Posted on September 1, 2011 - 8:16am by moviebob
The OverThinker has a different take on the controversial “Other M.”
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Did the video cut out on anyone when seemed like he was about to say calm down?
I'm sorry, Bob, but around 5:25-5:30 is about the time you lost me on this. "superficial, fundamentally unimportant narative" is just begging the question of whether or not you even care about story in gameplay (even when it's a minor aspect). Portaying Samus Aran as a character who is really so blatantly stupid as to go into a searing hot area without equipping the fire-resistant armor that she HAS AVAILIABLE (authorized or not) is a slap in the face of everything she had been built on before (i.e. ignoring orders on the grounds that they were wrong, a vague sense that she was trying to prevent a migraine every time something goes wrong because she's not there, etc.) It's not that they made the higher-up say they needed authorization in order to use something, it's that Samus blindly obeys even when it's inane or even dangerous to comply.
Also, comparing it to a simple name change like "temple to church" is missing the point. It's just not the same. If you don't have something, fine. You improvise. If you do have the exact item needed and simply don't use it in a dangerous situation because you "aren't allowed" isn't even childish. It's stupid. Any person who values their life that little (or is portrayed as caring that little) doesn't deserve it. That anyone thought that was good storytelling is just playing a masculine power fantasy fanfic with one of the female characters that defined that it could be something besides that.
Before you go back to the "strawman" arguement, I'm not saying it's because of her being submissive. I'm saying it is completely the wrong way to go about it. Affection? Fine. Willingness to comply? Fine (within reason. see the next sentence). Willingness to comply with an order that puts you in actual danger of extreme bodily harm in any way shape or form? Not fine. Not at all. It someone tells you your orders are to go into a tank of sharks and not come out until one of you is not living, and you do it, you are not "willing to comply" you are an idiot.
Well...I was starting to see both sides of the argument until your eloquent reply, sephi. I'M DELETING TOO!
Ok this post is BULLSHIT! I am deleting my account over this bullshit! Screw Attack has really just pissed me off WAY TOO MUCH LATELY! So ScrewAttack FUCK YOU!
I have to respectfully disagree on your opinion about Other M being a good game. I thought using the d pad in a 3d environment just felt frustrating. However, I see where you coming from with the rest of your video, and I can respect that. Good job.
hi dont know if u will ever read this but during 2003 a metroid manga with a back story and more by nintendo here is a link http://mangafox.me/manga/metroid/
Wasn't there a short manga series that gave some back story on Samus?
Here is my understanding of Samus: She is a Bounty Hunter who is commonly hired by the Galactic Federation. Her previous missions from the GF were "Go here and destroy the Space Pirates. Doing research is a bonus." Pretty much that's all she's ever had to do looking at Metroid, II, Super, Prime, Prime 2, Fusion. I didn't play Hunters and I've been on hiatus from Prime 3, so I'll probably have to start over to figure out what has been going on.
Other M showed us another aspect of Samus as an intergalactic traveler: Someone who responds to distress calls. This is one of the few times she just happens to be somewhere. Adam being there was just a matter of chance. Adam is a ranking official for the Galactic federation so he is by proxy the Galactic Federation so she'll take his orders as to not piss of her main employer. Samus likes her job, so following Adam's orders was just wise job security. Samus also has respect for the man as he was her main father figure. It also makes sense that not all of her weaponry would be appropriate for the mission at hand. Her weaponry is a mobile arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. Much of it possibly modified GF equipment to be compatible. Not suited for a rescue mission.
Overall I kinda liked Other M, but it isn't without her flaws.
The emotionless delivery of Samus' lines came off as if they were trying to make her stoic. They really could not have made her more monotone. Couldn't they have gotten the same voice who did Brawl? We all liked that voice. She was kinda snarky. I like snarky . That's how real people are.
Okay, as I said, I understand why Adam wanted to restrict the use of Samus' weaponry, but why her armor? It would have made much more sense to say her Hyper Beam from Super Metroid overloaded her Power Suit systems and many of the functions had been lost like the armor and weapons storage. They could re-install all of the functions but she would have to remain on the base for some time, or she can leave without everything and she decided she's fine with the basic armor system. THEN when she finds herself in the lava filled room where Samus is taking heavy damage from heat Adam directs Samus to the room where she can get the heat protective upgrade. Just saying, "Don't use your armor" is pretty stupid.
Adam's character could have been handled better. He comes off as a douchebag, and even though he gets better (kinda, not really), I didn't like him as much as I think the developers wanted me to. I still felt he was an asshat and I wanted to punch him in the face.
These problems for me were what made me want to hit my head into the wall. For me the faults of the game were not the characterization because I liked the characters. It wasn't the gameplay because the gameplay was pretty awesome. The sound was good. Lots of good stuff. But the writing was rather weak and the delivery was pretty bad from Samus.
Granted both Nintendo and Team Ninja are terrible with character development. What did you expect? Also, Goddamn overthinker. We have the internet. If we need to know the definition of a fucking word, we'll search for it ourselves. Also the gameplay sucks too. Ppl say It would of been best without the concentration recovery. I agree, though I really wanted gone is that dodge bullshit. So yeah, there's a reason this game gotten cheap so quickly. Also, your straw hat shit serves no purpose whats so ever.
One more thing...
"If you extrapolate out from [the ending of Metroid 2 and the beginning of Super Metroid] in the same way people are doing with Other M and the authorization controversy, according to the second and third Metroid games, all women, even tough-as-nails bounty hunters, are total slaves to their biological clock, and will lose all sense of duty, objectivity and reason when the chance comes to play mommy."
Not sure what "playing mommy" means to you, but to me it means nurturing and caring for something, not handing said thing over to researchers so they can experiment on it and then leaving it with them to go kill aliens for money.
"That's pretty much the problem with the entire narrative."
Likewise, the narrative is pretty much the problem with the entire game. In the older games, what little backstory there was was shown through a few screens of text in the beginning, and the rest was simple enough to be shown through the gameplay - "Samus explores caverns, gains abilities, shoots stuff, wins." And that's all we needed.
In Other M, we're getting bombarded with backstory, plot and subplot all throughout the game, some of which just gets forgotten about like the Deleter subplot. And it's not just some throwaway story that can be easily ignored. They wanted this story to be told, as evidenced by the unskippable cutscenes and the fact that there's a freakin' Movie mode so you can get the whole story without all that pesky gameplay getting in the way. Of course, if the story was actually good, that wouldn't be an issue.
"I really don't get what she sees in him."
That's pretty much the problem with the entire narrative. Samus may have know him for almost her entire life, lamenting how he was just a great man who stood against opposition and was wise beyond his years, but we just meet the guy in this game and he almost immediately comes off an an irrational idiot that has no sympathetic traits whatsoever.
He restricts the player to almost idiotic levels, does nothing for the player in return, sits at a control panel the majority of the game, and again, has no sympathetic traits to speak of and just comes off as a lifeless character.
Then the writer(s) expect us to feel sad when he sacrifices himself, after all the torment he's put the player through with the idiotic authorization system.
"Instead of rushing through, say, the fire level looking for the point at which you'll happen upon the fire proof suit, you're rushing through the fire level looking for the point at which Mr. Voice authorizes you to turn on the fire proof suit. In other words, it's a completely superficial, fundamentally unimportant narrative switch, one which shouldn't matter one bit more than, say, when an RPG decides that the obligatory house of worship save points are going to be called temples instead of churches this time."
There are some glaring issues with this analysis.
First, in the previous games, you never had to run THROUGH the superheated areas to get the protective suit. Maybe you could push through if you were fast enough and had enough energy, but once you got to an area that started causing damage because it was too hot, you were supposed to turn back and locate the protective suit to get through. In Other M, you're FORCED to progress forward through superheated areas that cause damage.
Second, "Mr. Voice" isn't just some omniscient being that authorizes equipment on a whim. It's Adam Malkovich, a military general. The fact that he's unauthorized defensive equipment at all is both completely asinine and a danger to his troops. I can totally accept disabling weapons because of rules of engagement, use of necessary force, etc., but there is absolutely NO reason to disable defensive equipment. That's like saying, "We're entering hostile territory, but you're too well protected. Make yourself more vulnerable to the enemy."
Third, they explain in the beginning that Samus is the only one with a constant communications link with Adam. He can see everything she's experiencing. So why does he force her to run through a number of superheated chambers, causing her damage each time, when all it would take is a quick call in to say she can use the Varia suit? That's like an officer walking through an infirmary, seeing a wounded soldier and saying, "Hey soldier, I see you got shot in the chest. I'm now authorizing you to use a flak vest."
And if that wasn't bad enough, this is the person that Samus thinks so highly of. He sounds great during Samus' flashback narrations, but when we actually get to see the real Adam, he comes across as an incompetent military leader who is not at all deserving of the high praise Samus gives him. Hell, at one point he even SHOOTS HER IN THE BACK, which disables her suit and leaves her defenseless as a metroid hovers overhead. He then proceeds to SHOOT IT WITH AN ICE BEAM, when the whole purpose of the research on the ship was to genetically remove their weakness to cold. It worked, sure, but he could only offer speculation as to why. The fact that it froze was pure luck.
So that's my issue. It's not that she has "feelings of attachment and respect to a man" and takes orders from him. It's that she has feelings of attachment and respect to a person who causes her harm, endangers her well-being, and seems fairly incompetent. Unless Samus is a masochist (oh shit, more projection), I really don't get what she sees in him.
Interesting. As a long time Metroid fan I really quite strongly disagree with a lot of what you've said here, and I think the failing of your argument is that you go on tangents after making a point which isn't properly backed up to begin with. I'm interested to see what your retrospective will be like next week.
I have to disagree with the term minor fault. The first major attempt to apply strong narrative to one of the older game series, and easily one of the best, should not characterize the main character as an uncertain frail little girl who just follows orders even if it kills her. That's a MAJOR step in the WRONG direction.
"Tenuous relationship"? If anything, taking the flaws of this game so seriously would be a testament of how much some people truly care about the series, and the character of Samus. The exact opposite of what you're implying.
"No comic relief anywhere."
I can't tell if you're being serious or not.
Still, I mostly didn't like it due to the miserably unskippable cut-scenes, the lousy reward system (or lack thereof,) the mediocre enemy designs, the lack of any sort of soundtrack, the horrible pacing, the first-person mechanic being terribly awkward during some boss fights, the exploration being incredibly lacking, the sub-par art direction, the lack of consideration for the player, and the combat being NOTHING special.
This game really did have a lot of potential and the third-person perspective could really work, but Sakamoto just ruined it with his involvement with the gameplay and story, which actually ruins the entire experience since it seeps into the gameplay.
Really, I wouldn't want them abandoning this engine. Just give Team Ninja another crack at it without Sakamoto's extreme involvement with the project. Still, people don't like this game for more reasons than the story being absolute trash.
Watched the new episode that just went up, so I came back to watch this. I pretty much agree with what's said here. My problem with the narrative is that it just took itself far too seriously. No comic relief anywhere.
But really, when it comes down to it, Other M was a great platform action game. If someone couldn't enjoy the game because of it's perceived storyline faults, then he/she must have a very tenuous relationship with the series to begin with. It's easy to forgive a great series a minor fault, unless you didn't think it was a good series to begin with.
The one thing they got totally wrong was that the story was made by Team Ninja. That was all Nintendo's doing. Even if they switched development back to Retro or Nintendo's own teams, if they dive into story telling they'll have to tone it down big time or else they'll just pull off another Other M. That's the true lesson in my opinion.
I like your taste in shows good choice
Extra Credits is a great show and they make some great points about The story and everything but the point where they use the animated Link as an example is a bad one as shows like that specially back then are made for young children and not just the ones who are into Zelda. They give characters cheesey catchphrases and so on so kids can latch onto things like that.
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