Special Report by Agent Parker
A friend recently drew my attention to the IGN podcast discussing whether or not a new Metroid game would help or hurt the Wii U.
It’s an intriguing argument that, if nothing else, attempts to balance ongoing criticism of Nintendo’s lagging Wii U sales with praise over what perhaps is the greatest trilogy of first-person shooters and certainly the history of one of the first female video game protagonists.
My quick answer? It cannot hurt.
That, however, comes with qualifications.
The Metroid Prime trilogy, which is honestly (and possibly to a fault) how I was first introduced to Samus in a game purely centered around her work as an accomplished bounty hunter, is one of my personal favorite game series of all time.
IGN, for reference’s sake, called the original Prime “a must-have masterpiece,” its sequel a “wholeheartedly entertaining sequel,” and the conclusion “Wii’s best game.” A video review of the compilation trilogy was hailed as “one of the greatest compilation sets in video game history” by the same website now questioning the heroine’s efforts to rebuild Nintendo’s favor in the gaming community.
Prime drew what had always been a side-scroller into a 3D environment, and it did so beautifully. What Nintendo does not need is an HD clone of Prime. It works for some titles, but it will not here.
So what could it use?
In a perfect world, this is an opportunity to finally make Samus the bounty hunter she was meant to be. If dreams came true, we’d get to see her taking on ever-escalating missions to hunt down the worst scum in the universe.
While doing so, she would not only discover traditional upgrades to her power suit. The game could introduce a monetary system to customize the suit and build on a player’s individual strengths.
Die too easily? Buy an armor upgrade. Killed in close-range melee? Enhance your long-range weaponry. After all, the job of the hunter is to be paid a bounty. As far as my knowledge goes, intergalactic cash has never played a significant role in Samus’ exploits.
Above all, a new Metroid game has the ability to make INCREDIBLE use of the Wii U game pad, including expansive details like touch screen controls to scan the environment and dual screen elements like the sniper rifles of ZombiU or simple integration like inventory control. I imagine peering around corners while holding the game pad to get the drop on an unsuspecting thug.
Think Assassin’s Creed meets Watch Dogs meets Metroid. Big things can happen if it’s done right.\
While Nintendo would be playing to its base with a new Metroid game, it does so with each new Pokemon, Mario, Mario Kart, and Smash Bros title. Nobody cries over those ideas.
Sales of the Wii U would dictate that Nintendo has lost its base, so why not send a bounty hunter to bring them back, kicking and screaming if necessary?
Agent Parker is a Northeastern Pennsylvania-based artist, writer, father and geek. Follow his nonsense on twitter @PeterParker_Pa and see his pop culture goodies at PeterParkerPA.com.