What do you want samus to wear?
Since nobody’s actually answered this question yet, I will. I can only answer for myself and not for other female gamers and feminists.
My honest answer is: I mostly don’t give a fuck.
As another poster commented, she was raised by bird people from the age of about… five? Maybe she doesn’t have a sense of modesty. Maybe she would prefer to do kickboxing nude because she thinks human clothes are dumb. Maybe she even picked out those heels because they reminded her of some kind of Chozo technology that we were never told about in any of the other games.
My rubric for what is acceptable and what crosses a line, then, lines up with my own sensibilities regarding how society treats and projects gender and sexuality on to women. For example, I’m wise to the fact that when the developers thought of those heels they sure as hell were not thinking of Chozo technology, and I’ll judge them accordingly for that knowledge.
I don’t have a problem with the Zero Suit, or the new outfit. The Zero Suit is no different from the tights of most male superheroes, and whether or not it is sexualized is determined largely by how Samus’s body is portrayed, and what else she is wearing. Likewise with the new outfit. If Samus were reasonably proportioned, muscular, not contorted beyond all reasonable expectations, and wearing athletic shoes, then she would look like a badass brawler. Except, that’s not the case; she’s a walking “asset display case” if you would, her abdomen can’t reasonably support her breasts, and she’s wearing heels into a brawl. Heels. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeels. Garish footwear symbolic of gender and sexuality.
It’s not just a matter of how much of her body is covered, and that’s what people aren’t getting about this and it’s driving me crazy. Context is so important. For one thing, this is a video game, so any revealing outfit, intentionally sexualizing or not, is already going to have more of an air of sexuality about it because female characters have a history of being outrageously sexualized in video games for the sake of profit. That’s context. But a sports bra and shorts can still be fine; they are defensible gym and MMA clothes. Alright. Oh but wait, her body is also contorted and her figure is exaggerated in a typical sexual fashion. That’s more context, and in that light the outfit itself starts to look a little more risque. Oh snap, she’s also in heels? Now the outfit starts to make less sense as legitimate gym attire and starts to look more like a stereotypical feminine caricature created for the male gaze.
So, what would I want her to wear? My honest answer is still: I mostly don’t give a fuck. But I give a fuck about the context of her outfit, because that’s where the elements of sexist and sexualizing portrayal become very obvious.