After two decades of Metroid games, Samus Aran has evolved from an 8-bit superheroine to a 3-D bounty adventurer. In the course of these 20 years, Samus has received numerous suit upgrades and faced endless chain-effect villains caused by the defeat of a past adversary. With every passing foe, Nintendo pushed for more beautiful visuals, chilling music and morph ball mind games.
Now that the Metroid Prime trilogy has concluded, what would be next? Not only in terms of story, but the way the games are presented? What sort of tricks can the developing teams come up with, and would the developers continue with the Prime-esque gameplay? If that happened, where could the team go?
Below are among the many possibilities for future Metroid games, and are directions that Nintendo may want to consider in order to keep a healthy name for their favorite bounty hunter within the gaming community. Utilizing either the Nintendo DS and the Wii, development studios have an array of possibilities for this signature franchise.
Possibility One: Continuing the 3-D Adventure Universe
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has proven itself to be a worthwhile Wii game. Not only has the title scored an A, but the very design of the Nunchuk came from Retro Studios' suggestions and feedback while developing the Wii. The Nunchuk was made for Corruption, literally. Without the suggestions of Retro Studios, the Nunchuk may never have existed at all. In light of this, would Nintendo be shooting themselves in the foot with their own Wii Remote if the series did not continue this way?
In positive light, the Corruption has won more Wiire awards than any other for the first year of the Wii console. The game proves itself as a graded adversary to other console first-person shooters, defying the rules of high definition and pushing for more intuitive controls with little more than an arm cannon and a grapple beam. Not an easy feat by any means.
However, the game can also alienate people (no pun intended, until now) who hate first-person shooters. Retro Studios made a huge leap from Super Metroid to Metroid Prime, and the entire Prime series could not last at #1 on the gaming charts so long as Super Metroid lived on. While Metroid Prime and its successors holds a huge cult following, some gamers felt that the series pursued too radical a direction away from Metroid's roots.
What about a third-person Metroid title? Retro Studios stated that they want to take a break from the Metroid series, so could a new development team come up with a fresh way to look at Samus from outside of the visor? Camera angles have certainly come a long way, providing gamers with professional cinematic experiences that even major film makers could learn. Then again, history has also proven that camera angles can plague a game if not implemented properly. Developer Sonic Team, for instance, has yet to perfect their non-linear camera angles for 3D Sonic the Hedgehog titles, despite nearly a decade of practice.