Note: I actually wrote this shortly after the Nintendo Direct that was held on the third of March, however I actually forgot all about it until now. Some details will be a bit dated now but my point is still the same.
The controversy that is Metroid Prime Federation Force continues to ravage the gaming public, and ever since the latest Nintendo Direct the outright cries of hatred have been more prominent then the games E3 reveal. In fact it was Nintendo themselves that accidentally fueled the flames of this topic during their direct with a comment that angered many people, all I wonder is why?
From what I can gather in regards to most people’s opinions on the game it is something along the lines of this game not being a Metroid Prime game. The constant insistence seems to stem to Nintendo just making a game and slapping the Metroid Prime label on it regardless of the games gameplay connection to the franchise. In fact it is the gameplay itself that seems to be peoples biggest problem with the game, people seem intent on franchises staying in their genre and not expanding to tell new stories and offer a new experience that might perhaps offer something truly great.
Honestly I know nothing about what this game will offer players, I don’t know if the game is fun, I don’t know if the game will ultimately take shape as a game people will start respecting as a Metroid Prime game in the future. Either way it was Nintendo’s Kensuke Tanabe who really fuelled this brand new war, he stated:
“But what I can say for sure is that Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a game that absolutely belongs in the Metroid Universe.”
Despite using the broader Metroid name he still ties this directly to Prime, and to many Metroid Prime fans this is fighting words when you proclaim that a game belongs with a franchise that they love when it is so much different, but that is the problem they seem to have, they won’t except that the gameplay can change. People seem to be insisting that to be a game in the Metroid Prime franchise you need to feature Samus, be a first person shooter, be full of atmospheric locations, and finally involve several deep environmental puzzles.
A bunch of ideas does not a genre make, Metroid Prime is not defined by what the first three games offered but rather it is defined by its story and to tell this story sometimes you need to switch ideas and show a different side. As we know Metroid Prime Federation Force tells the story of the Galactic Federation and their war to put an end to the galactic pirate menace, this is what defines a Metroid Prime game, it is the continued story that helps to fill in the blanks within the main series.
In fact with this information we know Tanabe was right Metroid Prime Federation Force does fit into the Metroid Prime brand, whether you wish to accept it or not Federation Force is a part of the franchise and does not simply just have a name slapped on.
This of course leads me into my next point about the game switching genres from the typical normality of the Metroid Prime brand. Complain all you want but there is nothing wrong with Nintendo taking the Metroid Prime franchise in a new direction, in fact we must consider that the genre switch is used to benefit the story. A solo first person shooter atmospheric journey would not suit the type of game Nintendo is going for here so with Federation Force being an online multiplayer third person shooter it works to fully tell the story and also provide the team aspect that will be a huge part of the game.
It is this aspect that will truly cement the ideas of the story here, this is a somewhat serious war game and so you need to have multiple people in order to capture the ideas of teamwork against a powerful force. This may break from the series normality, but this provides the best format to tell a huge story in the Metroid universe that could perhaps provide somewhat engaging team gameplay for which it could be enjoyed.
Sorry people, I think it is still fair to complain about the games art direction among other specific things, but in truth there is no reason to continue to complain that this is not Metroid Prime. In combination with the games story and its gameplay Federation Force is very much suited to really be considered a Metroid Prime game. It may not be what we have come to expect and it may not be your typical Prime experience but regardless of genre changes this game still belongs