The origins of a whole genre
Alongside Half-Life, Super Mario Bros. and other GTA IIIs, the Metroid license is likely one of the most influential in the history of video games. Super Metroid took the foundations of the first episode a step further to lay the foundations for a whole genre. The Metroidvania is the contraction between Metroid and Castlevania. The license of Konami abandoned its linear gaming roots to embrace Metroid game design. In these games, players are lost in winding mazes and must map the labyrinths to hope to escape. Regularly, they get stuck and have to find a new ability which will serve as a key to unlock the next area. Yes this kind of experiences have multiplied since the advent of Super Metroid, especially on the independent scene, this is not the only influence this series has had. Some games, like the Souls series, have relied on an interconnected and tortuous level design. Clearly, without Metroid, no Dark Souls.
A charismatic heroine
Players who finish the first episode in 86 under a certain time limit find that it was Samus who was hiding under our avatar’s armor. No, we do not control a robot, but an intergalactic bounty hunter. She was raised by the Chozos, an ancient race, after their family was shot down by space pirates. Her host people donate her power suit that she will never leave. After passing through the Galactic Federation, a military faction aimed at keeping the peace, Samus goes on his own and tries to find a place for himself in the universe. She will face many dangers, avenge his family by facing Ridley, his nemesis, and will survive desperate situations thanks to his determination, his ability to fight and his arsenal. If his character was mainly developed in Other M, in a way that has greatly displeased many fans elsewhere, Samus nonetheless remains a very charismatic character recognizable at first glance.
Ridley Scott’s Alien main inspiration
Ridley Scott’s incredible film has largely influenced the Metroid saga and we are counting many references to Alien in these games. Samus is a heroine just like Ripley. Both must face an alien threat in oppressive mazes. The two discover that the federation that employs them is not telling them the whole truth and seek to harness the power of the creatures. The design and evolutions of metroids Obviously reminiscent of Alien facehuggers and xenomorphs. Samus’ nemesis is called Ridley, to pay tribute to the director of the first episode of the license. One can hardly make more explicit as a reference.
A success not at the level of the legend
Unfortunately, and despite its cult license status, the Metroid series has never managed to meet its audience. If it has consistently been successful in making decent sales, it has never seen one of its episodes exceed three million copies and some really did well despite the impressive console parks installed by Nintendo. This figure is not shameful, however, and for many games it would be a sufficient score, but for such an important series for Nintendo, it is not much. For comparison, even the lowest-selling episodes of Zelda top the 3 million sold and most of the rest sell for between 7 and 12 million. There are several reasons that can be cited: too dark a tone compared to the rest of the catalog while not being enough to attract an audience looking for a more mature experience; a less enchanting universe and more difficult to sell than a Mario or a Zelda; rather demanding gameplay and game systems; sometimes unhappy publication timings where the license released both its console episode and its portable episode or found itself facing Castlevania, FF VI and other games that hit just as hard … Marketing has also been frankly not terrible at times. Hopefully Metroid Dread will rekindle the appetite for the series thanks to the Nintendo Switch. It looks good because pre-orders are booming and many gamers purchase the 2D episodes on the Wii U Virtual Console.
Prime, yes, but not only
Many discovered the Metroid saga via Prime episodes on Gamecube and Wii. This rereading of the series puts us directly in Samus’ helmet and therefore passes to the third dimension. The players of these episodes are therefore impatiently awaiting the fourth which is slow to give its news. To those, I would tell them to take an interest in 2D opuses which, for the most part, have not aged a bit. Samus’ bow should find a conclusion in Metroid 5, the next 2D episode to be released October 8. It will be a direct follow-up to Metroid Fusion, released 19 years ago on GBA. What to say other than: I can’t wait. In short, being interested in 2D episodes with Super Metroid, Zero Mission and Fusion in mind, is to make sure to discover what is best in terms of action adventure in 2D. As a reminder, Super Metroid is available on Super Nintendo Online, and Zero Mission and Fusion are available on the Wii U eShop. ” ‘