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"The recruit in question is quite cheesed off at the guards for not allowing him access to the fort. Wait. 'Him'? As in 'this person has a penis'? Okay, Konami, whatever you say. Between the sassy chin- length tresses under the pillbox hat, the culottes, the knee-high socks and the hush puppies, I know I'm totally sold on this person's machismo. Why, he's as manly as Barry!"
     -Sam, Suikoden II Part 8




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Metroid: Other M : Part 1
By Ryan
Posted 07.02.11
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5 : 6 : 7
I mean, sure, the game wouldn't be very fun if Samus started off as this invincible femme fatale from square one, but this "explanatory" device actually makes less sense than if the game designers had just said "You're reset. Because we say so." At the end of the day, willfully forgetting that she has all this awesome stuff and then just choosing not to use it makes Samus seem like a total moron. And lord knows she doesn't need any more help in that department. Ugh! It's so stupid.

 
Take a shot.

Now that the Space Marines have blazed ahead and Samus has practically incapacitated herself, she heads through the (previously locked, thank-you-very-much) door at the north end of the room. From there, she passes through a narrow corridor, and into a larger hallway. As she's crossing the catwalk in this larger room, Samus is ambushed by her first real enemy of the game, a Reo, which buzzes up in her face and knocks her down to the level below. As Samus gets back to her feet, the soundtrack plays the obligatory pizzicato insect noises, and a whole swarm of Reos appears out of the darkness. This pseudo-cutscene is built up like it's supposed to be scary, complete with Hitchcockian sound effects and dramatic angles and lighting, but Samus has a freaking arm cannon, so the Reos, which are just oversized bugs, really just aren't that threatening. Maybe this scary atmosphere thing would be more striking if this were actually a survival-horror game, and all Samus had to defend herself with was a flickery flashlight. Also, if Adam had his way, I'm sure that WOULD be all that Samus had to defend herself with. Or maybe Samus could just narrate how she's feeling as she kills all these monsters. I know I would find that scary.

Anyway, once all the Reos are dealt with, Samus has to find a way to get back up to the catwalk. It turns out that there's a panel on the floor that can be destroyed using morph ball bombs, but Samus can't use hers yet because Adam hasn't authorized it. (Take a shot.) Instead, she heads over to the east side of the room and finds a glowing circular panel mounted on a sheet of wire mesh hanging under the catwalk. Even though Samus doesn't have bombs or missiles anymore, she does have her charge beam, so she fires a charged shot at the panel. It beeps approvingly and raises a section of the wire mesh just high enough for something to slide under. Luckily, Samus didn't deactivate her morph ball functionality, too, or she'd be trapped in this tiny area forever. Which would totally serve her right. She curls up into a ball and rolls under the grate, entering into a shaft that leads back up to the catwalk. Hee hee, "shaft."

Moneyshot?
 

When she makes it back up to the catwalk, Samus finds that the door she was originally headed for is actually a broken elevator, so she continues up to a higher level in search of a way forward. Making her way back across the room, she dispatches a couple of Geemers crawling around on the floor, and rushes past an endlessly spawning stream of Reos. And no, I didn't make any of these monster names up myself. If I had, they'd be really transparent like "Spikey, Turtlely Bugs with Glowing Eyes" or "Giant, Green Bugs with Fabulous Pink Wings." Samus then climbs up one more level and heads east again, through the hatch connecting to the next room. It's quickly becoming apparent that the general design of the Bottle Ship is large room, narrow corridor, large room, narrow corridor, rinse, repeat, because Samus finds herself in a narrow corridor once again. As she's running through this corridor, a trio of Skrees ("Kamikaze Bats") on the ceiling dive-bomb her. Because she's dumb lucky, Samus uses her sensemoves to dodge their attacks, and even auto-aims at them as they're flying around. This is pretty handy because the interior of the Bottle Ship is really dark and Samus's controller can't really tell where anything is.

Ok, so Samus just finished a narrow corridor, which means that next up is another large room. As Samus enters, a trio of Reos zoom towards her from a hatch on the left. Samus takes them down with a charged shot, and then decides to explore the room they came from. Turns out it's bathrooms! Even space monsters have to take poops, you know. As Samus enters the ladies' bathroom (the men's' room is off limits for some reason), she shoulders her arm cannon and slows her pace, while the camera zooms in to give an over-the-shoulder perspective. Again with the not-at-all convincing pseudo-survival-horror stuff. Samus enters the bathroom just in time to see a couple Brugs ("Tiny Purple Beetles") crawl into one of the stalls, but she can't fire her weapon in this over-the-shoulder mode, and she can't open the stall door to get at them, so she has no choice but to let them live. I have no idea if there's anything else you can do in these bathrooms, like a defecation mini-game or a foot-tapping side quest, but after trying in vain to get the stall doors to open for a while, Samus leaves the bathrooms in disgust. Without even washing her hands, I might add.

 
But I know there's secrets there! (Take a shot.)

Back in the main hallway, Samus heads up a flight of stairs and passes a glass-walled conference area. Or maybe it's a staff lounge. I can't really tell, but you can see an overturned table and some papers scattered around. At least, I think those white patches are pieces of paper. Jeeze, could we get some light up in here? The hatch at the top of the stairs, behind the lounge area, is glowing orange, indicating that it is locked, so Samus pauses by the bright red terminal nearby and uses it to disengage the lock. Which is pretty convenient, because you might expect something like that to be out of service during the power outage. The hatch turns green, and we're good to go. All throughout this sequence, I can't help but notice the awful creepy-crawly noises in the background, and the lack of anything even remotely resembling music. What, did they cannibalize their soundtrack budget to bankroll all these high-quality FMVs I've been watching? If so, I would like to go on record as saying that was a bad decision.

Passing through the unlocked hatch at the north end of the room, Samus enters another large area. At the far north end of this room, there is a large wall, but as Samus approaches, she can see that there's an empty elevator shaft in the middle of the wall, and the elevator itself has been knocked out onto the floor, spilling broken glass everywhere. The glass makes realistic crunching noises as Samus walks over it, which is nice, but still not as nice as actual music. I guess Samus doesn't have an iPod connector for her Power Suit. A tutorial window in the bottom right corner of the screen suggests that Samus try kick-climbing her way up the elevator shaft. She does so with surprising speed and heads through the hatch on the upper level.

When Samus enters into the next large room, the door locks behind her. I don't really know why this happens, from either a gameplay or story perspective. Even though in, say, the Zelda games a door that locks itself behind you indicates either a puzzle room or a kill-all-the-monsters room, no monsters jump out in need of killing (well, except for a few Geemers, but they're just scuttling around, minding their own business), and no puzzle presents itself. I guess the game designers were just really concerned that Samus would want to go back and kill more of the same monsters again. Some more. Anyway, in this room there is a length of mesh tubing gently sloping from the floor to the ceiling, but for the time being it is blocked by a bombable square of mesh, so Samus can't get through yet. Thanks, Adam. (Take a shot.) There's also a locked hatch on the east side of the hall and an unlocked hatch at the north end, which Samus passes through, leading to yet another dark, narrow catwalk. Good grief, this is getting monotonous. What I would give for a poorly voice-acted cut scene right about now.

As Samus makes her way across the catwalk, a bunch of Geemers crawl over the sides and get in the way. But then Samus murders them as punishment for inconveniencing her. At the other end of the catwalk is another bright red terminal, which seems to be deactivated, and a short flight of stairs leading to another hatch. Samus proceeds through the hatch at the top of the stairs and finds herself in another large elevator room. How many elevators does one spaceship even need, anyway? How about instead of all these rooms with nothing in them but elevators and stairways, we just have one elevator that takes us where we want to go on the first try? I guess then I would miss out on the joy of killing a bunch of Geemers and Reos over and over and over again, though.

Because the power is still out, the elevator in the middle of the room isn't running, even though it doesn't seem broken, like the others have been. This isn't a problem for Samus, because she can just jump up the platforms lining the sides of the room to reach the top level, but does make me wonder how the Space Marines made it through this part. Do they all have superhuman jumping skills, too? I somehow doubt it. At the top level of the elevator room, Samus finds another hatch and goes through. She shoulders her weapon and advances slowly, with the camera peering over her shoulder, like she's expecting something to jump out at her, but the tutorial box kind of kills the suspense when it announces that we've made it to a NAVIGATION BOOTH that will let me save the game. Although if I were a game designer and I wanted to fuck with people, I would definitely put a fatal quick time event or something here. WAGGLE THE WIIMOTE TO AVOID PLAYING THE ENTIRE GAME UP TO THIS POINT ALL OVER AGAIN!

Golden shower?
 

Samus steps on the platform in the center of the navigation room and a synthesized voice announces that the data-recording and shield-restoring sequences have been activated. Good thing the save system wasn't knocked out in the power outage, eh? While the game is saving, a column of golden light surrounds Samus and the camera pans around her. It's kind of nice because this is the first scene in like fifteen minutes that has been well lit. After saving/recovering, Samus heads through the hatch at the north end of the room and enters into a long, wide, tubey passageway that I'm assuming leads to the bridge of the Bottle Ship. As Samus runs through the tube, several Brugs scatter out of her way. When she reaches the end of the tube, Samus slows to a walk, and proceeds through the hatch to the bridge.

Ah, and she's finally caught up to the Space Marines! In FMV mode, Samus approaches the group. They're huddled around something again, but this time it's not a locked door. Samus slowly walks toward them an-- Holy shit! The camera cuts to a giant purple eyeball staring at the screen. Freaky. The camera then shows an aerial view of Samus and the Space Marines, suggesting that the giant purple eyeball is pulling a Gohma, and is chillin' on the ceiling to spy on our hero. That's not at all creepy. Then the camera shifts to Samus's POV, and Anthony moves out of the way so that she can see what the Space Marines are so freaked out about.

As Samus looks down, the camera does a very CSI-inspired series of flashes and angle changes, and we see that the Space Marines have found a dead body. John Doe is wearing a lab coat and is covered in green slime. "He's dead" a Space Marine -- one with a very evil-looking mustache -- duhs, "Someone -- or something -- attacked him." Samus takes another look at John Doe and we can see that his lab coat is not only stained green but is also perforated in many places. While Samus is staring at John, his body starts to crunch and shake. The Space Marines all jump back, and we see a Brug crawl out from underneath him. Eewy, but less frightening than a reanimated space zombie, I suppose.

As the Brug crawls away from John Doe's corpse, the Schnozz shrieks, "Get away from me!", kicks the Brug into the air, and opens fire on it. It explodes into a burst of green slime, and the Schnozz laughs maniacally until the 'Stache yells at him to knock it off. Samus wankeses to herself, "it was obvious that there was some pervasive danger throughout the facility." Gee, ya think? "I didn't know what had brought Adam here, but I did know that cooperation was imperative if we were to restore safety."

Then Samus turns and starts to say the exact same thing to Adam: "Adam, listen to me. Clearly, this facility is in complete disorder. It might be too dangerous for your men to go alone. That's why I've--" But then she's cut off in mid-sentence as a loud scuttling noise hits the soundtrack. The Space Marines all look around, and we get a shot of several Brugs climbing up the walls. "They're coming out of the walls!" one of the Space Marines yells, totally riffing on Aliens. I don't know which one it is, so I can't give him the "Hudson" nickname. I'm actually okay with that, though, because Hudson never limited himself to just stating the obvious like everybody in this game does. Now how do I get out of this chicken-shit outfit?

 
I just... I don't even...

The wall-climbing Brugs all start to swarm on the ceiling, converging on the purple eye that was hiding up there before. The Brugs and eye combine to form a writhing mass, and the eye slowly descends into the room. I don't really know how it is that the Brugs are all sticking together, but maybe they aren't very good at it anyway, because the purple eye and the hoard of Brugs all come crashing to the floor together, landing right on top of John Doe's corpse. As the Space Marines and Samus jump back from the Brug pile, it starts to form itself into a large, tentacled monster. A large, one-eyed tentacle monster. Purple and throbbing. Erect and wriggling. Constructed entirely out of amalgamated pubic lice. This monster is a walking sex crime.

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