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The Final Black Sheep Story: Samus the Underdog


Metroid doesn't sell well in Japan. It wasn't until 1999 and when the words "Project Dolphin" was being thrown around that Nintendo realized this and thought...fine, let's make it a Western game. It will be for the new system. One problem, Nintendo didn't have the room under its dress to make the 3D game. Why not use Intelligent Systems? Nah, they were too busy with the GBA crowd and they had 0 experience with 3Dism. Since they were working on the GBA, Nintendo said to make one for that platform, and it was so. And good!

Hmmm, but who could tackle the 3D version of the game? An obvious choice was 2nd-party Silicon Knights, but they were all booked up with the likes of Eternal Darkness (AWESOMENESS!) and vaporware Too Human (yeah I said it!). Another 2nd-P was Rare but relationships weren't so good and they passed on them. Then the magical teamed appeared, headed by Jeff Spangenberg.

We all know this studio now, Retro Studios. There is a reason why this group is so good and picked. Jeff Spangenberg. He is the former head honcho of Iguana Entertainment. Oh and one of the creators of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. Yes, the original. Good stuff, huh? He wasn't the only good name on the list and for reason they looked like the best choice for the 3D Metroid series to follow with. But it was really Jeff who sealed the deal without a doubt. But if you ever wonder why the Turok series sucked after the first and/or second one, blame Metroid's first 3D exposure.

The crazyness is that the studio was "untested" and Nintendo took a gamble with them. They even went as far as signing a deal for five titles including the first all 3D Metroid title. Which would later be known as Metroid Prime. What happened to those other games? Well there was ideas for them. A combat racer, an action-adventure game, an American football sim and the much-hyped Raven Blade which saddly never came to be.

Much like previous versions of Metroid, this one was hit with controversy. Fans have been waiting since 1994 for a sequel and they had to rely on a company that has made nothing? It didn't help when the American Football sim and racer game were canceled. The Action Adventure game was soon to follow. It is almost a wonder that MP ever came out at times. But you could look at it that they were pulling all their resources into one game. I think that is a bit obvious ... at least in my eyes.

In 2001 at Space-World, there was a lot of upset people over the line-up for Nintendo's latest console. Of course there was the Mario and Link concerns but when it was Miaymoto's choice to make Metroid Prime a FPS, it hit the fan. It didn't help that the game was accompanied by sucktacular images. Things started to look bleak once again.

On a brighter note, the GBA title, Metroid Fusion, was going on nicely. Team Shikamaru was reunited to make this title and it was decided it was going to be a plot heavy game with objectives. Any of you who has played knows that this is true. Very linear too but still a great game. This route was taken in hopes that the game would do better in Japan.

Back in the States, things looked even bleaker. All four of Retro's other titles were officially canned. Raven's Blade was the last to go. That one received the most hyped and was a big hopeful too. All staff began focus on the Metroid title. Then out of nowhere, photographs of series of Spangenberg began to appear on Retro's site (not the main page). The pictures are what appeared to be night of drunken debauchery (on the Big N's dollar?). He soon stepped down from his position and Miaymoto stepped in to take over.

Should this be taken as a good or bad thing? Metroid was designed and made to pretty much go against everything that Miaymoto was and now he was heading it. Only time will tell...

Sorry, don't feel like looking up some other pics here.

E3 2002 was the time to tell and it was a mouthful. Miaymoto had taken something that was suffering and made it shine like no other. It was Metroid, but in 3D. Since it was Metroid and the game is generally about exploring, they coined the genre "First Person Adventure." Much controversy would come from this new genre but if people can make up "Survival Horror" why not FPA?

The game was done remarkably and stuck to its guns, well besides the whole 2D/3D thing. It came out with critical reviews. Gold stars for everyone! Huzzah. What's this, Metroid is now a success? This can't be. The little game that could, did? Who says underdogs only win in movies?

Retro was immediately bought and of course it was made into a trilogy. It was time for a Metroid revival. The second title of said trilogy, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, was shortly released but suffered from Halo 2 competition. That and that multiplayer was pretty rank. Soon after a remake of the original was served up on the GBA called Metroid: Zero Mission. It had a little extra in it that made it its own game. Both this and the Metroid Prime: First Hunt demo packed in with the Nintendo DS had rave reviews. Samus was finally getting the respect she deserved. Metroid Prime: Hunters got great reviews too but didn't sell as well as it was planned to but that wasn't Nintendo's priority. The finale in the trilogy was.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was the first game to be shown on the Wii hardware. It was actually the longest developed Metroid game, it was originally planned to be a launch title but delayed almost a full year. I feel this game suffered a little from release date though. It is a big title but why was it released inbetween BioShock and Halo 3? Doesn't seem entire smart. It probably would've been smart if BioShock wasn't there but you can only do so much, right? But the game did sell and was good. Of course it won't be the last. It still doesn't sell as well in Japan but you can't deny the cash cow possibilities here.

That wraps up the "Black Sheep" saga.

signing off...

[Inspired, copiedpastaed from CVG]
Even lesser pasta this time?
#Community    #DS    #Metroid    #Nintendo    #retro    #Wii   
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About BlindsideDorkone of us since 11:46 AM on 11.10.2006

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