When it comes to franchises from Nintendo there is none more sought after by major fans of the company then that of the Metroid franchise. The adventures of Samus Aran are much loved journey’s which we take on that provide a much needed difference from a lot of what Nintendo offers. But I feel there is much that can be done with the franchise both within the boundaries of the game space as well as outside in the real world, so here are five things I want to see from the Metroid series in the future most of which pertain to the hope of a Wii U release.
A deep and compelling story
Fans of the Metroid series are likely to remember the dark horse of the Metroid franchise, Metroid Other M. The game took a much different route to the franchises previous entries twisting in a change of design, as well as a major emphasis on story. This feature of story actually annoyed players of Metroid Other M for some reason I can’t comprehend, as it tried to add some humanity to Samus as a character, though many complained about this stating it made Samus seem mopey. To be honest, this is actually one of the biggest things I loved about Other M, the story really added to Samus and helped to explore some of the experiences the character has been through. This is something I want to see again, I am not a fan of the whole silent protagonist theme in Metroid as has been the case with many of the entries in the franchise and Other M really highlighted that for me. Samus clearly has a lot that can be explored, plenty of thoughts and feelings that can be explored in the game. However, this does not have to be through Samus herself, as nice as it is to hear from Samus directly I also feel Nintendo taking the whole narrator approach to explore Samus’s feelings at major story arcs can also carry the story effectively.
Just as we can go deep with Samus herself, there is also potential for a deeper exploration of the world itself and the story within it. For a story from the world I like to think of The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask, this particular game broke the Zelda franchise into a whole new territory with strong themes and truly meaningful story to back it up. Should they choose to this could easily be done with the Metroid franchise, the game could easily have Samus exploring some planet on a job and have the world tell a deep story of sadness and regret, exploring harsh themes and providing a truly thought provoking experience can really add to and benefit the games themselves. I often find deeper stories make me think more about these games and really provide a lasting effect that makes them memorable in my mind and Metroid has a lot of potential for such things. In the past the franchise has explored such themes in its worlds but a closer analysis story wise would really be great.
Decent multiplayer mode
It wasn’t until a few weeks before I started writing this that I discovered that the Metroid franchise had a multiplayer mode at one point, the game was Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. For many this was not really the highlight of the experience, whether because it lacked lasting value or because the story was more worth player’s time I cannot say. However, I think it is time that we saw multiplayer come back for the franchise and delivered as the masterful experience we all know it can be. Assuming they decide to go for the first person shooter perspective again this would be perfect, first person shooters have become a stable of our modern gaming experience and have grown to be some of the biggest multiplayer games around, and this is something Metroid can use to its advantage. Over the years we have seen team based events, free for all and a whole heap of other gimmick styled events but they have worked and have grown to be something we love and respect and Metroid can do just that. Piggybacking off the success of other shooters and adding the Metroid difference there is plenty of potential for a strong multplayer mode that could include epic space battles, I imagine a team deathmatch mode that is bounty hunters in Samus uniforms verses aliens, this could simply be something I lifted from another game but it is possible. There is plenty of potential for the franchise to adapt a heavy multiplayer side and surely if done right it could be met with great results or both online and local players. Perhaps one day we might even see a multiplayer focused Metroid game, who knows.
Interesting Gamepad usage
Since the beginning of the franchise, Metroid has not really changed, sure with the years the perspective has seen changes and story become a major contributor, but gameplay wise the franchise is the same as ever. But the franchise can change, it has the potential to inherit new ideas and evolve into something better. One such idea is through the use of the gamepad, if we think about it Nintendo would be likely to use the gamepad for a map, which is fine, but there is more including other menu options which tie in with the game as a whole. As we know from playing many of the past Metroid games we receive power ups and new abilities as we progress which work out well for the games puzzle solving. Using the gamepad I think it could be interesting to allow the ability to switch between certain types of beams, suits and other power ups which would then tie in to the games puzzle solving with the need to switch abilities for a variety of situations, something that I don’t believe has been done in the franchise as of yet.
Metroid Prime gameplay
When Metroid Prime first showed up on the Gamecube it showed a dramatic change from the franchises stables that had existed since back on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. However even for the change many found it to be one of the best things could have been done, the franchise jumped out of the route of 2D sidescroller, and instead became a first person shooter but with a difference. Instead of focusing on shooting enemies every five seconds, the game stuck to the series roots and emphasized upon exploration and even used the first person perspective in many interesting ways. After playing Metroid Prime I feel like if we happen to get a Metroid game on the Wii U this would be the perfect perspective for the game, with several options available that can be used in this perspective.
Metroid bundled in with a console
Metroid is one of those franchises which among the Nintendo fanbase or at least the Metroid fanbase is well known and mostly loved but outside of that the franchise is not really that well known. Unlike Nintendo’s other franchises such as Mario, Zelda and even Splatoon which are getting recognition for coming with consoles Metroid does not get that same luxury and remains in the dust of Nintendo’s bigger franchises. This is what is great about bundles, the games that come with them feel like they are some of the best things the console can offer and like they want you to buy them meanwhile other games just sit in the back waiting for someone to notice their existence. This isn’t always the case but is often true, and games like Metroid need this attention, it can be considered that to not be worthy of a bundle the game itself is not worthy of being played and when you think about Nintendo has been doing that for years. Metroid sits at the back of the shelf as people stroll by shyly crying “pick me” and remains ignored and a better way to truly put a game on the map is to bundle it. The game gets recognition and the franchise itself gets noted by fans and the general gaming public and it is great for its future. I know for a fact if Metroid was announced to be coming and Nintendo then said they were going to bundle the game with the console there is quite a number of people who would buy it, from a business standpoint this is great for selling consoles and shining a light where it is needed. This is unlikely to happen but I hope it does.