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Rumour: MercurySteam were pitching new Metroid games

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From NintendoLife.

 

 

One enduring rumour that has quietly been circulating in the Spanish games industry is that MercurySteam, the studio behind Konami's Castlevania: Lords of Shadow series, has been pitching a new entry in the Metroid series to Nintendo. After extensive digging and coordinating with contacts related to the project, we can now confirm this to be the case.

In late May, Nintendo Life learned the company began an effort to expand its staff for the game. As work on its proposal for a new Metroid game was under-way, MercurySteam was hoping to bring in a number of talented new developers hand-picked from other Spanish studios. Hiring calls were posted too as the search widened.

 

We have ascertained that work on a prototype for this unsolicited pitch was established earlier in the year, and had a full game been green-lit, it was planned to be developed for both Wii U and 3DS. It was being referred to internally as simply 'Metroid', and it has been described as a first person game set in a post apocalyptic sci-fi environment. In their demo, Samus was the main character - as you would expect - but was joined by seven other playable bounty hunters, as well. This is a similar set-up to that seen in the DS game, Metroid Prime: Hunters.

 

MercurySteam, perhaps somewhat naively, disclosed to those attending interviews the nature of its new project, which is believed to be the initial cause of it starting to leak out. The outcome of the pitch is uncertain, but currently isn't looking good for any hopeful Metroid fans. Rumour has it that it was turned down by Nintendo. Updates from the developers and associated contacts dried up recently, followed by a small series of departures from the company.

 

Shortly thereafter, an update to MercurySteam's website teasing their next game arrived, further adding to the conundrum. It portrays a man in what appears to be the cockpit of a spaceship, smoking a cigar. The accompanying text reads:

 

Exploring new worlds

Fighting strange new creatures

Discovering new heroes

Expect news soon

 

Considering the similarities these brief details bear to the aforementioned Metroid pitch, it is a possibility that these two projects share a connection. Earlier in the year, we were made aware that the developers held a contingency plan of remodelling the game into an original IP, in the event of the proposal being rejected. Whether or not this is now the case remains to be seen.

 

We reached out to MercurySteam, who were unavailable for comment on the matter. If we hear anything else, we will be sure to update this post.

 

Interesting.

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From what I remember, Lords of Shadow wasn't exactly looked favourably upon. (Never played it myself)

 

So I'm thinking it was a good thing this didn't happen. (Assuming it's true, of course)

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From what I remember, Lords of Shadow wasn't exactly looked favourably upon. (Never played it myself)

 

So I'm thinking it was a good thing this didn't happen. (Assuming it's true, of course)

 

The original was fantastic ( soundtrack was amazing ) and done well in in terms of sales. The sequel was supposed to be a bit naff though.

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Lords of Shadow looked like a poor man's God of War, but otherwise it was pretty decent. It's the whole "rebooting/rewriting the series' mythos" that rubbed so many the wrong way.

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Never really liked the original Lords of Shadow and I still have the 3DS game waiting to be played.

 

It sucked all the charm out of Castlevania in favour of a more realistic 'edgy' look.

A memorable attempt, but not for me.

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I'm probably in the minority, but I thoroughly enjoyed all three Lords of Shadow games. All three looked fantastic for their hardware constraints. My only real issue with the first is that some of the enemies were a bit damage spongy - the DLC boss was just ridiculous. But it's scope and atmosphere was top notch - thanks to the graphics and soundtrack. 2 also has a fantastic soundtrack - a lot of the songs being fuller versions of Mirror of Fate and the combat was improved as well. Whilst there were less whip moves overall, the additional weapons were sensibly balanced against their need for magic so as to not burn through it in a handful of moves. The Metroidvania map was a bit confusing to navigate at times and the stealth bits were ill judged but at least they were mercifully brief. The Revelations DLC was also really well done. The story throughout 1 and Mirror was good but slightly let down by the ending in 2.

 

I think under Nintendo's guidance, they could have turned in something pretty good. They have the talent, they just need the refinement.

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I'm probably in the minority, but I thoroughly enjoyed all three Lords of Shadow games. All three looked fantastic for their hardware constraints. My only real issue with the first is that some of the enemies were a bit damage spongy - the DLC boss was just ridiculous. But it's scope and atmosphere was top notch - thanks to the graphics and soundtrack. 2 also has a fantastic soundtrack - a lot of the songs being fuller versions of Mirror of Fate and the combat was improved as well. Whilst there were less whip moves overall, the additional weapons were sensibly balanced against their need for magic so as to not burn through it in a handful of moves. The Metroidvania map was a bit confusing to navigate at times and the stealth bits were ill judged but at least they were mercifully brief. The Revelations DLC was also really well done. The story throughout 1 and Mirror was good but slightly let down by the ending in 2.

 

I think under Nintendo's guidance, they could have turned in something pretty good. They have the talent, they just need the refinement.

 

Firstly, welcome back. Always nice to see members return, even if it's just for the odd post here and there..

 

I also enjoyed Mirror of Fate. Here's what I wrote about it in the MoF thread at the time I was playing it.

 

Loving this.

 

I've never been a big Castlevania fan, well at least the Metroid style ones. I grew up playing the NES games and I still think Super Castlevania is the high point of the series for me. Despite not being a huge fan of the newer style games I decided to pick this up.

 

The combat is basic but I still find it fun, especially when you unlock a new move. Once you start pulling off combos and dodging attacks everything is very smooth.

 

The game, while fun, was lacking atmosphere, that was until I decided to plug my earphones in and BOOM the music and sound effects came into their own. It really helped bring everything together. This is definitely a game that benefits from having a set of earphones.

 

The boss fights have been quite challenging and take some time to get the hang of the attacks. I playing on normal and I was still getting mu butt kicked at times.

 

I went into this game kind of blind. I didn't really look at any reviews and was kind of expecting it to be a meh experience given how I feel about the other Metroidvania games. I'm glad that I took a chance and picked this up because so far this game has been a great experience.

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I've been giving this piece by Jeremy París a skim. Appears to be a pretty level headed look at what could have been.

 

Unsurprisingly, reactions to this news have been mixed. Some have lamented the loss of this opportunity for a "proper" Metroid game on consoles — Federation Force obviously not being "proper" between its portable format, lack of emphasis on Samus Aran, and cartoon-like character proportions — while others have breathed a sigh of relief that MercurySteam won't have the opportunity to mangle a beloved franchise the way they did Castlevania. Reactions in the middle, however, have proven decidedly few and far between; evidently, topics like the future of Metroid (and the merits of MercurySteam) don't leave much room for lukewarm opinions.

 

http://www.usgamer.net/articles/mercurysteammetroid-an-opportunity-lost-or-a-bullet-dodged

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I could see a Metroid game like Zelda 2, with overworld planet map, then huge dungeon Metroid like areas. Areas would play like traditional Metroid, but you could have more unique areas since they don't have to be connected. Obviously not 100% like Zelda 2, it would still be Metroid afterall, and even the overworld would have Metroid like progression.

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I've been giving this piece by Jeremy París a skim. Appears to be a pretty level headed look at what could have been.

 

 

 

http://www.usgamer.net/articles/mercurysteammetroid-an-opportunity-lost-or-a-bullet-dodged

 

This is a really good point. Metroid is such an emotive subject at the moment, because Nintendo can't/won't make one; therefore, any shelved plans may seem particularly appealing. It's hard to understand why Nintendo did not continue with the status quo - Retro Studios for the 3D games, Sakamoto and his team for the 2D entries - as they were all well received.

 

Personally, the one studio I think could make a cracking 2D Metroid is WayForward. I wouldn't want it to take away from Shantae or the Mighty series, but as one of their "licenced" games, I think it would give us what we're missing.

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This is a really good point. Metroid is such an emotive subject at the moment, because Nintendo can't/won't make one; therefore, any shelved plans may seem particularly appealing. It's hard to understand why Nintendo did not continue with the status quo - Retro Studios for the 3D games, Sakamoto and his team for the 2D entries - as they were all well received.

 

Personally, the one studio I think could make a cracking 2D Metroid is WayForward. I wouldn't want it to take away from Shantae or the Mighty series, but as one of their "licenced" games, I think it would give us what we're missing.

 

The reason they haven't continued to develop the prime series probably has a lot to do with most of the people responsible for the existing games no longer working for Retro.

 

As much as I love the Metroid series, what I really want to see is more games in the Metroidvania style. In the very least, something that incorporates exploration, permanent upgrades, and backtracking in an interesting way. Open world games have been starved of these mechanics recently in favour of a GTA-like mission structure. While such mechanics work when the gameplay is interesting in itself, it gets boring pretty fast otherwise. Metroidvanias are special because the structure of the game itself is a gameplay element rather than a menu. If more developers understood that interesting gameplay is what makes a game special, and not the assumptions that have lead to the cinemization of games, we wouldn't be so starved for another Metroid game.

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