We're a bit late to the party with this, but guess what's arrived on the Wii U's Virtual Console?
Nintendo have released Metroid Fusion alongside several other Game Boy Advance titles like Yoshi's Island and Advance Wars for the Virtual Console. This means that the games enjoy all the bells and whistles of the Wii U's VC, including off-TV play on the Gamepad, save states, customizable controls and Miiverse integration. We can also guess that eventually Metroid: Zero Mission will join the library (plus Metroid Prime Hunters and Pinball, thanks to a recent announcement from Nintendo of their intent to have Nintendo DS games join the VC). Good times!
Samus is also shaping up nicely in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS. A recent Nintendo Direct has unveiled Zero Suit Samus, now playable as a separate character to regular armoured-Samus:
Metroid-themed inclusions in the games are plentiful, with a stage modeled after the Geothermal Power Plant from Metroid: Other M, an appearance by Ridley in said stage and assist trophies in the forms of a Metroid, Mother Brain and Dark Samus. The Nintendo 3DS version of the game is said to be released mid-2014, while the Wii U version arrives at the end of the year. Visit the official SSB website for more info!
On this day in the early nineties, in what seems like a life-time ago on March 19, 1994, Super Metroid arrived on the Super Famicom in Japan! This ingenious, fun and and incredibly atmospheric game left an indelible mark on the world of video games and not only paved the way for the future of the Metroid series, but inspired countless others too. It even led to the term "Metroidvania" - games that would take inspiration from Metroid and Castlevania in their style and pacing.
To help celebrate the occasion, a number of fans have produced exciting tributes. Drop by the Metroid Database for a week-long series of features celebrating the game, including artwork, never-before-seen promo material and more! The team from Shinesparkers have also produced a pair of features, one of which is featured in the UK's Official Nintendo Magazine website.
Reinhold Hoffmann from Game-Art-HQ also writes in to let us know that their art community has produced a stunning tribute of exquisite fan art featuring bosses and locations from the game. These pieces are a fantastic testament to how this 20-year old game has captured the imagination and is still relevant to this very day.
If you've somehow managed to avoid playing the game in some form over the past two decades, don't forget that it's waiting for you in the halls of the Virtual Console on Wii and Wii U.
Happy Birthday Samus!
In a somewhat random update, I've reconstructed our offering of the Super Metroid soundtrack to bring it closer to what it actually sounds like in the original Super Nintendo. After learning that I'd encoded the tracks in 44100Hz instead of the Super Nintendo's native 32000Hz output, I couldn't resist going back to redo the lot. While the lower frequency makes it sound slightly more muffled than before, it now sounds much, much closer to the original soundtrack you'd hear while playing Super Metroid on the SNES or the Virtual Console.
I'd also like to take this moment to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a fantastic new year! I have some new things planned for the site in 2014, so be sure to drop by again for a surprise or two.
Word went out last week that the former president of Nintendo, Hiroshi Yamauchi, passed away at the age of 85. His tireless work at the company from 1949 to 2002 saw the emergence of Nintendo's video game juggernaut, along with the creation of series giants Mario, Zelda and Metroid. In those 53 years, he was also instrumental in the flourishing careers of the likes of Gunpei Yokoi and Shigeru Miyamoto.
Nintendo is the company we know and love today thanks to his life's work, and all of our favourite video game characters and worlds are a testament and legacy to this man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time.
As a tribute to Hiroshi Yamauchi, former Nintendo composer Hirokazu "Hip" Tanaka (known to us as the composer of the original Metroid) has produced two fitting remix tracks of the credit themes from Super Mario Land and Metroid.
Alex from The Bro-Cast writes in to inform us of a 120-hour video game marathon his group is performing this week, from August 20-25 starting and ending at 3:30pm EST. They'll be playing through a number of the best-rated video games from 1998-2013, and will be taking donations for the Action Against Hunger Foundation.
In regard to the Metroid: Enemies Within fan-film project, Darren from Shinesparkers has conducted an interview with the lead production team, offering more insight into their motivations and an interesting look at what happens behind-the-scenes.
A new and ambitious fan film project has surfaced recently, known as Metroid: Enemies Within. This project aims to produce a ten-minute live-action film set just after the events of Metroid Prime: Hunters, in which Samus finds herself battling rival hunter Sylux as he plans to destroy the Galactic Federation.
The film's director is Christian Cardona, known for his work as a visual effects supervisor in the film industry. To help fund the project, he's setup a Kickstarter campaign with the hopes of raising $90,000 (USD). This will contribute to the sets, costumes and all other production costs. The film isn't endorsed or sponsored by Nintendo, so hopefully it can still reach completion as a not-for-profit fan production. Check out some behind-the-scenes footage below to see the people involved and how they plan to complete the project. If you feel like donating, the Kickstarter campaign is open now and runs until September 8.
Ever seen something built in a 3D printer? The concept is simple - the machine is given a digital 3D model, and it constructs the object layer-by-layer in the physical world. One Metroid fan is tackling the challenge of using a 3D printer to construct a fully-wearable Varia Suit costume!
Costumer Talaaya has already begun work on the helmet and forearm armour, and the results so far are extremely promising. She plans to ultimately build the entire suit in the style of the Varia Suit seen in Metroid Prime 3. By using the actual 3D models from the game as a base for the costume, the results are amazingly accurate and faithful to the source material.
It's been almost six years since Super Metroid graced the Wii's Virtual Console service, and this Wednesday (US - 15th May) and Thursday (UK - 16th May) marks its arrival on the Wii U's freshly-launched Virtual Console.
This release not only allows off-screen play on the Wii U's gamepad and multiple save-state restore points, the initial price is set at a tiny 30 cents! (or a similar equivalent in your own country). This is part of Nintendo 30th anniversary celebration of the original Famicom's launch in Japan - and as Metroid fans we're all extremely lucky to have this offer available to us. The promotion will last for one month until roughly 13th/14th June, at which point the game will return to its regular price.
The new Virtual Console also plans to have Game Boy Advance games available sometime in the future, so we'll likely see digital downloads of Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission soon!
This Tuesday (19th March - tomorrow!), a new Super Metroid tribute album arrives on iTunes. Titled Super Metroid Symphony by artist Blake Robinson, this album aims to faithfully recreate the entire in-game Super Metroid soundtrack using a synthetic orchestra. The result sounds like a live orchestra, but is built entirely digitally.
If Nintendo ever decided to remake Super Metroid in high definition with an orchestrated soundtrack (or had included more classic themes orchestrated in Metroid: Other M), this tribute is a great intepretation of what we might hear. There's been many covers made for Super Metroid's music over the years, and it's great to have a fresh and faithful album completely orchestrated (at least digitally). Visit Blake's official website for more details and previews.
Remember the wonderful tribute album Harmony of a Hunter released last year? Thanks to the massive efforts of Darren from Shinesparkers and a host of musicians, a sequel called Harmony of a Hunter: 101% Run has arrived and is a fantastic early Christmas present for Metroid fans.
This new album presents remixed tracks from all across the Metroid games, including tracks not found in the first album. New and returning artists have produced amazing renditions of familiar Metroid tunes in a variety of styles. I just want to thank Darren and all the artists very much for their incredible effort in making this project a reality!
Now down to business. The official Harmony of a Hunter website has been refreshed with download links and artwork for both albums. Like last time, we'll be hosting a copy of the album here to help with the server load. Currently the full crossfade versions are available, and the single version tracks will follow soon. Don't miss out!