Nintendo Puzzled Over Other M's Poor Performance

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Nintendo Puzzled Over Other M's Poor Performance

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Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime believes that Nintendo did everything right with the latest game in the Metroid series, Metroid: Other M.

On paper, Metroid: Other M sounds like one of the best games in the world: the 2D gameplay of the classic Metroid games, mixed with the 3D gameplay of the Metroid Prime series, and made by Team Ninja, a studio with a long history of making excellent action games. But the game has sold much more slowly than Nintendo expected, and Fils-Aime says that the company isn't sure why.

Fils-Aime said that Team Ninja and Nintendo's Yoshio Sakamoto had done a great job with Other M, adding that consumer reaction to the quality of the game had been very positive. Unfortunately for Nintendo, that positive reaction hadn't translated into strong sales. Nintendo had hoped to sell a million copies, he said, but it was clear that that wasn't going to happen before the end of the year. Fils-Aime didn't think that these slower than expected sales were the result of ineffectual marketing, saying that the presence for Other M, both in terms of traditional advertising, and social networks, had been very strong.

Fils-Aime also touched on the complaints about characterization of lead character Samus Aran, which a number of reviewers - including our own Steve Butts - commented felt different, and much less appealing, than it had in previous games. Fils-Aime didn't think that this had been the reason for the poor sales, although he did acknowledge that there might be some validity to the complaints.

Despite Fils-Aime's comments, it's almost certain that Nintendo has been monitoring gamer reactions to Other M and thus is well aware of why people didn't like the game. As a high-ranking Nintendo executive, Fils-Aime isn't about to openly criticize Other M to the press, regardless of his personal feelings. Any confusion that Nintendo might be experiencing is likely just the company trying to figure out what do with the franchise next.

Source: Kotaku

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Personally..I loved it. It's just that you can't please all fans. Fans are fans after all.

I say it's because of what consoles have become

The Wii as having action games became a joke after Metroid Prime 3

If people want action games they probably have a 360 or PS3

As for me

I have a Wii, and the last game I got for it was No More Heroes 2 (because 1 was that great!)

Adam. Adam. Adam. Adam. Adam.
The baby. Baby. Baby. Adam. Baby.

Also who came up with the bright idea that metroid level design should be = ff13 level design?
And what is with those parts where samus just waalks slooowly and nothing happens?

maybe if the game was not a total bag of bad choices it would of sold good
like how the plot turns Samus into a big wuss

The slip to first person to fire missiles felt disjointed and looking for clues broke up the experience even more, and not in a good way. It felt awkward and out of place. Not to mention the moments where they force you to slow to a walk, presumably to hide loading times. Most grievous of all though as everybody has already said is the bastardisation of Samus' character in turning her into a monotone melodramatic little girl with daddy issues.

For those of you who are interested, watch ZP's review of Other M and MovieBob's video Heavens to Metroid!, both offer very contrasting points of view. MovieBob points out that we shouldn't be mad that Samus now has actual feelings and characterisation beyond "Oh look, she has boobs and she can kick ass!" but Yahtzee of course dotes on the asinine nature of the game in the way that you have to, in one bullshit scene, traverse a fire-hazard cavern before your ex-boyfriend(?) tells you it's okay to turn on your Varia Suit. What the fuck?

I haven't played through Other M myself, though i have played Super Metroid and the Metroid Prime games. I think they should characterise Samus primarily, if not entirely through her actions. I think her choosing not to kill the last baby metroid in one of the earlier games is one of the greatest expressions of her character and that's without the need for all that dialogue and cinematic effect. We don't need her whiny life story and we don't need a voice actress so dull and sedated that it sounds like she's trying to force out every single line. Grrr, i didn't need to play the game to know how annoying that was.

Didn't Shyamalan say the same thing about The Last Airbender?

I didn't like Samus in that one. She went all....."girly". Ugh.
Where was the badass that I've come to love?

I love Nintendo and I love me some Team Ninja, but I will testify to the world that it wasn't worthy of the Metroid name.

I hated the camera so fucking much and the story was pretty....well if you care about Metroid you know what.Really? Samus is going to bow down to some dumpy man-cunt to the point where her life is endangered by not activating heat shields? She could kill Adam 100 times before he could blink.

Word of mouth is that the fans hate it quite a bit therefore leads into poor sales.

Of course, Metroid Other M was designed for new Wii owners too but I doubt that it went well.

Because they tried something different.

Because the things they tried different didn't work out very well.

Because giving a silent protagonist a voice has never worked ever.

I made a few comments about the game on Yahtzee's review myself... I'm not about to regurgitate them... but a few points I will make, the fact that samus actually has feelings is nice, they just took it too far.

like Gralian said, the First person mode is completely disjointed, but we have Nintendo and retro studios to thank for setting that new standard for metroid games...

I like the combat system and especially the dodging. The jets, THEY WORK!

and other than Samus' whiny bits and... a few repetative plot points, I'd say the story was alright too.

BTW SPOILER ALERT!

James... he did it

I admire Nintendo for experimenting with one of their franchises, they usually stick to a formula and are very hesitant to change things up.
It's a shame Other M sold poorly, perhaps Nintendo shouldn't diverge from formula too much?
Perhaps customers just don't like change? Food for thought...

The Wii is the reason that I have not bought it. You're telling me I have to change my grip on the controller every time I want to shoot something? Yeah, no.

Part of the appeal of Super Metroid was, to me, the boundless freedom of exploring the rebuilt Zebes... Solo. Here we have a planet chock full of peril, and ancient Chozo weaponry... but thats ok! Because this is Samus. Shes got it under control.

Ditto for Metroid II.

Cut forward a bit, to Metroid Prime. Ok, so there is now this fully (sorta) fleshed out story, about how the Chozo raised Samus, and about how her family was lost to Ridley's indigestion. Ok, that works too, it just gives me extra impetus to blast him when I see him. And blast him I shall. And did. And it was good.

Right about here was the nadir of what I honestly felt Samus's character to be. No whiny, over the top emotional reactions, nor deadpan, monotonously delivered lines. Its Samus, the planet, the upgrades, the enemies. Small, working backstory. Good to go.

Then we get... this. M:OM was in alot of ways, a let down. For the very first time ever in my gaming life, I ran out on release day and grabbed a copy of a -well established, much lauded IP, that had churned out one high quality offering after another-... and felt myself underwhelemed. Hell. Underwhelmed doesnt begin to cover it.

This bombshell has actually caused me to rethink my strategies on purchasing games. I can no longer count on an excellent IP to produce an excellent game. :'(

I just cant get over how Samus reacted to seeing Ridley. I was almost embarrassed.

Whiskey Echo!!
Mythgraven

I can always hope this translates into a rejection of that Samus characterization and we can look back on Other M as a horrible aberration.

Team Ninja's best known for Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden. Their production values are not Nintendo production values. I haven't played the game but it's obvious when you compare the general output of all developers that there are similarities in them that expose what the developer found to be acceptable standards. Other M probably isn't a Metroid game; it's a game that could have been another game except it had Metroid wall-paper.

There are certain games that give that Metroid feeling: the Castlevania games on the NES and SNES before they went rubbish, Duke Nukem 3D, Half-Life and Arkham Asylum. It's the sense that you are alone and no back-up is coming but it doesn't matter; you're too much for the monsters to handle even if you're down to the last half a centimetre of life, your weak default weapon and what ever happens next can still be done. It won't be easy and having full life and equipment wouldn't actually make it easier, but it can be done.

Now games have become obsessed with checkpoints rather than quicksaves(or 'passwords' back in the day that loaded a game identical to the one you left); it's changed the nature of all the challenges in between those checkpoints. Some games(like Arkham) redeem themselves by making the checkpoints so frequent that they're like quick-saves. But Team Ninja appear to have made a game where yet again a supposedly independent protagonist is wholly reliant on others and not actually capable of much otherwise.

well the gameplay was awesome but it was sooo hard listening to the story since it was sooooo bad

Just give us another Metroid Prime game. Without a massive story like Metroid Prime 3, but the free exploring that made the original Prime so fun.

It's pretty simple, really. Everyone in the target demographic with a Wii already bought the game, but no one would buy a Wii just for Other M. In other words: Nintendo is starting to reap the results of its own, casual-obsessed* Wii marketing strategy.

* - note: not saying that casual gaming is bad. There's a market for it and the more people enjoy video games, the better! However, Nintendo outright encouraged cheap, casual titles over quality, high-profile, high-budget titles and was pretty much defeated by Sony and Microsoft in that department. In the words of an UbiSoft employee: "Horse-shit [i.e. "My little horsey"-games] sells better." Again, that, too, does not necessarily translate into S&M (gee) making more money than N off their consoles/games.

Gralian:

I haven't played through Other M myself, though i have played Super Metroid and the Metroid Prime games. I think they should characterise Samus primarily, if not entirely through her actions. I think her choosing not to kill the last baby metroid in one of the earlier games is one of the greatest expressions of her character and that's without the need for all that dialogue and cinematic effect. We don't need her whiny life story and we don't need a voice actress so dull and sedated that it sounds like she's trying to force out every single line. Grrr, i didn't need to play the game to know how annoying that was.

Exactly. They should of used Jennifer Hale again, yet I can only assume they didn't to cut even more costs from the game. The whole thing reeks of lazy design. I've seen Moviebob's statement for it, and honestly refuse to watch it more than once, as he refuses to actually examine it, pushing aside everything valid that people bring up, by blanketing it with the whole "You all just don't want her to have personality and be your misinterpreted idea of stoicism" rant.

Yahtzee, on the other hand, is completely right to me. Samus has thus far given us an idea of her personality, through her actions, and the snippets of voice work in the GBA titles.
What we got in Other M was some 2-bit work handled for a more cheese-cake fashion with little, if any care, to the script, voice work, or even logic behind the game's storyline and dropped plots.
She's striked down Ripley several times before Other M, so why break down now?
She has all her powers active, so besides being a closet masochist, why wait til one insignificant character says its fine to activate something vital to your own survival, and nothing else?
And for the love of god, did they even observe the acress for Samus when she did her lines? Or did they just throw her in the closet and left her alone, without checking how it was read? Even an untrained child could handle the voice work better.

And, because I have to bring it up every time when one refers to the game.
"What's past, is prologue"
Pure. Unadulterated. Genius. Really. Someone should let that man write a bloody novel. Oh yeah... Stephanie Myer did with Twilight, or Dan Brown with some chunks of his writing.

Even Ninja Gaiden had better writing than Other M.

As for me, the only reason I haven't bought the game is because I have to watch my gaming budget. I'd love to give this game a try.

Aura Guardian:
Personally..I loved it. It's just that you can't please all fans. Fans are fans after all.

I mostly love the game as well, but I admit that Samus' character could have been done better. Showing that she had her own weaknesses and insecurities was a good move; if I (or anyone else, for that matter) went through what she did, I'm sure I'd be pretty emotionally messed up as well. However, the handling was sub-par in some cases. For one, Samus' reaction to Ridley still being alive was really overdone, though in the right general direction. The character dialogue could have used better writing overall as well; sometimes so little is said with to many words.

That and the 'baby's cry' distress signal? Seriously? As Yahtzee said; I suppose that means normal distress signals can be safely ignored?

Logan Westbrook:
As a high-ranking Nintendo executive, Fils-Aime isn't about to openly criticize Other M to the press, regardless of his personal feelings. Any confusion that Nintendo might be experiencing is likely just the company trying to figure out what do with the franchise next.

I'm going to give Reggie the benefit of the doubt and go with this explanation. I think it's safe to assume that he has a good idea of what actually went wrong, and is only refraining from saying what he really thinks due on account of his job.

Is it just me, or dose team ninja just like changing what the game is about and making the fanbase rage?

Nintendo:

"Make another Metroid game, but give it crappy controls (HOLD THE CONTROLLER SIDEWAYS TO CONTROL IN 3D SPACE, THEN FLIP IT OVER TO POINT IT AT THE SCREEN WHEN YOU WANT TO SHOOT IN FIRST PERSON MODE, INSTEAD OF USING THE NUNCHUCK+WIIMOTE AND MAKING A DEDICATED BUTTON FOR FPS MODE. MAKES PERFECT SENSE.), shoddy voice acting and scriptwork, and shit all over Metroid Prime 3. But we gotta hype the hell out of it to make it seem like it's the best Metroid game ever!"

That's basically it. LOVED Metroid Prime 3. Hell, I love ALL the other Metroid games. But Other M makes me cry.

What to do with the franchise next!? I will explain this with one easter egg scan found in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.

''Metroid project codename 'Dread' is finally nearing completion.''

I liked Other M, the gameplay wasn't horrible and it was rather fun.

But...the story...Oh my god the story. Whoever wrote it and decided Samus needed to be an emo 10 year old boy needs to be fired. I always pictured her having a stronger voice, more like Lightning from FF13. The basically destroyed one of their characters and wondered why it didn't pay off.

You see Nintendo... this is what happens when you give it to developers who made Ninja Gaiden...and the Dead or Alive Series.

*sips my cup of tea*

Now you know never to do that again, but I jest, you probably will...

Maybe Nintendo should think about giving the consumer what they want, which is an old school, 2D Metroid title.

Did you ever think of that Reggie?

Ahlycks:
Is it just me, or dose team ninja just like changing what the game is about and making the fanbase rage?

Team Ninja tried to start an original Metroid game and screwed up, they wanted to make THEIR game and not a fanboy's wet dream, personally I had the same experience with DOA Volleyball thinking that Team Ninja was obviously selling out with their DOA franchise.

mythgraven:
I can no longer count on an excellent IP to produce an excellent game.

Nor could you ever. IP is a brand, produced by people. It's the people you have to watch out for, always.

Its just to much if you ask me. They just put to much together, that it felt really bogged down.

Dont get me wrong, it was fun. But it just didnt stick.

Maybe the fact that you turned Samus Aran into Bellah from twilight may have something to do with it...

Is this really that hard to figure out? Other M did poorly because it was a shitty game! I don't think I need to embellish on that, we've been all around the mulberry bush on that one.

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