Beyond The Numbers: Why The Time Is Right For An Amazing Metroid Game

By: 02.27.14  •  12 Comments

On the most basic level, Metroid is what the Wii U desperately requires. The system needs a graphically intense, unapologetically hardcore game. People need to be shown that the Wii U is a real, significant step up from the Wii, and Nintendo needs something that will get core gamers playing Wii U, because their casual Wii fanbase are off grazing in Apple’s pasture now and they aren’t moseying back.

Beyond that, gaming needs its pre-eminent female badass back. Let’s look back at some of the most acclaimed, popular games of 2013 — BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us, Tomb Raider — powerful, interesting female characters are in, and they’re going to remain hot as women and guys who aren’t dorky, angry teens become an ever larger part of the gaming population. Samus was 25-years ahead of her time, but now, as strong female characters take the gaming world by storm, Nintendo’s put the character in stasis.

I know Internet fandom often doesn’t translate into cash, but gamers really, really love Metroid. There’s more amazing cosplay and fan art devoted to Samus than possibly any other video game character. Well, except Sonic, but take the furries out of the mix, and Metroid and Samus are tops…

gammasquadmetroid4This is a real suit being worn an actual real person. Holy crap. 

But wait, if everyone loves Metroid, how to explain the last Metroid game not selling that well? Easy, Metroid: Other M was simply a bad Metroid game.

Well okay, bad may be pushing it a little far — Other M was playable and fun enough, but it was just wrongheaded in so many ways. At a time when the video game industry was finally getting its s–t together regarding its depiction and treatment of women, Nintendo handed over the medium’s most iconic female character to Team Ninja. TEAM NINJA. The guys who have been turning out disappointing blandness for a decade because all they care about is developing new breast jiggle tech. On top of that, Nintendo made the game entirely controllable with a single Wiimote in the misguided hope your mom would be totally into searching for missile expansions and fighting Ridley. Metroid: Other M was a mistake, and you know what you do with mistakes Nintendo? No, you don’t ignore them — you fix them.

First off, get Retro Studios back on Metroid. You don’t have to freeze Metroid co-creator (and the mastermind of Other M) Yoshio Sakamoto out — let him have an advisor’s role, but have Retro do the heavy lifting. Now, start combing the gaming industry, particularly the western portion of it (Metroid has always been more popular in America) for the most passionate, talented Metroid-loving developers out there. Here’s a jaw-dropping piece of Samus fan art done by Jorge Lacera, the lead artist on BioShock Infinite

gammasquadmetroid5Imagine a Metroid game that looks like this. IMAGINE IT. 

Hmmm, wait, didn’t the studio behind BioShock Infinite, a visually stunning, first person adventure with well-written female characters, just disband? Hire as many former Irrational employees as possible and make me a mind blowing Metroid game. While you’re at it, hire some of the many, many independent developers who have been inspired by Metroid — get the folks behind Guacamelee and Steamworld Dig working on your game. Get Daisuke Amaya, the creator of Cave Story designing levels for you. Take the massive amount of love out there for Metroid and channel it into an amazing experience.

It’s within you to make the kind of dream games that will make the Wii U impossible to ignore, you just have to look beyond the numbers Nintendo.

fan art by Muju & Jorge Lacera

cosplay by Yukilefay

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