Nintendo & # 39; s announcement that Metroid Prime 4 was not effectively returned to the drawing board exactly the surprise fans of January hoped; the significant delay of this long-awaited sequel was an understandable damper for fans.
Despite disappointment, the video update was received in most corners of the internet with general acceptance and understanding; after a number of missteps in recent years, there is more time in the oven nice if it results in the sequel that we dream of from 2007 onwards Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, the last & # 39; correct & # 39; entry in the Prime series. We have waited a long time – what is another few years between friends?
Between the lines, however, the video reads a lot more than just an apology and perhaps points to a renewed investment in a franchise that has not had the best support lately.
Please understand that we hear you
The video was not only a sign of repentance and honorable possession of the error, but was also a calculating step to show publicly how seriously Nintendo views the franchise and its fans – to prove that the platform owner is aware and to care about Metroid. It is a curious and demonstrably necessary move after the much-mocked Metroid Prime: Federation Force made sure the loyal franchisee wondered who shouted the shots on earth.
Nintendo has inexplicably chosen to reveal the spin of Next Level on multiplayer shooter Metroid Prime: Hunters on the revived Nintendo World Championships in the form of side-game Metroid: Blast Ball. Separated from the brand, it was perhaps a mildly distracting, innocent little game, but Samus fans were hungry. Federation Force? Maybe it's kind of like that Halo ODST-style spin-off! we thought. No – what we saw was a bunch of chibi-looking bounty hunters who ran around mini Rocket League-style arena & # 39; s playing 3v3 first-person & # 39; soccer & # 39 ;. If that was not enough, the fact that it was on 3DS was a red rag for an all …peeved bull.
Who knows? Perhaps it was a misguided attempt to drag Japanese gamers to a series they had been lukewarm in the past, but whatever the intention was, the whole debacle was a spectacular misconception that suggested that Nintendo had lost its way and had forgotten what made the franchise special for millions of gamers. The fact that not only an internal delivery has been developed since R & D1 & # 39; s Metroid: Zero Mission at the GBA in 2004 that argument only strengthens.
Please understand that we are sorry
Happy, Metroid: Samus Returns – the fantastic remake of the Game Boy & # 39; s Metroid II – felt like a make-up for a fan base desperately looking for a 'right & # 39; episode since the split of Team Ninja Metroid: Other M in 2010. It was an effective apology, only tempered by the release on the aging 3DS instead of Switch. Because Switch the hearts of the & # 39; hardcore & # 39; after the Wii era has still not recovered, some claim that the existence of Prime 4 indicates a change of attitude towards the franchise.
Although it has been on the E3 bingo card of many fans for years, Which the sudden appearance of logo in 2017 was an unusually predictable move for a company that is proud of newness. That revelation proved once again that you can never guess what you will get from Nintendo; step in fans crowed about King K. Rool for years, but we did really does he expect him to join the line-up? Why the sudden change of heart?
Please understand the figures
Although the popularity of Metroid seems clear, it may be part of that holy trinity Mario and Zelda in the hearts and minds of western gamers – the sales reality creates a sobering lecture. On paper, it just is not the tentpole franchise fans see it, especially in Japan. Metroid Primefor example, it might have done well in the West, but when it was sold in Nintendo's home country, it sold only 40,000 copies in the opening week and that was about twice the number of lifelong sales. Although it is much better in the US, sales are still not with Mario or Zelda. It's also worth remembering that even the weighty Game-Of-The-Year listings in those franchises in history were not the biggest sellers of Nintendo – the big 3D Mario and Zelda titles are doing fine, but in terms of relative sales conditions are overshadowed by the likes of Mario Kart, Wii Sports and New Super Mario Bros..
While (in pure sales terms) Metroid is a step below Zelda and Mario, sales figures from the Switch terms of those top franchises show that this trend may be changing. According to Nintendo's financial reports, Breath of the Wild is the fourth best-selling game on the system with 11.68 million units sold (from 31st December 2018, including bundles and digital downloads). Super Mario Odyssey& # 39; S turnover of 13.76 million is in second place, alone Mario Kart 8 Deluxe more sales (15.02 million). Admittedly, we still have to see the sale of today's life New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe who have had a very healthy start, but these numbers are encouraging for fans of huge, comprehensive 3D games. If Switch really is the happy medium between the casual and the core audience, Nintendo may think that strong Metroid access can bridge the gap between fanperception and business reality.
Please understand the contest
Whether Prime 4 signals a newly found conviction in the series or simply admits to the hardcore crowd recaptured by Switch, does not really matter; the result is still a new & # 39; correct & # 39; Metroid. While some had hoped for a 2D message along the lines of Super MetroidIt is no wonder that Nintendo returns to the 3D industry – the grammar that Nintendo has challenged, has now been learned and mastered by countless others. You can not work in the eShop without stumbling over quality Metroidvanias and with so many fantastic alternatives, what kind of new spin would Nintendo have to offer?
Of course, the company has a very good record of reinventing the wheel, often exceeding expectations in the most unlikely circumstances. The batting average for returning series and updating them in new and interesting ways is impressive; you can point to the obvious examples to bring Mario and Zelda back to N64 in the third dimension, but there are many examples of eyebrow enhancing propositions that prove to be very good. a link between worlds was an incredible return to a beloved youth world – the moment you started playing, melted away all the tension and worries and was transported back in time, as if there was never any doubt.
Please understand that we are the only human being
That does not mean that Nintendo does not stumble. Even the brightest stars occasionally lose their luster, with the highest expectations of increasing errors in games such as Mario Sunshine or Skyward Sword. We would argue that Star Fox has received the most patchiest treatment during his quarter century, with the dev team after the team struggling to regain the magic of it Star Fox 64.
Metroid fans have had a much better range of things. Many complained about Nintendo's original partner choice for Prime 4, Bandai Namco, especially after the previous collaboration with Team Ninja did not work well, and returned the franchise keys to Retro Studios from Austin – the developer of the second party who series to the third dimension – is a sign for many fans that Nintendo has And last but not least regained their senses after having had Retro Monkeying Donkey Kong for so long. It is easy to assume that perhaps any residual bias of upper management in Japan – combined with their experience with Prime's long and difficult overseas development – played a role in the original decision to maintain development in the East. .
Please understand that we are ready
With a clean slate to work from, the good form of Retro to update the beloved Donkey Kong Country series with Donkey Kong Country Returns and Tropical freezing should be heartwarming for gamers. Although much of the original Prime team has gone further since then, it is a matter of personal pride for the studio that the third sequel fulfills fans' expectations, although it will not see the light long enough.
Assuming Retro starts more or less more or less, the reality of modern development cycles means that, like Breath of the Wild – what, let's forget, was at first a Wii U title – we even succeeded the Switch can see this game being released. We do not suggest that it will be introduced exclusively on a new system, but it does not ignore the possibility that it is a Breath of the Wild & # 39; could pull and bridge the generations.
Please look ahead for further announcements
And in the meantime? Well, Nintendo has some gems in the vault to please the Metroid believers and to familiarize newcomers with the franchise. The original NES game is available to all Switch Online subscribers and if rumors about an upcoming SNES library are true, the classic Super Metroid will have been playing too long. A MercurySteam Metroid port: Samus Returns would be an excellent way to anticipate and a Switch edition of Metroid Prime Trilogy would certainly a port where no one would argue with.
So it seems that despite a bleak start to 2019 the future has not been so rosy for Metroid fans for a decade or more. We can all lift a arm cannon.