Resurrected: The games that rose again


Produced by Game Boy creator Gunpei Yokoi, the very first Metroid was released in Japan in 1986 on the Famicom Disk System, before making its way to the US and Europe via the NES in '87 and '88 respectively. It's unique hook was an unconventionally non-linear approach to progression through the game's maze-like levels, in which the cybernetic suited Space Hunter, Samus Aran, had to to locate and destroy Mother Brain - the leader of the planet seizing Space Pirates. Metroid's lead character contradicted trends at the time by being female, although this fact wasn't revealed to players until the game was completed within a certain time limit (anyone completing the game in under three hours was treated to an image of Samus in her undies).

When did the series goice cold?
Nintendo developed a Game Boy only sequel - Metroid II: Return of Samus - before treating gamers to a full blown SNES adventure in 1994 with Super Metroid. A delicious power-up system, monumental boss battles, the unnaturally compelling urge to explore and a palpable atmosphere that seemed to defy the 16-bit limitations of its host all combined to make it one of SNES' - and indeed gaming's - most revered classics and has since enjoyed regular starring roles on countless 'greatest games of all time' list. Needless to say, gamers were left positively ravenous for more...

A new king is born!
Fans hungry for more Samus almost vomited with excitement when Nintendo revealed that not one, but two new Metroid games were on the way - Metroid IV for GBA (later renamed Metroid Fusion) and Metroid Prime for GameCube. Despite this, some purists found cause to complain. The wisdom of Nintendo's decision to task Prime's development to an unproven developer in Retro Studios was questioned, while others feared that the shift to a first-person perspective would result in the devolution of gameplay to an unwelcome shooter style. Thankfully, these fears never materialized and when Prim e was released in 2002 it picked up multiple game of the year awards.

Does it live on?
Nintendo has continued to explore the interstellar adventures of Samus with Metroid Prime 2: Echoes for Gamecube and Metroid Prime Hunters for DS, while also offering a DS spin-off in the shape of Metroid Prime Pinball. Of course, as any Nintendo fan worth their weight in gold mushrooms will know, the series is also on a collision course with Wii and the motion-sensing Metroid Prime 3: Corruption - allegedly the final part of the Prime trilogy - is scheduled to debut sometime in 2007.

Matt Cundy
I don't have the energy to really hate anything properly. Most things I think are OK or inoffensively average. I do love quite a lot of stuff as well, though.