After years of radio silence, Metroid fans had plenty to celebrate at E3 2017 as Nintendo used the show to announced not one, but two new Samus Aran adventures. Metroid Prime 4 probably won't arrive for some time, but Metroid: Samus Returns will be coming to 3DS this year.
Metroid: Samus Returns is a remake of Game Boy classic Metroid II: The Return of Samus, and is being overseen by series' co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto and developed by Castlevania: Lords of Shadow studio MercurySteam. Nintendo is usually very cautious about working with outside developers, so how did this unexpected collaboration come together? Per a recent Kotaku interview with Sakamoto, it was actually MercurySteam that got the ball rolling.
"It started about two years ago. I've been wanting to make another 2D Metroid game for quite a while, and I've been thinking about what sort of team I'd like to work with when creating such a game. At some point during all of this, I heard from our folks over at Nintendo of Europe that this developer MercurySteam was interested in making a remake of a classic Metroid game.
I heard MercurySteam and I knew they'd made some Castlevania titles, so I thought it was possible there was an affinity for our title as well. I said, 'Well, man, I gotta meet these guys, let's go to Spain.' So, we flew to Spain. MercurySteam had created a small prototype for me to take a look at. I looked at it, talked to them, got a sense of what their team was about, and I said, 'Yeah, let's see what we can do together.'"
During the interview Metroid: Other M, the divisive entry that essentially put the series on ice for the past seven years, came up. If you're expecting an apology, well, keep hoping – Sakamoto regrets nothing:
"To be honest, as far as [the Metroid: Other M] depiction of Samus goes, I made what I wanted to make. It did give me some momentum, I guess, and the ability to look at Samus from a new viewpoint, and maybe reconsider what I wanted to show about her."
I'm sure some hardcore Metroid fans will curse Sakamoto's name for saying that, but hey, you take the good with the bad. Metroid: Other M had its problems (I actually liked the game as a whole), but Sakamoto almost made Super Metroid. I figure he's earned the right to make whatever he wants.
Metroid: Samus Returns rolls onto Nintendo 3DS on September 15.