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Has Nintendo Forsaken Metroid?

Will we be seeing a new Metroid title any time soon?

This week, we were all gifted with more knowledge about Nintendo's newest console, the Nintendo Switch. Between all the hardware demos and meme-level videos, we also learned a lot about what titles we'll be seeing with or near the console's launch.

Obviously, everyone is excited for the new Legend of Zelda and Mario Odyssey. But there's one series we haven't heard about in a long (long) time, and that series is Metroid. It was nowhere to be seen at the event. This raises the question of whether or not Nintendo has forsaken the beloved franchise.

With the last big release in the series since, the not so well received Other M, being released seven years ago in 2010. Many people are wondering when, and if, we'll see another game in the series any time soon. Reggie Fils-Aime did tease that there might another Metroid game, when asked about the series in an interview with Gamespot at the Switch event in New York.

“But we are aware that there are some key IP that consumers just can’t wait for the next true installment in that franchise’s legacy. Suffice it to say, we’re aware of it, and talk to me in a year and let’s look back and see what’s happened.”

I think many people, myself included, are waiting for the next beautifully crafted world for Samus to explore. No matter the form the series took, it always blew me away with its alien worlds to explore. Each one filled to the brim with secrets to be found and enemies to be defeated. It doesn't matter if the game is old or new, each Metroid game is an experience.

Whether the next iteration is a 2D platformer, returning to the series roots. Or another action packed first-person shooter like the extremely well received Metroid Prime trilogy. The space faring bounty hunter could really use some love on modern consoles. What ever form this new games takes, an argument can be made for both the platformer, or the shooter.

If it's a 2D platformer

Going back to the "glory days" of Metroid. The last one we've seen is Metroid: Zero Mission on the Game Boy Advance back in 2004, and that was largely a remake of the original. The last completely new one was Metroid Fusion two years prior. Personally I would like something more along the lines of Zero Mission. Everything about the game felt tight. Each new upgrade felt like it added some new worth while gameplay. Even the lackluster parts played well enough. That's not to say Fusion is bad, it's just got some rough parts, which I would like to see being steered clear from -- like the forced stealth sections.

If it's a first person shooter/platformer

Keeping in line with the more recent games, we could get a 3D, first person platformer. These are the games I have a bias towards, as I have memories renting the original Prime and playing it for an obscene amounts of hours. It was probably one of the first games I completed fully, despite not having achievements or anything.

Nothing has given me that same kind of experience. Running around an alien planet, having to jump and find paths to get to my objective. All while being assaulted by the local wildlife and other threats. Each new addition to the series added a fun and challenging new mechanic too. The second Prime game, Echoes, took notes from A Link to the Past and put you on a planet divided between light and dark. Every time you have to journey to the dark side it brings with it this heavy feeling of dread. The amount of polish the series has is amazing and hopefully it can be brought back, along with an interesting new mechanic.

Personally, I would like to see another iteration along the lines of the Prime trilogy. Recently we've had an abundance of top notch 2D platformers like Shantae or Axiom VergeHaving another fast paced shooter like Metroid Prime is something I haven't seen much of recently. Alternatively if the next iteration is 2D I would love to see Nintendo take the time to flesh out the story. Metroid is a series with some pretty interesting lore that hasn't been used to its fullest.

For now we'll have to wait and see. If there is an announcement for another Metroid game, the earliest we'll see it is at this years E3.

Published Jan. 18th 2017

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