In what is the coolest jobs I've ever had, I write about toys for a living. All day, nothing but toys. It's amazing. When I'm not writing at work I'm writing at home, either working on my screenplay or my children's novel. When I'm not doing any of that I try to get in some video game time. I'm currently rocking Nintendo only consoles because dammit, I love Nintendo. More than Nintendo, I love platform games. Even though my favorite game isn't a platformer (The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker), it is my favorite genre of games.
Follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/thekillerbees and add me to your 3DS Friends List (1633-4277-3240 and let me know so I can add you to mine.) I'd love to meet some people who want play some Kid Icarus, Resident Evil: Revelations and Mario Kart 7.
The video games industry loves its side stories. Whereas most gamers just want “true” entries into their favorite series, developers and publishers seem content with bombarding gamers with gaiden. Kingdom Hearts is a prime example of this. All people want is Kingdom Hearts 3 (which will never live up to the hype and will probably have to most convoluted story in history), but instead we get games like Dream Drop Distance and Birth By Sleep.
Another series that has fallen into this trend is one of my personal favorites: Metroid. Metroid 1 landed on the NES, 2 on the Gameboy, 3 was on the SNES and 4 hit the GBA. That was nearly a decade ago. Since then, we’ve ventured into several side stories of the Metroid mythos, including the excellent Prime series and the debatable Other M. We also got our hands on a reimagining of the first Metroid in Metroid Zero Mission (why God why was this not included in the Ambassador Program instead of Mario Kart: Super Circuit?) as well as some multiplayer action in Metroid Prime Hunters. We also played a game of pinball. To some, the series has had its ups and downs. While I still have to beat a few games in the series (Prime 2, Metroid 2 & Prime Hunters), I can say that I’ve never been more excited to dive back into the Metroid Universe on the Wii U. Not the 3DS, sorry, but I want the next Metroid game to be in full HD glory. Beyond that, there are a few more things I’d love to see in the next entry of the series. Starting with...
9) Side Scrolling Action... Let’s be honest: Samus is at her best when she is running from left to right, right to left. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the first person perspective from the Prime series and Other:M had moments of greatness with its 3D perspective; but nothing can compare with the classic Metroid style. Whether it be a planet or a space station, the 2D perspective instantly makes the game both familiar and exciting at the same time. Navigation is easier and you don’t have to bottleneck players as much.
8)...But Don’t Completely Abandon 3D It’s a hard argument to win when you say that the 3D Metroids are better than the 2D ones, but many people still like to push the point. One situation where they are correct is when it comes to boss battles. Yes, the Mother Brain battle at the end of Super Metroid is timeless, but the 3D games have also carved out a spot at the top with their incredible battles. Who can forget fighting Meta Ridley while falling down a shaft? How about the battle with Phantoon at the very end of Other M? Flaahgra? These types of battles would not be possible on a 2D scale. So while I want a side scrolling epic like the days of yore, don’t forget about all the advancements the series has made into the 3D universe. Just know how to implement them intelligently. And if you are going to make only 2D boss battles, make them as interesting as Nightmare in Fusion or Ruins Test in Zero Mission.
7) Continue the Story (But Forget the Monologue) I didn’t hate Other M’s characterization of Samus, I just thought it went too far, she showed her weakness for far too long. I’d rather have a human character than just a silent killer. Link can be silent; there are a dozen of him and I really don’t care to know what he’s thinking. Samus is different. There is only one of her and all these games have been her journey alone to make. So I do want to know what she is thinking, journey with her through her PTSD etc. etc. I just don’t want to listen to her recite her Livejournal for five hours.
As for the story overall, Metroid 4 (aka Metroid Fusion) left us at a great place. We now know the federation is creating their own Metroid, we have the terribly named “X” as a new enemy and dialogue in Metroid Fusion points the idea that there could be more SA-X out there. Plus, with the destruction of the Biological Space Laboratories Space Station, Samus is in trouble with the Federation. I want to see where this story goes. Does Samus have to battle Federation soldiers now? Will Adam come back from the dead, possessed by an “X” parasite? Will Samus become the savior of the Metroid? I want to know what happens next dammit!
6) Explain the Religion of Ridley Okay, so it may not actually be a religion, but the Space Pirates are obsessed with Ridley. With good measure. He can fly through space, heal his wounds by eating the flesh of his enemies, and there are like five versions of the guy. Seriously, throughout the series you fight Ridley, Meta Ridley, Robot Ridley, Omega Ridley and Neo-Ridley. Ridley has been wounded, killed, revived, killed again and copied by the “X” Parasite. In Metroid 5, I want to go to Ridley’s home planet. There has to be more than just one of them. I know that the Metroid series has been about eliminating and/or controlling the Metroid threat, but Ridley is a much bigger threat seeing what he can do. Let’s take a visit to his home planet and see what exactly is there.
5) Explore the Metroid Powered Samus At the very beginning of Metroid Fusion, Samus is saved from the “X” Parasite by having Metroid DNA injected into hers. That explains how she was able to soak up the “X” in forms of energy and missiles. With Metroid now a permanent part of her, along with her Power Suit, it would be interesting to see where this goes. What new powers does Samus have? What new powers can she obtain? Which leads me to...
4) Stop Taking Away Our Powers This is easily the most annoying aspect of most Metroid games. It sucks that nearly every time you’re forced to find all your powers all over again. Prime 3 alleviated this issue a bit, but I think for Metroid 5 we need a whole new way of thinking. We also need new powers. We should no longer have to find the Morph Ball or Space Jump. We shouldn’t have to start with a wimpy blaster and upgrade it so it can be as powerful as it was at the end of the last title.
Instead, give us new powers. Use the continued story line to give us something interesting. SR-388 is gone, but surely there are other planets that Metroids thrived on. Perhaps another Chozo colony planet where your Metroid powers can be explored. Just please, PLEASE, don’t make me wait to the end of the game to get the Screw Attack.
3) Don’t Make Metroid 0 We have Zero Mission, but that’s about as early into Samus’ career as we want to go. No, we don’t not want to see her as a member of the Federation. We do not want to see more of her and Adam. We do not want to see her with short hair again. Go forwards, not backwards.
2) Give Me A Bigger Game World (And Put Me On A Planet) Look, I like the fact that speed runners can complete these games in less than an hour. I myself have knocked out Fusion in just over three without trying to go fast. But I want more. I want a massive game world to explore. I want to venture through dozens of different environments, not just a few. I don’t want to be trapped on a space station, I want to be able to freely explore a planet (or multiple planets). After being restricted in Other M and Fusion, I just want to be free.