Metroid Prime Articles RSS Feed | Metroid Prime RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Metroid Dread Brings the Metroid Saga to an End Tue, 15 Jun 2021 16:32:17 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Metroid Dead is alive, and it's coming to Nintendo Switch as the first 2D Metroid with a new story in 19 years. Metroid Dead releases October 8 and picks up where Metroid Fusion left off, concluding the saga begun in the first Metroid game.

Metroid Dread pre-orders are open now.

Metroid Dread sees bounty hunter Samus Aran travel to another remote planet and this time, instead of the SA-X, she's hunted by a pack of deadly robots. The E.M.M.I. robots pursue Samus relentlessly and, as Nintendo revealed during its Treehouse Live E3 2021 segment, they do have insta-kill attacks.

It's a first for the series and is meant to increase the sense of fear accompanying Samus throughout her journey.

Metroid Dread is a 2D Metroid, but the trailer shows it switches into 3D rather often, not unlike the ill-fated Metroid: Other M.

In keeping with the genre Metroid helped establish, Samus will make use of new power-ups alongside her usual arm cannon and missiles to overcome the threat and finally bring this epic story to a close. Stay tuned for more as we learn it. 

Metroid Prime 2D Isn’t an April Fool's Joke Anymore — It’s A Playable Demo Mon, 05 Apr 2021 16:02:35 -0400 David Carcasole

Team SCU has officially released a playable demo for their project Prime 2D, a culmination of 15 years of work that shows fans what a 2D version of Metroid Prime could look like — and it looks good. 

According to a blog post from the developers (via VGC), Team SCU is building the game on their own engine, rather than copy exact source material from Metroid Prime

The intention is not wanting to use the 3D elements Retro Studios implemented in the original in a 2D style, but rather making something that works first and foremost from a 2D perspective. So far, fans of the project seem to agree Team SCU is succeeding in that endeavor. 

For now, the demo is still available to download on PC for those who would like to see the work for themselves. 

This isn’t the first fan project based on a popular Nintendo IP, and the most recent was a PC port of Super Mario 64 upscaling the game to 4K, which was taken down.

Hopefully, it’s not another 15 years until we can play more Prime 2D, but in the meantime, Retro Studio’s development of Metroid Prime 4 should be finished before then. Since development was restarted in 2019, we've had no updates as to when we might see more of Retro's highly anticipated return to Metroid. However, the 35th anniversary of Metroid is quickly arriving later this year, which could mean an update isn't too far away.  

Retro Studios Still Hiring Metroid Prime 4 Artists Mon, 11 May 2020 13:48:11 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Retro Studios is still hiring for Metroid Prime 4's production, a year after Nintendo completely restarted the game's development process. This time, Retro is bringing a number of well-known artists on board.

These include Adad Morales (of cancelled Star Wars Ragtag and StarCraft fame) as visual effects (VFX) lead. That's the person in charge of making sure all the booms boom and the bangs bang, as Video Game Chronicles tells us in the original story.

Retro is also bringing in a whole visual effects teams, it seems. Along with hiring Morales as the VFX lead, Retro has hired Nicholas Wilson, former Gearbox artist who worked on Borderlands, and Bryan Erck, VFX lead for Shadow of the Tomb Raider; Wilson and Erck will be in senior roles.

What this means for the Metroid Prime 4 release date is basically don't expect it anytime soon. VGC notes Retro still has a number of vacant positions, and a quick skim of the Retro jobs page on Nintendo's website shows these range from environment artists to AI designers and art coordinators. Whether these are all part of Metroid Prime 4's development or some other, as-yet-unannounced Retro game is unclear, though.

Whatever Nintendo decides to do or not to do this year, between the Summer Game Fest and those rumored Super Mario Switch ports, we probably won't hear anything else about Metroid Prime 4. We're still holding out hope for the Metroid Prime Trilogy on Switch, though.

The original story is on Video Games Chronicle. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Metroid news and Nintendo news as it lands.

How Metroid Prime 4 Created A Positive Community Moment Fri, 08 Feb 2019 00:19:41 -0500 Ceedi

Nintendo recently announced that the release of Metroid Prime 4 would have to be delayed, as the company has decided to restart development on the title, with Retro Studios' involvement, due to it not meeting quality standards. While this is not an uncommon event in the industry, and games are delayed all the time, this occasion stands out due to the manner in which Nintendo handled this disappointing news and how the gaming community has reacted.

That is, the overwhelming response from players has been one of patient understanding. Comments on Reddit and IGN are filled with hopeful speculation about the game as well as applause for Nintendo’s transparency and decision to bring in Retro Studios.

In the YouTube sphere, reactions are much the same. For example, in a video by Gamexplain on the subject, Derrik Bitner states that “I think just the fact that it is back to Retro is going to soften a huge blow for a lot of people, and the fact that they are just so open with it and we’re not waiting and wondering.”

YouTuber YongYea also praises the decision, saying “I love that Nintendo went out of their way to admit that the game was troubled,” and “I love that they’re telling us all these things so that consumers and fans can be aware of exactly what’s happening rather than being left waiting and wondering why the game is taking so freaking long”.

Furthermore, Nintendo’s announcement video sits at over 120,000 likes, which is impressive in and of itself, as videos containing bad news are usually disliked. This air of understanding is truly a golden moment — one that Nintendo created by approaching the community with respect and transparency.

In an age where some game studios engage in questionable practices, and then call the gaming community unintelligent and toxic, the relationship between players and developers has become terribly adversarial. This can be seen in the dynamics recently established by companies like EA, Bethesda, and Blizzard, and it comes as no surprise that players have become jaded and cynical, expecting nothing less that deceit, disrespect, and the utmost contempt from game makers.

With the announcement of Metroid Prime 4's issues, Nintendo offers a great alternative for how developers should handle fans, treating them with decency by coming forward with details on the delay and information on how the company plans to proceed. This is the latest in a step-by-step approach the company has been taking to communicate and interact more directly with their fans.

This model sprung from Satoru Iwata’s concept of Nintendo Directs, forgoing the circus of flashy style-over-substance press events, and presenting the games and information to the community, directly and unfiltered. In turn, the community has responded by embracing these Nintendo Directs to the point that they have become events unto themselves.

To speak so directly and honestly to the community about a delay in a much-anticipated title comes as a breath of fresh air in an industry where the game makers typically bury bad news. This type of information often has to be dug up and brought to light by outside parties, and some companies attempt to invalidate criticism by calling any descent entitlement and toxicity.

While it is still very true that there are people that behave badly, as there are in all aspects of life, the overwhelming majority of the gaming community are good people; hard-working, enthusiastic, passionate. They welcome challenges and create and adjust to change quickly.

The myth of the gaming community being toxic by default is perpetuated by people and companies that themselves don’t appear to be acting in good faith. A community that is truly toxic and entitled, and all of the epitaphs that have been carelessly tacked on the community, would never have embraced this news with the grace, respect, and understanding that I have seen following the announcement of Metroid Prime 4's delay.

If more game studios would follow the example Nintendo is setting, approaching fans with and open transparency about the games they make, this industry could finally turn the corner back towards the civility and respect that allows the player, and the studios that truly have a passion for creating games for everyone to enjoy, to flourish.

Rumor: New 2-D Metroid in Development Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:34:42 -0500 Steven Oz

On the heels of a Nintendo Direct, a new rumor has spread about the future of the Metroid series. Spotted on the ResetEra forum and then linked to the Nintendo Switch Reddit:

"AFAIK, there's an unannounced 2D Metroid game on development on a really early production state. Can't say the studio though, don't want to jeopardize my source."

The Resetera user who has started the rumor is Mocolostrocolos. This user is no stranger to reporting, and his posts on the forum have proven to be true in the past. For instance, Mocolostrocolos leaked 100% accurate details about Metroid: Samus Returns before the game was ever mentioned by Nintendo. 


As with most rumors, you have to take some of this with a grain of salt. The user seems to have some inside sources and has secured Metroid info before. Is Mocolostrocolos spot-on with his latest rumor as well? 

14 Non-Horror Games to Play for Halloween Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:59:56 -0400 Josh Broadwell


Costume Quest 1 & 2


It's difficult to find a set of games more perfectly suited for Halloween than Costume Quest and Costume Quest 2. The first centers around your team of characters trying to restore the stolen candy to their neighborhood and rescue a kidnapped sibling, while the sequel has you fighting a team of dental-hygiene fanatics intent on ruining Halloween for everyone.


They are set up as RPGs, with sidequests and turn based battles. However, your gear is more than just what keeps you safe. Why is that? Because your costumes allow you to transform into what they represent, be it a knight, robot--you name it. The games look adorable as well, with a charming mix of spooky and quirky and environments that can't fail to put you in the Halloween spirit.


Plus, until November 1st, both games are discounted on Steam: $0.99 for  Costume Quest, $5.24 for Costume Quest 2 or $4.99 for a bundle with both. Note too that the DLC for Costume Quest comes bundled with it.


Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance (or Complete)


Disgaea is a perfect series for Halloween, and the latest entry is no exception. You play as a demon overlord of some kind or another in every entry and recruit a variety of different monsters to your team as you fight to fulfill morally dubious goals and secure your position as hellish ruler. It's got everything a strategy fan could ask for too: deep mechanics, micromanagement galore, challenging battles, and a plethora of character classes and skills to master.


Then there are the Prinnies. They're fun and slightly cute, plus they explode. But they're also the reincarnated forms of murderers and the worst kinds of criminals. If that alone doesn't tell you, the series prides itself on juxtaposing seriousness with ludicrous humor, all in a very anime style. It's a refreshing twist in a genre usually prone to taking itself too seriously and is sure to provide you with a frightfully good time.




From RPG to quirky platformer and puzzler, there's plenty to tick those spooky seasonal boxes and keep you occupied until -- and after -- Halloween. Let us know in the comments what you're playing for Halloween!


Looking for more Halloween-themed content? Make sure to check our other Halloween articles on GameSkinny!




Lumo is a charming little puzzler that has you take control of what looks quite like a Black Mage from Final Fantasy as you solve the brain-teasing puzzles in each of the game's many rooms. The game looks equal parts Fantasia and Chocobo's Dungeon, with a hint of Harry Potter, and it sees you traverse through a tremendous variety of locations in each of those rooms, from your basic storeroom setting to a hallway filled with lasers and a rotating tower with crumbling steps, among others.


The puzzles are never overly difficult, so it's the perfect game to play with your children, if you have them, but it's certainly not too easy for adults to unwind with at the end of the day. Some of you might recognize it, too, as it's meant to be a revival of the classic British isometric puzzler genre, and it does a superb job of what it sets out to do.


Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2


Continuing on with the theme of costumes means the Kingdom Hearts games are next. Sora and co. change their gear with every world they enter, but there are two real main reasons for having these games on your Halloween list. The story becomes more convoluted as the games progress, naturally, but at the core of it all remain the themes of redemption, friendship, and, of course, the conflict between light and dark. It's a lighthearted take on the concept of battling the darkness within us all that carries with it a certain tone with it that perfectly suits the cold, dark autumn nights.


More to the point, though, is the visit to Halloween Town! In both mainline games, you'll visit Jack Skellington and friends and battle the Heartless that manage to terrify even these monsters. The sequel puts you in Christmas Town—still in Halloween getups—excellently recreating the juxtaposition of happy and spooky that makes the film so enjoyable.


Final Fantasy V


It's Final Fantasy, but with dress-up! But seriously, Final Fantasy V stands out from its brethren for more than the adorable sprite costumes that accompany each change of class. It's a story that takes you across the world, only this time, the world is a lot more expansive, from dealing with mummies in a desert tomb to flying across the mountains on a dragon and everything in between. It's the plot and antagonist that really make this worth putting on your Halloween list, though.


FFVI's Kefka is villainous in his own right, but Exdeath is the embodiment of evil, almost literally, considering the possibility that he was once the spirit of a forest, now turned corrupt. Along with his evil machinations, you've got a haunting (sorry) time-traveling, interdimensional tale of love, loss, and betrayal. That makes FFV much easier to recommend than that other costume-driven game, FFIII, since there is not much story in the latter. Plus, if you really want to scare yourself, you could play the mobile version of FFV.


Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia


The latest mainline Fire Emblem offering, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia provides both an eerie atmosphere and intense gameplay. The land of Valentia is suffering at the hands of a manic priest devoted to a corrupt god. Soulless witches who have offered themselves up to Duma wreak havoc, but that's not all. Fans of later games, including Sacred Stones and Awakening, will see the roots of the undead adversaries in Echoes, in the form of Terrors, legions of the undead controlled by some unknown force and popping up everywhere.


From a gameplay perspective, it provides a serious challenge, too, requiring you to carefully plan your every move and delivering its own form of tension in the process. It's definitely one of the darker entries in Fire Emblem, and it only gets darker as the game progresses, with the final climax *mild spoilers ahead!* taking place deep underground, involving possession, murder, and betrayal.


Hollow Knight


Hollow Knight looks like what you'd get if Tim Burton made video games. Based on the classic Metroidvania genre, Hollow Knight combines the best of 2D platformers with a distinct and attractive art style. Hollow Knight himself, sporting a stylish skull helmet, must traverse the dark, monster-ridden depths of his underworld home to find the secrets buried in it corrupt heart.


The entire world exudes an eerie, almost otherworldly -- netherworldly? --atmosphere, drawing you in and keeping you wondering what might be beyond the next turn. Yet despite focusing on muted tones and various shades of darkness, the art manages to remain appealing throughout the difficult campaign. Even better is the new Grimm Troupe DLC dropping October 31, even more reason to dive back in or pick up the game for the first time!


Dragon Quest VI


"What the heck is a Dragon Quest game doing on a Halloween list?" you might be asking. Well, there's good reason Dragon Quest VI is. You see, long before Halloween became the blood-filled fright-fest it is now, it was one of two times of the year when people of almost every culture believed the veil between this world and the next was at its thinnest. That meant the spirits of the dead could cross, of course, but also all manner of other creatures, including fairies -- not the Tinkerbell kind; the steal your soul and curse your cattle kind -- and other nefarious creatures from beyond could walk in our world.


Dragon Quest VI captures that theme perfectly. It alternates between an illusionary dream world and a real world, blurring the lines between both (and even making you a kind of ghost when you first visit the real world). The main antagonist draws his power from both worlds, breeding a host of monsters and causing nightmares in the dream world to create havoc in the real one.


Luigi's Mansion


The launch lineup for the little purple lunchbox that could might have suffered from its games being too short, but that doesn't mean they lacked innovation and quality. And Luigi's Mansion is one that stands out. It's the first game to feature Luigi in a prominent role and completely changes the style of gameplay one would expect from a Mario-type game.


Over the course of one stormy night, Luigi must explore the depths and heights of the mysterious mansion that appeared from nowhere in order to try and find his missing brother.


You'll come across multiple mischievous ghosts in the process, along with the masterminds behind the kidnapping, the Boos. The original Luigi's Mansion brings with it a much spookier atmosphere than its sequel, owing partly to the fact that the camera is much closer to Luigi and also the fact that the mansion is much, much darker until you solve the puzzles of each room. For maximum enjoyment, play with the lights turned off.


Axiom Verge


If 2D Metroidvania is more your taste, then Axiom Verge is just the game for you this Halloween season. Drawing inspiration from Super Metroid, among other titles, Axiom Verge places you in an unknown environment that blurs the lines between reality and the subconscious. You end up there as a result of a lab accident, so you're not entirely sure at first if you're alive or not.


However, the game gives you a great deal of control over your environment through the glitch mechanic, letting you manipulate your weapons, enemies, and even landscapes -- some you might not have been intended to see. There's a deep story here, too, as you'll uncover the remnants of an ancient, apocalyptic war and try to piece together how this domain ended up the way it did. The entire affair is rather dark and moody, as you would expect, and it's an excellent way to add some atmosphere to your Halloween gaming.


Metroid Prime


The Metroid games are known for creating eerie atmospheres and a sense of isolation, with the possibility of mortal danger lurking around every corner. Any game in the series would be suitable for Halloween (though some fans might say Other M is the most frightening of all, even if for reasons not entirely intended by the developers). However, the original Metroid Prime stands out above the rest in this regard.


Its first-person mechanic and the dreary desolation of Tallon IV combine perfectly, and no matter how many times you play it, that first time the Metroids burst out of their tanks still holds the power to make you jump. If this doesn't quite sound appealing, though Prime 2: Echoes is also a good candidate, with an even darker plot and the terror of the Ing to contend with as well.




Puppets are creepy, and that goes double for marionettes. Puppeteer manages to maintain that creepiness, yet makes it endearing by adding to it with a quirky, eerie aesthetic and a storyline pulled straight from a fairytale. The story begins when the Moon Bear King puts your soul into the body of a puppet to serve as a slave, but your troubles don't stop there. Before tossing you into his dungeon, the Moon Bear King also rips your head off -- but that sets the stage, so to speak, for the game's signature mechanic.


You acquire various powerups throughout the game, and these are incorporated via wearing different heads. Your journey takes you across the world and through a wide variety of landscapes, but it's all presented as though it's on a miniature stage, as you'd see with a real puppet show, complete with audience effects, props, lighting, and the whole works. It's a superbly tight platformer and a joy to play, plus there's the added bonus of it being a form of exposure therapy.


The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask


Arguably one of the darker entries in the LotZ franchise, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask takes everything you know about the series' structure and chucks it out the window. Taking place right after the events of Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask sees Link taken to the mysterious world of Termina, a land where time is quite short because the moon is going to crash into it in three days' time. From there, you travel through Termina's four main regions and try to uncover the mysteries surrounding the catastrophe and the enigmatic Skull Kid wearing Majora's Mask itself.


As you'd expect, masks play an important role throughout the game, providing new powers and abilities and even transforming Link into different Link-forms. Needless to say, the entire atmosphere is quite dark and broody, rivaling even Twilight Princess. And as the days progress, the people you interact with begin realizing their lives are about to end influences the way they conduct themselves in the game, with reactions ranging from desperation to quiet acceptance of their dark fate.


Animal Crossing


Of course, no Halloween game list would be complete without Animal Crossing. With the exception of Wild World, with its grudge against holidays, every Animal Crossing game has some form of Halloween festivity. Whether it be the GCN original's hunt for Jack to get Spooky furniture or New Leaf's wider array of activities involving month-long specials at the Nooklings' store, mask collecting, and neighbor-scaring, there's plenty to do throughout the month of October.


Later entries, especially New Leaf, allow you to customize your look down to the finest details, so you can always be in costume. Or you can just finish a long day by taking an evening stroll through your village, appreciating the change of scenery.


The sun sets early, the evenings are getting darker, and there's a certain something in the atmosphere that sets your hair on end. That's right, Halloween is almost here! But not all of us are fans of horror, blood, and gore, so what's a gamer to do if Resident Evil and Silent Hill are out of the question? 


Never fear! We've got a list of the best 14 non-horror games (because 13 is supposed to be unlucky, right?) you can play in the run-up to Halloween without having to plug in your night-light. Plus, as an added bonus, these are almost all perfectly safe for you to play with the younger members of your family -- and this first one, in particular, should prove widely popular with that specific audience. 

The Advantages of The "Teen" Rated Video Game Sat, 19 Aug 2017 19:00:01 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

In a market where both younger and more mature audiences equally contribute to sales, there exists a middle-ground in terms of mechanical complexity and emotional maturity that is less-often explored -- "T for Teen". 


It's important that we understand exactly what a Teen rating means. According to the official ESRB website, a Teen rating means

 "Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language."

Teen-rated games are interesting because they exist in a middle-ground between games made for everyone and adult games. This middle-ground puts them into a niche genre all on their own. Teenagers are unique, and they may feel too old to play "kids games" but often aren't allowed to play games for adults.

This creates a massive audience for games that find a happy average between the two age groups. The kind of games that respect the intelligence of the player, and challenge them, while still appealing to their craving for an overall fun and perhaps whimsical experience. Metroid Prime is a perfect example.


Metroid Prime is a Teen rated game that has every reason to be Teen rated and takes full advantage of it. It has elements that appeal to both teenagers looking for something more adult and adults themselves.

On one hand, the game has an enormous world to explore, colorful and interesting locations full of secrets, and accessible gameplay boiling down to shooting bad guys with lasers. On the other hand, by also providing deep combat, an ominous and alien atmosphere, and the occasional dark and cerebral story element, it has an adult appeal.

Mature themes and concepts don't need to be hidden behind an M rating. Plenty of E and E10+ games have shown this, but Teen rated games have the slightest extra advantage. Games like Fire Emblem Awakening, Xenoblade Chronicle,  and Skies of Arcadia show that mature themes and deep, compelling stories don't need a stamp on the box saying "17+".

Games like these effectively show that less is more, and the limitations of a Teen rating can be used to a story's advantage. PG-13 movies limit their use of graphic violence and profanity and use them smartly when they can. Teen rated games are no different. If you can only show blood once, or only use the word "damn" so many times, then you'd better make them count -- and a great number of developers understand this. 

The first of few bloody deaths in Xenoblade Chronicles...

... And the depressingly destitute living conditions of Valua's Lower City in Skies of Arcadia are all the more effective for their limited use and tonal contrast.

The Dark Knight is a great example of the same Teen game principle of balancing whimsicality with ground realism and a dark tone. It's a film that expertly weaves a narrative equal parts superhero fantasy and the moral ambiguity of real-world vigilante justice. If it leaned harder in either direction towards more adult or more childish it would be ruined.

A scene with imagery this silly could only be as believable and dramatic as it is through a careful balance between gritty realism and escapist fantasy. I argue that only a PG-13 movie could have pulled this off. 

The most interesting part about this particular comparison is the difference between the clarity of each system's age ratings. The criteria for a PG-13 movie is a little unclear, as the official description a little vague. The MPAA's official description of PG-13 is:

"Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers."

When I first learned that The Dark Knight was a PG-13 movie, I was actually surprised. It seems like such a dark, disturbing film to aim at teenagers, but nobody acknowledges its PG-13 rating, and more often discuss its high quality as a film. At the end of the day, that's more important than who it's supposedly "made for". 

Some games, however, couldn't be suited by any rating other than Teen. Psychonauts gameplay, for example, is well-suited for the "E for Everyone" audience, however, the game places itself in the Teen rated territory with a well-written story with a number of dark jokes and serious character moments.

The major appeal to younger audiences would be lost if the game went too mature with its subject matter, but at the same time, the down-to-earth nature of the game would suffer if it had to compromise it's writing. 

seriously doubt that an E rated Psychonauts would have been able to make Napoleonic warfare as funny as it did.

To delve deeper into this point let's compare Beyond Good & Evil and the upcoming Beyond Good and Evil 2. While the latter hasn't released yet, a number of fans felt the trailer gave off a rocky impression of the final product. One common criticism was the drastic shift in tone between the two games, with the newest entry focusing heavily on a mature setting.

Beyond Good & Evil had an overall tone that balanced itself between light-hearted adventure and sinister conspiracy theory. It was T rated, but the trailer for the sequel had noticeable amounts of cursing, blood, and violence, and will quite likely be rated M. The actual rating and quality of the final product are yet to be seen, but the concerned and confused fans raise a fair point; does a game in this series, with the subject matter it is already known and loved for, need to have such a mature shift in tone and rating? 

You can spot the discrepancy between the two games by comparing their trailers. While Beyond Good and Evil 2 could still be a great game with a compelling story, the question still remains, why limit the audience when the subject matter is perfectly suited to be more family-friendly? 

One sells itself as an adventurous - if a bit dramatic - action adventure game in space.

The other is basically the same thing... with some added blood and a few too many curse words.

There are disadvantages to every age rating, but games that are rated T also have the greatest advantage -- they can be classics in more than one category. They're a category of game that can deliver the best of both worlds with mechanical depth, emotional investment, and childlike whimsicality. Despite their intended age rating, in the end, well-made Teen games really are the games that end up being for everyone. 

Metroid Should Be at the Top of Nintendo's List of Switch IPs Tue, 13 Jun 2017 10:10:18 -0400 ThatGamersAsylum

Nintendo is one of the most famed video game developers and publishers in the world. And the company only got that way by having a strong stable of historically great and influential IPs. For every Mario and Zelda that garners a ton of attention, there's a Star Fox or Kid Icarus. It is in this latter category that we find one of Nintendo’s most historically influential IPs: Metroid.

Previously I’ve talked about how Capcom has mistreated Mega Man in recent years, both by slapping us in the face with an unwanted cartoon and by neglecting to release new games in the series. I’ve also talked about how Konami has mistreated the Castlevania series in the last few years. However, you wouldn't know it, given their wanton disregard for these series in recent memory, series that were once the cornerstones of their respective publishers’ business strategies.

If you look back at the GBA era, you will find an embarrassment of riches for the Mega Man franchise. Similarly, Konami strongly supported the GBA and DS with two separate trios of great games that were in the same vein as Symphony of the Night. But this was never the case for Metroid. Looking over the timeline of the series' history reveals a drought of titles in spite of the quality and success the franchise has often celebrated.

However, before we do that we must establish that this is a symbiotic relationship; the Switch needs Metroid just as much as Metroid needs the Switch. This is thanks to the fact that, behind Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, there aren't many titles available for the Switch-- exclusive or otherwise.

Image courtesy of François Coutu

This is even more important thanks to the fact that Nintendo is no longer in sync with the cycles established by Sony and Microsoft. One of the big reasons that the Wii U failed was that it wasn't a significant upgrade over its competitors while being more expensive and having a significantly smaller library; something that the Switch also suffers from. While the Switch was not released as far into the PS4 and Xbox One life cycles as the Wii U was with the PS3 and Xbox 360, it's still three years and hundreds of titles behind the curve. 

Obtained from Wikipedia

There has been no shortage of great games from Nintendo in recent years. Excellent new IPs like Splatoon have popped up and gotten sequels. Meanwhile, older IPs have been given the chance to redefine themselves and truly shine, like Fire Emblem (which only recently received a new entry), or The Legend of Zelda (whose most recent entries have all bucked long-held trends in favor of experimentation and innovation).

But the only two Metroid games released since 2007’s Metroid Prime 3: Corruption were Metroid: Other M in 2010 and Metroid Prime: Federation Force in 2016. The former was an action game that tried and failed to revitalize the series. The latter was an online multiplayer FPS that had nothing in common with the Metroid series except for its name. After 30 years, there have only been 11 entries in the series (not counting a pinball game and a Prime collection for the Wii).

Federation Force Made Fans Look Favorably at Other M.

To understand exactly how much of a travesty Nintendo’s treatment of our titular Samus has been over the years, we need to put things into perspective. And there is perhaps no better way to do this than looking at the third entry in the series: Super Metroid.

At the time of its release, the series was already about eight years old. Keep in mind, this was in a day and age when publishers were generally pumping out sequels on an annual or biannual schedule. While Nintendo isn’t your average publisher, this slow approach holds true over the course of the series.

But this is neither here nor there because Super Metroid revolutionized video games. Its design was sleek and simple, yet complex and deep. The game’s quiet, somber -- yet alien -- world, combined with a stellar soundtrack, served to create an atmosphere that set a new bar for what people knew could be achieved through video games. Its controls were intuitive and tight.

Oh, and it helped pioneer its own subgenre -- which Castlevania: Symphony of the Night would later cement -- Metroidvania. This formula centers around players exploring a world that slowly becomes more and more open as they earn new gear or abilities that let them reach new areas, thus making previously inaccessible areas accessible.

We’ve seen this used and bastardized so much in modern times that we take it for granted. But in Super Metroid, you didn’t merely unlock items that allowed you to backtrack to previously barred-off locations. Instead, many of the items allowed you to navigate the world in completely different ways, like using the ice beam to freeze enemies, which then let you use them as platforms. In fact, Super Metroid has become infamous for all of the complex ability interweaving that lets you complete the game in myriad ways -- some the developers had never intended.

In spite of this, however, the game doesn’t break. Instead, its design masterfully withstands some of the deadliest challengers around, namely, players and time itself.

Super Metroid didn't just revolutionize the industry ...

It’s still the golden standard for its genre today.

But should this treatment really come as a surprise in retrospect? After Super Metroid’s 1994 release, we saw an eight-year hiatus for the series. Meanwhile, looking at releases following Mega Man 2 or Castlevania: Symphony of the Night -- those series’ respective groundbreaking titles -- reveals dedication to these key franchises after revolutionizing the industry. Finally, in 2002, Nintendo brought us the great Metroid Fusion and Metroid Prime games.

Metroid Prime would be the series’ first foray into the realm of 3D. This was a full six years after Super Mario 64 and four years after Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Mega Man Legends, and Castlevania 64, which all saw their respective series branch out into the third dimension successfully (Mario and Zelda), prosaically (Mega Man), and horrifically (Castlevania). That’s right, a full console generation after we were capable of pulling off 3D, Nintendo finally decided to make a 3D Metroid. We saw this repeat again last generation, as the Wii U -- like the Nintendo 64 before it -- also saw Nintendo skipping out on new Metroid titles.

Despite the Wait for and Expectations of a First-Person Metroid, the Metroid Prime Trilogy Delivered.

Metroid Prime joined a long line of titles before and after that proved that Nintendo was willing to take creative risks on series. Sometimes it pays off, like with the Metroid Prime trilogy, and sometimes it doesn't, like with Metroid: Other M. But it's precisely because of their propensity to innovate and challenge norms that it's been so surprising to see them push one of their most innovative series to the backburner. Does anyone really doubt Nintendo's ability to make another great entry in this series, whether it be 2D, 3D, or even something new like VR? 

If you didn’t already understand what makes Metroid great and the hardships of their fan base, then perhaps you now do. We need a new Metroid on the Nintendo Switch because we need to see a return to form for Metroid. We need a new Metroid because Metroid is as historically great as much as it is currently relevant. Because this series is underserved as much as the Switch itself in its infancy is also underserved. Because we need a new, genuine Metroid title just as much as we want genuinely good games.

So heed our call, Nintendo, and Make Metroid Great Again!

3 Franchises Nintendo Needs to Touch On This E3 Thu, 04 May 2017 15:00:01 -0400 Erroll Maas

E3, the biggest video game event of the year, is right around the corner. Microsoft, PlayStation, and Bethesda have already announced the dates, times, and some featured content for their conferences, but what about Nintendo?

Now that their new handheld hybrid console, the Nintendo Switch, is released and is selling extremely well along with some of its  games-- such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 DX-- not to mention plenty of already available and upcoming indie titles, what else does Nintendo have to show us? There are 3 important franchises from Nintendo's past which they should touch upon this E3, and they are the following:

1. Metroid

There hasn't been a proper Metroid game since 2007's Metroid Prime 3: Corruption,  even last year during the 30th anniversary of the franchise, so the series is due for another title which even the biggest Metroid  fan will be able to enjoy.

The last game to be released in the franchise was the Nintendo 3DS game, Metroid Prime: Federation Force, a cooperative first person shooter which bared little resemblance to the Metroid series and seemingly had the name tacked on. The game received mixed to negative reviews after release, and most fans haven't been very fond of it ever since it's initial announcement. Producer Kensuke Tanabe hoped the plot of Metroid Prime: Federation Force would lead to a future Metroid Prime game focusing on the relationship beween Samus and Sylux, a character introduced in Metroid Prime Hunters who followed Samus and the end of Metroid Prime 3, with some added involvement from the Galactic Federation.


The developers of the Metroid Prime series, Retro Studios, has been working on a new game--not yet announced--for awhile, so lets hope it's a brand new and true Metroid game for the Nintendo Switch, and a true successor to the Metroid Prime series.

For a Metroid game on the Switch, they could even add a multiplayer mode similar to Metroid Prime Hunters as an extra feature, which may help interest those who aren't as enthusiastic about the series.

2. Super Smash Bros.

After the release and success of Mario Kart 8 DX, the fastest selling game in the Mario Kart franchise, this should be a no-brainer. Nintendo could even call it Super Smash Bros. DX if they wanted to.

Like its kart racing counterpart,  Super Smash Bros DX would feature all previous DLC characters and stages, as well as a few balancing tweaks.

The definitive version of the Nintendo crossover game would also feature a few new stages and characters. The new characters could be Bomberman, an older video game character--although a bit younger than Pac-Man-- who has recently made his return after a few years of absence, on the Nintendo Switch with Super Bomberman R. Inkling Girl and Boy --as a skin swap for the same character-- from Splatoon, and either Spring Man or Ribbon Girl from upcoming Nintendo fighting game, ARMS, would be the other 2 new characters. Each new character would also help add a new stage based on their respective games.

Obviously there are plenty of other characters and stages Nintendo could add to their definitive version of Super Smash Bros., but these three seem to be likely contenders.


3. Pokémon

The seventh generation of mainline Pokémon games, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, only came out last year, but players need to know which rumors, if any, are true. The third, updated version for the seventh generation of Pocket Monsters, possibly called Pokémon Stars, has been heavily rumored for awhile now. In addition to this, dataminers have found files with certain unused assets, such as walking Pokemon sprites akin to those in Pokémon Heartgold and Pokémon Soulsilver versions, the fourth generation DS remakes of the second generation games, Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal versions for the Game Boy Color. Just recently, there has also been speculation that Nintendo may be starting to tease the existence of Pokémon Stars with their new "Look Upon the Stars" line of merchandise exclusive to Japan. Junichi Masuda, composer, director, producer, designer, and producer of Pokémon previously tweeted a moon right before the reveal of Pokémon Sun and Moon, so fans should keep an eye out for more hints leading up to E3.

Pokémon Stars may not be the only future Pokémon game, however, as there is also a possibility of remakes for the fourth generation of games, Pokémon Diamond, Pokémon Pearl, and Pokémon Platinum versions. This is due to the numerous references in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon which reference different things from the fourth generation including: Sinnoh Elite Four Champion, Cynthia, being an opponent at the Battle Tree, notes in the dimensional research lab on the Ultra Beast which mention the Pokémon Giratina, Palkia, and Bronzong, and a lab in the Aether Paradise area which contains files about the development of Type: Null, a seventh generation Pokémon based off of Arceus from the fourth generation, which claim that materials for development were collected from the Canalave library, as well as a few less notable references.

One other possibility for the next Pokémon game, which would be a bold move and probably not as likely, would be full HD remakes of the original games but featuring some Pokémon from every region in addition to the original 151. In Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, the main character and their mother are originally from Kanto, Red and Blue make an appearance at the battle tree, and at the end of the games story the characters Lillie and Hau go on separate adventures to the Kanto region.

In addition to these in game references, the Pokémon anime is getting an alternate movie reboot this summer with Pokémon I Choose You!--titled after the first episode of the anime series, which features new characters as well as Pokémon from later generations not originally present in the first series. So, why not have a game based off of that same concept? It may not be as likely of a game to exist as the other choices, and it's possible they could just add the Kanto region to Pokémon Stars, but a full HD remake is definitely still a possibility as well. With a few different options on the table, Nintendo's bound to mention at least one of them.

Those are 3 important franchises Nintendo should touch on during this years E3. The date and time of Nintendo's presumed digital event is yet to be announced, but news should be coming soon with E3 right around the corner. Be  sure to tune in and keep an eye out for these 3 franchises.

Do you agree with these 3 choices? What franchise do you think Nintendo should touch on this E3? Let us know in the comments!

Has Nintendo Forsaken Metroid? Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:17:19 -0500 BizarreAdventure

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.

6 GameCube Games Nintendo Switch Won't be Worth Buying Without Sun, 18 Dec 2016 16:49:15 -0500 Angelo De Bellis

As an avid follower of all things Nintendo, you have no doubt heard that several sources have confirmed a Virtual Console service that supports GameCube games on the red giant’s upcoming console, the Nintendo Switch. It has also been confirmed that some of these GameCube games are ready for the console hybrid’s launch: Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion and Super Smash Bros. Melee. And while none of this may be a stone-cold fact just yet, the details make it believable, and the games reported make it irresistible.

Even more, I'm interested in having an impressive launch lineup of games for the Switch, even if Cube games are over a decade old. Apparently, NERD, the company that handled the emulation of games for the NES Classic Edition, is working on bringing GameCube games over to the Switch and that’s quite exciting, considering the amount of polish and accuracy that went into recreating those 30 classics for HD TVs.

Ok. Now that we’ve boarded the hype train, thinking about our favorite games from the early 2000s reproduced with sharper edges and afforded portability, here are 7 Nintendo GameCube games that will make the Nintendo Switch an even more attractive buy.

Super Mario Sunshine

The grand tropical adventure must head off the list. Not only is Super Mario Sunshine a fantastic take on a 3D Mario game, but its availability at launch would mean that the Switch ships with a triple-A Mario title.

Say what you will about the unorthodox experience served by Super Mario Sunshine — a fat Italian plumber with a water gun tasked to remove paint from locales filled with overweight tree people — but it sure was a challenging and rewarding experience back on the GameCube.

Super Mario Sunshine did more than just offer us tricky courses to complete — it equipped Mario with a game-changing weapon that had to be used for the duration of the game. And when Fludd was taken away, we were treated with some truly complex, one-shot platforming.

For fans who have played the original, a Mario adventure like this is hard to refuse. Super Mario Sunshine was the last 3D Mario game to release that offered complete freedom of control over the Nintendonian hero — for that, and all its kookiness, Super Mario Sunshine is deserving of a Virtual Console release on the Switch.

Mario Kart Double Dash

If Mario adventures never lose their luster, Mario Kart games never lose replay value. Mario Kart Double Dash offered hours upon hours of competitive fun. I recall playing the Bob-omb Blast mode religiously, and that was after tossing a few red shells in the Grand Prix modes.

In the Switch reveal, a crew of friends are seen playing what looks to be Mario Kart 8 on their Switch, and if you look closely at their screen, you’ll notice that players are able to view two held-items at a time. Item queuing, a staple of previous titles that had been discarded from Mario kart 8, has been put back. For me, that is a nostalgic nod toward Mario Kart Double Dash, and a promising hint that past outings have a place on Nintendo's new console.

The other important thing to ponder when drawing up a potential list of Virtual Console games for the Switch is that Nintendo will likely work to bring games that cast a wide net over a diverse group of gamers. Mario Kart is one of those exciting party games that is beloved by gamers of all ages: it offers intense competition for those looking for it, and a casual experience for those who just want to duke it out with a group of friends.

And don't forget the obvious — kart racers make for phenomenal portable experiences. I’ll see you on DK Mountain.

Mario Power Tennis 

Oh, how I wept when Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash released for the Wii U. How could Nintendo make an unforced error with my most favorite of the Mario sports franchises?

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash had no dedicated single-player mode, few worthwhile minigames and worst of all, no character. Luckily, Super Mario Power Tennis corrects all of this — rather, it will retroactively. From its fun tournaments to its creative mini-games that have you lobbing and smashing tennis balls at ghosts or paintings of Mario’s face, to its character-specific defensive/offensive Power Shots, Mario's tennis experience on the GameCube was a well-rounded one.

Once again we have a game that urges competitive play between friends and family, or while gaming alone. And though Mario Power Tennis has already been treated to a rerelease as a New Play Control game for the Wii, motion controls didn’t lend themselves well to a game so demanding of speed. Mario Power Tennis would be perfect as a game to play on the go because it's simple to understand, easy to play in short bursts and highly addictive when going head to head with friends. 

Luigi’s Mansion 

Luigi’s Mansion, though not remembered as the best of the best on GameCube, certainly harbors a following by fans who were eager to play as Mario’s left-out brother. The title was so endearing that it even spawned a sequel made for the Nintendo 3DS.

And what a nostalgic feeling a release of Luigi’s Mansion on the Switch would bring: Luigi’s Mansion was the game that welcomed the GameCube when it first launched. I think it would make for an exciting day one to have a portable version of the ghost-sucking, Luigi-whining, puzzle-solving adventure.

The Switch is, in fact, the first console after the purple cube to return to dedicated controls, instead of the motion devices used for the Wii and the barrage of control-method permutations accepted by the Wii U.

Metroid Prime 

Of course, you had to expect this one. Even though we were treated to a Wii trilogy of all three Prime games some years ago, a rerelease of the original would make it portable. And if you’ve been following, portability makes everything better. The option to take your space adventures with you somehow makes this version much more attractive than the hard-to-find Wii combination of Prime titles.

Metroid Prime is known for being one of the best games on the Nintendo GameCube. Not only were its atmosphere and graphics top notch, but the transition from a 2D playstyle to a full 3D explorative adventure worked seamlessly. A surprise to many, the series has yet to meet its competition from subsequent games featuring the famous bounty hunter. And though the Prime games are all phenomenal, many would argue that the first is still the best.

I’d love to see this title on the Switch, but if Nintendo instead decided to rerelease the entire Metroid Prime Trilogy — the one originally on Wii — with the motion controls stripped out, I wouldn't complain.

Super Smash Bros Melee

For the final reported game in development for the Switch’s GameCube Virtual Console, we have the oft-touted sequel to Super Smash Bros. Continuing the theme of universal fun, both at home and on the go, I can see this title being a hit as a Virtual Console game. Like Mario kart games, any title in the Smash series has almost infinite replay value for any occasion.

Many fans, myself included, favor the snappy controls offered by this Smash title compared with the others. And quick battles here and there make for a perfect experience to enjoy while commuting with friends or meeting at a local coffee shop. As seen in the portions of the Switch reveal that had competitors playing Splatoon, the Switch lends itself well to local play, and Super Smash Bros. Melee totally abides by that philosophy.


While not all of the best GameCube Virtual Console suggestions have been offered here — there are many greats we'd love to see — several enticing experiences for launch day, reported and dreamt up, have been teased. Let's just hope most of, if not all of them, come to fruition. 

What Gamecube games would you love to see on the Nintendo Switch's Virtual Console? Sound off in the comments below! 

10 Times Nintendo Was an Innovator Fri, 18 Nov 2016 06:00:02 -0500 sknau002


Opinions aside, Nintendo has objectively done so much for the industry. Some may debate that somebody would eventually create a D-Pad, save slots, and a seal of quality, but that somebody was Nintendo over and over again.


The repeated reveal of new ideas and innovations coming from a single company says something about their contributions to their industry. Without Nintendo, gaming would be in a very different state than it is today.


The Seal of Quality

System: NES

The NES was Nintendo's first home console. It was released in America in 1985 and was the major, if not sole reason for the revitalization of the video game industry after it crashed in 1983.


They did this by having a quality product, something Nintendo has always taken serious to this day. Whether you like Nintendo products or not, it's no debate that they put a ton of effort into their products.


It was this seal that set the standard for future video games. The seal meant that Nintendo themselves approved of the games. It currently reads:


"The official seal is your assurance that this product is licensed or manufactured by Nintendo. Always look for this seal when buying video game systems, accessories, games and related products."


It is because of this seal that gaming exists the way it does today, and Nintendo's insistence of excellence made it happen. 


Is there anything we've missed on this list? We know the Nintendo Switch is coming and will probably add points to a future edition of this list, but until then, remember your roots, and give Nintendo props where it deserves.



System: Multiple 

Okay, this one will get some flak, but pump the brakes and give it a deeper look. Many of Nintendo's peripherals didn't take off like we wanted, but they had a few fun games here and there.


The Nintendo Zapper did pretty great for its time, the Super Scope however had barely enough games to warrant it. Everybody looks back fondly at ROB, but nobody really appreciated him back in his day. Lastly, the SNES Mouse? Yeah, you probably forgot that existed.


Where is this going? Nintendo tried things. Not all of them worked, but they did go on to influence other things. It could be argued that all of these cool-in-concept-bad-in-execution devices have probably led to the push towards Virtual Reality that we have today. While we're on the subject, let's count the Virtual Boy in this category too, because even while it was its own console, it was also a contributing factor to things like the HTC Vive and Playstation VR.


Virtual Reality has had multiple attempts in the past, but they never quite came to fruition due to limits in technology, but we may very well be at the turning point for that the become a reality. A virtual one anyway. We may have just left it back in the early 90s if it wasn't for Nintendo and their insistence on breaking the traditional video gaming mold.


Battery Back-up

System: Multiple

Before the NES, games were relatively short and arcade-like. The objective wasn't usually to reach an end-goal, but to rack up points until death. Saving games wasn't a concept until games started to change their goals. Games like Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Kid Icarus suddenly made sense to have save slots. But before that, they didn't really exist.


Then Nintendo added the battery back-up. Simply, they just soldered it to the inside of the cartridge, no memory cards or extra accessories needed. Unfortunately, these battery back-ups had a lifespan of about 15-20 years and are constantly fizzling out today, but the actual piece itself is relatively inexpensive and replaceable. 


But in their prime, these little devices allowed Nintendo to be more ambitious with their games beyond gaining a high score in Donkey Kong. They could now embark on a long quest to save princesses in Hyrule or destroy Mother Brain.


Rumble Pack

System: Nintendo 64

The Rumble Pack for the Nintendo 64 was a first of its kind. Later controllers had a rumble feature built into the device, but the Nintendo 64 made use of its controller's accessory slot. The rumble pack was big, and even took batteries to use, but it was the first device of its kind for consoles.


Haptic feedback wouldn't be what it is today without the idea of a rumble feature immersing the player the way it did. Controllers used to be cold, non-living bits of plastic, and today they rumble and buzz at different frequencies and intensity to resemble what's happening on screen. Yet again, it's a small thing we don't think of today that was huge when they happened and very much changed how games are built.


Player Controlled Camera

System: Nintendo 64

The Nintendo 64 broke some major ground for gaming innovation in multiple ways, and is actually featured multiple times in this list. While not the first console to have 3D environments, it was the first to  have a player controlled camera.


Super Mario 64 was mind-blowing when it released in June 1996.  The concept of a player-controlled camera was something nobody had ever thought of in a home console. To soften such a crazy idea of controlling Mario AND the camera, the developers actually made the camera it's own character: Lukitu. He was filming Mario's adventure and you could even see him when you looked in mirrors. While the camera controls are second nature today, Super Mario 64 and its success is mostly to thank for its adaption.


Analog Triggers

System: Nintendo Gamecube 

Fun fact: Many think this achievement would go to the original Xbox. But the Nintendo Gamecube beat it by two months in Japan with their September 2011 release. If this wasn't enough however, it's pretty well accepted that the idea for an analog trigger on a controller came from the digital trigger on the Nintendo 64 known as the Z-button.


The idea behind an analog trigger was pretty groundbreaking, even if we don't realize it today. An analog trigger allows for gradual pressing, making the varying degrees of "squeeze" do something different. This is all thanks to the Gamecube controller.


The D-pad

System: Multiple

Nintendo's well-known cross-shaped design of the D-pad was actually the first of it's kind. Developed in 1982 by Gunpei Yokoi, it was first used for the stand-alone Donkey Kong handheld game. Shortly after, it was refined and used on the NES and Gameboy as everyone knows it to be.


Before this, many systems had joysticks resembling arcade controls. A few even had similar shaped controls like the D-pad but they were disconnected. Nintendo brought the connected, easy to transition Directional pad to the spotlight. 


Many consoles and handhelds have innovated directional input since the D-pad but Nintendo pioneered the mold that is used to this day.


Family Gaming

System: Nintendo Wii

Nintendo had been in the video game industry for a long time when the Wii finally came out. Many gamers who had started on the NES were now late-teens/early twenties. But what about the new generation of would-be gamers? 


Enter the Wii. Many will often chide at the idea of the Wii, calling it "childish" or "not hardcore gaming" but that doesn't stop it from being an innovation. Not only was it aimed at getting new gamers into the community, it also introduced the entire family to a new and exciting controller: The Wii Remote.


Now again, many find motion controls to be a gimmick, but Mom and Dad were suddenly playing bowling games with these new controls. People who didn't usually play video games were suddenly playing them and their young children were introduced to a hobby that was accepted by their parents as well. The Wii is almost unarguably a factor to this new-age Geek Culture we're able to enjoy in the open.


Touch Controls

System: Nintendo DS

Taking a look at Wikipedia's List of Best Selling Game Consoles reveals the Nintendo DS taking first place in the highest selling handheld ever, and is merely second in the highest selling video game system ever.


It's had a number of huge titles on it, but there's one thing people seem to forget in terms of the DS's innovation. The touch controls. 


The Nintendo DS hit the shelves in 2004 with its stylus and touch screen. Sounds like something else in the market today, right? Cue the smartphone. Specifically, cue the first iPhone, which was released in 2007.


That's right. The Nintendo DS pioneered touch screen gaming three years before the mobile gaming phenomena hit. In fact, even if the DS wasn't a direct influence on the iPhone's design, it had to at least have some hand in the inspiration of games that were to come to the mobile market.


The StreetPass

System: Nintendo 3DS

The 3DS, the successor to the Nintendo DS, improved upon the initial design and even with its rocky start, it proved to be a very successful portable gaming device.


Despite the name, the 3D features is not the reason it's on this list. That reason would be the Street Pass.


Street passing is a mode included in several games on the 3DS where the player walks around in public with their device on standby mode (with the case closed) and passes other people doing the same thing. Data is shared between these players for the next time they open their 3DS. What happens with that data is dependent on the games they had.


Street passing is a feature in many games that's often optional, but adds a layer to the game. But the real genius of this is how it gets people talking. The 3DS sparked so much conversation when seen peaking out of someone's back pocket, while the actual addition to gameplay was minimal. It's as if Nintendo wanted to find a way to get people to talk about their product and built a function specifically for that reason, and it worked! 


Nintendo has always been about breaking the mold. Many people often debate what Nintendo needs to do to "keep up" But there have been at least 10 times that they were truly innovators, and arguably ahead of the curve as opposed to behind.


In fact, there are many elements of gaming that have Nintendo to thank for their existence.  Whether it's the invention of the D-pad, or the creation/failure of the Virtual Boy, nearly everything Nintendo has done has shaped the stage for video games.

3 Franchises Which Could Be Revived With Virtual Reality Fri, 04 Nov 2016 05:55:40 -0400 Clayton Reisbeck

When I think about games I want to play in Virtual Reality, I think about games that I feel are more than just a tech demo and are able to show me an experience that I won't be able to find anywhere else. As of right now, there are few titles that are able to give that to me. Granted we are early in the lives of VR headsets, but unless we get some titles that are able to showcase what VR is capable of and how it can tell stories better than what we have available today, VR is going to be tossed in the ditch.

Luckily, there are some franchises that haven't seen any life in a while that I think VR would be able to breathe life into. Here are three franchises I feel could be revived if they were brought into virtual reality.

Metroid Prime

I miss the Metroid Prime series. Samus Aran is one of my favorite video game protagonists of all time. I can't tell you how many times in my youth I ran around a playground pretending to shoot down space pirates with an arm cannon.

It's been a long time since we've had a true Metroid Prime game and I don't think we're going to get one for a while, sadly. This is why I think it's a good fit for VR.

When Nintendo released the Metroid Prime Trilogy on the Wii and updated them for the motion controls, I found that it was the best way to play the games. So with this in mind, all we would need is to have the visuals be translated to a VR headset. Of the titles on this list, this is probably one of the easiest to do. The only issue I foresee is using the morph ball, so something would have to be changed for that. Aside from that, being able to shoot down those space pirates and scan different items in the game would just be a good time in VR.

Dead Space

What is it about horror and VR? While thinking up the franchises for this list, I had many horror titles written down but I had to narrow it down. And at the end of the day, one of my favorite horror games is still Dead Space.

Dead Space is the game that made me realize that horror games were fun. I'm someone who refuses to watch any horror movie and hates the sensation of being scared. But, put a controller in my hand and tell me to play a horror game, and -- though I may have to stop to let my heart stop racing -- I'll work my way through it.

Dead Space is a game that I think would fit perfectly in VR. The slow pace and exploration would translate very well. Being able to actually walk around the Ishimura would be a great experience and the scares would have a great impact. You'd have to change to a first person perspective but I think the whole experience would work well. All the menus actually popping up in your face and getting to see the monsters up close would make for a good deal of fun. All in all, I feel that Dead Space would find a nice home in VR.

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron

The Star Wars universe is hands down my favorite fictional universe of all time. Ever since I saw Episode IV when I was a kid, I wanted to be at the controls of an X-Wing. I wanted to be that ace pilot that was able to take down the moon-sized space station and save the day.

I wrote about my single experience in VR earlier this year, and in that piece I said the best experience I had was when I was dumped into the waiting room space -- the area HTC Vive puts you in to boot up new programs. In this space, you can have any wallpaper you want; it could be a 360 degree image of any room you want. The wallpaper that my friend had was the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. When I saw myself standing in the cockpit of the fastest ship in the galaxy, I was overcome with joy. This is why I think that Star Wars: Rogue Squadron would make for an amazing VR game.

The game has everything I would want in a VR title. The mechanics, controls and gameplay would be a perfect fit. I mean it's one thing to be sitting in front of a screen making the trench run on the Death Star but it's another thing to be looking around the cockpit of an X-Wing while making that same run. You could look around and see the whole battle taking place around you while you focus on trying not to hit any of the obstructions that were in that trench. Just thinking about this gets me excited.

Now these three titles aren't the only games I could see being brought to VR with success. I'm sure that there are a plethora of other games that could be successfully done. I just feel that these titles deserve, and would seriously benefit from, a VR rebirth.

Do you agree with these choices? What games would you like to see brought to VR? Let me know in the comments!

The Dire Battle: 5 Things the Nintendo Switch Must Have to See Success Sun, 30 Oct 2016 11:24:50 -0400 Angelo De Bellis

As soon as Nintendo finally unveiled their plans for a successor to the Wii U -- now known as the Nintendo Switch -- everyone, well, switched back to being a Nintendo fan. The internet roared with excitement, and stories about the Switch were trending for days.

Of course, following this storm of media coverage came the explosion of critical opinions from industry experts, dusty old memories from yesteryear’s Nintendo fans, and presumptuous comments from gamers who think they know it all. 

Now it’s my turn. Have a look at the list below to see what 5 important things the Nintendo Switch must have to be a commercial and critical success.

Source: GameZone 

The March of the Franchises

It’s about time that the core Nintendo franchises see a return on the Switch. After all, when done right, the Mario, Metroid, and Zelda franchises are what excite fans about Nintendo platforms.

Though it's unfortunate to say, most gamers purchase Nintendo consoles as a secondary device to their PlayStation or Xbox. So the first-party exclusives are what'll sell the new console. Without competent ones, Nintendo’s console will be nothing but a watered-down mid-generation gaming machine. 

As we’ve already seen from the reveal of the Switch, Nintendo is moving over several of the Wii U titles to their new home/portable combo. And I get it: the Wii U has some strong titles in its library -- so rather than leave them stranded on a console with lackluster sales, it’s best to move them on over.

There’s nothing wrong with this; in fact, I think it makes for a strong initial lineup of games and experiences that Wii U deserters missed out on. A Nintendo console that launches with an original Zelda title and some older favorites? I’m in. Twilight Princess provided me with several weeks of enjoyment during the Wii's infancy. I just caution the folks over at Nintendo about relying too heavily on their past catalog of games -- the launch window is a critical period for any console, so there should also be some never-before-seen titles coming with it.

And that seems to be the case. We’ve seen what looks to be a new Mario game that mirrors the style of Mario 64 or Sunshine, and that’s a relief. But is a tease on its way for a new Metroid Prime game? It’s tempting to get hasty, but such a thought is fair since Retro Studios has definitely been working on something since their last game, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. For now, one can only hope for a future that involves rolling into a morph ball while on the go. 

Source: Mario Party Legacy

It’s All About the Bits

Graphics don’t matter, says Nintendo. But actually, they kind of do in some capacity. The thing is, a box that underperforms to a great degree makes it exponentially more difficult for developers to port their games. While it’s true that Nintendo consoles sell because of their exclusives, having a sprinkling of some of the top third-party franchises would never hurt those sales.

Besides, with the introduction of the Nintendo Switch, things are on a bit more of an uneven playing field. Some gamers may prefer to play their open-world games on the go more than they want to see them in all their glory on a graphical beast like the Xbox One or Scorpio.

Luckily gaming is at a point now where there is somewhat of a decrease in returns when it comes to beefing up the graphical performance of hardware. The leap from the PS2 era of games to the PS3 was huge, making a noticeable upgrade from standard definition to high definition. But newer thresholds 4K don't provide that same kind of disparity when it comes to graphical fidelity.

Even then, Nintendo’s upcoming console needs to remain competitive. Part of establishing a certain level of competitiveness entails manufacturing hardware that is easy to develop for, and that will entice developers to port their games over, even if they do take a marginal hit when it comes to visual prowess.

Time to Get the Juices Flowing 

This is an obvious one. If Nintendo wants to market the Nintendo Switch as a home console that has the unique ability of supporting gaming that you can take with you on your travels, the battery life needs to be formidable.

Remember, we are talking about a piece of kit that is able to play modern open-world games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. If the brightness can’t stay on high so that you can see the bokoblins your piercing, and the sounds of your sword slicing blades of grass can’t be heard over the hustle and bustle of your daily commute, what’s the point?

It'd be highly perceptive of the engineering team at Nintendo to design a battery housing that can be easily removed so that future, more capable battery packs can be switched in and out. This isn’t unheard of, as the Wii U’s Gamepad could be outfitted with new batteries that provided more juice for those playing for extended periods of time.

This may seem like an unnecessary expense to apologize for a lacking battery from the get-go, but it’s better to have the ability to upgrade the thing later on than be stuck with a device that will only continue to lose its charge during its lifespan. 

Source: Rebrn

Old-School Fun Taken up a Notch

While it’s clearly noted in the reveal trailer for the Switch that Nintendo is moving away from its recent flirtation with gamers enjoying isolated gaming experiences to a more traditional view of communal gaming, Nintendo really needs to up the ante when it comes to online gaming. Sure, popping off the ears of the Switch to hand to your friends is neat -- but it's going to be 2017 soon, and we demand more social features and online connectivity.

It may come as a surprise to some to learn that the Wii U did in fact support voice chat. You’d be forgiven if you didn’t know that: Nintendo never really talked about it, the microphone compatibility list often posed an issue, and few games included the feature. And, as I’m sure you’re familiar, the online shortcomings with the Wii U didn't end there.

For several years now, Nintendo has been using cumbersome methods to add and accept friend requests and game invitations. It’s a terrifying procedure to actually get in a game with friends. The Friends List app on the Wii U only lets you see if your pal is online -- but to actually play a specific title, like Mario Kart 8, you have to have the game open to accept the invitation.

This is archaic, unacceptable, and overly complicated for a future console that is to attract lost fans. Hopefully the recent changes Nintendo has made with the initiation of Nintendo Account will make things a whole lot easier.

What Nintendo home consoles lack is a refined interface that operates in the background. Switching between functions should be more seamless than waiting for load screens to pass as isolated apps take you to the options you are looking to change. An ever-present menu, like the PlayStation consoles have been doing for years, should let players get in and out of common features like settings, invitations, and the friends list quickly.

Having this type of background function would also mean that things like voice chat are mandated for all games, including the ability for cross-game chat. And the introduction of a unified menu could also lead to some kind of achievement system -- a first for the company that has been reluctant to speak about the kind of rewards systems adopted by its competitors.

The Price is Right

Yeah, this is a big one. As stated early on in this journey through Nintendo Switch must-haves, a great deal of gamers buy a Nintendo console as a secondary gaming device, so price is king. The hard part is acknowledging all the other points I mentioned -- graphical excellence, a conservative battery, and competent online capabilities -- while maintaining a fair price. The delicate balance is the tricky part.

You have to consider the competition: the PS4 is going for $300 and the Xbox One for $250. And both units come with at least one well-received game. Of course, the release of the Pro and the Scorpio will change the market a little, but the fact remains that you can nab a competent current-gen system from Sony or Microsoft at a competitive price. How low is Nintendo willing to go?

Not only are we begging for capabilities that are very expensive, considering the disparity in size between the Switch and the units offered by its competitors, but Nintendo hasn’t exactly made mounds of money with their current console, the Wii U. Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima has already confirmed that the Switch won’t be sold at a loss. So what does that mean for the price of the thing?

If I were to give an estimate of a price that I believe would satisfy consumers while remaining competitive for Nintendo, I’d put my money on the $300-$350 range.

Source: My Nintendo News

Though it’s fun to conjecture all the details that have yet to be confirmed by the big N, we’ll have to wait until January to see confirmation of what Nintendo has in store for what is presumably their last bastion of the hardware business, the Nintendo Switch.

What do you think will make Nintendo’s next box a success? Let me know in the comments!

Will the Nintendo Switch Save the Company? Mon, 24 Oct 2016 06:13:29 -0400 Rettsu Dansu

With information on the Nintendo Switch finally being revealed a couple days ago, we can finally stop the agonising process of making wild expectations about how what was once the NX could potentially save Nintendo. We all have opinions on this, in fact there's already a number of people who have already expressed their opinions, so if you're in for some more, here's mine. Let's provide some answers to three questions about Nintendo's future.

Question 1: Does the Switch Make the Same Mistakes as Nintendo has Made Before?

Consider the Nintendo Entertainment System. This was pretty big for it's day, however it wasn't powerful enough to truly present images with suitable clarity. Then consider the SNES, which provided enough technology to present images with such clarity that the art style of its games are still copied today. Then with the N64, we entered the third dimension, another massive leap. Then the GameCube, in which games were in 3D but also managed to look like they weren't made entirely of triangles.

And lastly, consider consoles that came out after the GameCube. The PS3 and the Xbox 360 were definitely powerful, but where's the leap? Sure the graphics are slightly better, but with each previous generation leap we were able to make games we never could before. In this generation, we could make the same games but bigger. Not bad, but not great. While this is an issue, it's a topic for another article.

This is an issue that I think Nintendo understood, as it was straight after the GameCube that Nintendo begun to focus on innovation in hardware instead of power in hardware. The DS with its two screens, the Wii with all of its sanity destroying issues, the 3DS with its eye destroying bullshit, and the Wii U with its iPad for a controller.

The Problems With These Innovations

It's funny to think about how we consider some of these 'innovations' as bad, especially the Wii, since this focus initially made Nintendo tons of money. It only really stopped working with the Wii U. But that doesn't mean that Nintendo gets a free pass with money making machines like the Wii and the DS.

The previously used quotations on innovations above is because there is a difference between an innovation and a gimmick. Now this definitely depends on your definition, but I'd say an innovation is something that actively improves the experience, while a gimmick creates a completely different experience, for better or for worse. There's an example I like to use that shows this through game design:

Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom hearts tries to improve the formula with each individual entry. This is pretty respectable, but Square Enix usually tends to have varying levels of thought put into their 'improvements'.

Kingdom hearts 2 employs the form mechanic, which I feel is an innovation. Basically you can activate forms which change your animations, speed, and abilities. However, these changes build upon previous mechanics, you're still attacking the same way and have similar types of abilities, they're just different now. Plus, using these forms often grant you abilities outside of the forms, affecting the main gameplay and the way you go about approaching battles. This is an innovation as it is deeply rooted in the gameplay formula. It feels like Kingdom Hearts, but better.

Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance employs the flow motion mechanic. You can press a button to activate flow motion which allows you to perform certain attacks. This is completely separate from the rest of the game, you're either using flow motion or you're using the main mechanics, they don't ever combine. Hence it's a gimmick, it doesn't improve gameplay, it just gives you the option for a different experience.

So Why are Nintendo's Previous Attempts Gimmicks?

Nintendo's focus for the DS was to make games that controlled by tapping and swiping. This is a completely different control scheme to the norm and was jarring to most players.

The Wii's motion controls were focused on making games more immersive by forcing the player to perform the same motions as what is occurring in the game. However, even if the technology had actually worked, it still wouldn't have been as good as Nintendo would want it. I play video games to do things I can't do in real life. I can't perform the crazy motions that Ryu performs, hence why I'm playing Street Fighter instead of fighting on the street. Applying motion controls improves a certain amount of games, but not the majority.

The 3DS mostly gets a pass, as Nintendo couldn't find a way to force you to use the 3D effect during its games. As a bonus, because the top screen is such a focus, the touch screen gets the little attention it deserves.

The Wii U has the same problems as the DS, except double. Not only is the touch screen used for all the wrong reasons, but there's also a gyroscope which is mostly used for holding up to the screen in different positions.

These gimmicks force you to play games differently, and only allows a certain set of games to be made for them. In Nintendo's attempts to make new leaps in games, they've instead restricted them.

Not only that, but despite being new and different, the biggest kick is that they simply don't make games fun. A lot of games for the Wii can be frustrating due to the dodgy sensors. They didn't just fail at innovating, but at the same time they managed to take the fun out of their games.

I feel that there's some actual good uses to some of gimmicks. Touch screens are well used for precision in areas such as menus, and the motion controls can make hectic moments like quicktime events slightly more hectic. If the games were designed with those uses in mind, perhaps they would be innovations instead of gimmicks.

So Does the Switch Make the Same Mistakes?

The Switch's big thing is that it has a screen that you can pick up and use to play games away from your console. This doesn't seem like it will affect how the system's games will play.

This is important, if the Switch's new feature doesn't butt into a game's features, then they can do anything they want for all I care.

Having a separate portable screen and some customisable controllers, no matter what you think about it, doesn't affect the gameplay. Unless Nintendo finds some way to force you to go outside and play the Switch, or there's some game that requires constantly changing which control style you use (I'm actually scaring myself a little here), I don't think there's a problem. This is one the biggest problems that previous Nintendo consoles had, and I think that games on the Switch will be much more approachable as Nintendo focuses on avoiding it.

This also makes it easier for Third Party developers to make games for the system, they don't have to consider how to work around the new elements. This brings up the point of Third Party support for Nintendo.


The biggest thing that gives me hope for the Switch is this picture:

Now, this picture could mean anything. Maybe these companies are just porting older games to the system, which didn't work for the Wii U, or maybe these games are small side games that won't be as good. However, what's really important is that Nintendo seems to be shoving this picture in our face.

I see this a lot in what Nintendo has presented with the Switch. No matter what games are planned, it means that Nintendo has a deep focus, this time, with third parties.

This means not only that there's a focus, but Nintendo has listened to fans, and observed the way the world has moved. If Nintendo is opening their eyes to this perhaps they could be opening their eyes to plenty of other things that fans have wanted, although this is definitely speculation.

Nintendo has always focused on making their own games, and rarely properly allows others to work with them. As less and less companies make games for their systems, the importance of third parties can be easily seen.

As long as Nintendo has a good focus on working with others, they've grown as a company.

The Wii U definitely has some quality games, but the amount of these games that came out over the Wii U's lifetime is less than the amount of quality games that came out for other systems within the past year.

As long as Nintendo has a good focus on working with others, they've grown as a company.

However, while they aren't making the same mistakes, a question still remains.

Question 2: Are they Making any New Mistakes

Sure, Nintendo seems to be learning from past experience, but they're still doing something risky, are they messing it up again?

The Portable Screen Thing is a Worry

I see a lot of people saying 'it's just another Wii U', which isn't really true. It's been confirmed that the console itself is the screen, the dock is simply a device that switches the output to a TV.

The thing that worries me is the focus on taking your screen with you. The biggest thing Nintendo needs is battery life longer than at least 2 hours. If we're talking playing the same games at a similar resolution on a machine that thin, I hardly believe it it can run for as long as it needs to.

The Wii U gamepad was thicker, and it streamed the game directly from the console so not much processing power was needed, and yet it had a battery life of less than an hour.

To be able to process the games within the screen itself, that must take up a lot of power. This console would have to be bloody beefy if it's going to work as intended.

But I Still See Some Good in this Idea

I don't like playing JRPG's on a home console or PC, they usually require too much repetition that I get bored. However, if I play a JRPG on a handheld I can really get into it, because I listen or watch something else while I grind.

This may be a unique situation, but I can totally see myself beating a dungeon while watching TV, and then putting the screen back into the console so I can watch an important cutscene on my TV.  In fact, this is something I did with my Wii U gamepad. The fact that you can choose your controllers, and most of the controllers look pretty well made, I think this could improve that experience.

And that's the thing, this looks like an improvement on the Wii U. Consider the Wii, Nintendo basically made a prototype for an idea in which Sony and Microsoft improved on. This time, Nintendo can learn from what worked and what didn't in the previous idea and build upon it themselves.

But is it an Innovation?

It doesn't quite look like Nintendo will achieve what they're aiming for.

Nintendo has recently been focused on trying to find new ways that people can enjoy games. But this doesn't really change anything. We're still playing games the same way, just now I can play the games while I'm out with my dog. And the thing is, I'm likely to get mugged because I'm carrying around a massive screen.

Nothing ruins the Switch, but nothing makes it stand out.

And because of this, the Nintendo Switch's capabilities seem to be comparable to the touch pad on the PS4 controller. It's nice to have it there but it literally changes nothing about the games.

And this asks the last question:

Question 3: Will This Save Nintendo?

The reveal made me quite optimistic about the direction Nintendo is headed. It seems to have the tone and style of the current generation, something Nintendo usually fails at. Nintendo has clearly made a change in focus.

The trailer shows many things that show that Nintendo is thinking towards really good things, such as eSports and big third party games.

However, I Don't See Anyone Doing Half the Things in that Reveal

The chances of someone playing a video game, then looking out their window to see that a party is going on, then taking their video game to play it, is about 0%.

Also, if I'm playing some basketball, and I say to the other players 'Hey, do you want to play a video game version of basketball instead?', the chances of me getting beaten up is about 100%.

This may seem nitpicky, but Nintendo is trying to sell the capabilities of this system. People like me will buy the system no matter what, I'm not missing the next Zelda (well, the one after the next). However, for Nintendo to succeed, they need to appeal to two types of people: people who play games but play on other systems, and people who don't play games at all.

The portability of the console appeals to me. All I need to do is take the screen with me, and when I want to play it all I need to do is pull off the sides, set up the screen, and I immediately have a two player experience wherever I want.

But this is appealing to someone who's already sold on the console. I find it nifty because it's going to add to an experience I'm already determined to have, but what about to people who aren't sold?

For people who play games on other consoles:

There isn't much that will move them to this console. They aren't going to spend the money on a new console simply because they can take it with them.

It could be argued that with the PS4 Pro and the Xbox Scorpio, people are already thinking of buying new consoles and this could take sales from them. However, they already have all those games and save data for those consoles, there's even less reason to move.

Being able to take a console on the move is great and all, but has anyone really complained about needing it before? You could argue that it could be something we don't need, but generally when I'm outside, I'm most likely outside for a reason. If I'm partying with friends like that girl in the trailer, I'm probably going to continue partying. If I'd rather play video games I'd probably go home.

Yes, you could use the console the same way as a 3DS. However, considering that that screen doesn't fit in any of the pockets of my pants, I'm not going to count on it.

The most interesting thing to me is playing multiplayer games wherever I want. On a 3DS you can only play single player games unless someone else has one. With this, you have everything you need for a 2 player game in one package.

This is the only bonus I really see in the console. We just need to consider if that's enough for someone to... cough... make the switch.

For People Who Don't Play Video Games

The Wii and the DS were massive because people who weren't even into video games were buying them. It's the same situation with Pokemon Go as well.

If Nintendo wants another revolution like that, they're going to need a variety of people to take interest. Would this be enough to entice people who don't play games?

With my judgement, I'd say no. This could possibly entice people who don't have time to play games because they're always on the move, although handhelds and smartphones already cater to this.

However, if people don't play games simply because they don't like them, they aren't going to suddenly like video games because now they can play them while on the toilet.

The Wii was huge because it literally changed the way we play games. In the end it turned out to be a mess, but it definitely looked like it would be innovative at its launch.

The fact is, the Switch doesn't even look particularly innovative at this point in time. Even if it does turn out to be superb, the Wii showed us the importance of that initial reaction.

So Nintendo's in a Bit of Mess Aren't They?

Nintendo can't bring themselves back into the forefront by simply making a powerful console. The other console's definitely have their problems, but unless there's a massive difference in power, no one is going to move consoles.

Nintendo has to innovate in a hugely different way, but one that doesn't restrict the types of games played on the system.

People are too set in their ways and they aren't going to spend money for a slight increase at the cost of losing save data and a game library. Plus, technology just doesn't allow that kind of difference anyway.

They've gotta do something huge and different to bring people in, but this is exactly why the Wii and the Wii U had bad reception.

Clearly, Nintendo has to innovate in a hugely different way, but one that doesn't restrict the types of games played on the system. I don't believe the Switch strikes this balance.

I definitely believe it won't ruin Nintendo games like the Wii U did, that's a plus, but I don't see the Switch as something so massive it'll bring enough people in to sell as well as other consoles.

I still believe the Nintendo Switch will be a solid console, thousands times more solid than Nintendo's previous run, and I'll definitely buy it. However, considering Nintendo's reputation and the size of its fan base, I don't believe that it's enough to actually save the company.

5 Games Which Will Make the Nintendo Switch a Success Fri, 21 Oct 2016 02:00:02 -0400 Unclepulky

Regardless of whether you love the Wii U, like me, or hate the Wii U, like the majority of civilization appears to, there's no denying that the console was a commercial failure for Nintendo. While the company isn't in any real danger thanks to their intermittently great 3DS and software sale numbers, the Switch will have to do a lot to regain the faith of the gaming community. And now that the system has been shown off, I've gotten to thinking about some ideas for games which would attract people to it. Here, I will be discussing five ideas for titles which I believe will make the Switch a much more successful system than its predecessor.

5. Metroid- Prime Style

From the moment is was revealed, it was clear that no matter how good it ended up being, Metroid Prime: Federation Force was going to be a flop. After all, it just wasn't what people wanted, especially after going years without a Metroid game.

And even more years without a GOOD Metroid game.

So, to appease Metroid fans worldwide, I propose that Nintendo remakes the original Metroid. While it is true that the game was already remade once as Metroid: Zero Mission, my idea is quite a bit different. In this imaginary game, the simple story of the original Metroid would be retold, but with the gameplay and presentation of a Prime game. While of course the story of the series should move forward, I think for the moment it would be best for Nintendo, who clearly don't know what to do with the series, to go back to the past.

4. Fire Emblem Warriors

In recent years, the Fire Emblem series has possibly gained more new fans than any other long running Nintendo franchise. Subsequently, in 2014, Nintendo teamed up with Koei Tecmo to create Hyrule Warriors, a crossover between the Legend of Zelda series and the Dynasty Warriors games.

See what I'm getting at here?

The world and mechanics of Fire Emblem could easily be transferred over to a hack n' slash. The rock paper scissors mechanic for weapons could be implemented, the different types of magic could serve as each of the characters' elements, and speaking of characters, there are dozens, if not hundreds of candidates who could be made playable.

Nintendo already has the blueprints for this one. They just need to use them.

3. Bayonetta vs. Devil May Cry

Hideki Kamiya: Creator of Devil May Cry and Bayonetta

I absolutely love the Bayonetta games, Bayonetta 2 being in my top 5 favorite games of all time. The fantastic sequel also proved to be one of the most acclaimed games the Wii U had to offer. And while I'm not a big fan of Devil May Cry myself, I know a lot of people would love to see this hack n' slash crossover happen.

The games are fundamentally similar in terms of gameplay, but the gameplay doesn't need to be anything completely new for this. Both games have fantastic combat systems which could theoretically be used for this crossover.

No, the real reason this crossover needs to happen is twofold. For one, the story would be the most absolutely over the top, crazy thing the gaming world has ever seen, and it would be glorious. The other reason is for the character interactions.

We could see Trish torturing Enzo, Rodin and Virgil bonding over drinks, and the highlight of the whole event, Bayonetta and Dante trying to out flirt each other.

2. Overwatch

Yeah. Just, Overwatch.

Overwatch is one of the most popular games of 2016, and there's no reason it shouldn't be able to find a place on the Switch. After all, Nintendo loves games which are bright and colorful, and the kids they try so hard to appeal to love shooters. Sounds like a perfect fit.

This is one of the few shooters which I can really recommend to anyone. It has a fantastic cast of characters, beautiful presentation, and nearly flawless and hopeless addictive gameplay.

Not everyone has a gaming PC, Xbox One, or PS4, so putting this on the Switch would be a great way for more people to experience this masterpiece.

1. The Pokemon MMO

You want it. I want it. Everyone wants it.

And now, with Pokemon the most popular its been since the days of Red and Blue, this is the perfect time to finally make the Pokemon MMO. Hardcore Pokemon fans would eat it right up, paying month after month to keep playing, and with all of the Pokemon Go fans out there now, there's a good chance a lot of them would pick up the Switch just for this.

It isn't just a system seller. It's a system seller which would result in Nintendo making more money from it each passing month. The only caveat I have is that this is a title which should take all the time it needs to be perfected. This means that for this game to be as successful as possible, Nintendo would have to keep the Pokemon Go craze going.

Will they be able to do this? I don't know for sure. But what I do know is that the Nintendo Switch seems like it's going to be a great system, and I can't wait to pick one up in March, 2017.

Be sure to let me know what you think of these ideas, and what your own ideas for Switch titles are, in the comments.

Happy 30th Anniversary, Metroid! Sat, 06 Aug 2016 14:37:12 -0400 David Fisher

 Today is August 6th, and sadly not many outside of the dedicated Metroid fan sites and forums seem to remember that today is Nintendo's renowned space franchise's anniversary. It's not just any birthday either. Today marks Samus's 30th anniversary!

Fear not, Samus. Even though I've had my grievances with your series in days past, this GameSkinny writer has not forgotten about you or your struggle against the evil space pirates!

It's been awhile since Samus Aran's most recent adventure, Other M, but at least it won't be much longer until Metroid Prime: Federation Force arrives on store shelves - August 19th to be precise. Sadly, neither game has received particularly good attention as Other M suffered from a weak plot, despite arguably having good gameplay. Meanwhile, Federation Force appears destined to face a similar fate before it is even released.

The lack of a popular Metroid title in the last six years makes these two Amiibo the most popular entry to the Metroid series since Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and they were designed for Super Smash Bros.!

It's hard to believe nowadays that the Metroid series is actually one of the more important video games out there. After all, it is the founder of the "Metroidvania" genre - despite Castlevania trying to get in on that name. So while Nintendo seems to have forgotten about it, and fans are too busy bashing on the next game, let's take a moment to remember what Metroid has done for video games.

Up and Down and All Around!

Fun fact! Metroid was actually among the first - if not the first - to actually implement all four directions at the same time in a side scrolling video game without a set goal in mind. This meant that those who played the original Metroid on the NES were among the first people to experience this kind of freedom in a side scroller.

Nowadays we take this kind of freedom in a side scroller for granted. It's easy to forget that games such as Super Mario Bros. only moved from left to right, or that Kid Icarus moved from bottom to top. This innovation actually made a few things possible that weren't before, namely a new form of gameplay known as...


Super Metroid was undoubtedly a great game. While I have my own reservations over the title due to some of the less well-aged sections of the game, it did innovate the side-scroller adventure genre by introducing something we couldn't dream of not having: a large interconnected map and interchangeable upgrades.

That's right. Believe it or not, Super Metroid was the first title to fully implement this style of gaming. While we had maps and upgrades for a while at that point in history in video games, Super Metroid innovated the gaming industry by providing a fully interconnected map with a map system.

Metroid and Metroid II both had large maps,  but no game at the time had matched the scale of Super Metroid in a side scrolling environment. This was in part accomplished by the notorious elevators that are laced around Planet Zebes, locking together multiple worlds that would otherwise be expected to be connected by a HUB world.

Interchangeable upgrades were also a new feature as most video games at the time had players simply replace their old weapons with a new superweapon. Super Metroid was different in that there were no straight upgrades when it came to suit upgrades. While you could certainly play the game with all upgrades activated, shutting down certain upgrades actually helped the player in certain sections - namely due to boss enemies being unaffected by certain beam types.

An Icon of Female Empowerment

When the first Metroid title released on the Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986, the concept of a playable female character on a home console was unheard of. Sure, we had Ms. PAC-MAN and the rarely heard of "Kissy" from Namco's Alien Sector, but Samus Aran was by far the first to be easily recognized.

As such, it was a safe assumption at the time that players were playing as a robotic warrior or a spaceman in a suit. Even the official instruction manual referred to Samus as a "he". It wouldn't be until players beat the game in under 5 hours that they would learn that underneath the powered suit was actually a female protagonist.

Underneath the Armor...

While her dimensions and general appearance have changed over the years, Samus has always been one of Nintendo's biggest butt kickers. After all, she does maintain the highest kill count of any Nintendo franchise, literally annihilating entire planets - approximately 4 of the 12 she has visited. Technically this is a terrible thing to do, but unlike archvillains such as Bowser or Ganondorf she does it for the forces of good so that counts for something, right?

Despite being a primarily silent protagonist outside of Metroid: Fusion and Other M, Samus is often cited as being one of the strongest female role models in gaming. She is also somewhat of a rarity among the gaming genre as she is one of the few characters who not only sports the title of "strong female character" but is still an attractive character who does not have a copped-out "butch" personality for the sake of being "boyish".

In fact, through the visual and narrative storytelling in Metroid II, Metroid: Fusion, and Metroid: Other M we have learned time and time again that Samus is actually a very caring character. While some might send me to the gallows for saying this, even the earliest of Metroid titles have often shown a softer - more insecure - side to Samus. This can often be found in her respect for Adam Malkovich or her inability to simply vaporize the last defenseless metroid in Metroid II.

This makes Samus an indispensable character to the video game industry, and hopefully Nintendo will bring her back soon.

As for the Future...

(Comic courtesy of Double-Xp)

The future looks fairly bleak for the Metroid series. Admittedly, I believe that at this point I am holding an unhealthy level of hope for Metroid Prime: Federation Force. Maybe it's just my mind finally caving in to the hate bandwagon for the game, but it's been so long since we had a main series Metroid title that it gets somewhat depressing to think about as a fan of the series. As someone who actually didn't mind going through Other M, I can only imagine what it feels like for those who don't believe there has been a worthy title since 2007 (or even earlier if they weren't a fan of the Prime sequels).

As Corley and Crandall have parodied in their comic, Samus Aran is quickly becoming "that hot chick from Smash Bros." which is disappointing considering the history the series has. While the prospects of a new main series title are low for the time being, hopefully we'll soon see Samus blasting aliens again. After all, Metroid: Other M and Metroid: Fusion left some seriously big questions about the Galactic Federation that need some serious answering - preferably at arm-cannon point!



6 Amazing and Simple Video Game Tattoos Wed, 15 Jun 2016 07:55:25 -0400 JessicaKloss


Space Invaders


Go classic with this Space Invaders tattoo! Tattoos that can use just one color ink and look incredible are very impressive. Get your hands on an arcade game inspired tattoo to prove you've been lovin' video games for longer than most. 


Samus from Metroid Series


This Samus tattoo is beautifully done and great for any fan. Samus is an inspiration to women, and the creative choice to add the Rosie the Riveter style pin-up bow to her head was an excellent one. 


"Samus is an ideal role model not just to me, but for many women to look up to as a powerful game icon."


--Michelle Perl, cosplayer


Love Ball from Pokemon


A love ball, or just a regular ole poke ball, would be a great way to express your love for Pokemon and to mark yourself as a gamer.  The love ball is especially adorable, and could demonstrate your skill at catching the opposite (or same) sex.


Half-Life Logo


The Half-Life logo represents the Greek letter, Lambda. It is frequently used in the game series because it part of the equation for radioactive decay. Lambda is important in math and programming, so the tattoo could have multiple reasons for being nerdy.


Scene from Fallout series


If you're looking for a Fallout tattoo, one that includes a radroach, Nuka-Cola, and an explosion all in one is a good way to do it. As an added bonus, it's all composed rather nicely without being too large. 


Assassin's Creed Insignia 


Use this beautiful tattoo to showcase your part in the Assassin Order. There have been multiple renditions of the insignia throughout the game series, so to add a little more flair the version from the Italian Renaissance or the Babylonian Assassins could be done instead.


"The symbol that you sought and found... It is a mark of courage and honor, yes. But it promises pain and loss as well."


--Oiá:ner, speaking of the Insignia




Brilliant, intricate sleeves and full back tattoos are glorious in their artistic skill and value, but simple tattoos can be just as amazing. They are also more affordable and less of a commitment for those of us that want to show off a video game tattoo. So I've taken to the nerdtattoos subreddit to find the best subtle artwork that a fan would feel proud to wear on their body!

Slay Mother Brain With Your Very Own Metroid Arm Cannon Wed, 11 May 2016 11:40:15 -0400 Justin White

Cosplay is all about self-expression and paying homage to your favorite characters but it can be frustrating when you're trying to get things just right. The worst thing is a janky looking costume. That's where DIY Prop Shop comes in. Their helpful tips and step-by-step guides will have you looking fresh at the next con. 

In this video, Vinny from Prop Shop shows you how to make one boss-looking Arm Cannon from the Metroid game series so that you can strut your stuff as the intergalactic bounty huntress, Samus Aran. 

All you'll need for this DIY masterpiece are these tools and supplies you can pick up at any local hardware store:

  • A soldering iron and solder
  • A large PVC pipe
  • A flange (for the blaster barrel)
  • A wooden dowel (for the grip)
  • A 9V battery
  • A button switch (to activate the blaster light)
  • A 9V connector
  • A wired LED light
  • A diffuser (for the blaster light)
  • A hot glue gun
  • A drill (to mount the grip)
  • EVA foam (like you'd find in playroom mats)
  • A heat gun (to form the EVA foam shapes)
  • Spray Paint

With a little time, a little patience, and this guide to follow, you can end up with a blaster that looks as good as this one:


13 things you probably didn't know about Metroid Mon, 02 Nov 2015 19:09:10 -0500 Gabriella Graham

Last week, I revisited the very beginnings of the Tomb Raider franchise to drop ten lesser-known facts about Lara Croft onto the masses. Croft got me thinking about another heroine, one who inspired jaw-dropping gasps from nerds across the world with her female identity in one of the most memorable twists in video game history. This time I'm taking you back to 1986 to explore the origins of the Metroid franchise and its bounty hunting star, Samus Aran.

Samus Aran by transfuse on Deviantart

My past is not a memory. It's a force at my back. It pushes and steers. I may not always like where it leads me, but like any story, the past needs resolution. What's past is prologue.

- Samus Aran, Metroid Prime

1. Metroid's producer: A Cinderella story

Metroid series producer Gunpei Yokoi began his Nintendo career in 1965 cleaning and maintaining the assembly-lines used to manufacture Hanafuda cards. After Samus, he would go on to create: Game and Watch, R.O.B., the Game Boy, and Virtual Boy. He even mentored Shigeru Miyamoto.

2. Hiroji Kiyotake + soccer = the name "Samus Aran"

Kiyotake, designer for the original Metroid, coined Samus' name to sound like soccer player Edison Arantes Nascimento. "Aran," our heroine's surname, came directly from the soccer star's own title.

Above: Edison Arantes Nascimento a.k.a. Pele

3. Samus' gender was changed spontaneously near the end of the game's development.

Yoshio Sakamoto admitted that the origin of one of gaming's biggest reveals came from a casual suggestion made by another developer working on Metroid: "Why don't we make Samus Aran a female character to surprise the player?" Sakamoto liked this idea, but didn't foresee the massive impact it would have on the series. He doesn't remember who made the suggestion, but let me just say thank you, nameless developer, for your particularly inspiring brand of whimsy.

You finished the game so fast, you've earned a pixelated bikini babe! Because logic.

4. From Space Hunter to Metroid

Kiyotake and one other developer coined the title Metroid from the words "android" and "metro subway." The metro bit nods at the fact that gameplay occurs mostly underground.

In the original instruction manual, Samus is described as a "space hunter," referencing the original name. Developers ran out of time at the end of development, preventing them from correcting the job title to "bounty hunter."

5. H.R. Giger inspired Metroid's desolation.

Most fans already know that the movie Alien largely inspired Samus' tale. The characters and plot aren't the only evidence of this, however. Developers drew on the sense of desperation and isolation created in Alien by illustrator H. R. Giger for the game's design. 

Giger smiles for sense of desperation.

6. Dario Argento's work influenced Metroid's music and color palette.

Italian director, producer, and screenwriter Dario Argento, known particularly for his work in horror films, directly influenced Sakamoto's visual style and sound cues. Argento inspired the sparse, dark tunes that feed Metroid's desolate mood. Suspiria, one of the Italian director's movies, may have even inspired the vivid yellows, reds, and oranges seen in Samus' suit.

Sakamoto proclaimed Deep Red, another of Argento's films, as "the greatest inspiration on [his] creative process”. He elaborated that he wanted to create in the same manner as Argento. This movie more than anything else taught Sakamoto how to effectively manipulate the mood of an audience using tools like foreshadowing and a steady pace.

7. Morph ball: the programming shortcut solution.

Samus' morph ball became a staple of the series and the upgrades available for our heroine's Power Suit. In the first installment in the Metroid franchise, you might have noticed that Samus can't crawl or even crouch. Her movement was limited to an upright position because developers found that the morph ball solution took significantly less animation and space in comparison to an android suit on all fours. I wonder if this helped inspire the space-defying logic of Pokeballs...

Looks uncomfortable.

8. Limited time, space, and resources birthed the ice-beam. 

Animation wasn't the only hassle developers faced in Metroid's development. Sakamoto reported that the amount of memory space available was extremely limited, and no major changes were allowed to be made on the core engine compatible with the Famicom Disc System. The ice-beam resulted as a coincidental solution to help Samus navigate the world around her. A change in an object's color and an alteration to the game's "collision check" indicated an enemy's transformation into a stepping stone, an element of gameplay that required hardly any memory.

Let me just use your face for a second.

9. The series is a collection of consequences from the uninformed decision-making of the Chozo. 

In case you've never dug too deeply into series' backstory, you should probably know that the Chozo goofed up pretty badly. Repeatedly. The series reveals that the Chozo raised Samus after the death of her parents at the hands of Space Pirates, training her so that she may one day possess the Power Suit they crafted. They also created the bio-computer Mother Brain, the driving force behind those awful, parent-killing Space Pirates. Add this to the fact that the entire Metroid race resulted from their efforts to cleanse SR388 of the X parasites, having mutated and then turned against them, and you've got one guilty group of birds and Samus forging their path to atonement.

10. Can you hear that vroom vroom? Plant SR388 owes its name to Yamaha bike engines. 

It turns out the planet on which the Metroid's race was discovered was named after a series of Yamaha bikes called the SR400. Despite the name, only 388cc engines were available at the time, so developers wrote the name out SR388. After that, the planet's name was never changed.

11. Samus might have a living relative?!

Nintendo Power's interactive online story, Blood of the Chozo, announced that Samus has a little brother named Soloman Aran. He's "missing and presumed dead". This intriguing choice of words may well open up the possibility of another survivor of the attack on the K-2L colony.

12. Samus' power suit is maintained by the sheer power of concentration. 

Metroid: Other M featured scenes of Samus' suit wavering in and out of existence. Sakamoto explained the cause of this this back in 2004:

"For Samus to remain connected with the Power Suit requires mental energy unfathomable to an ordinary person. In situations like this when she is under pressure, indeed, even Samus is unable to concentrate her mental energy. However, when Samus completes the trial of the spirit of the mural (God of War), she regains her strong force of will and can successfully integrate with the Legendary Power Suit."

Emotional distress thus causes Samus to lose her grip on the suit, but the fact that she maintains it at all is a feat in itself.

13. The first Metroid game lacked running animation and boasted flipped images instead.

Kiyotake and other designers drew numerous frames for movement in Metroid (think: flip book). Many of the initial drawings, including differences between right and left poses, were scrapped due to storage capacity issues. You'll notice Samus' weapon shoots from the right hand when facing right and the left hand when facing left. Kiyotake said the "higher-ups" made this change necessary, declaring both sides must be identical to save space. 

Character animation frames had to be cut dramatically to save memory, causing original enemy designs and even Mother Brain to be replaced. Cuts even extended to the game's map. Since technology couldn't keep up with the larger map, when Samus fell to a lower level, gray bars appeared. This was a result of missing frames (now think: flip book missing transitions) as well as a processor that couldn't keep up with the scroll rate.

In the mood to satisfy some serious game-nostalgia yet? How many facts did you already know? If you haven't gotten the chance to yet, be sure to also check out the fan-made Metroid film!

Request a look back at another series in the comments below!