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.

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