Metroid Other M...GS?

I’ve always felt like Metroid Other M played like an early PlayStation game for some reason. Since you’re restricted to the D-pad, it just seemed like that was the closest relation - the early days of 3D and before analogs became the norm.

Now, my history with Metal Gear Solid is all over the place! Although I played the original briefly with a friend when it released, the first one i finished was Peace Walker, then 2,3,4 and finally Twin Snakes. And just recently, the original on PS1. Still somewhere in the deserts of V :smiley:

So i’m playing it and the thought crosses my mind, this game kind of plays like a slower Metroid Other M. I was going to post something in chat but then I thought nah people will think you’re nuts! Then i get to the Rex battle and the amount of stinger missiles you have to fire in fixed position first person convinced me. Other M was heavily inspired by MGS! Then i Googled and found i’m not the first person to think so lol.

Other things that are similar:

  • Camera - kind of 2/3rds overhead and trailing the main character for the most part
  • Heavy focus on story/character development
  • Radar/map looks similar, vision cone
  • Death scene … What’s wrong… Snake… Snaaaake! and Samus! What’s going on? Respond! Respond!
  • The Forklift boss in Other M is very similar to Rex!

So it’s nothing new. And although there’s similarities, they’re still very different in many ways. But it got me thinking.

Other M reviewed ok at the time, but in retrospect is mostly disliked. For the record, I don’t mind Other M. My biggest complaint is the mapping is totally broken. But there was a lot I liked - there was still some “Metroid” in there with a pretty big map, lots of secrets. High quality cutscenes (disregarding the story itself hehe). I felt people were a bit unfair on it because it doesn’t match up to the greatness of Super and Prime.

MGS on the other hand was seen as groundbreaking. And while that’s true, it’s also a very short game, with a pretty straightforward world layout. You also have to retread up the base a couple times in the beginning, and then again at the end for the PAL keys, which is a real chore. It seems like there’s less game there.

So what’s my point? Can these games even be compared or were they trying to do… kind of the same thing? Did they release too far apart or are they too dissimilar overall? If Other M released in 1998 and MGS in 2010, would their fortunes be reversed? Is that time gap exactly why Kojima became so revered? Kojima was mostly unknown to the western world before MGS, with this single work elevating his status significantly. Sakamoto was known by Metroid fans mostly, and Other M, i’d say, has tarnished most people’s opinion of him despite him being heavily responsible for Super (a free pass to the hall of fame!)

Taken on their own - disregarding their release date and series’ legacy… what’s the better game?
It’s kind of interesting to think about! Some alternate reality where Other M was “Metroid 64” and held in very high regard now.

Also funny to think, if Other M was so heavily inspired by MGS, maybe the very inclusion of Adam in Fusion was as well. Maybe Metroid fans have MGS to blame for everything!


Fairly good comparison.

I guess that’s just the reality of releasing something similar two generations later. If something like OM was released on N64 (or a theoretical Nintendo CD console of that era) it probably would have been seen as a classic as well. I often point out that Fusion is basically the exact same thing as OM (linear talkfest on a boring spaceship setting with weapons getting authorised by Adam etc) - which to be fair is one of Other M’s sins, it’s basically a Fusion Remake. But the timing and context meant Fusion was largely well received, despite being on out of date tech at the time.

MGS also just looked like absolute cash money in 1998 (99 in PAL). The voice acting, music, textures, animations, English script all just screamed millions and millions of dollars.

I have no idea how Kojima, a guy who made a couple of screen flipping MSX games and then a bunch of digital novels, managed to get such a budget at that time. The devs apparently travelled to Alaska and photographed rocks and did huge research with the military etc.

Yeah i’ve often wondered that myself about the budget. There’s not a lot of info about how successful his earlier games were (before they got a 2nd wind from the success of MGS). In the western world he was certainly unknown. I was reading an Edge magazine the other day with the great quote “…the distinction of character designs provided by the renowned manga artist Kojima”! Classic.

Another issue (I forget which sorry, read too many of the damn things) had Konami stating they wanted to put their games on all the machines at that time. I guess until 92 they were mostly on Nintendo, then released few games for Mega Drive to pad the coffers while they spent time on the big guns (Contra, Castlevania).

Then they put Policenauts on 3DO cause they could, which maybe sold decently considering what options were available! Then, they supported PS/Saturn fairly equally in the beginning but only with some simple arcade ports/compilations and the (guessing it was pretty popular back then too) Power Pro baseball game. At the same time greenlighting what they saw could be potential hits, that would take more time to develop - SOTN, MGS. Meanwhile Contra suffered with what was probably an Inafune style attempt at appealing to westerners by using western devs hehe.

But that’s just a guess and even then it’d be surprising. He must have been good at selling himself!

On the other hand, it is quite short and although the areas have lots of details there is a hefty amount of reusable bits. The bulk of the work would have been the writing so maybe it wasn’t that huge a budget, but just took a long time. But then you have enormous list of credits it has, so who knows! Maybe it had such a good early showing at TGS that he got more budget. It probably went over budget but with its success, made it all back and more.

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I still love Other M, but then I found Metroid Prime annoying to play due to the controls. OM simplieies that nicely and makes the combat a lot of fun.

I liked exploring in Other M, it has a cool world, and I liked finding hidden stuff. In that regard it reminds me more of something like the more linear Zelda game or yeah I guess the top down MGS games.

People nowadays seem to rate Metroid games only in relation to the directionless ideal of Super Metroid but at the time I really appreciated the different spin on the series.

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I don’t suppose there are any Wiimotes with good dpads that are worth suggesting? The default really has it hard on getting diagonals to work, thus I can’t even begin to play this properly.

Interesting thread, I hadn’t thought about such a connection before. Designing the game around a very tight set of controls probably necessitated the shift in perspective in gameplay, and I presume Team Ninja just ran with it after then.

Honestly I’d forgotten the game existed! Not because it’s bad - I actually had fun with what I played before I remember dropping it when Xenoblade came out. But because it’s rarely talked about these days.

Like how Donkey Kong now being doomed to become DKC-like game and Paper Mario apparently now returning to its roots, Metroid has fallen victim to rigid fan expectation where games that diverge too far from preconceived notions of what a Metroid game should be are hyperbolically panned.

I had a look online about Other M and came across this blog post - - it makes some good points about how a lot of the game’s mechanical criticisms aren’t really specific to Other M in the Metroid series and they are often just more excuses to criticise the direction they took with the storytelling.

I dunno, there hasn’t been a post-M3 great Metroid game released outside of those that follow the Super Metroid formula well.

Other M has other large issues, it is mostly hated for the story and incredibad English voice acting. But it’s not much of an action game either, and is quite weak as a Metroid-formula game. Federation Force is just okay, and has a kinda crap art style. Prime 2/3 follow the formula with only minor twists and are not as revered as the three games of the holy trinity (Super, Prime, Zero Mission) so just being a M3 clone isn’t enough either. And Hunters I think is relatively well liked for what it was, a decent handheld multiplayer shooter, despite having a weak single player game.

Like, if an absolutely killer Metroid action game or strategy game was released, I think it could be very well received. Heck Pinball is loved.

I don’t disagree. What I mean is after Other M and Federation Force I don’t see Nintendo taking any risks with Metroid any more. Nintendo isn’t interested in making smaller experimental games or arcade-style games like Pinball anymore either now that their traditional handhelds are dead.

Hope I’m proven wrong.