Review by sarikuya
An Open Letter and Review of Other M
Dear Yoshio Sakamoto...
I've been a fan of Metroid since I was about four; we had a copy of the first game in our house, along with buying Super Metroid shortly after. I've pretty much grown up playing the series with a strong attachment to the various games, save for a couple of titles. I've only disliked Fusion for it's very lock-down game system until the end, and now I shake my head at Other M.
I understand the need for character development and storyline in video games these days. If you don't have something gripping, it seems, you can't get a hold of new fans looking for the edgy side of gaming these days. However... it seems very odd what you've done with Samus in Other M, to the point I'm now distancing her from the 'Samus' I grew up with.
I've always enjoyed the silent, stoic heroine view of her, using logic to help through the tasks she faces in sheer determination. The powerful figure of Samus as a lone fighter for the greater good- a female at that- who never needed anybody's help to accomplish her task... Samus is very much a role model to me. In Other M, she seemed rather oppressed, having decided to wait for Adam's command to do much of anything. Also, her character interaction seemed strange. I'd almost describe her as hysterical over Adam, which isn't a good thing. It's a bizarre obsession that I found bordered on the creepy side, as if she was romantically interested in a father figure.
I find it also ironic and sort of stupid that he would call her 'Lady' out of 'respect'. Unfortunately, being female myself, I find people to be horribly sarcastic if that title is appended to the end of a sentence involving me or other girls. It's hard to take anybody seriously who uses it the way it was used in Fusion and Other M.
However, the game did have some good parts. The graphics were beautiful and very mood setting. The holographic scenery was really interesting, and trying to turn it off to find doors was fun. The battle system is amazing- I love the dark edge they've used, such as tearing the wings off Ki Hunters and then whipping them into walls. It's something I wanted to see in the series since Prime.
Probably the only scene I liked was Ridley's re-introduction into the series, though I'm a sucker for that dragon. His design seemed off (his head is too flat, it seems) but the battle was heart-pounding and dynamic. However, what the heck is up with the little furry suit plot thread? That was the dumbest, though probably least expected, thing I've seen in the Metroid series. Now my mind is tarnished with the fact Ridley, perhaps as an infant, is something that looks like it was regurgitated from Pokemon. Dreadful.
I really hope that if the style of Other M is continued, or even more in the story line it presents, that there is many, many, many improvements in the character designs and story progression. There wasn't enough of the 'Melissa' story arc spread out; having it spat at us in the last section didn't make me attached or shocked about what she was or what happened to her. It was too random. But keep the visuals and fighting style, and perhaps touch more on the story-telling of the Prime games (I found scanning information about the plot much more natural and interesting in this series) and I think you'd come up with something mind-blowing.
Also, don't reuse Fusion again. I played it once and despised it already. Why did you use the zoo-in-a-ship again? Also disappointed to see Nightmare again, which is a very frustrating fight in both games. Please, please, please don't continue to rebuild Fusion until someone likes it.
Thank you, however, for continuing the series and introducing some new and good things. I hope to see Samus again soon in another adventure, and will continue to stay a loyal fan despite this bad taste that was left with me for Other M. I hope that you continue to have success in your future, and good luck and health to you. See you next mission!
Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Product Release: Metroid: Other M (US, 08/31/10)
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