Published by: Nintendo
Release Date: September 15th, 2017
I’m a pretty stalwart Metroid fan. While most people complain about the gap in between releases, I’ve come to realize that, no matter how much cultural cachet it may have, it just isn’t a series that gets visited very often. In a world where people want to be constantly fed the same thing over and over again constantly, Metroid’s better off showing up every now and again because I feel like players appreciate it more because of that.
That being said…we are getting two new Metroid games in a much shorter span, and I will gladly and hypocritically say I am perfectly OK with that.
There’s not much for me to say about Metroid Prime 4 other than I’m excited and anxious to see where it takes the series, but for now we get to revel in the fact that while we wait for it there’s a neat looking remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus for the 3DS colloquially known as Metroid: Samus Returns.
Of the Metroid games, Return of Samus is the one I remember the least. I downloaded the Virtual Console edition years ago but have yet to sink any time into it again. What made it interesting is that it tried to adhere to two different philosophies: being an open(ish) world you explore to find new kit to keep you moving forward and being a more guided experience because it released on the Game Boy and your time (and battery life!) were limited. It’s a neat idea that maybe didn’t always pan out, but damn it was a portable Metroid!
Not unlike Zero Mission, Samus Returns looks to take the core game and build it from the ground up with new tech and aesthetics. While SR388 will more or less remain the same at its base, everything from the visuals to new areas will make it feel brand new. The game takes a pseudo-3D approach that thankfully takes the stereoscopic 3D into consideration. It’s a dead-in-the-water feature these days, so it’s nice to see it get a little support!
Also like Zero Mission the game looks to add new game play elements to spruce things up. There are powers that are based on an energy source, a much needed melee counter attack and some 360 targeting for good measure. While that last one brings back bitter memories of Other M, for the most part these all sound like great additions that bring an older game to a newer generation in a way that feels fresh but doesn’t betray its main mechanics.
The nice thing about this and a lot of Nintendo’s reveals this year, Metroid: Samus Returns is coming sooner rather than later. More to the point, it’ll keep my favorite bounty hunter relevant and in everybody’s mind while we impatiently wait for Metroid Prime 4.