Metroid: Other M interview - lack of health drops, abilities

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by soulx, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. soulx

    soulx GBAtemp Legend

    Apr 4, 2009
    1UP: Can you offer any examples from the game that changed, from what people might expect as a result of your back-and-forth interaction? For instance, one of the first things I noticed in playing Other M is that enemies no longer drop health power-ups -- it's more about surviving each encounter, which is a really different feel for Metroid.

    Sakamoto: That's an interesting point. I hadn't really thought about that as being particularly influenced by Team Ninja, but you're right that when you defeat enemies now, they don't allow you to recover health or missiles. But I wouldn't think of that as something that just came from one team or the other. Rather, it was something we discussed and decided on together. If I had to give an example of something that felt like it was definitely influenced by our new partners, it would probably be the way in which Samus is combining different abilities together to create new abilities. For example, there's a technique called "overblast" where you get on top of an enemy and deliver a kill shot from above. Now, this new move seems to have a lot of fighting game elements to it, which I have to say was never really a part of the Metroid gameplay and style before. But it's a very cool action, and I'm happy that we're able to include this sort of thing in the repertoire.

    1UP: Can players expect to find new powers that haven't been seen in other games, or should we just expect to find familiar abilities and combine them in new ways, as you say?

    Hayashi: First, just to clear up -- there aren't as many combinations of equipment as there are combinations of moves. Maybe it was slightly misleading when we described it earlier, but mostly what we're talking about in that sense are things that are combinations of techniques like you'd see in fighting games -- getting on top of someone and hitting them in a certain place in the head -- not that you'll necessarily see combinations of weapons, like the missile and ice missile combo you talked about in Metroid Fusion.

    Sakamoto: Of course, we'll have some abilities you gain from enemies that have never before been seen in the series. We're definitely looking for ways to make things fun for the player. And obviously, even the abilities you've seen in previous games are going to feel very different when you use them in a 3D space with these kinds of camera angles. There are ways to use old powers in new ways and make them fun. We certainly don't want people to gain an ability and think, "Oh, not this old thing!" We want to bring a new experience to the series.

    1UP: The series is called Metroid, and while I'm sure you don't want to talk too much about what kind of role the metroid creatures play in the game, I'm curious about how you approached the legacy elements in the series. Did you feel compelled to touch on familiar elements and include, say, Ridley, or were you more interested in striking out in a new direction and not feeling too tied down by history?

    Sakamoto: I think what you're really talking about is the promise of the Metroid series. People have certain expectations, and they don't want those expectations frustrated in the wrong way. So if you're asking if we're going to have Ridley in the game, well, sure, we're going to have Ridley in the game. We have to have that essential Metroid feeling to the game -- to make sure to keep that mood and that atmosphere intact, because it's very important to the integrity of the series. And so we've put a lot into this game, a lot of thinking about what's important.

    You can change some elements of design, but what's most essential is to keep in mind what's stimulating about the experience overall. You have to think, "What has Samus not done yet?" You don't want to break the mood, but you do want to bring new things to freshen the experience and stimulate the player. In that sense, it's been great having Team Ninja as partners. They've taken on this challenge for themselves and saw a lot of opportunities to create new experiences that I hadn't even seen myself.

    1UP: Something I find interesting is that the control system works entirely with the Wii remote. One might assume it's more natural to use the nunchuk, but Other M uses only the D-pad for moving. Can you speak to why you've chosen this style?

    Sakamoto: As you know, I started creating games in the NES era. Back then, probably the most natural control scheme was the D-pad plus two buttons. This is really important to me -- it's something that goes back to my understanding of gaming's roots. It might even be definitive in how it relates to Samus as a main character. For me, controlling Samus has always been most comfortable with a D-pad. I think a lot of people who played the earlier games have drifted away as control schemes have grown more complex, and I think that if they see this control style they'll be able to come back and enjoy playing Metroid the way that they've always loved. So, it was essential to me to think about how to create a 3D Metroid game that maintained this kind of simple and accessible control scheme. As I've said before, to me, Samus equals the D-pad and two buttons -- in some ways it's essential to the Metroid experience.

    Although this was a foundational concept, I don't want you to get the idea that I hate the nunchuk! It was more a matter of this being the best choice for our particular project, and also a way to include an important message to send to players. Additionally, whenever we're designing around a concept like this, in some ways using fewer buttons like this spurs developers to think of novel approaches that they might not otherwise have considered. It's very easy to think of a lot of different new moves and a lot of different new game mechanics that simply require more and more and more buttons. But at some point, you're going to reach an impossible area where some people just can't play the games anymore, so we wanted to take that burden off of players and put it back on the developers -- to inspire them to create a simple yet intricate and enjoyable experience.

    I think this is something gamers will realize once they get their hands on the game. They start playing for a little while and think to themselves, "Oh, this is all that I need." After Super Metroid, a lot of games became really hard to play, and I feel that some people have looked at those and thought, "oh, I can't play that." But knowing that this is using just one Wii remote, people are going to look at it and -- hopefully -- they're going to say to themselves, "oh, I can do that."

    I can't say I agree with them on using only the Wiimote. I think the Nunchuk would have been a better fit.​
    [​IMG] Via
    [​IMG] Source (Full Interview)
  2. monkat

    monkat I'd like to see you TRY to ban me. (Should I try?.

    May 21, 2009
    United States
    No health drops?

    More abilities than weapons / upgrades?

    You guys climb my hopes up so high, and then drop them
  3. GameDragon

    GameDragon Mugiwara RAWR!

    Dec 4, 2005
    United States
    New York
    Yeah, I agree with monkat. That's pretty disappointing.
  4. Juanmatron

    Juanmatron Slater Color

    Aug 5, 2008
    SEGA's World
    Anyone have to hack this game to use Nunchuk [​IMG]
  5. geoflcl

    geoflcl Permanent GBAtemp Newbie

    Jan 18, 2009
    United States
    By now, I've noticed that this game shoots for two design philosophies. It tries to keep players comfortable with the old themes of Metroid, as well as shake up the franchise with new design aspects.

    This fusion of old and new has no doubt worked fantastically in some games over the years, including the Metroid Prime games. But I dunno about this one. It seems like the two philosophies are getting in the way of each other at times from what I'm reading. Keeping the NES-style controls just for nostalgia's sake is a bad idea when you're gonna add so many new moves and abilities. Sacrificing good control just for tradition... Meh.
  6. Bladexdsl

    Bladexdsl ZOMG my's over 9000!!!

    Nov 17, 2008
    it's sounds like they've turned metroid into a hack (or in this case shoot) and slash fighting game...

    this made my hype level drop by 20%
    they've turned it into metroid gaiden [​IMG]
  7. Klarkykat

    Klarkykat GBAtemp Regular

    May 19, 2009
    This game is already sure to get some horrendous reviews, as it puts hardcore gamers out of their comfort zone with limited buttons etc... I can't wait though. Sakamoto is a genious. Every game that he's been at the helm with has been amazing. Warioware probably seemed ridiculous when it was announced but looked how that turned out! I have trust that this is going to be great regardless of the reviews. Speaking of which, can anyone tell me if any official ones have come out yet?