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The History of Metroid

Another essential element in Super Metroid's success was its phenomenal soundtrack. Game musician Kenji Yamamoto made his debut to create a wonderful soundtrack, that to this day, is still regarded as one of the best videogame scores of all time.

Game magazines of the day praised Super Metroid's beautiful graphics and no-punches-held gameplay, dealing out perfect scores as if it were the Bioshock of its day. Super Metroid is still included today as one of the best games ever made in Top 100 lists across the world.

Unfortunately, the third instalment never did shake off the series tradition of releasing at the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Struggling under immense competition from the pre-rendered loveliness of Donkey Kong Country and the upcoming launches of the PlayStation and Sega Saturn, Super Metroid yet again bombed in Japan.

Strong marketing from Nintendo of America saw increased sales in the West... but not enough to stop it being overshadowed by the other releases of 1994.

And for Metroid that was three strikes - and it was out. All three games had failed to reach the stellar expectations created by the success of Mario and Zelda, and unfortunately in those days Nintendo wasn't too big on funding franchises solely for a Western audience.



Metroid was shelved. After the third game was released R&D1 and Intelligent Systems' worlds were turned upside down. The teams struggled terribly through the Nintendo 64 era, the Virtual Boy killed off half of its resources and founder Gunpei Yokoi - whose influence negotiated most of Metroid's internal funding - left the company and was later tragically killed in a car accident.

A total of six long years past before there was any further sign of Samus...

Intelligent Systems reportedly considered continuing the series on Game Boy Color, but decided against the idea under the logic that it wouldn't be able to surpass Super Metroid on the handheld's dated tech.

Then general manager Shigeru Miyamoto eventually claimed that ideas for a Nintendo 64 Metroid were being pushed around inside Nintendo and according to rumours a project was even started by the reunited Shikamaru team and swiftly canned.

But Metroid wasn't anywhere near the top of Nintendo's priorities. With the Pokémon boom gripping the world, the only chance fans got of controlling a 3D Samus was in all-star Nintendo fighter Super Smash Bros.

But the general public made their wishes known through the internet and at industry trade shows and eventually, pain-painstakingly they finally got what they wanted...

10 comments

  • JosefMotley - January 8, 2010 3:53 a.m.

    they totally ruined metroid when it went 3D. everything that makes it metroid remained (unlike say mario 64) but these traits are the most ill-suited to adapt into a first person game ever. exploration? hard enough in 2D, in 3D the hidden passages and non-linear routes are just intensely frustrating, especially with a HUD that covers so much of the screen you feel completely removed from the action. i spent most of metroid prime rolling around in a ball just so i could actually see what the hell was going on. platforming is something that no first person game has ever done well and this is no exception. lastly the metroid prime games just don't feel anything like the old ones, they feel americanised and generally less cartoony and stylish. they should have just been a seperate series of games rather than running such a beloved and understocked franchise into the ground for the sake of fashion. PAH
  • AyJay - September 21, 2008 2:28 a.m.

    W00t first comment! metroid is always underrated
  • DARK HUNTER - November 17, 2008 8:49 p.m.

    Halo got boring real quick. Metroid prime did'nt. I have the first two in the trilogy and i'm going to get the third and i can say that between halo and metroid, i'd pick metroid. Metroid prime 1, 2 and 3 are awsome games and last longer and do better than halo. i like first person shotters and all, but halo is justlike every other shooter, while metroid should be in its own genre. It is that different feel that metriod gives that makes it way better than playing halo over and over.
  • Nodoudt - August 28, 2009 1:33 a.m.

    And I agree with Dark Hunter, Metroid beats Halo 1-3 ANY DAY. Hands down.
  • Cyberninja - August 25, 2009 7:32 p.m.

    the 2d metroids are the best
  • ihopethisisnotantistasblood - September 20, 2009 4:59 p.m.

    "Metroid Prime Hunters online beats Halo online" come on, i'm a metroid fan and i don't like halo that much but i know that's a big lie
  • madasivad - September 3, 2009 1:14 a.m.

    Return of Samus didn't introduce the Wave Beam or Bombs. It did introduce the Spider Ball though.
  • Dread - September 2, 2009 10:20 p.m.

    Why the hell does it say it doesnt rival the legend of zelda?Ive played nearly all of the legend of zeldas except oracle of seasons/ages & 4 swords, Metroid sick owns Zelda. Maybe not Mario but still.The only Metroid game i havent playd r Metroid 2. Metroid Prime Hunters online beats Halo online,but i think its a tie on which franchise its bettr since Metroid doesnt really hav multiplayer games except Hunters & Echoes.
  • Edge2k10 - August 30, 2009 7:29 p.m.

    I didn't realize that Metroid had such a struggle to get off the ground. It's very fortunate that Nintendo finally realized how to market the series.
  • Nodoudt - August 28, 2009 1:32 a.m.

    A little bit of me died inside when the gave this to Ninja...Next thing you know it's gonna be Metroid Extreme Beach Volleyball o_O

Showing 1-10 of 10 comments

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