“Whether a Metroid game is 2D or FPS, it’s more about the ability for Metroid fans to have a blast and enjoy the game. And the more they do that, the better.”
After such a long hiatus, Metroid is now coming back with not one, but in the form of two separate games- a 2D sidescrolling Metroid title, more in the vein of the classic games that fans fell in love with, and a full fledged new Metroid Prime game.
How did this end up happening? How did Metroid, after almost seven years of inactivity, return with two games that seem to have fans genuinely excited? Yoshio Sakamoto, the co-creator of the Metroid franchise, and the lead on Metroid games such as the superlative Super Metroid, and the not as superlative Metroid: Other M, gave some insight into the development of these games in an interview with Eurogamer.
“Firstly I would say that the announcement of both games at the same time was basically a coincidence,” he said. “We didn’t try to match together, and I think we started earlier than them. But perhaps that producer was influenced to stimulate his own side. Generally he lets me know what he’s intending to create – and he did let me know. We didn’t want the development to be constrained by chronological riguer – it’s important the game is fun. So for us, I try to respond to reply to him with an open mind so they can let loose their creativity. That said, we don’t want to create a Metroid which is completely inconsistent so we do keep things reasonable. But we are both quite experienced at making these now.”
He also answered some questions about the separate styles of gameplay the series now seems to have- 3D first person shooting, and 2D action platforming. “My experience of Metroid is the 2D type, so I would say they are quite different games. That said, whether a Metroid game is 2D or FPS, it’s more about the ability for Metroid fans to have a blast and enjoy the game. And the more they do that, the better,” he said.
Finally, he also dropped an assurance for fans who are worried about the future of the franchise- which often seems tenuous at the best of times- that Metroid is not over. The series is not dead. ” It’s a tricky question to answer about the future. [Regardless], the Metroid series is not over,” he laughed.
That, at least, is clear from both, Metroid Prime 4 and Metroid: Samus Returns, the latter of which we have seen a lot of, and which looks to be a labor of love. Metroid is back after such a long time- may it stick around forever this time. Samus Returns will be launching on the Nintendo 3DS next month, while Metroid Prime 4 is due out exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.