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What's next for Nintendo's best?

Metroid is Nintendo's only franchise that's somewhat grounded with reality. It's filled with humans and humanoid aliens, not talking animals or oddly proportioned plumbers. Fire Emblem is "normal," but it's too faux-Lord of the Rings to step out of that shadow. So the burden falls to Samus to lead the company's one and only "serious" franchise, devoid of jokey sidekicks and silly character designs. It's time the gameplay reflected the seriousness of the concept.

Let's actually think about the setup: bounty hunter travels the galaxy completely alone in search of life-sucking parasites that turn people into dust. Every faction in space is willing to kill the other to harness this monster's power. Bounty hunter explores countless alien worlds without help and hardly any communication with the outside world. Villains include saw-armed pirates, living computers and an armor-plated pteranodon. Planets are filled with unexplained phenomena and hostile, hungry life forms. Knowing this, shouldn't Metroid be a hell of a lot more frightening than it is? We say yes, and the next entry should play up the fright factor.

You're already backtracking, conserving items and looking for safe ways to advance, so why not scare-it-up with some truly nasty monsters that belch armor-melting acid, or some coughed-up blood on the visor? Samus encounters some damn horrific creatures in each game, so imagine how much more intimidating they would be if they actually posed a threat to Samus, who depends almost entirely on her armor to survive.

We see a game where you're terrified to fight Metroids, where your armor can be destroyed. A game that forces Samus to stumble through dark alien worlds with limited resources. How about entire stretches of gameplay with no Chozo armor, just a space suit and a zero-g escape scenario? Let's just hopeDead Spacedoesn't beat Samus to the punch.

They tried turning this series into an online shooter. It didn't really work. So we say try the exact opposite and make a survival-horror solo title that emphasizes the "no one can hear you scream" idea of space travel. We'd also like the storyline to be a bit more understandable than "alien goo comes to life as an evil clone of Samus."

With all this in mind, "Metroid Dread" sounds like it'd make a good title after all.