Metroid: Other M is widely reviled by the Metroid fanbase- there are multiple reasons for this. The game’s control scheme felt inadequate for the intensity of action on screen, the game cut down on Metroid‘s traditional strengths in exploration, atmosphere, agency, and isolation, in favor of a hamfisted story told via overbearing cutscenes; and, perhaps worst of all, the game took stoic series heroine Samus Aran, and turned her into a rather tropey character.
That last point is what sticks out with Metroid fans the most, and what has been central to most criticism of Other M in the seven years since it came out. And now, on the eve of a new Metroid game from Yoshio Sakamoto, long time Metroid producer, and also the man behind Other M, coming up with Metroid: Samus Returns, there is understandably some nervousness and trepidation about how Samus might be treated in the new game.
However, speaking to Kotaku in an interview, Sakamoto said that while he stands by his decision to depict Samus as he did in Other M, the criticism has given him pause, and made him reconsider how he portrays her going forward. “To be honest, as far as wanting to change that depiction of Samus, I made what I wanted to make. It did give me some momentum, I guess, and the ability to look at Samus from a new viewpoint, and maybe reconsider what I wanted to show about her,” he said.
Which is fine. Sakamoto is an artist, and a creative man, and he is allowed to have his own views about what he wants to say and do, and how he wants to do it. He is even allowed to stand by what he said and did- however, at the same time, his continued success is dependent on patronage by his audience, and it is good to see that he has taken the considerable feedback for Other M‘s depiction of Samus into account since. Hopefully, we can see Samus restored to her past glory going forward.