The Problem with People Who Take Reviews as the Word of God

Metroid Fan September 17, 2010 User blog:Metroid Fan

This has to do with Metroid: Other M. You see, before the game was released, there were reviews already being made for it. It seems to me that some people have an earlier ownership of new titles so they can write reviews of games before the games come out. Before I bought Other M, which was three days after it was released in North America, I went ahead and read reviews from a few sources like X-Play, Destructoid, Game Informer (NA), and a few others. The scores I saw for Other M were just average or worse.

I read these reviews, and I thought, "Perhaps there is something good in this game that can salvage it." I am happy to say that when I played Other M, I was not disappointed. There were a number of trivial things I felt were brought into light to make Other M appear as if it was the worst Metroid game. Abbie Heppe of X-Play really got to me. It's sad, really, because when I wanted to see what she said at first, someone had wrote, "Abbie Heppe is awesome! She knows everything about Metroid and Rockband."

I don't do reviews. I just play games. However, after checking these reviews, I felt that perhaps I should review the reviewers' reviews. There were a number of trivial things, and it's not just what these reviewers said. It's the response from the readers that got me. There are people who read reviews, and instead of judging the game for themselves, they take the words of others and assume it's either good or bad, which is ironic, because the majority of the reviews Other M received were positive. Only a minor few rated it badly.

Anyway, I'll move onto these trivial matters. These trivial things were:

  • Graphics
  • Voice acting
  • Sexism
  • The new Concentration technique
  • Authorization from Adam Malkovich

Let me make it clear that while graphics are a wonderful thing, it isn't what makes the game. Plain and simple. In fact, what these people said of the graphics, I saw just the opposite. Perhaps I wasn't judging Other M to the Metroid Prime trilogy. Ladies and gentlemen, you should not compare a game to another. If you are going to, make sure that it's within that scope. I will give an example. Go ahead and judge Metroid Prime to Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, or Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Other M, however, is entirely different.

"Why are they different?" you might ask. Two reasons. The first reason is that the games are polar opposites, in that one is an first-person adventure, and the other is third-person. Not only that, but the graphics, for example, are going to be different. If you compare the polished Varia Suit in Corruption and compare it to Other M, you will be disappointed. Second, Retro Studios worked on the Metroid Prime trilogy. Nintendo and Team Ninja collaborated Other M. It's like comparing apples to oranges. Sure, they're both similar because they're round and they're fruit, but they're not the same.

Getting back to the graphics, I felt that the graphics were fantastic! If you are going to compare the gameplay graphics to the computer generated graphics, you are a moron. Nevertheless, I had no issue with the gameplay graphics, and again, the graphics do not make the game. Actually, the moment someone says that the game is great because of the graphics, he or she just needs to keep quiet.

Next, the voice acting was not a problem. I was afraid at first, but this was because of what I was reading from the reviews. (Remember, I was reading reviews before I bought the game. I wasn't reading reviews to see if the game was good. Hell, I wanted Other M, regardless of what others thought.) It was suggested by some that you turn off the sound when Samus speaks. Guess what? When I played it, I had no problem with it. I did not shy away or think, "Wow, this is terrible." My friends who were watching me play had no issue with the way Samus sounded.

Now, my favorite part was about the game being sexist. I do not know where Abbie Heppe got that idea. Was it when Samus said that she gave a thumbs down for two reasons, and the first reason was because she did not like being called "lady"? Was it because she was the only female and the rest were men? Was it because, well, um, oh, because she refused to use her equipment until authorized by a male? Seriously, this is utter nonsense. You do what your commanding officer commands. But, here's the funny part. Samus said she was going to stay for the sake of Adam's men!

Let's be reasonable here, though. If Samus just used all of her items in Other M in the beginning, it would be fun for a while, and then you wouldn't care. If you used your Ice Beam on the first boss, guess what? You would have no problem defeating it. Maybe Abbie wanted something to happen like in the first two Prime games. Or, maybe she wanted a bag of spilling like the classic Metroid games.

The fact that Abbie says that you are forced to forget everything you knew about Samus, and that Samus acts like a submissive, childish, self-doubting girl is unusual. I don't know where Samus acted like any of these in Other M. By submissive, does she mean that Samus is taking orders from her former CO? Then the rest of the platoon are being submissive. We really know nothing of them, except that Samus knew Anthony Higgs. I don't know where the "child-like" thing comes in, nor "self-doubting." Perhaps contemplative, but not self-doubting.

Now, here is my favorite part about Abbie. She says that what happens when Samus encounters Ridley, that it "cannot be justified...ever." Well, so much for Abbie knowing everything about Metroid. Perhaps she never read the Metroid manga, or realizes these two things. The first thing is that in the previous Metroid games we do not, nor can we know if Samus ever panicked. 2D side-scrollers don't express emotions really well like a 3D game can. Second is that Samus has PTSD.

I don't know what PTSD is like. I don't have that disorder. But, this cannot be justified? Why not? Is it so hard for Abbie to accept that Samus is a human being with emotions, and not some hardened bounty hunter who is totally badass? Does Abbie not know that Samus suffers from PTSD? Bah! Whatever. It cannot be justified in her eyes. Not ever. Either way, I ended up reading a review of from X-Play, and Abbie is just as whiny as much as you can say "daddy issues."

I also like the fact that Abbie acts as if she vouches for every Metroid fan, saying, "[T]he outcome is insulting to both Samus and her fans," and "I'm sorry Metroid fans, because this isn't what I wanted either." Anyway, I'm just going to try to cut this short and be done with it. I found Other M to be a fantastic game, and when it comes to reading reviews, be sure to play the game yourself. If you're not sure if you're going to like the game, just go and rent it to see what you think. If you like it, then buy it. And for those who go by reviews, Other M got more high scores than it did low.

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