Tag Archives: Metroid

15 Years Of Game Boy Advance: Personal Memories

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According to my search function I haven’t gone on at length about the Game Boy Advance on this blog yet. I guess the system’s 15th anniversary is a good time. I’m not gonna do any huge retrospective, just talk a bit about my own memories with the system and maybe some of its overall significance. Continue reading

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Video Game Anniversaries That Will Occur in 2016

Here it is — the list of what gaming-related anniversaries I found are taking place in 2016. This year is a big one too. A lot of major franchises are celebrating major anniversaries, to the point where some other websites have already taken notice. Red Bull in particular is totally on it. Many publishers of these major games have already begun to mark the anniversaries with new game releases too.

Part of this is because 2016 marks a major anniversary for at least two past console cycle transitions. This year it will have been 15 years since 2001, which was not only when the Gamecuube and original Xbox launched, but also when the PS2 received an absolutely monstrous lineup that included the beginnings of some franchises and major entries in others. 20 years ago was 1996 which was a transformative year in 3D video game design — three of the most influential 3D games came out that year. 1991, 1986, and 1981 also saw some major beginnings and landmarks a lot of people might not notice today. Continue reading

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We Need To Talk About Hacking Minigames

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By the time I finished Alien: Isolation I had become acutely aware of the criticisms people gave the game a year ago, mainly concerning its surprising length. I’m not gonna go on too much about that, but I did become interested in some of the things the game tried to do in its structure and procedure which weren’t total successes. Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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Nintendo Direct: IP Parading And IP Neglect

Nintendo’s November 2014 Direct told me one thing above all else: it’s trying to prop up the value its franchises as much as possible. All of them. I can understand why, I just wish it would translate into more full games for certain franchises. Continue reading

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Indie Game Radar: Environmental Station Alpha

I think I’ve stumbled upon another indie game that’s of higher quality than its current level of visibility justifies. Only a handful of well-known gaming sites have mentioned it, it’s supposed to be out this year, and already has a demo available.

This time it’s Environmental Station Alpha. It’s a Metroidvania that’s been in development for a few years. I could best describe it by calling it “Super Metroid with Game Boy Color graphics.” The demo along with the most recent trailer make ESA seem like it’s shaping up to be one of the best designed Metroid homages in recent memory.

Continue reading

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Super Metroid Should Be Nintendo’s Next 3DS Remake

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While playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, which has taken up all my gaming time for the last couple weeks, it was brought to my attention that Nintendo should definitely give the same treatment to Super Metroid. ALBW is basically A Link to the Past 2 right (that’s what its Japanese title translates to)? Why not Super Metroid 2?

Nintendo’s been in the habit of remaking its classics on 3DS and Metroid probably makes the most sense as another candidate. This is true both looking at the 3DS itself and where the Metroid franchise is right now.

Metroid is stuck in Nintendo’s doghouse alongside Star Fox and F-Zero as franchises that can’t guarantee the sales numbers of Mario, Pokémon, Mario Kart, or even Animal Crossing. The disappointing Metroid Other M didn’t help things either. Someone at Nintendo is probably mulling over what to do with the franchise. The best course of action if you ask me is probably another 2D entry for the 3DS.

Aside from being Nintendo’s strongest platform right now, the 3DS has supported entries of a lot of the company’s less major intellectual properties like Mario & Luigi and Fire Emblem, and sales on the 3DS saved the latter franchise from cancellation. The Metroid Prime series also kind of ran its course, and with Other M’s performance nobody really knows what to do with 3D Metroid on consoles right now. 2D on handhelds however is still reliable. I could just be saying this though because I’m mad Nintendo hasn’t done a 2D Metroid since Zero Mission on the Game Boy Advance almost a decade ago.

I just don’t see why they didn’t make one on the original DS seeing how well the Castlevania games were doing on that platform. Put the map and Samus’s suit interface on the bottom screen and you’ve got a nifty new control scheme for the franchise. It only makes more sense on the 3DS.

I think the reason Super Metroid in particular makes the most sense for the ALBW treatment is because of its similar structure — it’s another game about traversing an open environment while collecting better equipment. The one important difference is that it’s side-scrolling. Nintendo could recycle the same world map like it did ALTTP’s but rearrange the items and room locks — essentially remix Super Metroid.  The graphics could be an even more interesting upgrade.

I understand the reason ALTTP fit the 3DS so well is because of the game’s focus on varying elevations seen from a top-down perspective. I’d imagine the effect for a side scrolling game would translate into moving things into the foreground or background — perhaps having doors that lead there, and thus to new environments. Why doesn’t Nintendo pull a Castlevania Symphony of the Night and add an inverted version of the world? There’s just so much potential there.

I guess Metroid II: The Return of Samus is another candidate for the same treatment (by the same token so is Link’s Awakening). If you ask me, I think Nintendo could get Metroid Prime working on the 3DS. The in-visor view would be nice on the 3D screen, and the Gamecube games are already designed to use only one analog stick. There are really a lot of games that could work well on the 3DS though.

BULLETS:

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I Need Some New 2D Handheld Action Games

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Indies are just getting better and better every time I look at Kickstarter or even Steam Greenlight. I’m starting to get a strange urge with these games though. I’m wondering if anyone else is feeling a desire to play games like Rogue Legacy or La-Mulana on handhelds. It’s bringing up a whole mess of technical issues though.

I suspect this desire in me is coming from nostalgia for the Game Boy Advance.  A while ago I set up all my old game boxes on a shelf, including my old Game Boy games. Now, whenever I look the boxes for Metroid Fusion, Castlevania Aria of Sorrow, or Mega Man Zero, I start wanting to play new games like those on a handheld, specifically 2D action games. I see all the new indies coming out and think those would be great to play on handhelds, but there aren’t that many options.

A lot of these games are eventually gonna be out for Vita. Even if I bought one though, I’d just have to end up re-buying some games I already own like Rayman Legends or Rogue Legacy. The other problem is that the dominant platform for these games still seems to be Windows.

Many of these fresh indie games like Frogatto, Oniken, The Swapper, Valdis Story: Abyssal City, or Chasm, don’t even have console versions, much less Vita or 3DS versions. I’m pretty much forced to just play them on my PC.

Valve’s Steam Machine initiative is a nice thing for bringing this kid of gaming to the television in an easy way, but I keep wondering if some kind of handheld Steam Machine would even be possible. Maybe the Nvidia Shield is what I need to take a look at.

I’m thinking this theoretical handheld Steam Machine would stream Windows games (like Vita remote play). Hopefully it could be just beefy enough to play some indie games natively — many of them don’t take a lot of horsepower to run. Basically it’d be a portable Linux machine and Linux is getting extremely popular with indies.

That’s just fantasy land thinking at this point though. I should probably just start looking at existing handheld action games I haven’t played yet. I think there are still a few.

I’ve got a handful of unplayed games installed on my PSP like Maverick Hunter X, Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?, and Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness. On the DS I still haven’t played Castlevania Order of Ecclessia, or finished a bunch of the RPGs on that system. SteamWorld Dig for the 3DS looks pretty good.

Maybe I’m just mad Nintendo never made another 2D Metroid for the DS or 3DS.

BULLETS:

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