How Much Of A Nintendo Game Is Metroid Really?

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Ever since E3 I’ve kind of avoided talking about all the anger around Metroid Prime: Federation Force but since then I’ve seen a lot more anger recently about what’s happened to the whole franchise. Plus Unseen64 just released some new insights into the development of the franchise. Maybe this is because I haven’t been a fan all the way from the beginning, but I’ve just been like “whatever.” I’m not gonna get mad if Nintendo lays off of the franchises that don’t sell Mario and Mario Kart numbers.

I didn’t start playing Metroid games until Metroid Prime in 2002 but don’t get me wrong, I like the games a lot. Prime is one of my favorite games ever, and in a previous blog post I begged Nintendo to give Super Metroid the same treatment on the 3DS that The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds got. A new console Metroid Prime on today’s technology is one of my most wanted games. I’m just not so mad as to sign a petition for Nintendo to freaking cancel a game that doesn’t cater to my particular tastes.

Who knows, Federation Force might actually be a good game. It probably will be. Even if it ends up not being my thing I’m still going to at least give it the benefit of the doubt. That soccer mini-game thing in the trailer already looks pretty fun if you ask me. I guess I can understand where the really hardcore Metroid fans are coming from though in regards to the general dislike of the announcement. Maybe Federation Force shouldn’t have been called a Metroid game even if it will be good on its own.

Basically everything about Federation Force is the antithesis of MetroidMetroid is a singleplayer game trading on a sense of isolation in dark caverns with a general aesthetic heavily inspired by AlienFederation Force is a multiplayer game with bright colors and characters of cartoon proportions. It’s like a deeper progression of what Nintendo has done to the depiction of the world of Metroid in Metroid Prime 3 and Metroid Other M.

Metroid games tend to be about being alone in scary places most of the time, often with no speaking characters at all, but in the last couple games Nintendo added a bunch of characters and made the world look like something between Star Trek and an anime. Maybe Nintendo has become disconnected from the themes that birthed the franchise in 1986. Or maybe those themes don’t cleanly fit with how Nintendo sells games today. The whole Alien-style concept isn’t very similar to Mario Kart or Animal CrossingMetroid is really the kind of thing a western developer is more likely to make. That’s probably why so many western indie developers have been making Metroidvania’s in the absence of Nintendo and Konami. Maybe fans are angry at Nintendo because this all represents the company ignoring and possibly changing arguably its only franchise that fits into the gritty western action game framework.

But like I said, I’m fine as long as long as the game is fun. Big confession here: I don’t dislike Other M’s gameplay at all. Sure the story, dialogue, and characters completely destroy the image of Metroid and Samus Aran herself. But it has tight controls and well-balanced gameplay. Again, maybe it shouldn’t have been called “Metroid,” but I enjoyed the game itself.

BULLETS:

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