Monday, March 1, 2010

CrashMan disagrees with Malstrom. .... wait, what!?!?

It's true. For the first time, maybe ever, Sean Malstrom has written some things I do not agree with.

Of course, this doesn't mean you shouldn't agree with them. But let me share why I don't. They deal with Metroid: Other M and the initial trickles of info we've seen.

Malstrom says: "Seeing the end of Super Metroid in ridiculous CGI brings back no nostalgia and actually ruins the ending of Super Metroid (now when we get the Hyper Beam, we will have that stupid saying in our head of 'Mother, time to go!' Ugh)."

Why I disagree: I think the new cutscenes look/sound awesome. Your witness, Mr. Malstrom.

Malstrom says: So what do the intros of Other M and Super Metroid have in common? They both have bad voice acting*. Perhaps Sakamoto should have stuck to text instead.
*Does not include baby Metroid whose voice acting has always been excellent.

Why I disagree: Well, that was genuinely funny. But, we're not here to make 'em laugh, Mr. Malstrom!

For a guy who admires change so much (constantly praising the Wii's business strategy), it surprises me how much he seems to be upset by the fact that Samus now has a voice. Perhaps worse, it seems that he is not judging the voiced Samus as much as he is condemning whatever is not the silent Samus.

Malstrom: "I’m rather fond of the intro to Metroid Prime. In that, no words are spoken. The camera only swirls around to show that you are now in 3d and then zooms into Samus’s helmet."
"The Metroid Prime 2 intro was also pretty cool. All it shows is Samus crashing into the planet, camera swirls around, and then you are good to go."

Why are we striving for a striped down experience, Sean? I feel I am in the minority, but for me, depth is paramount (*cough*cough* Wii Are what?).

So why single out this small difference in opinion from someone I truly respect and admire?

Simply because, in this scenario, his reactions seem to articulately sum up the reactions of a lot of gamers. They are psyched about the game itself (Malstrom: "...keep in mind I do not think these games are ‘bad’. They are very well made. ... these games are a zillion times better than the User Generated Content software."), but they seem to resist and fear change because it is such a well-established franchise.

I can't agree with that mentality. Especially not in this case. It's not like they gave Samus a mohawk and a skate board. Also, Nintendo detractors have been complaining for years about how Nintendo doesn't give their big franchises enough fresh new ideas. How they are "lazy" in how they leave Mario, Metroid, Zelda relatively unchanged.

Yet, these same folks are first to the soapboxes when Nintendo actually does take risks (Wind Waker, Sunshine, Star Fox Adventures and now Other M).

The way I see it ...
Giving Samus a voice only deepens the character and lore of the game. I believe this holds true for any game. Yes, you run the risk of poor execution, and not everyone will be pleased - but you run those risks no matter what!

All things considered ...
Sonic has spoken for years. So people are used to it. So they don't complain (about the voice anyway).

Mario has spoken (a little) for years. So people are used to it. So they don't complain.

The cast of Resident Evil has spoken for years. So people are used to it. So they don't complain.

I can't help but feel the same would hold true for Samus. A few years from now, assuming the entirety of Other M makes the game an enjoyable one, no one will be irked about Samus opening her mouth. They've always wanted to blast alien lifeforms, now they'll just want to know "what happens next!?" after they do it.

Disclaimer: You da man, Sean.


Zero Tolerance said...

I'm on Metroid: Other M media lockdown because I know I will be buying the game at launch. That said, you do pose some valid points. Sonic, once he started talking, got cooler. Jaleel White's legendary voice for SatAM and The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog set us up for Sonic Adventure, and Sonic's voice (despite what Sonic fans have said, but they are ridiculously fickle) has improved over the years. SatBK is great!

However, there's just something about giving a voice to Samus that bothers me, more so than giving a voice to The Legend of Zelda characters. We spend most of our time playing as Samus alone, which wouldn't give her a reason to say anything. I mean, her voice in Other M will change the way we'll play all the other Metroid games. If her Brawl voice is any indication, I am afraid. Very, very afraid.

NinSage said...


Amazing to think Jaleel White was Sonic, isn't it? But he did do a great job (ya slo mo!).

Could you imagine if an announcment like that happened now-a-days? The internet would be filled with bad photoshops of Steve Urkel with hedgehog spines! =P

About Samus, you are completely entitled to your own fears about the game. All I will say is this: it's a flagship Nintendo franchise. What's their track record of good to not-good games? Like 20 to 1??

Temper that fear, my friend.

I also try to remain on media lockdown for a game like this. Honestly, if the 'net was all a buzz with this Samus voice stuff, I wouldn't have checked it out.