The lights are on
It's no secret that Nintendo hasn't been as financially successful these last few months as it has been historically. In order to help the beloved company turn things around, let me propose a solution to its financial struggles: Metroid. Hear me out on this.
Imagine this: Ben Reeves is eight or nine, or some other impressionable age, and he goes over to his neighbor's house and sees them playing an unusual new sci-fi game called Metroid. The game's haunting atmosphere and bewitching music immediately sucks him in. The world is massive, like a tiny universe collapsed into a NES cartridge. Ben and his neighbors play the game for hours, staying up until the wee hours of the night exploring every nook and cranny of this alien world. Days stretch into weeks as Ben gets lost in this alien landscape. This digital world becomes his home.
Eventually weeks stretch into months, and new games and new interests begin to consume Ben's life, but he never forgets his time spent on planet Zebes. The events of that game stick with him for years, becoming something like a legend to him. It seems that few games will be able to live up to the greatness of Metroid. But then, something spectacular happens. Nintendo releases a new Super Nintendo console, and eventually a new Metroid game, Super Metroid. It eclipses the original game in nearly every way. A lightbulb goes off inside Ben's head. Metroid doesn't have to be a one-off experience, it can be a franchise that Nintendo revisits every few years, allowing another generation of gamers to experience the same haunting thrills that young Ben had with the original Metroid.
Unfortunately, it takes a long time for Nintendo to get around to this. The company eventually releases new Metroids for its handheld systems, and it allows a talented American studio to craft a series of steller first-person Metroid games for the GameCube and Wii...and then Metroid goes radio silent.
(Savvy gamers have just yelled at their monitor and muttered something about the Team Ninja-developed Other M. I have chosen to forget about this game, and I recommend that you do as well. I believe that if we all choose to believe that Other M never existed then maybe that game's very existence will disappear from reality and it will never have existed in the first place.)
Let's set aside the pretentiousness of talking about one's self in first person for a moment and talk more about how Metroid could help Nintendo right now. Many gamers don't feel like they have a reason to own a Wii U. Metroid might give them that reason, Nintendo. Some gamers feel slightly burned by the Wii's slow trickle of exciting titles? All the more reason to release a proven series for the Wii U. Maybe people are worried that the Wii U doesn't have the graphical horsepower to keep them entertained, but games like Super Meat Boy, Minecraft, and Xenoblade Chronicles have pretty well proved that you don't need bleeding edge hardware and photorealistic graphics to make an entertaining game. A Metroid game could also show gamers what the Wii U is really capable of – remember how amazing Metroid Prime looked on the GameCube?
Maybe it's time to roll Metroid back out and give another generation of gamers the chance to explore a strange new world, to seek out new powers in ancient civilizations, and to boldly go where Ben Reeves went decades ago. (Whoever wrote this is a total dork.)
Is a lack of Metroid titles really the problem here? No, as mentioned earlier, Nintendo really needs some better third party support; they can't do everything themselves. But maybe a new Metroid game would help inspire third-party developers to work on the Wii U. Am I just a fanboy speaking largely from a position of desire? Probably. But you have to admit at least one thing:
A next-gen Metroid title would be off the hook.
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