A few weeks ago I explored the most recent entries in the 3D Metroid universe, trying to dissect what I thought made them great.
Kotaku's own Stephen Totillo and Kirk Hamilton discuss their impressions of my favorite Nintendo gamer(s) ever, The Metroid Prime Trilogy, hitting many of the same points but also adding some interesting insights. So now that we know what we liked, and in some cases didn't like, about the most recent console Metroid games, why don't we try and hodgepodge together our dream 3D Metroid:
The Scan Visor
What truly made the Prime series, This one is a no brain-er. This adds a way to meaningfully interact with and learn about the expansive and detailed environments.
Big Worlds, But Keep The Isolating Feeling
I don't think anyone will argue with this. Lets get rid of the GF soldiers (moslty), tone down interaction with other hunters in the single player campaign. Let Samus do what she does best. Be a bad ass, on her own, Power Suit v. the Universe.
What Prime had going for it was that the complex, interconnected world! Even though you'd have to double back and revisit familiar locations you never felt like you were retreading old ground. Other M, despite being on a space station had rooms that felt bigger than they were, and I appreciated that. It made the world feel big, even if we was typically stuck on a single lane of movement. I'd love for the bigger environments of Other M to meld with the complexity of Prime. While we're at it let's keep the cliche "Ice, Volcano, Forest" thing to a minimum.
Best of Both Worlds Enemies
The Prime series introduced some fun and interesting enemies, but ended up rehashing many of them over the course of the trilogy, reskinning and renaming. Other M tried reinventing classic Metroid enemies. Let's take a "Best of both worlds" approach. I'd love to battle Crocomire in 3D, along with new and interesting baddies.
Prime 3's Pickup Finding Help
Corruption had a room on Elyssia where you'd use the magnet rails and morph ball to activate satellites that would locate pickups across different worlds. After activating each, a blip would appear on the map showing you the location of a pickup. It was simple and made the late game 100% runs easier when you knew exactly which of the hundreds of pickups you missed.
Nintendo already has a lineup of viable, unique hunters to fill a roster, and both Hunters and Echoes had very solid explorations of a working multiplayer experience. Producing a natural and logical evolution to these should be very simple. Plus Nintendo's recent experience with online play (MK8 and Smash) plus recent explorations of shooters (Splatoon) should really help them develop something polished and most importantly FUN! Add some custom suits, Amiibo Support, and Hunter Ranks and BAM insta-hit.
Multiple Control Choices
One thing the Wii U is not lacking is control options. I personally loved the Wii Remote controls from Prime 3, Stephen and Kirk were not fans (along with other TAY commenters). But we also have the Gamepad and Pro Control, so why not give us a choice? I know this would make building the game a little more complex, especially with lock-ons and how different the gameplay really plays with the Wii Remote against control sticks, but this would be my ideal.
Optional: Motion controls. Again, I loved them in Prime 3. The use of the grapple whip (Even if it was wonky at times) was fun. The twisting key mechanic was immersive. Their use was novel and their conservative and engaging is something I enjoyed.
Other M's Visuals & Flourishes
Graphics have been leaping forward since the original Prime, so I feel comfortable in assuming that whatever happens next for Metroid will look fantastic. That said the Prime series didn't do much for cut-scenes. They had a valiant effort in Corruption with the game saving sequence, but wasn't enough. Those were just too simple and static, but Other M did something that I enjoyed. They took the Save stations and made the experience dynamic simply by adding a moving camera, then added the kill-shots, and climbing up from ledges! Those sort of visual flourishes are things that simply add dynamism to how Samus interacted with the world.
Also, hurdling ledges made everything better. And those were some epic cut-scenes too.
They got it right in Prime 3, and seeing it gone forever would be disappointing. I loved that it gave me a meaningful connection to Samus's gunship.
Because that's a thing... Hell, Nintendo could probably make a whole set specifically of Hunters from the game!
So what is everyone's opinion? What are some must haves for the next 3D Metroid. Start a conversation in the comments below!