Game Ideas: Metroid Other M 2

Okay, so remember when I said that I thought that Nintendo’s saving grace for the Wii U (for lack of a better term) was a return to turning heads with odd choices that would turn into great decisions? Remember the “decision” that I thought it might be? A direct sequel to Metroid: Other M, MOM 2 could be that game because it would, one, turn the heads of people wondering what in the crap Nintendo is doing making a sequel to the most polarizing game they’ve ever made, and two, give the next gen a Metroid game.

Now, for me, I was saying that a second game could make people like the first game’s story more because they would then get more information and, in turn, they could understand why things happened the way they did. Of course, I know many needed to just do their homework (many questions could be answered in the very good Metroid Fusion on the GBA). I also likened it to Metal Gear in how polarizing that series can be at times.

So why am I talking about this again? Simple: I’m going to do something I’ve never done before in a blog. I’m going to give you my personal ideas on how MOM 2 could go. Now, keep in mind that this is my own idea, and I encourage you to respond with your own ideas on how you would go making such a game (and “not make it” doesn’t count as an idea). Also, though I would never know if it would actually sell or not until people see it, I believe that these ideas could be used in a way that makes the player immersed more into the game and want to play on, face and beat the challenges to see what happens in the story. Maybe ideas are the type of thing that Nintendo needs to get the juices flowing. Finally, this is not set in stone. There are possibilities to change or modify or add to anything I put here. I have many things fleshed out, but not everything, and some I'm holding back in case I do decide to just do a fanfiction based on what I put here.

So, here we go.

STORY

Obviously, the story is one of the main driving forces in a game, and with Metroid, no game in the franchise was as story driven as Other M. This is actually a good thing, as it gave it its own flavor and its own style. I always thought that delving into Samus’ back story was needed, and her own voice to carry her emotions and thoughts was always needed. Whether it worked or not is left to the eye of the beholder, but I thought they did well with it despite it feeling rushed and left us with more questions than answers. But questions can be a good thing, as it leaves you wanting something to answer those questions, whether it be questions of logic or substance or whatever. What good is a franchise if it blows its biggest secrets in the first game?

In that sense, the story I thought of became so fleshed out that I figure that I could make a fanfiction with this (as I've pointed out before), but I also wanted my gameplay ideas to show, too, so thus, just this blog (for now).

The story would be set after the events of Fusion. After the events of her past three adventures, especially the ones on the Bottle Ship (Other M), and what transpired in Fusion, she has seen that the Galactic Federation are not who she thought they were. They have a bigger plan that conflicts with her moral code, and artificially creating their own Metroids, and the sacrifices made by those like Adam (and what they did to the AI to copy him) she feels have been in vain unless something is done about it. She wants to know the real reason, but she is suspected of treason by the GF because of her prodding. She realizes that the Federation was not really on her side, and she decides to completely sever all ties from the Federation. The GF soon brands her as a traitor to their causes, which some in the public buys.

But to get to the bottom of what they are really planning, she needs help, which she gets from her longtime friend, Anthony Higgs. His character was one of the best in Other M, and the two had superb chemistry with one another. Which is why I want his return. He doesn’t believe the smear campaign, and also quits the GF, joining Samus in what becomes her own organization. Its goal is to stop the artificial conception of Metroid to further the secret plans of those willing to use them for personal gain. The game would begin by her going to an information broker in a space cantina that is willing to sell them some key information about the GF’s true purpose, but he doesn’t get far with the information as Ridley attacks the cantina. Thought he was dead? So did both Samus and the broker, the latter actually screaming that he knew Ridley was dead. The broker dies, and Samus escapes before the cantina goes up in flames.

The problem with Samus, though, is that she also has more personal issues. She is beginning to question her own psyche. Her stress levels are increasing, so much so that it’s beginning to worry Anthony and a few people that have hijacked one of the GF’s old star bases to use as their own. They believe that the more she chooses to continue to fight despite her psyche beginning to catch up to her, the more the risk of her losing control increases. It’s not just fear and sadness anymore, but now anger from people stabbing her in the back.

But right when they are about to decipher the information the broker gave them, they get a distress call from a planet in another galaxy. They are getting Metroid attacks, and it seems these Metroids are of a new species. Not as strong, they have failed to completely kill off the life of the planet, which means that when Samus and company go to the planet (I named it Tromell), they find it still inhabitant of life. The people there don’t exactly want them there, though, which makes them wonder who sent the distress call. In order for Samus to find out what is going on there, she must win their trust. Only thing is that Tromell holds a nasty secret: they do have a way to kill off the Metroids, but it seems these Metroids are also smarter, and they seem to have a conscious: they’re keeping them from using something that the GF seems to also want for their own game. The secret: they have a nuke, which, if used, would kill off the Metroids, but also let off a sea of radiation that could cross galaxies and lay waste to life on other planets.

But the GF is also there to harvest the new Metroid cells. Reason: they think they can create the ultimate super soldier to completely eliminate the space pirates. The soldier would be injected with cells, similar to how Samus was saved after being attacked by the X Parasite. Injecting themselves with the cells would make them virtually unstoppable, but also under complete control of the GF. And if they were willing to betray Samus’ trust, could they possibly be lying about the real reason they want to make super soldiers?

Yes, I like complicated stories. There’s a reason why I loved the MGS series, and why I like the openness they did with MOM. I know it might be too complex for some, but I think complex stories that make you think and ask questions are good to immerse the player better.

GAMEPLAY

So, now that you know the story, what about features I’d do for this game? Well, returning would be Samus having a voice, and yes, my love affair with Jessica Martin would continue. I think she has a great range of emotion in her voice acting, and she would do extremely well with this type of story that deals with Samus being angry and having to show such animosity. One of the biggest things I’d do with this game is not worry about keeping it Teen rated. I’d want to show blood when needed, and for the dialogue to show the change that Samus experiences when she loses control of herself.

As well as the player. One of the biggest changes I’d do is to break the fourth wall. During the game, you’d be presented with a sanity meter. Certain things will fill this meter, and some would empty it without consequence. When you fill it, you are in danger of losing control, and are given a bit of time to find some way to calm yourself down. If you do not, you enter an enraged state. Every stat increases: you’re stronger and faster than before, and your shots do massive damage. But the flip side is that you lose all judgment, as well. The screen would turn a deep red hue, and you would not be able to tell who’s an enemy or a friend (you’d only see living things on the screen as black blobs). Not being careful in a populated area while in this state could lead to serious repercussions, but there are times where the buffs can be of use. There will also be times in the game that you will be forced to keep yourself from getting into that state, and times when you are put into that state automatically.

The requirement of caution is because the planet is still inhabitant with innocent life that, if you gain their trust, can help you by offering you weapon refills, information, upgrades, etc. This would be another key change: you would be able to gain reputation, and get help from them in even killing monsters if you’re getting chased by them. However, if they don’t like you, they can choose to try to kill you instead. You would need some of their trust to complete the game, too, so you will need to show them that you’re on their side.

But what of your powers? Morph ball? Power bomb? Space jump? How will you lose them and gain them? Simple: YOU DON’T! This would be the biggest thing I’d do, I think. I would say, you don’t lose them at all. You get all of Samus’ weapons and skills from the start. However, not only will there be brand new weapons and upgrades you can get on Tromell, this game would introduce a role playing element. You can level up your gear and weapons. At first, each weapon can only do so much. For instance, normally the Wave Beam can pass through walls, or the Speed Booster can help you break them down. However, at level one, the beam might only be able to get past certain types of walls, and the booster might only let you get past those same walls. As you level them (by using them effectively), you can increase their strength, making it be able to pass through stronger types of walls. You might also be able to jump higher with the booster. With the Space Jump, you might be able to go faster, and the Screw Attack might come automatically from leveling up that skill.

The entire planet of Tromell would be able to be explored from the start, too, marking it another first I’d do. However, certain weapons might not be in their places until you experience a certain part of the story. Like, until you see a certain cutscene, you might not see a weapon in a particular place, but once the scene happens, go back there, and you will see the weapon ready to be used. And you will be able to change weapons on the fly using the tablet screen of the Wii U controller. That is, if you want to use it: full support for the pro controller (remember that thing?) would be enabled.

But the final big change is that at some point in the game, Samus would be incapacitated. The way you get her back to normal is by taking control of a brand new, mysterious character who has a similar power suit as Samus. The only big difference is that she uses light-saber like blades instead of arm cannons. Her attitude is not one of wanting help of any kind, and throughout the story, we learn more about this character and why she’s there: she was one of the first subjects that the GF wanted to inject the cells into, and they were somewhat successful. She is halfway to super soldier, but she still has conscious, and escaped before they were able to continue the process (she was taken against her will).

FINAL THOUGHT

Well, there you go. I don’t know if I’d do anything like this again as a blog (unless this is a popular thing that people want me to continue doing in the future, then who knows). However, what I made was something that I had thought about for a few years now (reason it’s been fleshed out this much). To me, making so many changes could actually make sense, as we haven’t been on an inhabitant planet for a Metroid game, we haven’t been able to keep powers before, never had a different playable character before, or seen what can piss Samus off. It’s also a complicated story that would leave people guessing at every turn, I think.

But I know this is just one idea. Let me know what you’d change (and I encourage intelligent, worthwhile discussion about ideas, so no points for trolling), or if you had any ideas. Again, I might not do a blog like this again, or I might give other ideas. Depends on how people respond to something like this.

Regardless, I think this renews my belief that Nintendo can hit a home run with a game that can make people talk in one way or another, and further solidifies that I think a second Other M could be that game.

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Posted by Nettacki

I appreciate you giving an idea for a game that's a sequel to a rather polarizing entry into a famous series. However, IMO, this game doesn't need a sequel but rather a full-on remake/rewrite that cleans up whatever writing and gameplay issues it had and possibly integrate some of your story ideas into it.

Posted by darkpower

@nettacki said:

I appreciate you giving an idea for a game that's a sequel to a rather polarizing entry into a famous series. However, IMO, this game doesn't need a sequel but rather a full-on remake/rewrite that cleans up whatever writing and gameplay issues it had and possibly integrate some of your story ideas into it.

I do think they could make a "directors cut" version of the game that can fix some of the rushed pace the story had. I think much of the problems the story had came from them rushing through it at times (maybe a deadline or something). The story itself is fine, and I do like how we get to see what Samus is afraid of, and that she fights because she knows she has something worth fighting for, but I'd love to see more attention to the PTSD scene and why she was as scared as she was. Maybe showing that would bring the rating up to M (because of the reason and what they might have to show to the player), but if that's what it takes, then by all means, let there be an Mature rating on a Metroid game. I'm ready for them to have some shackles broken.

Posted by Nekroskop

No, please...My heart can't take any more punishment!

Edited by TowerSixteen

Frankly, I think they would be better off just writing off Other M as a bad job. Why try to salvage that mess when you could just as easily ignore it? It's not like it was a bad entry in an otherwise good Metroid line, where that might make some sense.

Posted by Nettacki

@darkpower: I highly doubt showing why Samus was as scared as she was would raise the rating. And though you may have a point that many story problems may come from them trying to rush it, I believe that many others were simply bad ideas to begin with that didn't come from rushing, but rather a certain line of thinking that's antithetical to the spirit of the franchise as a whole, yet the producer felt needed to be done anyway. In other words: some of the problems are deep-rooted in the very ideas themselves.

Edited by TowerSixteen
Edited by Sinusoidal

I do think they could make a "directors cut" version of the game that can fix some of the rushed pace the story had. I think much of the problems the story had came from them rushing through it at times (maybe a deadline or something). The story itself is fine, and I do like how we get to see what Samus is afraid of, and that she fights because she knows she has something worth fighting for, but I'd love to see more attention to the PTSD scene and why she was as scared as she was. Maybe showing that would bring the rating up to M (because of the reason and what they might have to show to the player), but if that's what it takes, then by all means, let there be an Mature rating on a Metroid game. I'm ready for them to have some shackles broken.

I'd love to see the PTSD scene erased from canon. Seriously, she's fought and killed Ridley something like five times at this point without ever spazzing out. No amount of revisiting could make it make sense. It's pretty clear it was stuffed in there solely to make her more vulnerable and to conform her to the all-too-prevalent Japanese idea of women being things to protect (a theme common to approximately 9/10s of anime) which is completely detrimental to whatever character she had before imagined or otherwise.

Well, maybe I'm reading into it a bit much...

Posted by Hailinel

@darkpower said:

I do think they could make a "directors cut" version of the game that can fix some of the rushed pace the story had. I think much of the problems the story had came from them rushing through it at times (maybe a deadline or something). The story itself is fine, and I do like how we get to see what Samus is afraid of, and that she fights because she knows she has something worth fighting for, but I'd love to see more attention to the PTSD scene and why she was as scared as she was. Maybe showing that would bring the rating up to M (because of the reason and what they might have to show to the player), but if that's what it takes, then by all means, let there be an Mature rating on a Metroid game. I'm ready for them to have some shackles broken.

I'd love to see the PTSD scene erased from canon. Seriously, she's fought and killed Ridley something like five times at this point without ever spazzing out. No amount of revisiting could make it make sense. It's pretty clear it was stuffed in there solely to make her more vulnerable and to conform her to the all-too-prevalent Japanese idea of women being things to protect (a theme common to approximately 9/10s of anime) which is completely detrimental to whatever character she had before imagined or otherwise.

Well, maybe I'm reading into it a bit much...

You're reading into it way too much. Not just a bit.

Edited by EXTomar

When you say...

Obviously, the story is one of the main driving forces in a game, and with Metroid, no game in the franchise was as story driven as Other M.

...maybe you should take that to heart because Metroid might not need a complex and crazy and mental story to be satisfying. Just saying....

@towersixteen said:

By the way, anyone interested in a very good more in-depth analysis about where Other M went wrong, this is the place to find it. The problems are WAAAY more deeply rooted than any retooled re-release could fix.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/learning-from-other-m

That Extra Credit video is a balanced critique. It is also a warning although speculative on "How good intentions can make a game go 'off the rails'".

I had written up a longer response but ditched it to just say they probably shouldn't do Other M 2. If Nintendo wants to do another Metroid game then go for it but I really feel there are enough problems they shouldn't chain it to this borked story. It is frankly not worth the effort to salvage where it is easier to just pretend it didn't happen.

Posted by Sinusoidal

@hailinel said:

@sinusoidal said:

@darkpower said:

I do think they could make a "directors cut" version of the game that can fix some of the rushed pace the story had. I think much of the problems the story had came from them rushing through it at times (maybe a deadline or something). The story itself is fine, and I do like how we get to see what Samus is afraid of, and that she fights because she knows she has something worth fighting for, but I'd love to see more attention to the PTSD scene and why she was as scared as she was. Maybe showing that would bring the rating up to M (because of the reason and what they might have to show to the player), but if that's what it takes, then by all means, let there be an Mature rating on a Metroid game. I'm ready for them to have some shackles broken.

I'd love to see the PTSD scene erased from canon. Seriously, she's fought and killed Ridley something like five times at this point without ever spazzing out. No amount of revisiting could make it make sense. It's pretty clear it was stuffed in there solely to make her more vulnerable and to conform her to the all-too-prevalent Japanese idea of women being things to protect (a theme common to approximately 9/10s of anime) which is completely detrimental to whatever character she had before imagined or otherwise.

Well, maybe I'm reading into it a bit much...

You're reading into it way too much. Not just a bit.

So then Hailinel, in your all-knowing, anime-obsessed wisdom, why did she spaz out this most recent time fighting Ridley when she'd done it 5 times before without a hitch?

Edited by EXTomar

@sinusoidal said:

@hailinel said:

@sinusoidal said:

@darkpower said:

I do think they could make a "directors cut" version of the game that can fix some of the rushed pace the story had. I think much of the problems the story had came from them rushing through it at times (maybe a deadline or something). The story itself is fine, and I do like how we get to see what Samus is afraid of, and that she fights because she knows she has something worth fighting for, but I'd love to see more attention to the PTSD scene and why she was as scared as she was. Maybe showing that would bring the rating up to M (because of the reason and what they might have to show to the player), but if that's what it takes, then by all means, let there be an Mature rating on a Metroid game. I'm ready for them to have some shackles broken.

I'd love to see the PTSD scene erased from canon. Seriously, she's fought and killed Ridley something like five times at this point without ever spazzing out. No amount of revisiting could make it make sense. It's pretty clear it was stuffed in there solely to make her more vulnerable and to conform her to the all-too-prevalent Japanese idea of women being things to protect (a theme common to approximately 9/10s of anime) which is completely detrimental to whatever character she had before imagined or otherwise.

Well, maybe I'm reading into it a bit much...

You're reading into it way too much. Not just a bit.

So then Hailinel, in your all-knowing, anime-obsessed wisdom, why did she spaz out this most recent time fighting Ridley when she'd done it 5 times before without a hitch?

Because the writers thought it would be a neat scene to show the player regardless of any past lore or events.

Posted by Nictel

I would like a sequel where Samus kills the writers of the original. Fuck that scene where she asks for permission to not burn to death.

Posted by Hailinel

@extomar said:

@sinusoidal said:

@hailinel said:

@sinusoidal said:

@darkpower said:

I do think they could make a "directors cut" version of the game that can fix some of the rushed pace the story had. I think much of the problems the story had came from them rushing through it at times (maybe a deadline or something). The story itself is fine, and I do like how we get to see what Samus is afraid of, and that she fights because she knows she has something worth fighting for, but I'd love to see more attention to the PTSD scene and why she was as scared as she was. Maybe showing that would bring the rating up to M (because of the reason and what they might have to show to the player), but if that's what it takes, then by all means, let there be an Mature rating on a Metroid game. I'm ready for them to have some shackles broken.

I'd love to see the PTSD scene erased from canon. Seriously, she's fought and killed Ridley something like five times at this point without ever spazzing out. No amount of revisiting could make it make sense. It's pretty clear it was stuffed in there solely to make her more vulnerable and to conform her to the all-too-prevalent Japanese idea of women being things to protect (a theme common to approximately 9/10s of anime) which is completely detrimental to whatever character she had before imagined or otherwise.

Well, maybe I'm reading into it a bit much...

You're reading into it way too much. Not just a bit.

So then Hailinel, in your all-knowing, anime-obsessed wisdom, why did she spaz out this most recent time fighting Ridley when she'd done it 5 times before without a hitch?

Because the writers thought it would be a neat scene to show the player regardless of any past lore or events.

Essentially, this. Lore of Samus's past regarding Adam and Ridley did exist well before Other M in other media, but that specific lore had never been referenced in any of the games before. And in addition to all of the other writing mistakes made, perhaps the most glaring was simply Sakamoto being ignorant to the fact that many fans of Metroid either did not read or have easy access to that particular lore in question. It has nothing to do with the "Japanese idea of women," whatever that's supposed to mean coming from a non-Japanese person speaking with obvious ire.

Edited by darkpower

@extomar said:

When you say...

Obviously, the story is one of the main driving forces in a game, and with Metroid, no game in the franchise was as story driven as Other M.

...maybe you should take that to heart because Metroid might not need a complex and crazy and mental story to be satisfying. Just saying....

I had written up a longer response but ditched it to just say they probably shouldn't do Other M 2. If Nintendo wants to do another Metroid game then go for it but I really feel there are enough problems they shouldn't chain it to this borked story. It is frankly not worth the effort to salvage where it is easier to just pretend it didn't happen.

If you read my previous blog about me saying they SHOULD make a direct sequel, you will see the example I bring up, which is Metal Gear Solid 2. Did you remember the criticisms about that story, outside of the main character switcheroo? The story, to many (and me too at first) was that it was way too confusing to follow it. No one really understood what was going on, and the story continued as if we had any idea what they were talking about. I was like "screw this", as well, since I didn't know what they were going on about, either.

But then they made a third game, and it took me a lot to want to play it because of what I thought of the second. I began playing it, and I thoroughly enjoyed the gameplay and the story. But it then did something to the second game: it did a better job not only explaining what it was trying to say, but made me understand more of what the second game was trying to establish in the story. It made me respect the complex nature of the second's story.

My theory is that in some ways, like MGS2 to MGS3, you're SUPPOSED to be confused in a manner of speaking. Maybe I'm just too spoiled on the MGS series to be able to see Other M the way others do. But I don't consider that to be a bad thing. It was a good change of pace even though it wasn't perfect, and I would love to see them try again with the fan base being more tolerant (remember that Sakamoto's first brain child was Super Metroid, one of the best games ever made; yes, that was HIS concept).

I would love for someone to critique the ideas I presented, as well, though. So far, it's only the "why bother trying to make a sequel". I would love to know if you would play a Metroid game with those concepts in it.

Edited by EXTomar

It is not "why bother making a sequel". I am suggesting that although there is value in "The Sequel" the problem is that it can become "an anchor" or worse "an albatross". There was enough good ideas in MGS even thought it was kind of bonkers to work with in MGS2 and especially in MGS3. I don't think there is much to salvage out of Other M.

So what is the take away that the viewer is supposed to keep from Other M? Is it that "Samus is a sensitive girl"? They need better writers before they try to expand on that. On the other hand, if they just want to show Samus attacking Space Pirates and blowing a big brain in a big jar, why do they need anything from Other M?

Also throwing this out there: Maybe a better idea is to "Remake Metroid Fusion". It seems awfully important to Sakamoto but it is it well known to anyone that is not a super fan? I keep forgetting it and Metroid 2 exist and might be the least played out the mainline series let alone Metroid Prime.

Edited by darkpower

@extomar said:

It is not "why bother making a sequel". I am suggesting that although there is value in "The Sequel" the problem is that it can become "an anchor" or worse "an albatross". There was enough good ideas in MGS even thought it was kind of bonkers to work with in MGS2 and especially in MGS3. I don't think there is much to salvage out of Other M.

So what is the take away that the viewer is supposed to keep from Other M? Is it that "Samus is a sensitive girl"? They need better writers before they try to expand on that. On the other hand, if they just want to show Samus attacking Space Pirates and blowing a big brain in a big jar, why do they need anything from Other M?

I think there is plenty to "salvage", to use your term. I think it was sort of a mistake to not do enough in the PTSD scene (seriously, I was watching that after the controversy began and was like "that was it! They were bitching about THAT?", then I was like "if they think THAT'S controversial, you wouldn't want ME anywhere NEAR that shit"). But that can be fixed with not having to rush through the game (this is me saying the game wasn't as long as I would have liked, and it might've pushed the Wii to its absolute limits with what it could do), and a director's cut version would help immensely.

Do I think the game was perfect? No! Am I going to say, though, that I thought the story was shit? Nope, because the flaws I was able to overlook because I got immersed. That and I might've understood a bit about how PTSD works, and I know that it can happen like that. Besides, how do you know about the condition when the US government does all it can to prevent people from knowing that the condition exists? No offense intended, but I think some people were just intimidated by that aspect of it.

Hell, who knows? Samus might've ALWAYS had a quick episode that has never been shown on screen, and we just got a glimpse to that flaw because the resources were there to show that.

And a second game might actually be ABLE to show the why more...if you let it.

Edited by big_jon

Not to be a dick but I find it really odd that you just assume that the reader has read your previous blog post... Comes off as a little pretentious.

That said I liked other M to an extent but in my opinion its story was straight up a hot pile of melow dramatic, overly convoluted, anime garbage. This game in my eyes does not warrant a sequel for any reason. On its face a more mature Metroid is something I'd truly love to see, but team ninja is clearly not capable of that and there is very little if anything from this game that was worth salvaging for a second attempt.

I mean even the art style in this game came off about as corny and bad as the rest of the game which is the one thing I would have expected them to pull off. Creature design was just horrid which is one of my favourite things from Super Metriod.

Personally my dream would be to either do a modern 2D Metroid with a solid art design or see it given to the original Deadspace team to do something with it. That would have the potential for something amazing.

Edited by Nettacki

@hailinel: I'd argue that the whole "need to portray the Japanese idea of women" thing isn't the main reason for Samus's portrayal, but it's still partially a reason. What with Sakamoto saying that this is "his" Samus and the main reason for making Other M in the first place is to have the creator put up his vision of Samus that he wanted to portray from the beginning, and the result being what we see here. Keep in mind that this game is better received in Japan overall than in the West, at least in terms of sales and critical reception.

I think (or rather, hope) you're aware of Japan's own set of gender issues with regards to how they treat women, and thus their values in what makes an ideal woman, so the reaction of the other guy saying "Japanese idea of women" as a criticism is doing so because of values dissonance.

As for this blog post, I should probably make a correction/addition of my previous comment. The big picture ideas presented in the story aren't bad (someone trying to recreate Mother Brain in order to use the Space Pirates as a controllable weapon; providing context to Adam's character from Fusion while simultaneously portraying Samus working as part of a military operation instead of the lone ranger she's accustomed to, which puts her out of her element and highlights the way her personality clashes with their's). It's the execution of those ideas that are a failure, and a sequel that provides context to that failed execution won't make it any better nor have more people meaningfully appreciate it more. The best case scenario, like darkpower said before, is a "director's cut" remake that fixes some of the rushed pacing of the story, but I'd go a little further by sticking with my "full-on remake" idea of fixing issues in the story that don't have anything to do with it being "rushed."

Edited by TowerSixteen

Hey, to those of you saying that it was better received in Japan, and that the direction of Samus's character was considered better by their standards, I think you should read this.

http://legendsoflocalization.com/what-does-japan-think-of-metroid-other-m/

I don't think that's really accurate. It seems like Famitsu gave it a ranking sort of way above the general consensus over there. Also, still plenty of similar-sounding complaints about her character.

Posted by Nettacki

Hey, to those of you saying that it was better received in Japan, and that the direction of Samus's character was considered better by their standards, I think you should read this.

http://legendsoflocalization.com/what-does-japan-think-of-metroid-other-m/

I don't think that's really accurate. It seems like Famitsu game it a ranking sort of way above the general consensus over there. Also, still plenty of similar-sounding complaints about her character.

Well then, that just makes it even more of a disappointment that they couldn't even please a lot of the fans from their own country. Which also supports my idea that a full-on remake is preferable to a sequel that builds on the poorly executed ideas of the original.

Edited by darkpower

@big_jon said:

Not to be a dick but I find it really odd that you just assume that the reader has read your previous blog post... Comes off as a little pretentious.

That said I liked other M to an extent but in my opinion its story was straight up a hot pile of melow dramatic, overly convoluted, anime garbage. This game in my eyes does not warrant a sequel for any reason. On its face a more mature Metroid is something I'd truly love to see, but team ninja is clearly not capable of that and there is very little if anything from this game that was worth salvaging for a second attempt.

I mean even the art style in this game came off about as corny and bad as the rest of the game which is the one thing I would have expected them to pull off. Creature design was just horrid which is one of my favourite things from Super Metriod.

Personally my dream would be to either do a modern 2D Metroid with a solid art design or see it given to the original Deadspace team to do something with it. That would have the potential for something amazing.

1. My previous post is in present tense, as in saying that you should go read the past if you haven't already. Read is the same spelling for both tenses, hence the confusion you might've had.

2. Well, that's your opinion if you think it is, but look at it through another perspective. It's not the story in of itself that you have an issue with, but the style. Which means that you would have a problem with complex stories as a whole. I get that because you use it as a means to stereotype a particular genre of animation ("a hot pile of melow [sic] dramatic, overly convoluted, anime garbage"), giving the impression that you have an issue with how a lot of Japanese Animes present stories. This can be a rather problematic position to take due to how overly inclusive you make things out to be, and how you think the story is like what you believe all Animes are. Plus, you're assuming that everyone thinks that way about Anime story lines. Did you think that way about Metal Gear's story, as well? If so, you'd prove my point correctly.

Yes, it does sound like your problem is with a grander scale than just one game, but rather an entire art style. It's a problem that I'm afraid to say is, for one, not a problem with many others, but one that, if it actually was one, not easily fixable.

@nettacki said:

@hailinel: I'd argue that the whole "need to portray the Japanese idea of women" thing isn't the main reason for Samus's portrayal, but it's still partially a reason. What with Sakamoto saying that this is "his" Samus and the main reason for making Other M in the first place is to have the creator put up his vision of Samus that he wanted to portray from the beginning, and the result being what we see here. Keep in mind that this game is better received in Japan overall than in the West, at least in terms of sales and critical reception.

I think (or rather, hope) you're aware of Japan's own set of gender issues with regards to how they treat women, and thus their values in what makes an ideal woman, so the reaction of the other guy saying "Japanese idea of women" as a criticism is doing so because of values dissonance.

As for this blog post, I should probably make a correction/addition of my previous comment. The big picture ideas presented in the story aren't bad (someone trying to recreate Mother Brain in order to use the Space Pirates as a controllable weapon; providing context to Adam's character from Fusion while simultaneously portraying Samus working as part of a military operation instead of the lone ranger she's accustomed to, which puts her out of her element and highlights the way her personality clashes with their's). It's the execution of those ideas that are a failure, and a sequel that provides context to that failed execution won't make it any better nor have more people meaningfully appreciate it more. The best case scenario, like darkpower said before, is a "director's cut" remake that fixes some of the rushed pacing of the story, but I'd go a little further by sticking with my "full-on remake" idea of fixing issues in the story that don't have anything to do with it being "rushed."

It would answer questions. Like I said, you don't want to blow your entire story in one go if you plan on continuing the series. Part of making a series is to leave people wanting the answers. You leave things open for another chapter to add to the story. If I'm writing a story which I know I want to leave people in suspense, I won't use one chapter to blow open the ending and everything that was to happen. I'd tease, and I'd give people reason to ask questions and anticipate what will happen next.

To me, I think the worst part of this is that people were going to hate the game even before it came out, and they wanted to hate it in any way they could. Even when it was announced at E3 09, I began to hear reasons why it wasn't going to be good, from Team Ninja having a hand in the development to Samus having a voice at all to Jennifer Hale not being the lead role (and because of that, Jessica Martin gets shitted on unfairly in the silliest ways possible; sounded like half the people that bitch and whine whenever Blizzard changes even the slightest thing about WoW), and then the story driven nature of the game, the controls, etc. Nearly everything they could think of. Thing of it is that it drives people crazy when they realized that the game wasn't by any stretch of imagination bad, or even mediocre. It was a solid offering marred by the short amount of game time and the easy difficulty along with some prejudiced about the game (and don't try to pretend that I'm talking about every single person that ever criticized the game in any way; those people that prejudiced the game without even playing it, they, and you, know who they are). I'm not going to get into the whole "female portrayal" debate because this post is long enough as it is, and getting into that discussion would just drone this out even more so.

But again, I do want to please shift gears back to my ideas FOR such a sequel, not how good or bad the first game was. Yeah, it's good that we have those opinions, but I want to know what you think of my ideas for such a second offering. I want to know what people think about a trip to a new planet, a new Metroid species, the act of breaking the fourth wall by making you have to control Samus through an "episode" of rage, the idea of leveling up your weapons instead of having to reacquire them, a still living planet that you can interact with, a big conspiracy and betrayal, and the idea of a new playable character.

Edited by Nettacki

@darkpower said:

It would answer questions. Like I said, you don't want to blow your entire story in one go if you plan on continuing the series. Part of making a series is to leave people wanting the answers. You leave things open for another chapter to add to the story. If I'm writing a story which I know I want to leave people in suspense, I won't use one chapter to blow open the ending and everything that was to happen. I'd tease, and I'd give people reason to ask questions and anticipate what will happen next.

To me, I think the worst part of this is that people were going to hate the game even before it came out, and they wanted to hate it in any way they could. Even when it was announced at E3 09, I began to hear reasons why it wasn't going to be good, from Team Ninja having a hand in the development to Samus having a voice at all to Jennifer Hale not being the lead role (and because of that, Jessica Martin gets shitted on unfairly in the silliest ways possible; sounded like half the people that bitch and whine whenever Blizzard changes even the slightest thing about WoW), and then the story driven nature of the game, the controls, etc. Nearly everything they could think of. Thing of it is that it drives people crazy when they realized that the game wasn't by any stretch of imagination bad, or even mediocre. It was a solid offering marred by the short amount of game time and the easy difficulty along with some prejudiced about the game (and don't try to pretend that I'm talking about every single person that ever criticized the game in any way; those people that prejudiced the game without even playing it, they, and you, know who they are). I'm not going to get into the whole "female portrayal" debate because this post is long enough as it is, and getting into that discussion would just drone this out even more so.

But again, I do want to please shift gears back to my ideas FOR such a sequel, not how good or bad the first game was. Yeah, it's good that we have those opinions, but I want to know what you think of my ideas for such a second offering. I want to know what people think about a trip to a new planet, a new Metroid species, the act of breaking the fourth wall by making you have to control Samus through an "episode" of rage, the idea of leveling up your weapons instead of having to reacquire them, a still living planet that you can interact with, a big conspiracy and betrayal, and the idea of a new playable character.

The "answer questions" thing is what Other M should have done in the first place. It's fine and dandy to leave some room open to interpretation, but when a particularly story-focused entry in an otherwise gameplay-focused series is made and is hyped up as something that's supposed to answer many questions about Samus at large, giving less-than-satisfactory answers and answers that only open itself up to more questions isn't the right way to go about it. And it's especially bad to add in character traits that were never shown on Samus before in the games, only in certain supplementary material that has never been released worldwide. I mean, you know all those comparisons to Master Chief from Halo, and that people considered him as pretty much a male version of Samus? Well at least in Halo 4, that character perception has arguably been kept intact, only with the added benefit of showing some subdued emotions via his relationship with Cortana.

People hating on the game before it came out is a problem that exists in any game that's part of an existing series that tries to shake things up in a significant way. But I think their hatred is a bit more valid than most because nearly everything about the game from a gameplay and story standpoint seemed antithetical to what was previously established, and it didn't seem like it would add anything meaningful to make up for the crazy differences. It's valid to complain about the story-driven nature of this game because Metroid has never really needed to go that far to express a story in a series that's better known for its gameplay. It's especially valid to complain about the story itself, not just its style or whatever, if someone feels that it doesn't really feel right in some way with or without canon to back it up. And speaking of its gameplay, it's valid to complain about its linearity because Metroid was a series that prided itself with the use of exploration and relative open-endedness, even in more linear offerings like Fusion. Perhaps it wasn't valid for them to complain about the controls without trying it out first, but now that the game's been out for years, hearing multiple accounts about its controls only served to confirm their fears and/or create new ones.

As for your ideas on what could be in this new sequel: I think stuff like a new planet is a given, and I dunno if it's a good idea to create another Metroid species considering what she did to them in previous games (ie, destroyed them all as well as the X parasites). It might come off a bit like treading on familiar waters and trying to revive a species that's been killed dead, but it might not be too bad if the writing's good. Controlling Samus through an episode of rage could be pretty interesting to see play out, but it has to be done well and make sense in the universe in order for fans to accept that sort of thing. Leveling up your weapons over re-acquiring them sounds like a good idea (certainly a much better one than the way the Authorization mechanic played out in original Other M) as long as there's proper justification for her keeping her weapons that somehow are not that powerful if she just came back from her previous mission or something. I don't mind being able to interact with a still living planet that much, as long as I don't have to do it too often since being in isolation and forced to work alone is kind of a big part of Metroid as a whole. Nor do I mind if the plot involves a big conspiracy and betrayal. No comment on the new playable character though.

Come to think of it...your ideas, though interesting, are starting to make it into something that's not really a Metroid game anymore.

Posted by Sinusoidal

@hailinel said:

Essentially, this. Lore of Samus's past regarding Adam and Ridley did exist well before Other M in other media, but that specific lore had never been referenced in any of the games before. And in addition to all of the other writing mistakes made, perhaps the most glaring was simply Sakamoto being ignorant to the fact that many fans of Metroid either did not read or have easy access to that particular lore in question. It has nothing to do with the "Japanese idea of women," whatever that's supposed to mean coming from a non-Japanese person speaking with obvious ire.

Actually, I've lived in the far east for 9 years now. Women are still very much second class citizens due to a heavily male dominated business culture and very prevalent Confucian ideals that pretty much treat them like baby-making servants. Japan is a little better than China and maybe Korea, but women are still prized for their looks above all, and in a country where men are in the vast majority of positions of power, and there are no laws against discriminating by appearance when hiring someone, you'd better be hot and put on the cutesy act that Japanese men are so fond of if you want to get work.

Yes, the PTSD scene and Samus' kowtowing to her boss were very much to put her in line with this sad idea of the ideal woman. Or have you not noticed how in a large number of the anime you watch, whenever a woman is in the presence of her man, she turns into a useless blob? I suppose you didn't just like you didn't notice that vocaloid was wearing a belt for a bra...

Edited by Nettacki

@sinusoidal: I think the term you're looking for is "*Neo*-Confucian."

Posted by davidwitten22

People didn't dislike Other M because the story was too complex or anything, they disliked Other M because the story was vapid, boring, and completely opposite of Samus's character as established in every other game that had been released before hand. I don't think the writer(s?) intentionally tried to make Samus look weak and pathetic, and I don't think they were intentionally trying to suggest that Samus couldn't do anything without the help or permission of a man, but that's what happened. The problem with Other M story wise was that they took a character that everyone loved (due to the lore that the public had created behind it, or assumed behind it, or subconsciously associated to Samus) and they changed her in a way that was directly contradictory to the reasons people liked the character in the first place. Samus had proved to be steadfast, calm, collected, and almost emotionless in the previous entries. In Other M she acted 100% completely opposite of that.

Also the voice acting was beyond bad, and the dialogue was laughable and amateur. Other M should be buried deep down and ignored, much like the Mario Brothers movie.

Posted by Hailinel

@sinusoidal: Again, I'd say you're reading too much into it. I'm not arguing that gender issues don't exist in Japan, but you're painting one video game's story and characters as being indicative of the cultural whole. And your argument would be easier to take without that little crack at my expense at the end.

Edited by Sinusoidal

@hailinel said:

@sinusoidal: Again, I'd say you're reading too much into it. I'm not arguing that gender issues don't exist in Japan, but you're painting one video game's story and characters as being indicative of the cultural whole. And your argument would be easier to take without that little crack at my expense at the end.

I've just grown tired of your arguing/implying that the sexism we perceive in Japanese media is the harmless result of cultural misunderstanding when most of the time it is just plain old sexism.

I'm also not reading too much into it. Do you honestly believe that it's a coincidence that the writer's choices for Samus' character turned her into what is an all-too-common-in-Japan idealized, subservient, vulnerable, motherly figure? (Other-M... Mother?!? Hoo-boy!)

I have also never said that the whole of Japan's culture is sexist, just far too much of it.

Edited by Nettacki

Perhaps a better idea than upgrading the suit is upgrading Samus herself. Remember, she's got Metroid DNA inside of her after Fusion. Maybe the game can take advantage of that by providing opportunities to get upgrades by killing particularly powerful enemies and sucking them dry, one of which could be the ability to remove certain obstacles in the way (like ivy vines blocking the way to a cave) and save them for later in order to climb a high wall that can't be jumped over, or something.

Posted by MooseyMcMan

I think it's great that you are dedicated enough about this game and this idea that you wrote that much about it.

But I disliked Other M so much that I cannot, under any circumstances, agree with you. I also didn't read most of what you wrote here.

Posted by Hailinel

@sinusoidal: I've never thought of mothers as subservient figures. Children in healthy households grow to love and respect their mothers, and mothers love and care for their children. Subservience is not part of that relationship, save for the child's subordinate role to the mother. Other M's theme of motherhood, whether it be the baby metroid's imprinting of Samus as its mother or the mother/daughter bond between Madeline and MB, is not a theme of intrinsic subservience or submission.

As for your disagreement with the way I've expressed views on culture and gender, there are more constructive ways to bring up your concerns than snide comments regarding my taste in games.

Edited by TowerSixteen

@hailinel: I agree that the idea is in no way inherently subserviant. I would agree with Sinusoidal though that poor execution of theme and character, and missteps that sort of fall in line with unfortunate cultural attidutes, Other M botches pretty hard. I also agree that we shouldn't hide behind the idea of cultural relativity and just recognize it as a -probably not intentional or hateful- instance of sexism at work. Still, I think you're right that it's a perfectly fine theme. It would even be a perfectly fine theme for a Metroid game! After all, there's precedent both in the series and in the character, a la baby Metroid. But this is not the way.

Posted by laserguy

I bought Other M at Best buy for three dollars last year, and havent played it. I have no opinion on this. But your dedication to write about it is admired. And its a good article. You should do more. Thats a lot of work, how long did you work on this?

Edited by Sinusoidal

@hailinel said:

@sinusoidal: I've never thought of mothers as subservient figures. Children in healthy households grow to love and respect their mothers, and mothers love and care for their children. Subservience is not part of that relationship, save for the child's subordinate role to the mother. Other M's theme of motherhood, whether it be the baby metroid's imprinting of Samus as its mother or the mother/daughter bond between Madeline and MB, is not a theme of intrinsic subservience or submission.

As for your disagreement with the way I've expressed views on culture and gender, there are more constructive ways to bring up your concerns than snide comments regarding my taste in games.

There are more constructive ways to argue your point than to just tell me I'm wrong and give no reasons at all a la your very first response to me in this thread.

I also never said that mothers are inherently subservient. Samus in Other: M is very obviously subservient in her behavior towards Adam as well as motherly in her behavior towards her perceived offspring (An energy sucking Metroid she previously gave up for scientific research that she suddenly feels irrationally attached to and Madeline.)

I reiterate since you either missed it or ignored it last time: Do you honestly believe that it's a coincidence that the writer's choices for Samus' character turned her into what is an all-too-common-in-Japan idealized, subservient, vulnerable, motherly figure?

Posted by Hailinel

@sinusoidal: I've been responding to you by phone this whole time. Sorry if I'm not addressing every last one of your points. But anyway, is it coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. I don't know how Sakamoto's mind works and it would be ridiculous of me to throw assumptions of why he felt Samus is the character he perceives her to be. All I know is that from a writing standpoint, he's obviously inexperienced and could have stood to hire a professional writer or editor to get what he wanted across with more skill.

Edited by EXTomar

I tend to believe it is just a simpler explanation: Sakamoto felt compelled Samus wasn't enough of a character but he was very mistaken. Samus was never a blank slate but Sakamoto believed or was mislead into believe Samus needed background and emotions and whatever and started to fill details he felt needed explaining when it turns out they were irrelevant and worse damaged the setup.

We already know that Samus is resourceful and resilient. Why do we need to be shown that through a convoluted, contrived, and fairly silly story?

Posted by Sinusoidal

@hailinel said:

@sinusoidal: I've been responding to you by phone this whole time. Sorry if I'm not addressing every last one of your points. But anyway, is it coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. I don't know how Sakamoto's mind works and it would be ridiculous of me to throw assumptions of why he felt Samus is the character he perceives her to be. All I know is that from a writing standpoint, he's obviously inexperienced and could have stood to hire a professional writer or editor to get what he wanted across with more skill.

I think you're blatantly ignoring the very reasonable assumption that he got across exactly the character he wanted her to be: the vulnerable, subservient, mother figure who despite her psychoses occasionally kicks ass on the side. To suggest that her poor characterization is purely the result of bad writing is no different from your "It's not sexism, it's a cultural misunderstanding" argument.

Posted by Hailinel

@sinusoidal: I understand the character he intended. I just don't see what he intended to be a negative concept. What he intended came across poorly because the writing was poor. I'm not ignoring your assumption. It's just not one I agree with, and I'm not actively engaging it because I don't feel like getting into what I believe would be a circular argument.

Edited by Sinusoidal

@hailinel said:

@sinusoidal: I understand the character he intended. I just don't see what he intended to be a negative concept. What he intended came across poorly because the writing was poor. I'm not ignoring your assumption. It's just not one I agree with, and I'm not actively engaging it because I don't feel like getting into what I believe would be a circular argument.

So, you're purposely not saying how you think he intended her character to come across because you either can't or won't defend your opinion. I guess we can safely ignore your opinion then and continue to consider Other: M the steaming hot pile of garbage that it is.

Posted by darkpower

@sinusoidal said:

@hailinel said:

@sinusoidal: I understand the character he intended. I just don't see what he intended to be a negative concept. What he intended came across poorly because the writing was poor. I'm not ignoring your assumption. It's just not one I agree with, and I'm not actively engaging it because I don't feel like getting into what I believe would be a circular argument.

So, you're purposely not saying how you think he intended her character to come across because you either can't or won't defend your opinion. I guess we can safely ignore your opinion then and continue to consider Other: M the steaming hot pile of garbage that it is.

So wait, you're saying that something that would be a three dimensional character is a bad thing? Dude, you realize what it is you're saying. You're not answering any of the questions he's asking you (or she), and instead just expecting people to agree with you. I certainly don't. What you described are character flaws that should exist in all three dimensional characters. That should present a challenge for the character to overcome them. That presents a way for the player, reader, viewer, whoever, to have a way to connect with the character and say "hey, I can relate to that person," and to really care about what the character goes through, and thus, you invest in that character. We've played this game all the way though, and we certainly did care enough about Samus to say "hey, we don't think she should go through that, it's not like her."

But maybe that's just what Sakamoto-san is trying to say. It ISN'T like her. We can only speculate, but playing what if, could it be possible that that's the mindset he wants you to have? Maybe it's a matter of him wanting you to think that perhaps all the fighting that she's done is starting to wear on her psyche a bit, and the adrenaline that she had in the past can no longer keep her from remembering what she went through because she's just seen so much in her battles. Again, you can think for yourself if that was explained well or not, but you probably don't know much of the plans that he had, and as such, you probably shouldn't pretend like you do.

But to say that a character that isn't like Master Chief or every single COD protagonist to this point is ludicrous. If you want a character like that, go play one of those games.

Posted by TowerSixteen

Go back and watch that video that I posted at the beginning of this thread. I think all of you are thinking about this wrong when you talk about "Sakamoto's Writing". This thing had so many different hands on it, across at least three different companies with some directorial control. I think it wasn't a game with one hand really guiding the writing and story, whatever it may or may not say in the credits.

Posted by Hailinel

@hailinel said:

@sinusoidal: I understand the character he intended. I just don't see what he intended to be a negative concept. What he intended came across poorly because the writing was poor. I'm not ignoring your assumption. It's just not one I agree with, and I'm not actively engaging it because I don't feel like getting into what I believe would be a circular argument.

So, you're purposely not saying how you think he intended her character to come across because you either can't or won't defend your opinion. I guess we can safely ignore your opinion then and continue to consider Other: M the steaming hot pile of garbage that it is.

You could have asked politely, but you have been nothing but belligerent this entire time. I've already gone to great length time and again in describing what I like about both the game and Samus as a character. I even had the opportunity to write an editorial on it. As it is, I'm not really concerned with what you think to any particular degree; others on this forum know my opinion on the game quite well by now and it's something I've opined to the point that I'm fairly certain a good number of them are quite sick of it whenever I speak up about it. Feel free to read the linked article or not. If that doesn't satisfy you, I doubt that little else will.

Posted by Hailinel

Go back and watch that video that I posted at the beginning of this thread. I think all of you are thinking about this wrong when you talk about "Sakamoto's Writing". This thing had so many different hands on it, across at least three different companies with some directorial control. I think it wasn't a game with one hand really guiding the writing and story, whatever it may or may not say in the credits.

While different companies handled the gameplay and cinematics, they were only responsible for the visual presentation of the story. Sakamoto was responsible for not just the script, but the selection of actors, including the English cast, despite the fact that he does not speak English. He selected actors based on samples vetted and sent to him by NOA and cast each role by vocal timbre.

Edited by TowerSixteen

@hailinel: I have a hard time believing that the script wasn't edited, changed in content and scope, and whatnot. He may of wrote the script, but depending on how many layers of editing it went through, what boards it needed approval from, and the realities that as a project evolves it's inevitable that the shape of the story changes to fit changes and tweaks to the visual and gameplay aspects of that, it still may not be prudent to assume so much responsibility is REALLY his. I have a limited patience for auteur theory in film, even when the director is scriptwriter, and I think it doesn't really hold true for games made in large, corporate environments with big teams, either.

Edited by Hailinel

@hailinel: I have a hard time believing that the script wasn't edited, changed in content and scope, and whatnot. He may of wrote the script, but depending on how many layers of editing it went through, what boards it needed approval from, and the realities that as a project evolves it's inevitable that the shape of the story changes to fit changes and tweaks to the visual and gameplay aspects of that, it still may not be prudent to assume so much responsibility is REALLY his. I have a limited patience for auteur theory in film, even when the director is scriptwriter, and I think it doesn't really hold true for games made in large, corporate environments with big teams, either.

Sakamoto is one of the most powerful people at Nintendo not named Miyamoto. He's been with the company since the early days and has been the head of or involved with numerous projects ranging from Metroid to WarioWare. It was his idea to approach Team Ninja, just as it was his story. The company that they brought in to do the cutscenes was involved mainly because they were a frequent partner of Team Ninja. In this corporate partnership, Sakamoto was at the top. Any design decisions that Team Ninja came up with in terms of the gameplay ultimately had to go through him for approval. Sakamoto is also the only one credited as the writer; there has never been mention of anyone else in previews, interviews, or otherwise, that has been credited for the script or narrative, other than the staff responsible for the localization. The story itself was Sakamoto's creation; not some write by committee effort.

Edited by chrissedoff

The opening cutscene should reveal that the first game was all a dream. Then the title screen comes on and it's all, "sike, this is really Metroid Prime 4 we got you dog"

Posted by Sinusoidal

@sinusoidal said:

@hailinel said:

@sinusoidal: I understand the character he intended. I just don't see what he intended to be a negative concept. What he intended came across poorly because the writing was poor. I'm not ignoring your assumption. It's just not one I agree with, and I'm not actively engaging it because I don't feel like getting into what I believe would be a circular argument.

So, you're purposely not saying how you think he intended her character to come across because you either can't or won't defend your opinion. I guess we can safely ignore your opinion then and continue to consider Other: M the steaming hot pile of garbage that it is.

So wait, you're saying that something that would be a three dimensional character is a bad thing? Dude, you realize what it is you're saying. You're not answering any of the questions he's asking you (or she), and instead just expecting people to agree with you. I certainly don't. What you described are character flaws that should exist in all three dimensional characters. That should present a challenge for the character to overcome them. That presents a way for the player, reader, viewer, whoever, to have a way to connect with the character and say "hey, I can relate to that person," and to really care about what the character goes through, and thus, you invest in that character. We've played this game all the way though, and we certainly did care enough about Samus to say "hey, we don't think she should go through that, it's not like her."

But maybe that's just what Sakamoto-san is trying to say. It ISN'T like her. We can only speculate, but playing what if, could it be possible that that's the mindset he wants you to have? Maybe it's a matter of him wanting you to think that perhaps all the fighting that she's done is starting to wear on her psyche a bit, and the adrenaline that she had in the past can no longer keep her from remembering what she went through because she's just seen so much in her battles. Again, you can think for yourself if that was explained well or not, but you probably don't know much of the plans that he had, and as such, you probably shouldn't pretend like you do.

But to say that a character that isn't like Master Chief or every single COD protagonist to this point is ludicrous. If you want a character like that, go play one of those games.

I'm not sure where you got most of that from my post, but...

All "three dimensional" characters must be vulnerable, subservient and motherly? There are ways to make Samus' character more interesting that aren't giving her PTSD and pseudo-postpartum depression over a metroid that she previously gave to a scientific research lab to do experiments on.

I get it, people want to see Samus's weak and tender side, that's fine. Please stop pretending that "May I please not burn to death now." and the PTSD horseshit were in any way a good way to go about that. Just about anything would have been better. Have her break a leg (which seems likely with the 6-inch heels the new zero-suit is packing! lol) Maybe the Chozo Suit breaks down for some reason. Maybe a more difficult/insurmountable situation arises. Maybe she meets someone from her past that she has affection for that doesn't constantly tell her what to do or that's not an energy sucking lifeform whose race she tried to genocide and gave up the last surviving member of to science that she now constantly refers to as "the baby".

It's not that showing her other side is bad, it's that it was done in such a way to turn her into a psychologically damaged, whimpering female.

Posted by Hailinel

@darkpower said:

@sinusoidal said:

@hailinel said:

@sinusoidal: I understand the character he intended. I just don't see what he intended to be a negative concept. What he intended came across poorly because the writing was poor. I'm not ignoring your assumption. It's just not one I agree with, and I'm not actively engaging it because I don't feel like getting into what I believe would be a circular argument.

So, you're purposely not saying how you think he intended her character to come across because you either can't or won't defend your opinion. I guess we can safely ignore your opinion then and continue to consider Other: M the steaming hot pile of garbage that it is.

So wait, you're saying that something that would be a three dimensional character is a bad thing? Dude, you realize what it is you're saying. You're not answering any of the questions he's asking you (or she), and instead just expecting people to agree with you. I certainly don't. What you described are character flaws that should exist in all three dimensional characters. That should present a challenge for the character to overcome them. That presents a way for the player, reader, viewer, whoever, to have a way to connect with the character and say "hey, I can relate to that person," and to really care about what the character goes through, and thus, you invest in that character. We've played this game all the way though, and we certainly did care enough about Samus to say "hey, we don't think she should go through that, it's not like her."

But maybe that's just what Sakamoto-san is trying to say. It ISN'T like her. We can only speculate, but playing what if, could it be possible that that's the mindset he wants you to have? Maybe it's a matter of him wanting you to think that perhaps all the fighting that she's done is starting to wear on her psyche a bit, and the adrenaline that she had in the past can no longer keep her from remembering what she went through because she's just seen so much in her battles. Again, you can think for yourself if that was explained well or not, but you probably don't know much of the plans that he had, and as such, you probably shouldn't pretend like you do.

But to say that a character that isn't like Master Chief or every single COD protagonist to this point is ludicrous. If you want a character like that, go play one of those games.

I'm not sure where you got most of that from my post, but...

All "three dimensional" characters must be vulnerable, subservient and motherly? There are ways to make Samus' character more interesting that aren't giving her PTSD and pseudo-postpartum depression over a metroid that she previously gave to a scientific research lab to do experiments on.

I get it, people want to see Samus's weak and tender side, that's fine. Please stop pretending that "May I please not burn to death now." and the PTSD horseshit were in any way a good way to go about that. Just about anything would have been better. Have her break a leg (which seems likely with the 6-inch heels the new zero-suit is packing! lol) Maybe the Chozo Suit breaks down for some reason. Maybe a more difficult/insurmountable situation arises. Maybe she meets someone from her past that she has affection for that doesn't constantly tell her what to do or that's not an energy sucking lifeform whose race she tried to genocide and gave up the last surviving member of to science that she now constantly refers to as "the baby".

It's not that showing her other side is bad, it's that it was done in such a way to turn her into a psychologically damaged, whimpering female.

Three-dimensional characters have strengths and weaknesses, as well as a scale of emotions. It's not that Samus is a "psychologically damaged, whimpering female." It's that she's a human being raised in unusual and traumatic circumstances. And though she might not have thought much about the baby Metroid when she first turned it over to the research staff, the notion that it thought of her as its mother and unconditionally chose to protect her at the cost of its own life is an act that would reasonably give pause to the notion that the creature was more than simply a specimen to hand off. What Samus initially thought nothing of (save perhaps enough pity to spare its life rather than follow the orders of her mission and exterminate it) evolved into a sense of motherhood, as that's what the Metroid thought of her and the reason that Mother Brain didn't annihilate her at the end of Super Metroid.

Again, the writing itself was bad; not the intent. The writing is the reason that a better excuse for the armor restrictions was not devised. It is the reason why Samus's PTSD episode seems inexplicable to any that don't fully understand the history of Samus and Ridley based on the external media published over a decade ago. Both of those aspects could have been handled by better writing.

Edited by Nettacki

@hailinel said:

Sakamoto is one of the most powerful people at Nintendo not named Miyamoto. He's been with the company since the early days and has been the head of or involved with numerous projects ranging from Metroid to WarioWare. It was his idea to approach Team Ninja, just as it was his story. The company that they brought in to do the cutscenes was involved mainly because they were a frequent partner of Team Ninja. In this corporate partnership, Sakamoto was at the top. Any design decisions that Team Ninja came up with in terms of the gameplay ultimately had to go through him for approval. Sakamoto is also the only one credited as the writer; there has never been mention of anyone else in previews, interviews, or otherwise, that has been credited for the script or narrative, other than the staff responsible for the localization. The story itself was Sakamoto's creation; not some write by committee effort.

This is one of the few things you and I can agree on with regards to Other M. Sakamoto pretty much had full control over this project to the point where he's got protection from editors. This only makes it easier for people to put blame on Sakamoto for nearly everything they find wrong with the game, which is why I'm often puzzled when people try to defend the writing by saying the story was a joint effort or when someone in your editorial's comment section questions that notion and passes it off as scapegoating.

I'm sure you know what's wrong when one guy that's been around for a long time has a lot of power over many facets of a work's production and the work suffers as a result. It happened to George Lucas. It happened to Joe Quesada. And it most definitely happened to Yoshio Sakamoto.

EDIT: I also agree that flaws in the writing have contributed to the game's rather poor portrayal of Samus and other important events to some people. At the same time, certain ideas Sakamoto has about Samus came off as something that simply cannot be resolved by better writing, but rather a complete change of philosophy, for it is sometimes more of a problem with values dissonance than anything related to his ability as a writer.

Sakamoto should have written Samus in a way that showed competence and mental fortitude that matched the player's actions (ie, reduction of Ludonarrative Dissonance, a term that I'm sure Patrick Klepek mentioned at one point). This doesn't mean she has to be a cold, emotionless, one-dimensional warrior all the time, but rather that those moments where she comes off as incompetent and a little too rigid in following orders where it makes the least amount of practical sense be either reduced or eliminated outright, and replace those moments with characterization and storytelling that's a bit more subtle and less redundant.

Posted by Sinusoidal

@hailinel Now we're back where we started. You say his intent was good based on ... your faith in him(?) I say it was bad based on the fact that the stereotype he uses is common in the culture that he comes from's media. Neither of us can prove the other wrong, though it seems to me the latter is more likely.

Well, Sakamoto's intent be damned! MOM's (lol) portrayal of Samus is outright loathsome. Whether he intended that to be the result or not doesn't matter one whit. It was the result.

Edited by Hailinel

@hailinel Now we're back where we started. You say his intent was good based on ... your faith in him(?) I say it was bad based on the fact that the stereotype he uses is common in the culture that he comes from's media. Neither of us can prove the other wrong, though it seems to me the latter is more likely.

Well, Sakamoto's intent be damned! MOM's (lol) portrayal of Samus is outright loathsome. Whether he intended that to be the result or not doesn't matter one whit. It was the result.

Like I said, this was approaching a circular argument. That's why I didn't want to engage in this. You find it loathsome, I don't. We can either agree to disagree or carry on like this with no resolution.

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