Copyright Adam Schlosser
Contact:
aschloss@gmail.com


Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser


Posted by Pip

BR22- Decoy Brocktopus

Superhero, maybe. Elite ninja infiltrator, that's a negative. Most secret agents don't sing their own theme songs as they sneak. Only the cool ones do that.
Their training manual has to at least have a subsection on the Hosts by now. Every generation or two an odd kid will show up, be weird, and then go away on its own. Don't touch it, just let it be. It's more afraid of you than you are it. That last one may be for bears but it could still work.


Long, Should have used protection Review: Metroid: Other M- Much nerdage has already been written online about this game to the point that probably affects how some people play it. For some reason, the voice acting gets a lot of flak, even though Samus's voice was higher than I imagined, the dry cadence is dead-on. A lot of reviews I've read online complained that the actress sounds robotic or bored, but that's kind of the point. She is robotic. She's more super suit than human at this point in her life. Traumatic childhood, military training, spends her life alone receiving bounties to kill aliens. How else would she sound? Samus is a brutal murderer that has committed genocide. Multiple times. All the other complaints, though, are pretty spot on. The writing is laughable and the symbolism is almost embarrassing. The "Bottle Ship"? A "Baby's Cry" distress beacon? The game's acronym is M.O.M.? The characterization on Samus is... creepy to say the least. She injects motivation and meaning to her officer that just isn't there for the player to see so it feels like she's lying to herself and is an unreliable narrator. You get this vibe that she's a student that wants to have sex with her teacher because she thinks he's so wise and worldly and she has some daddy issue or worse that he raped her and she has some serious cognitive dissonance going on and is attracted to him for it. She's not in the least bit likeable in this game. Samus has never been a good character, but she was never this creepy before. At best, she was a non-entity and at worst, she was a bimbo that stripped down at the drop of a hat or stopwatch. Her armor is an awesome character. The world she occupies, the aliens, and especially Ridley are good characters and her experiences have been great, but Samus herself has always been lifeless and uninterested. I'm not going to give in to hyperbole and say that they ruined my favorite character, but they certainly did drag it through the mud and tarnish it as much as they could. Frigging Pokemon reject... Nintendo turned Samus into a bimbo years ago with the GBA games, so you can't really blame Team Ninja for the complaints they got about how Samus looks and given their past projects, they could have done a lot worse. The way she's rendered in the cutscenes warrants all the lip-biting, sunglasses wearing gifs you can throw at it, but why is she wearing high heels? Well, the answer to that is pretty obvious, but on a practical level or really on any level other than shameless sex appeal, it's just stupid. All that and not even onto the game itself yet. The control is odd and features seem shoe-horned in for the Wii. When it's straight-up 2D like the gods intended, it's kind of fun, but any time it introduces 3D, it's bad or just boring. Since it has auto-aim, you're pretty much just mashing the fire button to clear most rooms. To compensate for how bad the 3D is, the controls are now cluttered with an unintuitive scheme and moves like a quick dodge and finishers that are only there to make up for the poor implementation. The first person segments are lousy without any redeeming features. There are these totally random Where's Waldo sequences, only, you don't know what it is that the game wants you to look for. In a few cases it's so super obvious that there's no point to it but other instances had me searching for five to ten minutes and it always wound up being something horribly stupid. Since the game uses auto-aim in the 3D sections, you're at the mercy of what the game allows you to fire at. There may be an enemy right in front of you but you'll be aiming at the enemy safely behind you. There's one enemy in the game that makes itself invincible and you'll have to fight multiple ones at the same time but the game won't give priority to the one that's vulnerable. You'll get beat down simply because you can't attack the enemy you want to. Other rooms will have a nest that infinitely generates enemies and that you can only destroy by entering first person mode, but if there's another enemy in the room, the game will automatically turn you around away from the nest and focus on the other enemy. So not only do you have to face this strong enemy, but the game is going to endlessly spit out new enemies at you and there's nothing you can do about it. Combat isn't really all that special and there's a ton of it. Small enemies can just be wiped out by the aforementioned button mashing and then big enemies have about six times as much health as is necessary. They're rarely difficult and often have simple game-y patterns or exploits but ye gods are they resilient and often fight in hordes. It gets boring pretty quickly. Bosses aren't really difficult either. They either have a slew of infinitely respawning minions or they require constant awkward switching between the first and third person modes. For just how godawful the controls are all you have to do is look at the hardest thing to do in the game: kill a single Metroid. Which was pretty damned easy in every single other Metroid game as all you had to do was freeze it and pump it full of missiles. Not here, no, that would make sense. You have to quick dodge, freeze it while dodging, turn around, enter first person mode, lock onto the Metroid, wait for your missiles to slowly charge, and fire a super missile. Of course, there are four other Metroids in the room while you're trying to do this and they can latch onto you at any time and cancel the process all while the boss in the room has the power to unfreeze them any time it damn well pleases. If a Metroid latches on to you, you have to fumble with the crappy controls to activate the Morph Ball, fumble to lay bombs, wait for them to slowly go off, and hope another Metroid doesn't immediately latch onto you during this process. I can put up with a lot of crap in games but this part was so aggravating that I had to shut the game off and walk away for a few hours. Every single person that worked on that boss fight should be dragged from their office and thrown out on their asses. You don't deserve to be making games if you're that bad at your job. Very early in the game you came across an area where the difficulty spikes immensely and in pretty much any other video game this would mean you're in the wrong place. You're in a room full of lava (yes, for some reason this spaceship has multiple rooms filled with lava and an active volcano), just being in the room is hurting you, your path is blocked by giant creatures that slow you down, wreck you with a few hits, and push you into the lava where you can't walk or jump so you'll die before you can get back to the platform. I spent this entire segment with my jaw open marveling at the godawful design and wondering how I could miss the heat shielding item or something that I so obviously should be using right now. But no, I didn't miss anything, this game is just really, really terrible and then just randomly gives you the heat shield at some later point. Actually, that's wrong. Samus ALREADY HAS the heat shield when you get here. She just doesn't use it. So there you go, folks that wanted backstory and cinemas in a Metroid game. You got your wish and this has taught you that Samus is an incompetent dumbass. The level and room design is almost uniformly poor. You may be forced to fight in a small room to start with but then there will be a huge object in the foreground that blocks your view even more. Enemies will be placed right at the entrance to a room and the camera will still be behind you in the previous room so you're not even in the room the game is showing you. The camera also zooms in tight on Samus a lot so expect plenty of fighting blind or firing at enemies that are behind you off screen. The more serious they try to make the series, the less sense some aspects of it make. I could understand the hidden artifacts on Zebes and SR388 (holy cow, I'm actually a little ashamed that I know off the top of my head that the planet was named SR388 without looking it up) but why are there just random upgrades sitting around this space station that's basically a big zoo? You find a really important one in a stall in the ladies' room. I-Is that what's going on in the ladies' rooms everywhere? Have you replaced the urinals with missile expansions and quick chargers? Man, I'm happy when our bathroom has soap. The graphics are nice and there are some neat sequences in the zoo areas where you go from the boring repetitive ship hallways to lush jungles areas but it's all a fake for the animals. You find a hologram machine and deactivate it turning the jungle back into the ship and you can advance. So unfortunately, it's a neat trick but you're forced to turn the interesting natural environments into the boring ship ones. The music is pretty uninteresting and for a Metroid game, it's outright boring. I can listen to the Super Metroid soundtrack all day long but aside from a few remixes here and there, there isn't much memorable or even noticeable. For large swathes of the game, you won't even notice that there is music. Yeah so if you're a Metroid fan, this is easily the worst of the franchise, and if you're just some person that wanted a good game, you are most definitely not going to find it here. Pass on this one, fans and newcomers alike.
Sins Committed: Everything
Virtues Acted: Never again will I ever doubt my ability as a writer or designer. If some people were paid unjust sums of money to write THIS, then there's hope for anybody