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Metroid: Other M

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1Metroid: Other M Empty Metroid: Other M on Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:36 am

vert1

vert1
D-Rank
This game is one of the rare action exclusives that hasn't been ported to anything just like P.N.03. There is a wide-range of things to discuss regarding this game but I'd like to focus the discussion on what we all gather here to talk about: action. In particular, I want to talk about two new moves the game introduced: SenseMove and Concentration .

Action Talk: SenseMove - What the player can be expected to dodge reliably.

Rigid strafe movements where your character is locked in place on an axis in Space Raiders, Space Invaders re-imagined in 3D, allows your character to regularly move out of the way of incoming shots that allow for lots of near-misses. Samus in Metroid: Other M is typically surrounded and attacked in 360 degrees. When enemies are lined up in front of you more pressure can be exerted on dodging a forward shot pattern / enemy bombardment. If your character is fighting within a circle and this is to be a regular occurrence to enjoy and not tactically corral opponents into a easily attackable route / choke point then concessions have to be made.

What happened with Metroid: Other M is it had competing values of grace and horror.

Action Talk: The Regulation of SenseMove
-Anything that slowly bumps into Samus, most likely a small enemy, will not activate SenseMove.
-Any time Samus is airborne, it will not activate.
-It is rare that the action mentally taxes the player with what can and cannot be SenseMoved.
-Since most attacks trigger SenseMove activation there is little priority given to on dealing with a threat based on proximity.
-Samus can dodge out of precision aiming with SenseMove; a design decision I disagree with since it lowers commitment.
-Makes player confident no matter the scenario as the ability is defensively powerful and cannot be stripped away [unbeatable].

Not knowing what can or cannot be dodged led to a moment where I took the full brunt of a charged laser beam (undodgeable) leaving me at critical damage, which led to the desperation of jump tackling the boss as it charged another death laser to temporarily subdue them stopping them from firing off their shot -- another exclusive moment from this game. The game needed more things in the environment disabling SenseMove (e.g., blob enemy sticky the legs of Samus, gravitational pulling attacks could show a clear range of danger field, more of the crawling bug enemies, a draft/quicksand pulling Samus out the level, situations promoting continuous jumping on things to stay alive). Stuff to promote situational awareness. This would have complemented lackluster bosses who repeatedly claw the air or lunge at you with their whole body.

Action Talk: Concentration - Health Recovery in Videogames

What does 1 HP feel like? How about 0 HP? A powerful message here is that Samus has the will to enter concentration on 0 HP - serious/traumatic game mechanic. The move has to be charged to activate.

Two intense situations I found myself in concentrating at 0 HP: First situation was where an energy blast narrowed in on Samus’s location, and the second, a one-time situation, where a powerful enemy and Samus traded hits resulting in the enemy being dazed and Samus entering concentration to recover health hoping to do so before the enemy finished her off.

Perhaps enemies practically fastening onto the player in combat is a result of making easy/quick healing pressured (or punished).

QUESTIONS

What are your thoughts on SenseMove?

What do you all think of Concentration? What do you all think of the ability to naturally restore partial or full health as a character ability in the action genre?

2Metroid: Other M Empty Re: Metroid: Other M on Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:57 am

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
Gameplaywise I think it could've been one hell of a game, held back by gaming trends of the time i.e. badly balanced mechanics that make death way too rare, slow walking segments as well as - imo - very dull enviroments and enemy designs. After Metroid Prime this title lacked any sense of art-direction or artistic impact. Not to mention the forced motion controls as well as the weird decision to make it use only the WiiMote.

This led to numerous weird decisions such as missiles being FPS-mode only, dodging being tapping the directional input, which had all sorts of issues such as random dodges or the game practically dodging for you. Being able to heal and restore missiles on the fly was absolutely nuts. Fact that the dodge was extremely easy to time and gave a full charge was weird too.

Difficulty selection was weird too. Normal basically played itself while Hard took away ALL upgrades, basically making it a forced no upgrade run right out of the gate, something the game wasn't built around (tons of wonky bosses as a result). Not to mention removing exploration even more.

My main gripe though was that it wasn't a Metroid game. Exploration was extremely absent with doors constantly being locked to funnel you into the beaten path (a trend Metroid Prime 3 already started and Fusion dabbled in, now taken to the extreme). A lack of support for sequence breaking or even promoting it as Super Metroid and Zero Mission did.

Not to even start about the lack of any music or atmosphere, those 'find waldo' moments, constant handholding, unskippable cutscenes taken to such a sinful level that the game did include a mode that allowed you to SKIP GAMEPLAY by offering the whole game as a watchable movie without timeline controls.

The story, well it is a Metroid story but even for that sense it is terrible I'd say. When you're hamfisting the word 'mother' constantly, have the game take place on the Bottle Ship shaped like a baby's bottle, constantly call Mother Brain "Mother" and have the emergency signal be called "Mother's cry" we're reaching writing levels as subtle as an RPG blast to the face.

Nothing but disrespect for the product. It had such potential, elevating the combat of Metroid games with Team Ninja's expertise while expanding on the exploration, only to offer a barebones gimmick title dumbed down for the Wii's casual audience. It killed Metroid for nearly a decade.

There is actually a fanfix for this game that you can mod into the game, which really elevates the main experience. The changelog is pretty intense. It is called Maxximum Edition: https://www.reddit.com/r/Metroid/comments/6msbxg/other_m_maxximum_edition_fix_hack_first_release/

Regarding your questions:


> sensemove
Decent concept considering the controller limitations put into place. But it was nothing more than an on-demand dodge with a follow-up installed into it. I'd have prefered a regular dodge button that allowed for more creativity in play.


> concentration
Completely removed all tension in between fights for me. I always liked the way NGII handled health in that taking damage punishes you by limiting your healthbar afterwards, while still auto healing some remaining damage. Mistakes have lasting effect, but not too lasting.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

3Metroid: Other M Empty Re: Metroid: Other M on Thu Feb 27, 2020 7:22 am

vert1

vert1
D-Rank
@Royta/Raeng wrote:Gameplaywise I think it could've been one hell of a game, held back by gaming trends of the time i.e. badly balanced mechanics that make death way too rare . . .
While it didn't turn out to be a great game (I'd rate it 3/5), I think it became a great conversation piece reinvigorating the different idealized versions of Metroid/Mario/Zelda in the player's mind.

This led to numerous weird decisions such as missiles being FPS-mode only,
I quite like it that way since switching point of view to first person and standing still gives off a feeling of enhanced power and dynamism. For me, it's like quickly unsheathing a sword. With a nunchuk attachment the game would be drastically different if you had the ability to always point at the screen; it also would be less intuitive if you were forced to do more than point at the screen to activate first person mode.

What do you think pushed the concept to the limit or over it? I only felt challenging timed pressure applied to rare or one-off cases (e.g., sliding down a steep hill while needing to precision aim upwards to fire off a super missile at a breakable wall piece) and that stilted-use situations where you have to position Samus in an exact manner were rare as well.

Difficulty selection was weird too. Normal basically played itself while Hard took away ALL upgrades, basically making it a forced no upgrade run right out of the gate, something the game wasn't built around (tons of wonky bosses as a result).
What were your favorite boss fights in this game?

Regarding your questions:

> sensemove
Decent concept considering the controller limitations put into place. But it was nothing more than an on-demand dodge with a follow-up installed into it. I'd have prefered a regular dodge button that allowed for more creativity in play.
It's a distinct system in that you cannot activate slow-motion whenever you want and shoot your way out, nor can you make Samus commando roll dodge anytime by pressing a button. I'm interested in discussing the totality of what this allows the player to do and how it can be expanded on or refined. I think a regular dodge would have allowed a more interesting fire boss battle on the creature you run on to its head, but I think this is because the SenseMove is better acclimated for dodging multiple oncoming (or simultaneous) threats -- crowded control -- than a singular geyser attack in consecutive order. How many other 3D action games are you regularly encircled to be shot at with projectiles from all directions that you are expected to dodge? (This might be something of a challenge to setup in Ninja Gaiden 2 [360] in the trial missions: to kill all the non-projectile enemies first and see how long you can stay alive getting shot at within their perimeter only dodging.)

> concentration
Completely removed all tension in between fights for me.
Maybe there is a trade-off (sacrifice). The situations with Concentration I described were among the most intense situations the game delivered due to their unlikely replication. I think further expanding on those types of situations with future technology should be considered dangerous on the actual person playing the game. Right now it looks like videogames are stuck on low HP = rage mode. Without altering the properties of Concentration, how would you change things outside of it to utilize it in a more preferable manner?

4Metroid: Other M Empty Re: Metroid: Other M on Thu Feb 27, 2020 11:33 pm

Birdman


Moderator
I played this a little and found it interesting but Roy threatened me so I sold it.

Jokes aside, I'm not really a fan of the series, as in I've barely touched other games, so the things that people hate don't seem that bad to me.

5Metroid: Other M Empty Re: Metroid: Other M on Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:14 am

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
It isn't the worst game, but it shows that unless it is clear that it's a spin-off (and even then) people prefer games to stick to what they do best. We also saw this with Metal Gear Rising (fantastic game otherwise), where people were scared that this was going to be the series going forward. That said, it also showed us 'becareful what you wish for'. Metroid had always had good lore and enviromental storytelling, as early as the first game, so like with Zelda and other titles people were begging it to be more cinematic. Since working with Team Ninja at the time meant also working with their CGI studio, it was a perfect match, or so you'd think.

> switching fps and tps
It is a novel system, but in a game that's all about manouverability in a series that has always been about 'going fast', having one of your prime offensive features be standing still...I'm not sold on it. The whole identity of Metroid is in flux in this game regardless though. The idea of the switch is cool, and I like it, but I don't feel this was THE game to put it in. The whole one-controller phylosphy broke for me when I was tasked to explore a fully 3d enviroment with my d-pad, we went analogue for a reason.

> boss fights
Honestly, the secret boss was the only notable one for me. Ridley wasn't that interesting, the bulldozer insulting and the final bosses were either copy pastas or just a cutscene. Nightmare was cool too though, though again a copy pasta.

> sensemove
It would've been fine had it been any other button than directional inputs. Having a button that does nothing, but becomes a dodge when timed right is very interesting. But currently we're faced with a fully i.framed dodge that also gives a fully charged attack that can be gained by just tapping instead of holding the direction where you want to go. But I honestly feel it was again a tired trope as well. Making a game reward dodging with a fully charged attack and have the dodge be this easy, is a play we saw popularized in Bayonetta a year prior (and inserted into a ton of budget action games like Killer is Dead).

I'd wished for something more interesting. Perhaps have a version of Intercept return where Samus absorbs enemy projectiles to shoot them back. Or something that's more momentum based, perhaps involving the speedbooster. They tried this again with Return of Samus where you have a parry, which again makes you stand still and it just doesn't fit imo.

> Concentration
Honestly, we're talking about a series where in each game enemies randomly dropped refills for ammo and health. And it is made by a developer who in most of their action games at the time had enemies that randomly dropped refills for health and money. The only reason Concentration is in is because of immersion, they didn't want enemies to drop collectibles as it wasn't logical in their eyes.

We're constantly trying to change health systems, mostly getting stuck in regenerative health these days, but honestly the classics work best - i.e. health meters. Sure it depends on the game, but generally speaking healthmeters are the way to go, especially ones such as in DOOM for instance.

In Other M I'd have made enemies drop health and missiles, and perhaps add the option to manipulate drops based on how you kill them like in God of War/ NG/ Doom2016. Adds a tactical flavor to it.



One thing I don't want to overstate is just how angry Sakomoto seemed to have been. He was the man behind the series, having peaked with Super Metroid. And I think that fame went to his head. Especially when the Prime games overshadowed them on the international forum. He went as far as to make the Prime series non-canon with Other M, which is quite something. Storywise it really shows that Eastern countries trying to write Western style stories just doesn't work, there's tons of weird translations like "The Deleter", Samus's constant de-emancipation, tons of broken plot threads.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

6Metroid: Other M Empty Re: Metroid: Other M on Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:37 am

vert1

vert1
D-Rank
@Royta/Raeng wrote:> switching fps and tps
It is a novel system, but in a game that's all about manouverability in a series that has always been about 'going fast', having one of your prime offensive features be standing still...I'm not sold on it. The whole identity of Metroid is in flux in this game regardless though. The idea of the switch is cool, and I like it, but I don't feel this was THE game to put it in. The whole one-controller phylosphy broke for me when I was tasked to explore a fully 3d enviroment with my d-pad, we went analogue for a reason.
AFAIK, only Sega has had a design for a dual controller action game with Gunvalkyrie on Dreamcast. Firing off missiles in first person view is just more exciting and powerful from the likes of user-guided missiles in Buck Bumble and BattleTanx to the good ole' RPG in Resident Evil 4. (You mentioned in an action article how the game designers give weight to the attack by locking the character's axis, in a way this is the 2D-mensionalizing of a projectile attack with stand still lock on.) I think the decrease in maneuverability and catering to that is a consequence of 3D models being bulkier than flat 2D ones. Seems like there are purists who want no FPS missiles or people who want the nunchuk, which would mean more FPS-mode.
 
Anyway, I didn't know this until just recently but you can target enemies in the air with missiles after jumping off an enemies head like in Ninja Gaiden 3, which is cool that there's another way to move your character through natural forces while shooting missiles (the first was the steep hill-sliding missile stuff I already mentioned).

> boss fights
Honestly, the secret boss was the only notable one for me. Ridley wasn't that interesting, the bulldozer insulting and the final bosses were either copy pastas or just a cutscene. Nightmare was cool too though, though again a copy pasta.
Yeah, all the Metroid Fusion fights turned out less impressive in 3D. Mostly because the bosses don't massive bump damage Samus. Ridley's fight in particular was a big letdown in that he was designed to fight like a humanoid boss slashing away at Samus then a wild and unpredictable intelligent life form. I found 'The Hive' was the coolest fight, but after different playthroughs of it, I have seen how it can be so-so. My last playthrough I avoided everything so well. The awesome playthroughs were when I got Game Over'd by the kamikaze wasps and the run where I finally beat them.

I'd wished for something more interesting. Perhaps have a version of Intercept return where Samus absorbs enemy projectiles to shoot them back. Or something that's more momentum based, perhaps involving the speedbooster. They tried this again with Return of Samus where you have a parry, which again makes you stand still and it just doesn't fit imo.
Yeah, the one thing with the classic 2D games was how merely touching anything alive would bump you for damage whereas here it's more on a visual basis of what's harmful, which makes the parry more sensible for Metroid: Other M. M:OM did have a neat ricochet panel that could hit floating toxic orbs. Surprised the boss fights never used environmental damage. (You can just hear the "Samus! Shoot the red crate!" over the Wiimote speaker.) Only that one OHKO lizard climbing sequence did, which was quite successful in leaving a memorable impression.

Difficulty selection was weird too. Normal basically played itself while Hard took away ALL upgrades, basically making it a forced no upgrade run right out of the gate, something the game wasn't built around (tons of wonky bosses as a result). Not to mention removing exploration even more.

I am really enjoying Hard Mode. It radically transforms how you interact with smaller enemies and plays out so much differently making the tone better reflects action horror. The Zebesian encounter played out with me taking an early retreat in the arena corridors to use Concentration in Hard Mode. Extremely impressed with how drastic a change this is going from being the attacker to replicating the very same Zebesian's tactics used on me in Normal Mode.

When I was reviewing the game I had to avoid blending in my impressions of hard mode because they were vastly different (and will require another review). Based off your hard mode article, I think the game met the majority of mode aims if you factor in the post-game as a type of hard mode given the prevalence of that brutal new enemy. No?


We're constantly trying to change health systems, mostly getting stuck in regenerative health these days, but honestly the classics work best - i.e. health meters.

I think it's of slight interest to mention that a sci-fi game from the 5th gen starring an orange protagonist (Body Harvest) had a similar health system where your health could be naturally restored a little bit when at critical levels.

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