Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Metroid revival coming soon?

While we didn't get any tangible news at E3, some of Nintendo's higher-ups have hinted at possible announcements for side-scrolling and 3D Metroids in the not-too-distant future. And while, yes, I'm aware that I complained recently about the series seemingly being dead and buried, now that I know that I can't help but have that feeling of dread (no pun intented). I mean, Nintendo as a whole seem pretty happy with what Other M did for the series (they would be the only ones, though), to such an extent that it has fueled fan speculation that the Prime series were tacitly de-canonized for years. This despite the only acclaim the game ever got being among Japanese reviewers - contrary to popular belief, Other M flopped just as hard in Japan in terms of sales as any other game that's not in the original trilogy. Heck, even from the first trailer way back then, I could tell "this isn't Metroid", even when no one had any idea there would be so much character assassination, for both Samus and Adam, on the menu.

So as you can see, as we get closer and closer to Samus' return in action I'm pretty dang terrified at the idea things won't get much better for her. The good news is that Yoshio Sakamoto, who's largely responsible for basically every aspect of Other M (even the terrible English voice acting, which he directed), is permanently out of the picture, as he says he's not interested in coming back to traditional games. And after seeing these choice quotes from him, it's the best thing ever:

In this game, I want to depict the emotions of a woman called Samus. The way we'd been working previously, it would have been impossible for us to depict a woman's world.

Depicting the story of Samus Aran in this game was one of the most important game design concepts from the very beginning because before Other M I did not think about what kind of person Samus Aran was and how she thinks and her personality….Plus because of the existence of the Metroid Prime series many people might have different ideas about what kind of person Samus Aran was….So with Other M I really wanted to determine and express what kind of human Samus Aran is so that we can really tell what kind of natural step she should be taking in the future.

Fuck this man. I can hardly believe he was behind such games as Super, Fusion and Zero Mission. Speaking of Fusion, the only thing Other M did right was make me appreciate it that much more. I wasn't a big Fusion fan for the longest time, but then Other M came around as a game that nullified what was good about Fusion and amplified everything else, making it much clearer to me what Fusion's strengths are.

Problem is, though, misogyny (as seen by Westerners, at least) is still considered normal and part of everyday life in Japan (which may imply Sakamoto isn't the only one with the kind of train of thought featured above), so any attempt at a more story-driven Metroid game from a Japanese studio may be just as ill-fated as Other M was. Of course they might just say "fuck story-driven games, let's return to what Metroid is REALLY about", which would be a huge step up... a guy can dream, huh?

Still, it's hard to do worse than a game whose best known deconstruction is large enough to fill an entire book, so let's hope things are done getting worse before they get better.

23 comments:

  1. I've never heard you talk about Super Metroid that much, people praise it as one of the greatest games of all time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm more of a 3D Metroid (read: Prime series) guy myself.

      Delete
    2. Truth be told, I've never played the Prime series, how good is it?

      Delete
    3. For my money, they're among the best games ever made, simply put. Echoes is my favorite out of the three, but it has some of the dumbest reasons I've ever seen for hating a game, and they inevitably boil down to "I'm stupid and have no idea how the game's meant to be played".

      Delete
  2. Both Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion are the peaks of the 2D series for me, and I do like the 2D series a bit more, so I wouldn't mind Metroid 5 in a 2D style,especially in sprite form, and maybe they should let 3D rest for a bit, of course I still love the prime games, but a more classic style Metroid might be what the doctor prescribed

    ReplyDelete
  3. Kind of a bummer, but hopefully a little more thought will go into the gameplay for the following title(s).
    On an unrelated note, do you have any thoughts on Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii? The successor for the Wii U is probably my most hyped Wii U game of 2015. (with the one for 2014 being Bayonetta 2).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's see... For a comparison, we all know that GameStop selling Other M at 5 bucks still feel like we are getting ripped off. Well they actually tried selling used Xenoblades Chronicles "used" copies at like 80 bucks if not more and there were still people buying them. That's how good the game was received, which explains the hype for the spiritual sequel.

      Delete
    2. @Slowflake I'm a bit confused since you've once been asked under your LP-videos if you would do a Xenoblade Chronicles LP and you answered you wouldn't since you don't want to do any blind LPs so I thought you would at least know the name of the game. Basically Xenoblade Chronicles is the Wii Final Fantasy everyone was waiting for since years. A great story with many surprises and plot twists, deep characters, the option to build your team as you want to, a giant world with different geographic landscapes and fantastic music in the background, 482 sidequests (yes, I've done them all) and other neat features such as a harmony diagram of the team and all NPCs, trophies and Items you can collect. I myself have lped it and cutted the crap out of the sidequest sessions and was stuck with it 325 parts. It's a great game at some point a bit frustrating since enemies even can kill you if you're several levels above them and some sidequests just stretch the game too much but outside of that I can recommend it. The game was developed by Monolith Soft which already developed my favorite game of all time Baten Kaitos. You should give them a look many see them next to Retro Studios as the best second party studio Nintendo has and I must agree with them.

      Delete
    3. I know the name, but I'm not exactly certain that counts.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for the read Slow... Yeah, as soon as I saw this I decided to dedicate my free time for today into reading the entire thing, is that weird ?
    It was so detailed that it almost felt like a lesson in storytelling with tips on writing a good strong female character, so that wasn't a TOTAL waste of time, I guess ? (Because I was basically just reading detailed arguments explaining something I already knew about... but I love doing this, who am I kidding.)
    I do own the first Prime game... heck, even the original release one, with the relatively easy sequence-breaking options, which I did try out, in fact. But I played the 2D games much more... except the very first one because I just couldn't get into it and the second one... because it was an hard find and even now I'd almost rather wait for a possible remake as its gameplay looks slightly outdated. (And before anybody tells me, I know there's a fan-remake in the works.)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I must say I think Other M gets a bit too much hatred. I mean I can understand many disappointed fans who always saw Samus as the badass of the universe and then got a whiny girl in Other M. I for myself would of wished the story would of not went as much over the top. However I quite appreciate the attempt to implement a story into the game. Especially since Nintendo doesn't give too much about stories (yeah Miyamoto, cutting the entire story out of Paper Mario was just a horrible idea). I mean in case of Metroid the game is mostly about the adventure but giving the character same kind of dept instead of just having her kill everything coming in her way wasn't the worst idea. However I agree that the story should be build up better and I hope Nintendo considers that in their next Metroid game

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The hatred towards the game is well justified. The narrative of the game is basically "how not not write a story 101". Samus isn't even the true protagonist for crying out loud. She doesn't accomplish ANYTHING to push the plot forward or develop herself as a character.

      Delete
    2. Worse, she's seemingly intentionally portrayed as weak and ineffectual countless times. There's a difference being not being portrayed as the ultimate badass and being portrayed as utterly useless. But it gets worse - the game goes well out of its way to emphasize that beyond motherhood, there is simply no life for a woman. It rewrote one of the most beloved moments of the 16-bit era just to fit that concept, and even went flat-out with that concept when it comes to Melissa. She did not have a soul until she started interacting with Metroids. And don't get me started on Samus' subservience to Adam. That's an abuser/abused relationship if I ever saw one, the complete opposite of what was portrayed in Fusion.

      Seriously, you should read that link I provided. It's the alpha and omega of explanations on why people hate that game so much, and it's so good at it that it raised many points I'd never even considered prior to reading it. At least Sonic 2006 was comical in how bad it was. This has no humor factor, it's just insulting.

      Delete
    3. I didn't want to get into details, but since you already did, I might as well add that another offensive element the essay didn't bring up but another Youtube gaming personality did is that MB basically became evil because she got over-emotional. (Not even bothering with spoilers here, the game doesn't deserve it)

      Delete
    4. I dunno, she's for all intents and purposes a clone of Mother Brain, so it was going to happen regardless.

      Delete
    5. And what's with all the arse shots in the game anyway?

      Delete
    6. I'll tell you: Sakamoto has (or had, judging by his recent attitude) an obsession for Samus not unlike what Pygmalion had for his own creation, and in true hack fanfiction writer fashion saw nothing wrong with sharing that fact with the world.

      Delete
    7. And yet, as shown in the Tomodachi Life Direct, Iwata is the one Samus actually likes. D:
      (I'm sorry, I was just remembering the sheer amount of WTF that moment was, I couldn't resist.)

      Delete
    8. I couldn't help but notice you saying "It's the alpha and omega of explanations". Intentional or unintentional Pokémon pun there?

      Delete
    9. ...it's an actual expression...

      Delete
    10. I know that! I was just wondering if it was used because of the upcoming remakes... You know what? Why do I even bother? This is what I get for trying to make a joke.

      Delete
    11. Well if it's a straight-up answer you want, then no, I didn't have ORAS on the mind at all. Especially since I'm not particularly looking forward to them, and may not even buy them at all.

      Delete