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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • One of the main reasons for the complaints against Samus' characterization is how it differs from what has been shown in the rare bits her character is seen.
    • Many detractors see the relationship between Samus and Adam as incredibly screwed up. For example.
    • And from the supporter side of things, some of them suggest that Samus is suffering various stages of psychological trauma. That said, Sakamoto has stated in interviews that "Samus is a woman who is poor at coping with life's problems," which is a major kick in the face for many fans of the series.
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    • Quite a few fans see Adam as a Author Avatar for Sakamoto himself, with Samus' submissiveness towards him being a representation of Sakamoto's own feelings and desires towards the character.
    • For some, Samus's motivations for following Adam unquestioningly. It's unambiguous that she's attempting to redeem herself in his eyes, but she also mentions that they need her if they want to survive. Was this just trying to get his approval to join the mission, or an accurate, calculated assessment? Also, would she have been quite so childish and unsure of herself if Adam hadn't shown up?
  • Americans Hate Tingle: The goal of Other M was to appeal more to the Japanese fanbase. While Japanese fans were more or less indifferent towards the game and found it to be lackluster even compared to past entries (including the Western-developed and -oriented Prime games), it was nowhere near the vitriolic hatred that the Western fanbase garners towards the game. This is reflected in the game's sales as well; while its sales in Japan were nothing to write home about, it wasn't an outright flop like it was in the West.
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  • 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 identifies Adam as a father figure without ever bringing up the Chozo, who were confirmed in Zero Mission to have raised her. 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.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • The fight against MB ends when you try to shoot her, instead of the Desbrachians you're fighting. Many people finish this battle by accident.
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    • 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. 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. Her angst and introspection lead to her getting distracted constantly; she blindly trusts a woman aboard the Bottle Ship despite knowing that everyone there was involved in illegal operations; and she is paralyzed by fear when she realizes that Ridley is still alive.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Adam Malkovich is seen either as an admirable Colonel Badass or an uncaring Jerk with a Heart of Jerk.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The infamous scene of Samus suffering a Heroic BSoD at the sight of Ridley. The visual metaphor of Samus turning into a three-year-old girl comes out of nowhere and makes no sense to anyone who did not previously read supplementary lore that explains how Ridley was responsible for Samus's childhood trauma. Even fans who did know the backstory from the manga still thought it made no sense, as that story already took some time to deal with her PTSD and has her overcome it to fight Ridley there. To say nothing of the duo having a No-Nonsense Nemeses relationship in all of the previous games, suggesting Samus has long since come up with good ways to cope with the trauma or has mostly recovered from it, since she shows no signs (major or minor) of PTSD anywhere else in the series. Even ignoring all of that, this moment has no effect on the rest of Other M's plot. Its only real consequence, Anthony's apparent death, is glossed over and is never mentioned again until the end of the game, where it turns out to have been a Disney Death). And as soon as the cutscene ends, Samus regains her focus and goes back to kicking Ridley's butt like she always does.
  • Bile Fascination: Many have played the title just to see how warranted the story's infamy is.
  • Broken Base: To say that this game shattered the fan base would be an understatement:
    • There is a split between fans when it comes to story presentation in Metroid games: those who want it to be more cinematic and grand versus those who prefer a minimalist, environmental storytelling 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.
    • The story. Some believe that with better execution, the story could've been everything it was trying to be. Others believe that the type of story being told just doesn't fit within the Metroid series and that no amount of tweaking could overcome that; even if it was a good story on its own merits, it should've been told in a different game. And then there are those who believe that its ideas were rotten to the core and it was destined to fail no matter what.
    • The combat. Some people think it was great, or at least fun, and one of the game's few bright spots. Others think that it was just another part of the game that sucked.
  • Contested Sequel:
    • Even among detractors there are arguments as to whether anything Other M produced is good, or at least salvageable, and if such elements should all be ignored in any future installments. This ended up being the case for Metroid: Samus Returns, which took some of the combat ideas to overall positive reception there.
    • As always, there are those who think it is a legitimately good game that, even if not par with other installments in the franchise, doesn't deserve anywhere near amount the hate it gets.
  • Continuity Lockout:
    • A common complaint of the dreaded Ridley scene, as it makes no sense unless you have read a manga that has never seen release outside of Japan. Even if you are aware of that aspect of Samus' backstory due to Pop Culture Osmosis, those who have read the manga note that learning to overcome the trauma attached to Ridley's presence was Samus's entire character arc in the latter half of the story.
    • 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: Even with its absurdly negative reputation among fans, the game still has its fair share of defenders. Most will remark that as poor as the story is, the gameplay itself is actually solid and the boss fights are some of the best in the series.
  • Critical Dissonance: The game did get decent reviews from most outlets, though it did not do nearly as well critically as the previous games. The vast majority of fans, on the other hand, would rather pretend this game never happened.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy : One of the flaws of the story, between Samus’ inner struggles (that are only half resolved at the end), Adam Malkovich being so unlikeable (that his demise lacks any emotional impact to many players) and most of the characters kicking the bucket along with the implications that the authorities who launched the Metroid breeding program will get away with it, since another one shows up in Metroid Fusion.
  • Designated Hero: To many players, Adam is not the great father figure and role model that Samus claims he is, but a condescending jerk. Some go as far to even read an abusive undertone to their relationship. This isn't helped when you consider that he does a lot of unsympathetic things over the course of the game, from acting cold towards Samus, blatantly disregarding her well-being in many "authorization" situations, shooting her in the back to keep her away from a Metroid when he simply could have warned her verbally. This even happens in flashbacks that are supposed to demonstrate that Samus positively views him as a father figure by... showing him regularly singling Samus (the only woman in his squad) out for unfavorable treatment during her time in the army. He shows off very little redemptive qualities, making it confusing as to what Samus even sees in him in the first place.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: 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 friendly, respects Samus, that his "Princess" nickname for her actually sounds like a good-natured term of affection as opposed to Adam's passive-aggressive sounding "Lady", and that 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. He also outright averts many Token Minority tropes and even ends up the sole member of his squad to survive the events of the game.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Oddly enough, with the Prime sub-series of Metroid games. While it's already well-established that fans of the other installments heavily criticize Other M, there are also a few fans of Other M who bash the Prime series and claim that Other M successfully brought Metroid back to its roots and provided a successfully fleshed-out portrayal of Samus, essentially claiming that Sakamoto's intentions were fulfilled.note  However, it's hard to tell how much of this is genuine and how much of it is trolling.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Because of Samus' characterization, amongst other things (such as the many canon inconsistencies with other Metroid games even including Sakamoto's own), 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 following few games in the franchise - indicate that the game may eventually end up under Canon Discontinuity.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Samus' infamous Heroic BSoD against Ridley mirrors what happened in the Metroid manga. However, the manga is viewed as doing this much better thanks to being more clear that the meeting was triggering traumatic flashbacks to Ridley killing her parents when she was three, in addition to Ridley even taunting her over it. And, most importantly, that encounter is also the first time Samus had seen Ridley since she was a child, so she's never been forced to confront the issue until then. Meanwhile, Other M has Samus symbolically turn into her three year old self and... that's it. The rare time that the game tries a Show, Don't Tell, it fails to give context to get it unless you read the manga. Even if you did, it's not clear why Samus would relapse in Other M after learning to overcome that fear in the manga, and why said relapse would happen now, as even if you discount the Metroid Prime games, this would be the second time she faced Ridley since apparently killing him. Although the one line she spouts in that cutscene, "It can't be!", suggests that she is not simply suffering a relapse from her PTSD, she's also shocked and in utter disbelief that leaving Ridley's battered corpse in an exploding planet wasn't enough to rid the world of him forever.
  • Game-Breaker: After being reduced to a glorified Wall Jump in the Metroid Prime Trilogy, the Screw Attack is back and more game-breaking than ever. It really says something when a few taps on the jump button is all it takes to obliterate the entire horde of enemies Phantoon summons against you (except for the Rhedogian).
  • 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. There is, however, a secret trick to the fight. If you start firing Super Missiles the very second the battle begins, you can stun Nightmare long enough for you to fire off a second one, and then a third one, and finally a fourth one to take it down.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Informed Wrongness: Samus leaving Adam's command years before. The plot makes clear that he resents her for this, and Samus blames herself for it, describing herself as "young and naive." Many would argue that a grown woman has every right to quit a job she dislikes and, as far as we know, Samus' solo career as a bounty hunter/private contractor for the military is quite successful for all parties involved. This is because in Japan, soldiers are expected to follow orders without question because they trust in their commanding officers, and early discharge is considered abandonment and seen as being indifferent to the well-being of your division; in the West, however, this can be seen as a borderline case of blind Just Following Orders. It should also be noted that in the manga that this was loosely based on, Adam held no ill will towards her when she became a freelance bounty hunter, even encouraging the decision and even assisting her in taking on the Space Pirates, making it seem like he randomly Took a Level in Jerkass between then and now.
  • It Was His Sled: Samus suffers a Heroic BSoD when she sees Ridley's clone. While it was meant to be a big surprise, it quickly became the most-discussed plot element in the entire game, and its infamy led to it being spoiled for most Metroid fans who had not even played the game.
  • 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 Loser: Samus in this game. She's seen by fans as pathetic compared to her past depictions, and it isn't uncommon for parodies of Other M to depict her as overly weak and/or feminine.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Misaimed Fandom: Many Metroid hatersnote  use Other M to taunt fans of the series, and claim that it provides the definitive canon portrayal of Samusnote .
  • Misaimed "Realism": The attempt to avoid Bag of Spilling with the authorization mechanic is all well and good until Samus is forced to go through a hot area and denied protection she could easily use with the press of a button.
  • Mis-blamed:
    • 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 Environment Director Metroid, 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. The whole "detached, emotionless monotone" aspect that was so much complained about was deliberate on Sakamoto's part, who took on the role of voice director despite not knowing English very well.
    • Surprisingly, Sakamoto's original plan for the game was to use the series' typical Show, Don't Tell formula - it was Nintendo's idea to make the game more linear and story-heavy in order to appeal more to the Japanese fanbase, resulting in Sakamoto deciding to use his controversial story ideas.
  • Moe: Samus was apparently supposed to be this, as she acts rather childish, submissive, naïve, and even clumsy at times. Sakamoto even boasted about how appealing and lovable he made her. Indeed, the game does depict Samus as a somewhat cute and endearing character thanks to her kindness, loyalty and emotional vulnerability, but at the cost of the stoic and independent nature she was famed for in previous games, making her come across as a joke in comparison. This is another side-effect of Values Dissonance: one of Japan's most popular virtues is "amae", which roughly translates into a form of love or trust that someone will take care of you or still value and support you even during your most infantile, childlike, and selfish moments. However, Western audiences who came to love Samus because of her stoic, no-nonsense personality were not amused; even Japanese fans were upset to see Samus behaving like an "ordinary girl", as one fan put it.
  • 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. Most notably, the "Choogle" (baby form) looks utterly laughable, yet is the one that gets prominently displayed in the otherwise ominous scene where Melissa recalls how the clone was created. Overall, Ridley's character lost much of its appeal as a result of his life cycle being suspiciously similar to that of 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.
    • When Samus transforms into her Varia Suit, the Transformation Sequence looks like something straight out of a Magical Girl anime.
    • The name Samus assigns the traitorous member of Adam's crew, the Deleter, is often viewed with this light. It sounds a bit like something a child would call a villain to make them sound edgy.
    • During the extremely dramatic cutscene where Adam's younger brother Ian dies, Samus argues with Adam, begging him to let her try and save him. At one point, there's a dramatic zoom-out to show Adam and Samus's back...where one can't help but notice Samus' shapely, lovingly-detailed and well-lit rear. The tactical harness she's wearing even seems designed to emphasize it.
    • Samus recollecting the abandoned helmet during the epilogue has a two-fer. If it's not the emotional scene of Samus hugging the helmet being interrupted suddenly by an arbitrary countdown, it's the fact that the shots of Samus picking up the helmet are angled in such a way that, initially, all you can see of Samus are her curves.
    • There are actually several cutscenes with awkward cinematography, including one of Adam's final scenes showing an awkward portion of his backside.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Samus suffering a Heroic BSoD when she meets Ridley only happens briefly in one cutscene, but is seen as the epitome of everything wrong with her characterization in Other M. When Metroid: Samus Returns was released, many fans began making snarky comments about Samus possibly suffering yet another Heroic BSoD at the sight of Proteus Ridley.
    • Adam's most significant contribution to the plot is his Heroic Sacrifice to destroy Sector Zero. However, the one action he is mostly remembered for is when he refuses to authorize Samus' Varia Suit when she enters the volcanic area, forcing her to explore most of it while suffering constant heat damage.
  • 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.
    • Baby Ridley is a dangerous and intelligent creature, but its design looks utterly ridiculous. It doesn't help that the cutscene it first appears in has it tripping on a fruit and falling on its head.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Samus was characterized as emotional and with self-esteem issues in the manga. 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, as well as that being the first time she had encountered him since that event, 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. And then there are those who claim that the manga wasn't very good to begin with, for many of the same reasons as Other M.
    • Samus 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 take a shit without approval from Adam), and worked for the Galactic Federation in Metroid, Metroid II, Prime 3, and Fusion.
    • 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.
    • Samus' suit being controlled through intense concentration was mentioned in the Super Metroid issue of Nintendo Power. The "Concentration" move is basically the Crystal Flash technique without having to eat a Power Bomb.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: This game is known primarily for its poorly handled story, as well as its poor execution of a 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. Granted, in Japan, Metroidvania games are seen merely as a niche genre, the same way the West sees strategy games. Regardless, the end result of Other M's increased linearity and cinematic story not only alienated a good chunk of the Western fanbase, but also didn't succeed in winning over the Japanese fanbase that did exist.
    • Played straight after the game's release, in that Nintendo actively sought answers for why the game didn't succeed. Later, Nintendo stopped outright publicly defending and praising the game. Sakamoto would state that he didn't want to return to the Metroid franchise in favor of working on other projects such as Tomodachi Life, though he eventually returned with Metroid: Samus Returns. Shigeru Miyamoto also stated that Retro Studios, developers of the beloved Prime trilogy, were under heavy consideration for the next major installment, which ultimately came to be with Metroid Prime 4.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: Those who are fans of the game tend to fall into this, believing that the gameplay of Other M is just fine and enjoyable enough to counteract the lackluster story. For this crowd, the only real points of contention are the first-person missile system, the Scan Visor segments, and cutscenes being unskippable in a first playthrough.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: It's established early on that Adam is seen by Samus as a platonic father figure. It certainly didn't stop a few reviewers from calling him "Samus's boyfriend". The rather explicit mention in Other M may have been to correct the very same writing mistake in Fusion. And that's without getting into how a fair number of players view their relationship to be far more abusive than anything akin to mutual respect.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Adam to himself. The Adam AI from Fusion had a small but loyal number of fans intrigued by his characterization and past tense but apparently-flirty and respectful working relationship with Samus. Suffice to say, few of them were pleased with the choices made regarding the original Adam used in this game.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Although it quieted down years later, regardless of what you might think of the final product, there are still quite a lot of people who blame Team Ninja for this game (especially Samus' portrayal) when Yoshio Sakamoto was responsible for many of the game's more debated elements.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Other M features the ability to enter first-person mode by turning the Wiimote to face the screen. This would've been enough of a problem by itself given the inherent Camera Screw that comes with such a drastic perspective switch executed via motion controls, but Samus is unable to move (aside from the Sense Move dodge mechanicnote ) while in a first-person view point. This wasn't very well-received.
    • The story justification for how Samus gains powerups is largely disliked. Basically, Samus has them from the beginning rather than somehow losing them in an accident, 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 games that many fans considered to be one of the worst items in the series and despite being a weapon that's easy to misfire, doesn't require authorization at all.
    • The cutscenes (which can drag on for a very long time) can't be skipped until a second playthrough. For those who do find some enjoyment with the gameplay, but would rather not bother with the sharply criticized story, this is quite a drawback.
    • 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. They're basically glorified cutscenes with no skip option, although unlike the normal cutscenes, they don't become skippable on repeat playthroughs.
    • 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 cutscene. The biggest problem with this is that the details are often small and, in one case, a green object on a slightly lighter green background. While there are guides to help with these now, there obviously weren't any when the game first launched, meaning that some players got stuck on these for as long as 45 minutes at a time. Players were simply baffled how something that was so minor, yet so capable of annihilating the pacing, wasn't removed entirely.
    • 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... Added to that, the very existence of the Concentration system means that enemies don't drop health/ammo during normal combat, meaning you can't reliably restock outside of save stations and fighting enemies is mostly pointless - which means that the game constantly locks you in a room until all enemies are defeated, forcing instead of enticing the player to engage in combat.
    • The NES-like control scheme wouldn't be so bad if it weren't basically forced upon the player.
    • Doors randomly locking behind the player. In the series which invented and is widely known for actually being great at handling Backtracking, locking off the player from vast chunks of the ship until the post game (as in, after defeating the Final Boss), this is considered near inexcusable by fans who came to play a Metroid game instead of a linear third-person shooter.
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: The game's plot, characters and settings can be seen as a second-rate ripoff of Neon Genesis Evangelion. The game has an unhealthy obsession with Freudian undertones (in this case, maternal) and psychological rumination, Samus embodies traits of both Rei Ayanami and Shinji Ikari to make for a very emotionally volatile and bleak character, her Varia Suit's redesign superficially resembles an Evangelion unitnote , and Adam is depicted as an authoritative figure who Samus shows Undying Loyalty to, similar to Gendo Ikari and his relationship with Rei. This may have been intentional; Other M was intended to appeal to a Japanese audience, Evangelion is one of the biggest media franchises in Japan, Rei is one of its most beloved characters, and Sakamoto seemed to be going through an emotionally unstable, micromanaging phase during the game's development similar to Hideaki Anno's attitude when working on Eva.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The controversial scene where Samus runs through a lava zone without activating her Varia Suit, and Adam doesn't authorize it, despite his initial excuse that her tools would vaporize his men not applying to a defensive suit.
    • And of course, Samus' breakdown when Ridley appears before her.
  • 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.
  • Subbing vs. Dubbing: Some fans argue that the original Japanese dialogue foregoes much of the Narm present in the English dub and makes for a more tolerable experience. While this is generally debatable, almost nobody argues for the dub (directed by the non-English-speaking Sakamoto) as superior, and a point of annoyance for both fans and detractors of the game is that the Japanese version of Other M contains dual audio while the Western versions do not.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: For people who hate Adam and his authorization system, it's immensely satisfying to hear Samus activate the Screw Attack on her own and say "Any objections, Adam?"
  • 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 the game never actually tells you what you're supposed to be doing (pointing at the target rather than shooting down all the enemies onscreen), and screwing up means you have to fight the Queen Metroid again.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • 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 despite the two having apparently been close friends in the past.
    • 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.
    • The Metroids are set up to be a great threat in the game once again. You don't even get to fight them outside of a single boss battle against the Metroid Queen and its hatchlings.
    • Phantoon's appearance as the True Final Boss. They could've made him the Greater-Scope Villain, 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.
    • You would think that a fully voiced Metroid game will finally allow Ridley to show his supposed intelligence and sadistic personality, just like in the manga, where he loved to boast. Instead, he is treated just as a silent antagonist that, while clever, is no different from any other incarnation of the character. Considering the overall reception of the game, this was probably for the best.
  • 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. Aside from killing the Metroid Queen and the aliens, nothing Samus did ever fazed either subplot or purpose, and both plots are aborted moments before the Final Boss.
    • Some feel that the general plot of Other M would have been much better as an origin story, as the game contains many prequel-like elements; Samus looks and acts like an inexperienced teenager, her reaction to Ridley is exactly the same as one of her earliest encounters with him in the manga, and she follows orders from a father figure who ends up dying (like in many origin stories) which spurs her to act more independently. As it is, the game's placement in the timeline causes tons of controversy and Fridge Logic. Some people believe that Sakamoto couldn't make up his mind on whether he wanted Other M to be a prequel or a sequel and/or that he awkwardly shoehorned elements of Samus' manga origin story into a later part of the timeline simply to regurgitate those backstory elements for people who didn't read the manga, resulting on a plot that's okay at best by its own merits but disregards anything that happened in the other games except the baby Metroid and the destruction of Zebes.
    • Some fans with depression, anxiety and/or PTSD have noted that Samus actually exhibits traits of those conditions fairly realistically in Other M, including in her interpersonal interactions.note  However, like with the "prequel" idea, this is undercut by the fact that, by Other M's place in the timeline, Samus is a very experienced bounty hunter who couldn't logically be interpreted (going by previous games) as anything but strong, independent, capable, and able to cope with any personal traumas she may have while on a mission. While the most likely intended explanation for her behavior is that she's a Shell-Shocked Veteran who's had to put up with a lot of death, killing and personal trauma, absolutely nothing was done to reconcile this sort of idea with her previous appearances.
    • Numerous concept sketches exist for a Metroid comic series by Archie Comics that took clear inspiration from Other M, but was ultimately rejected by Nintendo, along with series based on Super Mario Bros. and Kirby. Given Archie's track record with the Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man comics, as well as the fact that they were a Western publisher,note  many people saw this as a wasted opportunity to invoke Author's Saving Throw and address the game's effects on Metroid canon long before Metroid: Samus Returns came out.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • Little Birdie, aka Choogle, who looks like a cross between a Mini-Totoro and Stitch. Turns out it's baby Ridley. Never has anyone wanted a murderous space pirate as a plushie so badly.
    • The Joulions in Sector 2. They look like inflatable electric penguins. Is it any wonder they appear in the Pyrosphere stage in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U?
  • Uncanny Valley: Zero Suit Samus. Seeing her very small and lithe build in this game can be jarring, and makes her look like something of an unnatural noodle person. Her hairstyle is also less flattering than the Tomboyish Sidetails she had in other games, and appears as a neon yellow in-engine that contrasts sharply to the more natural hair colors of the other characters. Samus' behavior (which is touched upon many times on this page) doesn't help matters because it in itself is highly unnatural for a human being.
  • The Un-Twist: 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, (taking her from being the 6'3 long-established by manuals and guides to 5' 1", a height shorter than most men), 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).
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: As detailed elsewhere on this page, Adam's controlling and seemingly abusive behavior doesn't mesh with how Samus portrays him as a respectable authority figure in Fusion.
  • 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.
    • Samus' character was designed to fit a Japanese male's stereotype of a "perfect woman": weak, timid, attractive, and submissive- the exact opposite (minus the attractive part as that was always there) of her previous portrayals that made her so appealing to American fans as well as certain Japanese fans.
    • 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, by all appearances going through the proper channels, 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.
    • The decision to make her one of Adam's soldiers in the first place? The fact that she was 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 (others do not particularly care just because they hate the manga).
    • "Amae" ("to be coddled") is a Japanese virtue that carries a pejorative context in the west. The same is true of another virtue, "Enryo" ("to suppress the self"). Samus is commonly characterized as a child or young girl, and in line with "amae" this would demonstrate how "lovable and fragile" she is. Her enryo is demonstrated when she talks about how Adam feels about certain things, or when she tries to save Adam's brother for his sake. A common criticism in Western reviews and analyses is that we never get to hear how Samus feels about anything, because all of her feelings are projections of how Adam feels. But enryo requires that one's own feelings, wants, or ambitions be suppressed for the sake of others.
  • Waggle: Inverted under the traditional definition, and in doing so played dead straight by the current one. 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 army, 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!: The only reason that Adam tells Samus to only use authorized weapons 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). Even if using them would get her kicked off the team, the rest of the team besides Adam are actually in awe and appreciation when she uses her abilities. It's almost astounding to see Samus eventually decide to use the Screw Attack without Adam's authorization.

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