So I expect to be playing Metroid: Other M soon.

I have mixed feelings, anticipation and trepidation for this one.

The reviews have been mixed for this title. Some say it’s good. Others say it’s a disappointment. All say it’s different. Many say the story and dialogue are just plain awful. So I’m hesitant and curious to check it out.

From a personal standpoint, I’m a little nervous to play it on my system. I haven’t played a lot of retail titles on my Wii this year after the multiple botched repair jobs I got from that offsite repair service Nintendo uses. After wiping my data and repeatedly getting a slew of disc-mangling consoles, I’m admittedly gun shy to see if my latest iteration will actually work properly or not. But I suppose that I need to “get over it” eventually, right?

Regardless, I still remember my first time playing the original Metroid. It was the Summer of 1988 over at a freidn of mine’s house. We played and played, and I remember finding the “JUSTIN BAILEY” password that unlocked Samus as a green haired, pink leotard clad lady. It was the Zelda of side-scrolling platformers, and there were a ton of glitches and weird stuff to exploit.

Which leads to the inevitable Super Metroid discussion, which directly precedes Other M. The ending to the Super NES classic was one of the greatest end boss battles/silent narratives Nintendo has ever done (Ocarina of Time equaled the “Wow” factor 4 years later). Super Metroid told us a then decent amount of Samus’ backstory and even her character motivation.

The Prime series went back earlier in the timeline, but we learned even more about Samus and her first real interactions with others in Metroid Prime 3. I liked Samus’ silent approach to her comrades and enemies, and I thought the other voice acting was excellent.

Am I ready for Samus to speak? Is the voice going to match what I think it should be?

Fandom is such a weird thing. We always have preconceptions of how things should go. If it works out well for us, then it’s fuel for our enthusiasm and praise. When it goes badly, it usually turns to instant ire.

I think Samus and (by extension, Link) should be silent protagonists in an all talking world. I never realized how much simplicity Nintendo presents their stories in, and how effective it’s been. Even Super Mario RPG, a text-driven game, has Mario pantomiming instead of “speaking”. Yet, Starfox 64 worked. Metroid Prime 3 worked. Super Mario Galaxy worked. But you realize how important the “right” voice is for a character, and how badly things can go when it doesn’t.

As for Other M‘s story, which seems to be one of the main points of contention, even from Nintendo Power, a lot of fault’s have been pointed out over the goofy, illogical dialogue, many examples I can clearly understand the point. Metroid and Zelda are Nintendo’s “serious” franchises. Will poor dialogue hurt my perception of the Samus character, or will past experience be enough to “let this one slide”?

I’ll be playing starting later on this week. I’ll definitely share my insights as I progress into Samus’ next adventure.

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