Eligibility: The optional elements used were not explicitly stated, and since the image must be ignored, it is otherwise unclear that the bogle is a solo monster. In fact, I am not quite sure what the third element even is... the skill challenge? If this is the case, it is not quite fleshed out enough. (No success/failure, etc.)
Cohesion: This entry is easily adaptable into a campaign. I like that you specifically noted important information for the DM as well as including hooks and rumors.
Other Thoughts: You state in the rumors and clues section that every note is in the same handwriting, but in the description of the Bogle, you mention that they use the handwriting of the victim. Not world ending, but definitely confusing. Other than that, I note the simplicity of the entry. It's got only a single encounter (with terrain and tactics suggested), though that's not a bad thing. It's straight and to the point. If anything, you may want to simply add some details, personalize the Bogle by naming it or the like, flesh out more background. Also, you have an ambiguous skill challenge. Flesh it out!
Eligibility: You met quite a few of these elements. You already acknowledge the ambiguous nature of targeting "adolescents", but other than that, I have a hard time understanding why a good aligned spirit would continue to murder children.
Cohesion: You explicitly mention that you did not fully flesh out the adventure here. Something I might suggest is that you mention a skill challenge to convince Aord, but then fail to actually present the skill challenge. In some ways, I'm thinking your intention of leaving blanks for other DMs to fill in resulted in simply not enough information, or something not fully fleshed out enough to appease the judges.
Other Thoughts: I have a character named Illyria, and I was surprised to find a character with such a similar name. (Which is better, I suppose, than finding someone with an identical name in an actual forgotten realms book, which has happened, but I have seriously digressed) Regarding your background, your writing is perhaps not as clear as you might hope. I understand that Ilyra has gone insane at some point, but I can't quite pinpoint where this is supposed to have occurred. At any rate, it seems rather callous for a mother to drown her children so she can be with a lover, which leads me to believe she was already insane at this point, but that leads me to asking when she went insane in the first place (she has, by your own writings, just recently recovered from the death of her first husband). I guess what it boils down to is that I don't find Ilyra a very believable character.
Eligibility: Again, not explicitly stated, but for this entry I can quickly see that Colm is good, has an attack with the psychic keyword, and has replaced a body part. Please, please, please explicitly state these, it makes the entries much easier to judge in the context of the contest.
Cohesion: You've handled this pretty darn well. No direct criticisms, but see "other thoughts" below.
Other Thoughts: Dare I say that I like this better than some of the medal winners? I think I know why the judges didn't mark you higher though. Simply put, despite the quality (don't be so modest, this was excellent), I just don't see Colm as much of an Urban Menace. Don't get me wrong, I love the dichotomy between his religious devotions and his xenophobia, but why is Colm the menace? The lizardfolk were merely traders, not fighters. What I think you were attempting to do here was put the lizardfolk village at the forefront, with Colm menacing them, but you have not facilitated this well. Despite the fact that lizardfolk are usually seen as monsters, you have taken pains to sketch out what happens when the PCs begin to investigate Drake's Ferry, how the populace react to Colm and the like. In contrast to this, there is no mention of encounters within the Lizardfolk village, no notable Lizardfolk who would stand out in memory, or otherwise make a case for their continued existence. It would, perhaps, be interesting if you fleshed out the leader of this band of lizardfolk. Perhaps he (or she) requests an escort from the PCs while he approaches the town to parlay, and discover why the citizens are suddenly so militant. You have an excellent idea here, truly, but you simply did not cast it in the proper light for this competition.
Three more to go :P
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one.
Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
To be perfectly honest, I had a lot of trouble even reading through your entry when you first posted it. It was simply incomprehensible to me at first. Looking back at it now, it doesn't quite seem to be as bad as I remember it, but it still has a few issues.
First off, you never directly state what a "Kittyrar" actually is until the lore section and stats, and instead you force someone reading the entry to slowly piece it together from scattered inferences throughout the story text. Actually, I was under the impression that Yeowwy was actually some kind of werecat with a human form at first, since the first description you give her is "changing into her kitten form". Because the existence of her vicious giant cat form is not even stated in the story, it never really seems vicious or intimidating. It is very easy to get the impression that a little girl's cute cat is trying to kill people...
Another huge problem is rooted in the names "Yeowwy" and "Kittyrar". Since you use the name Yeowwy from the very beginning, you give the impression that that name is her proper name given to he by other Kittyrars, not the name given to her by a cute elf girl (which makes the sentence "Oliassy named hr new pet Yeowwy" a bit disorienting). Also, while I understand that you took the concept from another source, the name "Kittyrar" undermines a lot of my ability to take this seriously. As you list in your entry, it is the name of something from a children's coloring book, not a name for a creature of horror. It works great as a name for Oliassy to use regarding Yeowwy (since she is a child and Yeowwy is harmless to her), but it doesn't work as the true name of her species.
Still, I will say that the concept of a young girl having a fierce beast for a pet is really good. It is so good that I wish you didn't base Yeowwy's killings on hunger and an Evil alignment. Instead, the idea you introduce that Yeowwy is simply eliminating anyone who harasses the little girl that she cares about is much better. You could give her an Unaligned or maybe even a Good alignment that way. I would also have had her reveal her true nature to Oliassy, and have Oliassy be a bit more aware of what is going on (though only through the naive and innocent perspective of a child). The idea of an innocent young girl with no concept of death or mortality who asks her strong pet to "make those bad bullies go away" is incredibly creepy and chilling. Emphasizing that aspect would have gone a long way to make this entry a lot better.
Overall, I would say that you need to simply refocus your description of the story from relating Yeowwy's tale to instead telling everything from Oliassy's perspective or the perspective of the town. That would add a lot more clarity and make the whole thing a lot more creepy.
Also, I need to say that your writing just needs some work. You really abuse a short, straightforward sentence structure, which makes reading through the story feel oddly mechanical and boring. Mixing up different sentence structures, with long and short sentences, may help that. Also, the incredibly distant third-person perspective that describes every characters actions with the same even tone hurts your descriptions, and really fails to capture the kind of emotions needed to make this tale interesting. A more limited third-person perspective, in which you narrate based on one character's or group's perspective, might have suited it better.
Finally, I just have to wonder what a young elf girl is doing with a reserved seat in the local tavern...
There is a very noticeable flaw that permeates this entire entry, but it is nebulous enough that I think I may have trouble describing it... At least your writing is pretty good. You use the accursed "funnel" lead-in (starting by talking about wide generic phenomena and bringing it down to what you actually want to talk about a few sentences in), but other than that your grammar and tone are good.
Overall, this entry feels like a giant party deathtrap that will inevitably lead to a TPK if the party acts reasonably. The entire set-up feels like a classic low-level D&D adventure. The party hears about a group of hobgoblins and bugbears threatening local villages around a forest that is famous for its ocre jelleys (level 3 monsters), and thus they decide to head into the forest to find out what is going on. Where they get attacked by Paragon level Rakshasas and a level 29 primordial slime queen. Seriously, you don't even consider the likeliest choice for the PCs when discussing their "likely" options (investigating the known hideout in the forest is far more likely than laying an ambush). If the party is mid-epic level already, then the entire thing is a laughable cakewalk until they actually run into the Witch, and if they are not then the PCs are dead. The level ranges are ridiculous.
I suppose you intended for the witch of the forest to be a recurring menace that the PCs struggle against across the length of a campaign, but the set-up is all wrong for that. This is presented as a simple "save the local villages" adventure with the main objective clear (the location of the villain's lair is known from the start), and there are no complications that even bring most of the "ooze-knight" plot into the forefront. Overall, the only way this makes sense as a recurring threat is if the PCs hear about the forest, charge in, die, get raised, raise their levels elsewhere, try again, die again, and repeat the cycle until they are Epic heroes.
Actually, the Witch doesn't even work well as an Epic level creature at all. At level 28, her power starts being comparable to archfiends like Orcus. She more closely resembles the kind of being you should be encountering in the depths of the Feywild's Underdark or in a giant ocean of slime floating through the Elemental Chaos, rather than in a mostly unremarkable creepy forest in the middle of a kingdom. And the Ooze-Knight you statted out has the power to be called a legendary weapon-master whose skill is almost unrivaled across an entire continent and whose fame precedes her wherever she goes, but you describe her as a fairly normal unknown figure who dreams of being a normal town guard. The Epic tier is the period in which the PCs have gone beyond the need to save small communities and have the might to save the entire world against forces beyond description. A lowly witch in a small forest who relies on random monstrous humanoids raiding farming communities doesn't rise up to that level, and is certainly not a destiny quest. The witch would work well if she was level 8, rather than level 28.
A much more minor problem is that your descriptions are a bit inconsistent, particularly regarding what is known to the people of the towns about the Drukai and what is in the Creeping Forest. It goes everywhere from "no one can prove the existence of the Drukai" to "you can confer with scholars to learn about the secret abilities of the Witch herself". I can't make heads or tails of it.
Finally, I think you are letting a few too many old concepts from 3E distort your descriptions and mechanics. You make more than a few implications that the Ooze-Knights should be built using the same mechanics as PCs (such as the reference to elite arrays and the like), but that goes against the spirit of 4E NPC design. It would have been a lot easier for both yourself and anyone making use of this menace if the Ooze-Knights were just statted out as a normal monster, rather than as a template that gets stacked on top of something (what exactly is Sirri? she can't be built with a class template, since that would be two templates and she would be a solo rather than an elite. she doesn't have any real base abilities either...).
And the last, final thing I have to ask is: Why does the Witch need to send out the Drukai on raiding parties at all? can't she jut turn the Drukai themselves into Ooze-Knights? If she even has Rakshasa at her disposal (who can take on any form and specialize in deception and espionage), then why does she bother turning humans into Ooze-Knights?
I am unsure with whether I will look over mccowen's entry or ff6shadow's entry next...
great idea. prophecies are really hard to do though - railroading is often a big part in it. i had to find out the hard way with my current party.
If you've played Prince of Persia - Sands of Time, then that's a really good way to do Prophecies. Rather than say "I see you four here doing X" say "I see four figures, they stand *in front of dungeon obstacle*, they do *action to bypass obstacle* and then attack *monster on other side of obstacle*, i do not see the conclusion of this fight."
It doesn't matter if the PC's never go to that dungeon (for whatever reason) because it ovbiously wasn't them in the Prophecy, but on the other hand, if they do go to that Dungeon they might recognise the obstacle and thus will have a little hint about how to get past it, and what is waiting for them on the other side.
This is a great plot. I think Ember does in fact make a suitable epic foe for most characters. She has a sufficiently menacing legacy and an interesting array of powers to challenge an epic-level party. For an epic adventure, Ember is remarkably adaptable. Humanoid raiders and an oozy forest are pretty easy to insert into most campaign worlds. I had a problem with some of your optional elements. First, she is not a solo creature as that is defined in this contest, because she is the leader of an organization – she leads both her Ooze Knights and the oozes of her wood. Second, since I consider her Ooze Knights part of her organization, her organization is not entirely made of oozes. Third, her preference for adolescents seemed pretty weak and tacked on. Nonetheless, you had three elements left over that I thought you did meet, so you did fine in the category overall.
I have a few plotting quibbles. First, I’m unclear how the party would think to interrogate the Drukai in such a way as to learn about Ember. I think it very likely that a party might fight the raiders and never even come close to discovering Ember’s identity. Second, handling humanoid raiders seems a bit below the pay grade of a party on the verge of ascension – it’s quite possible they would overlook the story hook altogether. It would have been better to introduce the Drukai at Heroic Tier, culminating in the discovery of the Ooze Knights (perhaps the leader of the Drukai is an Ooze Knight humanoid), the Ooze Knights at Paragon Tier, culminating in the discovery of Ember, and then facing down Ember in epic tier. This would also have allowed you to fulfill the optional element of allowing the menace to be a suitable foe for a party from first through 30th level. On that note, the sample Ooze Knight, Viper, doesn’t act like a 22nd level adventurer. She is in the Epic Tier and she’s still wandering around as a mercenary for hire? Her skill is now legendary and the party should have heard of her exploits. This is just a problem with the fact that you designed the encounter as a single adventure, when Ember really deserves to be an adventure series all her own.
Mechanically, this was a very ambitious entry. Not only did you make it epic level, you created a brand new unique monster, as well as a unique template and a skill challenge! My only rules issue is that her damage output seems pretty low. Her basic lash does 3d6+7 (mean 17.5), when the range should be 2d8+10 (19) through 4d8+10 (28). Her limited attacks should inflict between 4d10+9 (31) and 5d12+9 (41.5).
This is a good solid story with a nice easy hook and real stakes. An imp makes a perfect bogeyman and the entry seems well statted and balanced for a 2nd level party. I though your entry was clear and easy to follow. I have one substantive critique: there is no way to reverse the transformation. These are children, and I think the PCs are going to be pretty upset if they are forced to kill (euthanize) these innocent children (other than the two who had been poisoned) with no way to bring them back. I think including a ritual (or a skill challenge to forge or find a ritual) to reverse the transformation would have been a good addition to the entry.
Otherwise, my only real critique of the entry is the optional elements. First, 10-year olds are not adolescents. They are pre-adolescents. Second, Bortrund is not using the legend of the bogeyman to his advantage; he is merely embodying that legend. I don’t see how he gets any advantage from it.
Mechanically, his hp should be 80, not 74. As an elite, he needs some additional way to attack. You gave him one immediate interrupt encounter power. That is insufficient.
A very creepy menace! One of the things I like about this shadow dragon is the feline nature of the beast. I can imagine as a DM how I would describe to the PCs what they see when they come upon the “scene of the crime”. This has a very pulpy feel to it (that’s a good thing). One problem I had with the Skill Challenge, however, is that I was unclear on how these checks were leading the party to find the specific square in which the Ripper is located. Shouldn’t it simply lead the dragon to his lair in the basement of an old mansion? Also, I would have loved to have given something in the Skill Challenge that would allow the party to realize the villain is a shadow dragon, and not a humanoid. For example, one of the successes in Arcane, Nature or Religion may allow the PC to examine the crime scene and see that the victim was slashed by claws, not blades, and that the patterns in the entrails suggest draconic psychology. For the optional elements you selected, you did well, except that the Skill Challenge was unclear on how the party is getting the information from the successes involved.
Mechanically, his hp are too high (they should be 248). His AC is too high by 2. Some of his attacks are too high by +1. Unlike other dragons, he lacks an immediate reaction attack, which is absolutely necessary for a solo creature.
I loved this entry. This is not only a great entry for a first-timer, but a great entry even for a seasoned veteran. I hope you continue to produce great entries for this competition. You hooked me in with the very first line. It was engaging and dramatic and very very creepy. The fangcats are a great device, and I can completely see introducing them to the party at level 1 with no hint of them being anything other than a bit of flavorful fluff, while setting up the “rat swarm” as the real enemy. Then, by level 4, wham!, switch-a-roo, the cats are the enemy – there are no rats.
My only issue is two of the optional elements you chose. (You hit the pet one perfectly though.) Children are not adolescents. The menace is not “using” an urban legend, although it is benefiting from it.
That said, as this entry is one I am definitely going to steal for my 4th edition campaign, I am giving it my bonus point!
Aww… how cute. Aaagh! Get it off me! This was a funny entry, which, while entertaining, also means it’s not so adaptable. That said, it was a creative twist on the family pet and I enjoyed the entry. It suffers a bit by being the second cat-themed entry in a row. I also think you did not meet optional element 2. The element requires “several or all” pets to be more than they appear. You only have one pet, which is not “several or all”. Otherwise, a solid entry.
Kittyrar has too many hp (40 too many). Its Will defense is too low. And, like almost all the other solo creatures submitted it lacks an ability to engage multiple foes in one round.
A very strong entry. Yaratolzat definitely meets all the criteria and he is a cunning foe for epic-level adventurers to face. I had contemplated someone using the eye or hand of Vecna to meet the fake body part criteria, but it was a surprise to have it used by a dragon. The dragon’s motivation is clear and believable and the use of virgins for the sacrifice is a nice twist on a classic dragon trope. My only real critique was that I felt there was not a lot of “Menace” in the entry. This comes down to a fairly standard dragon encounter, with a bit of twist with respect to the attacks the dragon possesses. (On a mechanical note, I would probably have increased the dragon’s Intelligence score.)
Isn’t Padraig the name of the lord from Winterfell? Regardless, the assassin returned supernaturally to kill evildoers is a classic story from myth, legend and comic books, and I’m glad to see an entry that uses this basis. However, this fellow is usually a sort of antihero, not a villain who PCs would fight. I’m not sure why the town feels so terrorized by Mirigen, if he limits his attacks to the street-level thugs of the local thieves’ guild. Especially given the constabularies’ corruption, one would imagine the attacks being chalked up to vigilantism. So why would the PCs, who we assume to be generally decent folk, are going to want to work for the guild of cutthroats and assassins? Also, how are the PCs to know to look for Aden, the summoner’s ghost? I don’t see why they would engage in the first skill challenge.
Mechanically, I saw some minor issues. All the numbers seem to be off by a point or two (making it harder than other creatures of its level) and I can’t figure out why you did that. It seems like power creep.
You did not meet the first challenge, because his replaced body part is flesh. Nevertheless, you met the other four elements listed, so good job there!
This has just the right tone of creepiness and menace. I really enjoyed reading this entry. I was very happy to see that you tried to make this an appropriate challenge form 1st to 30th level. However, I am not sure how I was supposed to use that chart? Is it just a list of undead found in the game and the DM is supposed to decide which undead are appropriate for his party? I would have preferred a more specific recommendation for parties of different level, including 1st and 30th. Otherwise, I think you did a very good job!
This is a creative and intriguing entry. The bogle is a great concept for the Feywild and makes a great and very creepy menace for the community. It fits the theme of the contest perfectly. However, even forgetting that I am not allowed to judge the stat block, the entry seems unfinished. You only gave general guidelines for the skill challenge. These entries are supposed to be “ready to play” for novice DMs. Making them decide how hard a skill challenge should be is not in the spirit of the competition. In addition, you forgot to enumerate what optional elements you sought to meet. I’m guessing 1) Solo creature 2) from the Feywild, 3) with a Skill Challenge
A great and compelling ghost stories. Pathos is the essence of any good ghostly tale, and Ilyra has that aplenty. While I understand why you didn’t want to give details of your entry, I felt that made the entry suffer. You left too many holes for the DM to fill in himself, which makes the entry more difficult to use as a resource. As for the optional elements, I don’t see how Ilyra is particularly good as opposed to Unaligned. Adolescents are not children. However, the other four elements fit just fine, so no worries.
This is a tense and exciting adventure for a party. And what a great twist to have the community being menaced be the community of lizardfolk by the human community and Colm took me a few readings to understand that and when I did it really impressed me. (It doesn’t hurt that lizardfolk are one of my favorite humanoid races and have been since AD&D.) I wish you had enumerated the elements you were trying to meet. I’m guessing 1) Good aligned, 2) replaced body part, and 3) reduced speed? Overall, this was a very well-done entry and a contender, in my opinion.
Ah, Night of the Living Dead. I think 4th edition actually approximates the terror of a zombie horde as well as any edition before it and the addition of exploding zombies! Magnifique! I had a few issues with your optional elements. Since the necromancer is alive, and he is clearly part of his own organization, I don’t think you meet the “exclusively undead” or “slower than 6 squares” elements. Also, the necromancer has no affection for the priest of Pelor. He has a hostility for the priest! Also, I could have used a little more introduction, a little description of how terrified the townsfolk is. Perhaps the priest has been having nightmares of being eaten alive by his own parishioners! In short, a little more mood would have helped.
This had a very creepy evocative feeling. I really liked setting the attack during a holiday as it adds to the creepy mystery. Kudos on a very clever idea. I have a few criticisms. First, one murder a year doesn’t seem to heighten the stakes. If you had one death per day of Passaway, or perhaps one death, followed by two, followed by three, then you would have an increase in tension and further incentive to solve the mystery. Also, you never explained how the killing began. Did the psychic reaver appear in town on Passaway? Was it by design or accident? It seems you cut out some crucial back story for space. The “compound skill challenge” rule you devised is ingenious, but it wasn’t clear to me for the first few readings how it applies to your scenario. It appears that you encourage the party to split up and confront different families. I wish that had been clearer. You met the optional elements just fine.
This was a good tormented monstrosity story and the bet use of the good alignment element. I thought you hit three of the elements very well (I don’t think a vampire’s vulnerability to mirrors is an “urban legend”. An urban legend is not the same as a “myth”.) I had a few quibbles with your back story, though. If the mayor is the first to be attacked, and in his offices, nobody is going to think it a random killing. These are clearly targeted killings, and I would have liked to have known what the necromancer’s ultimate aim is. Why is he terrorizing this town? I’m also having trouble with the paladin giving into the necromancer’s threats. He’s killing an awful lot of innocents to protect his wife from torment, and I wonder how long he can do that and keep his Good alignment. Otherwise, solid entry!
I was wondering if someone would come up with a construct menace and I’m glad someone did. This is a good and unusual entry, with enough quirks and twists to keep players guessing. Even as they enter the clock tower, I doubt they would imagine the dungeon itself is alive! Nice! Part of the solution seems a bit obvious. When PCs enter a town with a strange landmark (like the clock tower) and then there is a seemingly unrelated occurrence going on, players are going to immediately assume the clock tower is involved. Otherwise, why have the landmark in the first place? So some of the mystery will disappear as soon as the PCs enter the town. Otherwise I felt this was a very strong entry. (Oh, and the menace is not a solo – it is part of an organization including its golem and construct swarm.
I have to say, I first found the financial description of the dragon’s plot fairly adorable. But if you strip the jargon from the entry, what you’re left with is a fairly standard draconic scheme: you extort a human into being your scout, you recruit minions (hobgoblins) to do your dirty work, while you sit back in your lair with your sycophantic guards (kobolds). The only difference is, instead of directly extorting the town, he’s conning the town in a sort of pied piper scheme (“They’ll pay me to rescue them from the mess I created”. While that’s a new twist on the draconic avarice, I think the dressing you put on the entry distracted from the theme. Also, it felt anachronistic (to say the least!) Also, the dragon is a solo monster, but the menace is a quite a literal organization (the dragon, hobgoblins and kobolds) of which the CEO is a solo monster. Also, having a human medium doesn’t seem to meet any of the elements.
Eligibility: Frankly, I think that your entry meets none of the design elements you included. The main necromancer, as far as I can tell, is the real menace, and he is neither undead, nor has a speed of 5 or less. Furthermore, I don't think an obsessive reaction to someone who ordered them killed qualifies as affection. The lack of these did not hurt your entry's content, but did probably cause you to lose points in the "theme" section.
Cohesion: This sets up a nice one-shot adventure, yet I see one problem. What's the hook? Why do the villagers turn towards the PCs in the first place? Heck, why do they even care? I like the idea that the location of the necromancer is completely dependent on them discovering his journal.Perhaps better would be for the PCs to arrive, raid in progress, with one "additional" rotburst zombie blowing up the door to the cathedral at the PC's approach.
Other Thoughts: Why do the zombies bother killing themselves? Their Rotburst attack appears to function identically whether they die from PCs or themselves. If that is the case, wouldn't it make more sense for them to use their slam attacks (I thought they had a knife, anyway?) and dish out as much damage as possible? They asplode the same either way. Another thing is that you don't really mention much about the town, the church, or the necromancer. I've mentioned this of a few other entries as well -- you've got a great basis, now flesh it out!
Eligibility:This is pretty good, like several others, I am not quite satisfied on your skill challenges. For example, when negotiating with Storris, what does a successful Insight check actually do? (1 per successful attempt) 1 what? Success? Does that mean succeeding on the 2nd insight check would count as 2 successes?
Cohesion: I like what you've done in turning the clocktower into a mini-dungeon. I have a couple of questions, however. What happens if the PC's attack Storris, assuming she is Mangler? Does she immediately retaliate or try to explain herself first? You've structured the encounters pretty well, though I assume the group of 4 swarms is the one with the Iron Defender.
Other Thoughts: I'm a little confused on how the Hidden Arcane Laboratory is supposed to fight. It does most damage with it's gear slash attack, but cannot move or bring foes into melee range with it's floor **** ability (the difference between push, slide, and pull). If the PCs stand at range and pepper the construct with spells and arrows, it severely dilutes the challenge of the encounter.Perhaps it would be a good idea to list what actions would cause the tower to notice the PC's interest.
Eligibility: I don't see how Mz. Esscher helps him fulfill any of the requirements. Your skill challenges however, are for the most part, good. Perhaps an actual explanation of complexity (does it even go up to 6?) is required, since various entries have used various success/fail rates based on (I believe) the fact that that bit of the books has been Errata'd.
Cohesion: I sorta like the multi-thread adventure you've woven here. There are several problems and lines of information for the PC's to deal with, and they can tackle them on in any order. Perhaps my only other comment would be that there is a noticeable dearth of combat, since it has been relegated to certain success/fail of the individual skill challenges.
Other Thoughts: As a student currently taking economics, your flavorful backstory proved both entertaining and mildly believable. At the same time, it doesn't really flesh out anything. It is merely fluff.
Allright. Now I can go back to soliciting criticisms of my own.
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one.
Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.