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Mercenary origin disappoints

 “Metroid: Other M” is a 2D action game that was released for the Wii video game console on Aug. 31. As the eleventh game in the Metroid series, the original having been released in 1986, “Metroid: Other M” allows gamers to take on the role of Samus Aran, a female bounty hunter.
 Fully clad in armor and a helmet, the original Metroid game surprised players at the end, when Samus revealed herself as a woman. As an adolescent guy gamer, I remember the big reveal being bittersweet.
 Almost immediately after that, I found myself immersed in subsequent Metroid games. So what if I was playing as a female character. Samus was an all around bad-ass, having single-handedly defeated an entire army of space pirates and their home world.             When I picked up “Other M” from GameStop, I drove home so that I could play as much as possible before work. The gameplay was solid, but a few things began to irk me. Samus Aran, usually a silent protagonist, was spouting out bits of cheesy inner monologue akin to a cheesy Japanese anime. Furthermore, Samus is portrayed as weak and submissive.
 When facing off with her long time rival, Ridley, Samus has a nervous breakdown at the sight of him. Can you imagine a male gaming icon such as Master Chief having a meltdown at the sight of his enemies? You really can’t. Along with being sexist, the creators of Metroid should also be ashamed that they have tarnished Samus’ reputation.   Samus plays the role of the obedient woman. She shuns her past and indicates regret at becoming a solitary bounty hunter. Out of desperation, she longs for the attention of her former commanding officer, Adam Malkovich. The very reason she is unable to access all of her power ups from the beginning of the game, is because she awaits Adam’s “authorization.”   This makes for some really uncomfortable moments, especially when Adam sends Samus into a lava-filled volcano without first authorizing her suit that prevents heat damage. Sure, he chimes in later as Samus is well within the depths of the volcano, but by that point Samus is well on her way to dying from heat exhaustion. To top it all off, Samus’ boobs have doubled in size from the last Metroid game. I suppose since I’m a guy I’m supposed be impressed or turned on, but what is the point in sexualizing a hero who has never been sexualized before? In a society where women are still judged based on gender and appearance, “Metroid: Other M” is a real step back from the previous Metroid games. The mere fact that she is a woman should take a backseat to the fact that she has saved the world half a dozen times. You might wonder why a guy cares about a female character being portrayed unfairly. To put it in perspective, this is about as off the wall as Spider-Man ditching his costume for a Speedo. That’s why I care.

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