All Comments
Mother, May I See Metroid: Other M
Introduction

Tuckerscreator
Interesting, if unusual, approach. Since you've got guidelines for it, I assume you've got this thought through.

(Apologies for the accidental blank previous comment.)
Tuckerscreator
Me and this game have an amusing little history. See back in 2010, I was genuinely excited for this game. I thought that it was going to do some awesome stuff with the series, and I liked the fact that they were allegedly going to explore Samus' character. I thought it would focus on her past and who she was. Well, the date came around, and when I got the money I actually had a choice of two games, this and Super Mario Galaxy 2. After I saw the reviews for Other M (The majority of initial ones being positive), I decided that Galaxy 2 would be a better game at the moment, and I would get Other M later.

As I found out more and more about the game, my interest and hope slowly decayed away as I was presented with what it was. And then everything came to a head when at the end of last year, Myer was closing down it's games section, and I could actually get Other M for free via Gift Card (Actually a fraction of one).

I did not buy it. Other M was an utter travesty in my eyes by then.
Emperordaein
So, your reason for not buying it is not the loss of money itself, but the "support" you allegedly would give the game?

Well, this (and the first few lines of the first installment) makes already clear that the purpose of this thing is nothing but bitching and that I won't get the sensible, not-fanboyish examination I rather have.

Not that I expected else, of course.
Nyarly
I won't get the sensible, not-fanboyish examination I rather have.

Translation: he doesn't agree with me, so his opinion, no matter how well-justified or researched, is not sensible and clearly the product of fanboyism. But I'm not going to bother actually rebutting any of his claims or explaining where they are not sensible or fanboyish, since that would require actual effort. So instead, I'll just declare it to be so without anything approaching actual logic or evidence. Huzzah!

If you feel that there is something I've stated which is not incorrect or otherwise not being fair to the game, feel free to point this out in the comments. Or don't; it's up to you. But this? This isn't helping.
Korval
Actually, that was just an observation.

The thing is, I never played Other M myself. I only heard many (rather negative) things about it. So, I can't say whether you are (in)correct or whether you (dis)agree with my opinions (since I don't have any about the game).

Basically, I'd a mostly objective (not purely, of course, since that is impossible) examination, but the introduction gave me the impression that I won't find it here. That may be actually wrong, but I have no way of knowing it, so I base my judgement on the introduction. First impressions do count, after all.
Nyarly
Umm, Theater Mode has bits of gameplay in it actually. It shows you how to get certain energy tanks and Missile Expansions, and shows bits of boss fights.

It's not that useful for helping a player with gameplay, as it's only unlocked after the game is beaten, but...
unnoun
Sakamoto didn't direct the original Metroid. The remake Zero Mission, maybe, but not the original NES version.
Psychopulse

Nekocress
Correction. Team Ninja is a Tecmo subsidiary and was a Tecmo subsidiary at the time Other M was in development.
IndirectActiveTransport

Korval
You Remind Me of the Babe
Oh boy, I love the Bottle Ship picture. Made me laugh so hard.
Tuckerscreator
... You do know that, if Samus was rendered unconscious by Mother Brain's attack, there was no way that she could've known that the power came from Mother Brain, right? The problem with the scene in that context is that the makers purposefully separated the player's point of view from Samus' point of view.

We were expected to have Samus know what was happening because we assumed that she would've been conscious throughout it all, what with not losing consciousness until... well, dying. The player doesn't lose consciousness, and for gameplay purposes that's all that matters. I'm not necessarily saying that it was a good idea, but given that we're actually shown things from Samus' perspective, I suppose it would only be natural to see things shifted from how we saw them.

Think of it as a real-life Rashomon, essentially. Might be right, might be wrong. Just a possibility.
nomuru2d
given that we're actually shown things from Samus' perspective, I suppose it would only be natural to see things shifted from how we saw them.

Is the player not Samus Aran? Why should the player's perspective not be the same as the player's avatar in the game space? Super Metroid certainly never gave the impression that these were different perspectives. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that SM worked because they weren't different perspectives.

The whole point of having silent protagonists and so forth is to further integrate the player into the character's perspective by not introducing a voice outside of the player's thoughts. That's kinda the point I'm making. Super Metroid believed in this, and it did so very strongly.

Other M does not.
Korval
I really never thought about the differences in the opening scene and Super Metroid's ending, but you're completely right. The Metroid's size is radically different, and Mother Brain didn't use the hyper beam to kill it. The entire scene is changed.
Scardoll
nomuru2d: "You do know that, if Samus was rendered unconscious by Mother Brain's attack, there was no way that she could've known that the power came from Mother Brain, right?"

Samus was never unconscious during the battle. That's another contradiction Other M makes. She was exhausted and panting, but when the metroid attacked, she saw the whole thing. Refer to this picture:

She's faced down before the attack, and then looked up when the metroid came. So it's likely she discerned how she got the Hyper beam.
thefavs
"No hotlinked images,"... Well, just Youtube "Super Metroid Mother Brain Battle", and observe the scene. Vastly different than how Other M distorted it.
thefavs
...I thought Nintendo vehemently denied the existence of a Zelda timeline until just before Skyward Sword came out?
banjo2E
I know that I'm potentially bring up Sakamoto here, but from what's been told it wasn't really the fault of Jess Martin (Samus's VA) to speak so dully. She's theatrically trained from what's been said about her, and I don't think her actual acting skills should be put into question.

None of the above is in defence for the game, of course.
Djinntroid
Djinntroid, I've actually met Jessica Martin, and she is a very talented actor. That there is such a range of problems in Other M points to a director testing waters that he just isn't equipped to deal with. I know we aren't supposed to bring him up, but I've read that Sakamoto was present during all the voice acting recording, which just sounds like a bad idea having someone co-direct a foreign language dub.
Gendreavus
>Super Metroid didn't need any such narration; the Metroid fell onto Samus's body and clearly transferred the power to her
My read of the scene is that the Metroid's corpse disintegrated in mid-air and didn't so much "fall on top of Samus". Samus got the Hyper Beam from the direct energy transfer - the part in the scene where you can actually see Samus' health bar increasing again. It's a little nitpick, and it ultimately doesn't matter, but it's the very fact that it doesn't matter that reinforces your point.
You know that shot in Other M where Samus picks up a tiny golden speck of ash, and that's what gives her the Hyper Beam? This always struck me as being needlessly fantastical. In Super Metroid this was a valid interpretation of the scene, but it was equally valid to have Samus go fucking berserk as the Metroid's bubbling, smoldering corpse flopped to the ground. Different players had different emotions, but in the end they were all equally intense. It was an emotional moment no matter how it was interpreted.
But in Other M they FORCE a specific emotion on you. They FORCE a specific interpretation on you. This kills a lot of the magic, eh?
TARINunit9
Being Adam Malkovich
Eh, I agree with you on almost all the points, but less insults and jabs in every paragraph would be good. Especially in that hottip. It's possible to be negative without being mean spirited. And I re-emphasize that I still agree with you otherwise.
Tuckerscreator
Damn, that mention of the Prime games made me feel good; it's nice to know I'm not the only one outraged by that defense.

Loving your blog. :-)
Scardoll
Also, I think the "any objections, lady?" was supposed to be meant in the same way as in Fusion. It just doesn't work because we don't see a relationship built up between Adam and Samus before the line, so it sounds like he's just being a douche.
Scardoll
Actually when they find the first corpse, Samus doesn't monologue that he was attacked. James is the one who pointed that out. But either way, Captain Obvious saves the day.
thefavs
The only thing I have to say about the Prime thing is that if Nintendo is so stuck up to think what they and Team Ninja did to Metroid is better than what Retro Studios did FOR Metroid then the only canon I'm willing to recognize is Prime and won't buy another Metroid game unless the license is given back to Retro with full creative control.
sexybabeee
You missed a 'Shitting on Metroid' moment. In the manga Samus's relationship to Adam was no where near as messed up. And when Samus left it was because the GF was holding her back and Adam agreed that leaving was the right thing.
LeithSol
My only comment is that I disagree with the defense of Adam-Computer in Fusion. The... "Be a good girl and do as your told" attitude wasn't as readily apparent in that game, but you don't have to read too deeply between the lines. The way he/it admonishes you for your (railroaded) initiative in unlocking the Level 4 doors and getting the diffusion missiles, or for visiting the restricted zone, and afterwards the way it decides that "Welll I guess we can self-destruct, but it has to be my way" kinda spelled that out to me.

The big difference was that in Fusion, Samus didn't immediately roll over.
aubade
Pocket Monsters
Is this the only time that she didn't call it "the baby"? If not, I propose a drinking game for whenever she doesn't. XD
nomuru2d
The "Zebesian" comment also brings this game's connection to the Prime games in further doubt, since in Prime 3, we visit the Space Pirate homeworld, a hellish, industrial death fortress with the constant forecast of Acid Rain. I don't seem to remember Zebes having Acid Rain.

Samus runs all the way down the stairs. She rushes outside, even though she can clearly see that the monster isn't in view as she does so.

I am going to assume Adam didn't authorise her to do that.

Who knows what ridiculous thing it might evolve into next?

HA! HA HA! HAAAAAAA.....The reveal of what that thing is happens to be one of the most depressingly awful things in the game.

Actually, one thing that horrifically smashes bad gameplay and bad storytelling together at this moments are the Pixel Hunts. Basically, what the game does during certain cutscenes, is force Samus into an immobile First Person View. During this period you have to find an object to move the story forward. And that means you cannot get out of this mode until you find it. Not only are Where's Wally puzzles are one of the last things people would want in a Metroid game, more often than not, these points of interest are put in very arbitrary places. So more fuel to the fire that is this game's writing.
Emperordaein
The reveal of what that thing is happens to be one of the most depressingly awful things in the game.

I disagree. Oh, don't get me wrong; it is breathtakingly stupid and painful to think about. In any other story, this would be among the worst aspects of it.

But this is Other M we're talking about. There's so much bad to this story that this reveal only rates somewhere in the middle of the badness. If I listed the top-10 horrible things in this story, it wouldn't be among them.

There's just too much character assassination, horrible writing, ridiculous plotting, etc for this to really rank that highly. Then again, when you're dealing with stuff this Godawful, there's no real way to rate it; the worst element is just the one most recently experienced.
Korval
"Zebesian" appears in the manuals for both Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion. While I'm not sure why they used this term (I like thinking the GF used it to distinguish them from the Kihunters), that error at least cannot be blamed on this installment.
FalconPain
In an interview, Yoshio Sakamoto stated the crab-clawed Space Pirates called themselves "Zebesians" after the conquest of the planet for the same reason European colonists took to calling themselves "Americans".
Arawn444
That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard in my entire life.
Trollblade69
European colonists took to calling themselves "Americans" when they started being born in the Americas. Did the Space Pirates colonise Zebes for that long? :P
Noaqiyeum
"Zebesian" is the name given to those space pirates who went through the same chozo DNA infusion than Samus. Its basicly a race of pirates that look like birds instead of insects.

BTW, acording to the NES metroid manual(and the retcons), Ridley was the first Zebesian.
Xtrems
Deletion, Authorized
And here we go... Can't wait to see how you'll tear into it through the next entries, judging from how thoroughly you've done this one. XD
nomuru2d
Korval, did you follow Maple Leaf and Olive Branch's Lets Play thread? Because they actually jokingly brought up the first two reasons for the Heat Run. Either way, said Lets Play is brilliant and is worth checking out. Particularly Olive Branch's commentary, who is experiencing the story blind.
Emperordaein
I did see the Let's Play (though not when the thread was active), and it was very good. I do admit taking the first idea from them, but the second was pretty obvious.

The impetus for me starting this really was Slowbeef and Diabetus's Rongu-Purae of Theater Mode. I heard enough about Other M when it came out to avoid it at all costs, so I'd pretty much forgotten about it until that came up on the Retsupurae You Tube channel. And after seeing that whole thing, I just felt the need to do this.
Korval
The lack of trust Adam has for Samus is really jarring; it's nothing like the relationship she alludes to in Fusion.

I'd say the Sector Zero scene is the best evidence of why Adam's lack of trust for her is stupid stupid STUPID
Scardoll

bsw17
The Higgs Boson
... Fucking wow. How did I not put that together? She got derailed harder than I thought. *facepalm*
nomuru2d
Oh God. I never thought about how Adam showed no emotions towards Ian's death. That's... That's scary.

They didn't just derail Samus' character with this game, they derailed Adam's too. Samus' "You're nothing like the real Adam Malkovitch" scene in Fusion makes no sense if this is the real Adam Malkovich.
Scardoll
The other major problem with the Ian scene is that we have no idea who this guy is and why we should care, much like Metroid newbies would have no idea who Ridley is and why they should care.

I mean, okay, he's Adam's brother, but... so? We don't know anything about his personality or why Samus is so freaked out about him dying (beyond, perhaps, that he is Adam's Brother and thus of importance to Adam oh god Other M I hate you). He's just as faceless as the Federation redshirts on the BOTTLE SHIP.
SparkyLurkdragon
beyond, perhaps, that he is Adam's Brother and thus of importance to Adam oh god Other M I hate you

And thus you have realized the point. The absence of information about Ian is because we aren't supposed to care about him as a person. He is simply "Adam's Brother" and nothing more than that.

Because why should we care about a character as a person? I mean, that might get in the way of the Adam fellatio. And that would be horrible.
Korval

ThinkerACP
“Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.” -Ian Malcolm; Jurassic Park

There are so many things wrong with this scene that one BIG thing has been overshadowed. I only realized it after re-watching this scene. I'm talking about Samus' request to go after Ian. Her request makes no sense! I mean, think about it. Let's say that Adam allowed Samus to go after Ian. Let's say Samus reached Ian before the ship exploded. Then what? Was she going to tap his shoulder and say “Let's go”? Was she going to take him by the hand out of the ship? Was she going to sling him over her shoulder and carry him out? What would her running to Ian accomplish, except have two people in danger instead of one? She would have to put herself in peril and then leave with Ian, whereas Ian can just leave on his own without Samus. You see, we've been so busy wondering if Samus could actually do it that we didn't wonder if she even had to do it. I think that's why Adam doesn't respond to her plea; it's so stupid it doesn't even deserve a response. Why is it made to seem she has to go over there? Ian's in a tight spot, but he doesn't need rescuing, he just need's to leave. Samus shouldn't be in this equation. It's between Adam and Ian. Here's what should have happened: Adam should have said to Ian “Get out of there!”. It's established they were in radio communication. Ian starts running, but Adam realizes he's not going to make it in time, and orders the drive section separated. Then Samus could chime in “Wait Adam! -Ian- can make it! Just give -him- a chance! You have to trust -him-!”. This scenario now focus' on Ian's ability and Adam's decision. Of course in this case, the scene is not about Samus. So here's another thing that could/should have happened: Ian starts his routine thing, but then a malfunction in the drive reactor causes an explosion in his room that (A) disrupts the lock function on the door, trapping him inside, (B) sends him flying back and knocking him out, or (C ) causes steel columns and debris to fall on him, trapping him and/or knocking him out. NOW Ian needs rescuing and Samus' request makes sense. She has a reason to go over there. But the way the scenario is constructed, it makes Samus' request not only (like you said) impossible, but also completely pointless.
TheFavs
Leaping Lizards, Part 1
Oh man, I didn't think I'd make it through the gigantic wall. So much deconstruction that it's ridiculous, but it's a very well thought-out read.
nomuru2d
Hey, China called. They want their wall back!
MadWritter
Yeah, that was kinda lengthy. Especially when you realize that the entire scene is only about 7 minutes of Theater Mode, and the egregious part is 1 minute.

I felt the length was necessary due to how often and how vehemently people actually defend this. It really amazes me how often it is that people really don't get what the problem is with this scene.

On the plus side, none of the other sections will be as long. There's one that gets somewhat close, but that one is more due to the sheer density of stupid in the scene being described.
Korval
I've split it up into three parts, to make it less text-wally.
Korval
It's okay by me, man.
nomuru2d
There seemed to be a conspicuous lack of uproar at "Ridley is a Furby". Perhaps that's because of the sheer idiocy of the "Samus freezes up" scene. But I thought it sounded like a strange idea at best, a dumb one at worst, for Ridley to be a fluffy thing. Good to hear that's the case.
Tuckerscreator
I remember when Samus actually took her helmet off at the end of Prime 1, and stood there for a moment looking at the destruction while holding said helmet in her hand. Other M screwed the pooch when it came to her suit's powers.
crazyrabbits
I know it's sort of late and a side-bit, but actually, there was some justification for the suit disintegrating from previous Metroid works.

Chozo suits (and the Chozo's psychic powers themselves, in a sense) function on an ability to turn matter into energy (or maybe just shift them into a pocket dimension at will) and back into matter again at extremely high rates of speed.

First, consider that missiles are essentially phased-in on demand without needing any sort of belt feed or ammo clip even though Samus can literally carry hundreds at a time. Ammo is held as energy inside her suit capacitors.

Second, consider her right arm - for a long time, fans of Metroid considered Samus's cannon to be a prosthetic because it clearly occupied the same space as her forearm. Parts of Prime contradict this, since the X-Ray visor lets you see arm bones inside the cannon (even nearly to the tip of the cannon, which leaves no space for that cannon to actually charge up energy), but generally, it's implied that Samus's forearm is actually turned into energy when her arm cannon is in play.

Third, the Morph Ball doesn't involve Samus just tucking into a ball. Read that part in Prime 1 where you read the datalog about Space Pirates trying to copy the morph ball again - it actually involves turning Samus's body into energy and morphing the shape of the armor around the energy ball her body was turned into. In fact, you can outright see this in Hunters, and to a lesser extent in some of the Prime balls after you get charge ball.

Fourth, the whole suit comes off at will like it does in Other M at the end of Prime 2 and converts her back to "zero suit". Meaning, basically, that her whole suit, or any part of it (she can just take off the helmet, for example) materializes or disintigrates at will.

Finally, in the comic put into parts of the old Nintendo Power magazines, there was a Metroid comic. At one point in the comic, right before the first boss in Brinstar, Samus was being accompanied by another bounty hunter, presumably just so she had someone to talk to, since the comic would need some dialogue to keep things interesting. (Notably, he was portrayed as generally incompetent and Samus was having to save him frequently in between her insistence that he go home and leave things to her.)

At one point, however, in the middle of talking to the other bounty hunter, a spike trap pops up and spears Samus in the arm, right through her power armor. The other bounty hunter freaks out, and drags her off the scene, and flies her to the "only family she has", which is her Chozo wizened old kung-fu mentor guy. He explains that the power armor is based upon her will and concentration, and will not properly materialize if she doesn't stay in the right frame of mind. When the bounty hunter sheepishly asks if he was at fault for distracting Samus, the chozo responds that it was unlikely, and that it was more likely that she was disturbed by the disappearance of the Metroid Hatchling. (Incidentally, he heals Samus with the power bomb heal trick.)
Wraith_Magus
For the missile thing, would Samus be able to use any type of energy to form a missile? In the games, different ammo pickups were separate. Health was also a separate pickup. If Samus could use any type of energy, you could logically assume that Samus would be able to convert health energy into ammo if she needed, and vice versa.

That being said, I would think for a warrior like Samus who has undergone extreme physical and mental training, maintaining the suit during crisis situations would be extremely important. She probably was trained extensively just for that. The Chozo battle suit is regarded as one of the most powerful weapons in the galaxy not because it is rare, but because Samus is probably the only being who is able to use it.

Still, I don't like the whole "materialize" thing. Seems too magical and less sci-fi. For Morph Ball, I had always thought that her Chozo DNA allowed her to contort her body in ways that other beings could not (curling up into a ball is a Chozo-unique ability and they did it for ritualistic purposes if you look at the Chozo statues with their palms open).

You probably know more about the source material than I do, but sometimes the source material makes just about as much sense as the games.
Leopoldshark
Leaping Lizards, Part 2
Interesting.

I dislike the PTSD explanation for another reason: PTSD is a copout explanation. It is the equivalent of saying that Samus got sad due to magic fairy dust, because neither has any evidence supporting it outside of that scene. There is no source that says Samus has PTSD, there is nothing in the other Metroid games to suggest it, and the only supporting evidence is from the manga, which only has the stress occurring the very next time she meets Ridley (Making it rather suspect whether it was actually PTSD or just a regular old panic attack). The only reason why people suggest that Samus had post-traumatic stress disorder is that the disease is conveniently unpredictable in how it pops up, so they can say “Oh, she didn’t show any signs of it before because PTSD doesn’t need to do that.”

I don't like magic fairy dust being the explanation for Character Derailment.
Scardoll
Very well said, comrade.
LostHero
Post traumatic stress does have common signs. Difficulty remembering things that do not relate directly to the causes, for example. Continual focus on the event in the face of happenings that do not relate to it at all. Hallucinations, inability to move, passing out...Samus seems to show none of the signs of this mental condition in the game. That is unless the cause of her post traumatic stress is not Ridley but Adam, then I suppose one could make a (weak) case for it.

Yes, Samus shows a symptom of Post Traumatic Stress. Well I could sneeze and cough a lot all day, those are symptoms of flue. That does not mean I have a flue though, it could be allergies. Do I have a fever too?
Cider
Disclaimer: I have not seen/played Other M. My experience of it is entirely based in your critique.

One of the biggest problems with telling stories in videogames is that it's hard to make the player feel like they're making progress while still keeping their characters from becoming godlike superbeings that never fail. The fact that your entire criticism of this scene is based on the "Samus is a superhero" starting point indicates that previous games completely failed; after all, Samus has already done godlike things.

I propose that the idea behind this scene IS to destroy that image—to remind you that Samus IS just someone in a fancy suit. An incredible someone who does amazing things, but not a god. A Marvel superhero, not a DC one.

If you think about it from the point of view of the writers, it's clear that their goal is to tear Samus-as-superhero completely down. The one-person army is very 1980s. Flawed, human characters are way more interesting. If they had done this well, there would be no question that Other M would be heralded as a great story. Think Batman Beyond, where Bruce Wayne's Batman is shown has having gotten old, maybe lost his touch, been forced to retire and pass the torch. The god was brought low by something they could not fight: their own humanity.

This tries to do the same to Samus. I applaud that.

All that said, I completely acknowledge that it fails completely. Instead of making Samus human, they derail her entirely.

TLDR; This idea COULD HAVE BEEN GREAT. But the writers were hacks.
LightChrysalis
One of the biggest problems with telling stories in videogames is that it's hard to make the player feel like they're making progress while still keeping their characters from becoming godlike superbeings that never fail. The fact that your entire criticism of this scene is based on the "Samus is a superhero" starting point indicates that previous games completely failed; after all, Samus has already done godlike things.

The term "failed" presupposes the idea that there was some desire to succeeded. I contest this: none of the games were trying to do that at all. They didn't fail because they weren't trying to succeed to begin with.

Furthermore, Metroid games have done quite well in giving Samus moments of failure or difficulty within the context of the story. The entire Mother Brain fight in Super Metroid is basically a playable cutscene (assuming you have enough energy to survive the Hyper Beam once), one that you lose for most of the fight. Hardly a one-man army. Fusion likewise puts Samus in the position of the prey rather than the hunted. Zero Mission has Samus stripped of her gear and left weak and vulnerable, to fight her way through a Pirate ship.

Notably, all of these do it through gameplay rather than cutscenes. None of them detract from Samus as a character; indeed, they add to her character.

The Primes primarily do storytelling through the past. Rather than trying to stop Samus from being a wrecking machine, they take Samus out of the story entirely. The stories being told in those games are about what happened previously in these locations. This allows them to tell interesting stories in a novel way, while not subtracting anything from Samus herself.

I propose that the idea behind this scene IS to destroy that image—to remind you that Samus IS just someone in a fancy suit. An incredible someone who does amazing things, but not a god. A Marvel superhero, not a DC one.

I... contest part of this.

I contest the idea that Marvel heroes are in some way different from DC ones on this score. Marvel heroes may tend to have more faults, rather than being paragons and icons like DC's heroes. But that doesn't mean they don't have those elements to them.

Marvel heroes still have those larger-than-life elements to them. Tony Stark build his armor IN A MEME, WITH A MEME! Spiderman was able to invent web fluid, because of Science! And so forth.

Marvel heroes also have the two elements of superheroes: the abilities needed to be a hero and the driving force behind them. They may have more complexities to their drive than DC heroes, but it's still there.

The main thrust of your point is quite correct, and I acknowledge this: "a direct assault on her courage," that thing which makes her a superhero.

That's bad.

The one-person army is very 1980s. Flawed, human characters are way more interesting.

I contest that on general principle. Personally, I'm rather tired of these "flawed, human characters" who are little more than walking bags of neuroses. It's like the Dark Age of Comics, but everywhere, all at once. Nobody knows how to write a reasonably good character anymore; everybody's got to be some kind of sumovabitch or other. It is very possible to write characters that aren't assholes, douchebags, or some such that are still interesting.

Seriously, if I wanted to watch groups of douchebags be assholes at each other while the world slowly burns around them, I'd turn on the news.

However, the thing I contest the most is the primary thrust of my point: adding complexity does not require removing elements of character. If you want to make Samus more interesting than a "one-person army", fine; you don't have to stop her from being one to do that. I covered several ways of achieving that goal. And again, The Dark Knight Trilogy is a prime example. It's still Batman, still a superhero, just with more complexity.

Think Batman Beyond, where Bruce Wayne's Batman is shown has having gotten old, maybe lost his touch, been forced to retire and pass the torch. The god was brought low by something they could not fight: their own humanity.

And yet, he never once lost the drive to go out and right wrongs. He is still driven by the tragedy of his youth to help fix the world, so that nobody will ever have that happen to them. He may not be physically able to take care of business himself anymore, but that hasn't stopped him from wanting to.

The flesh may be weak, but the spirit never was. The Ridley scene attacked Samus's spirit, not her flesh.
Korval (edited by: Korval)
I agree the scene was poorly played out and definitely could have been handled better, and it does function as a Shout Out to a scene in the obscure Metroid manga, which states Samus has PTSD regarding Ridley eating her parents in front of her. Why this bit of characterization has never been brought up - barring a brief expression of shock in one of the Prime games - the other times she thought she'd killed him I dunno, but she did get a lot of sh*t dumped on her in a short amount of time: her maternal instincts were awakened by the "Baby" Metroid only to be tossed into a meat-grinder by Mother Brain, she reunites with her ex-commanding officer/father figure (complete with Abusive Parent and Stockholm Syndrome-meets-Well Done Son Guy connotations), and finds out that the monster that murdered her parents - which she thought she'd finally Killed Off for Real* - has been accidentally cloned by the people she works for. Was her breakdown excusable? Yes. Was it poorly scripted and executed? Yes, but this is Team Ninja we're talking about, and the whole scene was evidently shoehorned in to begin with. Could the scene have been pulled off if handled properly? Yes, as illustrated (literally) in the manga.

Arawn444
@Arawn444: You know, it's stupidity like that that made Korval dedicate the intro to the next part being all about HOW fanboys like you knock aside criticisms. Yes, she had all kinds of shit dropped on her, but she wasn't confused or uneasy with Adam's appearance. In fact, it's implied she'd probably be AT EASE with her husbando on the case. Plus it's also implied that it's been MONTHS since the intro tutorial scenes. Yes, she might've angsted about it then, but now she's just angsting about how "Adam is her guiding shepherd and nothing will go wrong as long as he's in control!".

I am also insulted at how you brainlessly, stupidly blame TEAM NINJA for this game's faults. I think it's been overestablished that THIS ENTIRE GAME WAS MADE EXCLUSIVELY BY NINTENDO. All Team Ninja did was be...well, I'll paraphrase The Oatmeal for this: "They were no longer game developers. They were now a mouse cursor inside a graphics program which Nintendo controlled by speaking, emailing, and instant messaging." So don't you fucking dare blame them for this.

Also, you're going to blame GAMEPLAY AND STORY SEGREGATION for Ridley's other deaths!?!? What the hell is wrong with you?! He blew up in Zero Mission, he got turned into a cyborg clone in Prime, he got cloned still in Super, and it was a frozen clone that was in Fusion!
Trollblade69
Flawed, human characters are way more interesting. If they had done this well, there would be no question that Other M would be heralded as a great story.
Immersible free roaming Metroidvanias are more interesting than 'cinematic' pipe shooters.
All that said, I completely acknowledge that it fails completely.
What I do not get is why Samus had to be mutilated if the she was too 80s, too superheroy, too DC or something. Prime 3 was the ideal time to back off Metroid with roughly eight games known for atmospheric level designs, game play innovations, set piece plots and light characterization.

Future company heads, it would be better to let your Samus become a relic from an earlier age like Flash Gordon or the Doom guy. Make a new character who frightfully obeys a CO who technically is not her CO, unjustifiably gushes over him, breaks down in her line of work and generally proves herself the anti-Samus. Put her in a straight forward no side path no backtrack anti-Metroidvania. Do a parody too, the Samus equivalent Captain Space, Defender of Earth!.

Maybe you now have three marketable characters, even if only because Nostalgia or Grandfather Clause keeps the "outdated" Samus type alive. Maybe the other two fail but your Samus is still untainted. Batman has remained popular despite the likes of Spider-man and The Ambiguously Gay Duo so there is precedent for simply making other things.

Beyond characterization, story and level layout, you want a scantly clad whip wielding waif? Why not create one? Why stuff one assuredly not that character into the role like Super Smash Bros Brawl awkwardly did. You want a clap your hands henshin hero? Why not make her and not break three plots to make Samus her. Especially if the character/brand fell into you possession or could otherwise be considered joint custody. Prime managed to mutilate things less, the mostly optional scan visor being the biggest change coming from a shift from 3rd to 1st person AND an added dimension to move in.
IndirectActiveTransport
Leaping Lizards, Part 3
Oops, I commented on your last post talking about my problem with the PTSD defense, and then I saw that you've already brought up that same problem. Glad to see we agree.
Scardoll
It's both funny and sad that I'm learning what counts as competent story-telling from a game like Other M. Or more precisely, learning from the sheer facepalm-worthiness of the game's structure on what makes truly awful story-telling.
Djinntroid
Thing is, despite having the disorder called out by name in the Manga, there is just as little or even less actual proof that Samus had post traumatic stress disorder, even then. Yes, Mother Brain says she seem to be displaying symptoms of it but Platinum Chest, the chozo, says that Samus had repressed her memories and was now recalling them in full detail for the first time.

IE: it might not have been post traumatic stress at all, that was just one character's guess and it was really out of surprise rather than through analysis. It could have just as easily been PTA, post traumatic amnesia, which indeed can produce similar symptoms to post traumatic stress but is also something you are more likely to "get over". Given that Platinum voice speaks in a manner of expecting it rather than surprise like Mother Brain, it is specifically about things not recalled and Samus gets over spectacularly I am going to say it was not PTSD in the manga either from now on.
IndirectActiveTransport
Let me tell you what else makes the PTSD thing so stupid: The breakdown that Samus had in front of Ridley at the beginning of the second half of the manga actually had some buildup to it. Before Ridley showed up, Mother Brain kept saying things like Samus was trained to be a soulless killing machine, and that became something that Samus didn't want to accept, so rage and abivolence swelled up in her until she broke. And later, she did get over her quote-unquote PTSD and in the last chapter, she completely and utterly destroyed Ridley in a chaotic, violent rampage. Where's your loophole now, Other M fans?
deltanine
It's both funny and sad that I'm learning what counts as competent story-telling from a game like Other M. Or more precisely, learning from the sheer facepalm-worthiness of the game's structure on what makes truly awful story-telling.

In fact, this is precisely why I write these lengthy overkill Liveblogs. Thinking in-depth about various media have helped me learn how proper writing and story structure works. Even from utter drek like this, one can learn a great deal if one is willing to wade into the muck.
Korval
Rush it out ASAP
... the baby
nomuru2d
It wasn't that her story had holes in it- through the holes were glimpses of the danger that was right before her eyes.

I have to admit, I took this line in stride when the LP got to it, mostly because everything else had numbed me to the awful dialogue.

Also, when Nightmare dies, we see that it's face is a deformed baby face with 6 eyes who gives a baby's cry as it dies.

Okay, it should be pointed out that it more or less did the same thing in Fusion. However, in Fusion, it was genuinely creepy. (Actually, first time I played through Fusion, I always thought that was just it's face melting, and that it was a machine. The green was because before it gets to that state, it starts leaking a green liquid which I interpreted as some kind of acid). In Other M, it's ridiculous.

Man, the memories of me actually being interested in Adam back in the Fusion days, and being genuinely excited to see him in Other M's reveal trailer seem so far away....
Emperordaein
Okay, it should be pointed out that it more or less did the same thing in Fusion.

In Fusion, the face was not baby-like at all. It had recessed lips instead of the protruding ones here, and its cheeks were not nearly as puffed out (until its face started melting). And the most important part: its scream was not nearly as baby-like. It was much more of a roar or howl of pain than anything associated with babies. Especially considering the GBA's sound processor.

Man, the memories of me actually being interested in Adam back in the Fusion days, and being genuinely excited to see him in Other M's reveal trailer seem so far away....

I'd actually forgotten the days when I thought Other M was going to be great. Or at least interesting. There really was a time when it was something potentially quite good.

And personally, that's probably one of the most painful aspects of this story: just how much it hurts Fusion by association.
Korval
Ah, I remember the days of the Other M trailer, when tons of people were convinced that MB was Sylux and Anthony was Weavel. Silly us.

And yes, making Nightmare a baby-like face was like giving the Alien-Human hybrid in Alien Resurrection those big puppy dog eyes to make it sad, even though it's still a bloodthirsty monster trying to eat you.
Tuckerscreator (edited by: Tuckerscreator)
In Fusion, the face was not baby-like at all. It had recessed lips instead of the protruding ones here, and its cheeks were not nearly as puffed out (until its face started melting). And the most important part: its scream was not nearly as baby-like. It was much more of a roar or howl of pain than anything associated with babies. Especially considering the GBA's sound processor.

Yeah....That's what I meant by being "Genuinely creepy". Which I didn't explain at all so yeah. OH GOD THIS GAME IS INFECTING ME.

Also, Nightmare had this awesome music.
Emperordaein
"Samus says some more obvious stuff, then wonders that Madeline set the facility to self destruct. Wait, when the hell did that happen? Did I miss a scene somewhere? What in the hell is she talking about? No, I didn't; I've seen the game all the way through several times, and never once does this happen. Well, it does at the very end, but that had nothing to do with Madeline or anyone else connected to the facility."

You don't remember the random flash of the Biosphere testing facility blowing up after the furizard fight? You raged about how that was so random and given no explanation. That's what she's referring to.
Kostya
You don't remember the random flash of the Biosphere testing facility blowing up after the furizard fight?

What? All Samus said was "the facility". She didn't say "the Biosphere Test Facility". How the hell were we supposed to figure out that this is what they were talking about and not the BOTTLE SHIP (which was what I always assumed it was)?

Plus, the self destruction of that facility was shown, but it was never mentioned again or followed up on. It wasn't a significant plot point; it was just a random thing that happened which had no impact on anything. Not to mention, it was 30 minutes of Theater Mode ago, and in terms of gameplay, it was 4 hours ago (at least).

The Biosphere Test Facility wasn't even brought up in this scene, nor was its destruction. The scene provides no reason to assume that they were talking about that. So even if you're right about what they meant, it's still bad writing because it's very easy to misunderstand what they're talking about.
Korval
Actually, I thought they were talking about when Dead Redshirt #2 AKA Maurice said that the CPU to the BOTTLE SHIP self-destructed, not when the facility blew up for no reason. It's still atrocious writing. The line was an incomprehensible throwaway line, after all. Plus, how in god's name would Samus found out about the Test Facility blowing up? It happened when she was a sector away! She could NOT possibly be able to identify an explosion's location as easily as that! Plus the lava sounds kike that, too, so it's even less believable! And there are even the supporters that say it's much more likely that the Deleter would've been the one to kill the CPU, too!
Greener223224
I get more and more evidence by the day that Nintendo of Japan does NOT know what a bounty hunter does for a living. First of all, bounty hunting is highly illegal in Japan; the United States is one of the two countries on the planet where bounty hunting is legal. Second, Retro Studios offered to have Samus hunt down dangerous criminals for money as a sidequest for the Prime series; Nintendo rejected this idea on principle, claiming that Samus' pure and kind soul would never even consider such a heinous thing. Samus has only demanded payment for her job ONCE, and ironically enough it was in the same shitty manga that Sakamoto loves wrapping around his cock and jerking off with
TARINunit9
This Exists, Part 1
You know, it was finding out about scenes like this that made me not just refuse to buy the game, but pray to GOD that this pile of infected fecal matter called a game is scrubbed clean from the pages of Nintendo. And yet I KNOW there will at least be an Adam Malkovich Trophy in Smash Bros 4. At least if the Star Fox X Metroid rumours are true, Metroid will be back in the right hands. (Crossover or no crossover)

Actually, you forget, there is one other silver lining to this scene, one very, small lighting in this rancid fart cloud, but it's there: ADAM MALKOVICH IS DEAD!! And likely from a slow, horrible mass draining before getting immolated and reduced to a pile of ashes floating in space. (Before you bring up the Adam AI, I will get to that in the comments for the next part).

Then Samus gets shot... WITH WHAT?! What kind of weapon takes out SAMUS ARAN IN ONE SHOT?!

If you want to go out on a limb, and it's a looong shot at that, Tabuu's Off Waves during Brawl's Subspace Emissary trophyfied her in one shot. (Which is basically death) But putting aside the non-cannonicty, the completely different rules of that universe, that attack was the Ultimate Attack of a Virtual GOD. Adam's Deus Ex Pistol should NOT be in the same plane of existence for a comparison (Which it is not technically, but everwhat), but I guess since he took Commander Shepherd's Cutscene Pistol and infused it with his Marty Stu Powers, it can do whatever.

Now, on to the unfreezable Metroids

Hey, you know what the REALLY funny (Read: Inhumanely stupid) thing is? Metroid Prime did have Unfreezable Metriods. The Fission Metriods. They split into copies that were selectively Ice Proof/Vulnerable, but they could never be Frozen. Remember them? Samus only fought through an entire Impact Crater worth of them, maybe with that in light she could take on Sector 0-Oh wait, the Prime games (Maybe) didn't happen! They just didn't mesh with this TRUE VISION of what the ESSENCE of METRIOD is. (Bullshit Bullshit Bullshit)

You know, at this point, that one post on the SA Other M LP thread that theorised that the BOTTLE SHIP was actually an Eldritch Location that was slowly destroying everyone's minds and warping their persecutive of reality is more solid than one would think....
Emperordaein
At least if the Star Fox X Metroid rumours are true

The what rumors? Do you have a link for that?
Korval
The rumors came from Paul Gale Network. While they may have been accurate with Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, we're still waiting until something more concrete to show up.
nomuru2d
Here's a few more ways Samus and Adam could have taken out Sector Zero...

-Samus could have just opened the door and shot a bunch of missiles/super missiles in. -Adam authorizes a power bomb, Samus rolls in and deposits a power bombs, rolls out, place goes boom. -Samus just runs in there instead of Adam; as soon as she's done enough damage and the section detaches, she jumps out across the vacuum, since her suit can survive vacuum easily.

Oh wait, all of those require Samus, and we can't have the protagonist doing heroic things.
Scardoll
This Exists, Part 2
Consider what you're seeing. You are watching the protagonist of a videogame, stripped of her armor, made weak, frail, and helpless, while an NPC tells her that she can't go into the final level. An NPC literally walks off with (what ought to be) the final level of the game. I can't imagine what that would feel like as a player, but from a story perspective? It completely de-balls Samus. She is no longer an active participant in her own game!

Not only that, but it carries over that insult to the player, who gets robbed of the chance to go to Sector 0, the big area, the one that's been hyped up! Nah you bitch. You can't handle it. The PERFECT MILITARY MIND Adam Malkovich will take care of it for you. As a person who is taking classes on Games Development, this is insulting on countless levels from that perspective ALONE.

#11: For making it hard to play Fusion again without thinking of Samus and Adam's reunion at the end as the horrific reuniting of an abuse victim with her abuser.

No, see this is my theory, one that I made to stop me losing faith in the Metriod Series. When Samus brought up Adam Malkovich to the AI, he looked through the Dossier on him, went through reports, and gathered footage from the Bottle Ship to see who this man was. The sheer paradox of Samus' praise being give to such an inept, useless, condescending, dickhead was so volatile, that the AI spontaneously gained emotions through said Paradox alone. It was then that the AI decided that if he was to be given the identity of Adam Malkovich, he would do everything in his power to defy his legacy, by being a genuinely insightful, respectful an intelligent commander, to steer Samus in the right path, to become the person she was truly meant to be (Let's still assume this is Other M's take on Cannon, and not the one where Samus is an independent, strong character). It's kind of a psudo-semi Martin Guerre situation when you think about it.
Emperordaein
Personally, I prefer the theory that Other M is an in-universe propaganda film created by the GF to discredit Samus Aran after the Fusion incident.

It has fewer plot holes than thinking that Other M is actually canon.
Korval
No, see this is my theory, one that I made to stop me losing faith in the Metriod Series. When Samus brought up Adam Malkovich to the AI, he looked through the Dossier on him, went through reports, and gathered footage from the Bottle Ship to see who this man was. The sheer paradox of Samus' praise being give to such an inept, useless, condescending, dickhead was so volatile, that the AI spontaneously gained emotions through said Paradox alone. It was then that the AI decided that if he was to be given the identity of Adam Malkovich, he would do everything in his power to defy his legacy, by being a genuinely insightful, respectful an intelligent commander, to steer Samus in the right path, to become the person she was truly meant to be (Let's still assume this is Other M's take on Cannon, and not the one where Samus is an independent, strong character). It's kind of a psudo-semi Martin Guerre situation when you think about it.

You know what? If Other M has to be canon, this is the only fan theory that can make me enjoy Fusion.

So thank God for that AI Adam; he's certainly preferable to the real version.
Scardoll
Jeez, I always thought Adam was bad, but by the end of this page, my jaw was on the floor as I was exposed to the truth of Adams character. I'm stuck with this one thought in my head:

BETRAAAAYAL!! BETRAYAL!! BETRAYED ME!! THIS GAME SUUUUUUUUCKS!!!
thefavs
What if Adam Malkovich was a woman instead of a man and did all these things to Samus? Would Fem!Adam still be considered a total jerkwad for stealing the spotlight and taking the final glory and all that?
Nettacki
What if Adam Malkovich was a woman instead of a man and did all these things to Samus? Would Fem!Adam still be considered a total jerkwad for stealing the spotlight and taking the final glory and all that?

Yes. It wouldn't have the misogynistic tones it does now, but Fem!Adam would still be just as much of an over-controlling Mary Sue Jackass as Male!Adam.

The character steals the last level of the game. Male or female, that's not kosher in a videogame.

Kind of a sad attempt at playing gender politics though.
Korval (edited by: Korval)
Sector Zero Metroids being freezable makes sense, actually. Samus' cutscene thoughts were confirmed as being hypotheticals ever since we saw the "military blows up the Bottle Ship" scenario. Just because Adam Dragovich would invent weapons with no weak spot doesn't mean others wouldn't. Besides, guns that shoot ice should be pretty rare to find unless they were fighting a bunch of ice beings like Noxus. In Fusion, Adam says that the GF had made the Ice Missiles because they saw that trying to give Samus her Ice Beam back would clash with her part-Metroid DNA, and would either cause the power-up to be rejected by her immune aystem, or just kill her. It should be seventeen times harder to do the same with actual Metroids.
Greener223224

bsw17
The Plot Deleter
Yeah, the whole Queen Metroid thing is implied to be around because (and this falls under your issues regarding continuity) according to the series' story, a Metroid is determined at birth whether or not it will grow into a queen, and the only Metroid samples that the GF had access to were from Samus' suit.

So, factoring in continuity that only fans would notice, this implies that the baby was going to grow up to be a Queen Metroid.
nomuru2d
Of course, like so much in this game, that just raises further questions. Like why is it that all of the Metroids on the ship didn't grow into Queens, since they're all cloned from the same one? What, was Sector Zero just filled with a bunch of Queen Metroids?
Korval
Were we given a proper time period between the tutorial and the proper start of game? It would explain why the cloned baby would grow into a Queen Metroid and the others weren't even close to that stage.
nomuru2d
There wasn't an explicit statement, but Samus said something about how Metroids and Space Pirates had been forgotten by the galaxy at large. Personally, I would think that it would take a few years for the galaxy to forget about an organization that got its hands on a biological weapon of mass destruction and threatened the galaxy. But I get the impression that it was only a few months.
Korval
You know what they could've done to the Deleter plot? Actually have Anthony be the Deleter. We don't know this guy, nor care. But Samus knows him. They were friends. It would've made for an interesting and intense scene where he betrays Samus, tries to kill her, but then get's killed off by Ridley when he makes his momentous return. Her break down would've been a little more plausible. She's distraught that her friend turned on her, then her childhood nightmare shows up from the dead and kills him. Pretty distressing. Maybe not the best idea, but way better than what we actually got.
thefavs
I entirely disagree with the notion that the developers went out of their way to make Samus look weak. She does end up looking horribly weak, but it serves no purpose to the author's vision to intentionally establish that about her character. Sakamoto didn't make this game to give you the finger because he hates you. He just did it incidentally.

I could insist that Adam has a door fetish and find numerous examples in the story to support my claim, but the fact is, that's not what they were going for. If you're willing to acknowledge how horribly written the game is, why is it that you don't acknowledge that horrible writing is what made her a non-protagonist? You know as well as I do that with this game's idea of subtlety, if Samus was meant to be conveyed as weak, every character would say "Samus Aran is weak" at every given opportunity. There is nothing only sort of conveyed in this game, no puzzle to unravel.
WVI
To expand, I believe the reason Ridley was in the story is the same reason Nightmare, the Metroid Queen, and most egregiously Phantoon were in the story: Cheap exploitation of nostalgia. Plus, Ridley is a Metroid staple. The reason he wasn't a barely referenced one-off boss like those three is because of his ties to Samus, and because they thought it would be cool to make a big deal of the baby Ridley subplot.

That prompts the question: If that's the case, how was it supposed to tie into the larger story? The answer is this: It wasn't! They're bad writers, remember!? They didn't care about the fact that it served no greater purpose, just like damn near everything else in this atrocious game.

The whole baby Ridley thing was their attempt to expand on Ridley and give us something to be shocked by. Under better circumstances, it might even be an awesome plot twist, that this unknown thing turned out to be a younger Ridley. But my question regarding all that is this: If you feel it's necessary to give Ridley an "origin story" of sorts, then why the hell would you make it about what Ridley used to look like and not about how he became the leader of the Space Pirates?
WVI
I entirely disagree with the notion that the developers went out of their way to make Samus look weak. She does end up looking horribly weak, but it serves no purpose to the author's vision to intentionally establish that about her character.

I disagree for one reason. At it's core, Metroid: Other M is the story of Adam Malkovich. And you can't tell the story of Adam Malkovich if Samus is there, being awesome as Samus is supposed to. Samus was made horribly weak by necessity, because that's the most effective way to put the focus on Adam.

Every Adam and Samus interaction is about two things: how awesome Adam is, and how horrible Samus is. That is deliberately done so that you focus on Adam and not Samus.

You know as well as I do that with this game's idea of subtlety, if Samus was meant to be conveyed as weak, every character would say "Samus Aran is weak" at every given opportunity.

But they did. Just about every cutscene says that. Every interaction with Adam reinforces it. Every time Samus fails to accomplish anything reinforces it. No, it doesn't use words, but it doesn't need to.

Now, I agree that not all of it is deliberate. As I pointed out with the ending scene, Samus is a non-factor because Melissa's supposed to be a tragic figure, and we can't have Samus killing the tragic figure. Thus, she comes off looking weak so that she doesn't come off looking like a bully (in the twisted mind that thinks Melissa is tragic).

But the most systemic elements of her being weak, her interactions with Adam, are very much deliberate. If you took all of them away, well, it's not going to save the Ridley scene or the ending, but she'd come out with slightly more of her dignity intact than she does now.
Korval
Expanding on the "Why is there a queen" issue, that juts brings up even more problems. Why a queen would even be there and not a giant Metroid like in Super is itself a plot hole. Fusion specifically states that Metroids can only advance on their evolution within an environment sufficently similar to SR 388, and that outside it the furthest they could grow to is a giant Metroid like the infant did (I refuse to call the driving force for Super "the baby"). Worse is that these Metroids were cloned, which would naturally decay the DNA, especially when propogated from a few cells of a single specimen. And they had such done from within "a place like Tourian", as Melissa says, which of course is almost entirely a technological laboratory facility. At least in the BSL, the specimens are implied to be taken out to SRX when being bred, which is the reason for the Omega Metroid at the end, and I highly doubt an infant Metroid would be able to escape from the lab as it was exploding when about a hundred others couldn't, get past all the doors, SA-X's and Adam's surveilance and grow into an Omega within the time it takes to fight through two dozen rooms and a Ridley battle. Here, a Metroid somehow grew into a Queen within an isolated containment room as part of the control group. Even though the closest place to Sector Zero is a high-tech freezer, and even then you'd need to get through a bunch of messed-up gravity fields that'd mess up its anatomy or take away its ability to float.
Greener223224
The idea of "queen determined by birth" bugs me. In real life, an individual becomes a queen due to how it was raised, along with their drive and ambition.

Aliens do not have to act like Earth organisms but it is hard to imagine an "ultimate warrior" species having such an obvious weakness. Would ants or even people be nearly as successful if any given one did not have the ability to rise to the occasion when needed? The environmental development thing always sounded more like a way to cover for the continuity errors between Super and Return of Samus (it became so gigantic instead of metamorphosing because wrong area) but since humans cannot even live on Zebes without help, Metroids simply not growing correctly makes sense.
IndirectActiveTransport
I just had one of those Fridge Horror moments where something makes too much sense. The game did technically not spend all its time harping on Samus being weak, but "weak" is a term assigned by the audience. What term do you think the writers used?

Imagine that "superhero Samus" as viewed from a stupidly sexist perspective. They saw her as unwomanly. Other M is, from that perspective, trying to make her seem womanly.

That brings all the threads together: Zero Suit eye candy, random motherhood allusions, Samus as abuse victim, Samus as weak. This is some sick puppy's idea of what womanhood means.
Darekun
Metroid: Other M
And so it ends. Even though I don't smoke, I need a cigarette. XD

But yeah - the game justification for Samus' controls in the escape sequence are... poorly and unfortunately justified. In the game, she doesn't fire her beam weapons one-handed. She always braces herself with her free hand. Here, because she's carrying Adam's helmet, she doesn't have a free hand, so no suit and beam for her.

Besides which, it's symbolic in a way - with Adam's influence, Samus just sucks! : D
nomuru2d (edited by: nomuru2d)
It's not over yet. As is standard, I end my looks at these kinds of things with various analyses and speculation on some important aspect of the work. Other M will be no different.

Also, I have some surprise content for Other M coming up next.
Korval
Also this is guaranteed bad writing, if you couldn't tell the difference between past-tense and present inner monologue.
nomuru2d
I actually like the last post-credits scene; it doesn't use monologue, so all the emotions are suggested by the actions, and it doesn't suffer because the script is awful. However, everything else sucks.

Also, holy shit, you have some serious endurance for writing all of this. Great blog.
Scardoll
I hate to point out an error in this, but at the end when MB discards the hairpin and shoves Madeline away... it isn't Samus who shoots MB with an ice beam. Go Youtube that scene and you will notice that the shot comes from a GF trooper from the door. MB turns to face him, and is hit.

So the ending scene involves Samus even less than you realize!
thefavs
I'm not certain about that. The scene clearly shows Samus firing a shot. And while the blocking of the scene does show Melissa turning around, thus suggesting that the shot that hit her came from the other direction, there are a lot of other directorial screwups in that scene. Like when it does the 360-pan around Melissa as she unfreezes, it clearly shows that the room is empty. Also, she unfreezes while facing neither Samus nor the entrance to the room.

Ultimately, the scene is so poorly directed and shot that it's impossible to be sure of anything.
Korval
Looking at the ending sequence, you can only see the legs of the shooter. Judging by the shape, it was one of the GF troopers who shot Melissa... The ones who ran into the room seconds later.

STUPID STUPID STUPID
Scardoll
I think it's entirely telling that when I saw a thumbnail with Samus holding Adam's helmet, my first thought was that it had her look pregnant.
Buretsu
Oops, maybe I should have read the whole thing before leaving that comment a page back.

And maybe I should look ahead before commenting further? No, the stupid telepathy plot line? Ridley, Kraid and Mother Brain were all blown to bits in the first game so clearly they did not need MB's psychic powers. Furthermore, Mother Brain's telepathy did not stop the Metroids from eating her staff in Zero Mission or eating her in Super. I did not even realize these plot holes before but looking at this review they are so obvious.
IndirectActiveTransport
Good God in Heaven above

I know Japanese culture is considered misogynistic by the standards of Americans, but... holy fuck, this is terrible, Sakamoto, this is downright terrible. The average anime and manga isn't NEARLY this bad about it, you have no excuse. The guy who does Naturo publicly admitted he's not comfortable writing female characters, but he's a hell of a lot better than motherfucking Sakamoto
TARINunit9
Playing the Game, Part 1
Yeah, I hadn't initially questioned why Samus' suit didn't change when I played this game. I suppose that, in light of the quote you had in last installment, it could symbolize both the idiocy of the creator and the fact that Samus herself never changes.
nomuru2d
Actually the Varia Suit does change Samus' Colour. From Piss Yellow to a light Orange Hue. Even then, it's barely enough to make a difference.

First, the Wii-Mote has the absolute worst D-Pad in the history of the world. It's not just tiny; it's thin. It's hard to be precise with it. And yet, this is the controller that is primarily used to move around.

Nah. The D-Pad can be a pain, but I would take it over the chunky, cumbersome, misshapen blob that is the 360's D-Pad. Makes Fighting Games a pain, that's for sure. (Street Fighter III and Garou: Mark of the Wolves is slowly cramming my controller's poor Stick into the grave)

And then there's the pointer controls. From 3rd person, you only have access to your beam, but you have all of your locomotion functions (movement, Morph Ball, jumping, etc). From 1st person, you have access to missiles and the ability to lock onto targets. But you can't move (with one exception).

Really, it seems like they were trying to be like Killer7, without understanding that Killer7 has on rails movement, making it smoother.

So how does Other M stack up? Poorly. Yes, this is a ship rather than natural terrain, but much of the landscape is just repetitive and boring.

THIS. This was the opening death blow to Other M, for me, even before I saw the story, and what I got from the footage I watched. Level Design is one of my favourite parts in a game. It's why Treasure is one of my favourite game companies. I love exploring strange and fantastic worlds, in games, and the Prime series was an absolute Masterpiece in that area. So many beautiful and amazing locals, so many touches in them, they were just wonderful. Skytown, particularly is one of my favourite locals in any game, and in certain aspects, does what Bioshock Infinite is planning on doing. When I started seeing footage of Other M post launch, everything looked so....Sterile. So dull, so bland and metallic. I just had no interest whatsoever.

This ordeal has actually convinced me to go back and finish my copy of The Metriod Prime Trilogy, an utter masterpiece, and a rare one at that, now that they stopped production of it. :( Just playing though it today reminded me what I loved about these games so much back when I played them on the Gamecube. Unfortunately, I also got bad memories because the place I dropped off was Torvus Bog. (Amen to that comment, nobody likes the Shithole that is Torvus Bog)
Emperordaein
Actually the Varia Suit does change Samus' Colour.

You're right. There is a very slight color change there. I've updated the post to correct the misinformation (though the general point still stands, considering the fact that the change is so minimal as to barely exist at all).
Korval
''Speaking of loot, let's look at some of the available gear that can be collected. While most of your suit functions are "authorizations," the Diffusion Beam and the Seeker Missiles are actual pickups.

Really, Nintendo? You looked at all of what the Prime games added to the Metroid series, and this was what you picked (besides stealing the charge beam sound and beam combo Super Missiles)? This was the element you felt most needed to be incorporated into a new game? This is easily the most worthless powerup in the Primes and a top contender for worst powerup in the entire series. But you felt that this needed to be in this game.''

I had the exact same response. I really can't think of a less exciting item to use; the seeker missiles were boring in both Prime 2 and 3 and were barely used, yet for God-knows-what-reason, they're back while cooler powerups are missing.
Scardoll
Why didn't you like the Seeker Missiles? Care to elaborate? I found kinda annoying for puzzles, but pretty helpful for boss battles.
Tuckerscreator
They're too much effort, not enough reward. Most of the time, you'll either want to use Super Missiles or Hyper Mode instead for heavy damage. The only boss encounter they're really useful in, Helios, is pathetically easy because Hyper Mode makes him a joke. In Other M, they're useful for the Metroid Queen and... I really can't think of anything else. Swarms of normal enemies are taken out with the Diffusion Beam, while larger enemies rarely travel in groups where you'd sacrifice the power of super missiles for coverage.

Also, I did want to object to one thing; I think the Overblast actually works. You hold the charge beam, you jump on an opponent, you release the charge beam, and Samus does all that without the cinematic differing from the command. But I really agree about the Lethal Strike; showing Samus doing kung-fu moves is cool and all, but why can't I make her do kung-fu moves?
Scardoll
Why didn't you like the Seeker Missiles?

In theory, Seeker Missiles are a mass-kill ability, useful against groups of enemies. In practice, they're worthless against groups. In the Primes, you have to manually lock onto each individual targets. Before the Wii Mote controls of Corruption and Prime Trilogy, that was pretty much never going to happen. Even with the Wii Mote, it's still much faster to just shoot them with Missiles or charge-shots or whatever.

And in Other M, it's even worse, for two reasons:

1: You get Seeker Missiles after the Screw Attack. Since the Screw Attack makes all incidental combat effortless, there's no point to using them for fighting a group of guys. It's faster to just Screw them.

2: Even if you got them earlier, you have to go to first-person to fire them. That means not moving. While you're in the middle of a group of enemies. That's not something you actually want to do.

As for the bosses, there are exactly three bosses across three games where Seeker Missiles can even be employed: Chykka, Helios, and the Metroid Queen. That fact alone is damning: in all of these games, there are several boss fights after the Seeker Missiles, and in each game, only one of them finds use.

The first time I beat Chykka, I had already forgotten about Seeker Missiles. I beat him straight. Using Seeker Missiles certainly makes the fight faster, but the fact that you can win at all without them is telling about their utility.

Thanks to the Wii Mote-based aiming, Seeker Missiles were more useful in the Helios fight. But even then, they only applied to one form of Helios.

As for the Queen... what difference does it make in that fight at all? If it were just one target you had to shoot, would it change the tactics you employed?

What we have in the Seeker Missiles is a powerup that was created specifically to open doors. They constantly try to shoehorn a gameplay function to it, but it never works.
Korval
It'd honestly be pretty cool if the Seeker missiles could get more love in gameplay somehow; one idea would be to make more situations where the missiles are actually preferrable to regular missiles or spamming charge beam. For example, you could have a regular, nonboss enemy with four weak spots, and each of the weak spots pops out at the same time; hitting a weak spot would force the enemy to retract the other three. By hitting all four at the same time, you kill the enemy much faster. The seeker missiles would make you more powerful without just saying "You need Seeker missiles to beat this enemy" (Because that's cheap design).

See? I came up with a better Seeker Missile enemy than Retro Studios and Team Ninja combined. I'm a fucking genius.
Scardoll
Retro did that already. It was called "Chykka". Except for the retracting weak-points, it worked exactly as you describe.

The problem is that by the time you face Chykka, it has probably been hours of game-time (and possibly days of real-time if you took a break) since you last used Seeker Missiles. As I said, I had actually forgotten that the ability existed.

These kinds of special-case things won't help with that. What would help is if it were generally useful, the way that regular missiles, various beams, and the like are generally useful throughout the game.
Korval
What always impressed me about Metroid games is that they spared no part of the controller. They all push the limits of what each console had. I remember being impressed when I first played Metroid Prime and found that every button had an essential purpose, and it all seamed perfectly together, unlike other games that had redundant buttons, or buttons that didn't do anything. And the Metroid games all prospered for it.

Other M, on the other hand, literally chopped the controller in half. I remember an article before the game came out saying that the reason that the old Metroid games worked so well was because the designers had to work with limitations, and that inspired their creativity. But I'm willing to challenge that.

I think they were successful back then not because of their limitations, but because they pushed the limitations of their console generations. The first Metroid was huge. Then Super Metroid was even bigger. If Super Metroid was made with the limitations of the the first Metroid, it wouldn't have been as great as it was. Likewise, neither would Prime if limited itself SNES controls. Every Metroid game took full advantage of all that the controller and console had to offer.

That's why I think Other M fails so badly with it's controls; it didn't use the assets at it's disposal, and it suffered due to the creators backward thinking.

If they had used the nunchuck, moving around and switching to first person would feel smoother. Just point at the screen and press C or something, and BAM! you enter firts person with your cross hairs in the center. Plus you'd be able to move around in first person. Then you'd be able to use motion controls for those finishers. You run up to an enemy and swing the Wii-mote to kick them! I dunno. But do you see how that easy fix could have benefited the game? But instead, they handicapped themselves, with nothing to show for it.
thefavs
Hey! I liked Maridia's music. I know that places like Norfair got to have much more dramatic music, but Maridia was the place where much of the game's action (deliberately) slowed down with the water elements, and featured many more hidden elements that made the game more methodical and exploration-heavy than it already was, and the music, in turn, turned into a slower, more relaxing, yet more mysterious theme.

Although, I generally like water levels more than most people. I loved Mario 64's water levels the most, and never understood why people hated the water temple in Ocarina of Time. (I also don't know why people hated Torvus Bog so much, except maybe not being able to get out of the water... the most annoying thing in Echoes to me were those stupid AI enemies that shut down your suit in the fortress.)
Wraith_Magus
I liked seeker missiles but not for any useful utility, just for the joy of locking on to a single target five times.

They really should have been more useful in Prime 3 though, considering missiles had reverse shrapnel there.
Cider
Both of Maridia's themes were awesome, thank you very much.
TheDoomSong
Playing the Game, Part 2
Holy shit, that last point, really? I didn't have to take a break after the Ridley fight, but really!? THAT'S what I would've gotten!?
nomuru2d
We've reached shitception; the game is now shitting on its own legacy.

Also, I'm glad I'm not the only one who made the connection between Mysterio and MB.

I've had a great time reading your review blog. Good job on slogging through this shit.
Scardoll
Looking back, I'm kinda saddened that you didn't mention how the game doesn't tell you at all that you have to power bomb the Queen to kill it, nor does it tell you how to do that. THAT was the most frustrating part of gameplay.
nomuru2d
I mentioned it, [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/lb_i.php?lb_id=13373815860B43920100&i_id=13382581140I85437000&p=15 back on part one of the gameplay]. I even said, "And isn't that a giant middle finger to the player..."

I didn't harp on it, because I felt that the fact that they also don't tell you how to use them was just as bad if not worse. After all, knowing to use them means nothing if you don't remember how.
Korval
My bad. Shows what happens when you reminisce while sleep-deprived. XD
nomuru2d
For Your Consideration
I have to agree to everything I read here. I can honestly call this excuse for a game Metroid: Twilight. It's like it's the same, subservient and weak women "cooking" for glorified douchebags. Of course Other Samus (I refuse to call that whiny bitch Samus) is slightly less of a Mary Sue than Belluh Spawn, but she's just as stupid, qualifying a clearly abusive relationship as something short of ideal, branding an asshole of galactic proportions as a selfless hero.
sexybabee
What sexybabee said. Totally agree with this. As I see it, there are two Samus': Other Samus (from Other M) and Prime Samus (from the rest). The two don't match up. Prime Samus would've made this game awesome. If people could only read one page of this topic, it should be this page. Indeed, this should be e-mailed to Nintendo. Hopefully more people get to read this.
thefavs
I like how you started off your post with the biggest strawman about analysis of "sexism" in media, as if the only truth in an accusation of sexism is that it is true and only ignoramuses or misogynists would say otherwise.

From that alone, I ignored the rest of the thesis. When we start with a bar that low, well, as you say in your first category, it is not worth attempting a greater discussion.
Rebochan
I like how you called my argument a strawman, despite misunderstanding it. Accusations of sexism are not a priori right. I even flat-out stated that in Item #2 on the list of things I wasn't going to get into:

People who claim that, "if you don't see it and I do, then you're wrong."

I'm not sure how you can interpret that as saying that accusations of sexism are always right.

The point of the first part is simply to define the parameters of the discussion. Namely: I have no intention of trying to prove to anyone that sexism exists, nor do I have any intention of simply declaring that something is sexist by divine fiat. And I will not entertain a certain class of anti-sexist "arguments" that are a priori wrong (items 3-5).

The reason for defining these parameters is obvious: any one of the prohibited topics I listed detracts from the main purpose of the work: an examination of sexism, if any, in Metroid: Other M. Properly covering/debunking such topics would be an essay in its own right, and Other M has far too much material to cover to waste time with that.

None of those are strawmen; there are people who actually hold those positions. The point in prohibiting them is to remove extremists from consideration. If you removed yourself from consideration, then the plan worked. Whether that means you're an extremist (from my perspective) is up to you, though your use of sarcasm-quotes around "sexism" is itself telling.

But the main point is this: Mission Accomplished!
Korval
Actually, come to think of it, I have a better analogy for this. I'm essentially establishing a "legal framework" for my argument.

Item 1 is effectively a declaration of Legal Standing, if you will. If one of the parties in a debate disagrees that the subject of a debate even exists, then no debate can be had until that point is resolved. I make this declaration because quite frankly, proving that sexism exists is a long, drawn out argument. To present such an argument here would easily double the size of an already long essay. And odds are good that anyone who was of the opinion that sexism didn't exist would not be convinced.

Item 2 is a declaration that, given that I just declared standing without proof, I am not going to similarly declare victory without proof. That is, while I have the standing to argue that Metroid: Other M is sexist, I am not going to say that I am right. This is a declaration that I am going to bring forth evidence of my assertion, not merely declaring it to be true by fiat.

Item 3 is a variation of item 1. It is a universal non-argument that can be used to derail any discussion of sexism against women. It therefore falls under the question of standing of the topic of sexism.

Item 4 is a declaration of the scope of the argument. The argument is about the work, not its maker. This isn't personal, nor is it an attack on the person who made it. I'm saying that I am attempting to classify the work; whatever someone chooses to infer from that classification is their business.

Item 5 is a refinement of the question of standing. Item 1 defines that sexism exists. Item 5 defines the parameters for finding it. I justify this in the same way as Item 1: it detracts from the main point of the work: presenting an argument about whether Metroid: Other M is sexist.
Korval
Item 3 is only a "derailment" is you assume that the person talking about sexism against men is necessarily trying to prevent discussion of sexism against women. If you assume that every use of the claim is an attempt to change the subject entirely, instead of broadening the discussion, then you've got confirmation bias. Pointing out that sexism may exist against men is, in fact, an argument. Unless it only becomes an non-argument when it's not discussed in a discussion that was originally about sexism against women.

Similarly, discussions of sexism against women usually ignore discussions of sexism against men entirely. Some even make claims that say "this is what X is like for women, men have it so much better!" then start on about "derailing" when someone points out they're wrong. In fact, I've seen someone do precisely that on a discussion of men's issues they started. If you are talking about bias against women, that by definition invites comparison to the state of affairs for men, and vice versa.

Item 4: Is that why "misogyny (hatred of women)" is often used as a synonym for "sexism"? Heck, I've seen people say that the norm of men protecting women with their lives is based on misogyny. A certain prominent "pop culture critic" even argued that when a male game protagonist mows down hundreds of mooks to rescue a woman, it's because he views her as an object unjustly taken from him, not a person who he cares about the well-being of.
nospamthx
I'd also like to point out that most of the men in the game seem to be written primarily based on how they affect Samus. Even Adam's brother existed just to provide an excuse for Samus to angst about it. Most of them get no real depth at all.
nospamthx
About your last statement: You seem to imply that the characters existed only for the sake of realism, a sideplot, and an Aliens Shout Out. Good work seeing that. However, with your second-last statement, misogyny and sexism go hand in hand, even if they're not synonymous. Objectifying women is belittling, and vice versa. It's a act of straw selfishness by saying that you will fight people to win over your girl, since it can translate to doing some task so as to keep your property in your ownership. It's also prominent no matter what we do. If we have girlfriends or wives, we have ourselves do jobs and make money so as to keep your belongings, which means to pay for your house and keep your wife from divorcing or cheating on you because she's dissatisfied with how your life influences hers. In fact, sexism even applies to the same gender. You can objectify same-sex friends for the connections they have, or same-sex lovers for the same reason as females; or be afraid of them because they do or don't show romantic interest for their friendship with you, regardless of your own sexuality. Prejudice comes from contextualizing a viewpoint of a single person you know or an opinion given to you and blindly applying it to anyone of that same kind of classification, whether it be gender, religion, or et cetera. Anyways, I'm getting way too damn navelgazing into the psyche of human intelligence.
Trollblade69 (edited by: Trollblade69)
As far as I am concerned, Metroid Other M is worse than sexist! It's a downright putrid abomination that has no place on this planet! It's a gigantic middle finger to respectable gaming fans everywhere!
deltanine
And one more thing: Making a previously strong character weak and pathetic alone may not be sexist, but it's still unforgivable all the same.
deltanine
I know a point was made about not naming names, but I read a quote from the Iwata Asks I feel needs more recognition:

Ryuzi Kitaura: Just the amount of material was overwhelming, of course. What's more, all the work we'd done before this project had aimed for high-quality CG, not really related to video game content. For this project, however, we were requested to make the parts of the game that the player controls the same quality as the movies, in order to make them seamless. Furthermore, Sakamoto-san said that 'In this game, I want to depict the emotions of a woman called Samus'. The way we'd been working previously, it would have been impossible for us to depict a woman's world. As a result, we pretty much stopped working on making commercials, which was our main business, and decided to focus only on this project. You could say that I 'dove in' as well – just like Sakamoto-san (laughs).

'In this game, I want to depict the emotions of a woman called Samus'. The way we were working previously, it would have been impossible for us to depict a woman's world.

As you said many times: -_-
PringleDringus
Item 3 is only a "derailment" is you assume that the person talking about sexism against men is necessarily trying to prevent discussion of sexism against women. If you assume that every use of the claim is an attempt to change the subject entirely, instead of broadening the discussion, then you've got confirmation bias. Pointing out that sexism may exist against men is, in fact, an argument.

No it isn't; it's a non-sequitur.

If you're discussing whether person A shot person B, then whether person C shot person D is completely irrelevant. Even if there is a connection between all four people, unless the connection is actually relevant to the murder in question (that is, person C may have had opportunity and motive to murder person B too), then talking about the C/D murder is irrelevant to the A/B one.

Yes, sexism against men exists. It may even exist in Metroid: Other M. And if you want to talk about that, great. But sexism against men does not in any way preclude, excuse, or otherwise affect any sexism against women. Therefore, it is an orthogonal discussion.

Also, pretty much by definition, "broadening the discussion" is changing the subject. Yes, it's possible to inject the topic of sexism against men into a discussion of sexism against women without the malicious intent of derailing the conversation. However, in virtually every conversation I've seen the subject come up in, it is used as a counter-attack, rather than simply "broadening". It's intended to somehow excuse, ignore, or otherwise justify the sexism against women.

Indeed, you've done it right here: "I'd also like to point out that most of the men in the game seem to be written primarily based on how they affect Samus." Let's ignore the accuracy of this statement; instead, let's focus on how this enhances the discussion of sexism against women.

It doesn't. The amount of characterization that male characters get relative to the female viewpoint character has nothing to do with whether said viewpoint character is portrayed in a sexist manner. But it does turn a discussion about sexism against women into a comparison of sexism. Sexism is not a zero-sum game, where if you have equal amounts of sexism against men and women, you're somehow fine.

That is the point of Item #3.

If you are talking about bias against women, that by definition invites comparison to the state of affairs for men, and vice versa.

No it doesn't. It only invites that discussion when you add the "men have it better" rider. Without that explicit comparison, the discussion of sexism against men is irrelevant to a discussion of sexism against women.

Now yes, many discussions of sexism against women do (unfortunately) include that rider, thus opening the door to derailment. However, I did not do so here. Thus, the post here is focused on one specific topic: sexism against women.

Item 4: Is that why "misogyny (hatred of women)" is often used as a synonym for "sexism"?

Um, no. Just because something is unconscious does not mean that it involves hatred (indeed, I rather believe the opposite: hatred generally requires intent, which requires conscious decision-making). And on a personal note, I too despise the all-too-frequent conflation of "misogyny" and "sexism" that comes from certain parties.
Korval (edited by: Korval)
Conclusion
Hate to bring this up again, but the bits where Samus monologued about things she "couldn't possibly know" were in fact her commenting on stuff that was implied to have been told to her. The writers were too lazy to fill in the whole conversation and give the real Madeline more lines than they deemed necessary, so we're left with Samus' narration mixing things up terribly as a result.
nomuru2d
This review was amazing, and I commend you for going through with it. It's one of the best looks at Other M I've seen; it addresses every flaw throughly, leaving no wiggle room. Even the summary you provide on this final entry is very comprehensive.

Bravo.
Scardoll
Hate to bring this up again, but the bits where Samus monologued about things she "couldn't possibly know" were in fact her commenting on stuff that was implied to have been told to her.

I stand by my statement because that's how I interpreted what was going on. And considering the fact that the game was perfectly willing to narrate that something was said earlier, I think this is the simplest explanation. So again, it's down to either the writers having no idea how to communicate through dialog, or them just communicating really, really badly.
Korval
And so, having seen this, I think I'm going to avoid this game.

In general, I'm going to treat this as out of canon, because it is sorely outnumbered in terms of the games that have to be re-written for it to have ever happened, from her previous work with the GF in destroying Phaaze, to her actions in II and Super. This BS on the BS adds nothing to the plot, gives us nothing that previous games didn't already do better, and actively removes stuff we already knew happened.

Samus, as seen in Corruption, is not the kind of person that this game shows us. In Corruption, she worked well with the GF, but under her own initiative. She is consistently shown to be their best soldier, enduring pain (of Phazon corruption) and danger (Skytown nuke drop) that nobody else could weather, without flinching.

Adam, as alluded to in Fusion, absolutely could not have been this sort of person. In Fusion, Samus draws a distinct line between Adam and the AI with his name. Specifically, she mentions that, unlike an unfeeling machine, he had some level of human decency and compassion. She distrusts the AI because it is cold and unfeeling.

If Adam truly was like he is in this game, then the AI, before the final mission, would have been a perfect replica.

As far as I'm concerned, Adam's involvement with Samus and his death are the Metroid equivalent of Castlevania's War of 1999. We may speculate, but we'll never know how it went about.

And if something like this is the alternative? Then never knowing is just fine with me.
Enlong
If Adam truly was like he is in this game, then the AI, before the final mission, would have been a perfect replica.

Actually, I found AI Adam to be far more likeable than Other M Adam. AI Adam was all business and professional. He may have been a cold and unfeeling machine, but that's just the indifference of a computer. Other M Adam's abusive behavior towards Samus suggests active hatred and disdain for her.
Korval
This. This was FINALLY the perfect analysis of everything - and I mean EVERYFUCKINGTHING - that's oh so wrong with Metroid Other M. There's nothing to add and (even better): nothing to argue, you're just right. With everything.

God, this feels so good. Every single flaw mentioned, every "argument" of its fans deconstructed, it's DONE. Finally.

This really feels like some kind closure for me. I can FINALLY forget about this piece of bullcrap, this monstrosity, this abomination of a "game". Everything's said and done, and I especially like the "Shitting on Metroid" count. It really helps to reinforce the fact that this is in no way a Metroid-game.

This is a "game" (the quotation marks are important, because an actual game has something to do with being fun) that only wants us to believe that everything about Metroid - and especially about its main character - is just plain wrong. It wants us to believe that ALL the Metroid-games we played so far are in fact antithetical to what Metroid is "really" about (that is, being an obedient slave if you're born without a penis). Acts of heroism? Not what Other M wants us to play. Overcoming a threat? Hell no, it's not the player character's job to do something of value! Showing that female character might be capable to be efficient atNO THEY AREN'T. I mean, WHAT THE HELL?

But that's over. You analyzed it completeley. The moronic writing, the misogyny, the sexism, EVERYTHING. There's no point in discussing it any more. We can finally end this.

Thank you.
Grobi
Grobi, we cannot end this yet, there is just one more strawmen that has a sizeable fanbase that CANNOT think for themselves and have to be saved by the revelations of this.......magnus opus of deconstruction.

We need to let the word spread out to reach........MOVIE BOB's fans!!
Diabolo
So.... what now? what do you plan to deconstruct next? a movie perhaps? Prometheus or Cabin In The Woods?
Diabolo
Oh and some people have actually defended the game for having this "monologues" that remind them of Legacy of Kain........i shit you not.
Diabolo
You know, I have to wonder if the writing was better in the Japanese version. You do mention how awkward "Deleter" sounds in English and that it probably sounded better in Japanese, but it makes me wonder just how much of the dialogue sounded better in the original.
LordSeth
Thank you, Korval. Like Grobi said, it feel's good, almost like a closure to it.

I wish I could narrate this and make a video on Youtube so that more people can see this. This NEEDS to be more out there. More people NEED to see this. Nintendo has to get the message as to why people HATE this game so much, and why it should NEVER be repeated.

Thanks again for all the time and effort you put into this. I only wish the creators of Other M had put HALF as much effort into the game.
thefavs
Lord Seth:

Well, the game actually TANKED on Japan even with the miraculously good reviews it got. But still makes you wonder what happened and would be nice to have someone in contact with the people there.

Or even better, what would the actress that did the voice of Samus AND Sakamoto would think once they find this blog and read it?
Diabolo
Or even better, what would the actress that did the voice of Samus AND Sakamoto would think once they find this blog and read it?

The voice actress for Samus had nothing to do with how the game worked out. She's not a bad actress, and she can actually deliver emotion (as she did in a couple of scenes). The problem is that she was directed by Sakamoto. Let me repeat that, to make sure you fully understand this:

Sakamoto, a man for whom English is not his native language, directed Samus's English voice actress.

If you want to lay the blame for anything in particular that is bad in this game, odds are good that it's Sakamoto's fault. Like 95% of everything that is bad in this game came from him. He was a very controlling influence on virtually every aspect of the game.
Korval
I am not blaming the actress, instead i am just wondering if she actually FEELS the gravity of how far the game that she participated in sucks.

Imagine yourself as being part of the production of, say, the movie "North" (that you referenced by putting the infamous Roger Ebert quote) and you know that the people hate it but you are not exactly sure of WHY. After all, most people dont find THIS kind of analizis unless they look really hard into the Internet and beyond the "angry review" stick that is never going to die apparently. But most importantly, since you were part of the production team of the movie, you kinda know what was the ACTUAL point of the movie (it is just that you are not sure if this is the way to execute that point)

Dont you wish you had THIS kind of clarity when the shitstorm came?

You dont want me to use the "North" example? ok, then lets think about "John's Carpenter The Thing" BEST HORROR MOVIE OF ALL TIME...........at least, that is what people say TODAY because when it came out, it flopped and was critically panned. Now imagine yourself as Carpenter being a bit down because the movie sucked even if you poured your hearth and soul in it with all the best things you could offer (the masterful soundtrack, the use of paranoia as tension builder and the practical effects of that era) and you fucked up somehow...........and yet, now everyone loves you for it when its already late. "what is the point now?" you say to yourself. "when i needed you the most you left me, i never obtained a clear answer for my failures, couldnt growth as a Director for it and my career almost went to shit."

Again, dont you wish to have the clear answers in a situation like that? Having to doubt you skills for such a long time can mess you up in the long run.

And before you ask, no, English isnt my first language either.
Diabolo (edited by: Diabolo)
I think Nintendo pull a Gene Roddenberry and remove Sakamoto from all future Metroid projects. Strangely I actually support the idea of remaking this game but in doing so I would fundamentally alter the story and gameplay. It would basically be an entirely new game that uses this as its base and strips out all the bad parts, so...pretty much everything but I think some stuff can be pulled from this husk and fashioned into a good game.
Kostya
In the above post there needs to be a should after Nintendo. Sorry about the grammar error.
Kostya
Korval, i have a bad feeling about this. Dont you feel that you are going to be exploited at some point? What i mean is that there is this "feminist" (sarcastic quotes) named Anita Sarkeesian that exploited people for money for information that is just free to everyone (like this very website) so i am wondering what would YOU do if she COPYPASTED the very same blog here (or at least the important complains) word for word?

Why would she be rewarded with diplomas and gain political influences for the effort that she didn't EARN in the first place?
Diabolo
Whew, what a read. I registered just to say something nitpicky :P. The SA-X is well capable of killing Samus in just a few shots, unlike you stated. And the SA-X didn't actually lay a trap, it was Nettori's roots that caused her to go to Sector TRO. Those are just the tiniest of errors and most readers wouldn't even care, but I do care since Fusion was my first Metroid game :P
PoisonedFire
^^Wow, this post is bizarrely paranoid. It feels like you have a bone to pick with this person, whoever she is.
Scardoll
I would like to point out that "he who must not be named" is not the "father" of the franchise. That director only stepped in during the very final phases of production on the NES game and suggested a maze to finish things more quickly.

In that since we may thank him for the genre but only for the idea, he did not do the work, he made a suggestion. He was absent for the sequel, was one of many in Super, Fusion can be considered his but he had nothing to do with Hunters or the Prime Trilogy.

His remake of the first game omits the one thing he suggested that established the genre in the first place. "Oh, but it sequence breaks!" The original game had hardly any sequence too break. In short, we should have listened to Sean Malstrom, who predicted much of this.
Cider
That director only stepped in during the very final phases of production on the NES game and suggested a maze to finish things more quickly.

Well, considering that you're talking about the worst game in the series (pre-Other M), that's not saying much. Ultimately, Super Metroid is the progenitor of all modern Metroid games, and he owned that.

It also seems rather silly to be dismissive of him by saying that he was "one of many" in Super Metroid, yet tie Other M around his neck as though he were the only human being who did anything. I bet if Other M had been awesome, people would be talking up his leadership role in Super Metroid a lot.

People are good sometimes and bad other times. I'm totally fine with denigrating someone's effort when they do poorly. But that doesn't mean we should start retroactively pretending that their prior, good contributions weren't important, just because he's doing terrible work now.

Super Metroid is his. He had the title of "Director", so it's his.

Metroid: Other M is his too.

It's sad when someone who makes good stuff starts turning out crap. But that's no reason to suddenly start taking away accolades that they rightfully earned. Nobody demanded Jamie Foxx's Oscar for Ray back, just because he did hackwork like Stealth.

His remake of the first game omits the one thing he suggested that established the genre in the first place.

... What exactly is it that Zero Mission omits from Metroid 1? Was it the part where Metroid 1 was pointlessly difficult to navigate? Was it where Metroid 1 was horribly obtuse? Was it where Metroid 1 was brutally unfair to the player? Was it how Metroid 1 sucked ass?

Because I'm totally fine with games that omit all of those things.

In short, we should have listened to Sean Malstrom, who predicted much of this.

Really? He predicted the horrible misogyny and deprotagonization? He predicted the Ridley scene or the Adam scene?

No, he predicted that it wouldn't be a good game, that it would have a crap story. That's not a prediction; that's a coin-toss.

Saying that a videogame has a crap story is not a hard prediction. Videogames often have crap stories; hell, you'd probably be 95% correct if you predicted that every game that comes out this year with a story would have a crap story.

You don't make money on the short odds.
Korval (edited by: Korval)
Correct me if I'm wrong, it's been a few days since I've re-read your article, but there are some things you forgot to mention:

1)The introduction scene. You described it as it happened, but you forgot to mention this: that scene is the same as the official manga where Samus is being infused with Chozo DNA. That said, the game never bothers to tell you this, and discards it right away. Only fans would know what that scene was about, and even so, that scene made nothing. As you said, it was pointless, and only took precious space in disk that could be used to put more into level design and gameplay.

2)I don't remember if you mentioned this or not, but the game never tells who Ridley actually is (the leader of the Space Pirates), and what he represents to Samus (he's the one who killed her parents when she was 3 years old). The game does state that Samus lost her parents when she was young, but never mentions how (after all that infodump, I believe they had enough time and space in disk to say - or show - how her parents were killed and by who), which leads to the next point:

3)The game erases completely the existence of the entities known as Chozo. never once in the game the name of the race appears. There isn't a single structure, like there are in other games, resembling Chozo architecture (understandable, as this is a GF made station, but even in Fusion there was that fake Chozo Statue, showing how they could've made something similar). Specially when Samus calls the cybernetic Space Pirate a "Zebesian": the purpose of calling it Zebesian is to erase the existence of any other entity that could be Samus's father figure (a.k.a. the Chozo race, specially Grey Voice, if you've read the official manga), thus, rendering the "Adam is the father figure" plot point impossible. Oh yeah, it also serves to completely erase the existence of Corruption, where the Pirate Homeworld was shown.

4)Regarding gameplay, there's something awful in Hard Mode: it's a Metroid game, it's supposed to be about collecting power-ups throughout the complex scenarios; even so, the Hard Mode completely erases any power-up! Other Metroid titles had other ways to deal with it, by either the fake difficulty mechanism (more damage on you, less on enemies), in Prime titles, or limiting to half the ammount of ammo and energy you receive per power-up, on 2D titles. They would never think of taking away the core gameplay of the series, which is based in exploring and finding items scattered around the map; Other M completely negates the core gameplay of the franchise on it's Hard Mode.

5)Although, in western versions, Samus calls the larva Metroid a "hatchling", in the Japanese version of Fusion, she does indeed call it "Baby" (ベビー). But it was never for the sake of motherhood complexes, like in Other M; it was merely a name, a way of calling it, a title, she used when referring to it. If you read those instances where she calls it "baby", she sounds pretty could.

That said, you've also pointed out a lot of stuff I hadn't realized, even after reading other pretty competent analysis, like the fact that the station is pretty clean even though there was a massacre there (only two bodies found), or that the Power Bomb couldn't hurt Madeline Bergman, like Adam said it would.

You made a real deep analysis, extremely well constructed, and showed lots of undeniable arguments! Congratulations, it's a master piece!
YamiryuuZero
1) I hadn't really read the Metroid Manga, so I didn't notice the similarities.

2) Really, it's not that they didn't say what Ridley was. It's that they basically changed what Ridley was. He's supposed to be the leader of the Pirates, but Samus's monologue strongly suggested that Ridley alone wasn't enough to control them.

3) This was [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/lb_i.php?lb_id=13373815860B43920100&i_id=13374932470I54940100&p=3 #2 on my Shitting on Metroid count]. Though I didn't go into as much detail as you did.

4) That's because exploration isn't "core gameplay" for Metroid: Other M. Which reminds us of just how not a Metroid game this is.
Korval
You should search for the manga. Although not a masterpiece, it's interesting to know how Samus lost her parents, and how the Chozo saved her. The manga is cannon until the part where she gets her Power Suit and leaves Zebes (you can search for 'Metroid e-manga' for that). The author adds a "pre-Zero Mission" story, following the cannon, but not being officially accepted by Nintendo. The manga also shows Ridley controlling the Space Pirates alone. I think Metroid Database has it translated.

Aside from that, I think Nintendo tries too hard when it comes to Metroid. It's a more mature series, not like Zelda, Mario, Pikmin, where their area of expertise lies. I think they've ran out of ideas to make a new Metroid game, and used Retro to try new areas where the game could go into (3D transition), but with the safety of making them spin-offs, since they would be developed by a second party. If they saw the transition wouldn't be a success, they could just go back to the old style.

But, after the success of 4 Prime games, they couldn't just go back to the old formula. Even though the Prime series was a success, it wasn't as strong as Zelda or Mario games, as per usual, so I believe they tried to tie everything they could into the game: make it for old gamers fan of 2D titles, for the newer fans of the 3D Prime titles, and make something that would attract more players that have never played a Metroid title before (hence the game being extremely linear and full of tutorials everywhere). they just shot everywhere and missed all of the targets. It's incredible how some people think of that crap as a masterpiece...

Just hope the next game comes to take off Other M of the cannon.
YamiryuuZero
I remember that Gunpei Yokoi was considered the father of Metroid up until this new E3 title was announced. This e3 title I could not really get hyped for since I just beat Prime 3 and was ready for a Metroid break (which now seems to be lasting longer than I anticipated it would) so I would be saying as much no matter how good Other M was. (I will even say Yokoi gets too much cred for sister game Kid Icarus but that is another story.)

As for tying Other M around his neck and diminishing his role in Super Metroid, according to the staff interviews for both games there was a lot more positive feedback from Super Metroid's staff while Other M's saw a lot less input from the team as a whole. It is like claiming the success of the attitude era was thanks to Vince Russo when it was really the result of multiple contributers and Russo has never seen any kind of comparable success without them. To credit whatever people see in Star Wars to George Lucas when he really had a lot of help and noting how much praise his work lost once he no longer had to deal with editors.

What is omitted in Zero Mission is freedom progress and re-playability. In the original there was hardly as much emphasis on using beam, jump and armor upgrades to advance and there were no "sequence breaks" because there was no sequence. You could finish the whole thing with just ice beam, missiles, morph ball and bombs. You probably wanted the high jump and long beam but screw attack, varia suit, wave beam, those were mere bonuses. The problems with the original game were no that all the rooms looked the same, there was no map and no convenient way to save progress. Beyond that it was not too difficult (especially with its sister game for reference) but rather than just make the original more accessible for modern audiences Zero Mission completely changed the game's structure. Taking what was almost completely open ended up to the Metroids and making it "Fusion, but you can go the wrong way if your try hard enough".

No, Malestrom did not predict just why we would not be liking other M, but he did tell us exactly why we should be skeptical of anything attempts the director used to tell a "serious" story, instead we allowed the fandom to get lost in the hype train which probably resulted in this game selling more than it should have. Maybe could have dropped their 40USD on Sin And Punishment Star Successor or whatever else was running against Other M?
Cider
That said, I will give He Who Must Not Be Named credit for Fusion that I will not so readily give for Super because departure that it was I did greatly enjoy Fusion's dynamic environment and parasitic antagonists. I will give him Wrecking Crew and Wario Ware as well unless someone convinces me why I should not.

I do not think he is a bad director, I was just turned off by a lot that was contributed to him in on the hype train leading up to this title.
Cider
What is omitted in Zero Mission is freedom progress and re-playability.

Freedom? It's the first Metroid game with sanctioned sequence breaking. How can you call that not being free? You can sequence break it from minute one. You don't even need the Long Beam, the first powerup you can get in the game.

As for replayability, again, sanctioned sequence breaking. There are entire areas of the game that exist for the sole purpose of doing a Ridley-first, Varia-less run. If you didn't replay the game to find and explore these, that's your fault, not the game's.

Yes, the game has a sequence. But see below for why that's a good thing. And again, the game lets you ignore it if and when you want.

You could finish the whole thing with just ice beam, missiles, morph ball and bombs.

You can finish Zero Mission with just those, the Speed Booster (taken from Kraid, who you were going to kill anyway), and possibly some Super Missiles and Charge Beam. I don't count the 3 Unknown Items and Power Bombs, because those are post-game items that you get after Metroid 1 would have ended.

So yeah, I'm not seeing much difference here.

The problems with the original game were no that all the rooms looked the same, there was no map and no convenient way to save progress.

Um, no; there was a lot more than that. And the best way to explain that is to look at quite literally the first thing Zero Mission fixed.

Where do you go first in Zero Mission? To the Kraid/Ridley statue room. Why? Because it is vitally important that you see it. If you don't see it, if you don't know it's there, you will never know what your goal is.

That's one of the major failings of Metroid 1: it communicates horribly with the player. It basically dumps you into a maze with no idea that there even is a goal. And yet it expects you to know that you're supposed to find 2 guys and kill them, then go to this one room that was a total dead end with nothing in it, which will magically grow a bridge for some reason.

There's also the lack of beam combining, or any knowledge that you had better get the ice beam (back) before going into Tourian. Without that, it's very possible to run into Metroids while using the Wave Beam and die a quick death through no fault of your own.

Metroid 1 is a terribly unfair game. Zero Mission took the game and made a fair one from it.

Taking what was almost completely open ended up to the Metroids and making it "Fusion, but you can go the wrong way if your try hard enough".

Um, no. I didn't do any sequence breaking in my first playthrough of Super Metroid. I sequence broke Zero Mission by accident in my first playthrough. Fusion cannot be sequence broken.

So which game is Zero Mission more like? Fusion or Super Metroid.

The game was not trying very hard to keep you on the rails.
Korval (edited by: Korval)
The original Metroid was fair to people who knew to RTFM.
Maru
Technically, the Justin Bailey code gives you a Wave-Ice combo beam, but that's unrelated to anything.

Why does Japan hate this series? Why do they see it as a niche like we do anything that comes from Intelligent Systems?

And why does Persona have such a colossal fanbase?
Greener223224
Persona has a large fanbase because it combines the characterization of visual novels with the customization and upgrading of RP Gs.

At least, that's my reasoning. I tried to play Persona 3 and I wasn't a fan of the battle system or the dungeons, but my friend loved the game's characters.
Scardoll
I think Other M is getting a lot more hate then it deserves. Not to mention how many times the author had to reach to valid his claims and hate.
bubblebuttz
How was he reaching? All his claims were valid, and Korval's never reached beyond interpreting what Sakamoto was trying to portray, which seemed to him like forcing Samus into a maid outfit to serve as Adam/Sakamoto's mistress.
Trollblade69
Yes, but without the manual, the original Metroid is...painful, and you likely did not read the manual if you played it through Fusion, Prime, Zero Mission or the Virtual Console (my NES owning babysitter did not grasp the concept of instruction manuals).

Reading that manual I find the contrast between what Samus started as and ended as amazing. A bounty hunter shrouded in myth who has completed numerous impossible missions. His body has been surgically altered with mechanical parts, giving him super powers and even space pirates fear his suit which can absorb any enemy's power. (AKA health and Ammo pickups). Wait, he is a she? She is six foot three and built like an Olympic track star and her suit has shoulders of doom, can climb walls and fly (sort of). She is actually restrained, not the unrelenting killing machine the very presence of an arm cannon suggests? She is a being of such courage and resolve that even incorporeal apparitions who have ascended beyond three dimensional space can only marvel at unhindered progression through the planet ravaged by the great poison. She is also learned in biology, mechanics and the sport of glider swinging?

The "manga" was annoying enough when it came out. Everyone knew Samus was a girl. Suddenly she had no interest in academia yet saw the need for doing constant contemplation the games never implied she was doing. In fact, everything talked too much. But now I miss manga Samus even. She didn't take shit from anybody, not counting her own Ridley scene, least of all Adam. Adam's role may have been inflated (I found bombs and missiles myself, thank you) but he was not joking when he called her a lady. Manga Adam did not value Samus as a weapon.
IndirectActiveTransport
I think I have a good idea as to why Sakamoto portrayed Samus the way he did in Other M. According to this quote from the "Elephant in the Room" article from Yoshio Sakamoto, he hates the Prime games and thinks they are contradictory to how he depicts Samus. He's mad at the Prime games, which he didn't work on, for being so critically and publicly acclaimed, and so he wanted to lash out at the fans for it. This quote makes me think this:

"Depicting the story of Samus Aran in this game was one of the most important game design concepts from the very beginning because before Other M I did not think about what kind of person Samus Aran was and how she thinks and her personality….Plus because of the existence of the Metroid Prime series many people might have different ideas about what kind of person Samus Aran was….So with Other M I really wanted to determine and express what kind of human Samus Aran is so that we can really tell what kind of natural step she should be taking in the future."
deltanine
I have been sending e-mails to Nintendo urging them to remove Other M from series canon and putting the Prime games back into it. And I even started a forum for anyone willing to urge Nintendo to un-canonize it. Wanna sign up and say something?

http://www.nintendoforums.com/topic/722-remove-other-m-from-canon/
deltanine
Standing ovation. I'm ashamed I never stumbled on this essay until now.

I'm one of the writers of "Metroid Other M: the Elephant in the Room." When Mental Guy and I wrote it, we considered doing a much longer piece like this that took into account the many, many, many other stupid things in Other M, but we decided to focus on the abuse and misogyny because that was the thing that ruined it the most for us, and we didn't want to spend even more time than we did. But you, my friend? You covered the sexism and romanticized abuse at least as well as we did, and also deconstructed everything else. My hat off to you. This is the definitive Other M review.
TuviaDulin
I think there's one more thing that needs to be discussed: the fact that there exists gamers who would be perfectly okay with the next Metroid game (assuming there is one) being just. like. Other M.

That is absolutely terrifying. It floors me that there are enough people who would be more than willing to play a second Other M-like game. Another game that unintentionally condones sexism, poor game design, character assassination as a result of shitty writing.

I seriously hope Nintendo isn't listening to those people. 18 pages was a very long read, but this could pretty much be a book. A small-sort of publication w/o the fanfare, but something that needs to exist as a counter-argument to Other M's existence. Something the CE Os of Nintendo should be forced to read. After all, freedom of speech is a total bitch, neh?

Or make them play the game and give their honest opinions about how truly shitty the game is and that they should be ashamed this pile of crap even carries the official Nintendo Golden Seal of Approval.
metroidfreak64 (edited by: metroidfreak64)
I loved this review. I have nothing more to add, other than that it got me in the mood to replay Super Metroid, which I haven't played in forever. I'm rediscovering that game, how awesome it is, and realizing that I remember so little of it, which only makes the experience better.

I also liked Fusion, and I'm in the mood to replay that, and Zero Mission, possibly after I finish Super.
BonsaiForest
Why does Japan hate this series?

I think (and I claim no expertise in this area) that Japanese gamers in general prefer linearity than Metroid's non-linear style. They also seem to prefer direct forms of storytelling over the Prime series more indirect style. It's simply a matter of different cultural preferences.

the fact that there exists gamers who would be perfectly okay with the next Metroid game (assuming there is one) being just. like. Other M.

As I said in the gameplay section, the point of view and controls are not a bad idea. I wouldn't mind seeing a Metroid game made using the basic gameplay of this one. Now, I would certainly want real sequence breaking back (see most of Zero Mission) and the whole 3rd-person/1st-person switching thing can go straight to hell. But the basic foundations of the game engine aren't a terrible starting point for a solid Metroid game.

There are elements of Other M which can be salvaged. But it's actually quite rare to find a game (or most works of fiction) which are truly rotten to the core. There's usually something that's a good idea in a work, just like there's often a kernel of corn in a log of shit.

That doesn't mean that feces is an optimal source of quality corn...
Korval
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