In an announcement made through Twitter, Nintendo has delayed the release of Metroid Prime: Federation Force in all regions. The initial Japanese release was slated for June, but it is now scheduled for an August 25 release. The vague Spring window for America and Europe has been specified to August 19 for America, and September 2 for Europe.
The release was delayed due to ‘balance adjustments,’ which is understandable given the co-operative nature of the game. Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a major departure for the series, focusing on short bursts of mission-based co-operative play, rather than the isolation and lengthy adventures of previous titles. Existing footage shows a tight, polished multiplayer shooter, but little of the classic Metroid appeal that fans crave.
The previous Metroid title to launch was the poorly-received Metroid: Other M for the Wii, back in 2010. For the much-loved franchise to resurface with such a significant departure is disheartening, particularly in the year of its 30th anniversary, but Federation Force deserves a fair chance. At the very least, it’s a sign of life for an otherwise quiet franchise, but it could well stand as a valuable, unique component in the Metroid legacy. This change in pace could well pay off, and might pave the way for other dormant Nintendo franchises to finally make their return.