Today's blog post is brough to you by the letter M.
I think I'm getting a handle on this banner thing.
Before I get started, I'd like to establish some common ground about Metroid: Super Metroid is the greatest Metroid game ever made, one of the greatest adventure platformers ever constructed, and if it doesn't land in your Top Fifty -- And I'm Being Mega Generous There -- Games Of All Time Ever, you should make for the nearest exit.
Also the Kraid theme is the best of the Metroid themes. Sayin'.
Since it was announced, I have been sitting on the fence about Other M. Of course, being a Metroid fan, I'm presently suffering the affliction of omigod omigod new metroid omigod IWILLBUYFIVE. But the problem is, the more I heard of Other M, the more apprehensive I became. For instance this trailer.
Here are the things I do not go to a Metroid game for:
Story -- I am a bounty hunter working for the Galactic Federation, and my soul's desire is to shoot some Zebsian upstarts in the face. Along the way I discover that - gasp and shock - there be metroids. Again. And, as with all things, I will shoot those in the face. In fact, anything that isn't me on the screen gets shot, and I will aim high. It's all I need, and it's how I roll.
Compelling Narrative with Wonderful Voice Acting -- Actually, I don't go to any game for this. But here's the problem with having a character who rarely-to-never speaks being handed a microphone: no matter how hard you toil, no matter how you work over your script -- and since we're talking about video games, let's be honest with ourselves, an intern was asked to "bang something out" in their off-hours because most games don't care about script -- no matter how much effort you put in, the Samus Aran you create will never be cooler than the Samus Aran in our minds. (For the love of God, though, please let's have learned from the "Well excuuuse me, princess!" fiasco. We still remember.)
Insight Into Samus Aran's Fashion Sense -- I'm not particularly interested in how the Galactic Federation issue garb clings to her svelte form. Nor am I curious how she decides to accessorize fucking green khaki, because ladies, nobody's accessorizing camo. That was a mistake we made in the 90s and we are still collectively regretting it. Put her in a Chozo suit and let her do work. Those metroids aren't going to ice-missle themselves.
Don't get me wrong. Attention being paid to story in a game is an excellent thing. It's why Bioshock did so well. It's why so many people keep pushing Dragonage into my hands, despite that I haven't 100+ hours to sink in any game these days. It's why I keep replaying Silent Hill 2 when I need to decompress. (That, or watch Legally Blonde. You know how it is.)
But Metroid isn't really on that list. Metroid is where I go when I want to be a badass travelling through space and shooting things.
Yes, they do have a story of sorts stringing you along, starting on one planet only to find that the rabbit hole does indeed go deep, deeper than previously thought. It wouldn't be particularly clever of the space pirates to limit their operations to Brinstar. And while I appreciate the attempts to lure you into a false sense of security, to have you ask if perhaps this time those assholes from Zebes have something new up their sleeves, phason, dark Samus, whatever, it's a Metroid game. I'm waiting for little bulbous creatures to haunt my every move. It's what they do. It's why I'm here.
But then we get a trailer like this and I get optimistic.The new trailer features gameplay. And I'm not talking about the piddly gameplay we saw in the E3 2009 trailer. I'm talking "this is how you hold your wiimote, this is how mans gets shot" gameplay.
I'm not a fan of the WiiMote. It's a big reason why my Wii collects dust. When my hands lay in my lap, at rest, completely void of tension, they assume a position which can easily accomodate a controller offering four buttons under each thumb, and perhaps triggers. The WiiMote has been a direct path to tendinitis, which I already have, thanks, and don't particularly like to be reminded about.
Thusly, the primarily-normal controls of this game make me excited. Metroid Prime 3 was a pain to play, in a literal sense, my hand was uncooperative. I'm really stoked on this new trailer. I'm finally getting eager about this new addition to the Metroid series. But, as ever, I am cautiously optimistic. Because you never know.
Hi Destructoid. Nice to meet you. I'm going to talk about ...
Apologies for the dirty jpeg. I'll get the hang of this someday.
The inaugural PAX East was my fifth PAX (for those who went, I was in the Batman sweatshirt, the one who asked about the PAX East swear word). My version of the show is likely different from others, in part because I am an eternally patient con-goer, and in part because I gots me some ways to be really damn good at the line game.
I feel bad for those who claimed PAX East was their first convention. Yes there were bumps and scrapes to be had with any convention, especially an inaugural event. But the folks at Penny Arcade, the enforcers, the list of people you don't even realize are behind the scenes, work diligently and tirelessly to construct this pinnacle of gaming-related conventions, to ensure their show rests at the top of the highest peaks, stray wisps of hair brushing against the heavens.
That is to say: Son, it is downhill from here.
The convention started for me Thursday at 8pm when we busted out the d20s and played us some DnD 4e. I DMed, and thankfully I have a very patient set of WoW guildies who tolerated my noobishness and my hand-crafted gaming session. Though I received minor props for the final encounter, which I enjoyed playing. (I gunned for people, aimed for a TPK, and let's just say, wizard needed food badly.)
There was also a growler of heartbreakingly good local porter being passed around, and who doesn't like that?
Here's the thing about line rides: once you've waited three hours to enter Hall H at ComicCon, your scale of zero-to-goddamn-bullshit is forever altered. (For those unaware: this translates to three hours in the San Diego sun. Bring a tube of Banana Boat, five gallons of water, and a portable library.) PAX's line ride, on a scale of one to sauce, is ravioli. They engage the audience with games and dance and hilarity. They permit the bouncing of beach balls for extended periods of time (usually just before someone loses an eye). The enforcers are willing to engage you in conversation, and actually understand why you're there.
Other Friday notables: Anamanaguchi (and bumping into someone I was standing next to during the JoCo concert at the previous PAX -- literally, bumping into them), asking for the PAX East swear word, watching a friend get selected to be an Omeganaut, and nailing second row center for the keynote and Q&A panels. Oh, and the Jameson.
Scott Kurtz's panel was probably the best part of Saturday. I came in with no expectations and spent hours laughing my ass off. He didn't know how to react when we stood up to give him a standing ovation, then sat back down and didn't leave.
Other Saturday notables: playing Zombies! with the guildies, getting to call out Mike/Gabe for arranging it so Kara wouldn't be available for us to hang out with, and playing far too much Robot Unicorn Attack.
Alas, my flight left far too early for me to enjoy much of the convention. I was able to watch the Blamimations panel (not Blaminations, though they did pick a very easy name, rolls right off the tongue) and the Pitch Your Game panel, during which my friend Fergus was able to suggest his pedometer-based bear game, where you rescue little children from evil school. (We've yet to come up with a name for it, but if you think of something, give a holler.)
Nothing else about Sunday was notable, except seeing The Blind Side on a plane which was quite possibly the most boring movie I've ever seen in my life. Completely void of tension.