Nintendo is finally bringing back some sweet 2D Metroid action
Nintendo showed off a fair bit of content and information for the newly announced soon-to-be released 3DS game Metroid Samus Returns on their Treehouse Live E3 2017 stream.
Treehouse was accompanied by producer Yoshio Sakamoto, who gave us a big insight into the production of Metroid Samus Returns. Sakamoto was not directly involved with the Original Metroid II release, and talked about how that helped him have a fresh and alternate take on this new version, as it was this teams first encounter with the Metroid’s home planet of SR388.
He went on to say that one thing that is very important about Metroid II is the first encounter with Samus and a baby Metroid. Sakamoto wanted to brush it up and reintroduce that very crucial part of the storyline to fans, both new and old.
The 3DS’ ability to have the game screen and map screen displayed at the same time was vital to the decision of making it on 3DS. Not only used for the map, the touch screen can also be used for weapon selection, among other features. Another factor that made this game bound for 3DS was the stereoscopic 3D visual display. Sakamoto commented that this made it “so impactful and effective in bringing this world to life.” (You can download a trailer of Metroid Samus Returns on your Nintendo 3DS now to see the stereoscopic 3D for yourself)
Another big feature to Samus Returns is the use of the Circle Pad, having the ability to aim 360º made aiming anywhere not only possible but vital to the gameplay of this new version, and Sakamoto went on to say that he felt that it completely changes the way you play the game.
During the stream Nintendo showed us a new timing based ability called “Melee Counter” (shown in picture to the left), which lets Samus to counter enemy attacks. Sakamoto mentioned that this idea actually came from the developers at Mercury Steam, and that this ability impacts the whole Metroid gameplay experience. He went on to say that in previous Metroids the only option to dodge an enemy’s attack was to jump, and this allows another option to deal with them.
New abilities were shown off during the Treehouse stream. “Scan Pulse” gives the player the ability to scan for secrets through the different environments, but it uses up your Aeion energy. Another new ability was the “Lightning Armor”, which shields you from getting hit but uses up your Aeion energy instead of health. Talking about these new abilities, Sakamoto said that anytime you are adding something new to a game it will change the player experience. “Something appealing about these abilities is because they are energy based, and the supply of energy is never ending, you are not able to just stand and use them all the time. So to make them appealing we have made them impactful, so they are very effective in having an impact during gameplay.” Sakamoto also went on to say that he didn’t want to make any new abilities feel overpowered, but discovered that it was very challenging for team for they didn’t want the player to lose that sense of tension while playing.
Metroid fans may be pleased to know that Metroid Samus Returns features the same sound producers as all of the Metroid games since Super Metroid, and Sakamoto mentioned how great of a job they have always done and have with this game.
Samus Returns features the original maps from Metroid 2, but with improvements and revisions to aid with the design of the new weapons’ abilities. All of the revisions has been done under the direction of Nintendo. Enemies in Samus Returns have also been redesigned as well, but the team didn’t want to drastically change the concepts of the original Metroid II, and still wanted to have players of this new game feel like the original planet.
Nintendo also showcased the 2 newly announced Metroid series amiibo at the end of their stream. Both the development team and the amiibo team worked together to create them. Worked with the amiibo team to produce them. Sakamoto mentioned that the “squishy” Metroid idea part came from the amiibo team, and he had his doubts that they could pull it off. Fortunately it looks like they did, but unfortunately no actual amiibo functionally was shown.
Metroid Samus Returns will be released soon on Sept. 15, with a special edition (shown in a picture to the left) also launching that features a 25 track CD and a reversible cover. Let us know if you’ll be picking it up in the comments below!