Metroid: Fusion Suit Fan Redesign – I Have Issues

This is not an official redesign. This is done by a fan. So it might be seen as mean of me to critique it, but when it popped up on my Twitter feed yesterday, I immediately had a feeling of “something bothers me about this design”, though I had to sleep on it to get a little more specific and eloquent than that.

I have nothing against this person's artistic ability, the art itself is gorgeous.

So here you have a short post where I heartlessly tear into a poor artist’s really well-drawn design.

Now before I get into the issues I have, let me talk about the things I like about it.

The helmet is really good. The design might be little too insectoid, as it looks a lot like ant-man’s helmet, but it is still clearly based on how your typical Metroid looks.

The morph ball redesign is neat, but then again, there’s so far not been a single morph ball form for any suit that I haven’t liked. I think they’re all cool in their own way.

While I am not entirely certain on having individual toes on the feet, I can see why they did it, and it’s interesting. I am totally on board with the new hand design though.

And I absolutely adore the new arm cannon. I like the idea that it could double as a melee weapon.

I even think it’s neat how much more clearly the legs and arms look like muscle tissue now. Makes sense considering how the Fusion Suit came about.

I am less sure about all the extra spikes though. Feels like a very 90s thing, and I thought we’d learned by now. Granted, the original design did set the precedent for spikes:

The original design.

I just think it went a bit overboard in the fan design. I’m not sure why they added spikes to the original Fusion Suit design the first place? If you look at all the stages of metroid evolution, they have claws and teeth, yes, but they are not especially spiky.

Only a few spikes on Alpha and Gamma.

Moving on, my main issue with this design is the form. I’ve always liked how Samus’ suits are very neutral in their design. This one seems to have aimed for a more form-fitting design. Maybe with the aim of making it more feminine, or more athletic, but it kinda just comes off as more designed for the male gaze. Which incidentally is a problem I also have with the Zero Suit, but at least the idea there is that it’s what she has under the armour, and not the armour itself. ( Though I could probably do a post on why I don’t like the Zero Suit as well, unless I already have, and then forgot. )

The most prominent thing on this fan design is probably how framed the ass is. Very nice to look at, but doesn’t seem like it fits an armour design. Someone pointed out that it looked like it had to be that way with those hip spikes, or it would be hard to sit down. In that case, I would rather she didn’t have hip spikes at all.

And the hip-waist-chest ratio also bothers me more than the original design, even though the ratio doesn’t seem all that different when I compare them side-to-side. Again, I think my issue is that the redesign is more form-hugging and accentuating, versus the original’s more neutral, clearly-armour design.

It doesn’t help that goes up into a chest area that… well… they’ve given Samus boob plate. The best thing I can say for it is that they’ve at least not made the boobs that big, nor tried to make it seem especially sexy, but even so. It’s the depression in-between that really nails it. As if to say “there are clearly boobs here!” I don’t really have a problem with an expanded chest area. All of Samus’ official suit designs have very broad chests, along with broad shoulders. She’s a big woman.

I guess this is technically ret-conned now, but I still hold it as canon.

But this is armour. Armour doesn’t just stop attacks, it deflects them. Be it shots or blows. It is especially important to deflect attacks away from your chest, because that’s where your most important organs are. So you don’t put a valley in the middle of the chest that attacks will be deflected into. That just gets you killed a lot faster.

I think that’s it. Nothing more that comes to mind at the moment. Now I feel certain that if this post gets discovered by a certain subset of the internet, I will inevitably get comments along the lines of “why do you hate sexy characters”, “why are you so sex-negative”, “SJW bullshit”, “political correctness blah blah”, etc and so on, so let me try to head that off right away (not that I think it will actually help, but c’est la vie).

There’s nothing inherently wrong with sexy designs for characters, or sexy outfits for characters. But I do feel it has to fit the setting and the character, and not just be there for the sake of the audience ( I make an exception for optional outfits, they’re free to be fan-service for all I care ).

For instance: Bayonetta is excellent in how she is so overtly sexual, because it fits her character well, and she absolutely owns it. She is in control of every situation, she knows it, and she makes sure everyone else knows it too. I don’t consider her fan-service, because her sexuality and sexual displays are so core to her character. It’s how she expresses her dominance and strength. But that is another blog post all-together.

That became longer than I had intended, but there you have it. Nearly a thousand words of me being vicious towards someone’s fan-art, that they have clearly put a lot of work into, and which displays great artistic ability. I imagine they have put years of practice into getting that good at drawing, and here I am, being mean about their design decisions. I should be ashamed of myself.

~Wulf

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Posted on August 19, 2015, in Games, Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I agree. In a lot of ways it feels too ’90s-extreme as well. Very comic-booky, where the series usually has a very understated, simplified feel to its art.

  2. I think it’s pretty cool looking. Samus is one of those women that look good in anything. 🙂

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