It has been a long time since the Metroid fanbase has been this energized. Nintendo dropped a bombshell during their Nintendo Spotlight today by revealing the long-awaited Metroid Prime 4. For most fans, that would already be a major success but that wasn’t enough for Nintendo. While we were recovering from the first announcement, Nintendo pulled the tarp off another Metroid game, Metroid: Samus Returns. The latter title is actually a remake of Metroid 2, but it is being remade with 3D graphics and many quality of life changes.
This marks the announcement of a new Metroid title and a Metroid remake. The last year that had two Metroid titles was 2002, with the original Metroid Prime for the GameCube and Metroid Fusion. for the GameBoy Advance. Although the two titles aren’t coming out this year, we’re still counting on this as being a big year for the franchise going forward.
Metroid: Samus Returns comes to the Nintendo 3DS on September 15 of this year, while we have to wait until next year at the earliest for Prime 4. With the disaster that was Federation Force, the Metroid franchise might very well be on its last legs and depend on the success of these two titles if they are going to continue. Fans have been clamoring for a good Metroid title since the Prime series wrapped. We received Other M after that game, and although it was well-received critically, it left a sour taste in the mouths of die hard fans.
Like 2002, we have 2017 featuring a 2D Metroid title and 3D Metroid title, both with different goals. The 2D Metroid title is looking to appeal to the fans who yearn for the golden era of Metroid games with the original Metroid, Metroid 2 and Super Metroid. Looking at some gameplay of Metroid: Samus Returns, it looks like it is doing a good job of capturing the feel of the older Metroid titles while adding in some much needed features to keep the series feeling fresh.
Metroid Prime 4 is the continuation of the beloved Metroid Prime series that fans didn’t really know they needed. The series transitioned from the 2D gameplay the series was known for into a first-person shooter in what was a huge design risk to take at the time. Retro Studios, developer of the original Metroid Prime trilogy, took the idea and created a smash-hit. The choice breathed new life into the franchise and created arguably one of the best video game trilogies of all-time. Unfortunately, Retro Studios isn’t heading the Prime 4 project, but is instead being developed by a by a “talented new development team” which doesn’t sound very reassuring.
These two titles are big deals and they should mean a lot to the core Nintendo fans. There’s a lot riding on the success of these two titles. To be honest, Metroid can’t afford to flop again. Like we said before, we liked what we saw with Metroid: Samus Returns but we don’t have anything to go on with Metroid Prime 4. We know that Retro Studios isn’t making so we have to put our faith into a whole new company that we don’t even know the name of.
You can look forward to Metroid: Samus Returns on your Nintendo 3DS in September while we won’t know anything else about Prime 4 until next year.