Looking Back At Metroid’s Incredible History
Metroid had a big showcase at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this year. Not only are we getting [...]
Metroid had a big showcase at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this year. Not only are we getting a new Metroid Prime game for Nintendo Switch, but Samus will also make her return to the 3DS, this time with the side-scrolling adventure Metroid: Samus Returns, debuting in September.
It's a great time to be a fan of the series, though there are some folks out there who are still asking, "What is Metroid?" Obviously, these may be folks that grew up outside the NES era, or wondering just what the hoopla is all about. No worries, as we've got a breakdown of the game's general history for you.
We're not breaking down every aspect of Metroid – even though we loved Metroid Prime Pinball on the DS – but rather the vital steps taken by Nintendo to bring it to new heights, even if it didn't always work out for the best. Hang on tight, because we're going for a ride in the nostalgia machine!
The Metroid That Started It All In 1986
The original Metroid made its debut in Japan for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986 (one year later in the U.S. and Europe), and immediately became one of the console's most popular titles. It's an open-world side-scrolling adventure where you'll pick up new goods and take on aliens both big and small, while trying to keep Samus Aran in one piece. This game not only revolutionized open-world design (especially for a game in the mid-80's), but it also introduced one of the first female heroines in the game industry, as Samus revealed who she was during the game's end credits. Talk about your revolution!prevnext
The Metroid Sequel That Fans Couldn’t Get Enough Of
Next came Metroid II: Return of Samus on the Game Boy, and while it was a suitable sequel, it couldn't compare to the absolutely brilliant Super Metroid, which released for the Super NES in 1991 – first in America this time around. (It arrived in Japan and Europe months later.) In this game, Samus returns, but this time has even bigger enemies to face off against, as well as a whole new world to explore. Like the original, the game thrives on its beautiful design, and its boss battles are really something. But what people really liked the most? The end, when a certain baby Metroid comes back to save Samus just in the knick of time. It's beautiful. (sniff)prevnext
The Metroid That Changed The Series To First-Person
The Metroid series maintained the status quo for a few years with handheld titles like Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission, but changed dramatically with the introduction of Metroid Prime for the GameCube. Its initial announcement at E3 back in the late 90's threw fans into an angry frenzy, insisting that they liked the way things were in side-scrolling. However, Retro Studios proved to be up to the task, creating a wondrous first-person extravaganza that captured the imagination and heart of the series. The team would continue for two more games – Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for the Wii, before wrapping things neatly with a bow with the release of Metroid Prime Trilogy in 2009. To date, it's still one of the most sought-after titles for the Wii – though you can get it on the Wii U for $20.prevnext
The Metroid Games Where Mistakes Were Made
Nintendo tried to make changes to the Metroid formula with a pair of releases starting in 2010 that irritated fans something fierce. First came Metroid: Other M for the Wii, which tried to bring the game back to its side-scrolling roots, while at the same time keeping some first-person elements. The game played just fine, but the story betrayed what we've come to expect from Samus Aran, basically making her character yearn for romance instead of fighting aliens. Not exactly our bag.
Things didn't fare much better when Nintendo announced Metroid Prime: Federation Force for the Nintendo 3DS. While the game features an interesting team dynamic – and even a sports mode with a ball – fans were livid that it didn't include the signature hero of the series, Samus, or the "serious" action we've come to expect. As a result, Federation Force became one of the worst selling titles, and Nintendo found itself back to square one. But that's good news, because…prevnext
The Metroid Games That Bring Everything Full Circle
The Electronic Entertainment Expo has been a monumental show this year thus far, but Nintendo went and made it theirs with not one but two big Metroid announcements – Metroid Prime 4 in development for the Nintendo Switch, and Metroid: Samus Returns for the Nintendo 3DS, coming this September. Both games got a huge amount of acclaim from fans and press alike, and even though Prime is still a ways off, it's finally coming. And, hey, it'll be great to play a Metroid 3DS game that actually involves Samus. After all, the series started with her on her journey, so why shouldn't it continue with her? It only makes sense.prev