Promo art for Metroid Fusion.

Oh Metroid, where art thou?

Boy, do I have a lot of woes lately. Anyway, I’ve had a recent craving for a Metroid– style game, and Nintendo seems unwilling to fill that void. It’s actually a bit frustrating to be a fan of the red-headed stepchild of the Nintendo family. Whenever the company does acknowledge that the series exist, it’s more like they are telling you “Here you go, now shut the fuck up.”

My only solution to these Metroid withdraws is to rummage through indie catalogs for the best imitators out there. I do this about once every year. It’s actually quite surprising how many of these developers are making amazing metroidvania games.

Searching for a Substitute

The first time I decided to expand my horizons beyond the world that is Nintendo, I ended up playing Gucamelee, or I like to call it – Mexican Metroid. By far one of my favorite games. If you haven’t heard me sing its praises before just know that it holds a place as one of my favorite indie games of all time. It manages to wonderfully mix the traditional Metroid formula with the mechanics you would expect from a fighting game. The pays homage to its predecessors with humor and fun, along with excellent combat and genius level design.

Now, this isn’t to say that I have found success with every Metroid copycat. My experience has been hit or miss. There were times where I played painfully average games like Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate. Other times, I found beautiful games like Outworld, which creates something that stands apart from anything I’ve seen in a Metroid game.

The cover for Axiom Verge.

Axiom Verge might be the next game to help my Metroid woes.

My Metroid Journey Thus Far

I know in my heart that no matter what I will still long for a new Metroid. Whether Nintendo decides to breathe some life into the franchise remains to be seen. Their last attempt was the huge misfire that was Metroid: Federation Force. Now, I understand why Nintendo created Federation Force. It was their attempt to spin-off the Metroid franchise to appeal to a larger audience. Unfortunately, I knew it was doomed before arrival. In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone knew that.

Metroid games come so few and far between that whenever a new game comes out, fans expect a Metroid proper. It’s not like Mario where the main series comes out so frequently that fans don’t mind a little distraction like a sports or party spinoff. I often feel like if Nintendo put more love into the adventures of Samus Aran, then we would be more inclined to accept a game like Federation Force.

My latest endeavor will be Axiom Verge, a game that I have heard nothing but good things about. It seems to have the same shooter/exploration fixed that I am looking for. Hopefully, it will scratch that itch that I can’t reach. At least until Nintendo decides to stop breaking out collective hearts.

Advertisements