Zero Punctuation: Metroid Other M

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geizr:

I had rescinded that entire post after I had thought about it some more, and you caught it before I had a chance to edit it.

It still looks to me like people generated a fantasy of Samus based on little or no information, and that fantasy is not being upheld by the current game. This is why some people are upset.

As for messed up people going to work, I've known a number (one, in fact, I knew personally had worked for years with a fairly distinguished career before she finally did commit suicide; absolutely none of us saw it coming because she was smiling and happy as normal on the job). In fact, coming from a more impoverished background, it was much the norm because people had to survive doing whatever job they could, despite all their frustrations, anguishes, and issues. Plus, they usually were single-parents with several children, which is an intrinsic recipe for mental instabilities, based on having lived around a number such people and coming from a single-parent home.

My point in my original post (which I rescinded because I felt its approach just wasn't appropriate) is that we only have really known Samus on her job and that this is not sufficient information to truly derive any knowledge about what she is like as a person. We've built up an ideal, and that ideal is not being fully upheld. I'll admit, Team Ninja was probably ham-fisted in their handling, but much of the cry I've seen elsewhere on the web (not just Movie Bob) has been exactly that the fantasy is not being upheld.

This entire debacle has actually made me wonder if the whole player-avatar idea was a good thing to begin with. Quite frankly EVERY silent player avatar (The Warden, Commander Shepard, the SMT heroes, the Dragon Quest heroes, Link, 90% of protagonists in WRPGs, etc) and even some voiced characters like Marcus Fenix or Master Chief are nothing more than Mary Sues. They're blocks we project our wish-fulfillment fantasies onto and who have NOTHING resembling discernible character flaws and because of that we seem to have been STARVED for actual three-dimensional characters with human flaws and insecurities.

We've turned into a bunch of spoiled brats who plug our ears and go "lalalalalala!" whenever negative emotions are brought up in a game's hero even if it is REQUIRED for the narrative and the character. This strikes me as players always wanting THEIR wishes while having no concern for the writers or creators. If we want to have better narratives and deeper characters in gaming we as gamers need to learn to let go of control so someone can tell a story. Which, oddly enough, is something JAPAN is better at than the West is.

Jamaicob5:
I've heard stupid things, but "Contains fully narrated movies scenes" has got to take the biscuit

In a series that has never had the main character speak before, this actually is a big deal. New Super Mario Bros Wii had four player co-op as a feature even though a lot of other games have used it, because Mario has never done that in a mainstream platformer before.

Lordofthesuplex:

You realize it's falling on deaf ears, right? The machine that is the Nintendo fandom is drowning out your points as you share them. Again, we're well into the "throwing Samus completely under the bus" phase of fangasming apologetics. She's now a weak little glass princess, and this is good because it's "development" and "drama". Bad storytelling, bad voicing, bad pacing, and insane illogic doesn't matter. If you want something with effort put into it, read a book.

No we're not drowning out points. I know what a weak glass princess is and it's not Samus' portrayal on this. Go read Twilight and you'll see what a real glass princess, bad storytelling and pacing are like.

Funny, I couldn't help but think of Bella whenever Samus would lay on her back and wait for Adam to pet her underbelly to show her what a good girl she's being.

You think I'm some Nintendo fanboy? Well guess what? You're a goddamn elitist and I have no tolerance for your kind AT ALL.

*sniff sniff* You're not gonna go with me to prom, are you?
Honestly, don't use words that brand you as an oblivious idiot, you little brat. No wonder you kids will swallow any bad-fanfiction-level writing you're given.

Aiddon:

geizr:

I had rescinded that entire post after I had thought about it some more, and you caught it before I had a chance to edit it.

It still looks to me like people generated a fantasy of Samus based on little or no information, and that fantasy is not being upheld by the current game. This is why some people are upset.

As for messed up people going to work, I've known a number (one, in fact, I knew personally had worked for years with a fairly distinguished career before she finally did commit suicide; absolutely none of us saw it coming because she was smiling and happy as normal on the job). In fact, coming from a more impoverished background, it was much the norm because people had to survive doing whatever job they could, despite all their frustrations, anguishes, and issues. Plus, they usually were single-parents with several children, which is an intrinsic recipe for mental instabilities, based on having lived around a number such people and coming from a single-parent home.

My point in my original post (which I rescinded because I felt its approach just wasn't appropriate) is that we only have really known Samus on her job and that this is not sufficient information to truly derive any knowledge about what she is like as a person. We've built up an ideal, and that ideal is not being fully upheld. I'll admit, Team Ninja was probably ham-fisted in their handling, but much of the cry I've seen elsewhere on the web (not just Movie Bob) has been exactly that the fantasy is not being upheld.

This entire debacle has actually made me wonder if the whole player-avatar idea was a good thing to begin with. Quite frankly EVERY silent player avatar (The Warden, Commander Shepard, the SMT heroes, the Dragon Quest heroes, Link, 90% of protagonists in WRPGs, etc) and even some voiced characters like Marcus Fenix or Master Chief are nothing more than Mary Sues. They're blocks we project our wish-fulfillment fantasies onto and who have NOTHING resembling discernible character flaws and because of that we seem to have been STARVED for actual three-dimensional characters with human flaws and insecurities.

We've turned into a bunch of spoiled brats who plug our ears and go "lalalalalala!" whenever negative emotions are brought up in a game's hero even if it is REQUIRED for the narrative and the character. This strikes me as players always wanting THEIR wishes while having no concern for the writers or creators. If we want to have better narratives and deeper characters in gaming we as gamers need to learn to let go of control so someone can tell a story. Which, oddly enough, is something JAPAN is better at than the West is.

[TL;DR WARNING: Wall-o-text ahead. Didn't mean to make one; it just came out that way. Also, I'm in agreement with you, just taking the long way about it.]

I personally don't think there is a problem with the player-avatar relationship from the view of its basic existence. However, I do feel that where people run into problems is when they invest too much of their own existence and happiness into the ideal they have generated surrounding that avatar without examining carefully the validity of such ideals. They become too attached and forget that it is all just "make-believe". This can lead to the division between fantasy and reality becoming blurred. When reality fails to uphold the fantasy, which happens often, people become markedly upset.

But, that's not reality's fault. It's ours for failing to realize that such perceptions we impose are just a fantasy. This is not to say there is anything wrong with fantasy. It's one of the things that makes us human. The problem comes when we start living in the fantasy as a means to evade reality. We create heroes, shepherds, and gods to act as exemplars that give us escape from our own flaws, insecurities, and frustrations. We deify persons or objects in the hopes that these same would save us from ourselves and the miseries in which we find ourselves immersed by subsuming our identity into theirs. We project onto them the ideal which we wish of our own life or personality. When these persons and objects which we have elevated to such exalted status suddenly reveal that they are themselves mundane, flawed, or, worse yet, impotent to affect the realization of our fantasies, shattering our glorious utopia, we become violently upset.

I think to grow and mature beyond this, we have to let go of this constant need for the universe to fulfill our preconceived, idyllic notions and learn to look at and accept things for what they are. This is not the same as becoming a cynic, pessimist, or just giving up to resort to idle languor. It's more that you try to examine things carefully and don't assign to things more or less than is actually there. Also, there is realizing that things aren't always what they at first seem. If there is one thing that my years of studying physics has taught me is that many rules of the universe are not so rigid and fixed as they first seem(conservation of energy being a prime example of one of the first seemingly rigid rules that gets dashed against the rocks when you go deep into quantum field theory), and some that we thought were true turn out to not be so. There is a lot of rattle room to the universe, and it has no obligation whatsoever to adhere, to any degree, to any of our ideals, philosophies, or religions.

There are many different possibilities and combinations, all equally valid (can't wait to see the neural-explosions of internet/gamer geek brains when we finally do get a first homosexual protagonist in a video game). That's what makes the universe such a wondrous, "magical" place; there is just so much to see, know, explore, and experience. Keeping a flexible, adaptive, and open mind seems to be the best survival tactic. One must learn to bend with the wind. More crudely, we need to all just grow up and get over ourselves.

It's really funny. Everywhere in the gaming community, you hear the constant cries and screams for change and innovation. There is a constant cacophony from the gaming community to validate games as art and to justify the importance of gaming to society and humanity. We cry out that we want deep characters with intricate histories and personalities, and not the constant march of shallow, unemotional badasses that litter the gaming landscape. But, what happens once we finally do get some change, real change, that challenges tradition? Rather than embrace these changes, we get a complete crucifixion of those who would dare such changes, demonstrating our true desire to stay in our current comfort zone. We want change, but we're afraid of it because it means we have to become uncomfortable. It means the old ideas to which we have become attached must be usurped and discarded, requiring us to completely rebuild our cognitive framework of how the universe works and what is reality. Even worse, and this is probably the real heart of it all, it means admitting that we were wrong. The basic sentiment: "you can change it all you want, as long as it stays the same." No real progress with anything is possible if that is going to be the approach.

Okay, I'll stop. This is enough wall-of-texting as it is.

Monk Ed:

SirBryghtside:
I agree with that Video you linked, for the most part, but my opinion on the story?

It wasn't sexist, character destroying or anything.

It just sucked.

Wow... I've made pages and pages worth of posts, and here you go and summarize my own thoughts so succinctly and effortlessly.

Yeah, after 7699 posts I did pick a couple of things up ;)

Aiddon:

geizr:

I had rescinded that entire post after I had thought about it some more, and you caught it before I had a chance to edit it.

It still looks to me like people generated a fantasy of Samus based on little or no information, and that fantasy is not being upheld by the current game. This is why some people are upset.

As for messed up people going to work, I've known a number (one, in fact, I knew personally had worked for years with a fairly distinguished career before she finally did commit suicide; absolutely none of us saw it coming because she was smiling and happy as normal on the job). In fact, coming from a more impoverished background, it was much the norm because people had to survive doing whatever job they could, despite all their frustrations, anguishes, and issues. Plus, they usually were single-parents with several children, which is an intrinsic recipe for mental instabilities, based on having lived around a number such people and coming from a single-parent home.

My point in my original post (which I rescinded because I felt its approach just wasn't appropriate) is that we only have really known Samus on her job and that this is not sufficient information to truly derive any knowledge about what she is like as a person. We've built up an ideal, and that ideal is not being fully upheld. I'll admit, Team Ninja was probably ham-fisted in their handling, but much of the cry I've seen elsewhere on the web (not just Movie Bob) has been exactly that the fantasy is not being upheld.

This entire debacle has actually made me wonder if the whole player-avatar idea was a good thing to begin with. Quite frankly EVERY silent player avatar (The Warden, Commander Shepard, the SMT heroes, the Dragon Quest heroes, Link, 90% of protagonists in WRPGs, etc) and even some voiced characters like Marcus Fenix or Master Chief are nothing more than Mary Sues. They're blocks we project our wish-fulfillment fantasies onto and who have NOTHING resembling discernible character flaws and because of that we seem to have been STARVED for actual three-dimensional characters with human flaws and insecurities.

I think we're all forgetting one major fact...

She talked just fine without words.

Take, for instance, this scene in Metroid Prime 3:


At 9:00, it shows Gandrayda's totally awesome death sequence.

And it ends with her turning into Samus.

Samus's expression, her body language - you can tell exactly what she is feeling. Making her speak was a bad move on every level.

Argol228:

RagingScottsman:
Brilliant as always Yahtzee. I had my suspicions about this game to begin with.

viking97:
awesomem review yahtzee, i had a feeling this would be rather crap.

it appears most of the other reviewers are being extra special nice to it for some reason..

Tharticus:
I had my suspicions on Metroid Other M. Now that makes it 3:1 saying Other M is bad.

Good job Mr. Croshaw. And I can't wait for your extra punctuation column on this game.

You guys and everyone else that watches ZP reviews for anything other then comedic entertainment are idiots in need of culling. Her monotone is a suitable tone considering she is a lonely bounty hunter with the weight of the universe on her shoulders and she has lost everyone that she was close to. Family, the chozo, the baby metroid. You guys have to realize Yahtzee exaggerates everything. this game is not bad just because one guy rants about it for comedic effect.

Hello Metroid fan-boy troll.

Goodbye Metroid fan-boy troll.

Aiddon:
This entire debacle has actually made me wonder if the whole player-avatar idea was a good thing to begin with.

Well...

They're blocks we project our wish-fulfillment fantasies onto and who have NOTHING resembling discernible character flaws and because of that we seem to have been STARVED for actual three-dimensional characters with human flaws and insecurities.

These are not books or movies, they're an interactive medium and we need to remember that.

There's a reason most player characters have no personality or character development, but it isn't because of "wish-fulfillment", maybe for some, however it's so that we, the player, are immersed into the world the video game has created. Without being interrupted or reminded by the writers that we, the player, have no real bearing on the story.

To me personal, it just seems you're carting the character from one place to the other if this ends up being the case which is why I personally don't like most JRPGs and even then the character don't seem all that interesting.

However, it doesn't mean that we're "STARVED for actual three-dimensional characters."

That's just silly, we have plenty of those in games.

Just because the player character is a blank slate, it doesn't mean he/she is the only character in the game that can have flaws, a personality, or a voice.

Valve have pretty much nailed this with the Half-Life series. They know Gordon Freeman has no personality and aren't willing to try and fix that, instead they build the characters around him, such as Alyx Vance, Barney, Kliener, and Dr. Breen without casing a detachment with the character by having Gordon Freeman constantly talk back to them, it would be a disconnect to the player.

Another good example of this is the Mass effect series. Sure, Commander Shepard isn't a completely developed character and really is the personification of the player, but it's only so that it allows the player to experience the world and meet interesting characters such as Tali, Wrex, Legion, Garrus and a multitude of others.

We've turned into a bunch of spoiled brats who plug our ears and go "lalalalalala!" whenever negative emotions are brought up in a game's hero even if it is REQUIRED for the narrative and the character.

Again, that's just silly and over exaggerating.

If the player's character were to go through this, there would be a large disconnect because it brings attention to the player that they're just piloting a character from one scene to another. It makes the player feel like they aren't contributing much to the story, which most games try to do for the player, it's a game, they want the player to feel a sense of accomplishment themselves and not just another character's accomplishment.

Again, my personal opinion.

However, for the case of Samus Aran, no one likes her new found personality, not because they gave her one, but because...well, it's horrible.

However, most of us wouldn't have minded all that much if it wasn't for the fact that her new personality was poorly executed, voiced, written and just jarring compared to previous games in hindsight. I feel everyone has gone in depth into how her personality isn't a good one or an interesting one, so I won't waste my time repeating them.

This strikes me as players always wanting THEIR wishes while having no concern for the writers or creators. If we want to have better narratives and deeper characters in gaming we as gamers need to learn to let go of control so someone can tell a story.

Again, this is an interactive medium. A lot of people don't like having control pulled away from the character they're controlling so that the creator and writers can make you sit and just watch. No matter how well written, it's still kind of annoying, which is why some people, me included, don't like games like Final Fantasy or Metal Gear because they constantly do this to the player.

It's a video game, the player should have at least have control the majority of the time.

Again, just stating, my opinion.

Which, oddly enough, is something JAPAN is better at than the West is.

However, in most cases, the result isn't always good because I can't really name any games that have well told stories from Japan.

Ico and Shadow of The Colossus immediately come to mind, which ironically have zero shown character development or personalities, but honestly I can't think of any. Although this could just be me not playing enough Japaneses games.

I'd be glad if you gave examples.

Anyhow, this is just my opinion just as a contributing factor to this whole debate, etc.

ALTHOUGH, I'm not saying that having a well developed character as the player character can't work. To me, it just seems very rare, however a good example is Psychonauts with Raz. Hell, there are some others that work as well, however, in this case.

Metroid: Other M didn't work for most people because of poor writing and execution.

great ZP yahtzee.

this review didn't have time to be funny because it had to destroy this sub-par game first. that said, i find ripping apart sub-par games funny and so do others complementing this episode as funny. i only had to play this game twice, once in the store and once at a friends house, to know it was s***. i remember in metroid prime, by the time you get to a snowy area, about 2/3rds of the way through the game, and at this point you feel to isolated and alone at that point and it really hit you that other human contact would really kill the Metroid experience. Enter Metroid:other M to destroy the metroid experience

An addictive pleasure as always, such a shame how few decent games they are on the wii, i always struggle to find the gems in the mountains of dirt. Roll on de Blob 2!

Special ZP? I'm assuming that this guess has been made before but I'm not going to read 16 pages of comments to confirm my suspicions- could it be that Croshaw is moving on and retiring ZP?

As for well told storytelling, I rate Skies of arcadia very highly, other JRPGS such as the Fire emblem series as well, or tales of symphonia (the sequel which i purchased recently is a lot worse storywise, as its mostly the same thing without the social commentary). And as for storytelling while you are still control on the game Killer7 was top-notch, even if you would need to read a dissertation on post-war Japan-US relations to fully understand its implicatiions.

geizr:

It's really funny. Everywhere in the gaming community, you hear the constant cries and screams for change and innovation. There is a constant cacophony from the gaming community to validate games as art and to justify the importance of gaming to society and humanity. We cry out that we want deep characters with intricate histories and personalities, and not the constant march of shallow, unemotional badasses that litter the gaming landscape. But, what happens once we finally do get some change, real change, that challenges tradition? Rather than embrace these changes, we get a complete crucifixion of those who would dare such changes, demonstrating our true desire to stay in our current comfort zone. We want change, but we're afraid of it because it means we have to become uncomfortable. It means the old ideas to which we have become attached must be usurped and discarded, requiring us to completely rebuild our cognitive framework of how the universe works and what is reality. Even worse, and this is probably the real heart of it all, it means admitting that we were wrong. The basic sentiment: "you can change it all you want, as long as it stays the same." No real progress with anything is possible if that is going to be the approach.

Okay, I'll stop. This is enough wall-of-texting as it is.

Samus definitely did break tradition as far as I'm concerned. Instead of being oversexualized eye candy (Bayonetta), a generic badass action girl (Lara Croft/Ruby from WET), or a helpless princess (not even gonna open THAT can of worms) she is a level-headed, mature, professional woman with a tragic past, complex relationships, and has failure and flaws. Could the writing have been better for her? Well duh, even I'll admit the actual NARRATIVE could have stood to improve and chunks of the dialogue could have been excised. However, I did find her to be a LOT more human and relatable than a LOT of current game protagonists.

As for the cries about deep characters and storylines, let's face it, if gamers want those they're going to see characters with troubles and aspects that are NOT pretty. If you want a Citizen Kane, a Micheal Corleone, or a William Munny you NEED to see their more negative and vulnerable aspects. Movies, books, television, plays, and comics already HAVE characters like this and games need THEIR versions of those.

SirBryghtside:
I think we're all forgetting one major fact...

She talked just fine without words.

Take, for instance, this scene in Metroid Prime 3:

At 9:00, it shows Gandrayda's totally awesome death sequence.

And it ends with her turning into Samus.

Samus's expression, her body language - you can tell exactly what she is feeling. Making her speak was a bad move on every level.

I disagree. It's not like the only alternative to the overly chatty soliloquies of Other M is to just make Samus silent again. That's just going from one extreme to the other and back again. The Primes didn't characterize her at all beyond a very basic stock human/hero level; how many people wouldn't react the way she did to Gandrayda's demise?

To be a full character, Samus needs to speak when it makes sense for her to do so -- and what little she says should really say something about her. It's not even that hard to do, it's just that Sakamoto fudged it up by overwriting the dialogue and doing too much tell without enough show (namely, too much soliloquizing). By any standard, it was a poor narrative, so I don't think the choice of narrative style is to blame.

A few well-chosen, well-done lines have infinitely more power than either silence or soliloquy.

Aiddon:
Samus definitely did break tradition as far as I'm concerned.

well, yeah, she's pretty much been the embodiment of strong female protagonists in video games for years.[/quote]

Instead of being oversexualized eye candy (Bayonetta), a generic badass action girl (Lara Croft/Ruby from WET), or a helpless princess (not even gonna open THAT can of worms) she is a level-headed, mature, professional woman with a tragic past, complex relationships, and is prone to failure and flaws.

Again, we want that, but people are complaining about how poorly it was executed.

COuld the writing have been better for her? Well duh, even I'll admit the actual NARRATIVE could have stood to improve and chunks of the dialogue could have been excised. However, I did find her to be a LOT more human and relatable than a LOT of current game protagonists.

Relateable? Not sure how she's more relateable, but alright. However, I have to disagree that she's more human than "a LOT" of current video game characters.

Again, poor execution ruined this, but I'd be glad if they tried again with a competent writer. Hope Nintendo will use all that money they have to get one.

As for the cries about deep characters and storylines, let's face it, if gamers want those they're going to see characters with troubles and aspects that are NOT pretty. If you want a Citizen Kane, a Micheal Corleone, or a William Munny you NEED to see their more negative and vulnerable aspects. Movies, books, television, plays, and comics already HAVE characters like this and games need THEIR versions of those.

Did you read my previous reply earlier?

Just asking.

While I'll probably actually play the game, I'm definitly getting it used to make sure Nintendo doesn't make money off it. >_> The stuff I've heard about the story REALLY BOTHERS ME, but of course I'll play the game before actually judging.

yanipheonu:
While I'll probably actually play the game, I'm definitly getting it used to make sure Nintendo doesn't make money off it. >_> The stuff I've heard about the story REALLY BOTHERS ME, but of course I'll play the game before actually judging.

Well, the game play is alright, but you have to trudge through the bad story to get to it.

Or, God forbid, he just likes the game. Weird how people have different opinions. Plenty of people like Other M, Moviebob liking it doesn't make him an anti-mainstream nutjob.

Has this not gone on long enough. People think that the story was bad? That Samus was completely redesigned into something she wasn't? Oh! I just saw pig out the window, and it was flying! Lemmie guess, you gained all this insight from the game itself? No, I don't think so. If I were to guess, it looks like some jokesters troll that others have somehow bandwagoned and then echoed.

Aiddon:

As for the cries about deep characters and storylines, let's face it, if gamers want those they're going to see characters with troubles and aspects that are NOT pretty. If you want a Citizen Kane, a Micheal Corleone, or a William Munny you NEED to see their more negative and vulnerable aspects. Movies, books, television, plays, and comics already HAVE characters like this and games need THEIR versions of those.

We can probably even go a step further to say that we have to be willing to examine such characters empathically with the goal of exploring the human condition, rather than make condescending derision of their plight. I would think taking such an attitude and approach could have a more positive effect toward raising the artistic value of video games.

Others are noting that the writing and execution of the character is flawed, and this is part of the complaint. Even if that is given as true that Team Ninja did a half-assed job developing the character, is it not still possible to be able to deal with the spirit of the character's development even if the realization is garbled? In other words, is it not possible to still be able to examine and ask questions of the motivations, history, and personality of the character without having to require exact acumen or an execution done in accordance to a prescription? Can we not see the pattern of the forest without having to make detailed account of the leaves?

I think I've only just now found a way to put into words something that has always bothered me about silent protagonists. Maybe others feel the same way.

The thing for me about silent avatar characters is that their speechlessness builds a sense of mystery -- a mystery that begs to be solved. The less they speak, the more I want to know about them. I want their personalities to develop gradually, unfolding like a good story, working towards the payoff of becoming fully three-dimensional after sufficient buildup. But if all that build-up ultimately comes to nothing or was not really hiding anything all along -- that is, they stay silent forever -- I start getting the figurative blue-balls and eventually lose interest.

I don't think this about all silent avatars. In a game like Oblivion where the character truly is yours, it only makes sense. And in a series like Zelda where practically every game stars a whole new Link, it's not as big a deal. But someone like Samus, who has been through a dozen adventures over a quarter-century, I definitely want developed.

I just wish Other M had done it better.

geizr:

Aiddon:

As for the cries about deep characters and storylines, let's face it, if gamers want those they're going to see characters with troubles and aspects that are NOT pretty. If you want a Citizen Kane, a Micheal Corleone, or a William Munny you NEED to see their more negative and vulnerable aspects. Movies, books, television, plays, and comics already HAVE characters like this and games need THEIR versions of those.

We can probably even go a step further to say that we have to be willing to examine such characters empathically with the goal of exploring the human condition, rather than make condescending derision of their plight. I would think taking such an attitude and approach could have a more positive effect toward raising the artistic value of video games.

Others are noting that the writing and execution of the character is flawed, and this is part of the complaint. Even if that is given as true that Team Ninja did a half-assed job developing the character, is it not still possible to be able to deal with the spirit of the character's development even if the realization is garbled? In other words, is it not possible to still be able to examine and ask questions of the motivations, history, and personality of the character without having to require exact acumen or an execution done in accordance to a prescription? Can we not see the pattern of the forest without having to make detailed account of the leaves?

Team Ninja had NOTHING to do with the actual plot and characterization, that was all on Sakamoto (who's directed the series since its inception, minus 2 and the Prime series). As for the writing, it's mostly the actual narrative and a chunk of the script (mostly the monologues). I can't really call Samus' characterization half-assed as that was thing that shone most out of the plot. Still, a lot of people could be more constructive about their criticisms just like critics in other media are. Most people have focused on a couple of scenes at most.

I have to say, this is probably the most at odds I've ever been with one of your reviews. I understand where you were coming from when you discussed the story. There was never any rule that said Samus was a silent protagonist, in fact she did quite a bit of monologing in Fusion, where her borderline electra complex involving Adam was pretty obvious. But her panicking at the sight of Ridley wouldn't make much sense unless you read the manga, though I think PTSD is a legitimate condition for her to have. However I acknowledge that her characterization could piss off a lot of fans who filled in her personality as "bad ass mercenary bitch #1." For the record I actually liked Samus' personality and character development.

But I can't believe you dumped so much on the controls! I have never seen such a seamless transition between the functional equivalent of an NES controller and a zapper. They worked EXTREMELY well for me, true an analogue stick might have been even better, but frankly I never felt like I needed it.

Aiddon:

geizr:

Aiddon:

As for the cries about deep characters and storylines, let's face it, if gamers want those they're going to see characters with troubles and aspects that are NOT pretty. If you want a Citizen Kane, a Micheal Corleone, or a William Munny you NEED to see their more negative and vulnerable aspects. Movies, books, television, plays, and comics already HAVE characters like this and games need THEIR versions of those.

We can probably even go a step further to say that we have to be willing to examine such characters empathically with the goal of exploring the human condition, rather than make condescending derision of their plight. I would think taking such an attitude and approach could have a more positive effect toward raising the artistic value of video games.

Others are noting that the writing and execution of the character is flawed, and this is part of the complaint. Even if that is given as true that Team Ninja did a half-assed job developing the character, is it not still possible to be able to deal with the spirit of the character's development even if the realization is garbled? In other words, is it not possible to still be able to examine and ask questions of the motivations, history, and personality of the character without having to require exact acumen or an execution done in accordance to a prescription? Can we not see the pattern of the forest without having to make detailed account of the leaves?

Team Ninja had NOTHING to do with the actual plot and characterization, that was all on Sakamoto (who's directed the series since its inception, minus 2 and the Prime series). As for the writing, it's mostly the actual narrative and a chunk of the script (mostly the monologues). I can't really call Samus' characterization half-assed as that was thing that shone most out of the plot. Still, a lot of people could be more constructive about their criticisms just like critics in other media are. Most people have focused on a couple of scenes at most.

Haha! So what you are saying suggests that what we are seeing now may have been the real Samus all along. We just didn't see it in the earlier games because we only saw Samus while she was shooting monsters and blowing stuff up, basically, while she was on the job. Which bring us back to the earlier point that this whole argument and fury just sounds like people's fantasy of Samus is not being upheld by reality. This is causing folks to go off on a bender.

geizr:

Haha! So what you are saying suggests that what we are seeing now may have been the real Samus all along. We just didn't see it in the earlier games because we only saw Samus while she was shooting monsters and blowing stuff up, basically, while she was on the job. Which bring us back to the earlier point that this whole argument and fury just sounds like people's fantasy of Samus is not being upheld by reality. This is causing folks to go off on a bender.

Well, even Sakamoto hadn't attributed a personality to her for years. The closest we got to characterization for her was Fusion which happens AFTER Other M (well, if you don't include the official manga). However, Samus is now HIS vision and it is quite possible this is what he intended. Kinda funny considering Samus being a woman was actually done on a whim.

Madara XIII:

yamitami:
Thank you for summing up my feelings exactly. Particularly the fact that it's RIDLEY who she freaks out over. If they made it Mother Brain then that would at least be within sight of believable. In sight through a long range scope, but still, a hell of a lot closer than her freaking out over everyone's favorite pterodactyl.

Then again maybe Samus just read all the Ridley/Samus fanfiction out there. Rule 34 ahoy!

Ugh... *Looks at all the Samus/Ridley Fanfiction* O___O OH JESUS!!

... Seriously did you think it wasn't going to be damaging to look? I suggest high concentrations of fluffy in character romance to try and ease the pain.

Though honestly, I was mostly surprised that, while the 'plot' of all these fics were what you'd expect, on average they were grammatically correct and properly spelled.

I love this show.

luckey:
sorry yahtzee, bob's argument makes more sense to me in this case then your does, so it looks like i'm gonna get this one
http://screwattack.com/videos/TGO-Episode-40-Heavens-to-Metroid

I get the impression that he has barely played the first person shooter genre outside a few titles and hates it on premise. Metroid Prime is far from a typical first person shooter and doesn't even have many of the conventions that hold down the genre today.

Nothing addressed the complaints of the abysmal writing or the shitty music, uninspired atmosphere and environments, and complete lack of exploration.

Also his attempt to reason why we shouldn't be getting angry over Samus not using her suit seems flawed to me still. There is a big difference between her having it and going through an area and hurting herself rather than not having it at all and not being able to use it. Maybe I'm just not understanding this particular point. And he also condemned Ninja Gaiden's controls which have always been silky smooth. Gaiden's problem is its sometimes atrocious but not gamebreaking camera angles. Not the controls.

I'm not going to get much into he characterization of Samus, but all I'll say is that while we did see glimpses of her character before like in Metroid 2 or in Fusion where she lets the animals free, I never wanted to smash her face in like I did in Other M.

What I was getting at was bob said that the FPS genre is the most uncreative which, using examples, is incredibly false.

Also Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, The Darkness, Oddworld Stranger's Wrath, Breakdown, and more.

Monk Ed:

SirBryghtside:
I think we're all forgetting one major fact...

She talked just fine without words.

Take, for instance, this scene in Metroid Prime 3:

At 9:00, it shows Gandrayda's totally awesome death sequence.

And it ends with her turning into Samus.

Samus's expression, her body language - you can tell exactly what she is feeling. Making her speak was a bad move on every level.

I disagree. It's not like the only alternative to the overly chatty soliloquies of Other M is to just make Samus silent again. That's just going from one extreme to the other and back again. The Primes didn't characterize her at all beyond a very basic stock human/hero level; how many people wouldn't react the way she did to Gandrayda's demise?

To be a full character, Samus needs to speak when it makes sense for her to do so -- and what little she says should really say something about her. It's not even that hard to do, it's just that Sakamoto fudged it up by overwriting the dialogue and doing too much tell without enough show (namely, too much soliloquizing). By any standard, it was a poor narrative, so I don't think the choice of narrative style is to blame.

A few well-chosen, well-done lines have infinitely more power than either silence or soliloquy.

That's a good point. My stance on this is that I hated the story because it was just bad, and for no other reason. Parts like the guy-who-died-in-the-self-destruct bit wouldn't have worked without her speech, but others, like the 'I couldn't help looking at my palm for an answer' part, were just laughable.

2 ZPs this week? Thank you very much!

Good stuff ^~^! Glad to see another video, and it's of a subject that I dislike >~<!

Space Jawa:

Onyx Oblivion:
Why they didn't use Hale, I'll never understand.

If I had to guess, I'd say it was her call, not the call of the people making the game. I'm guessing she smelled something she didn't like and decided not to get her name attached to the project.

Unlikely. She voiced Kimmy Howell in NMH2, a pretty low point as far as characters go.

Aiddon:

This entire debacle has actually made me wonder if the whole player-avatar idea was a good thing to begin with. Quite frankly EVERY silent player avatar (The Warden, Commander Shepard, the SMT heroes, the Dragon Quest heroes, Link, 90% of protagonists in WRPGs, etc) and even some voiced characters like Marcus Fenix or Master Chief are nothing more than Mary Sues. They're blocks we project our wish-fulfillment fantasies onto and who have NOTHING resembling discernible character flaws and because of that we seem to have been STARVED for actual three-dimensional characters with human flaws and insecurities.

We've turned into a bunch of spoiled brats who plug our ears and go "lalalalalala!" whenever negative emotions are brought up in a game's hero even if it is REQUIRED for the narrative and the character. This strikes me as players always wanting THEIR wishes while having no concern for the writers or creators. If we want to have better narratives and deeper characters in gaming we as gamers need to learn to let go of control so someone can tell a story. Which, oddly enough, is something JAPAN is better at than the West is.

It's fine having characters that are fully fleshed out, and in that regard, but is it so bad to have a character that we believe we're playing, where we can make our own choices and INTERACT with three-dimensional characters? The key word here being interact, that is why people like blank slates so much, but if you are going to make a game where the hero is a person with negative emotions and character flaws, don't make the character only character flaws, negative emotions, and nothing else. Seriously, there is not one good happy moment for Samus in other M, just depressing monologue, fight, monologue, fight, character death, and another monologue. The thing about humans is they tend to be more than just depressed 24/7.

so what happened to this extra video then? i don't see it on the ZP page and it must be like saturday in Oz by now.

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