Nintendo's latest entry in the Metroid series has arrived in North America and Japan on the Nintendo 3DS, closely followed by European and Australian releases in early September. It's not what we were expecting - Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a co-op based shooter focusing on a team of Galactic Federation marines as they tackle missions throughout the galaxy.
Initial reviews and impressions are mixed, and the New Nintendo 3DS with its extra analog stick also sounds like the right way to go (remember having sore hands with Metroid Prime Hunters on the original DS?). I don't have a 3DS myself so I'm not sure when I'll give this one a try, but the Metroid Database have had some initial impressions that are worth reading if you're on the fence about this one.
Nintendo are always trying something new and quirky so hopefully this experiment will ultimately lead us back to a new adventure with Samus herself. Enjoy the game!
Looking for your Metroid fix in these quiet days? A pair of special features have arrived online and both are an absolute treat.
Rainfall Films, a media production company with ties to the film and television industry, has produced Metroid: The Sky Calls - a short live-action Metroid fan film depicting our favourite bounty hunter in action. In short, after watching the film, words fail me... This is absolutely amazing! It's utterly stunning - superb atmosphere, beautiful visuals and a sweet musical score to boot. I'm a terrible critic when it comes to these things, but rest assured - you're in a for a blast for the next 11 and a half minutes.
Want more? CapCom and Infinity's End at the Metroid Database have recently finished a five-year-long journey to bring a Japan-only manga to the western world. Metroid: Samus & Joey is a non-canon original story featuring the adventures of Joey - Samus' first disciple after she saves him from a vicious Space Pirate attack. If you enjoy reading manga this is essential reading!
Special thanks to CapCom and Infinity's End for painstakingly translating the manga!
Deeply sad news has broken at Nintendo of Japan. Nintendo's CEO and president, Satoru Iwata, has passed away from a bile duct growth this past weekend.
Starting as a software developer at HAL Laboratory in the 1980s, Mr. Iwata assisted in the development of the early Nintendo game Balloon Fight, and in the following years EarthBound and the Kirby series. Eventually moving to the executive side of the business, Mr. Iwata succeeded the previous Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi in 2002. Since then he oversaw a massive swathe of Nintendo's history (including a major part of the Metroid saga), from the GameCube console right up to the current Wii U.
Thank you, Mr. Iwata, for your life's work. Thank you for watching over Nintendo as president these past thirteen years, and may you rest in peace. My sincerest condolences and prayers go out to his family and friends, and all those affected by this terrible loss.
"Video games are meant to be just one thing: fun, fun for everyone."
E3 has come and gone for the year, and this time we have an interesting (if unexpected) surprise from Nintendo...
Metroid Prime: Federation Force is an upcoming first-person 4-player co-op game developed by Next Level Games and set for release on the Nintendo 3DS in 2016. I think most Metroid fans didn't seen this spin-off coming, and it's already stirred up some controversy online. Instead of focusing on Samus' bounty hunting exploits, the game gives up to four players control of a squad of Galactic Federation troopers as they team up and tackle co-operative-based missions. The story will centre on the ongoing conflict between the Federation and Space Pirates. The game is also bundled with a handy competitive multiplayer mode in Metroid Prime: Blast Ball.
As for the future of the main series, Eurogamer learns from Metroid Prime producer Kensuke Tanabe that we may not see one until Nintendo's next home console (currently known as NX). On the bright side, the Eurogamer interview also solves a mystery from the epilogue from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (spoilers!).
Metroid Prime: Federation Force might not be Metroid Prime 4, but I think Nintendo might be on to a fun formula regardless. Personally I've always enjoyed co-operative games, so having a co-op experience in the Metroid universe sounds very promising. Check out some great footage below from Nintendo Treehouse Live at E3 to see the game in action.
Good news for Virtual Console fans - Metroid: Zero Mission arrives this week in Europe and Australia on the Wii U's eShop!
Japan has had the game available on their local eShop since June last year, and hopefully North America will follow suit soon. With the GBA titles now covered, we may yet see Metroid: Other M and the Nintendo DS duo Metroid Prime Hunters and Metroid Prime Pinball on the eShop someday - that would make every Metroid game (except Metroid II) playable on the Wii U, not bad!
Did you miss out on the original Wii release of the Metroid Prime Trilogy? In the latest Nintendo Direct, we learn that starting with Super Mario Galaxy 2 - right now! - Nintendo will begin releasing digital versions of Wii games on the Wii U's eShop Virtual Console. Metroid Prime Trilogy will arrive on the service on January 29 in both Europe and North America for €19.99 / £17.99 / $19.99. If you grab a copy within the first week you'll save 50% off that price. Don't miss out on the saving!
While many of you are likely enjoying Samus' escapades in the latest Smash Bros. games (I'm still working through Hyrule Warriors - it's been a busy holiday season!), I'd like to take a moment to wish you all a Merry Christmas! Stay safe, enjoy the festivities and be kind to your loved ones. See you on the other side in 2015!
At last, composer Sam Dillard's album Metroid Cinematica is now available for download! Sam has spent around a year producing this exquisite 16-track album, and if you're a fan of Metroid's music, this is something you don't want to miss out on.
The album draws on familiar themes from the likes of Metroid, Super Metroid and Metroid Prime, but also offers a unique and epic orchestral vibe. The album can be found on Apple iTunes and Google Play, or you can pick it up at Loudr and name your own price starting at $9.99 (hint: it's worth every cent!).
Visit the official website for more info and previews!
If that's not enough to fill your auditory needs, how about another 101 tracks of Nintendo-themed goodness?
We're a bit late in reporting this (sorry Darren!), but from the makers of Harmony of a Hunter comes a new fan-arranged musical compilation called Harmony of Heroes. This one focuses on the Smash Bros. franchise - and by extension - every Nintendo character seen in the series so far!
A large number of musicians involved in the Harmony of a Hunter albums return to present new tracks, and with the huge variety of franchises covered from Mario to Zelda, this is something very special and not to be missed. Visit the Harmony of Heroes website for more information and download links (be warned, it's a huge download!).
Composer and master musician Sam Dillard, whom you might remember as one of the contributors to the Harmony of a Hunter projects (Into the Green World, The Crimson Depths and Beyond the Glass to name but a few), is busy preparing an awesome new treat for fans of Metroid's musical score. Titled Metroid Cinematica, this feature-length soundtrack will offer a rich cinematic score, and is Sam's take on what the soundtrack of a feature-length Metroid movie might sound like.
Simply put, I'm a huge, huge fan of Sam's exquisite efforts in the Harmony of a Hunter soundtracks, so this is going to be an epic treat for all of us. Sam plans to release the soundtrack in October on iTunes, Loudr and other audio platforms, so we don't have long to wait!
Ready for another Metroid gaming marathon? Metroid HQ are currently running their annual (and fourth) gaming marathon over the next week until July 22nd, featuring every game in the Metroid series. They'll be raising money for the Child's Play Charity, who provide gaming consoles and games for sick children in hospitals and therapy centres. This also marks their tenth anniversary on the internet - well done guys! These marathons are always great to watch, so swing by and donate if you can!