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.
Email the author Ben Reeves, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
In essence, Ben, you are right. Nintendo needs to release a new Metroid. But, to expand that, they need to release new, exciting, and GOOD games. Primarily first person, which should (in a perfect world) lead to people buying their console for more than the novelty factor, which in turn leads to third parties seeing a potential profit to be had in developing for the WiiU.
The only problem I see in developing a new Metroid is people having too much of a bad taste in their mouths over Other M. But, hopefully, with not many people having played it, it will be rather easy to forget about that black mark on the franchise's history, and give the (theoretical) new game a shot.
I want a 2d metroid badly.
Well said, Ben. I've owned every Nintendo console since the first NES, but I have yet to spring for the Wii U simply because there's not enough high quality games to get excited about. Would a new, quality Metroid game probably be enough for me to finally get the Wii U? You bet.
P.S. I totally agree with you about Other M. If I could indulge myself and quote from my GI user review: "All gamers: stay away. Metroid fans: stay FAR FAR away."
If Nintendo were to just release a new 2D Metroid title for WiiU, I would have no choice but to buy that system immediately. That's all it would take for me.
Actually, how about, I don't know... games that aren't IPs done so many times that letting Team Ninja make an awful prequel doesn't even seriously damage the brand for most people? Like... games that don't start with Super or Legend? Like, for instance, Rayman Legends -- which would sell the system on its own for me if I had the money. More things like THAT, less things like the same frigging idea just swapping genres/camera pespectives.
Yes,it would give some "maturity" to the system. Star Fox would also help but it appears that has been "lost in space".
Though yes, people like Metroid, Metroid is more of a niche game and won't sell systems as does SSB/Mario/Zelda/Pokemon.
Give Metroid back to Retro.
Give Metroid back to Retro!
Have you seen what they did with Donkey Kong? Can you imagine what they can do with a 2D Metroid?
GIVE METROID BACK TO RETRO!!!
I would absolutely love a new Metroid.
But i liked Other M...
I completely agree. As a massive first-party Nintendo fan, I knew I'd have to get a Wii U eventually for Zelda, so when it was on a one-day sale on play.com, I had to pick one up. The downside: I now own a console with no games. I've already played through Mario U at my girlfriend's house, leaving me with almost nothing to choose from. I know things will be great in the end, but I wish they'd do something a little sooner.
100% agree with you.
Despite how awesome Metroid is, it's the worst selling of all Nintendo's franchises. This is why we get so few Metroid games, yet so many Mario and Zelda.