Tag Archives: Dread

Metroid Dread Producer Hopes Fans Look Forward To “Future Episodes” Once The Current Story Arc Concludes

Metroid Dread© Nintendo

Metroid Dread is the fifth entry in the original Metroid series and it’s coming to the Nintendo Switch this October.

As already detailed, this is the first Metroid game with a new story in roughly 19 years and continues the tale of the interconnected fates of the famous bounty hunter Samus Aran and the Metroids. It also happens to be the conclusion to this particular story arc.

There’s no need to worry about this core series potentially ending, though. Not long after the E3 reveal, producer Yoshio Sakamoto told Japanese publication Famitsu how there was more to come – teasing “future episodes”, while at the same time reiterating how this is the “final chapter” in this particular story arc for Samus.

Here’s the full translation, courtesy of Nintendo Everything:

“This is the last chapter in the series so far, the final chapter about the shared fate and adversarial relationship Samus shares with the Metroid. This isn’t the end of the Metroid series. We don’t want that, I’m sure fans don’t want that, and we hope you’ll look forward to what’s coming in future episodes.”

Sakamoto previously mentioned how the team hoped players would “wonder” what exactly the end of the story arc meant as they played through Metroid Dread:

“The series has chronicled the uncanny relationship between these Metroids and the heroine Samus, but this game will mark the end of that story arc.

“We’re hoping fans of the series will wonder “what does ‘mark an end to the story arc’ mean?” as they play the game.”

What do you think Samus’ future adventures might be like when this current arc comes to an end? How would you like to see the core Metroid series evolve in the future? Leave your thoughts down below.

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This post originally posted here Nintendo Life | Latest News

Talking Point: Can Metroid Dread Be The Franchise’s ‘Awakening’?

Over the weekend our lovely folk in the video team posted a detailed chat, above, asking a simple but intriguing question — “Why hasn’t the Metroid series traditionally sold well?” It’s a good question, and it feels like one with a lot of varied answers. Let’s summarise a few, before shifting to a fully optimistic outlook on the upcoming Metroid Dread.

The series has a long history, from the NES through to 3DS and — very soon — Switch. Even accounting for the potentially loose nature of some sales data, it’s perhaps unsurprising to see that the original game is the second best-selling entry in the series, The NES boomed and that original game undoubtedly caught the imagination.

The number one best-selling game in the series, it seems, is Metroid Prime, which was a revelation for the franchise but also in gaming at the time. Retro Studios produced a showcase not only for the GameCube, but of 3D gaming technology, coupling it with incredibly atmospheric settings and shifting from the series’ explorative 2D gameplay to the third dimension and a first-person perspective, doing so in a way that made the leap obvious and elementary.

Metroid Dread Art© Nintendo

Even taking into account the potential incompleteness of these figures (which can’t account for Virtual Console downloads across multiple generations of Nintendo hardware, for example), the fact that sales figures for the series put the best-seller at below three million is a sure indication that the series has never truly taken off, at least not by Nintendo’s lofty standards. While many devoted Nintendo fans reel off the Metroid name alongside the likes of Mario and The Legend of Zelda, the reality is that the actual sales have never been in the same ballpark. Though some may disagree and argue over examples, Nintendo has also tried various approaches to push the brand — 2D games on console and handheld, the Prime series, attempts to focus on multiplayer. It’s never quite worked on a mainstream level, even when some of the games have been critically acclaimed.

While many devoted Nintendo fans reel off the Metroid name alongside the likes of Mario and The Legend of Zelda, the reality is that the actual sales have never been in the same ball park.

As discussed in the video, it does seem like Nintendo has been both unlucky and a little error-prone with the series. The Prime series is wonderful, but two of the games were on GameCube, a system that struggled to sell; only the Wii U has done worse for the company as a home console. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was perhaps a surprise in its struggles, though Nintendo then made Metroid Prime Trilogy more of a retail collector’s item so it never had the opportunity to take off; remember, in the Wii era you could not download retail titles, the infrastructure wasn’t in place.

Even more recently, Metroid: Samus Returns is an excellent game that arrived on 3DS after the Switch had been on the market for around six months. Players with a limited budget to buy games would have hesitated about buying a new 3DS title when they wanted to sink their money into either picking up a Switch or growing their library on the new hardware.

You can go through many releases and find various factors that may have held Metroid back, but a key issue is that the IP has never quite found a foothold in Japan. Not only will that be disappointing to the creative teams throughout the series’ history, but it will have influenced Nintendo’s focus on the IP; in fact as a franchise with relatively modest sales it’s had more than its share of games. When you combine awkward release times, development cycle challenges and the fact it’s not a banker in Nintendo’s domestic market, it’s no surprise that support has been uneven.

The hope will be that it can be a breakthrough moment in a similar manner to Fire Emblem: Awakening on 3DS, when a near-abandoned franchise took off and became a staple of Nintendo’s first party output.

Despite all this, though, perhaps Metroid Dread is actually arriving at a good time for a change, and on popular and still lucrative hardware. In fact, as we’ve riffed on in the headline, the hope will be that it can be a breakthrough moment in a similar manner to Fire Emblem: Awakening on 3DS, when a near-abandoned franchise took off and became a staple of Nintendo’s first party output. Perhaps Dread, unlike many of its predecessors, could be lifted to heights that recalibrate Nintendo’s focus, and prioritisation, of the series and its upcoming games, from Metroid Prime 4 and beyond.

Though the E3 Nintendo Direct emphasized it as ‘Metroid 5’, it wouldn’t surprise us if a lot of marketing — particularly that on social media and TV advertising — shies away from that sequel focus. As a gateway to the series, instead, Dread has an opportunity. It’ll arrive on the same day as the Nintendo Switch OLED model (8th October), so will benefit from the increased attention and publicity of that updated hardware. That will be in the beginnings of the frenzied Holiday shopping season, also, and will sit alongside Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl on shelves through November and December as a very different option as more and more consumers browse Switch titles.

The Switch continues to thrive and sell in significant numbers, and we’ve already seen how that interprets into giving franchises renewed sales growth; perhaps unlike the days of the Wii, as an example, there’s clearly a significant attach rate of Switch owners buying a variety of games, especially anything first-party. Dread will have a new system iteration, early festive sales, even Halloween vibes with that name all in its favour. If Nintendo pushes the boat out and invests in heavy marketing, which would seem likely at this stage, it could become the best-selling Metroid game of all time; that’s not exactly a lofty target, but it could go far beyond what its predecessors achieved in pure sales.

Perhaps, after misfires, bad luck and unfortunate chains of events, the Metroid series will have a true blockbuster hit. If so, a fan-favourite series could finally break through to mainstream sales success. If Fire Emblem can do it, Metroid definitely stands a chance.

Further reading:

Random: Internet Goes Wild Over One Incredibly Small Detail In Metroid Dread

Not only will we be seeing the return of Samus very soon but also MercurySteam – the same Spanish studio behind Metroid: Samus Returns on the 3DS. Metroid Dread Producer, Yoshio Sakamoto, recently noted how this team is “extremely talented”, technically skilled, and has an “incredible understanding” of Metroid games.

It seems the Spanish-based studio is also rather impressive when it comes to attention to detail – with eagle-eyed fans discovering how the famous intergalactic bounty hunter will hold onto a wall in Metroid Dread to help her balance while shooting her arm cannon:

The reaction to this eventually got the attention of one of the senior gameplay/player programmers at MercurySteam – who was glad to see fans had spotted the small detail. The developer’s post about this has since blown up – with over 18K Likes.

@MetanoKid: “They noticed…Okay, this blew up! Inmensely thankful for your kind words everyone! We’re feeling your love”

Will you be checking out Metroid Dread when it arrives on the Nintendo Switch this October? Leave a comment down below.

This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

Talking Point: Why Metroid Dread Will Be Worth $60

Metroid Dread EMMI Attack© Nintendo

With the announcement of Metroid Dread, a brand new 2D entry in the 35-year-old franchise that lends its name to an entire genre, the majority of reactions we’ve seen online have been overwhelmingly positive. As you may have noted with our rather comprehensive coverage since the game’s E3 reveal, we’re definitely in the positive camp; it is, after all, a brand new 2D Metroid coming 19 years after the last brand new installment, and it looks fantastic.

We have noticed, however, a small contingent of discontented gamers (unusual, we know!) questioning not only the involvement of developer MercurySteam, Nintendo’s partners with on this project, but also Dread’s $ 60 price tag.

From our point of view, both criticisms feel very odd. MercurySteam surely passed its Metroid ‘test’ with flying colours with the incredible Metroid: Samus Returns on 3DS. We love that game — the only real issue it suffered from was a late arrival on a system very much in Switch’s shadow at the time.

And the second point regarding price? Needless to say that everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but from our perspective it’s something of a non-argument. All evidence indicates that Metroid Dread is absolutely the type of full-fat meaty release we’d expect to pay full price for.

Let’s look at just a few reasons why that’s the case…

It’s a new Metroid game, innit

Switch MetroidDread Screen 03© Nintendo

In terms of sales, Metroid certainly isn’t a marquee name that draws in millions of players — not in the way that Mario or Zelda does. It does alright for itself (the latest estimates put series sales at just over 18 million copies total), and it’s always been more popular in the West than Japan, but the phenomenal mainstream success of games like Smash Bros. and the Animal Crossing series in the last decade has only sent Metroid further down the rankings of bankable first-party IP. The games might be (mostly) great, but system-sellers they are not and historically they simply can’t compete (in worldwide sales terms) with Nintendo’s evergreen heavy hitters.

Samus Aran, however, still occupies a place in the hearts and minds of Nintendo fans, and the success of Switch gives Metroid the best chance in many years to hit the broadest possible audience. A Metroid game on Wii U would have been fantastic for the faithful few, but it would have hit a tiny subset of another subset of players who were both a) Metroid fans, and b) Wii U owners. Conversely, since the E3 reveal of Dread on Switch, we’ve had our mothers texting us asking who this Metroid dude in the orange helmet is; oh if only they’d cleared Metroid to see the truth!

It’s taken many years, but now is the perfect time to capitalise on the success of Nintendo’s latest console to grow awareness of the series itself, to put an all-time great gaming series in front of millions of new players — players who have got used to paying for quality…

Nintendo never knowingly undervalues its software

Metroid Zero Mission GBA© Nintendo Life

At the time of writing, Zelda: Breath of the Wild is on offer on Switch eShop at 33% off. Not the biggest discount in the world, certainly, but that’s still a decent chunk off a celebrated first-party game. In the past Nintendo might throw more casual players a bone occasionally — a Player’s Choice line, perhaps, or very occasionally a Captain Toad that doesn’t launch for $ 60+ — but generally it’s still a shock to see a Nintendo game on sale.

In fairness, offers on its digital catalogue are becoming more common, but despite a race to the bottom elsewhere in the industry, it famously remains one of the few companies (Activision being another) that refuses to deep-discount its software. We’re used to paying full price for Nintendo games, and only those who haven’t been paying attention would think Metroid would be any different.

Dread has been in development for years

Switch MetroidDread Screen 07© Nintendo

As longtime Metroid series producer Yoshio Sakamoto has discussed, the Metroid Dread name and ‘game concept’ first began development a whopping 15 years ago. It was shelved for a period and subsequently revived a few years ago with MercurySteam onboard following the success of Samus Returns.

Obviously, Nintendo’s R&D budget is a vague, amorphous monster fed by profit from every piece of hardware and software the company releases, but the point is that those costs must be covered. At different times over the last decade and a half, this project has soaked up resources and Nintendo will be seeking to recoup as much of that investment as possible. Like any business would. It’s looked at the game, looked at the market and chosen a price it believes the market can support. Like any company does.

2D or otherwise, it’s a new game — of course it’s $ 60

Switch MetroidDread Screen 10© Nintendo

We’ve seen comments (not the majority, it must be said) that as a 2D game, Metroid Dread simply isn’t ‘worth’ $ 60. It’s tempting to get facetious here, but let’s try and keep things classy.

Simply put, the fact that a game features a 2D perspective doesn’t mean it’s somehow ‘simpler’ or ‘easier’ to make than a game with a free-roaming 3D camera. Even sprite-based 2D platformers are built in 3D engines these days and they often perform clever tricks with perspective and focus. They’re ‘2D’ in sense that you view them from a fixed side-on angle, but they’re often nothing like the 2D sprite-based platformers of old, even if they’re designed to emulate that style.

A game of Metroid Dread’s complexity (with all its background elements, lighting, perspective changes, effects and more) isn’t ‘just’ 2D, then, and the idea that fixed-perspective games are somehow worth less is, frankly, risible. Smash Bros. is a side-on fighting game based heavily on the previous entry in a long-running series — should that not be a full price game? Would you not expect to pay $ 60 if Nintendo put out a new 2D Mario? After all, it’s only 2D, amirite?!

$ 60 is the going rate for top-tier Nintendo games. Everything we’ve seen so far suggests Metroid Dread is going to be one of those.

It’s not an indie game, it’s a new Metroid game

Switch MetroidDread Screen 04© Nintendo

Comparisons between Dread and the many indie Metroidvanias is something else we’ve seen a lot of. It’s natural to draw those comparisons, but contrasting this with something like Hollow Knight, for instance, isn’t fair or helpful in understanding why Hollow Knight is $ 15 versus Dread’s $ 60.

Nintendo knows what it’s got here; a B-tier price would suggest a B-tier game, and the company believes (quite rightly based on what we’ve seen so far) that Metroid Dread is A-game material

The bare fact is that Team Cherry (much like any indie studio looking to get attention on its game) needed to gain a foothold in a crowded market and ‘undervalued’ Hollow Knight out of the gate. If Hollow Knight had launched at, say, $ 40 — a price many players would have been happy to pay in retrospect — would it have taken off and become the word-of-mouth phenomenon it has? It’s impossible to know for sure, but we’d argue not. The barrier to entry had to be lower to attract attention and build a following.

Ignoring for a moment the contrasting overheads of a small indie studio versus a company of Nintendo’s scale, directly comparing Hollow Knight to Metroid also underplays 35 years of history, iteration, branding, hype, and sheer quality associated with the series. There’s a heritage to respect and uphold, and expectations to meet.

“Why don’t they give the Metroid series to [insert amazing indie Metroidvania dev here], then?” is a question you frequently see on forums, but this ignores the fact that whoever you give it to — whatever the size of the talented indie studio who should be handed the ‘keys’ to the franchise — a new ‘numbered’ Metroid sequel will be priced at $ 60, regardless.

Nintendo knows what it’s got here; a B-tier price would suggest a B-tier game, and the company believes (quite rightly based on what we’ve seen so far) that Metroid Dread is A-game material.

Nintendo has fallen short in the past, of course, but not only is Dread a new Metroid game, it’s a new 2D entry billed as a conclusion to a 35-year-old story arc. Metroid fans have been asking for exactly this for so long; of course they’ll pay $ 60 for it. They’ll pay much more than that if pre-orders of the Special Edition and the accompanying amiibo pack are anything to go by.

of all the games we’ve paid top dollar for over the years, the Metroid games are some of the best value investments we ever made in terms of the hours played and enjoyment derived

The value of games old and new is a huge subject that attracts all sorts of opinions. That’s fine — we’re not trying to silence that debate here — but the insinuation that 2D games, and 2D Metroid games in particular, aren’t worth paying full price for feels absurd. Don’t get us wrong, value for money is very important, but of all the games we’ve paid top dollar for over the years, the Metroid games are some of the best value investments we ever made in terms of the hours played and enjoyment derived.

And if that’s not enough for you, well, Metroid games historically hold their value well; try picking up a GBA copy of Metroid: Zero Mission for $ 60 and you’ll see what we mean. Metroid Dread is already topping Amazon’s “Best Sellers” chart, so ironically the plentiful supply of this upcoming game should keep resale prices sensible. At least once it has been released.

Regardless of how good or bad the game turns out to be, though, we have zero reason to believe $ 60 isn’t a fair asking price.

This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

Metroid 5 – Metroid Dread coming to Nintendo Switch in October before Prime 4

“Feel Samus’ power grow as you gain maneuvers and abilities. Acquire new and familiar abilities as you traverse the many environments of this dangerous world.

“Parkour over obstacles, slide through tight spaces, counter enemies, and battle your way through the planet. Return to areas and use your new abilities to find upgrades, alternate paths, and a way forward.

“Explore the sprawling map, evade and destroy E.M.M.I. robots, and overcome the dread plaguing ZDR.”

Expect more news regarding Metroid Dread before it arrives on Nintendo Switch consoles on October 8 2021.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Gaming Feed