Saturday, December 18, 2010

Metroid: The Other Red M

Seldom do I speak of games outside of the Zelda canon, but I've been playing "Metroid: Other M" a good bit lately. There are a few things I wanted to shout into the tubes about it, so here I go.

When I was a young lad, my mom got me "Metroid 2: The Return of Samus" for my birthday. At the time, I didn't really understand what the game was about, and I just wandered around cluelessly shooting stuff. I played it off and on for a few years, and then one day I figured out you were supposed to kill the eggs. I did some asking around at school, and found out that the eggs were Metroids, and that the object of the game was to kill them all. I never did finish Metroid 2, but I had a lot of fun failing at it.

Then, last week, I was given a 100 dollar walmart gift card, and decided to get a Wii game. It was then I realized that the vast majority of Wii games SUCK. I saw Goldeneye, Super Mario Brothers, and the new Donkey Kong. Pondering for a moment, I leaned toward Donkey Kong, as it too had been a faithful childhood friend. And then, I saw Metroid: Other M, presumably a sequel to the magical Gameboy game I'd enjoyed as a child. I debated some more, but I got it.

Now, how far have we fallen Samus? Not that far. There are a lot of cool things about this new Metroid. It stays true to old school Metroid form in the sense that you're going room to room and exploring. The ball is there, and I love the ball. In addition to the platforming, the game occasionally relies upon a FPS style of gameplay. It's a good mix, and it's fairly easy to pick up the gameplay style.

I didn't know what to think about Samus as a kid. I liked the idea of playing as a Bounty Hunter, presumably an ordinary person who kills these things for fun and profit. But, Other M has deemed Samus Aran is a 'child of destiny' like Link from Zelda. She has the dead parents, everyone looks up to her, and she only wants to do good. Bad move, Nintendo. Bad move. It works with an actual messianic character like Link, but not with Samus! It's shameful to see these long cutscenes where Samus gives long moody monologues about her dark past.

Even so I like this game, and wanted to ramble about it. Death to the Metroids!

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