Metroid and The Loss of Originality and Innovation

For discussing ideas and thoughts on the Metroid franchise in general.

Moderator: Moderators

DrevanZero

User avatar

Gamma Metroid
 
Posts: 288
Joined: 11.01.11 1:23pm

Re: Metroid and The Loss of Originality and Innovation

Postby DrevanZero » 02.21.12 9:35pm

In all honesty, I don't see how zynux was bitching at all. He put out points that were valid in his eyes, and everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if they don't like a game that you love. (personally, other m was not good at all, but I don't want to start a flame war, so that's all I am saying
Last edited by DrevanZero on 02.22.12 4:03pm, edited 1 time in total.
Forget queen metroid, I'M THE KING!
Catherine wrote:Shut up or I will pour a pot of steaming-hot emo on you!!!

Check out my fangame site at: http://metroidrevival.freeforums.org/index.php
Image

Zynux

User avatar

Metroid Queen
 
Posts: 1481
Joined: 12.13.11 8:56pm
Location: West Chester, PA

Re: Metroid and The Loss of Originality and Innovation

Postby Zynux » 02.21.12 9:41pm

Infinity's End wrote::facepalm: *sigh* really? That post was so full of errors that I wonder if you're trolling. Get your facts straight.


lol u mad? :umad:

In all seriousness, trust me, if I was trolling then you would know. And it would be pretty brutal too :)

What are Fusion and Zero Mission then? Huh? Table scraps? o_O He directed BOTH games.


I won't go as far as to say "table scraps", but they were very short, stagnate, and pretty much uninspired Metroid games where instead of trying to evolutionize and expand the series he plays it safe. Metroid Fusion is an easy, extremely short, and extremely linear game that offers almost nothing new. Metroidf Zero Mission was a little (and some will probably make the argument that BECUASE its a remake that it shouldn't change too much, and I'll give them that) I hardly does anything for the series, which is what my earlier comment was talking about, not whether he directed it or not but the last time he made a Metroid game that really boosted the series.

He wrote Famicom Tantei Club series... he has comprehensive writing skills. :/ Sakamoto is not a retard; he's an educated, well spoken man.
And your irks with the Suits are subjective. But I found nothing wrong with the Power Suit/Zero Suit designs. Guess you don't remember how stupid Samus looked in Prime 1 with her gigantosaurus shoulderpads? Also, have you played any of the Ninja Gaiden games?


Never have I said Sakamoto is a retard, nor will I ever hold such an opinion. Never. Don't make such assumptions. Though me thinking he can't write for shit has no bearing on him at all as a person or a game director so I'm not sure where you got that from o_O. Just because I may have criticized some of his choices in Other M doesn't mean I'm out for his blood, jeez. In fact, my views on Sakamoto are pretty neutral like most game developers. Sometimes they do it right, sometimes they fuck up. Simple as that.

Oh this is so incorrect. Let's see what :YS: has worked on since 1994:
Teleroboxer (1995) - Director
Famicom Tantei Club Part II: Ushiro ni Tatsu Shoujo (1998) - Director, Writer
Trade & Battle: Card Hero (2000) - Director
Metroid Fusion (2002) - Chief Director
Metroid: Zero Mission (2004) - Chief Director
Metroid: Other M (TBA 2010?) - Director


:facepalm: No, no, no, NO. I was clearly talking about Team Ninja, NOT Sakamoto. To restate, I said that Sakamoto calls in a developer (Team Ninja) that (TO MY KNOWLEDGE) has not made a game on a Nintendo console after SNES (which had all of those old Ninja Gaiden games). This would pose a problem with them creating a game for Wii, since they are so used to Xbox (and now more Playstation). And we don't need to compare the hardware of Wii to the Xbox now do we?

And did we even play the same game? Aside from some very rare occurrences of some shitty textures, Other M's graphics are some of the best on the Wii. And I will defend that position til the death. Samus's suit and may other things are completely normal mapped, too. And doesn't the whole game run at 60fps?


I guess we'll just have to agree or disagree on this point; I don't think Metroid Other M graphics are all that good because I personally believe that Team Ninja underestimated the Wii's limitations. Though I believe when it comes to Team Ninja in that point I was talking more about their art direction then the graphics but w/e.

Clearly, the Wii's audience does not cater to a hardcore crowd. 2 minutes walking down the aisle at any store that sells video games will tell you that. Far too many people ignore the Metroid series due to the challenge. And he was trying to remedy that by simplifying the gameplay. If you refuse to understand that, then you're just being stubborn.


Yes, I'm aware of the Wii's net sales are in the Casual market but my problem is that the marketing for this game was flawed from the start. On one hand, he wanted to market to the casual audience. There's nothing inherently wrong with that....instead when you take into account that for all of these years the only people who played Metroid were a particular niche (even Prime Trilogy) and the fact that he also wanted those who played Super Metroid to play this game. This is wrong. Anyone in marketing will tell you that you can't appease everyone, which is exactly what this game was trying to do. Who was this game for, exactly? The casual crowd? That is what Sakamoto states. But there is a flaw, because one of the main purposes of this game was to fully establish Samus Aran. Do you honestly believe that the casual gamer will really give 2 cents of who Samus is? Most of them probably have no clue who Samus was until Smash Bros came around. And no way was this game geared toward old Metroid players, especially those of Super Metroid since it has little in common with any of them.

But now that you brought it up, maybe making a Metroid game for the Wii was just a bad idea in general (honestly? I could've told him that, especially with his refusal to have option control schemes, which still boggles mind to this day) and maybe he should've gone handheld again. But that's something he should of thought of; it seems to me that he never had a clear grasp of his target audience.

Calm. Down. Take a breather, go outside. Take long, deep breaths. And if this thread turns into (yet another) Other M bitchfest it will be locked, immediately.


Pffffffffthahahaha. Do I look like the guy who goes around this forum with "Ugh We're talking about this shit again?" or "Ice beam for great justice" or "rofl haters gonna hate" just for criticizing a mediocre action/adventure game with cheesy sci-fi drama? This thread was about innovation in the Metroid franchise, and when I already said what I needed to say about Metroids in general, in particular I thought that the development choices in Other M restricted innovation. But you'll probably just say "Other M is no thaaaat bad guyz" as a statement of fact or "you guys need to look at Other M for what it is (A mediocre/repetetive action adventure with cheesy sci-fi drama? Will do! :awesome: )" and be on your way merrily way. Dunno about you man, but I'm perfectly fine :), just discussing opinions on a fandom site.


poke2mon3 wrote:In all honesty, I don't see how docomire was bitching at all. He put out points that were valid in his eyes, and everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if they don't like a game that you love. (personally, other m was not good at all, but I don't want to start a flame war, so that's all I am saying


He was replying to me :)
"Cut! There are no second chances for actors that fall to the abyss. Await your second casting in the darkness forever." - The Night of Wallachia

Image
Ridley prepping his body for Other M

Infinity's End

User avatar

MDB Staff - Designer
 
Posts: 4904
Joined: 05.05.07 11:04am
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Metroid and The Loss of Originality and Innovation

Postby Infinity's End » 02.21.12 11:44pm

Zynux wrote::facepalm: No, no, no, NO. I was clearly talking about Team Ninja, NOT Sakamoto. To restate, I said that Sakamoto calls in a developer (Team Ninja) that (TO MY KNOWLEDGE) has not made a game on a Nintendo console after SNES (which had all of those old Ninja Gaiden games). This would pose a problem with them creating a game for Wii, since they are so used to Xbox (and now more Playstation). And we don't need to compare the hardware of Wii to the Xbox now do we?


:|
Team Ninja was founded in '95. Their first game they made was Dead or Alive, which came out on the Playstation. They released NG: Dragon Sword for the DS, which was 2008. And we don't need to compare the hardware of the Wii to the DS now do we? And when the hell did the hardware of a console have anything to do with the overall capabilities of a development team? o_O It may put some limitation on exactly what they can do, but it in no way affects what the team is capable of.
Image
ImageVisit our DA Gallery! Over 3,800 unique artworks and still growing!

Zynux

User avatar

Metroid Queen
 
Posts: 1481
Joined: 12.13.11 8:56pm
Location: West Chester, PA

Re: Metroid and The Loss of Originality and Innovation

Postby Zynux » 02.22.12 12:36pm

:|
Team Ninja was founded in '95. Their first game they made was Dead or Alive, which came out on the Playstation. They released NG: Dragon Sword for the DS, which was 2008. And we don't need to compare the hardware of the Wii to the DS now do we?


OH SHIT, did not know that. Touche. Maybe I'll have to check that out one day (though honestly doesn't look too impressive). Also, I can't believe it slipped my mind that not Team Ninja, but Tecmo are the ones that made the earlier Ninja Gaidens. Silly me 8B .

And when the hell did the hardware of a console have anything to do with the overall capabilities of a development team? o_O


Read the context of the original post again, that point of the hardware limiting Team Ninja was only applied to the graphics of the game. Here's my original excerpt:

He calls in a developer (Team Ninja) that has never really been known for level design, art (yes, they are good with graphics, but designing? I thought both the Power-Suit and the Zero-suit were just laughably awful), and (from my knowledge) has really never developed for a Nintendo Console after the SNES days (the graphics in Other M imo showed to me that maybe Team Ninja underestimated the limitations of the Wii)


So yes, the hardware of the Wii would limit Team Ninja in the graphical department (which is what I criticized there), and I posted a theoretical possibility that Team Ninja could have underestimated it during development, even having developing for the DS (remember, they were making a high-budget 3D console game here. Just look how pretty those cinematics were XD). Now, as for me criticizing the gameplay, I drew most of the blame on the godawful control scheme and that there was nothing Team Ninja could have really done as long as those controls were there.
"Cut! There are no second chances for actors that fall to the abyss. Await your second casting in the darkness forever." - The Night of Wallachia

Image
Ridley prepping his body for Other M

okey

Metroid Queen
 
Posts: 1184
Joined: 06.29.11 1:37pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Metroid and The Loss of Originality and Innovation

Postby okey » 02.22.12 1:51pm

Infinity's End wrote:Clearly, the Wii's audience does not cater to a hardcore crowd. 2 minutes walking down the aisle at any store that sells video games will tell you that. Far too many people ignore the Metroid series due to the challenge. And he was trying to remedy that by simplifying the gameplay. If you refuse to understand that, then you're just being stubborn.

Kinda makes you wonder why the game was even 3d to begin with. Casual gamers love sidescrollers (see NSMB outselling Mario Galaxy by a ridiculous amount). An interesting 2D game might have had a better chance at pleasing everyone than a simplified 3D game.

Then again, Zero Mission was already that game and it didn't exactly set the charts on fire...

Trishbot

Gamma Metroid
 
Posts: 243
Joined: 11.15.10 3:31pm

Re: Metroid and The Loss of Originality and Innovation

Postby Trishbot » 02.22.12 9:39pm

okey wrote:Kinda makes you wonder why the game was even 3d to begin with. Casual gamers love sidescrollers (see NSMB outselling Mario Galaxy by a ridiculous amount). An interesting 2D game might have had a better chance at pleasing everyone than a simplified 3D game.

Then again, Zero Mission was already that game and it didn't exactly set the charts on fire...


Actually, that's a very good point. There is a massive demand for Metroid to return to its 2D roots. Even during Other M's development, I recall many sites and fans rejoicing that it was stated the game was going back to its "2D roots" only to then realize later that the game was going to be a bit of a hybrid (a 3D adventure game with a 2D control scheme).

Other M was less a game about evolution, originality, and innovation, and I think Zynux nailed it on the head. The game was a game of compromise, of trying to be all things to all people. Who was the game's target audience? Which audience was the ideal audience for Other M? Fan-faithful or casuals?

But this is not a "bash on Other M" thread. Other M may be the most recent example lodged in our memories, but I'm still playing through the original games over and over and seeing how painfully little they evolve.

Currently, I'm on Fusion again. I've already talked about how Samus just gets her old abilities back (minus several... like the grapple beam/ice beam) and gets no cool Metroid abilities, but even then the gameplay is almost painfully identical to prior games.

And it shouldn't be. Why must nearly every encounter be the same? In the Prime games, at least, you had enemies that you needed to use the right weapon at the right time at the right spot and it required lots and lots of skill. Even with maxed out powers, there were still enemies you had to shoot in the back or kill using your X-ray or Thermal visors.

In Fusion, my energy beams kill everything. I aim, I shoot, they die. Other M went even further and just said "screw it" and added in auto-aim, but the problem was before that.

See, Samus isn't the only thing lacking in innovation, new powers or new abilities. Samus's ENEMIES also have failed to evolve. A wise comic book saying is that a hero is only as good as the villains they battle, and Samus's adversaries are still as braindead and bland and boring to kill as they ever were.

Look again at the recent Zelda: Skyward Sword; nearly every last single enemy you encounter in the game requires a new, precise strategy to defeat. Precision sword strikes, proper weapon usage, foes in the air, water, ground... some that require shield bashes, others that require arrows and aiming...

Now look at most Metroid titles and how do they handle bad guys? Apart from the same tired old villains and bosses (Ridley, Kraid), how have the villains evolved and innovated? The Prime games did well by adding Samus's powers to the Space Pirates, but in most non-Prime games it's the same tired schtick of hitting them with beams and/or missiles until they die, a process that's becoming simpler and simpler to the point of drooling apathy and casual hand-holding.

Lastly, the environments themselves are practically the same, at least in design if not aesthetics. The same hallways and tunnels and passages that requires morph balls, bombs, and the occasional missile or power bomb. Why? Why can't they create new environments with amazing new ways to navigate and traverse the world? Imagine worlds that used electricity in interesting ways (electrified floors, doors, or items) that you'd have to either disable or get an upgrade to overcome. Imagine worlds with teleportation devices. Imagine Samus adding thrusters to her feet. Zero-G environments. Ice sliding areas. Worlds that would require new powers, not for bad guys, but for you to simply get around.

I'm still going for another 100% item run in Fusion after playing Metroid 1 and Metroid: Zero Mission, and I'm still shocked at how fun the game is yet also how disappointingly safe the game is. So much potential, so much possibilities, yet so little of it realized.

That potential for innovation alone is something that excites me for future Metroid games. If they actually took those missed ideas, those ignored risks, those exciting, bold fresh gambles on gameplay (where it matters most), we could have a franchise that redefines the adventure genre once more. Relying on the same old missiles, power bombs, screw attacks, and varia suits isn't going to do anything but remind us that, yeah, Super Metroid was a good game. But let it go. I'm read for a game superior to Super Metroid, but it'll never happen if their only goal is to mimic the originals. A copy is always a more derivative, less inspiring piece of work.
Image

Dragonheart91

Zeta Metroid
 
Posts: 583
Joined: 12.30.08 12:08am

Re: Metroid and The Loss of Originality and Innovation

Postby Dragonheart91 » 02.22.12 10:08pm

I don't even care. Just give me more Metroid.

On the other hand, I've got some really cool ideas for ice-based level design. Large unexplored area there IMO.

Zynux

User avatar

Metroid Queen
 
Posts: 1481
Joined: 12.13.11 8:56pm
Location: West Chester, PA

Re: Metroid and The Loss of Originality and Innovation

Postby Zynux » 02.22.12 10:20pm

Trishbot wrote:See, Samus isn't the only thing lacking in innovation, new powers or new abilities. Samus's ENEMIES also have failed to evolve. A wise comic book saying is that a hero is only as good as the villains they battle, and Samus's adversaries are still as braindead and bland and boring to kill as they ever were.


This is something I actually wanted to touch on, and I agree: too much repetition of enemies. Not only are enemies reused in a lot of Metroid games (both 2D and 3D), but their core intelligence remains the same throughout the games, so its easy to figure out how to beat them.

EDIT: LOL I accidentally typed "guys" instead of "games". What the hell is wrong with me o_O

I also want to add another personal viewpoint. I personally believe that Metroid has too many enemies that "don't put up much of a fight." Yes, I understand that having little critters crawling around your environment adds to atmosphere and such (and I love em some atmosphere), and that's fine, but imo they overwhelm the enemies that actually pose a threat to Samus (ie Space Pirates). I wish there was more of a balance.

Now look at most Metroid titles and how do they handle bad guys? Apart from the same tired old villains and bosses (Ridley, Kraid), how have the villains evolved and innovated? The Prime games did well by adding Samus's powers to the Space Pirates, but in most non-Prime games it's the same tired schtick of hitting them with beams and/or missiles until they die, a process that's becoming simpler and simpler to the point of drooling apathy and casual hand-holding.


Have you ever checked out the "create an upgrade thread?" I believe that the first step to expanding the series is to completely revamp Samus' arsenal, which in turn will create new puzzles and new ways to explore the environment.

That potential for innovation alone is something that excites me for future Metroid games.
I 100% agree with the potential of Metroid; I'm still surprised to this day that this potential has never been realized for such a fun series.

Relying on the same old missiles, power bombs, screw attacks, and varia suits isn't going to do anything but remind us that, yeah, Super Metroid was a good game. But let it go. I'm read for a game superior to Super Metroid, but it'll never happen if their only goal is to mimic the originals. A copy is always a more derivative, less inspiring piece of work.


I think the best way to make a Metroid game better then Super Metroid or Prime is to, as we've been talking in this thread, taking it in a slightly new direction with all the "evolutions" we've been stating. This may seem ironic, but I would hate a "Super Metroid 2"; yes, they should evaluate what people liked about it and there expand on those but if all they do is make a million Super Metroids then the series woul dget old pretty fast.
Last edited by Zynux on 02.24.12 7:33pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Cut! There are no second chances for actors that fall to the abyss. Await your second casting in the darkness forever." - The Night of Wallachia

Image
Ridley prepping his body for Other M

doc O. Mire

User avatar

Omega Metroid
 
Posts: 1060
Joined: 08.23.10 5:24pm
Location: Inside a chimney, thinking

Re: Metroid and The Loss of Originality and Innovation

Postby doc O. Mire » 02.23.12 6:54am

Trishbot wrote:Lastly, the environments themselves are practically the same, at least in design if not aesthetics. The same hallways and tunnels and passages that requires morph balls, bombs, and the occasional missile or power bomb. Why? Why can't they create new environments with amazing new ways to navigate and traverse the world? Imagine worlds that used electricity in interesting ways (electrified floors, doors, or items) that you'd have to either disable or get an upgrade to overcome. Imagine worlds with teleportation devices. Imagine Samus adding thrusters to her feet. Zero-G environments. Ice sliding areas. Worlds that would require new powers, not for bad guys, but for you to simply get around.


That's something I've been thinking of for a while, and I agree with you. The problem with Samus' arsenal is similar to the problem Nintendo has creating new IPs (although they're slowly finding new ways to do so), they already have an answer for everything: Nintendo for every genre, Samus for every environment. The solution? Invent a new situation.

Temporal fluxes, electricity that can't be removed by changing water levels (like you said), having to dig through solid stone instead of just finding a way to blow up sections and roll around it. Oh, and this is a sci-fi game, so why not invent other things like phazon, elements with effects and properties we could never imagine today. Or alternate dimensions where the laws of physics differ from our own, and thus all of Samus' current adaptions to her environment are null and void.

And then there's the ability to limit Samus. In most Mario gaems, you at some point get the ability to defy gravity and fly through the air (a la screw attack) however you are always limited in how you can do so. They never once give you infinite jumps and always make the flying different, whether that means gliding, hovering with a jetpack, summoning platforms out of no where in a limited quantity, etc. And Link's bombs, especially the rare, more potent ones like those in ALttP, cannot be wasted. They're too valuable in exploration to waste such powerful attacks on enemies.

So the way I think of it is that they need power-ups that fit the environment, and thus require a new environment (SMG/SMG2 prove they are capable of making them) and what they keep needs to be nerfed so that it doesn't become an insta-win thing.

I'm done for the moment, but I may or may not return later with some ideas with the problem of the enemies being too cut-and-paste, press this button repeatedly to win...
"Writing is easy. You just stare at a blank page until your forehead starts to bleed." - Douglas Adams

okey

Metroid Queen
 
Posts: 1184
Joined: 06.29.11 1:37pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Metroid and The Loss of Originality and Innovation

Postby okey » 02.24.12 10:58am

Trishbot wrote:In Fusion, my energy beams kill everything. I aim, I shoot, they die.

Hey remember how sometimes you'd shoot a monster and the :X: would quickly turn into a different monster? That could have been a really cool feature if different enemies had different resistances.

Zynux wrote:This is something I actually wanted to touch on, and I agree: too much repetition of enemies. Not only are enemies reused in a lot of Metroid games (both 2D and 3D), but their core intelligence remains the same throughout the guys, so its easy to figure out how to beat them.

What's weird is that when they do come up with a tough interesting enemy they'll lock them up in one area and never use them again. See: Silver Space Pirates in Super Metroid.

AuroraUnitComplex

User avatar

MDB Staff - Editor
 
Posts: 648
Joined: 07.25.08 4:30pm
Location: CA

Re: Metroid and The Loss of Originality and Innovation

Postby AuroraUnitComplex » 02.24.12 4:21pm

I’m all for great “innovation,” as I imagine everyone else is, but I’d slightly caution some of you folks who sound like your harshly faulting all of the recent interquels as being poorly stagnant and uninspired games. While it’s true that there aren’t major revolutionary inventions or changes between titles like Fusion and Zero Mission and perhaps Prime 1 and Prime 2, it’s not like every successive Metroid title (or any game for that matter) needs to take dramatic leaps in its core mechanics and style to be a great experience. I could talk about all of the merits of the GBA titles, but that’s a whole other topic.

If you look at the past 10 years, there have been plenty of changes to the series, whether one calls it refinement or innovation, and I’m sure there will be much more to come. How many other franchises can claim to have been released as great 2D sidescrollers, FPA/FPS style entries, and a solid hybrid 3rd person action game in a 10 year timespan? These game sets aren’t simple clones of each other. Metroid has proven its flexible capability, and shown that it can transcend a variety of different design perspectives and styles, so I’m not entirely buying into this whole ‘the series lost its [gameplay] innovation years ago’ headline.

Super Metroid may very well be the most critically acclaimed entry that people use to compare the progress of every other title, but we need to remember that most of these latter games weren’t intended to be the direct spiritual successors of Super Metroid. It might be tempting because they are in the same 2D format, but we shouldn’t think of the GBA titles as being a simple linear progression of releases trying to directly follow SM’s trajectory and build upon everything it excelled in. Sakamoto didn’t intend for Fusion to be an extension of the Super Metroid style anymore than Zero Mission was intended to be like Fusion. Fusion felt largely different from previous 2D Metroid games in order to accommodate a different structure with more narrative, while Sakamoto specifically wanted Zero Mission's design to go back to Metroid’s gameplay roots, retell that story, and enhance an existing game. (It’s kind of weird how ZM is one of the most Chozo-centric games in the series, with a Chozo featured as the main menu, while OM has nothing.)

Trishbot wrote:The Prime games did well by adding Samus's powers to the Space Pirates, but in most non-Prime games it's the same tired schtick of hitting them with beams and/or missiles until they die, a process that's becoming simpler and simpler to the point of drooling apathy and casual hand-holding.
What’s wrong with hitting creatures in the GBA games with a variety of beams or missiles until they die? What were we supposed to hit them with? Bullets? A F.L.U.D.D. cannon? Spiderwebs? :-? Not necessarily bad ideas at all, but I don’t see why the game should be faulted for not utilizing such arsenals. I would also love to have a deeper and much more varied combat experience in future games, but I think the Classic games worked just fine with what they had and what they used. The focus of those games was never supposed to be about delivering an extravagant combat experience, but quickly eliminating obstacles so that the player could continue to run and jump through their environment with speed and efficiency, and then arrive at a more difficult boss. It would've been nice if they could've focused on adding more combat depth and freshness, but I don’t think it was imperative.

Speaking of drool and apathy, the GBA games aren’t so hand-holding that they automatically shoot Nightmare in the face just to appease casuals. Maybe it's just me, but I died more times fighting the bosses in Fusion and Zero Mission for the first time, than I died in the entire GC and Trilogy set combined on every difficulty mode and multiple replays, boss or no boss.

If we’re going to have an honest discussion about innovation and bringing in new ideas, Other M is probably the best recent indication of Nintendo trying to break out of the mold and experiment with new features and mission scenarios. While Other M certainly didn’t masterfully execute all of its design choices, a number of many healthy innovations were introduced and demonstrated, not least of which is an athletic Samus who is as badass as ever in combat, but a new flexible framework for future 3rd person Metroid games. Did I mention how the Screw Attack was not perfect but AWESOME? Going forward, I hope they’ll continue to come up with a deeper and more varied combat experience while retaining relatively easy controls (easy and simple are not always bad words). However, I’m much more interested in them first revamping the immediate design of the levels and environment in order to improve exploration. I think they could take a number of good notes from Skyward Sword as well.

Last point I wanted to make about OM, is that it’s worth remembering that the previous Metroid game Sakamoto designed was a GBA game. He went from GBA hardware, to making a close partnership with a 3rd party developer on the Wii. If people are going to try make the case about the series being too stale and playing it safe, they ought to at least commend the people at Nintendo for being willing to make such a dramatic leap again after the Prime Trilogy, and even looking outside of Nintendo to find partners who could help them deliver a new experience.

[Edit:] Since it's relevant to the thread, here are some select quotes from ZM/OM interviews.

Yoshio Sakamoto wrote:“Of course, we want to expand the Metroid franchise in different ways. In the 2D games, we haven't seen any real change in the Metroid gameplay. So that's something we want to challenge ourselves to do, add new elements to the Metroid franchise, and find new gameplay styles that we can give to the players in order to expand the franchise.” - ZM Roundtable

“If all we do is extract the essence of Metroid over and over again, every game we release will turn out exactly the same. I try to challenge myself by focusing on developing a new gameplay mechanism every time in order to avoid complaints like that.” - MF/ZM interview

“There are ways to use old powers in new ways and make them fun. We certainly don't want people to gain an ability and think, "Oh, not this old thing!" We want to bring a new experience to the series.” - 1up

“I think that the most important core element of Metroid has always been there since the first NES version. No matter which aspect of the gameplay you’re talking about, if we kept doing the same thing each time, then it wouldn’t be very stimulating or interesting in the end. So, we tried to change the format, apply some new technology, but we do like to stick to some of the core elements of Metroid. In other words, we’re trying to revolutionize Metroid without departing from what made the first NES game unique. At one point, I was wondering if there was anything else we could do to evolve Metroid, which has been a 2D game, and with Other M, I think we’ve been able to present a new format of the 2D Metroid.” - Gamespot

“Of course, there was the choice for me to work on a game more similar to Super Metroid but I don’t know if that would represent a true evolution of the series. We might be able to come up with a better Super Metroid but, someday sometime, we would work ourselves into a creative dead end if we were simply moving forward in one direction. I, myself, have been seeking new stimulations and new play feels with the games that I’ve been working on so at least I am trying to avoid repeating the same things.

I definitely consider the feedback of those players that prefer Super Metroid but the fact of the matter is that Other M has other features that must be exciting and appealing to the audience. It’s only a few days since the game’s worldwide launch and at this point I’m anxious to learn the initial reaction from the public but, on the other hand, I’m always looking forward to reading the comments and feedback once those players have completed the game for the first time. Perhaps their opinion will have changed by then.” - GamesTM
...not sure how many people have changed their opinions since then, but even for those who didn’t enjoy the Other M experience, I hope the members here at the MDb will continue to keep an open mind, and come up with plenty of constructive criticism instead of being so darn negative like other gaming residents on the internet. If the only strong message that people send Nintendo is to proverbially ‘throw the Baby out with the bath water,’ I don’t think that’s going to encourage new inventions but stifle Nintendo from taking risks.
Image

Zynux

User avatar

Metroid Queen
 
Posts: 1481
Joined: 12.13.11 8:56pm
Location: West Chester, PA

Re: Metroid and The Loss of Originality and Innovation

Postby Zynux » 02.24.12 7:30pm

Great post AuroraUnitComplex, a lot of great points made. HOWEVER, I slightly disagree >:) Wall of text incoming.

While it’s true that there aren’t major revolutionary inventions or changes between titles like Fusion and Zero Mission and perhaps Prime 1 and Prime 2, it’s not like every successive Metroid title (or any game for that matter) needs to take dramatic leaps in its core mechanics and style to be a great experience. I could talk about all of the merits of the GBA titles, but that’s a whole other topic.


I think I speak for everyone in this thread when I say that we generally agree with this; not every single Metroid game needs to be something revolutionary or have super dramatic leaps. But the problem arises when it becomes clear that the developers, no matter what type of Metroid game or genre they are working on, are not making a very clear effort to evolutionize the series outside of the "Safe Zone." You may be thinking "Then what the hell are Metroid Prime and Other M then?" and I'll address that.

Yes, to Metroid's credit, at its core Metroid Prime and Other M were outside their comfort zone, and in that regard I respect both of those games for that. Or so I thought...

Just because a game changes a genre (twice) does not mean it really revolutionized if you look past the blanket of the genre. To me, Metroid Prime Trilogy and Other M prove this. While Metroid Prime and Other M initially gave us a new way to play the game, it became increasingly clear that it was actually the same way we've been playing the 2D sidescrollers. Same enemies who function similarly, same power-ups (with almost the exact same function! This poses a problem because no matter what - 2D or 3D - finding out what to do was the same. Except for the Screw attack, which I appreciated - a change of pace. Also, imo it took far too long for the Prime games to add more interesting power-ups), and overused environments (Metroid Prime 1 and Metroid Other M simply had Jungle, Fire, Ice and Water [the Cryosphere in Other M could be considered as Water/Ice]). This may not sound like a lot but its huge since despite the transition of genres the playstyle is still too similar. I understand, especially with Prime coming out, and how controversial it was for a First-person Metroid that some things needed to be similar to attract that audience (during that time, attracting Super Metroid audience since Fusion came out at the same time). They could have rectified this with Prime 2 and Prime 3, but they hardly did: they played it far too safe.

If you look at the past 10 years, there have been plenty of changes to the series, whether one subjectively calls that refinement or innovation, and I’m sure there will be much more to come. How many other franchises can claim to have been released as great 2D sidescrollers, FPA/FPS style entries, and a solid hybrid 3rd person action game in a 10 year timespan? These game sets aren’t simple clones of each other. Metroid has proven its flexible capability, and shown that it can transcend a variety of different design perspectives and styles, so I’m not entirely buying into this whole ‘the series lost its [gameplay] innovation years ago’ headline.


This I pretty much agree with, and I will give Metroid credit for that. Not only do I kind of hate sucking up to Super Metroid and Prime, but I would welcome even more genre transitions from the series (okay, maybe not a Metroid Racer ;)). However, as I stated earlier, just because a game transitions a genre does not mean it "evolved", it takes much mroe than that imo.

Super Metroid may very well be the most critically acclaimed entry that people use to compare the progress of every other title, but we need to remember that most of these latter games weren’t intended to be the direct spiritual successors of Super Metroid.
Which I respect a lot, and frankly I agree: we don't need a million Super Metroid clones. However, there is a problem, which I'll get too in the next quote...

It might be tempting because they are in the same 2D format, but we shouldn’t think of the GBA titles as being a simple linear progression of releases trying to directly follow SM’s trajectory and build upon everything it excelled in. Sakamoto didn’t intend for Fusion to be an extension of the Super Metroid style anymore than Zero Mission was intended to be like Fusion.


And this is where the problem lies. While I agree with Sakamoto's decision to not make, say, Fusion a spiritual successor of Super Metroid, when you get rid of many aspects that defined Super Metroid (sequence breaking, non-linearity and the freedom to explore the environments, the darker and mysterious atmosphere, amongst other things) you need to fill those design choices that you abandoned with something else that will entice the players to not only appreciate these changes, but maybe even have the majority say "Wow! Though this game made a lot of changes, its much better then Super Metroid!" Did we get that? In my opinion, no, far from it.

Not only did Fusion get rid of everything I stated above, but it did not fill those gaps with anything else to set it apart. For starters, the game got much shorter, which imo is always a bad thing. Not only is the game extremely linear (which imo is also a bad thing: you almost never take a game that was known for exploration and then make a 'successor' that's linear), but the environments and level design got worse. Even some cool extras like those Beam combos and other strange nifty stuff you could do in Super were completely taken out for no real good reason (if I'm wrong on this please correct me, but I could not perform all that stuff I could in Super). Boss fights in Fusion became much easier and less rewarding. And we're graced with yet another plethora of the same power-ups (In fact, weren't there less power-ups than there were in Super? I hope not, but I'm not too sure), unoriginal environments, same enemies that we've already seen Super. If you ask me, it wasn't about Fusion being different from Super; its that Fusion was really just a "stripped" version of Super that did not even try to set itself apart from its predecessor.

Fusion felt largely different from previous 2D Metroid games in order to accommodate a different structure with more narrative, while Sakamoto specifically wanted Zero Mission's design to go back to Metroid’s gameplay roots, retell that story, and enhance an existing game.


I'll give Zero Mission some leeway only because its a remake (and a pretty good one at that), and it did well at taking Metroid 'back to its roots', but frankly much more could have been done to Zero Mission imo. I don't agree that remakes should "stick to the original game as possible," I believe the whole purpose of a remake is to greatly expand on the original game that did not have the technology to do so before. However, I am glad that Zero Mission did add some extra areas to explore and stuff, so I will give credit to that.

(It’s kind of weird how ZM is one most Chozo-centric games in the series, with a Chozo featured as the main menu, while OM has nothing).


Another strange advertising/marketing plan of Other M. Sakamoto wanted to explore Samus and what shaped her to be the Bounty Hunter that she is today, yet missed the massive opportunity to include the Chozo. Of course, the problem arises when you figure out that the Chozo being mentioned in Other M would not have fit, if at all, to the game's central story and would seem very out of place. If that's the case, then why was this game advertised to "explore Samus' past?" Its very misleading.

Trishbot wrote:The Prime games did well by adding Samus's powers to the Space Pirates, but in most non-Prime games it's the same tired schtick of hitting them with beams and/or missiles until they die, a process that's becoming simpler and simpler to the point of drooling apathy and casual hand-holding.
What’s wrong with hitting creatures in the GBA games with a variety of beams or missiles until they die? What were we supposed to hit them with? Bullets? A F.L.U.D.D. cannon? Spiderwebs? :-? Not necessarily bad ideas at all, but I don’t see why the game should be faulted for not utilizing such arsenals. I would also love to have a deeper and much more varied combat experience in future games, but I think the Classic games worked perfectly fine with what they had and what they used. The focus of those games was never supposed to be about delivering an extravagant combat experience, but quickly eliminating obstacles so that the player could continue to run and jump through their environment with speed and efficiency, and then arrive at a more difficult boss. They’ve could of focused on adding more combat depth and freshness, but I don’t think it was imperative.


"Imperative" may not be the word I would use, but I think it is something that the classic games (and the 3D games, especially Prime, which I feel had the most 'flawed' core action, yes even more then Other M) should have payed attention to and expanded on. In all Metroids I too would want more strategy in killing enemies, and its something the series has been failing at. Bosses too, since a lot of bosses are pretty much "PLEASE SHOOT YOUR BEAMS HERE. THANK YOU, HAVE A GOOD DAY". Not as bad or obvious as Zelda bosses and enemies, but its heading there.

Speaking of drool and apathy, the GBA games aren’t so handhold-ing that they automatically shoot Nightmare in the face just to appease casuals. Maybe it's just me, but I died more times fighting the bosses in Fusion and Zero Mission for the first time, than I died in the entire GC and Trilogy set combined on every difficulty mode and multiple replays, boss or no boss.


I thought Fusion was generally difficult except for the bosses, and Zero Mission was only difficult on Hard mode for me. Metroid Prime and Prime 3: Corruption were pitifully easy for me, however.

If we’re going to have an honest discussion about innovation and bringing in new ideas, Other M is probably the best recent indication of Nintendo trying to break out of the mold and experiment with new features and mission scenarios.


Normally I would agree with this; in fact I do believe that Other M 'broke the norm' and tried to be much more experimental in comparison to Prime, and I respect Other M for doing that heavily (it may not sound like it, but I do. You'll just have to take my word for it ;) ). However, at the same time I find the statement 'Other M is probably the best recent indication of Nintendo trying to break out of the mold and experiment with new features and mission scenarios" just sad because frankly it really doesn't do all that many things different from the 2D sidescrollers. We have yet again another short game (not as short as the handheld; and from what I can tell it was longer then Super, but much shorter then the Primes) traveling through uninspired hallways and a straight-line fashion, with another Jungle, Fire, and Ice world. The same power-ups that function in the same manner with the same enemies...man of them not really putting up a fight. Again, it feels like I'm the 2D sidescrollers all over again. Other M does get points for having a more engaging combat experience in comparison to other Metroids in general though. While there was more story, cinematics, and other things (like those lovely pixel hunts and over-the-shoulder-sections), its core experience was almost identical, and to me that's not a good thing.

While Other M certainly didn’t masterfully execute all of its design choices, a number of many healthy innovations were introduced and demonstrated, not least of which is an athletic Samus who is as badass as ever in combat, but a new flexible framework for future 3rd person Metroid games.


I completely disagree with "a number of healthy innovations were introduced", but I agree with everything else. Maybe not a game exactly like Other M, but I would love another 3D action Adventure that greatly builds upon what Other M did. There is so much potential there.

Going forward, I hope they’ll continue to come up with a deeper and more varied combat experience while retaining relatively easy controls (easy and simple are not always bad words).


Not always "bad", but it does worry me when they announce stuff like "casual gamer" and "simple/easy controls" in a game that heavily emphasized Action (which imo is what Other M was).

Last point I wanted to make about OM, is that it’s worth remembering that the previous Metroid game Sakamoto designed was a GBA game. He went from GBA hardware, to making a close partnership with a 3rd party developer on the Wii. If people are going to try make the case about the series being too stale and playing it safe, they ought to at least commend the people at Nintendo for being willing to make such a dramatic leap again after the Prime Trilogy, and even looking outside of Nintendo to find partners who could help them deliver a new experience.


I 100% agree, and I do give Nintendo, Sakamoto, and everyone else involved credit for that.

[Edit:] Since it's relevant to the thread, here are some select quotes from ZM/OM interviews.

Yoshio Sakamoto Quotes


I don't think I've ever said this, but I've always enjoyed Sakamoto interviews. While I don't believe he ever accomplished what he said in those interviews, he always in my mind had really good ideas, so again I give him credit for that.


AuroraUnitComplex wrote:I’m all for great “innovation,” as I imagine everyone else is, but I’d slightly caution some of you folks who sound like your harshly faulting all of the recent interquels as being poorly stagnant and uninspired games....

.........not sure how many people have changed their opinions since then, but even for those who didn’t enjoy the Other M experience, I hope the members here at the MDb will continue to keep an open mind, and come up with plenty of constructive criticism instead of being so darn negative like other gaming residents on the internet.


Woah, hold up there. Have you read the thread? Most of the users have made extremely constructive criticisms on the Metroid series; we're not being harsh or uber negative at all. I will admit that my post on Other M's development cycle could have been interpreted as just inflammatory/negative, but everyone else in this thread is really making an effort to provide constructive criticism for this series (and I believe they've done a good job at that). Just because we're Metroid fans doesn't mean we can't criticize its faults. I know that's not what you were saying, but that's kind of how it comes across as.
"Cut! There are no second chances for actors that fall to the abyss. Await your second casting in the darkness forever." - The Night of Wallachia

Image
Ridley prepping his body for Other M

Dragonheart91

Zeta Metroid
 
Posts: 583
Joined: 12.30.08 12:08am

Re: Metroid and The Loss of Originality and Innovation

Postby Dragonheart91 » 02.25.12 7:07pm

This thread was interesting until it turned into another Other M rant thread with walls of text far too big to ever be read.

Maetch

Zeta Metroid
 
Posts: 658
Joined: 06.06.08 11:29am

Re: Metroid and The Loss of Originality and Innovation

Postby Maetch » 02.25.12 8:01pm

Metroid has always been the odd duck in Nintendo's roster. Everything the first game did, Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda did already, but it still got noticed for how it mixed Mario's platforming precision with Zelda's open-ended exploration. If Mario and Zelda are Nintendo's A-list franchises, then Metroid would be a B-lister: relatively popular, but doesn't induce manic sales like the three others do.

It wasn't until Super Metroid that the series found its gameplay niche, and every Metroid game since has since used SM as a template. As a result, they all tend to feel exactly like each other: same locations, same items, same monsters, etc. Sure they've tried to mix it up a bit, but they never strayed far from SM's design. The one game that took a radically-new direction for the series (Other M) was disliked for NOT being like the others, which pretty much tells Nintendo "make more games just like SM, because no one wants anything different for the series".

Since Metroid isn't a million-seller, Nintendo won't take risks with the series for fear of losing what fanbase they've got (especially not after Other M's epic failure), whereas Mario and Zelda can afford to take risks simply because everybody loves those franchises and will generally accept whatever direction they go.
:metroid: = Ultimate Warrior
8) = Ultimate Warrior
Therefore, 8) = :metroid:

Now you know why they call it Metroid.

---

This is the song, written for the chase scene!
This is the song, Samus and James!
He tri-ied to kill me with a forklift! (Ole!)

Trishbot

Gamma Metroid
 
Posts: 243
Joined: 11.15.10 3:31pm

Re: Metroid and The Loss of Originality and Innovation

Postby Trishbot » 02.25.12 8:07pm

Dragonheart91 wrote:This thread was interesting until it turned into another Other M rant thread with walls of text far too big to ever be read.


And you obviously didn't read that wall of text, because it talks about Metroid Prime 1, 2, 3, Fusion, Super, and Zero Mission as much as Other M.

And you're always welcome to ignore those responses and just respond in a constructive way to "get back on track" to what you were liking.

And, doing just that...

Looking at what Metroid original was, like, ORIGINALLY, on the NES, it's weird to think that sandbox games like Saint's Row, Red Dead Redemption, and GTAIV are more like those original Metroid games than the recent games in the freedom it allows players to have. The freedom to explore where you want, when you want, and to discover new characters, enemies, story lines, quests, and upgrades is a powerful gaming tool to keep people playing.

Metroid has become significantly more linear. I'm STILL shocked at how Fusion's ending literally forces me to give up on item hunting just as soon as I finally get the tools and items to do so. Other M's linearity is well-covered (so moving on), but even the Prime games became more restrictive, and even Zero Mission forced in the mandatory stealth section and depowered you at a critical part of the game. Linearity isn't bad in an of itself, but it's what it removes from the game, from the player, that is important. If nothing is lost, there's nothing to complain about, but things ARE being lost.

Basically, what was mentioned before by others, is that Metroid is removing elements from prior games but not substituting in something of equal or greater value to make these sacrifices worth it. It is purely different for different's sake. Everything in a game should support the gameplay and make it better, linear or not. Enemies, weapons, environments. Everything.

But that's one reason Metroid games like Other M and Fusion and the Prime games remain interesting... because their foundation could be built up. It could be expanded upon. It could be evolved and improved beyond just checking off a list of Metroid prerequisites. Before RE4, could you imagine a Resident Evil game without zombies? Before Link's Awakening, could you imagine a Zelda game without Zelda? Before Halo: ODST and Reach, could you imagine a Halo game without Master Chief?

But, see, if these games had just stripped away those elements without offering something as good or better to fill the void, they would have been terrible decisions. The additions to these games made up for what they gave up. They innovated in clever ways. Some still might claim they played it safe, but Ganados were superior foes to zombies, Marin was a more tragic and memorable heroine than Zelda, and your squad mates in ODST and Reach were far more likeable than in any of the original three Halo games.

If Metroid wants to be original, truly innovative, it can't just be different. Different alone isn't worth doing. It has to make changes feel warranted, feel necessary, and feel GOOD. And, admittedly, some things Metroid has done HAVE been worthwhile changes. People's tastes vary. I think Sakamoto and others really do WANT to keep Metroid from stagnating, but what they say and want isn't what we see happening. While the game and controls keep changing, we're still doing the same thing. They change "WHY" we do things, but not "HOW" we do it. I want the latter, and I think Metroid has all the potential in the world to deliver on that.
Image

PreviousNext

Return to General Metroid Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest