Thursday, September 2, 2010

Spoilertastic Criticisms of Metroid: Other M

Metroid: Other M was a good game, not by metroid standards at all (i think metroid prime is the best game of all time though, so its tough to live up to it) but the action parts and bosses were usually top-notch (the controls were ugly, but they worked since they built the game around them). This post isn't about what I liked about the game, it's just a general criticism of a lot of decisions they made gameplay-wise. I'm not gonna cover the stuff everybody says, just the things I noticed that didn't seem to get much mention in other criticisms of the game. Spoilers do follow, so be warned.

Team Ninja's "explanation" for why you can't use your powerups is shoddy at best. Some sort of explanation like, "super missiles could damage the hull of the ship" or "wave beam might have unforseen consequences in a contained environment, so we won't let you use them unless you absolutely need to for success" could have gone a long way. Not, "Oh you can't use your varia suit right now, even though you're burning to death". You know, give some context as to WHY adam makes these decisions for samus. After all, there's a strong theme that samus trusts adam since he makes good decisions (and it's his only role in the game really, as commander), so explain then, why it's a good decision to not allow use of grapple beam. In most cases, this doesn't effect gameplay all that much (replace "plot event" with "collect item") but it definitely defeats the impact of collecting a powerup.

For example, when you get the grapple beam. Anthony is in trouble and you need the grapple beam to get to him. Adam won't give it to you until you lock on to the grapple target. But, hey, why the FUCK would I look at the grapple target if I don't have the grapple beam? I lost about 5 times there before going, maybe I can just use the grapple beam out of desperation.

Then, adam goes missing, and samus is like "fuck that I'm using space jump" ("any objections adam?" = best line in game), then adam dies, and samus is like "well I guess I can use my powerups now, but I'm gonna wait till I need to" and over the course of like 10 minutes you get all your powerups. The last hour of the game you get so many powerups in a row it's just like..... come on man, make me work for them a little bit. It also doesn't tell you you can use power bombs when you get sucked into the last boss's stomach, I actually tried using a power bomb and it places a regular bomb so I figured I don't have them yet. As it turns out, I didn't charge for long enough (some feedback would have been nice for that). So I had to use an item I didn't know I had for the final boss. The one spot it doesn't give you a tutorial for how to use an item.

Also, team ninja was too lazy to make a new model of samus for the different suits, so they just put glow around her when the "feature" is active. WTF? That is just laziness.

The game feels unfinished. Only 3 sectors? Fusion, the game it borrows from, had 6, and they were interconnected. The sectors feel small for how few they are. I was really looking forward to sector 0, then adam is like "No i have to blow it up, sorry". This SHOULD HAVE BEEN PART OF THE GAME. Adam's "heroic sacrifice" doesn't seem that heroic when you don't know the dangers of the place he blew up. Also, they blow up the entire ship at the end, so really, what was the point? Adam doesn't seem to make very smart decisions, which is funny since his JOB is to make decisions. Also the end had rapid-fire powerup getting. I really think they originally intended to have sector 0 in the game, and more of the other 3 sectors, but time restrictions had them finish early. So they cut sector 0, and give you all your powerups at like the same time, and don't even bother modeling the gravity suit or the varia suit.

The Nightmare boss fight was totally awesome though, the fusion version was my favorite boss fight ever in the entire series (cause of its backstory and the melty creepy face). I was like, gravity suit here I come. Then you don't get it right then. And you get it a while later. The awesome part of metroid is how, when you beat boss that does gravity like that, your reward is the gravity suit. You know what's coming since each boss relates to the powerup it grants as a reward. Not in this game, the bosses are just there. No "Cool I get a powerup after this boss". Just, "oh hey another boss".

My end percentage was 34%, but since missiles are absolutely pointless, I really felt no desire to go back and search for the rest of the powerups.

Also, they never explain "The Deleter" (samus's nicknames for things really suck). He comes in as a plot device, then they ignore him completely in the end.