Author Topic: Forum Retrospective #5: Metroid Other M - Any objections Lady?  (Read 24797 times)

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Offline ejamer

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Re: Forum Retrospective #5: Metroid Other M - Any objections Lady?
« Reply #50 on: November 03, 2019, 05:45:46 AM »
... finally hit that mark of a really good game by becoming a compulsion for the player and not wanting to stop playing and looking forward to the next play session.

It would seem that Team Ninja has done a very good job of this Metroid Fusion remake.  ;)

Agree - at least mostly - on both points.

Despite a pretty terrible story and some minor design flaw, Other M was really enjoyable for me. After finishing the main game, I rolled right into post-game content which is a rare event for me. Part of that is because the game didn't take forever and overstay its welcome. Part of that was because Other M is just fun to play if you can gloss over the shortcomings.

And the callbacks to Fusion are very strong here. I don't know if it was meant to replace Fusion, as there are some cool moments there that they don't even try to replicate here, but you can see many areas where these games share design ideas. What surprised me is how much of a harder time I had finding enjoyment in Fusion; maybe it's because the action-based approach here let me break out of my normal expectations for a Metroid game, since exploration really wasn't even an option? Or maybe it's just because my expectations were low going in due to critical reception of Other M, where I played Fusion right after the excellent Zero Mission remake.
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Re: Forum Retrospective #5: Metroid Other M - Any objections Lady?
« Reply #51 on: November 04, 2019, 09:02:43 AM »
Well it's probably still October somewhere, so I just got started on this. Not very far in yet, I don't think. Just got out of Sector 1 for the first time and got bit in the shins by a jump-scare esque enemy in the first Pyrozone tunnel.

Controls - I'm a bit mixed on the various opinions so far. Agree with eJamer that it's nice and simple to just go to the horizontal Wiimote layout. Compared to the Prime games, and its ten thousand button controls, this basically plays itself if you hammer jump & fire.
Do low-key hate not having much camera control outside of first person mode, but it's manageable. Biggest gripe so far - the Wiimote DPAD just isn't comfy at all. Gets kinda painful after an hour or two.
The sounds from the Wiimote are a nice touch, and I like how recharging your missiles basically makes Samus mirror your arm position. That's very Nintendo.

Graphics - I'm loving the stupidly anime cutscenes so far, looks super slick. The in-engine ones meanwhile feel like they'd be decent in a 2005 original Xbox game. In general I think the game looks pretty good - I imagine this is what Mass Effect looks like, with all the blue lights adorning random stuff.

The game is pretty awful in terms of visual legibility though, if that makes sense. Everything glows and looks like you might be able to interact with it, but usually you can't. Then there's computer terminals which look static but you do need to interact with those (the red ones, non-glowy machines).
There's the infuriating pixel hunting sequences which legit sometimes take me minutes (oh you wanted me to highlight the green puddle instead of the corpse, vehicle, or any actually interesting objects, duh!), which achieve nothing but slowing the pace to a crawl.
And everything is just too freaking dark so far! I can't see anything in those underwater sections without cranking the brightness on my tv to 70% and making everything a hideous light grey in the process. Spent like 5 minutes running around the room with the rising & lowering water before I realised there's a path at the end.

Story - Yeah, pretty stupid. Whoever directed Samus' voice actor did a bad job. I mean she already just says what's up on screen, so there's no point to her monologue, but why she was instructed to deliver everything in a monotone that could rival the worst Powerpoint you've ever sat through, I don't understand.
Also gonna throw out some bold story predictions which I, the attentive viewer, expect to occur:
1. The gerbil will definitely become Ridley somehow.
2. One (or more) of the marines is 100% double-crossing everyone. If it's the one with the moustache I want double points. If it's the guy who says "Princess" and we find out because a disembodied voice says "hahaha you've fallen into my trap, just like the rest of the squad, Princess! [screeching violin]", I'm gonna be dissapointed.
3. Dr. Madeline Bergman? Dr. M.B.? More like Mother Brain amirite! Gaze upon my skills of pattern recognition.

General - Ok so I've kinda accepted that this is just a more shallow Metroid with an action focus. That's fine, and I sorta like the straight-forward nature of it. Starting a Metroid game (especially a Prime one) is always super daunting because they can last 20 hours and require near-constant attention. I don't always have that patience, so an easier one which has the Metroid hallmarks (familiar music & designs) where you just blast stuff and run forward has some appeal.

Other M missteps here by putting in a lot of backtracking options. I've already seen Power Bomb doors, Super Missile doors & Grapple Beam spots which I can't use. Kinda dreading going back through this Sector again with its non-memorable layout & too dark visuals.
Weirdly, this game would suit me better if they just fully committed to "it's an action game now, follow orders & run along", rather than this curious half-step approach.

I'm having an okay time, but this will definitely be my least favourite in the series unless some kind of miracle occurs very soon. Just feels kinda generic-space-game so far. If this was themed with Warhammer 30,000  looks, or Star Wars, Alien, or maybe be some drastic Brute Force reboot I wouldn't really bat an eye.

Offline ejamer

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Re: Forum Retrospective #5: Metroid Other M - Any objections Lady?
« Reply #52 on: November 04, 2019, 12:26:07 PM »
...
The game is pretty awful in terms of visual legibility though, ... I can't see anything in those underwater sections without cranking the brightness on my tv to 70% and making everything a hideous light grey in the process. Spent like 5 minutes running around the room with the rising & lowering water before I realised there's a path at the end.
...

Ohh... I forgot (probably intentionally) about that underwater section. The graphics in general might have worked better for me than you, but that part definitely was garbage. At least there are only a couple rooms with water, and you don't have to spend any extended time going through them.

Also, not sure whether to laud your ability to predict what will happen or further put down the game for its complete lack of subtlety.  Both can be worth doing, right?
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Re: Forum Retrospective #5: Metroid Other M - Any objections Lady?
« Reply #53 on: November 07, 2019, 03:58:56 PM »
All right, finished the Pyrosphere, now pretty far (??) into the ice zone.
Is the pyrozone the one which has everyone here annoyed that Samus doesn't put on the Varia suit herself? I pictured that going as follows: Samus begs stern ol' Adam to turn on the Varia Suit option while being half-burned alive in an infuriating cut-scene.
In practice it wasn't so bad, although it's still dumb of course, but I guess the game gets to benefit here from my low expectations. That Inner Crater part is a bit annoying, but only because I didn't spot the morph ball passage on my first 6 attempts. That's been happening more than I'd like; the morph ball entrances are tricky to spot in the busy, overdesigned art style.

The ice zone featured my first "huh, neat" moment, when you bomb an underwater hatch in one room to drain all the water out to the preceding one, opening new pathways in both directions. I like that this wasn't guided/directed at all, and I like that it's a puzzle (no matter how slight) that affects multiple rooms. There's not been many of those, so far.

Still not very sure of what the whole ship is meant to be. Why is there a jungle onboard, an ice world, and even lava caverns? Khush mentioned the jungle was basically a sort of hyperreal hologram, but that doesn't really go for the lava which is undeniably present, and the snow areas kinda feel outdoorsy at times too -- before you enter a new save room which completely breaks the visual coherence of the zone.

Also interesting how you go (almost?) 2 zones without running into Adam or any of the cannon fodder dudes. Not sure if that's just poor pacing, or whether to be grateful. I basically have no clue what Samus' current objective is. Are we still after a generator? Just kinda scouting out the sectors?
Maybe they're just tryna set up the "Adam betrays you" plot or whatever, but it's kinda odd how everything begins pretty regimented with clear objectives, but now they just let you follow waypoints on the map with no stated goals to speak of. The only reminder you get that Adam & Co. exist during this 2 hour section is that he'll occassionally unlock the varia suit or speedbooster for you.

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Re: Forum Retrospective #5: Metroid Other M - Any objections Lady?
« Reply #54 on: November 09, 2019, 01:14:31 PM »
Okay so turns out the plot was right around the corner where I last left off.
So our traitor has cunningly concealed his face behind some sheet metal on this combine harvester; we wreck the barnyard equipment but then he's suddenly gone? So dumb, I tried to look with the first person camera and everything.
I will say the game picked up the pace a bit from here on out and basically beelines you to the ending. I've finished it now.

Things I liked along the way:
+ The zero gravity area felt like the game's first novel idea that wasn't cribbed from any other Metroid titles. Sure we saw it in Mario Galaxy a few years prior, but for this series I don't think we've seen it before in this way, have we?
+ The game is paced better after the ice section. Things move at the snappy pace you'd expect given Samus' speed and the game's disinterest in exploration. I like that this wasn't as long as Super Metroid, Metroid Prime, or Samus Returns.
+ The Ridley fight was cool and for once it felt like the game had some music of its own. The lead-up to it was a bit dumb considering Samus has routinely wrecked his **** so many times before it's like her weekly Friday spin class, but that cut-scene wasn't as bad as I anticipated.
+ The television bossfight from Fusion is back too. This game has okay bossfights, mostly...

Things I didn't like:
- ...Except for the Queen Metroid fight. The game first psyches you out by introducing those orange circles from Super Metroid which made me think my Mother Brain suspicions were about to be confirmed.
The Queen Metroid fight basically cheats us out of a second Ridley encounter, and the bossfight itself is super annoying. The first phase in particular is infuriating if you don't kill the Metroids as soon as they spawn. You can easily be swamped by 8 of the buggers at which point the fight becomes basically impossible. Only if you isolate them do you have enough time to Super Missile them all.
The second phase, then, is just kinda dull. Exactly the same as Samus Returns and I presume Metroid II. Yet again this game is so afraid to come up with new ideas.

- I wasn't really paying attention during the whole Adam flies into space bit, buuuut... Wasn't the point to take the Metroids down with him? I know they wanted to mirror the scene where he decouples his brother's module, but surely there were dozens of other options here?
Here's a few: nuke the station like the Federation does anyway. Send in Samus, the Metroid killer, instead. Maybe first see if the Metroids really have a weakness? Ice beam + super missile did the trick perfectly.

- Do we ever get closure on the Traitor angle? It's not Adam or Anthony, right? We find James dead, Maurice too, who else was alive? Are the Traitor and the Deleter not the same person after all? If the Federation sends in the Deleter... Why not just nuke the station from orbit like they do anyway? Why send a single dude in a tractor after Samus, who destroys planets on her lunch breaks?
Do I need to play the post-game to find out what happened here, or did the game just... Forget this was the plot...?

Okay so final thoughts:
I had heard this game was awful, but can't really ride with that take; it's just a dull action game with the added problem of trying to fill a legacy it can never dream of coming close to. It introduces almost nothing new to the series, but also doesn't come close to perfecting previously existing features (and in fact, is a step down in basically every way).

I do think the most painful question here is: why does this exist? Does it cater to new Metroid fans? No, because it basically requires familiarity with Super Metroid right from the first second, and relies on Metroid Fusion to give meta-textual weight to the presumed importance of Adam.
But it doesn't cater to existing Metroid fans either: Samus' characterisation just introduces inconsistencies, and plot-wise this is probably a nightmare to fit into any 'canon timeline'.

It doesn't push any new ideas, introduces no new interesting villains/bosses, the control setup isn't as revolutionary as I imagine Prime 3's was... The entire story just chains together a sort of highlights reel of Metroid moments (Queen from II, Ridley from III/Prime, TV face from Fusion), which would presumably cater to the Metroid fanbase... Who have already played those moments, in better ways.

I guess I found it compelling~ish enough to see the ending, but not sure if I'll go for the postgame too. Is it worth doing so? Does it take long?

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Re: Forum Retrospective #5: Metroid Other M - Any objections Lady?
« Reply #55 on: November 09, 2019, 09:14:10 PM »
+ The Ridley fight was cool and for once it felt like the game had some music of its own. The lead-up to it was a bit dumb considering Samus has routinely wrecked his **** so many times before it's like her weekly Friday spin class, but that cut-scene wasn't as bad as I anticipated.
Then, Sakamoto added another one to Samus Returns. The cutscene rubbed me the wrong way in 2010. It hasn't gotten better with time.
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The Queen Metroid fight basically cheats us out of a second Ridley encounter
I'm more irked that we even got a first encounter. I like Ridley as a character. I liked that he wasn't originally in Metroid II. Showing up in every game now and being retconned into remakes of old games makes his appearances less special and they increasingly feel tacked on.
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- I wasn't really paying attention during the whole Adam flies into space bit, buuuut... Wasn't the point to take the Metroids down with him? I know they wanted to mirror the scene where he decouples his brother's module, but surely there were dozens of other options here?
1. Yes.
2. Yes but not dozens. Adam worked with what he had. He presumably destroyed Sector 0 against the orders from the Galactic Federation. I would have appreciated at least one line of dialog for why they couldn't damage Sector 0 from the outside what with their fancy spaceship dealies.
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Here's a few: nuke the station like the Federation does anyway. Send in Samus, the Metroid killer, instead. Maybe first see if the Metroids really have a weakness? Ice beam + super missile did the trick perfectly.
1. They'd have to have a nuke.
2. Sector 0 was swarming with Metroids that Galactic Federation scientists genetically altered to be invulnerable to cold. I guess Adam could have sent Samus to see if there was some other weakness. Personally, I wouldn't take that chance. Of all my gripes with Other M, I'm willing to give them this one.
Quote
- Do we ever get closure on the Traitor angle? It's not Adam or Anthony, right? We find James dead, Maurice too, who else was alive? Are the Traitor and the Deleter not the same person after all? If the Federation sends in the Deleter... Why not just nuke the station from orbit like they do anyway? Why send a single dude in a tractor after Samus, who destroys planets on her lunch breaks?
Do I need to play the post-game to find out what happened here, or did the game just... Forget this was the plot...?
1. No, not really. Samus kind of never mentions it again. While it isn't really acknowledged, James Pierce is implied to be the Deleter.
2. Correct.
3. No one besides Anthony.
4. No, they're the same.
5. The game never plainly states what the Deleter's mission was. One can infer that someone in the Galactic Federation sent him to investigate what happened, try to recover data/samples, and cover any tracks of illegal activity if discovered (including killing members of the 07th Platoon when necessary). The Galactic Federation either nuked the Bottle Ship because Adam destroyed Sector 0 meaning Metroid research/subjects were destroyed or the not-corrupt members of the Galactic Federation decided to destroy the entire facility once the true nature of the Bottle Ship was discovered.
6. No.
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Okay so final thoughts:
I had heard this game was awful, but can't really ride with that take; it's just a dull action game with the added problem of trying to fill a legacy it can never dream of coming close to. It introduces almost nothing new to the series, but also doesn't come close to perfecting previously existing features (and in fact, is a step down in basically every way).

I do think the most painful question here is: why does this exist? Does it cater to new Metroid fans? No, because it basically requires familiarity with Super Metroid right from the first second, and relies on Metroid Fusion to give meta-textual weight to the presumed importance of Adam.
But it doesn't cater to existing Metroid fans either: Samus' characterisation just introduces inconsistencies, and plot-wise this is probably a nightmare to fit into any 'canon timeline'.

It doesn't push any new ideas, introduces no new interesting villains/bosses, the control setup isn't as revolutionary as I imagine Prime 3's was... The entire story just chains together a sort of highlights reel of Metroid moments (Queen from II, Ridley from III/Prime, TV face from Fusion), which would presumably cater to the Metroid fanbase... Who have already played those moments, in better ways.
I'm mostly with you here. I don't think Other M is awful either even in 2019. It's mostly pointless and causes way too many narrative and characterization problems to remain canon.

I disagree with the red bolded part. Other M offers more about Adam than Fusion did through an overuse of cliche flashbacks and Samus' asinine narration. I don't think one needs Fusion in this regard. However, I don't think Other M did a good job of making anyone care about Adam in either Other M or Fusion so it doubly failed.
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I guess I found it compelling~ish enough to see the ending, but not sure if I'll go for the postgame too. Is it worth doing so? Does it take long?
1. Not really. The post-game is an epilogue in which Samus decides to retrieve Adam's helmet because she somehow has no other mementos of her father figure/sempai. Also, you get a fan servicey boss fight pulled from Super Metroid followed by five minutes to play as Zero Suit Samus for absolutely no reason.
2. No. Maybe half an hour if you skip upgrades you either missed during the main game or can only access post-game.

Offline ejamer

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Re: Forum Retrospective #5: Metroid Other M - Any objections Lady?
« Reply #56 on: November 10, 2019, 05:05:37 AM »
...
Quote
I guess I found it compelling~ish enough to see the ending, but not sure if I'll go for the postgame too. Is it worth doing so? Does it take long?
1. Not really. The post-game is an epilogue in which Samus decides to retrieve Adam's helmet because she somehow has no other mementos of her father figure/sempai. Also, you get a fan servicey boss fight pulled from Super Metroid followed by five minutes to play as Zero Suit Samus for absolutely no reason.
2. No. Maybe half an hour if you skip upgrades you either missed during the main game or can only access post-game.

I disagree and found the post-game content worth playing.

For anyone who put in the ~10 hours to beat the game, post-game should be very short if you don't track down all power-ups (and I'd suggest NOT bothering with the power-ups). Much like the game itself, any longer and I think it might overstay its welcome... but everything is brisk enough that skipping out would leave the game kind of unfinished.

It's relatively easy, but getting full access to the ship with all of Samus' abilities, and the inevitable timed exit sequence, really helped to "completes" this Metroid game in my mind. Plus, I liked the extra boss fight and the lead-up to it. While this game as a whole isn't necessary, I liked revisiting some familiar enemies and events using the third person view.

Story-wise, well at least the post-game content isn't worse than the main game. It improved my overall opinion of the story - but with the rest of the story being mostly garbage, that's a low bar. Maybe I'm just appreciating the fact that the game was finished?
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Re: Forum Retrospective #5: Metroid Other M - Any objections Lady?
« Reply #57 on: November 10, 2019, 03:09:56 PM »
Thanks for the detailed answers Adrock.
I tried following eJamer's advice to try the ending after all, but man those insects are tough. The first one took me down 3 times in a row and they recharge all their health too. I'm not invested enough to run through half the map again with this level of resistance, just gonna YouTube the real ending and call it a day.

I'm mostly with you here. I don't think Other M is awful either even in 2019. It's mostly pointless and causes way too many narrative and characterization problems to remain canon.

I disagree with the red bolded part. Other M offers more about Adam than Fusion did through an overuse of cliche flashbacks and Samus' asinine narration. I don't think one needs Fusion in this regard. However, I don't think Other M did a good job of making anyone care about Adam in either Other M or Fusion so it doubly failed.

Yeah you're right. What I tried to say was that Adam is thoroughly unlikable here, and there's a near-zero reason for Samus to listen to him, let alone abide by his authority. She's no longer part of the army, let alone his unit, and basically functions as a third party. They ally for mutual gain here, but he's still a super unlikable character.
Long-term Metroid fans however, might be interested to see where the dynamic goes, since they know the name Adam from Fusion. The main reasons I could see why anyone would ever care for his character are 1.) they're established fans looking to hear more backstory, or 2.) they're somehow convinced he's cool due to his actions in the story. (Presumaby the only people in the latter camp also happen to be the writers of Other M.)