Metroid is one of the classic Nintendo franchises that doesn’t get a release all too often, but still remains relevant. However the series always seems to have a bad bit of luck when it comes to releasing a new installment. For instance, Super Metroid is an entry that ranks among many gamers top picks, but the game released at the end of the Super Nintendo’s life and we did not see another game for eight years until Metroid Prime.
Like every franchise you can link releases of future installments to how well the previous title preformed. It is a little known fact that Metroid Prime is the best selling game in the series. Soon after its release games saw a release of many new titles both on console and handheld. But all good things must end. The two most recent games, Other M and Federation Force both received mix reviews and backlash from dedicated fans. However, Federation Force could actually be a key to the series making its return.
In the Nintendo DS game, Metroid Prime: Hunters we are introduced to many new bounty hunters who come from all sorts of places within the Metroid universe. One of these bounty hunters is known as Sylux, a character who has a hatred of both Samus and the Galactic Federation, but this does not stop him from using stolen Galactic Federation technology, such as his suit, special weapons and his ship. While he is not present in the story of Metroid Prime 3 if completed at 100% his ship is seen during the ending cut-scene following Samus as she flies away. So, what does this have to do with anything? There is a post credit scene in Federation Force where the player witnesses a figure infiltrate a Galactic Federation base in order to hatch a Metroid egg, the camera zooms back just enough to reveal what very well could be Sylux.
At E3 2015 Metroid Prime series producer, Kensuke Tanabe, did indeed confirm that the ship at the end Prime 3 belonged to Sylux and also expressed interest in creating a game with the main focus being on Samus and Sylux. Sylux’s presence in the post-credit scene at the end of the Federation Force does set the stage for what could a new entry not just for the Metroid franchise but maybe even the Prime series. Federation Force expands the story of the Galactic Federation, this can be used to expand on Sylux’s background with them and players are left on a cliffhanger of him obtaining a Metroid.
Now the question is, who would or is developing this title?
While many people want the Metroid line of games to return to Retro Studios it may not be the best of choices. Not too long after the Prime trilogy was completed many of the developers who worked on it left the company. If Retro Studios was to ever develop another Metroid title it was be fair to assume that it may be very different as it would be developed by a completely new team.
We do know that Nintendo developer, Monolithsoft, is creating a game for the upcoming Nintendo Switch console. While the Monolithsoft games (the Xenoblade series) have had fantastic storytelling in them they are also known for their large scale open worlds, something we have never seen in a Metroid game. However, if Nintendo is trying to create a sort of “Metroid universe” an open world game where Samus visits various planets may be a good way to kick it off.
Finally there is Next Level Games, who once proposed a Metroid game to Nintendo only to have it rejected. But like Retro Studios, Next Level Games has done well with taking Nintendo franchises and rejuvenating them. Thanks to Next Level Games, we have the Mario Strikers series, Punch Out!! (Wii), and Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon. Not to mention they are also responsible for Federation Force meaning they could very well be continuing the story they started.
What do you all think of the future of Metroid? Is the series dead or will a game be announced at the upcoming Switch event in just under two weeks? If Nintendo did not have anything in store for the series why would they create Federation Force? Think about it, if Hyrule Warriors was released with no new Zelda game on the way fans would have the same reaction as they did to Federation Force. Or maybe I’m wrong about all this and Metroid Prime Pinball 2 confirmed!