Home > 'Journalistic' Malpractice, Video Games > Metroid: Other M to be ‘on rails’, states impeachable source

Metroid: Other M to be ‘on rails’, states impeachable source

NES Samus
“He wanted me to ride a rail?!”1

Leave it to the clowns (with all due respect to clowns) at Kotaku (no link–the sooner these guys starve to death, the better off we’ll all be) to completely misconstrue what Sakamoto, father of Metroid, stated today at GDC:

“I thought Samus should move along a set path. That’s right. Samus would be moving along a rail, as long as the camera angle was capable of keeping up with the action.”

Kotaku, of course, spins this into “ZOMG, Sakamoto wanted to make Other M an on-rails shooter!1!!!11

This is a common ‘trick’ for Kotaku: take something innocuous/out of context/lost in translation and spin it into a firestorm of traffic controversy. They have literally zero scruples and are, probably, the worst offender in all of gamedom of practicing National Enquirer Weekly World News-style reporting. (And, man, let me tell you: there is a lot of competition for this ‘honor’.)

In this case, Sakamoto almost certainly meant ‘on a rail’ to mean movement in only the X/Y axes as in a standard, 2D platformer a la…every Sakamoto-made Metroid in history, albeit w/ ‘2.5D‘ graphics. (Which is what he meant when he said “as long as the camera angle was capable of keeping up with the action”.) After Team Ninja finagled it, we get ‘into the screen’ movement and pointer elements, thus the ‘FamicomPlus’ control scheme was born. But that doesn’t really help Gawker’s Kotaku’s page views, does it?

Other M has enough issues as it is: fomenting controversy over a non-issue is ridiculous, and Kotaku should be run out of town…on a rail…*insert your own punchline.*

Update: Siliconera2 follows Kotaku’s lead–is there nobody with the capacity for marginal amounts of critical thought working in the gaming press anymore??

1 Yes, that is Samus Aran, protagonist of Metroid, circa the original NES game. (You get this ending after beating the game a few times and it was a real mind-blower when you were a little kid because you assumed it was a guy when it was, really, a girl. (And not because she was sporting a pixelated, 4-color, bikini…perv.)
2 Why do I single out Siliconera? Because, aside from their terrible, terrible reviews and items written by people other than Spencer (the head editor), they are one of the better gaming news sources on the ‘net, especially for import coverage. (I also expect these guys to implicitly understand that a game based on exploration might have some issues working in a rail-based environment.)

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