, assuming you've played a few games over the years. Video games have never been known for excellent acting. Watch this and you'll see how a lot of games have ended up over the years:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDGAouCb5gU&feature=related
Finding a bad storyline isn't difficult per se, it just doesn't stand out as much, as most bad storylines in videogames just bore you and you don't really care as long as you can get to the next level.
The VAST MAJORITY of the time, the more dramatic a story in a videogame tries to be, the more it fails in content and delivery. Other M is very dramatic for a videogame, and honestly it holds up better than you could expect.

childofacid

#73

childofacid said:

The point being is this game is/was a beloved Nintendo franchise. Yeah there are other games with far worse storylines and gameplay, but this game is a Nintendo icon and it doesn't live up to what Nintendo stands for.

I really liked the article JesusSaves posted. It about sums up everything I feel about this game.

PS: Can we stop using IMO. Really?? Are you that lazy to just type "In My Opinion"??? and stop referring to Nintendo as "Ninty" I feel like I am reading a 1st graders writing.

pixelman

#74

pixelman said:

No one has said there aren't worse stories in games. Quality is simply expected of new entries in a quality series. Other M obviously disappointed a lot of people, and thus instead of receiving universal praise it got lots of negative feedback.

I'm done discussing this, though. I'm pretty sure my impression of the game is going to remain the same, despite what anyone says, and I'm sure that goes for most of the rest of us too.

motang

#75

motang said:

I like this version of Metroid, I don't know why a lot of people are hating on it. It's good game, sure it has it's flaws, what games doesn't? While I do agree that it's script is pretty shallow at times, it all comes down to the gameplay and in that department it has excelled for me. The graphics are great, sound is good, and the gamplay is just downright awesome!

Punny

#76

Punny said:

I, personally, liked this game. I was willing to put up with the not-so-good script for some awesome, kick-butt action. This article has some good arguments that put the G4 review to shame. :)

Noire

#77

Noire said:

This article is pretty much how I viewed Samus' portrayal in Other M. Personally I loved the game and had no real, detrimental-to-my-enjoyment problems with anything. Sure it has issues, but it's a cold day in hell when a game has none whatsover, amirite?

And I'd rather love than hate anyways, you know~? :3

NinSage

#78

NinSage said:

Jacob-

Thank you SO MUCH for writing this article! I'm actually in the process of compiling information for a very similar article of my own.
... of course, no one visits my website.
Anyway...
You are 100% right on all of your points. Other M is not out of character for Samus. It's very much IN character. And, in my opinion, there is nothing sexist at all about the game.

I'm a big fan of character depth, cutscenes, bad gameplay and iconic protagonists. Other M delivered on all fronts and is my favorite game in the series. Bring on the sequel!!

Thanks for being brave enough to write this article amidst all the controversy. Keep it up!

And don't worry, Metroid fans loved Other M...
linkage: http://www.metroid-database.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3710

Deviant_Mugen

#79

Deviant_Mugen said:

Personally, Metroid: Other M is my Game of the Year and it portrayed Samus as I always envisioned her; tough as nails, yet human...

To those reading way too much into the psychological aspects of the story (like the authors of that "elephant in the room" article)—save it for your English professors...

Link79

#80

Link79 said:

I never thought of Samus as an emotionless killer. If you ever did you clearly don't know her as well as you think. People need to stop over analyzing this game and just try to enjoy it. Personally I had fun with it and I really don't care what others think.

chiptoon

#81

chiptoon said:

Thanks for this article. Its great to have some support for this great game. I loved every second of it, thought the controls were genius, and the story just the right sort of B-movie melodrama. I was surprised that my image of Samus is so different from many other, very vocal, gamers.

gyyrro

#82

gyyrro said:

i personally loved the game plus it made me enjoy the ending of fusion soooo much more

Bassman_Q

#83

Bassman_Q said:

Excellent article!

I myself actually found it a lot more faulty gameplay-wise than with the cinematics. The story, while not exactly great, managed to hold my attention throughout the game, though it could've been a bit more clear and less wordy. I thought Samus' depiction worked, though it wasn't quite perfect. The gameplay, however, was very questionable. The lack of energy and ammo pickups was very strange, and Samus' inability to use the Varia/Gravity suit was just stupid. Forcing to player to go into 1st person mode to use missiles proved to be quite tedious, especially on the final boss. Aside from that, though, it's still a great game.

romulux

#84

romulux said:

^i don't know where you guys are finding these masterpieces of video game storytelling that make other m pale in comparison. look at metal gear- the series that set the high standard for storytelling in games is a convoluted, overwrought mess.

metal gear's plot is every bit as eccentrically japanese as other m and the sexism is totally in your face- the camera zooms in on a woman's boobs or legs every time she talks in guns of the patriots. why wasn't anyone complaining about that?

metroid is a beloved first party game and people hold it under a microscope because of that, but not even nintendo can overcome the problems of trying to adapt a serious story to a game full of goofy mechanics without really awkward results.

you could argue that they shouldn't have bothered then, but without any back story to fill her in samus' character was starting to feel one dimensional and shallow. the story needed to be told, and even though it's full of problems there are actually a lot of scenes that i think they got nearly perfect. adam's death and ridley's appearance are great!

pixelman, it's probably the fault of sakamoto for not making it clearer why samus is terrified of ridley. they got really close to it in the scene where samus turns into a child, but most people didn't know she was having a flashback to the death of her parents because they didn't do much to make it obvious to non-metroid geeks. again, that paralysis she suffered was due to shock, something she wouldn't have felt seeing ridley any time before because she was knew he was around on those missions and was prepared to fight him. it's a lot different when he's been dead for a year and samus thinks she's finally closed that part of her life.

i have no problem with the overall plot, it's just the execution is botched in places. some lines needed to be either re-written or re-recorded and a few baffling moment should have been axed (adam shooting samus before the baby metroid), but looking past that it's not bad overall at all.

KDR_11k

#85

KDR_11k said:

I'm tired of all these attempts to justify the story. Fact is that no matter how much it was hinted at before (if that was actually hinting and not just retconned) making it explicit is a departure. Doesn't really matter though, I can slog through any story, that wasn't the reason I canceled my preorder. The reason was that I heard the game is more linear with story-driven door locks and no real equipment finding. I found that inexcusable in Metroid Fusion and I'm not going to accept it here either. Prime 3 was already more of it than I was willing to take in a Metroid game. Judging by how Metroid (and any Metroid-like) goes downhill as its developer spends more time on it and develops more story ideas I think both Sakamoto and Retro should be kept away from the next Metroid. Give it to someone who hasn't run out of ideas for the actual game and instead took up writing stories to add variety. Like Chair. They did a good job with Shadow Complex, the little story that game had rarely interfered with the gameplay. Maybe Konami can throw 2D Castlevania over to Retro to give it a fresh spin considering how linear OoE was.

WiiLovePeace

#86

WiiLovePeace said:

Yeah I loved Metroid: Other M, at first it was a shock to see Samus with so much emotion (I haven't played Metroid: Fusion before) but then by the end of the game I had a lot more respect for her as a character, than a simple 'kill everything without a care' bounty hunter. I also loved the controls & the cinematics - so all of it was truly awesome, except the length of the game, I beat it in 8 hours & had beaten Metroid Prime 1 & 2 in approx 30 hours each, so it was a bit of a dissapointment there, but everything else was truly awesome - more! more! :D

Slapshot

#88

Slapshot said:

@romulux..... I think the problem here is that Metroid is an established franchise prior to this game and storytelling attempt, not to mention the so called sexist issues.

Metal Gear has been off the wall since the original game back in the 80s, with it's crazy plots and schemes. If you follow the story throughout the series though, it all makes sense in the end. :)

A good reference to this is kinda like Brittany Spears, many liked her before the upgrades and some liked her better prior to them!

Kid_A

#89

Kid_A said:

@TheGameSquid
Nice post! I know exactly what you were talking about with the "explicit characterization" thing: it's an awful narration style that's ruined not just a lot of videogames, but films television shows as well--it's something that just reads false to the audience, and I think it always ends up making the writer look a little indulgent. I thought that Samus' voice acting actually pulled this off somewhat nicely. My main problem with the narration was just that she would often explain things when it was unnecessary to explain them.

And guys, thanks so much for the great feedback and discussion. It's a fun game to discuss!

Kid_A

#90

Kid_A said:

Also, that article you guys have been posting a link to is seriously awesome. Thanks for posting it: it's a really interesting, well-written read. We didn't delve that deep into the story simply because it's not what we were trying to accomplish with with the article. But I'm glad somebody did it, because I always thought there were some darker aspects to this story that were worth looking into. And I don't think anybody could have done it better than that guy.

sweetestsadist

#91

sweetestsadist said:

Whoever thinks that Samus was this independent lone-wolf alien killing machine doesn't really care about the character. They haven't been paying attention.

Now granted, I haven't played Other M and, in fact, I've played very little of the Metroid series (My only experiences are Super Metroid and Metroid Prime 1 & 2) From that little, even I've seen her as a sympathetic character. I've never got the sense that she was a generic, mute, rogue figure. She's normally abandoned in space, so there's no need for her to talk. But Nintendo has always added little touches like her reflection in her mask to show that she is a very human character.

Lastly, complaining about Metroid being sexist because she follows a man's orders and was once a teenager kind of makes you sexist for going out of your way to see it in that perspective. She obviously has military (or similar) background and therefore would understand why a chain of authority is necessary. And honestly, most environments like that are male dominated. How would it have been better if she decided not to follow orders? It would've seemed more out of character to just blindly go against authority without cause. As for the teenager thing, that was already stated in the article.

Ahiru77

#92

Ahiru77 said:

The game would have been falsely accusted of degrading heroines....had they not put in the scene where Samus is all of a sudden "too scared" to fight an average Ridley, having her MALE teammate rescue her. He even says "Don't you know how to treat a lady!"...gosh darnit...Samus went from Master Chief to Princess Peach in a matter of seconds and it's just sad.

Kid_A

#94

Kid_A said:

@Ahiru77
This is an example of examining one part of the game completely out of context from the rest of the story: Samus saved Anthony's butt earlier in the game. Now, in this scene, Anthony saves Samus' butt. I don't see how that could possibly be construed as being degrading to heroines: he's simply returning the favor, not to mention they're good friends. Ridley is Samus' nemesis: Samus calls him this herself earlier in the game, and if you trust the official Metroid Manga, then you know that he killed her parents right before her eyes (the game appears to allude to this with the brief flashback of Samus as a child). She was momentarily stunned, and Ridley took that moment to take her out. Also, I seem to recall Samus coming to and totally kicking the snot out of Ridley in an epic fashion just moments later.

So yeah, Samus got saved by a MAN. But that MAN got saved by a GIRL just a few moments earlier. Not sure what the problem is here, considering they're really good friends on top of all that.

Marioman64

#95

Marioman64 said:

meeting ridley:
http://metroid.retropixel.net/gallery.php?gallery_id=mga_mv1ch1&image_id=24
http://metroid.retropixel.net/gallery.php?gallery_id=mga_mv1ch1&image_id=25
http://metroid.retropixel.net/gallery.php?gallery_id=mga_mv1ch1&image_id=26

why samus loses her suit under emotional stress:
http://metroid.retropixel.net/gallery.php?gallery_id=mga_mv2ch8&image_id=5
http://metroid.retropixel.net/gallery.php?gallery_id=mga_mv2ch8&image_id=6
http://metroid.retropixel.net/gallery.php?gallery_id=mga_mv2ch8&image_id=7
http://metroid.retropixel.net/gallery.php?gallery_id=mga_mv2ch8&image_id=8

the young samus scene:
http://metroid.retropixel.net/gallery.php?gallery_id=mga_mv2ch10&image_id=4
http://metroid.retropixel.net/gallery.php?gallery_id=mga_mv2ch10&image_id=5
http://metroid.retropixel.net/gallery.php?gallery_id=mga_mv2ch10&image_id=6
http://metroid.retropixel.net/gallery.php?gallery_id=mga_mv2ch10&image_id=7

a talk with adam...:
http://metroid.retropixel.net/gallery.php?gallery_id=mga_mv1ch5&image_id=15
http://metroid.retropixel.net/gallery.php?gallery_id=mga_mv1ch5&image_id=16
http://metroid.retropixel.net/gallery.php?gallery_id=mga_mv1ch5&image_id=17

final blow on ridley:
http://metroid.retropixel.net/gallery.php?gallery_id=mga_mv2ch16&image_id=23

About Ridley:
-Survived battle with Samus on Zebes... despite the "final blow"
-Gets blasted by samus into the phazon-infected core in metroid prime
(note how she doesn't break down crying here, but then again she first sees him from a distance, so she's more mentally prepared for the confrontation)
-Gets defeated by samus while infected with phazon in prime 3, probably gets cured after the end of prime 3 in a similar way to how samus recovered
(here she doesn't have the time or space when she first sees him, she's in a ball at the time. also theres no time for cutscenes when ridley grabs her and the battle ensues in the generator shaft)
-samus kills just about everything in super metroid, including ridley
(cutscenes would not fit onto this snes game, how do we know she didnt freak out here?)
-and then as other M is extremely clear about, the scientists got metroid DNA and ridley DNA from her suit and the rest is history
(ridley comes out of NOWHERE here, so it repeats that same innocent unprepared scene from when ridley killed her parents)

sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to put in more thoughts about how the story fits perfectly.

also, remember the ridley shell at the end of Other M? it's gone post game, I guess they put it in cold storage somewhere...

hylianhalcyon

#96

hylianhalcyon said:

@Metroid_Fan: Seriously? Way to pass off the great points he makes by saying he is "reading way to much into the psychological aspects of the story."

I gotta love these people saying this is the way they always envisioned Samus. They are completely fooling themselves for the sake of defending a favorite franchise. No, I did not envision Samus as a hard as steel bad-a**, but neither did I envision her anywhere near the mess they made of her in Other M. Read TheGameSquids post, he nails it.

JackMack

#97

JackMack said:

@Marioman64: You can see the shell of Ridley in Metroid:Fusion in cold storage. later you fight the X-parasite version of him. So it's a clone of a clone. Weird. Also, Nice post!

JakobG

#98

JakobG said:

Oh boy, Other M. So much to complain about the haters.
Let's start off with the whole taking orders thing.
SAMUS WORKS FOR THE GALACTIC FEDERATION.
Which means that, as an employee, she is supposed to follow orders of authority persons, such as Adam. I mean, he's got a whole bunch of GF-soliders doing whatever he tells them to do and you don't see people complaining about them being submissive. Just because Samus is bad, it doesn't mean she has to act like a reckless vigilante.
Next, Samus' fear of Ridley. For christ's sake, think, people. Ridley killed her parents and almost her as well when she was a little girl. I'd be scared of whoever did that to me as well. You could easily take any cutscene with Ridley in it and Samus' body language and eyes could say fear, ergo it's not non-canon.
People hate the Samus of this game not because she was stereotypical and sexist, but because she was not stereotypical and sexist. For gamers, female characters always have to be either cute or tough. Since Samus was not cute, people assumed she was tough. Matching properties to this character are emotional distance, ignorance and self-awareness. Samus wasn't like that, and since gamers are ignorant about female characters, well, you get the idea.

OverlordMao

#99

OverlordMao said:

Eh, Thanks for defending Metroid Other M, but I think I'll stick with the Prime Series and Super Metroid.

Bobpie

#100

Bobpie said:

It would have been interesting to see whether G4 and similar sites would label M:OM as sexist if the protagonist was male, had all the same persoality attributes portrayed by Samus, and had to follow orders from a female officer his senior...

Bassman_Q

#101

Bassman_Q said:

@TheGameSquid- Wow... your argument there just blew my mind. Indeed, you pointed out the biggest gripe of the story that up til now I wasn't able to identify: The way they express Samus' emotions with dialogue rather than body language or other implied ways. Because seriously, hardly anyone ever confesses their true feelings.

LittleIrves

#102

LittleIrves said:

I love that this game provokes such strong reactions. Positive or negative, the fact that people actually care about it (one way or the other) means Nintendo did something interesting and worthwhile. If they just pumped out another me-too, mediocre experience, no one would give a hoot and move on. It's awesome to see them take risks like this. 'Cause goodness knows they don't need to. Hopefully the chilly reception to Other M doesn't mean they'll stop changing up franchise conventions. Would you really prefer a Super Metroid game with HD graphics, or something new/different? I LOVED SM, but I've already played it, thanks. Give me another strange off-shoot of a beloved franchise and see where it lands.
And now I await Metroid (3D)read.

madgear

#103

madgear said:

Whatever each comment says here - love it or hate it, it wont change my oppinion on the game. For me, it's my favourite Metroid title - I enjoyed it through to the end and I'm dying to play through it again some time soon. I personally can't see how people can dislike it but, even if they do, it'll always be one of my favourite Wii titles.

Kid_A

#104

Kid_A said:

@hylianhalcyon
Easy now: this, believe it or not is the way many people, including myself, invisioned Samus prior to Other M. I certainly didn't delude myself into thinking it just so I could defend the game--I was pretty darn skeptical of the game until it's release and was eager to jump on any of it's flaws.

Imerion

#105

Imerion said:

Finally an article about Other M that I completely agree with!
The fact that Samus has feelings doesn't make her less awesome and bad, just more believable as a human character. And as for consistency, I decided to play Metroid Fusion just before getting Other M and because of that I found those accusations very strange. The two games are clearly very similar story-wise. And as you said, there were no negative reactions about Fusion...

I haven't read all comments here, too many. But @LittleIrves; you have a very interesting point which I hadn't thought about before. Regardless what people think of the game it has obviously evoked quite a lot of emotions, which is something few games can boost about...

Kid_A

#107

Kid_A said:

@LittleIrves
I think you really hit the nail on the head. There have undoubtedly been better games released this year, but none of them have sparked quite the same amount of intense discussion and debate as Other M; and as such, it ends up being one of my top games of the year. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a masterpiece, Red Dead Redemption is equally amazing and Kirby's Epic Yarn is one of the most fully realized concepts you'll ever see in a game.

They're not much fun to talk about, though. Games that receive universal acclaim are great, obviously, but it's the controversial, overtly flawed ones that spark the most interesting discussions.

WiiLovePeace

#109

WiiLovePeace said:

@ 100. JakobG sorry just thought I'd point out in Metroid: Other M Samus doesn't work for the Galactic Federation, at the start of the game it is explained she is an independant bounty hunter who is allowed to stay in the facility on the basis that she follow's Adam's orders. She agrees out of respect for Adam, or something along those lines iirc.

Sushie

#110

Sushie said:

I really liked the action in this game. The first few, story heavy hours had me worried, but I was ultimately impressed with how well the action works considering the limitations.Sure, there were some puzzling (downright amateurish?) design decisions, and the dialogue, voice acting, and even the continuity are a mess in this game, but It ended up feeling like Metroid game, which is probably the most important thing to me. It's my least favorite in the series, but I think it's a good start for a possible sequel.

RaylaxStaff

#111

Raylax said:

let's clear up the whole Galactic Fed thing. Samus doesn't work for the GF, she's an independent bounty hunter, but she works with the GF, and is clearly a trusted ally of the GF if not an official soldier, and it seems to be where she gets the majority of her missions. The reason for her submission to Adam, I believe, is threefold:
1) Her storyline-related huge amount of respect for the guy. We know this already, it was there in Fusion too.
2) There's the very likely possibility of survivors on board. You don't go around dropping human-vaporizing nukes and firing off missiles when there's people around you're supposed to be finding and protecting. Granted though, the Varia suit thing was horribly handled. Grappling hook wasn't exactly winning points either.
3) The GF certainly appear to be the largest civilised authority in the known universe. No matter how bad Samus is, is she really going to disobey direct orders from them when one word from the higher-ups could have her reduced to space dust within the hour? We saw throughout Other M and Fusion that the higher ranks aren't exactly afraid of underhand methods to get the best outcome for them, and they're certainly good at making rash, ill-thought-out decisions. How many times are they going to try to farm Metroids for their own benefits before they realise it keeps going horribly wrong? If they suddenly find they've got a loose cannon causing trouble and disobeying their orders, then Samus's importance to the GF will barely register as more than a removable statistic. And besides, as seen in the GF logs of Metroid Prime 2, Samus herself is barely more than an urban myth for most people, being named alongside fairy tales such Yeti, Bigfoot and Santa Claus in one trooper's log. Who's going to notice if she disappears?

zionich

#112

zionich said:

@ Marioman64

Pretty much what I was trying to say back at post 51. Great way to bring it all togeother =)

Spoony_Tech

#113

Spoony_Tech said:

Alright no time to read all this but wasn't it sexiest in the first game when they revealed her in a bikini. I mean come on were we all just blind to the fact that she was a girl and didn't care. Or was it so early in gaming no one even thought of it way back then when story's were told through game play alone. She has always been a sexy character;otherwise they would not design her to look that way. Look at Lora Croft for example. She came along when story telling became a norm so no one complained about her. The story in the game was good and the control was bad. That was the deal breaker for me. Still I beat the game then also like pix said sold it back since it just didn't appeal to me as much as the rest of the series.

EddieBGreen

#114

EddieBGreen said:

Good piece.
My wife loved the game. She dislikes FPS, but found the mechanic in MoM playable.
I think part of the 'sexism' issue is a male perception of what a female hero should be. 'Hardcore' Gamers in general don't have a good rep when it comes to gender perception. I agree with the physical portrayal of Samus being silly - but then so is every female action film star.
Personally I would like to see more emotional introspective video game heroes - of whatever gender.

brainofj

#115

brainofj said:

Seriously, it's been five months since the game came out. How long is this "debate" about the "controversy" surrounding Other M going to continue?

The_Fox

#117

The_Fox said:

How long is it going to continue? Probably for as long as people insist on putting articles about said controversy on the front page. It died down more or less on this site until this appeared...

TheBaconator

#118

TheBaconator said:

@brainofj
You don't belong here. You're making, too much sense in this war involving nonsense.
I mean really, it's a video game people. Not every one is going to agree with you.
that went a little far -- TBD

Kid_A

#122

Kid_A said:

@mizumaru
You know, that's an interesting question. It's never stated, but that's to be expected: I don't know of any videogame protagonists that have specified ages, right off the top of my head. And you can see why Nintendo wouldn't want to specify her age: the franchise has been around for 20 years or so, and it'll probably go on for 20 more.

Token_Girl

#123

Token_Girl said:

This has been a really interesting discussion. It seems that most people don't have a problem with the fact that there was more story in the game or even the basic premise of the story. Complaints come mainly in the form of how the story was handled.

Personally, I don't think "it's a video game, you should expect a crummy story by now," is a reasonable argument in the game's defense. Games have been able to tell fairly in depth stories since the PS1/N64 era. The mechanics available in games nowadays are similar to what's available in 3D animated movies. I think with big-budget games like Metroid, it's not unreasonable to ask that some of the development budget to go to some good writers (they're probably a lot cheaper than the cutscenes themselves).

Then there are the complaints about the gameplay, to each his own there. Bottom line is, is the gameplay worth sitting through a crappy story for you personally (whether or not you feel the story is compatible with Samus's character, there seems to be little argument that it was poorly told)? Do you not care too much or will the set up make or break the experience for you. No amount of articles and debating will answer that question for anyone at this point. Everyone basically knows the game's issues and needs to decide themselves if it's something they would enjoy.

Boonehams

#124

Boonehams said:

And Token Girl basically closes down the discussion... but that's not gonna stop me from saying my two cents!

I'm of the mind that if the story was told well, this controversy wouldn't exist. Feel free to blame it on things getting lost in translation or that the storytellers made some big, amateurish mistakes (dropping seemingly important plot threads, characters acting out of character for plotting purposes, melodramatic over-monologuing, etc.), but everything mentioned in the previously linked article (89. Ski Deuce) sums up EXACTLY how I felt watching the story unfold.

One final thing that I just have to say: There is NOTHING you could say that could convince me that Samus would turn "little-girl scared" at the sight of Ridley. Prior to 'Other M' in the 'Metroid' timeline, she single-handedly defeated Ridley 4 times and had a total of about 7 different violent confrontations with him. Even under the worst conditions, she was always able to escape. What could possibly scare her about him at this point?

Okay, imagine that your parents were killed by some monster and then, when you're older, you are given the chance at vengeance and you kill it... on 4 separate occasions. Despite how fearsome the monster is, you know that you are capable of taking it out (or at the very least, holding your own until you can escape) because you've done it before several times. Now, how would you feel if you ran into it again? If you said "scared to the point that I can't move," you might be insane.

Kid_A

#125

Kid_A said:

@Boonehams
I think the fact that she's beaten him 4 times yet he still keeps popping up is an argument for her fear. Not a fear of Ridley himself, but the fear of "will I ever be able to escape this? Is this how I'm going to spend the rest of my life?"

Metroid Other M is a game about Samus' past catching up to her, and I think the Ridley fight is the pinnacle of the story in that regard. No matter what she does, no matter how many times she defeats him, he keeps coming back. She can't escape him no matter how hard she tries. I think that is the fear that's going on here, not "Ahhh! A scary monster!"

Capt_N

#126

Capt_N said:

I sounds like Token Girl pointed out the considered majority flaw in terms of the story ~ Not the story itself, but the presentation of it. B/c that seems to be the only real flaw I seem to be reading about in these comments, even by those who say they like the game.

I can't say, I have yet to play it. I can only go by what I read, hear, & put together of the 2. But I just tonight played Fusion, & Fusion has the same (occasionally, & possibly unnecessary) door-lock mechanic I hear Other M does. Furthermore, I'm not sure if, from what I hear, Samus' respect/fixation/whatever it is for Adam, needed to be told in the way I'm understanding it was told. Fusion has Samus monologue her distaste for authority directly over her, as well as for her respect, or whatever it is for Adam, for instance, him calling her, "Lady".

I'm still gonna try out Other M to see if I like it, or not.

Gamesake

#127

Gamesake said:

I don't think taking orders from an unlikable CO is what gives the game it's sexist tilt. Samus has been single-handedly saving the day since the original Metroid, in Other M she needs a team of 5 men to continuously save her bacon. Samus is supposedly a famous bounty hunter but all that doesn't matter to her or anyone else in Other M. What does matter is how she couldn't cut it back in the GF. Moreover; Samus is constantly second guessing herself and it paints her as an unlikely hero, a last resort, not the right man for the job. The smell of Misogyny comes from this marginalizing of Samus, having her take a back seat to the men in the same story that she stars in.

Also; I feel bad for G4, don't they know game reviews aren't about informing consumers but placating fans? Tell them what they want to hear, like IGN does.
@JakobG Samus wasn't cute? I doubt Anthoney would look that good in his Zero Suit. And don't forget Samus has worked with the GF, but she doesn't work for them.

nice_shirt

#128

nice_shirt said:

Just finished the game and I think it's great! I feel like she agreed to follow Adam's commands because she enjoys the sport of it. The game would have been pretty dull if you had all your power-ups from the start. This attitude is illustrated perfectly when she activates her space jump on her own authority and sarcastically asks the m.i.a. Adam if he has any objections. Just go with it and enjoy the ride, it's a good one.

Kid_A

#129

Kid_A said:

@Gamesake
I'm sorry, but I don't see how this game has Samus "taking the back seat" to the male characters in the game. Yeah, Anthony saves her life, but she saves his, too. And as far as Samus second-guessing herself, that's honestly what I liked the most about the game. It humanized her a bit, turning her into something a little more than a cold-blooded chick in a robot suit. It's up to your own interpretation, I suppose. I love flawed characters; just because the character happens to be a woman doesn't make it sexist.

Gamesake

#130

Gamesake said:

Samus does take a back seat. She's like a support character in Other M. Her accomplishments are minor compared to Anthony's and Malkovich's. Samus merely survives wandering around the bottle ship serving primarily to bare witness to what's happening on board. Meanwhile, ==Spoilers== Anthony saves her twice before taking on his final role as deus ex machina and Malkovich stops her from entering Sector 0 because (apparently) he feels she would only get herself killed (my hero!). Samus does help Anthoney fight off a boss monster--I guess you could say she saves him but it's not like he was paralyzed with fear. ==End Spoilers== Samus doesn't have to be cold-blooded but she should be more focused on the mission. She's in a life or death situation--why is she so sentimental and self-conscious? Whether it's humanizing or not why are all the women in this story an emotional wreck while the men are courageous and cool under pressure? Where are their flaws? I think the sexist complaints still have some merit.

Too bad Nintendo didn't let Team Ninja bring back the JUSTIN BAILEY code. If your game is going to be labeled sexist you might as well go the extra mile.

GojiFan

#132

GojiFan said:

I registered on this site solely because of this article and some of the comments I have seen. I feel like I can help put the controversy of the Ridley scene to rest.

-First, Ridley killed (and possibly devoured) her parents and everyone else she knew when she was just a child. The manga also says she has PTSD from the event I believe.

-Super Metroid was the first time Ridley actually died. He didn't escape, or get enhanced or anything like that. He was dead and gone.

-Did anyone bother to think she realized that Ridley and Little Birdie were the same creature?!? She could have shot Ridley right then and there. Instead she let him live, and lo and behold he killed one of her long time friends from her old squad. She was overcome with the realization that the family murdering dragon she finally killed was back because she LET HIM LIVE.

Spoilers

-You didn't see Samus freeze up and be paralyzed with fear when the Metroid Queen showed up. Nope, she dived head first (literally) into battle.

End Spoilers

As for the rest of the story, yeah the script/acting was kinda bad. And the setting was a bit of a rehash of Fusion. But I really enjoyed it regardless. Samus appearing as a bad killer when she is probably deathly afraid of the things (Ridley and the Space Pirates) that murdered everyone she knew as a child makes her far more appealing to me than "she has a gun and she kills things".

sparkx

#133

sparkx said:

Metroid Other M was the first Metroid game I've played since Super Metroid. Maybe because of this, I found Metroid M to be very faithful to the original concept. Yes, the cut scenes were too long and I wasn't a fan of permission upgrades but I loved the 2D/3D aspect of it. Felt like a perfect blend of old and new.

After finishing the game I decided to check Prime Trilogy. While playing I kept wanting to switch to 2D mode....the whole experience just felt...incomplete to me. I know its blasphemy to say around these parts but the Metroid Prime games felt like nothing more than mediocre 1st person shooters.

I'm really looking forward to see which direction they go next with the franchise. I just pray they don't scrap the 2D/3D gameplay. It made the game so much more interesting and dynamic.

Cia

#134

Cia said:

*Spoilers
In one scene, Anthony actually admits that he's not the galactic savior (like Samus), but merely a human, and he can't do anything but save Samus. Then he sends Samus to kill Ridley (what Anthony himself can't do), and walks away to his death. How does this make Samus look weak?
Also, how does Samus take a backseat in the story, since she's the central character all the way and wipes the floor with enemies like Ridley and Queen Metroid. Some of these comments just doesn't make sense.

Leleth

#135

Leleth said:

So after reading a lot of mixed reviews (bad/good), one of the which actually directed me here, i finally ended up with a copy of the game in my hands. I got it from a friend, i asked if he was playing it and he told me he got it from another friend that just gave it to him and now he didnt cared for it, so i was like, yes!, SCORE!.... not really.
After 1 day of trying the game out, all i can say is, its now sitting in my shelf,like from the person i got it from, dusting up, till the next person comes along and picks it up, if you havent seen this review on the game (see link below), i HIGHLY suggest you do.

-http://moonbase.rydia.net/mental/blog/gaming/metroid-other-m-the-elephant/article.html

Ive always been a metroid fan, always lenient with the story and plot though, but after 1-2 hours of this title, i kept seeing all the ways the game tries to get the player to get involve into the plot so i said, hey ive got it, now ill go through with it, to my own dissapointment i did (till i couldnt bear it no longer).

So the game starts off with a real eye candy cut scene, controls are/were lackluster though, but it kept me excited to keep on going. So as i was progressing through the game (already irritated by the NO, you cant use that! mechanic), and reached the so called Hell Run, (check the review link above and scroll down a few and youll know what im talking about, it was the exact same thing i imagined, it also made my day i couldnt stop laughing) i had heard about it before but after witnessing first hand i was left with a distate for the game that ive never actually felt before, i took the game out and put it on my shelf, story/drama/controls/gameplay aside, im positive every or most players felt/said/thought to themselves, omg, what is going on!?, that part of the game sent out a really unhealthy message out, lackluster controls aside, that was/is powerful enough to get a reaction (bad one) from anyone, because it surely did from me and im usualy w/e for that type of moments.
Heh, at one point i was about to get some popcorn and call my sister and ask her if she wanted to see Twilight in Space.

Having said that, the graphics are good, not the greatest but good, controls are just poor, i understand the wii brings a whole new ball game when it comes down to controls, but someone dropped the ball on this one, the story is something that needs to be looked at, story came to play ALOT in this title and it really has a few dark aspects to it.

The next metroid title that comes along will not have a high priority on my list and it will go the same for ALOT of people, that being said i hope people try out this game and come up with their own conclusions of it, after all to each his own.

donzaloog1400

#137

donzaloog1400 said:

It sounds to me that all the little girls who grew up idolizing the badass bounty hunter Samus, were disappointed to find out that she's actually human, with flaws and everything. Get over it, you babies! It reminds me of an old saying, "Don't ever meet your heroes"

You guys meet your hero and didn't like what you saw.

And as far as sexism goes, I didn't here anybody cry sexism when we saw Samus in her Zero suit in Super Smash Bros. or when it was revealed she was wearing a bikini under her Varia suit in Super Metroid, so shut up about it now.

Gameplay wasn't excellent, that's my only complaint.

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