Metroid Fusion in retrospect

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Doc Scratch

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Re: Metroid Fusion in retrospect

Postby Doc Scratch » 06.23.14 10:51pm

I have to agree with the Galactic Federation being incredibly boring. How am I supposed to take them seriously when they have that cliche face-in-shadow "She knows nothing, secrets secrets secrets" scene?

But Fusion has some really good ideas, and there's a reason so many people like the game. The boss fights are incredible and get crazier and crazier up to Nightmare. The soundtrack is excellent, especially for said boss battles. The wall jump was completely ruined, but the addition of hanging onto those railings was fun.

I dunno, I like Fusion. It's one of my least favorite Metroid games, but it's miles beyond the turd that was Other M.
Yeah, this is truly baffling. Space Pirates are now presumed all dead/not a threat anymore without MB or Ridley (confirmed in Other M), Metroids (and SR388) was presumably all completely destroyed, along with the X-parasite. In one game, all galactic threats introduced in the main canon are destroyed...so what now? While claiming the game should have been non-canon is pretty harsh, I can see where you're coming from. They really did throw themselves into a corner.
Metroids are still around, since the Galactic Federation has the metroid larva's DNA.

Speaking of stupid plot decisions, Samus losing her Metroid DNA is one of the worst. There are so many places you could take that idea, from bizarre mutations for power-ups to having her hunted by the Feds for her DNA.
Suckers.

Apothem

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Re: Metroid Fusion in retrospect

Postby Apothem » 06.24.14 4:12am

Wait a minute, she never lost her metroid DNA, her suit's still principally composed of it. Unless Nintendo spins it that absorbing the SA-X destroyed the metroid DNA somehow and reconstructed Samus' original suit configuration then there's presently no indication that her suit isn't still metroid infused. One could argue her use of the ice beam suggest otherwise, but there's any number of potential explanations for that, the most likely being that absorbing the SA-X restored enough of her suits original functionality to bypass the last remnants of her metroid-induced cold-based weakness. After all, the varia suit no longer rendered her susceptible to cold attacks, why couldn't the SA-X give her back her ice beams?

I'll agree that the Federation is at present a mediocre and silly enemy, but only because Nintendo hasn't done much with them. Then again, if M:OM is any indication, they have no idea what to do with them in the first place. This is what happens when a series focuses solely on mechanics for over a decade and then suddenly switches gears. It's not that Nintendo can't handle narrative, it's that with Metroid they don't know what narrative style they want. Good things could be done if they'd just pick a tone and stick with it.
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Xerkxes

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Re: Metroid Fusion in retrospect

Postby Xerkxes » 06.24.14 10:49am

Wait a minute, she never lost her metroid DNA
Doc's mentioned this before.
During a interview with Sakamoto, he said that absorbing the SA-X reconstituted her DNA.
http://www.metroid-database.com/feature ... hp#stage04
When she absorbed the core of the SAX (the perfect condition of Samus), she basically reconstituted her genetic condition. She didn't recover the physical damage of her amputated suit, but she did recover her genetic condition.
It doesn't say she explicitly lost her Metroid genes, it says that her condition was changed to be like original self herself. Otherwise the statement is pretty vague, and may hold no sway on how they go about developing the next game's story.
Especially considering how flip-floppy Sakamoto's known to be during interviews, or... at least how I feel he is, thought that could be the fault of the translator.
Xerkxes: "Makes you wonder why Samus just didn't take one of the Crystals with her, and constantly charge it with the light beam while using it as a God damned +5 Brilliant Energy Spear of Smite-Ing "

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Re: Metroid Fusion in retrospect

Postby shdowhunt60 » 01.25.15 11:29pm

I think people are nitpicking Fusion here a bit too much.

Oh no, don't get me wrong. I think Sakamoto is a shit writer, Other M and the manga are unbelievably badly written. But even a bad writer can turn up a good story every once in a while. Look at M. Night Shamalamadingdong and Unbreakable. Both Fusion and Unbreakable have some of the typical trademark stuff that their two respective writers keep doing badly, but they somehow manage to pull it off.

There's several reasons why I think Fusion actually works. First and foremost:

1. The conflict of Samus and Adam vs the X parasite:

All right, so we start off small. At first we have the X escaping their capsule, and taking hold of the BSL's crew quarters and all that. Then, they take the SRX, TRO, AQU, and all that. The situation seems to progressively worse, and worse and this is only amplified by having to fight with the X over download stations.

This is possibly the best part of the story, the whole scenario seems to be getting worse and worse, to the point of getting out of control. And the X seem to be making targeted efforts towards Samus herself. This escolates the tension and drama, its a whole lot of buildup.

The problem with Other M compared to this is that the thing with the Bottle Ship has already grown way out of hand. Everything is automatixly in dire straights, there's no escalation here. Also, its very vague as to what is supposed to be the antagonising force at play here. Is it Ridley? MB? The Deleter? Who are we fighting against?

It also gives the story a clear focus. The problem with Other M and the manga is that there's constant shifts in focus, because there's nothing to really focus on. So the story is constantly going to chase whatever shiny thing, and it results in subplots constantly being brought up and dropped.

2. The SA-X.

The SA-X was so brilliantly handled here, it deserves its own section. The SA-X serves two primary functions.

a. To make Samus, and thus the player, to feel disempowered. This thing is Samus at her full strength, and you have no hope fighting against it. You spend most of the game avoiding it. People are legitimately scared of this thing.

b. To give the X a face. I'm not even talking about that jumpscare of literally seeing its face, but it shows us the kind of monsters the X are. I mean, look at how Adam even frequently mentions it leading the X's movements. Its not just powerful, its sentient. Thinking. It has an agenda.

The SA-X was so brilliantly handled, that Retro Studios copied it and make Dark Samus. And while Dark Samua works well, I think it can be generally agreed that its nowhere near as effective as the SA-X was. I mean, admit it. Beating the SA-X was one of the most satisfying things you did in a videogame.

3. The twist that the Galactic Federation is breeding Metroids.

I think this plot-twist legitimately works in Fusion. Not just because it was surprising, but it makes perfect sense.

I mean, aside from the cheesy and needless scene where the Federation Officer was going all "Tee-hee, does Samus know how evil we are?", the twist was pretty surprising first time around. And it made perfect sense when you considered:

A. How the Federation Research vessel just HAPPENED to have a sample of Metroid from the infant Metroid on hand. That was too convenient.

B. There's SRX... literally the perfect grounds to raise Metroids.

C. How the BSL had a number of biological experiments, some even with military applications.

D. Super Metroid even brings up that the Ceres scientists made findings that Metroids can actually serve some purpose.

I mean, the evidence was there that they were up to something, it just wasn't so blatantly obvious. Aside from, again, the aforementioned scene.

Compare this to Other M's twists, did they really make sense? Even when they were trying to be as obvious as possible?

4. Samus's monologues balance out the intensity of the story.

Have you ever actually thought about where and when Samus's monologues take place? Obviously in the elevators, but why? Because they're the most appropriate times for them to take place.

Think about the energy of a story in upbeats and downbeats. Upbeats being the high intensity moments, and downbeats being the more relaxed moments. The monologues always take place at a time where things are slowing down, and we the player can actually catch a breather. So then we can actually relax, and Samus can fill us in on what she's currently thinking. They're the perfect time to flesh out Samus herself, because she spends most of the game silent, because its about the job at hand.

This is somewhat important. If a story consists entirely of upbeats, then it gets exhausting.

Other M does this wrong. The monologues always shift the focus from what's happening at the moment, and not at a point where its appropriate for Samus to collect her thoughts. And more often than not, they're completely unnecessary.

Other M's other problem with this is that the story consists almost entirely of downbeats, and being relaxed all the time is just boring.

I think that's what I can think of primarily at the moment. I think Fusion does a lot of things that actually makes it work very well. Does it have its problems? Sure it does. I don't think the Etecoons and Dachoras showing up made any sense. I mean, they contributed to making a satisfying ending heartwarming, even though it opens up a pretty major plothole.

LightOfAether

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Re: Metroid Fusion in retrospect

Postby LightOfAether » 02.07.15 4:42pm

2. The SA-X.

The SA-X was so brilliantly handled here, it deserves its own section. The SA-X serves two primary functions.

a. To make Samus, and thus the player, to feel disempowered. This thing is Samus at her full strength, and you have no hope fighting against it. You spend most of the game avoiding it. People are legitimately scared of this thing.

b. To give the X a face. I'm not even talking about that jumpscare of literally seeing its face, but it shows us the kind of monsters the X are. I mean, look at how Adam even frequently mentions it leading the X's movements. Its not just powerful, its sentient. Thinking. It has an agenda.

The SA-X was so brilliantly handled, that Retro Studios copied it and make Dark Samus. And while Dark Samua works well, I think it can be generally agreed that its nowhere near as effective as the SA-X was. I mean, admit it. Beating the SA-X was one of the most satisfying things you did in a videogame.

This is a very good point. I love Dark Samus, but you never feel as though you can't contend with her. She's a rival that you're always confident you'll be able to one up. The feeling of disempowerment that comes from being hunted by the SA-X was perfectly captured, and I don't think you ever really feel like Samus *can't* go against anything besides the SA-X.

Xerkxes

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Re: Metroid Fusion in retrospect

Postby Xerkxes » 02.07.15 9:54pm

I love Dark Samus, but you never feel as though you can't contend with her.
Which is funny. Canonically she's the stronger of the two. And was the easier of the two boss fights (when you actually COULD face the SA-X)
The scans always yielded statments like "She's you, but better". The SA-X when spoken of in terms of strength, was always "She's you at your best".

But yeah. Dark Samus, despite the scans and dumb AI script for the SA-X, only comes off as a rival. Maybe you get the "you the underdog" impression as she does seem to have everything you do but spiffed up by phazon.

I actually like fighting both of them. It was a real change of pace from the usual "The boss is a 30 foot tall monstrosity, hit the glowing eye." Trope Nintendo adhere's to nearly religiously.



The SA-X is fear done right, even through it's a 2D game and very colourful, you jump into a panic when you first hear those steps, you scramble to think of how your going to avoid it, and you curse and run if you do manage to get caught.
It's not like a lot of horror games today, which rely entirely on the jump scare, or try to be as creep and demented as possible.

Possible one of the best aspects of the games, one of the best "Things metroid's done", even if the game wasn't anywhere near the best... at least until you learn how to abuse it's script >.>.. then you kind of laugh at it during it's encounters.
Xerkxes: "Makes you wonder why Samus just didn't take one of the Crystals with her, and constantly charge it with the light beam while using it as a God damned +5 Brilliant Energy Spear of Smite-Ing "

systemsready

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Re: Metroid Fusion in retrospect

Postby systemsready » 07.09.15 6:28pm

Honestly my opinion of Fusion's story hasn't changed: it's meh.

A lot of my beef with Other M in its entirety is that it is completely a rehash of Fusion but worse. Fusion is difficult. Fusion is interesting. Fusion is chock-full of intense boss fights. And it has all of this stuff wrapped in a meh story. I actually didn't mind the linearity because it struck me as something they were trying to do to differentiate it from the previous 2D Metroids. Quite frankly, gameplay-wise, both Fusion and Zero Mission are Super Metroid clones with tighter physics and no stupid grapple beam puzzles; Fusion's justified linearity and change of setting served to separate it more from Super.

So I feel that the only bearing Other M has on Fusion was that it took concepts from Fusion and just proceeded to overexaggerate and execute them terribly. But it being a bad iteration of a concept doesn't mean that the original concept was bad. It just means that whatever constraints Sakamoto had prior weren't here anymore because of Metroid's previous successes, and the lack of people saying freaking NO to him meant that he could just twist the entire damn thing to his creepy fetishes of what Samus should be.

Slaran

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Re: Metroid Fusion in retrospect

Postby Slaran » 09.26.17 4:11pm

I don't like being on a space station instead of a planet. I can't stand the computer. I don't like how linear it is. I don't like how they made changes to bomb jumping and wall jumping. I don't like the fusion suit look. Many things I don't like but it is still a fun game that I like overall.
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