Let me clarify something before I begin: the title emphasizes the point of this article, but I still believe it is still very much your experience. The title is more or less for emphasis. A game is always a new experience, and even the games I’m about to talk about are ones I enjoy to a very sizable degree.
This topic has permeated many Metroid-related topic lately. It slides in the lines of other arguments, and it completely derails them. Quite simply because it is a more decisive argument. This stems form the fact that it is so rooted in opinion. The arguments make about as much progress as an RPG, and FPS fan arguing about which is the better genre. In Metroid Other M, Nintendo played a wild-card. They took one of their top three franchises (but to be fair it is the least successful of the three) and they mixed it up. I enjoyed it. Thoroughly. However, many disagree with my thought of the game making very constructive progression with Other M. And it all comes from what someone finds in a game (Metroid for this example). It’s all about what you enjoy about it. And there are thousands, millions, dare I even mention billions of ways to enjoy a game (or not enjoy it). Halo Reach is a very good example of a single entity being so many things because so many people enjoy it in different ways. I always took Metroid as a nice sci-fi story wrapped around a unique, and addictive gameplay system.
Others would disagree, however. Some may see it as a fun adventure game, some may even see it as a third (and in a certain case; first) person shooter. The problem that I feel Nintendo never foresaw when they made a far more story-oriented approach to the game is that in emphasizing one way of enjoying the game, they are totally disregarding the other styles. This is why drastic changes may be something games want to turn away from, not from the chance of a drop in sales, but a drop in the amount of people who are able to enjoy the game. Many people saw Samus as a brave bounty hunter who could handle anything, and of course Other M broke this concept of the series into fragments; to either never be enjoyed like this again, or to be enjoyed to a far lesser degree.
The day Mass Effect loses its dialogue tree and becomes a puzzle game is the day Bioware loses quite a deal of money. Sorry if I lost you in that level of hyperbole, but hopefully you understand the topic I’m trying to bring up. Everyone goes to different games for different reasons. For a game to lose it’s original purpose is for that game to lose it’s meaning in the minds of the gamers who cared for it, where it is now a shadow in a once-glowing corner. Playing Other M gives you a detailed story, it has the options to do so without having to try and cater to a variety of thoughts of who Samus really is. But in that vein it loses the experience it once held in the gamers who didn’t see Samus as who she is in Other M. It becomes a linear experience in the way that no matter how many times you play it, Samus is going to go into shock at seeing Ridley. It becomes you playing the game the way you want, but hearing the story the way you may not. And that may be what you want, but it may be what you don’t want, and that is when a game loses the experience it used to give you. It changes, it molds, it contorts to a shape some may say looks identical to its previous iteration, but others may find unrecognizable. An unapproachable monster in the place of the friend who once stood there.