December 18, 2010

Other N

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 2:31 pm

Metroid Other M
Heaping scorn on Other M this year may have become one of those instances where critical analysis is undermined by a perceived wave of venom sweeping away valid points into the faux deep sea known as “haters gotta hate.”

There’s a frequent knee-jerk reaction to that perception, which encourages going against the grain, digging for the deeper importance of a game simply to prove the bastards wrong. Some people do this because human beings are creatures capable of holding different and legitimate opinions, and others do this because standing against the crowd guarantees some level of attention. And rightly so, because if you can sing against the choir to find value where so many others have not, I’ll certainly give your words a read.


September 7, 2010

Review – Metroid: Other M

Metroid: Other M
In 2004, the original NES release of Metroid joined several titles deemed classic enough to represent that period of gaming through revisits on the GameBoy Advanced, and yet that same year also saw a much more thorough revisit on the handheld with the release of Metroid: Zero Mission. Aside from several tweaks within the game, the release returned to the source of the series to establish cannon at ground zero, setting the tone and direction for all subsequent releases.

The most significant element of that release was the newly added Zero Mission, a mission that showed Samus Aran stripped of her armor and evading space pirates in the instantly iconic zero suit. It was the emergence of a more vulnerable, but still capable Samus, and a defining moment that opened the floodgates for a greater discussion of the role gender plays within the Metroid series, executed with clever subtlety.


July 28, 2010

Metroid’s Tomb of the Unnecessarily Named Soldier

Filed under: News Feed — Tags: , , — Jamie Love @ 9:01 am

Metroid: Other M
Nintendo possibly attempts to alleviate concern about spilling generic space marines all over our Metroid with yet another trailer, which takes pains to name every single one of them – whether I remember any of these names a week after finishing the game remains to be seen.

No offense to Lyle Smithsonian, but unless your name is Samus Aran, I really don’t care what happens to you so watch your own damn back.

Meet and greet the squad after the break – let me know if it brings back memories of the first 20 minutes from any number of sci-fi / action / horror hybrid films.


July 17, 2010

Your Translated Dose of Metroid Developer Talk

Filed under: News Feed — Tags: , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 3:36 pm

Metroid Other M
It’s a glorious Saturday when you discover that someone was good enough to tackle translating and subtitling Nintendo’s Japanese developer feature for Metroid: Other M – so be sure to drop by and thank them.

To be honest, the language barrier didn’t stop me from already watching the two videos several times over with limited comprehension – Metroid footage is universal, kinda like the language of love as far as I’m concerned.

That said, being able to follow along and hear about some of the challenges in developing the latest release in the franchise is not to be missed – so catch it after the break.


March 21, 2010

SugarRush – Episode 1

Filed under: SugarRush — Tags: , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 12:30 pm

Hey Kids! It’s the very first episode of Sugar Rush – the Gamesugar Podcast – so start jumping and screaming right now!

Also consider pressing play, because we’d appreciate it.

For our first swing at the mic I’m joined by co-host Michael Tucker, who knows much more about Pokémon than I do, despite my time with HeartGold this week, and Poké-expert Kyattsuai drops by to school us in the Pokéarts and make us question whether you really can catch them all.

But wait, there’s more! Somehow we convinced 4cr’s Gregory Gay that he was doing their podcast while talking Perfect Dark and proving that no matter what we discuss, we’ll always turn it into more debate about Other M – though we also take time out to talk about Valve as often as possible too, assuming Tucker doesn’t pass out from flu meds.

[direct download] [RSS Feed]


February 2, 2010

The Comment That Nearly Killed Me…

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 5:20 pm

I wouldn’t have thought that a post about a teaser site would get me so fired up, but Nick Rumas’ 4cr post about Other M had the ability to stop me dead in the water, and not because he is more optimistic about changes to the Metroid series – if we all thought the same life would be far too bland to go on living.

Rather it was this particular comment attached to the post that stuck me like a needle –

It reminds me of the Metroid Manga, which was fairly good, This game is conveying emotion, which is a great thing I feel, for this game will bring the series to new places, by mixing a great story in with great action. They are just trying to give this series depth, rather than a regular old sci-fi shooter. when you think about it, your still going to be shooting giant space pirates and collecting new upgrades, but this time around I’ll feel the anger and pain of loss, suffering that they’ve caused, and really get enjoyment from killing space pirates and whatnot

Now it’ll seem like I’m singling this comment out to simply pick on it, but I believe it’s an incredibly important talking point that needs some examination. Neither is it my intention to tell you how you should feel about potential changes to the Metroid series via a game we know very little about.

Rather, the inference of where depth emerges from in this comment touches directly on whether the medium of gaming is one we as gamers actively engage with, because without that level of active engagement we’re merely pressing buttons to watch longer movies.


December 13, 2009

The Burden of Being – Samus Aran

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 11:13 am

Samus Aran

Originally Published via Toronto Thumbs – June 14, 2009

Few revelations could have placated the long time Nintendo faithful at E3 this year more than the announcement that another Metroid title was in development. The applause within Club Nokia was instantaneous, and I’m certain the person to my right started convulsing almost immediately; the person to my left added “new Metroid game” to his notes as if he’d forget, but that’s another story. As gamers have absorbed the news, there’s a nagging concern as the knee-jerk excitement gives way to a recognition of what was shown in the footage.

The Team Ninja project consists of video sequences focused on developing a back story for the bounty hunter, presenting characters and emotional elements through externalized story telling tactics. In other words, aspects that are largely foreign to the series. Nintendo told me that the project was about telling a different story in the franchise, and for now that appears to rely on anime-styled cinema to wedge a new entry into the series. I can’t help but think that this has more to do with selling units in Japan, where the series has proved less popular compared to Nintendo’s other storied franchises. Yet there’s more at stake than that.

As Hideo Kojima wisely pointed out at GDC this year, technical limitations played a definitive role in the design and narrative aspirations of early videogames. Designers were forced to find unique ways to tell stories, often achieving fresh narrative approaches by nature of the marriage between what was desired and what was technically possible. While that caused Kojima to create a stealth-oriented genre that continues to thrive today, it also gave birth to a science fiction series that represents the single most symbolically significant franchise Nintendo claims ownership over, linked to the best examples of a genre where the primary goal is to think harder about who we are and where we are going.

With technical limitations fading and giving rise to unparalleled design possibilities, there is every reason to be concerned that this most preciously-guarded franchise will be raided and exploited, lessening the significance in the attempt to broaden the appeal.


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