“It didn’t deliver”
Penny for your Metroid: Other M thoughts? Well, I’m sure you can spare more than a penny, as people have thoughts on that game, including former president of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime. The Reggie Metroid: Other M well is deep, as he elaborated recently on the Kinda Funny Gamescast [via Nintendo Everything]. Reggie explained:
“I really thought that that was going to be a defining moment for the Metroid franchise. It was giving much more of a perspective about Samus. I really thought that was going to be a killer moment in the franchise’s history, and it wasn’t. It didn’t deliver – not the business results, it really didn’t touch the player the way we hoped it would.”
He goes on to say that there was a “large group meeting” of the minds, with Iwata and Miyamoto in attendance, on what happened, as a post-mortem of sorts. Describing himself as the “brash American” of the crew, he made the case that the game “took too long to get into the meat and potatoes,” which is absolutely true. He dinged the “first five hours” as treading water without payoff, and is “sure [he] pissed people off in the room.” Reggie says he hopes that his advice impacted future development — and to an extent, I think it did, though some Nintendo games still have pacing and over-tutorialization issues.
You can’t really predict how anything is going to turn out with the general public in the end, even if you really believe in something. While Other M had myriad issues that prevented it from being a true hit, and suffered from a negative word of mouth, I can see where he’s coming from. There are things to like about Other M, but the action gets bogged down by an incredibly polarizing story with unskippable cutscenes on the first run (a cardinal sin in that era).
Once that word of mouth spread, it was over for Other M. But as I’ve talked about over the years, it had a lot of things to offer, particularly from a mechanical standpoint. I hope that with some story refinements (and skippable cutscenes the first time through!), it sees the light of day again.