Sorry about the long post. I tend to ramble about things like this.
So, Friday of last week, Nintendo released the latest installment of their great and grand Metroid franchise, Metroid: Samus Returns.
Now, before I go into my opinions on the franchise, I am going to say that I haven’t really played any of the Metroid games, mostly for lack of trying. The only one I’ve played was Metroid Prime 3 for the Wii. And I didn’t play it to completion. I got to the second world and got bored with the backtracking.
That said, I really don’t like Metroid.
“Silly Isaac,” I hear you commenting, “you can’t hate on a game you haven’t played.” True, true. My opinions against Metroid are unfair and based on second-hand information. But I like to stay where I am with the games, so I can look at them from an outside perspective.
My reasons for disliking Metroid are threefold. First, my one experience with the games was, simply-put, boring. Sure, it was bright and colorful, and occasionally, there would be a boss battle to spice things up, but beyond that, it was boring. Then again, Metroid Prime is a first-person shooter, and I have a set of unrealistic expectations about the genre—one of those being, “no backtracking.”
Second, since the very first game, Samus, the protagonist, has been a poorly-developed character. Not in the typical video-game-hero/ine-poorly-developed (read: not developed at all), but more in the sense of the writers couldn’t make up their minds about what they wanted her to be.
The first game ends with, among other plot points, Samus removing her helmet and revealing that she’s a woman, and you—the predominantly male audience—has been playing as a woman this whole time. This was good, because it showed that a woman could be just as kick-butt awesome as a man.
However, if you complete the game within a certain time limit, Samus strips down to a bikini. This is one of my main complaints with the series: they took a strong, independent, female character, and turned her into a medium for fanservice.
And her appearances were a cycle from then on out. One game she’d be fanservice-y (Metroid: Zero Missions) and one game she’d be strong and independent (Metroid Prime.)
And then Metroid: Other M came along, and took away her role as a strong, independent character. Sure, it was her origin story, but they took out one of the few key traits of her personality and threw it in the dumpster.
Which leads to my third reason I don’t like Metroid: Nintendo themselves don’t really care about the franchise. Not the way they do with Zelda, Mario, or even Kirby. With Metroid, they don’t really seem to care about it. They’ll slap the logo on something if they want to sell it—
*cough cough* Federation Force *cough cough*
—and that shows that they don’t really care where the story is going.
But, in the end, I don’t play Metroid because I simply don’t want to put my money towards it. I believe that every dollar I spend on a product is an endorsing vote that the product is good. And I don’t think it’s a good product. Plain and simple.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to spend a post gushing about something I like.