Hello there fellow Metroid fanatics. Over the past couple of days I have been making an article called Metroid: Past, Prime, and Future. In this article, I will go over and almost make a chronicle of the Metroid series in three parts. They will go in order just like the title, so without further wait...here it is Metroid: Past, Prime, and Future.
______________________________________________Part I: Metroids Past
The beginnings of Metroid would have to be on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) with the self titled, Metroid. The game captivated fans as intergalactic bounty hunter Samus Aran traveled around Planet Zebes destroying all hostile life forms that stood in her way. The game for the time was state of the art with such a large world and map to travel. Along with the map, the game also mixed side-scrolling with shooting in an unprecedented way.
Some of those life-forms included the now famous Metroids. These free-floating figures stood as a great threat against you and your arsenal. Along with the Metroids, enemies included Ridley and Mother Brain.
After the success of the original Metroid, Nintendo was ready to try out a sequel. This time, they were going handheld. Metroid II: The Return of Samus featured our hero going to the planet known as SR388, the original home of the Metroids. This time, Samus’ mission was to destroy all the Metroids due to their danger. The new game offered a much larger map and however didn’t live up to its predecessors height.
By this point in time, the NES days were done. Nintendo had launched the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and was in need of great game. Well, they got one. On April 1st 1994, Nintendo launched Super Metroid. The game was immediately hailed as the best game ever and still stands strong even today. The game takes place on Planet Zebes again and this time, Samus had a different mission. The last Metroid held in captivity has been stolen by a group of space pirates and now Samus must take it back.
On the Planet Zebes, Nintendo did a great job of making the presence of the original Metroid felt because areas that were major battlegrounds from the first game were badly scarred and filled with wreckage. The game also featured an even larger map than the previous games and added some nice gameplay features as well.
A new featured included the Equipment Screen. Here, you could change Samus’ suit equipment by either enabling or disabling any item found in the game. This game also featured five main bosses, which was much more than what the past games featured. Each boss had very different weaknesses, which kept the gamer hypnotized in the action for the entire game. Also, the environment in Super Metroid had been expanded to new positions and levels. These included a fire-based level, an underwater level, an ancient ruin type level, and a jungle-based level.
Now somewhere along the line, Nintendo didn’t get the idea that Metroid was an absolute hit. After the Super Nintendo had been outdated by the N64, Nintendo amazingly decided not to release a Metroid game for their newest console. In time, the entire series was lost. Things were very dark for the Metroid series, because who knew if there would be a new game. Thus concludes the first chapter in the Metroid series…
_____________________________________________Part II: Prime and Present
November 18, 2002- After a long wait and horrible launch for the Gamcube, Nintendo and Retro Studios came across an agreement for their first collaboration: Metroid Prime. Yet on the same launch day of Prime, Nintendo launches another new Metroid game… Metroid Fusion for the Gameboy Advance.
Metroid Fusion featured an incredible story that would captivate almost any gamer, no matter their preference. The story begins with Samus catching a disease that is caused from something known as an X-Parasite. Now, Samus needs a vaccine in order to survive. Once she gets the vaccine, she learns that the goop from the X Parasite has nearly destroyed her space suit. All she has left is a watered down version known as the Fusion Suit. After all this, the rest of the game falls into place much like the others.
By this time, Metroid Prime was ready. Retro Studios brought new light to the Metroid series, without a doubt. The game was top in the line graphics, gameplay, and sound wise. The transition that Retro Studios made from a platformer to first person shooter was amazingly smooth, and the game played just like the past classics. Certain gameplay elements were lost, however, and new ones needed to be added. Gone was the ever-continuous Space Jump, gone was the beloved Screw Attack, and gone was the Speed Booster power-up.
Prime offered a new style of shooting as well. In order to fire, the gamer must hold down the “R” button, take aim, and fire. A very controlled situation, this new style allowed excellent firing capabilities that put the players in near complete control. The graphics were nothing short of amazing. Retro Studios sure part so much effort into making the graphics…you can hardly see the flaws, if any. Also, an extensive soundtrack helped put the player in the complete atmosphere.
Prime, like Fusion, had a more organized story featured in it, but it wasn’t in your typical text format. In order to learn the story behind Tallon IV, the player had to scan Lore tablets with the new Scan Visor. Because of the way the story was presented, the player not only got to delve into a deep storyline, but this time around, they also had the challenge of searching for it. A very interesting, yet to some complicating, method.
Following the success of Metroid Prime, a sequel was announced. The new Metroid Prime: Echoes looked to be an absolute success since Nintendo once again teamed up with Retro Studios in development of the game.
Once out, gamers soon learned of another GBA release, this time the game was called Metroid: Zero Mission. Zero Mission was much like the original Metroid with some Fusion twists. Samus is back in her Varia (full) suit and ready to take on Planet Zebes.
Some new features in the gameplay include the ability to grab onto platforms and almost climb up them. Also, the ever-so-famous ice beam is back. This gave an almost nostalgic feeling to the game with also a new twist. This game helped bridge the gap between Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was once again developed by Retro Studios and yet this time, had a very strong competitor…Halo. Around this time, Microsoft launched Halo and it dominated the charts week after week. Now, Nintendo aimed on a direct competition between Metroid Prime 2 and Halo 2.
Now, the pressure was on. Create a sequel to Metroid Prime that would stun the gamers and help take the victory over Halo 2. Less than a year after Primes release, Retro Studios was on its way to make the perfect sequel. When they were done…Nintendo was ever so confident that they had created a masterpiece. Yet did they?
When the game was released, the gamers soon found out the story and gameplay mechanics. A new Dark Samus had emerged and so had new and old enemies. It was up to Samus to figure out what was going on and then try to overcome all the evils. The gameplay also was quite similar to those in Metroid Prime. The same scanner system and methods were carried over, yet a free-shooting stance was also allowed.
Only one thing was missing: the sales. The sales for Echoes had completely blown and Halo 2 took the top of the charts. How could this have happened? Well…the game was rushed. Retro Studios worked on this game and got it out in a very short period of time. Also, the game was basically to combat with Halo 2. Even if the sales didn’t show…Nintendo still had the Metroid fanatics always showing support.
After the not-so-great success of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Metroid was just asking for a spinoff...they indeed got one. This time, Metroid was taking on pinball in well...Metroid Prime Pinball. This time, Samus used the morph-ball to play in a pinball machine like field while still taking missions such as destroying so many Metroids by bumping into them or circling the entire board. Luckily Nintendo was able to pull a hit and redeemed the Metroid legacy.
Now, in March of 2006, Nintendo launched Metroid Prime Hunters. The game put Samus in a whole new idea…a space race. Yet this time, she wasn’t alone… new bounty hunters took their stand in this game allowing players to choose which hunter they wanted to be.Also, the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection allowed gamers to play online in an ultimate death match to the end.
Overall, the Prime era (still going on) is shining bright. With the releases of some super hits, Metroid really took a stand. What does the future hold for Metroid? Let’s take a look in the next chapter…
_____________________________________________Part III: The Future
E3 2006 --- Metroid Prime 3 gets a caption name…Corruptions. Yes, finally a new addition to the Metroid Prime family. This time, the game will be featured on the Wii. How will the game work out? Well…let’s take a look.
Much of the future is uncharted territory. We’ve seen the video, and it has left us with tons of baffling questions. Apparently in the video a Vhozon named Rundus is out trying to help Samus…yet why? The video has left us other questions like is Rundus related to Noxus? Well…the rest of the video is left unknown so we’ll have to wait for more information on that before we cover the rest.
Graphic wise the game looks great. Retro Studios is working hard on designing this game we can sure tell. From the video we see amazing animations that flow great and amazing character design. Without a doubt the graphics in Metroid Prime 3 will sure be a winner.
Through out the years, Metroid has been one of Nintendo’s most dominating series and things look to be going pretty strong. With the Wii coming up, more Metroid games will be a positive to be on the way and our beloved series will certainly be running strong.
Thank you for reading,-Tyler Norton
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