Metroid: Other M? Oh my!

Seeing as I work a full forty-hour work week, I just don't have the time to camp in front of a computer and watch the E3 press conferences unfold.  I missed out on all of the big ones this year, though I caught news updates when I could during short lulls.  My reactions to most of the news has been largely mixed across the board.  I figured that both Microsoft and Sony would announce their plans to counter the Wii with their own motion control devices.  They both seem have to potential, but they're optional peripherals, unlike the Wii Remote, meaning that they likely won't see as wide an audience.  The Project Natal camera that Microsoft has devised is particularly questionable, given that it appears to be a more advanced Eye Toy.  There's really only so many practical applications that can utilize a camera as a game input device, which leaves me to wonder how Microsoft plans to break free of the Eye Toy's limitations.

Note to Peter Molyneux, Milo creeps me the hell out.  If your goal was to create a mannequin that resides firmly in the Uncanny Valley, congratulations, but I'm really not sure who your new game is targeted at.  Lonely children?  Pedophiles?  Please rethink what you're doing before responding with more of your Molyneuxspeak.

On the other hand, I see more potential in Sony's motion controller, but with the PS3 currently residing in the third-place spot and the controller being an optional accessory, its impact will be questionable.  Also questionable is the pricepoint of the PSP Go.  Sure, $250 isn't the same as $599, but it is significantly overpriced for a handheld.

And as for NIntendo, Super Mario Galaxy 2 sounds like it could be fun, but unfortunately, the 3D Mario platforming titles have never really been my thing.  It is nice to see them rolling out a second main series Mario game on a console for the first time in ages, though.  I appreciate the time and effort that went into creating Super Mario Galaxy, but that doesn't mean that the series should limit itself to one game every four to six years.

No, what really caught my eye (and really, the only thing to catch my eye at this point) was Metroid:  Other M.  While I glossed over other news stories at work with passing interest, the announcement of a brand new Metroid, one with an apparently stronger focus on plot and a return to a third-person perspective, filled me with the excitement of a kid at Christmas.  I had to restrain myself before I started celebrating then and there in the office.  I'm hopeful that Team Ninja's perspective does the game well.  In the past, I wasn't particularly a fan of the studio, but that had more to do with Team Ninja's egotistical, sunglasses-at-night obsessed DD fetishist of a leader in Tomonobu Itagaki.  Of course, he's gone and doing other things now, which gives me more hope for the game than I might have had were he still present at Tecmo.

The Metroid franchise has always been the odd duck of Nintendo's core franchises.  It features a basic but ongoing narrative and a look and feel that isn't as family-oriented as Mario or Zelda.  I always wondered what the series might be like if Nintendo gave Metroid a real chance and pushed harder on delivering a full-narrative, one that went even beyond the attempts made in Metroid Fusion and the Prime series.  Maybe I'll finally get the chance to see that.

5 Comments
6 Comments
Posted by Hailinel

Seeing as I work a full forty-hour work week, I just don't have the time to camp in front of a computer and watch the E3 press conferences unfold.  I missed out on all of the big ones this year, though I caught news updates when I could during short lulls.  My reactions to most of the news has been largely mixed across the board.  I figured that both Microsoft and Sony would announce their plans to counter the Wii with their own motion control devices.  They both seem have to potential, but they're optional peripherals, unlike the Wii Remote, meaning that they likely won't see as wide an audience.  The Project Natal camera that Microsoft has devised is particularly questionable, given that it appears to be a more advanced Eye Toy.  There's really only so many practical applications that can utilize a camera as a game input device, which leaves me to wonder how Microsoft plans to break free of the Eye Toy's limitations.

Note to Peter Molyneux, Milo creeps me the hell out.  If your goal was to create a mannequin that resides firmly in the Uncanny Valley, congratulations, but I'm really not sure who your new game is targeted at.  Lonely children?  Pedophiles?  Please rethink what you're doing before responding with more of your Molyneuxspeak.

On the other hand, I see more potential in Sony's motion controller, but with the PS3 currently residing in the third-place spot and the controller being an optional accessory, its impact will be questionable.  Also questionable is the pricepoint of the PSP Go.  Sure, $250 isn't the same as $599, but it is significantly overpriced for a handheld.

And as for NIntendo, Super Mario Galaxy 2 sounds like it could be fun, but unfortunately, the 3D Mario platforming titles have never really been my thing.  It is nice to see them rolling out a second main series Mario game on a console for the first time in ages, though.  I appreciate the time and effort that went into creating Super Mario Galaxy, but that doesn't mean that the series should limit itself to one game every four to six years.

No, what really caught my eye (and really, the only thing to catch my eye at this point) was Metroid:  Other M.  While I glossed over other news stories at work with passing interest, the announcement of a brand new Metroid, one with an apparently stronger focus on plot and a return to a third-person perspective, filled me with the excitement of a kid at Christmas.  I had to restrain myself before I started celebrating then and there in the office.  I'm hopeful that Team Ninja's perspective does the game well.  In the past, I wasn't particularly a fan of the studio, but that had more to do with Team Ninja's egotistical, sunglasses-at-night obsessed DD fetishist of a leader in Tomonobu Itagaki.  Of course, he's gone and doing other things now, which gives me more hope for the game than I might have had were he still present at Tecmo.

The Metroid franchise has always been the odd duck of Nintendo's core franchises.  It features a basic but ongoing narrative and a look and feel that isn't as family-oriented as Mario or Zelda.  I always wondered what the series might be like if Nintendo gave Metroid a real chance and pushed harder on delivering a full-narrative, one that went even beyond the attempts made in Metroid Fusion and the Prime series.  Maybe I'll finally get the chance to see that.

Posted by Alexander

Milo and Molyneux enthusiasm for is quite unsettling I have to say. As for Natal itself, I could see it working, but I don't see any use for it personally beyond control of the UI. That's because no third party making a game for the hardcore audience is going to use it. To call it an advanced Eye Toy is way off the mark, it's clearly quite a bit more than that. I mean the Live Vision camera had crappy games like Totem Ball and a gimmicky water ripple effect on the dashboard. But this new product is completely different, technology from a company MS bought for millions, it's something never seen before in gaming and for that alone I'd say MS provided the most innovation this E3.

Like you say though, it's not something integral to the platform (same goes for Sony), so I really wonder how many third parties are going to take them up, even for crappy party titles. I reckon a lot of it will be up to first party development. It's not like its impossible though, people such as yourself spent quite a bit on Balance Boards and Wii Fitness is the 5th biggest selling game of all time.

As for Metroid, I'm not a fan of the series - not that I don't like it mind, I just haven't played a great deal of it. Trailer looked cool and gameplay look Metroid. Until its release you might like to try the "spiritual successor" to Super Metroid - Shadow Complex on XBLA.... oh wait... you SOLD YOU 360.

Posted by AgentJ

Metroid M will be great, but there were other awesome looking games at E3. did you get a chance to look at Golden Sun DS, Scribblenauts, Wii Sports Resort, Splinter Cell, Alan Wake, APB, or Gran Turismo?

Posted by SmugDarkLoser

You're probably misinformed about Natal.  According to what's going on, they quite literally emulate Sony's motion controller with their own.

Posted by AgentJ
@SmugDarkLoser said:
" You're probably misinformed about Natal.  According to what's going on, they quite literally emulate Sony's motion controller with their own. "
It does something similar, but it doesnt emulate. they'll do different things better and worse
Posted by Alex_V

Nice post - agree with most of it. I differ on my opinion on the Milo demo - regardless of the motion-control-ness of it, it looks like a genuinely fascinating and original project. And it deserves our support on that basis.