Another question I would have/should have added up top is what exactly distinguishes Metroids (not metroids) from Metroid-likes, something I don’t think I saw discussed much in the Castletroid thread (nice breakdowns there Gaagaagiins). Which I wonder about for two reasons:
1) Given that the games landscape is so saturated with stuff built on Metroid’s bones, I don’t know, I guess I would think there would be less of a reason to play a Metroid to scratch that itch. Really the only thing I’ve played which comes close is Hollow Knight (and even in that case I guess it’s a matter of aesthetic preference which causes it to fall a hair’s breadth short for me). Furthermore, I guess I’m surprised Super Metroid, Fusion, and Zero Mission† haven’t been more thoroughly surpassed by more high-tech, flashier games. HANG ON. That’s a stupid thing to say—obviously good design doesn’t age. What I really mean is I’m surprised evolving tech/processing power/etc hasn’t inspired any Metroid-likes (since Prime) to push the genre’s design based on what is possible outside of a 32-bit handheld design space.
Thinking about it I suppose I haven’t actually played too many Metroid-likes, but I don’t know, I feel like just simple advances like instant load times and showing more of the screen at once could make for interesting designs. If Nintendo/Mercurysteam insists on new ones being rendered in 3D, maybe experiment with something like Bloodstained’s spiral staircase rooms—not the most elegant design maybe but it did make me stop and go “oh yeah, you can do that in this space.” (Figure out a way to make them more interesting than Bloodstained managed to do.)
No matter how many more of these games come out there’s still the itch to play Metroid. It can’t be replaced.
2) Why look forward to a new one? What distinguishes Metroid 5 (which obviously isn’t being made by Nintendo R&D1) from other new Metroid-likes besides the budget? Is it the budget? Given my screed above I suppose I’m excited it’s being developed for a TV console. Is it the idea of a sequel to Metroid 4? Is it that they’re reviving the title that was announced 15 years ago? Is it the footage/material we’ve seen, or is it the imagined potential of the thing?
†I neglect to mention Metroid and Metroid II because they really are a different kind of game whose design philosophies have not been carried forward within the series.
antillese more of an artistic perspective rather than a market-driven one
Yeah, I just don’t know how much more there is to explore within the specific framework established in Prime 1. If you play Prime 3 you may agree that —this isn’t a spoiler or anything, I just don’t want to ruin your fun— you may agree that it seems the studio wasn’t sure how to advance the series without turning it into a different game, which they didn’t want to commit to all the way because it has to be a Metroid game, or maybe more accurately a Metroid Prime game. In my opinion Prime 3 feels like half-measures of different games which are in conflict with each other. And it talks too much.
antillese I refer to the Metroid games by their numbers
I do this with Fire Emblems 1-10 (further abbreviating to e.g. FE7, 8), I will not be one to judge you buddy boy