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YMMV: Metroid: Other M

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
  • Angst? What Angst?: Now, Samus angsts about A LOT of things: the Baby Metroid, her treatment by Adam, the Federation's corruptness, mean ol' Ridley, all stuff she'd dealt with before and should have easily dealt with again. But one subject strangely never seems to cause her any sort of sadness: the destruction of her home planet Zebes, which is quickly glossed over. There's no mention in Other M of the Chozo, and Samus even calls Adam her only father figure even though Zero Mission confirms the Chozo raised her first. Why she's so blasé about the recent loss of her home and possible extinction of her adopted family over all the other stuff she weeps about is a mystery.
  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • The fight against MB ends when you try to shoot her, instead of the monsters you're fighting. Many people finish this battle by accident.
    • You can kill Nightmare in its second encounter before he launches his first black hole by entering the fight, guns blazing, with your super missiles. Each super missile stuns it, and it only takes four taps to put it down for good.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Early on in the game's development, there were several skeptics against the idea of having a Metroid game with cutscenes and dialogue. Given the criticism of the story, it would appear that the skeptics had a point after all.
    • Supposedly this was an attempt to appeal to the Japanese audience, a market which historically has had less enthusiasm for Metroid in comparison to Nintendo's other franchises, and who typically prefer linear games with tightly woven narratives over more open-ended, exploratory experiences. It didn't work that well though - while it did okay in Japan, it didn't really outperform previous Metroid games by too much, and it bombed everywhere else.
  • Badass Decay: Samus Aran, while still a powerful warrior, is considerably more ineffective in this game than in any of the other Metroid titles.
  • Base Breaker:
    • If the message board wars, angry reviews, accusations of sexism and video blog rants are any indicator, the game's depiction of Samus Aran has become this.
    • Adam Malkovich equally as much. To fans, he's either an admirable Badass or an uncaring Jerk with a Heart of Jerk.
  • Broken Base: The game either provides Samus with long-needed character development, or it turns her from an awesomely stoic Badass into a stereotypical moeblob.
    • That's not even getting into the debates on Fan reactions as to how well Samus's reaction to Ridley was handled.
    • In addition, you have a further split between fans when it comes to story presentation in Metroid games: those who want it to be more cinematic and grander versus those who prefer a minimalistic, "figure-it-out-for-yourself" approach. Although this particular debate got started with Metroid Fusion and escalated with Prime 3: Corruption, it was Other M that really showed how divisive this issue is.
    • There was also a smaller division over who was to "blame" for Other M, which was eventually resolved once Team Ninja distanced themselves from the project and made public that many of the controversial design choices were Sakamoto's idea. But again, see Scapegoat Creator down below.
    • To a much lesser extent, Phantoon's boss fight. Some say it's a fitting, epic confrontation. Some go right out and call the fight an Anticlimax Boss.
    • Even the combat has a broken base, ether people think it was great or that it sucked.
  • Contested Sequel: Even among detractors there are arguments as to whether anything Other M produced is good, at least salvageable or if it should all be ignored in hypothetical future installments. There are some who think the game is good too, in spite of what the drop in sales and sales price from the previous Wii Metroid would suggest.
  • Continuity Lockout:
    • A common complaint of the dreaded Ridley scene, as it makes no sense unless you have read a ridiculously obscure manga that has never seen release outside of Japan. Even then she overcame that problem in said manga.
    • To a more minor degree, the appearance of Phantoon seems completely random if you haven't played Super Metroid.
    • Nightmare seems like a fairly arbitrary boss fight without having played Fusion.
  • Critical Backlash: Believe it or not, yes. The game did get mostly decent reviews from most outlets, though it did not do nearly as well critically as the previous games, even Hunters. Fans, on the other hand, would probably reject it.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
  • Designated Hero/Unintentionally Unsympathetic: To many players, Adam is not the great father figure and role model that Samus claims he is, but a condescending jerk. Some even read an abusive undertone to their relationship. This isn't helped when you consider that does a lot of unsympathetic things over the course of the game (acting cold towards Samus, blatantly disregarding her well-being in many "authorization" situations, and even shooting her in the back when he could have simply talked to her) while having very little redemptive qualities, making it confusing as to what Samus even sees in him in the first place.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: The Big Bad, Melissa Bergman is described in reviews as a "sympathetic figure" even though there is nothing in the game to suggest there is anything sympathetic about her, other than being loved by one of her creators.
  • 8.8: X-Play's review, giving it a 2...out of 5.
    • They also gave it a Golden Mullet award, their equivalent of the Razzie Awards, even calling it a Franchise Killer.
    • Game Informer gave it a 6.25 in the US. The Australian version (by a different reviewer), however, gave it an 8.
    • Famitsu gave the game a 35 out of 40. Really, opinions on this game are all over the place.
    • Similar to X-Play, Yahtzee Croshaw named it the second worst game he reviewed in all of 2010, stating the gameplay was almost as bad as the story/writing fiasco.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Anthony Higgs. It's really not too much of a stretch to say that Anthony ended up with the best everything in the game. Even those who dislike the game like that he's a) friendly, b) respects Samus, c) his "Princess" nickname arguably actually sounds like a nickname as opposed to Adam's arguably mocking "Lady", and d) Samus doesn't explicitly describe their relationship like she does with Adam, making it one of the few areas where they decided to Show, Don't Tell. Not to mention the "Remember me" meme.
    • Melissa Bergman has gained quite a fanbase.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Because of Samus' characterization amongst other things, many Metroid fans prefer not to acknowledge the story of this game. Nintendo's reaction to the game underperforming - as well as the direction of the next two games in the franchise - indicate that the game may eventually end up under Canon Discontinuity.
  • Freud Was Right: Fans feel Samus talks about babies a little too much.
  • Goddamned Boss: The second time you fight Nightmare, it shoots a black hole that sucks ALL of your beams and missiles away from your target, and the only way to hit it is when it just happens to be in the way as it prepares to attack, making a fight or flight situation with no third option.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Game Informer's April issues always have a parody mini-magazine called Game Infarcer. Their 2007 edition's cover has Team Ninja developing Metroid Prime Xtreme.
    • During Metroid Fusion, an AI asks Samus of Adam, "Did this Adam care for you? Would he sit in a safe Command Room and order you to die?" Cue this game eight years later and reviewers began voicing these exact complaints about Adam not doing things like authorizing the Varia Suit earlier.
    • MB is a young blonde woman with blue eyes and a red top under her lab coat, whom some characters question if she was truly evil. A similar character appears in the Captain N comics, as a good-intentioned, road warrior-like projection of Mother Brain's consciousness. Captain N later agrees to help save Mother Brain, arguing that the character they met was proof that Mother Brain was not purely evil.
  • Hype Backlash: Quite possibly one of the most spectacular examples in recent memory. Nintendo prepared an expensive ad campaign, and built up considerable hype for the game. However, unexpectedly bad word of mouth and middling reviews basically killed its chances of selling over a million. To no one but fans and Nintendo themselves this was quite shocking. Only around early 2012 did the game reach the million units sold mark, and it routinely sells for incredibly low prices, and can be found in bargain bins in video game stores (the lowest recorded price being one cent on Amazon).
  • Ink Stain Adaptation: A lot of people think that the game's story soiled Samus Aran's reputation as a character.
  • Internet Backdraft: Yoshio Sakamoto has slowly become the most hated man among the people who dislike Other M and any of his prior work has been either denied or played like they don't matter, pretty much only because he made the game.
  • Jerk Sue: Adam's detractors label him one, pointing to how rarely he acknowledges Samus's well-being (or the well-being of anybody, really), despite being repeatedly hailed as a great and good man, usually by the person who's doing all the actual work.
  • Memetic Badass: Anthony Higgs, though it's mostly justified by his having a plasma gun on his back, which would likely require some level of badassery to be allowed to use. And yes, he does know how to use it.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Misblamed:
    • A majority of people direct their complaints towards Team Ninja when in reality, the majority of the design, plot, and gameplay decisions were made by Yoshio Sakamoto, otherwise known as one of the Co-Creators of the original Metroid, and director for Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion, and Metroid Zero Mission. This includes the use of only the Wiimote sideways and a greater focus on story. Not to mention the scenario writing.
    • Samus' voice actress is, in fact, a skilled actress, as demonstrated when Samus actually emotes. Which means that the whole "detached, emotionless monotone" aspect that was so much complained about was deliberate on Sakamoto's part.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The replacement sound effect for the missing Item Acquisition Fanfare.
  • Narm:
    • There's plenty of stilted, awkwardly performed dialogue throughout, to the point that the Compilation Movie makes for great MST material. Just ask Retsupurae.
    • Everything about the stages of Ridley's evolution is pure Nightmare Retardant, weakening the impact of the purpose of the character in question. Most notably, the "Choogle", which looks utterly laughable in the scene where its true nature is revealed. They essentially turned Ridley into a Pokémon!
    • Development-wise, Sakamoto saw the Gravity Suit as this, saying that audiences would feel uncomfortable seeing "this purple person" in the endgame Infodumps. This is why it was downgraded to a selectively active purple hue in the final product.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Samus only talked about the Baby Metroid for part of the first 20 or so minutes, and the rest of the game barely mentioned it. Cue detractors proceeding to exaggerate her talk of the Baby as if it took place throughout the entire duration of the game. The same thing also applies to inner-monologues.
    • The moments where Samus is seen without the Power Suit. Some people make it look like it happens every 5 minutes, when actually, not counting when the player is killed (and the camera does NOT recreate itself on Samus anyway), it only happens 3 times in the entire game. The review from Zero Punctuation is a good example.
    • The game itself is seen as a Sonic 2006-level failure for the Metroid series as a whole with many fans wondering for a while if another game would ever get made. Thankfully, this is no longer the case. As of E3 2014, Nintendo has stated that two Metroid games are in production, one using the Prime style 3D gameplay and one using 2.5D gameplay.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The opening cutscene shows Mother Brain's One-Winged Angel form in 3D, to lessened effect.
    • Possibly because of the T rating, the two supposedly gruesomely murdered researchers only have small black or green stains and no other sign of physical harm.
    • As mentioned under "Narm", Baby Ridley.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Samus was characterized as emotional and with self-esteem issues in the manga. She took orders from identified-as-male authority figures in Fusion and Prime 3 (though admittedly not nearly to the extent to which she is given orders here, where she can't so much as shit without approval from Adam), and worked for the Galactic Federation in Metroid, Metroid II, Prime 3, and Fusion. A major moment in the manga was her getting over her infamous PTSD involving Ridley. (But then, the manga justified this by flashing back to repressed memories of Ridley eating her mother alive right in front of her, while the game gives no context or explanation for people not aware of their history) Of course, Other M also contradicts the manga's story in numerous other ways, so don't try too hard to figure this out.
    • A lot of fans complained about the absurdity of Samus having bonded with the baby Metroid. Although it was not explicitly canon, this relationship was set up back in a lot of comics and guides for Super Metroid back in 1994.
  • Overshadowed By Controversy: This game is known primarily, if not exclusively, for the misogynist tone to the story. And maybe for the poor execution of the Bag of Spilling justification.
  • Pandering to the Base: The game was an attempt to appeal to the Japanese fanbase, as for the most part the games found greater success outside of its home country, and an entire trilogy of games were made outside of Japan to boot.note  The end result alienated the western fanbases.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: Several admitted fans of the game think the gameplay of Other M is good, and executed more effectively than the story, which is supported by the Fanon Discontinuity said story has.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: It's established early on that Adam is seen as a platonic father figure, somewhat. It certainly didn't stop a few reviewers from calling him "Samus's boyfriend".
  • Scapegoat Creator: Although it's not nearly as bad now as it was when the game came out, there are still quite a lot of people who blame Team Ninja for this game (especially Samus' portrayal) when Yoshio Sakamoto was at fault for many of the game's problems.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Other M features the ability to enter first-person mode by turning the Wiimote to face the screen. This wouldn't have been so bad by itself, but Samus is unable to move (aside from the Sense Move dodge mechanic) while in a first-person view point. This hasn't been very well-received.
    • The story justification for how Samus gains powerups is largely disliked. Basically, Samus has them from the beginning, but she refrains from using any of them without Adam's authorization to prevent her from accidentally vaporizing the other men under his command, rather than find them lying around. This gets a little silly when Samus takes damage from the heat in the lava area because Adam hasn't allowed her to utilize her Varia Suit — something that couldn't possibly do anything but protect Samus better. Nintendo Power even set aside a whole sidebar in their review to highlight this as absurd.
      • Ironically, one of the only items that Samus actually finds on the Bottle Ship herself is the Seeker missile, a power up from the Prime series that many fans considered to be one of the worst items in the series.
    • Samus adopts a cannon-holding slow-walking stance in areas that contain no enemies and are heavy on plot. While it is more realistic and adds to the suspense, moving around at such a slow speed (you can't even ball up) is bound to annoy anyone who enjoys the classic Metroid goal of beating the game as quickly as possible.
    • The game occasionally decides to lock Samus into the first person view point (thus disabling movement) and stop the game until the player points the targeting cursor at some detail of the scenery that the game had decided is important enough that you should see, but not important enough to put directly in a cut scene.
    • Concentration doesn't refill health to full (except on Hard Mode, where you can completely restore your measly 99 health), and requires that Samus have a very small amount of health before it can be used. It's much more generous with regards to missiles, however, as it refills them faster and can be used to refill them at any time. And in Hard Mode, hooooo boy...
    • The NES-like control scheme wouldn't be so bad if it weren't basically forced upon the player.
  • Snark Bait: The story of the game tries to come across as being profound, but ends up being pretentious, and is widely mocked because of this.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Those who put the story, the biggest source of criticism, aside found the gameplay passable, if inferior to past Metroid titles for its linearity and lack of innovation.
  • That One Boss: Queen Metroid due to how the Metroids she spawns can (and will) gang up on you and the fact that you're required to use Power Bombs to defeat her, but the game doesn't point out that you can use them.
    • Rhedogian is not much easier. It has a long reach, difficult to avoid attacks, and can dodge damn near everything thrown at it.
    • MB, if only because screwing up means you have to fight the Queen Metroid again.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Even ignoring the apparent shift in Samus' personality, many fans object to elements like Samus having fully voiced dialogue (she did have text-based dialogue in Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion, and Metroid: Zero Mission, but not nearly as much), Samus' relationships with other human characters becoming a major element, Samus' internal monologue, focusing to recharge health and missiles instead of enemies dropping items, taking out the classic "item acquired"-jingle...
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: They wasted at least four perfectly good plots: Samus' backstory and connection with Adam, the conspiracy with the Deleter and corruption within the Federation, Samus overcoming Ridley's reappearance, and the disaster around MB. Any one of those plots could have supported a whole game narrative in their own right, but the way the game spreads them all throughout means none are given the attention they deserve to fully develop. Worse is that the Ridley and Deleter subplots were both used for two VERY controversial details in the story: make Samus look vulnerable, and cast doubt on Adam, respectively. Nothing Samus did ever phased either subplot or purpose, and both plots are aborted moments before the Final Boss.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Samus Aran. The entire game is supposed to be about her origins as the Intergalactic Queen Of Badassery and how she copes with the events of Super Metroid, but it ends up being sidetracked by the other characters and coming across as Wangsty. In addition, she has surprisingly little impact on the plot.
      • They wasted a good voice actor too. Samus' Voice Actor, Jessica Martin won an award for best supporting comedic actress in a web series as well as a talented musician. Sakamoto ordered her to remove all the emotion from her voice to match the Japanese voicetracknote . That's wasted potential right there.
    • Anthony Higgs is the only openly-warm character in the game, and is largely considered to be a more interesting character than Adam, but Samus rarely ever talks about him in the game.
      • In addition to Anthony, none of the characters in the Galactic Federation's military (aside from Adam) are given much exposure in the game. The Deleter isn't even officially revealed, nor is he given a motive.
    • The Metroids are set up to be a great threat in the game once again. You don't even get to fight them.
    • Phantoon's appearance as the True Final Boss. They could've made him the Bigger Bad, make the plot Hijacked by Ganon, but no. Phantoon is a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere.
    • Reusing Nightmare from Fusion ended up as nothing more than a pair of boss fights, the second of which served only to establish the Gravity Suit's powers to utterly humiliate it.
  • Too Cool to Live: Subverted with Anthony Higgs - it initially seems like he is killed by Ridley to be a Sacrificial Lion, but it's later revealed that he survived the encounter and is the only surviving member of Adam's team.
  • Ugly Cute: Little Birdie, aka Choogle, who looks like a cross between a Mini-Totoro and Stitch. Turns out it's baby Ridley.
  • The Untwist: James Pierce being the Deleter would have been a lot more surprising, had he not acted suspiciously in the the Exam Center of the Biosphere. This and the fact that the other potential suspects are not very much exploited except Anthony and Adam.
  • Unfortunate Implications: The game that expresses Samus's femininity more than any other and is set on defining who she is... Is the game where she is at her most submissive to an authority figure, such as when she unquestioningly follows the "authorization" code even though it endangers her life and the lives of her allies, and that she has no practical reason to follow it (see "What An Idiot"). It is the game that emphasizes her lack of presence when compared to men (despite being 6'3 according to manuals and guides), most notably near the ending where she can't bring herself to shoot the Big Bad, and has to wait for men to do it for her. It is the only game where she is reduced to tears and in fact suffers through a few emotional breakdowns - most notably after encountering Ridley, even though she had canonically faced him many times before (and that she had previously overcome her phobia of him that she had in the manga, which the plot of the game is based upon). It is the game that leaves her in many in helpless positions, such as the aforementioned scene with Ridley. It does not seem to say too much positive about Samus as a woman or femininity at all, besides motherhood being a good thing (maybe, though motherly displays lead to characters doing stupid or immoral things more often than not).
  • Values Dissonance: The game easily shows that it was written to appeal to the Japanese mainstream, which considers Metroidvania games to be a niche genre. The story's main personal conflict carries strong allusions to "filial piety", a strong part of Asian culture. For example, Samus is characterized as subordinate to the Galactic Federation despite working alone and being the One Woman Army that predates both Master Chief of Halo fame or Gordon Freeman of Half-Life fame. In Japan's military system, a soldier walking out on an officer is inexcusable, and soldiers are completely subservient to their COs - never questioning orders for any reason - but since Samus is a girl, it's seen as objectifying and belittling, especially since Filial Piety also explicitly states that women are subordinate to men. Even without the gender aspect, American players in general were totally baffled by the idea that simply leaving Adam's command is a valid reason for his animosity toward her.
    • The "total subservience" thing only gets you so far. While the idea that she can only use explicitly authorized weapons can be accepted by most western viewers, Samus and Adam both "forgetting" to activate her heat protection armor in an area filled with lava is crossing a line.
    • Also, she's not one of Adam's soldiers anymore.
    • The decision to make her one of Adam's soldiers in the first place? The fact that she never in the army was an important plot point in the manga and Adam encouraged her to leave the federation, telling her that it was only hindering her potential, then hired her as a bounty hunter. So naturally, some fans think Other M's plot bent over backwards to make her look bad (or other do not particularly care just because they hate the manga)
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Though fans are very sharply split over the content of the cutscenes, they all pretty much agree that they were very well animated. Even some people who hated the game were surprised the Wii was capable of rendering something that looked that good.
  • Waggle: The Wii Remote-only control style was shoehorned into the game despite Team Ninja's protests because Sakamoto felt that Metroid played best with an NES controller, and that using multiple control styles would be admitting defeat as a game developer.
  • Wangst: One of the main complaints about the game. Samus complains and belittles herself about things not her fault (Adam teasing her during her times in the marines, Adam's unprofessional dismissal of her requests) and often whines instead of just easily solving the problem like it is obvious she can (by simply blowing off the inferior in almost all ways that matter to the story Adam for being pissy about it). Madeline also angsts a lot about things happening on the Bottle Ship even though she is the vessel's boss and could have at least made an effort to try and get her way rather than whining about it. The big bad even goes into it, throwing a tantrum over being treated unfairly even though it is a malfunctioning weapon with an affinity for murder.
  • What an Idiot: At no point is Samus forced to follow Adam's authorization rule, and the only time that he actually tells her not to use something is when he mentions that Power Bombs could kill his personnel (and while this is admittedly a reasonable concern, he does make the mistake to tell her that she can't use her other weapons without mentioning why). She could have used her Gravity Suit and entire arsenal sans Power Bombs, but instead chooses to follow this order unquestioningly. This gets really grating when she goes into an area so hot that it damages her Power Suit, and she doesn't think to turn on the Varia Suit capabilities until Adam authorizes it (in the middle of a fight, no less). It's almost astounding to see her decide to use the Screw Attack without Adam's authorization.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: The decision to sack Metroid Prime's voice of Samus (Jennifer Hale, who had auditioned for the game) in favor of a voice actress that was specifically instructed to act as detached as possible was widely disliked.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Due to Metroid's lower popularity in Japan, this game was designed to appeal more to Nintendo's home audience. However, not only did Other M fail to attract much attention in Japan, it also alienated the American players that have been the bulk of Metroid's fanbase.

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