Samus Aran from Metroid: Other M (Zero Suit Version)

Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review

I have to admit that lately, I haven’t been too enthusiastic about Good Smile Company’s or Alter’s figure lineups. It doesn’t take any extraordinary talent at prognostication to look at a seasonal anime chart and guess which shows are going to get Good Smile Company figures and lately, Alter’s been eminently predictable as well. Unfortunately – for me, specifically – many of the characters they make figures of don’t interest me or come from shows that I don’t know much about. That leaves Max Factory in the role of the eclectic scale-size figure maker. They’re not nearly as capricious as, say, Daiki Kougyou or Yamato, but well, when one tires of buying Nanoha or Vocaloid or Strike Witches figures, one takes what one can get. Fortunately, Samus Aran surely doesn’t count as a compromise.

Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review

Samus Aran is, of course, the lead character of Nintendo’s acclaimed Metroid series. It’s an odd circumstance that, even though I’ve been a video game player for most of my life, I’ve never really played any of the Metroid games. It’s an even more unusual situation given that as a kid, I worshiped Nintendo. I bought as much Nintendo merchandise as I could (which wasn’t a lot, admittedly, being that I was a broke-ass little kid). I watched the Super Mario Brothers Super Show as often as it was on (which wasn’t often, since I was living in Korea and thus subject to whatever programming Armed Forces Korea Network wanted to air). I begged and begged my parents to take me to see The Wizard. Finally they got someone to chaperone me and I got to watch it; I don’t remember which family member got stuck with that task and it’s probably for the best that that whole experience be buried and forgotten.

Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review

That youthful zealotry poofed in a single day: the first day I played Phantasy Star II and Sonic the Hedgehog on my cousin’s Sega Genesis. After that, I forswore any allegiances and good feelings I held for Nintendo and converted to the church of Sega. I got a Genesis, a Sega CD, a Game Gear, and a Saturn. When the Saturn tanked, I turned to PC gaming rather than renounce my faith. It wouldn’t be until the Xbox came out that I would return to console games (another strange fact: it was not Halo that drew me back to consoles; it was a somewhat-obscure snowboarding game called Amped).

Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review

Although I’d still label myself a Sega fanboy – as much as one can be these days – it’s apparent that Nintendo’s franchises survived the transition from 2D to 3D in far better shape than Sega’s. Games in the Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid series continue to gain acclaim while Sega’s most famous franchises lie dormant or, at best, have found middling success in the contemporary gaming world.

That said, from what I recall hearing, Metroid: Other M – the game that this figure derives from – got a bit of a mixed reception. I’ve read criticism regarding Samus Aran’s depiction, in that she was presented as less confident and more subservient than she was in prior games. Though it’s a bit disappointing to hear that, I guess it’s not too surprising to learn that her portrayal is inconsistent; after all, Samus has the peculiar historical distinction of being one of the most asexual (when in her power armor, surely one of the most recognizable designs in all of gaming) and yet most blatantly sexualized characters (from the endings of her side-scroller titles) in all of video games.

Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review

And that brings us to this figure, which presents Samus in her sexy suit rather than her armored form. She’s made by Max Factory – who’ve, as mentioned, have been rather unpredictable about what scale-size figures they’ve done, disregarding their Vocaloid figures. She’s sculpted in 1/8 scale, standing a bit under 23 centimeters tall.

Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review

Regardless of her comportment in the game, this version of Samus looks confident, deadly, and seductive. She stands in a statuesque pose, left hand settled on the the curved swell of her hip while her other hand holds a large handgun. Her icy, uninflected gaze gives away little of her personality – probably a good thing, in this case.

Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review

Samus’s body is sheathed in a tight-fitting bodysuit that hides everything yet leaves little to the imagination. Her Zero Suit – surely one of the finest innovations in the illustrious history of the Metroid series – reveals a tall, lithe body more reminiscent of American-style comic book art than of stereotypical Japanese anime styling. Her long legs, broad thighs, wasp waist, and strongly-muscled shoulders call to mind the art of Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, and other famous comic book artists of the 1990s. The one element that demurs from such a comparison is her bust size, which is a bit smaller than what one might otherwise expect. Or at least, her breasts seem smaller than what fan artists usually give her, for what that’s worth.

Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review

It’s hard to overstate the length of her legs. Samus is said to be 6’3″ tall, which explains her imposing stature, though I wonder if there’s an in-game reason for her height or if she’s just an unusually tall woman. At any rate, her body looks fantastic in her Zero Suit. It’s painted with an attractive metallic finish, significantly enhancing its visual impact and appeal.

Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review

Samus’s face is fixed in a neutral expression, evincing little emotion. From some angles, her face takes on some of the hallmarks of the characters from recent Final Fantasy games, such as a narrow nose, thin chin, a sharply-angled jawline, and, from a distance, vaguely androgynous features.

Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review

Looking closer, the feminine characteristics of her face become obvious. Also, one can observe how the dynamic movement of her hair provides a striking contrast to her steely look.

Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review

Samus also comes with a little buddy, this floating Metroid dude. It mounts on a transparent plastic pylon so that it can hover by her side.

Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review

Samus Aran is a fantastic figure, one I’m very happy to own. Max Factory’s sculpting and manufacturing quality are top-notch, and beyond those mundane technical concerns, Samus looks great. She resolute demeanor is palpable and the sexiness she effects while appearing completely competent is very attractive. Her skin-tight suit obviously looks fantastic, hugging all the right places and showing off her body to its greatest advantage. It’s a great figure of a character who, despite her popularity, doesn’t get enough figures. Hopefully we’ll see more video game heroines get worthy figures in the future.

Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
Samus Aran from Metroid Figure Review
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66 Responses to Samus Aran from Metroid: Other M (Zero Suit Version)

  1. Hmm, I really hated Sega as a kid, I’ve always been on the Nintendo’s side of the fence. LOL not sure why, but I have all the Nintendo consoles except Game Cube and the Virtual Gameboy. I’ve almost forgotten about that movie, The Wizard, everytime I see my Power Glove, I’d be reminded of that weird movie. Yup, I still have my power glove…^_^

    While I liked Metroid and Samus, I can’t say I was a huge fan of the series; I also had second thoughts of getting this figure as it’s pretty plain and it’s based on Other M. I preferred the old Samus much better. I still ended up picking this figure though due to her iconic nature and sentimental value.

    Love the background, looks neat! Suits Samus well, it’s got that space age feel to it.

    • Tier says:

      It’s soooooo bad. That movie, I mean. At least it showed where that one world-skipping whistle was hidden, though.

      Thanks! I actually had some different ideas for Samus, but I felt they’d be too much work to implement so I went with this one. I hadn’t thought about it, but after I transferred the pictures from the memory card, I recalled that the NES Metroid seemed to be set in a cave with blue walls, so this setting kinda makes sense.

  2. Asa says:

    A lovely figure indeed, I almost ordered her for my weapon girl collection, but passed at the last minute as it was around the time I was starting to consider the sources of characters, leading to my decision I won’t buy figures from series I do not know (watched/played/read/whatever). I never played any Metroid games, indeed they hardly scoped on my radar in my youth. My NES and SNES were basically for Mario, and the SNES probably played DKC more than all my other games combined. That said, I always was more of a Sega fangurl, though I had both 8 and 16 bit consoles from either side, I personally preferred Sega’s games, and when they were cross platform, they were typically better on Sega, IMHO.

    Sega seems to have not penetrated the US market much. Always boggled me. I guess Nintendo marketing was just stronger, or something. Here they were roughly the same so the CONSOLE WARS and arguments/fights between people on each side were more pronounced than the way I hear things were in the US where Sega kids were largely just shunned by the Nintendo masses.

    Aaaanyway, it’s a nice shoot. I like the simple yet effective background. I really want some backdrops like that. And I’d like to be able to light like you do, but that’s not going to happen because I am lazy, and after spending what I did on my lamps I don’t want to invest in a strobe setup. Plus I don’t like spending hours shooting many times to try to get things right. I don’t even really like setting up shoots. Photography is probably not really for me.

    I continue with monitor backdrop experiments, such as a figure that arrived today. Unboxed, put on a riser infront of my monitor, found a vaguely suitable backdrop, grabbed tripod (to which my camera is always attached) and shot. No real thought at all. No lamps or anything. Just single shot, bang, done. Couldn’t be bothered doing more. Sometimes I feel bad for being so lazy, but then I remember I am lazy so can’t be bothered feeling bad.

    • Tier says:

      Sega got a lot of traction in the US during the 16-bit era, I think. Though I guess I can’t say for sure since I was in Seoul at the time (though all of my friends were American spawn of servicemen or federal contractors). They got a lot of good titles, like Sonic, lots of sports games like Madden NFL and Joe Montana Football, and of course, the Genesis version of Mortal Kombat had the blood code and fatalities. Then the 32-bit era came around and they got stomped by Sony. Too bad, but they deserved it for thinking that JRPGs couldn’t sell in the United States.

      I really like how the backdrop worked out, though I should’ve painted it gray. It’s actually the same cave wall I’ve a few times in the past (off the top of my head, I’ve used this wall for Phantom Minds Fate Testarossa, Risty, and Bounty Hunter Yoko). It’s painted brown right now which looks kinda funny when it’s lit with a colored light.

      Yay for experimenting! Heh, yeah, photography, like any other activity, is something where you get out as much as you put in. Though I must admit that I put in less effort now than I used to.

      I will also admit that I’m not really a big fan of images where wallpaper images are used as backdrops. Your picture shows a couple of the difficulties, I think; the issue of perspective is one (Azusa looks like she’s floating above the pier) and also the problem of needing to get two separate exposures but having to control both of them with shutter speed (though maybe your light has a power dial, I dunno). That said, though, I have no doubt that these obstacles can be overcome. Lately, I’ve been pretty pleased with some of the stock backdrops I’ve constructed (mainly the blue and gray mottled “walls”) and I think I’m going to use those whenever I don’t really have any ideas in mind. Like that Gift bikini Nanoha figure that should be coming out this week or next. I’ll probably just put her up against the wall, rattle off a hundred shots and call it a day.

  3. Wieselhead says:

    I always had a bad taste in choosing my GameBoy and Console games, I actually never played many Blockbuster games like Metroid, Ecco or Solid Snake, what a waste XD

    On close view the suit looks a bit plain, there aren’t that many striking details, but that shouldn’t be the fault of the figure. From overall view the blue suit is nice, tight and accentuates her body features very well., though. Samus looks sexy in her blue suit and her proud pose. I think it’s a very pretty 1/8 scaled figure with a good shelf presence.

    how did you create the impressive glow in the first picture, btw?

    • Tier says:

      My favorite game on the Game Boy was The Hunt for Red October, which I doubt many people remember now. What a great game it was. Great music (the music in the video is quite a bit different from what I remember). Hard as hell, though.

      The glow just comes from a rim light placed behind her:

      Her suit is really shiny so the light hitting her hip reflected very strongly. I hadn’t planned on that happening but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

      • zzzzzy says:

        Omg! are those lights balanced ontop of cans and objectives? Tier is king!

        What function does the rightmost light have? -the Desk lamp. And what is that background actually?

        Nice work! Like your review!

        • Tier says:

          And Xbox 360 boxes! I use whatever I have handy to hold stuff up.

          The rightmost lamp is my autofocus assist lamp. It doesn’t contribute any light to the exposure – the shutter speed I use is too fast for ambient light to show up in the picture – but my room is somewhat dark and without a continuous light shining on the figure, sometimes my camera hunts for precise focus. That lamp makes sure that focusing is quick and accurate.

      • Wieselhead says:

        Ah I know this game, a friend of mine had it, but never lend it to me.
        Great setup there, so many flashes. You wouldn’t think these pictures were created like this just from looking at it. Thats a compliment of course.

        I always have problems with making backgrounds with the wrong dimensions. Sometimes Im accidently ending up with capturing parts of my room that shouldn’t be in the picture ^p^

        • Tier says:

          Yeah, I try to be pretty careful about hiding stuff. Though sometimes stuff slips through that I don’t notice; like this flash unit that I forgot to remove before taking this picture. Photoshopping it out wasn’t a lot of fun.

  4. Todd says:

    I was on the fence for this figure for quite a while. When I saw the details of your photos, I had to pull the trigger and ordered it. Love Samus!

    • Tier says:

      It’s a really nice figure, I hadn’t thought a great deal about it before receiving it but seeing it in person, I think she looks great. I’m a big fan of action girls and sci fi girls in tight suits, so Samus is a very appealing character to me, even though I know nearly nothing about the Metroid series.

  5. Halbred says:

    Ah, I get to ramble about Metroid. I’m a Nintendo guy, and I love the Metroid series. I was at E3 in 2009 when Nintendo surprised everyone with the Other M trailer and I actually cried. It was so beautiful. A year later, the game came out and I reviewed it for Nintendo World Report:

    It was a huge disappointment. Like most other reviewers, my problems with the game stemmed from the horrifying writing, which can be attributed to straight translation and no localization. The plot feels like a terrible anime space opera, and Samus comes off as robotic but also really insecure. This portrayal does not gel with her attitude in previous games, even Metroid Fusion. Although, honestly, once you play Fusion with Other M in mind, you can see the rabbit hole that Sakamoto was heading down.

    The Zero Suit was introduced in the excellent GBA game Zero Mission, which is a Super Metroid-esque remake of the original NES Metroid game. Prior to this, she’d been portrayed in a bikini (NES), crop-top (GB), weird swimsuit (SNES), and two-piece casual (GBA). Her gun is called the “Paralyzer,” as it fires a stun beam at enemies. In Smash Bros. Brawl, it fires an energy whip.

    Metroid fanboy that I am, you’d think I would’ve jumped at this figure, but there are several reasons I didn’t. First and foremost, my dislike of its source material (Other M). I could pretend it’s from Zero Mission, but the Cindy Crawford mole on her chin remains an unpleasant reminder. Oddly enough, the sculptor toned her chest way down for this figure. In Other M, which was developed by Team Ninja, Samus has Dead or Alive-like proportions. This figure ignores that entirely. Finally, she’s just plain expensive for a 1/8th scale figure. I’ve tried VERY hard to stay away from 1/8th scale figures because you can usually find a 1/7th scale figure for about the same price, so I feel like 1/8th scale figures are a ripoff.

    I actually think the armored Samus figma is more impressive than this, but I also have an aversion to figmas (JOINTS! NOOOOO!) so that’ll never happen either. 😉

    Great photos, though. I’m glad you like it. Just don’t play Other M. If you have the means, try Super Metroid, Zero Mission, Metroid Fusion, or Metroid Prime. Those are the best games in the series IMO.

    • Tier says:

      Cliches, terrible characterization, disappointment, but shiny, sexy skin-tight suits … so Metroid: Other M is kinda like Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse! Heh. It is too bad that Tomonobu Itagaki got thrown off of Team Ninja; if he’d been running the show, he would’ve pumped up Samus’s boobs, wrapped her up in tentacles, and gotten her chained up in bondage (he’s done all of that before … all to the same character in the same game).

      I might try playing Super Metroid on an emulator; I’ve been meaning to go back and play some of the games I missed out on in my youth. (I ought to buy and play Shadow Complex too, being that I’ve heard it compared to Metroid. I would have certainly bought it if it starred an attractive blonde female in tight clothes, but it doesn’t, so oh well.)

      You say that there is a character named Malkovich in Other M, and now I have these weird visions of a pasty, powdered old man sitting in a chair, speaking single-word orders to Samus while she wonders what the hell is wrong with him.

    • Steve Chen says:

      @ Halbred

      Where can I find 1/7 scale fig for a 1/8 fig?

  6. I’m a fairly big Metroid fan and I have to side with Halbred, though probably not to the same extreme. Other M was incredibly disappointing for a metroid game. In their defence, Team Ninja did inject life into the combat and made the action much better paced and dynamic than previous games but the game as a whole lost the feeling of being a metroid game. It was so linear and held you by the hand throughout! There was no push for exploration and when you got a new weapon, you didn’t start wondering if you could use it to reach other areas or powerups because the game already spelt it out for you!

    As for Samus… The one thing I will not be able to forget about her depiction in Other M was when she met Ridley. Here is a boss which she has fought and defeated at least 3 times prior and at least twice canonically, yet when he appears in Other M, Samus starts pissing herself in fear!!?? WTF???

    Figure-wise, She’s definitely an Ass character! The pose and expression also fits our impressions of her character (or rather, what little we know. After all these years, she’s still an enigma under that suit) and yet, she doesn’t really illicit any major response from me. More than anything, I’m just glad to see a decent Samus figure (though the lack of popularity of the Metroid titles in Japan is a likely cause of that)

    • Tier says:

      That sounds like a shame; while I have no experience with the Metroid games, there have been a number of other series that I initially loved and then, due to design changes, disliked or hated subsequent games (or the approach that was taken). This is the case with just about every Sega franchise that made it to the current era, actually. Such as Phantasy Star; it still annoys me to no end that they took the series from fairly standard JRPGs to a Diablo-esque online action game. Or the Shining series; I’m starting to dislike Tony Taka because of his association with the current Shining games, which I find to be borderline blasphemous. Then there’s Diablo III, which I have not played but my friends who’ve played it don’t have many good things to say about it (though one of my friends did make thirty or forty bucks off the auction house thing, which is more money than he ever made from Diablo II, so that’s something, I guess).

      That does sound like the sort of design change that would irritate the hell out of me. Though on the other hand, it does make for some really great fanart of Ridley and Samus.

  7. Aaron says:

    I own this figure and really like it, but that purely stems from the pose and blond hair/green eye combo. Max Factory did a great job with her sculpt (even if I can see why people think it is boring) paint job (she metallic paint is great), and she exudes confidence. I display her with the metroid too because it is well done.

    Here is the thing though; I cannot stand the Metroid games. I tried playing the original on the NES (for the record I am one of the few that have owned almost all of the consoles since the NES), but it was way to difficult for me. I remember getting to an area where I had to fight a mini boss and didn’t have the right weapon or ammo or something. Ever since then I haven’t given it the time of day.

    I almost canceled my pre-order because I don’t like the Metroid games. I even tried to get rid of my pre-order on mfc. I am glad I keep her though because she is a beautiful figure.

    I love your simple shoot this time love the pictures of the metroid with her. I was wondering if you were going to shoot it or not and when I saw what it was doing I was wondering if the smaller tentacles were going to show up.

    • Halbred says:

      To be fair, the NES Metroid is pretty terrible. Metroid 2 (on Game Boy) makes some improvements but is also difficult to get through without a map. I recommend giving Super Metroid a shot, though. It’s basically formed the basis for all of the games afterward, even the Prime games. If you like first-person shooters, the Prime games are incredible. I would compare them a bit to the first two Turok N64 titles: they’re basically first-person platformers. And they have maps, so you actually know where you’re going.

      I agree that the NES Metroid was never a good game. Like I said before, the GBA game Metroid: Zero Mission is basically a remake of the original but with a map and Super Metroid controls. It’s really wonderful.

    • Tier says:

      I never got to play the original since it never showed up at the PX in Yongsan. Back then, the only games I got were the ones that the PX stocked or the ones that my aunt in Hawaii sent me. I kinda have the feeling I would’ve liked it, since I enjoyed games like Mega Man 2 and 3 and I later really liked Flashback on the Genesis, which sounds somewhat similar in style (as a side-scrolling exploration-based game with shooting action). It probably would’ve been better if I’d gotten into it when I was young because I was – oddly – more patient with games than I am now. Now, I don’t really spend enough time with games to get good at them.

      Man, I wish I had some smaller tentacles. In truth, I didn’t even think to bring out the tentacle stand, which is rather sad. I also need a smaller Master Chief figure; the one I’ve got is 1/6 scale and he looks way too large, standing next to his concubine like that.

  8. Steve Chen says:

    Tier does it again! Excellent shots mon Capitan! Btw, concerning the game Other M, don’t take too much stock on the critics’ bloviations because the game simply rocks! It’s more of a 3D attempt of Super Metroid with a dash of frenetic action of Ninja Gaiden Sigma. The so called plot device that allows the “look and find” for upgrades that the series is known for is seamlessly integrated (again and again and again…………….infinity as seen in all Metroid incarnations). Given how in the Super Metroid story arc Samus already had a complete upgrade in her arsenal, how do you repeat the old plot device again? So Nintendo had to go to the whole Samus is actually human with her own weaknesses, emotional hang ups and anxiety and not some robo feminist who don’t need anyone at all.
    And……………… I also got both this figure and her Armored figma version. Excellent figure combo if I do say so myself.
    Ever since the Super Smash Bros series where, iirc, the Zero suit first made an appearance and how Team Ninja made her even more sexy (that beauty mark really is stunning not to mention she really has such a nice rump).
    I hope you would consider doing some poseable figure shots in the future. And given how many points of articulation her figma has and your skill in handling such epic camera shots…………. You and the camera simply love each other!

    • Tier says:

      I will take your word for it, though from what I have heard, I am guessing I probably would not like Other M’s storyline too much. Contrary to what one might infer from looking through this site, I don’t really like weak-minded, diffident female characters in anime. It’s one of the reasons I really dislike the tsundere archetype; I find the insecurities of such characters to be appalling. (None of this applies to characters in porn.)

      I just did a bunch of pictures with poseable dolls! Heh. I’m not a big collector of poseable figures, but I might get the Yoko action figure that Yamato just put up for order. We shall see.

      • Steve Chen says:

        Have I ever been wrong Tier ( remember my take on old Jubei Yagyu’s show)?

        If you ever played Super M, then this is more like a 3D remake + a bit of Prime (that part going to FPS is a bit of a pain but big N and TN gets an A for effort imho). The story may be a bit of an clunky mess (to put it lightly)but, how else do you recycle the over used plot device of searching out for upgrades? Zebes is gone and the setting is an artificial world mimicking Zebes……….to more Chozo shrines to search for right? So Nintendo has you get Samus all back to her not confident days and getting all weak kness over her former mentor, who has to get an “all clear” before she has to reactivate her bad@ss arsenal. (Highly improbable but then again, we do live in a virtual world of suspended belief) that’s how I see it lol! And nope, not a Nintendo apologist just putting things in the right perspective.

        It would have also helped if Nintendo allowed for two tracks of dialogue, the Japanese and English as in the Jp version ( the original english seiyu in the Prime series would have also helped but then, its all history under the bridge.

        The elevator shoes of hers, well I hope that explains why when in varia suit mode, she gets way taller than the zero mode ……..

        Try doing( pardon the pun) poseable figs in the future (Master Chief seems to be enjoying himself enough hahaha). Once my budget is a bit on the friendly side, am planning on getting both Ignis and Yoko too.

        • Tier says:

          Nah, I’ve never played Super Metroid (I wrote up in the post that I’ve never seriously played any of the Metroid games). I don’t know anything about the Metroid universe, either. It’s a moot point as I don’t plan to ever get a Wii or a Wii U (I still haven’t even gotten a PS3 yet).

  9. Oh god. Oh god, Other M! OH GOD!

    You know…I didn’t completely hate it. It had nice visuals for a Wii game, and the gameplay was solid (even with the wonky first-person mode). But man….MAN! The absolutely horrendous story completely kills the game for me. I usually don’t wave the “I’M FEMALE AND OFFENDED” flag but…as a female, I was completely disgusted with Samus’ portrayal in the game. The fact that she had been portrayed as a stoic, brave, planet-exploding warrior (with a gentle side, as her interactions with the Metroid infant show) up to this point only made things more painful.

    *sigh* I think I’ll stick with Super Metroid and the Prime games.

    Beautiful shots, like always. A friend of mine is big into photography and really digs your stuff. I ended up passing on this Samus since I already have an expensive figure of her (First4Figure’s Varia Suit polystone statue), and I got the figma on top of that. She is lovely. The only thing that gets me are those platform boots…as you mentioned, Samus is an amazoness. She doesn’t need disco plats.

    As far as WHY she’s so big, I reckon that can either be considered a fluke or attributed to how she was raised. If I remember right, when the Chozo (big birdlike alien guru guys) raised Samus they also infused her with some of their genes. I think that’s what enables her to use Chozo technology (like her signature Varia suit). Not 100% sure about that, though.

    When I was a kid, I was strictly in Camp Nintendo. I guess that’s why you could consider me a traitor (…Nintraitor?) since Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles were two of my favorite games as a kid. Whoops! But if you asked me back then if I loved Mario or Sonic, I’d go with Mario.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I think it’s really degrading for a heroic female character to become emotionally weak and insecure. It’s even more insulting if that character has a history of confidence and courageousness. It may sound odd for me to say that, given the sort of figures I collect and the style of pictures I shoot, but I really do prefer strong, independent, self-assured female characters, and I really dislike weak and subservient female characters (I’m not a big fan of a lot of the leading ladies in Final Fantasy games for this reason).

      I agree that the platform boots don’t look that great; I’m not a big fan of platform shoes (or clunky shoes or chunky heels) in general. High heels would’ve looked cool. Absolutely ridiculous but still cool. (I’m of the belief that a character can be strong and attractive while still being sexual. Maybe even slutty. I can’t help it; I’m a male and therefore biologically incapable of not being an insensitive cad.)

      You know, I remember playing a Final Fantasy game many, many years ago and my sister walked in, saw what I was playing, and called me a traitor. I thought that was pretty funny. I have to admit that I still have my platform and product biases, but it’s still weird to think how tribal tendencies play such a huge role in the products we buy.

      It’s great to hear that people like the pictures! Getting better at taking pictures is a hugely motivating factor in the operation of this site.

  10. Bob says:

    Nice job with the review….I got one of these statues myself and I’m a bit mixed about it. Nice pose and figure, but she’s got the dreaded cross-eyes. Oof… why does this happen so much?

    Anyways, the last couple snapshots are funny. One of them compels me to yell …. HEADCRAB!!!!

    Keep up the good work.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, the eyes do look a bit crossed from some angles. I think the hair covering her left eye helps to mitigate it, though.

      Headcrab and boobcrab indeed. When I saw this figure go up for order, I knew I needed a picture of the little Metroid dude perched on her head.

    • Aaron says:

      I don’t see the cross-eyed thing people keep talking about.

      • Tier says:

        One has to be really looking closely, I guess. I know the impression crossed my mind while I was editing the photographs, but I did not think it was noticeable or bothersome enough to mention it in the post.

  11. phossil says:

    Hey, really great pictures!!

  12. Flowermilk says:

    I really love Samus and as soon as I saw that figure I pre ordered it. I find interesting the way they’ve treated the face. It’s not your typical japanese anime style, but it’s not something you’d see on a western figure either. I think the stylistic compromise, in that case, works really well!
    Overall I think the pose is great. Usually this kind of pose ends up a little too plain. but they managed to get it right. And the paint job looks very slick. If it was up to me, I would have bumped her cup size of course, as you probably guessed looking at my art, but I have to admit that keeping the boobs reasonable makes her look more athletic. I love the platform boots because they just always turn me on, but again I agree that it may not have been the best choice in this case.
    I think you did a great job at really showing the figure under the best light (no pun intended). Really amazing photographs, as usual! I’m sure your pictures alone would sell the figure to people still on the fence.

    • Tier says:

      Thanks! Yeah, I was a bit surprised that her bust size was so small; she usually seems to be depicted as being more chesty, even in the official art and in screenshots of the Metroid games. I agree that a larger (but still reasonably realistic) breast size would’ve been more desirable, particularly given her very long legs and narrow waist.

  13. nagisa says:

    I’m surprised that this figure is made by max factory itself. From a casual standpoint, it could have been grouped nicely with some western characters. The design of her outfit has a nice metallic sheen on it. And she looks sexy (and deadly) at the same time. I think she’s a very nice break from the usual alter, gsc figure reviews it seems. I also agree that their figure lineup is quite not too exciting this time, since they’re into lolis this time. Maybe we could give it a year and they’ll announce something that surprise our butts.
    Oh, and could I promote your site on our local figure group?

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I really like that she’s from a series – indeed, a genre – that doesn’t get a ton of figures. I still like Nanoha and Fate/stay night and even Miku Hatsune figures, but it does get a bit boring photographing them over and over.

      Haha, yeah, my next figure review will probably be of a loli (the most famous nine-year old loli in all of anime, probably). Maybe after I’m done with that one, I’ll photograph Kaori Saeki.

      Sure, go right ahead, I have no problem with that.

  14. Jenn says:

    Looks very cool. I like the shades of blue on Samus’ suit and the backdrop in your pictures. Her facial experssion is spot on as a serious kick ass girl. I didn’t get into the Metroid games, but I played as her in Super Smash Bros Brawl. lol It was pretty funny to see Samus team up with Pikachu during story mode. Fun game anyway!

    • Tier says:

      Those sorts of mash-up fighting games are always tons of fun. I never did play Super Smash Bros – being that the last Nintendo console I owned was an NES (disregarding my Gameboy Advance) – but there was a game on the Sega Saturn called Fighters Megamix which I loved. It was tons of fun playing as the Virtua Fighter characters against the Daytona car and the AM2 palm tree.

      • Jenn says:

        I sold my Wii 2 years ago and kept my Xbox 360. Personally, the games on Xbox 360 are more fluid graphics/animation wise. The only other crossover fighting game I’ve played is Marvel vs Capcom, which is a lot of fun as well.

        Hmm.. I’ve never played Virtua Fighter. Is it any good? I’m big on fighting games such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken and Soul Calibur.

        • Aaron says:

          Virtua Fighter is still great whereas Soul Caliber has become dramatically worse.

          In fact, it is the best out of the ones you listed. It is balanced, fluid, challenging, but is not nearly as flashy. Also a lot of people are put off by it because you cannot easily button-mash to get cool combos.

          The others have their merits, but I never liked Tekken’s must juggle to win and complete unbalanced gameplay, Street Fighter is also plagued by horrible balance (other 2D fighters like BlazBlue are much better), Mortal Kombat and the dial-a-combo, and recently Soul Caliber with their gimmicks (and this is coming from somebody who never gave 3D fighters not named Soul Caliber a chance).

          Give VF5 a try and see what you think.

          • Tier says:

            Yeah, I liked the original Soul Calibur a lot, though I got into it late, after the Dreamcast had already died off. I loved Soul Calibur II, and I also loved Soul Calibur III, mainly for its strategy game-style campaign mode. SC4 didn’t make much of an impression on me, other than I thought that the Star Wars tie-ins were really silly, and SC5 is pretty bad.

            I’m really bad at fighting games but I’ve got Persona 4 Arena sitting here, and I’ve preordered Tekken Tag 2 and DOA5. I never really got into Tekken much, but I played the first TTT when I was in school and it was a lot of fun (though I had the most fun with Tekken Bowl). And uhh, I’ve also preordered Phantom Breaker, although I’m not really expecting that game to be any good at all.

        • Tier says:

          I don’t have a ton of experience with Virtua Fighter – I don’t even remember if I own Virtua Fighter 4, though I’m pretty sure I do. I liked the Virtua Fighter characters in Fighters Megamix, though, and I preferred playing as them over the Fighting Vipers characters. From what I recall, Virtua Fighter was more of a technical fighting game than a lot of its contemporaries. That didn’t make much of a difference for me, though, because I am universally terrible at fighting games. Virtua Fighter also kinda lacks the selection of attractive female fighting characters that most other games do. And the voice acting was really bad; Sarah Bryant and Lion Rafale had particularly bad voices and lines. I’m not sure if that’s gotten better or not.

          • Aaron says:

            Virtua Fighter does lack attractive females, which may be its greatest flaw. It definitely is much more technical than any of the other 3D fighters which puts people off, but once you get acquainted to your character or two, it is pretty fun.

            I played Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast and loved it. SC2 was great and SC3 was enjoyable. I actually like the “Chronicles of the Sword?” the best (the strategy game portion) in SC3.

            Unfortunately SC4 really turned me off from the franchise with the armor breaking, etc. I won’t even give SC5 a trial because I am a Maxi, Sophitia, Taki player and since two of them were removed/changed it is a no go for me.

          • Tier says:

            Yeah, Chronicles of the Sword was great. I was pretty disappointed with the single-player campaign options in SC4 and 5; I didn’t get far into that tower mode in SC4 and I didn’t even bother with whatever mode SC5 had.

            I like playing Seung Mina best (particularly because of her awesome Opening Treasure move) and I was most displeased that she was playable in SC5. I made a Create-A-Soul character with her moveset (from uhh, that new guy, Xiba or something I think his name is … I don’t even remember the names of most of the new characters) but it wasn’t the same.

            I’d buy a Natsu figure if someone makes one, though.

  15. Halbred says:

    Soul Calibur 5 is atrocious. I got it very cheap ($20) new and I felt like I wasted money. The new characters–they’re almost all new–feel generic and silly. They covered Ivy up, they introduced some bizarre new game mechanics, and there’s no alternate single-player mode. SC1 and SC2 had those interesting challenges, SC3 had the Chronicles of the Sword, and I think even SC4 had something, although I forget what it was. I think SC2 was the best one, the most balanced, with the most lasting single-player content. I’m not much of a multiplayer gamer because the games I like, my friends don’t, and I hate playing online in ANY game. SC5 really focuses on online play, so that’s a turnoff.

    I do like the Dead or Alive games, though. DOA4 was a wash, and nothing’s come close to DOA2: Hardcore, but Dimensions on the 3DS is very good, and DOA5 was fantastic at E3 (I got to play it! They fixed the breast physics!). I have similarly pre-ordered it, though I took the extra step and pre-ordered the collector’s edition from GameStop because I’m a consumer whore but you also get lots of bonus content. Like bikinis for the girls. So there’s THAT.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I got it a few months after its release for like $40 and that was probably a waste of money (but then again, I still have games like Valkyria Chronicles, Mass Effect 2, and Prototype still in their shrinkwrap, so by that standard I got better value from SC5).

      Yeah, I’m not a big online player, either; I’ve had an Xbox and Xbox 360 since near their respective launch dates but I’ve never paid for a Gold subscription. I’m pretty cheap like that. I enjoy playing fighting games competitively (despite being a completely unskilled button-masher), but even though most of my friends are willing to play fighting games, it gets kinda awkward really quickly when one doesn’t know what one is doing. I never master any character and there are only a handful of characters that I can play at a level slightly higher than complete noob (Dizzy in GGX, Iori in CVS2, Psylocke in MSH/MVC2, and maybe a few others) and when I play those, I tend to clobber my friends. When I don’t, we tend to just mash the hell out of the buttons hoping something good will happen.

      I skipped the Dreamcast so I never played DOA2 in its heyday (though I did later pick it up when I was collecting Dreamcast games). I’m not sure whether I liked DOA3 or DOA Ultimate better; DOA Ultimate had more costumes but was missing Christie. I liked DOA4 a lot, but my favorite DOA game of all time is Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. My played time score is something like 120 hours.

      • Aaron says:

        For shame, I didn’t mention DOA in my other posing. Although I like my fighters balanced, I really enjoyed DOA4. I never gave the first three installments a chance (like I said, Soul Calibur for me), so I cannot comment on them.

        After playing it and realizing just how much the newer versions of the Soul series were ruining the series, I have grown to appreciate the simple Rock, Paper, Scissors battle mechanic. Yes there are some horrible balance issues, but playing smart can help to overcome some of those. I play Christie, Helena, and Hitomi so I often have to overcome the skewed balance.

        I do own DOA Extreme Beach Volleyball 2 (since release) and have ~250 hours into it. I still randomly work on getting the every suit red-hearted by every girl. I figure it will take somewhere around 900 hours to accomplish that with the sign-out glitch.

        • Tier says:

          Yeah, I like the DOA series a lot; they’re easy to pick up and mash buttons (important for a scrub like me) and the female cast is diverse and well-endowed. Despite the number of 3D fighting games that I own and have played, though, I think I’m really more of a fan of 2D fighters. I loved GGX2, CvS2, and Marvel Super Heroes.

          That is hardcore XD I like DOAX2 but not as much as the first game. I think it’s the load times that bug me; I don’t understand why the hard disk installation option is disabled because the game could really benefit from it. I still have the dream of unlocking Ayane’s pole dance sequence, though.

    • Flowermilk says:

      yes I remember playing a lot DOA hardcore. And then I forgot about the series but I pre ordered DOA5. Has anyone seen the DOA movie? Don’t laugh. I know it’s a B movie based on a game franchise, but I found it a lot better than what I was expecting. I thought he girls were beautiful, their fighting scene really convincing, and the colorful photography, humor, and slick imagery somewhat reminded me of the Charlie’s Angels movie. I even bought the Blu Ray after I saw the movie on cable 🙂

      • Tier says:

        I have not; I must admit that I did not pay a great deal of attention to it and didn’t even know that they made one until well after it was released (I think there’s even a Tekken movie? I’m not positive about that, though). Given the over-the-top nature of the DOA series (which I hope is still the case, with Itagaki long gone), I have the sense that it’d probably make a better source for a video game adaptation than a lot of fighting games. I’m still kinda puzzled why they made that Chun-Li movie a few years back.

        • Flowermilk says:

          The Tekken movie is absolutely terrible, as was the Chun-li one. I think the DOA movie is really in another league. The director Corey Yuen is a really strong fighting choreographer. He was involved in a number of Jet Li movies and in The Transporter. But yeah it’s still a pretty silly over the top action movie loaded with T&A…

          • Tier says:

            All good things. Maybe I’ll look for some clips on Youtube, since everything shows up there.

            Speaking of DOA5, the new girl kinda reminds me of Vanessa from KOF. Not a bad thing at all, since I like Vanessa’s design.

  16. Sith Beast says:

    Hey. You were wondering about the height of Samus being 6’3″, and what the reason for it was.

    I believe it came from an issue in Valiant comics a (relatively) long time ago. IIRC there was some story about her as a mercenary/bounty hunter, and that initially was her official profile. 6’3″ 198 lbs.

    Unfortunately as the story has evolved over time, certain things have shifted around and are no longer concrete enough to be a solid fact. Not the least of which is Samus’ height.

    Long story short, I’m not too happy with her story and where it has gone ultimately. I played the original 3 when they were still “cool”. So it marks a turn for me, having watched a gradual, slow and painful transformation over time. It isn’t surprising but it is disappointing. Still, I suppose we fans may have an inflated sense of just how important we all are in the grand scheme of things. *shrugs*

    All my criticism aside, they have made sure that her appearance is stunning and inspiring. This is a magnificent figure and I would hope for nothing less for her. True effort, art, and craftsmanship went into this work and it shows. A masterpiece.

    I wish they’d do one that would include some gunfire, and maybe that light/energy whip thing. Perhaps a future figure will include it.

    And thank you for all the photo shots. Even if I don’t have the figure, these images do an excellent job. “Does it justice” as it were.

    • Tier says:

      Ah, thanks for that. I wonder if that comic writer knew that Samus is a woman, since that sort of body build sounds very much like a male hero.

      Yeah, it really does suck when you’re a huge fan of something and it goes in a direction that you don’t agree with (or worse, makes you hate it or its creator). I’ve heard a lot of ire from Star Wars fans regarding the way that franchise has gone (and there are, of course, many other series that inspire similar reactions amongst their fans). I know I’ve found myself drifting away from a lot of the game titles, musical artists, and comic books that I enjoyed even just a few years ago because I didn’t like the way that they were going.

      Thanks for the kind words! Although I’m not a huge fan of the Metroid series – having not actually played the games – I do appreciate the characters and also that Nintendo has kept it going, even if the direction it’s taken (under Team Ninja, I guess) hasn’t been universally well-received. As an old Sega fanboy, I can only wish that Sega would keep its own flagship franchises alive and current.

  17. Mekagheist says:

    Good evening (er… good morning I mean (ahh time zone pleasure))

    I’d like to thank you for giving me the address of other figure fan website but I think that your review are far more interesting… (I mean it)

    I wanted to post a comment for a while… But I truly lack of time T-T (gasp… almost three month since I first post here)

    I was hesitating (honestly, I don’t even know why) about buying this figure… Thanks to you (and your marvelous review (your photography are excellent!!! (Please never stop doing what you do (honest! (sorry for all the parenthesis…)))) I bought one of the last one sold on HLJ (just before it was discountinued (what a relief)).
    I have to admit that this figure is truly remarquable, ant that it is certainly one of the best of my collection. (I am amused by the fact that I own most of the figure that you also own)

    Being a really huge fan of video game (I’ve spent my whole childhood playing video games (and I won’t stop now!) I couldn’t pass Metroid:Other M
    As you said, the game has had quite a mixed reception by the audience… Eventhough I have been really disappointed by the story (the game is supposed to “explain” Samus Aran’s past… I think it doesn’t… Or not like I would have expected it to be) I have really enjoyed the game and I think it is part of the must-have on the nintendo WII.
    The graphisme are excellent (for the WII at last (unfortunately, the monster design is… awfull… having good graphisme doesn’t save everything) and the gameplay is interesting.
    Although it is not “the” best game I’ve ever played, Other M is actually pretty good. (but don’t expect to learn anything relevant about Samus’ past (which is a shame because the game was supposed to reveal secrets about her past…))

    Er… ow crap… I just talked about the game instead of the figure 🙁

    Well… I’ll continue another time!
    Back to duty now…

    BTW: I think it is pretty obvious (assuming the name of your website) but would you appear to be a tentacle fan/feitshist?

  18. Mekagheist says:

    ow… sorry for the double post, but I read some of the discution above and I found

    You played fighter megamix on the sega saturn? Ssorry for asking you such silly question, but I am so ashamed by the fact that nobody knows this game…
    The daytona car was my favourite character (when I was a kid of course… nahh! I still like it ^^)
    An excellent fighting game…

    Soulcalibur II was one of the first game I bought, and it is certainly one of my favourite fighting game… I haven’t played a lot of the first one on the dreamcast, but I though it was really good too!
    Unfortunately, the soulcalibur franchise (like other big franchise) become… Bad. That’s sad.
    Nowadays, they don’t even know how to make good games T-T

    Would you happen to know a game called “guardian heroes”? It is not a fighting game (actually, kinda because it’s a beat’em all…) but it is an excellent game on the sega saturn released in 1993 by treasure (ahh… treasure)
    It is available on the xbox live arcade for sommething like 1000G. I highly recommend it (if you like the genre)

    • Tier says:

      I really enjoyed Fighters Megamix. I liked the Virtua Fighter characters a lot more than the Fighting Vipers characters; I usually used Sarah or Lion, but I also liked the meat and the palm tree. It really was a great game from a time when Sega made some awesome games (and some really terrible business decisions).

      Yeah, Soul Calibur is going downhill; I did get Soul Calibur 5 and I wasn’t too impressed by it. I think my favorite one was SC3, since I liked the strategy mode a lot, and I also liked that I could make a character that looked like KOS-MOS. I didn’t care much for SC4, though I guess it wasn’t as bad as 5.

      I loved Guardian Heroes, and still do. I had it on the Saturn and it’s a great game; I played the demo on the Xbox and found that I’m really, really, really bad at the game now. I’ve been meaning to buy it but I haven’t played my Xbox much in recent weeks. I’ve also been hoping that Code of Princess would get ported to Xbox Live Arcade or the PS3 network, since I don’t plan on getting the Nintendo handheld, but I’m guessing that’s not likely to happen.

      Don’t worry about the double post, I’ll go ahead and delete it.

  19. Mekagheist says:

    Ah! I had totally forgotten the palm tree! It’s incredible to see the imagination they had in the 90’s… I mean, a palm tree and a racing car as playable character in a fighting game… Nobody, if SEGA could have done it!
    Definitely a great game.
    It’s really sad to see what SEGA has become… What remains is only the shade of what they were in the past. That is horrible!

    I’ve never played to Soulcalibur V so I can’t tell if it is good or not… But I was disappointed by the chara-design change that occurred from SC II to SC III.

    It’s good to hear that you know (and own ;)) Guardian Heroes!
    Unfortunately, the problem with the xbla edition is that Guardian Heroes has never been made to be played with the xbox controller. That only thing ruins the game… That’s why I decided to buy a Hori Arcade pad! (actually, I also bought it because I love Shoot’em up)
    With the Hori pad, it has become a lot more enjoyable to play GH, but unfortunately, it cannot replace the awesome sega saturn controller…
    Simone and Serena are my favorite character in the game (yeah… smiley magic!)
    Serena is kinda harsh to play, because she doesn’t have any high stat. However, she’s very versatile and you can easily adapt her to any play style, which is really likable.

    I also have some kind of interest in tentacle (which is something I personally find kinda weird… But who cares! It’s cool)… From what I’ve learned this fetish has appeared in japan in the early 19th century.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, Sega has really had a rough time of it, which is a shame because they still have so many good franchises. Not just from the Genesis and Saturn eras, but games like Skies of Arcadia and Jet Set Radio were really good, too. It’s sad to think that JSRF probably will never get a sequel, since that was one of my favorite games on the Xbox.

      The 360 controller definitely sucks for fighting games. I got a Hori control pad and it’s not too bad – I can at least do quarter-circles somewhat consistently – but I’ve been thinking about trying to build a joystick, since I enjoy playing fighting games much more with a joystick than a d-pad. I’ve got Persona 4 Arena here unopened just because I don’t want to play it with a d-pad. The Saturn controller was definitely great; the NiGHTS pad with the analog stick might be my favorite game controller of all time.

      Indeed tentacle art has been around for a while XD The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife is probably the most famous piece of art but I’ve read that there is more artwork with similar themes. Tentacles in anime is great stuff.

  20. Mekagheist says:

    Ah! I totally forgot to write about Code of princess!
    It looks really fun, which is normal because it looks A LOT like Guardian heroes (that only fact makes CoF really promising).
    Another fine game from Atlus…
    I was wondering if I should buy a nintendo 3DS solely to play that game… My decency (or at last, what remains of it) told me I shouldn’t because paying over 350$ was far to expensive to be able to play to one game… But I badly want to try it…
    (Maybe I’ll kill what’s left of my decency!)

    Do you really think it is possible to hope to see it one day exported to the PS3 or the xbox? I personally have some doubts… But It would be marvelous!

    • Mekagheist says:

      Oh! I forgot!

      Could you tell me how to put the metroid next to Samus figure?
      I was trying to put the plastic pylon in the hole on his back, but it looks far too thick to go in… (am I a retard or anything? Not being able to do this…)
      It would be a shame to break anything so I prefer asking you first.

  21. Mekgheist says:

    Nope… It doesn’t fit at all… (it is just 1 mm to big… but still it is too much)
    Maybe I’ll just file it down a little bit.

    • Tier says:

      Hmm, if I remember right, the pylon goes in at an angle, I think. I remember it was a bit tricky to point the pylon in the right direction, since it doesn’t go straight in like you think it might.

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