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Metroid: Samus Returns is an action-adventure game announced during the Treehouse broadcast on June 13, 2017. It is a 2.5D remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus, and the first traditional Metroid game since Metroid: Zero Mission (also a remake) in 2004. It was released on September 15, 2017.

AnnouncementEdit

The game was announced at the E3 2017 expo during the post-conference Treehouse live stream, with Nintendo representatives providing commentary as gameplay was shown. In an interview with Reggie Fils-Aime, he explained that they did this beacuse they believed that people were more interested about Nintendo Switch games being revealed during the main show, and also because of the negative reception that Metroid Prime: Federation Force received, stating that:

"I really do think we need to help our fans understand what we're doing, why we're doing it and give them all the examples of why we think it's going to be a fantastic experience, and certainly I have confidence in our developers on what they deliver is going to be first-rate."[1]

PlotEdit

In the year 20X5 of the Cosmic Calendar...

A Galactic Federation research team discovered an unknown life-form on planet SR388. While they were able to successfully obtain a living sample, their research vessel was attacked by Space Pirates during their voyage home.

This attack was no coincidence. The Space Pirates had set their sights on these mysterious organisms called Metroids. They planned to replicate the sample and exploit its ability to absorb the energy of any life-form. Their intention was to use Metroids as a weapon, one powerful enough to conquer the entire galaxy.

To combat this threat, the Galactic Federation dispatched a lone bounty hunter to infiltrate the Space Pirate base on the planet Zebes.

Against all odds, Samus Aran eradicated the Metroids on Zebes and defeated Mother Brain, the leader of the Space Pirates. And so their sinister plans were thwarted... for a time.

Concerned by these developments and by the great threat the Metroid species still posed to the galaxy, the Galactic Federation mounted another expedition to SR388.

A special squadron of elite soldiers from the Galactic Federation Police was dispatched to investigate. The team soon went missing, but not before transmitting a small sampling of data back to headquarters.

Analysis of this data confirmed a Metroid presence within the interior of planet SR388. So long as they continued to exist, these Metroids would forever pose a devastating threat to the galaxy.

The resulting decision of the Galactic Federation Council was immediate and unanimous.

Samus Aran... You must exterminate the Metroids once and for all!

—Introduction

The plot remains the same as in Metroid II: Samus Aran is sent to SR388, the home planet of the Metroids, with the order to exterminate the species and discover what happened to the Galactic Federation Special Squadron sent before her for the same purpose. The game begins with an introduction sequence in the style of Super Metroid, summarizing the events of Metroid: Zero Mission, and depicting Samus's battle against Mother Brain.[2]

Samus lands on the surface of SR388 and begins to explore the planet and its deep caverns. The bodies of the Federation personnel can be found throughout the Surface. Samus encounters the Metroids in different evolution stages, growing from small jellyfish-like creatures into large reptilian monsters. She also encounters the Diggernaut, a massive Chozo mining robot that threatens her at several points until she destroys it. After eradicating most of the Metroids, Samus confronts the Queen Metroid and eliminates her. Shortly afterward, Samus discovers a Metroid Egg that hatches in front of her. Immediately preparing to kill the infant, Samus is confused when it does not attack her, but thinks it is its mother. Unable to bring herself to kill it, Samus takes it with her.

As Samus and the baby reach SR388's Surface to return to her Gunship, they are surprised by Ridley, who tries to abduct the baby. Samus beats Ridley and takes the hatchling back, but Ridley rises again and continues to engage her. The baby assists Samus at occasional intervals, draining a small amount of energy from Ridley before he shakes it off, and giving it to Samus. After a long and difficult battle, Ridley is defeated, and Samus and the baby leave SR388 together in her Gunship. In a post-credits scene, a Hornoad is seen wandering on the planet's surface, before being infected by an X Parasite. Now that the Metroids have been exterminated (save for one), the X are able to repopulate, which they do in Metroid Fusion. The ending also hints that Ridley ultimately regenerated enough of his body to no longer need cybernetics.

As items and expansions are collected in the game, a gallery of art pieces called Chozo Memories will become unlockable, depicting the life of the Chozo that inhabited SR388.

GameplayEdit

Additions to the game include the Free Aim ability allowing Samus to aim in 360 degrees, instead of just diagonally, horizontally and vertically as in previous 2D titles. A laser sight has been added to Samus' Arm Cannon which will glow red when it intersects an enemy. The game features melee combat similar to Metroid: Other M, including a Melee Counter Samus can perform to deflect enemy charges and create an opening for further attack, in addition to filling Samus' Charge Gauge. The Melee Counter can even be used against Metroids, leaving their weak points vulnerable to attack. Samus can perform Lethal Strikes and Overblasts on stunned Metroids.

Large ornamental Chozo Seals exist in the areas of the planet, functioning similarly to the Golden Statues of Zebes. When accessed, Samus will download information indicating the number of Metroids in that area. Filling the statue with "Metroid DNA" collected from kills will cause the purple liquid preventing Samus' progression to subside, similar to how defeating Metroids in the original game would cause the Lava to decrease.

New power-ups introduced are the Aeion abilities. Functioning as a fuel system, Aeion abilities are new powers that use a gauge system which gradually depletes as they are used. Aeion Orbs may be used to refill the gauge, and are sometimes dropped by enemies when defeated or successfully countered.

Energy Stations and Ammo Stations return as Samus's method of renewing her energy and Missile reserves. Save Stations and Energy Capsules return. This is the first game to feature Capsules since Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Checkpoints are also featured in addition to Save Stations. Unlike the original game, Samus does not begin with the Morph Ball and must acquire it from a Chozo Statue. She also starts out with 24 missiles instead of 30 missiles, which is expanded by 3 each time a Missile Expansion tank is acquired instead of 10. The Charge Beam, Grapple Beam, Super Missiles, Gravity Suit, and Power Bombs which were absent from Metroid II, can be acquired in the game. Although the Speed Booster does not appear in Samus Returns, using the Spider Ball in conjunction with the Power Bomb creates an effect mirroring the Ballspark.

While the Wave, Spazer and Plasma Beams can be stacked, the Ice Beam cannot and has to be equipped separately from the Power Beam. The Ice Beam is much weaker in this game, however it can now damage all Metroids, whereas in Metroid II they were only vulnerable to missiles.

A common criticism of previous Metroid games is extensive backtracking. Samus Returns eliminates this by adding a fast travel feature in the form of Teleport Stations, which let Samus quickly move between different areas of the planet. Elevators, which were absent in the original Metroid II, also fulfill this purpose.

DevelopmentEdit

As you go through the game, you'll pick up extra equipment giving you a wider range of actions to perform. Equipment such as shots with different effects and the Spider Ball (an item introduced in Metroid II that let you stick to surfaces) let you uncover more of each stage. Since this is a remake of Metroid II, we're bringing in several power-up items and abilities that were never seen in the original. These special abilities give players a fresh way to experience the fun of exploration and fighting the Metroids that was so important to the original game.

Yoshio Sakamoto

The development codename for Samus Returns was Matadora. Yoshio Sakamoto led the game's development, which began in 2015.[3] Samus Returns is developed by MercurySteam, who were previously working on a rejected Metroid game pitch for Wii U. According to Sakamoto, he decided to collaborate with them after hearing about their interest in developing a remake of a Metroid game, although not Return of Samus specifically. [4] Sakamoto was particularly interested in remaking Metroid II because he was not involved with the original game's production.[5]

The game was developed for the 3DS rather than the Switch due to the former's larger consumer base.[6] It is being developed by the same core team behind Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate, which was itself a Metroidvania title.[7] The game will have no story or mechanical connection to Metroid Prime 4, which was announced on the same day.[8] Tim O'Leary confirmed to Kotaku on June 19 that the game's development is complete.[9]

Legacy Edition includes a Retro Steelbook case, a 40-page Artbook, Game Soundtrack, Gold S-Mark Pin, a Morph Ball 3D Keyring and a download code for Metroid II: Return of Samus for Nintendo 3DS.

—Description

The game also comes in a special edition, including a reversible cover insert and a CD soundtrack with 25 classic Metroid tracks, called the Samus Archives Sound Selection. The reverse side of the cover is a reproduction of the original boxart for Metroid II.[10] European players who pre-ordered the game obtained a Legacy Edition that includes a download code for Metroid II to be redeemed in the Nintendo eShop, a SteelBook modeled after the original Game Boy cartridge for Metroid II, the soundtrack, a Gold S-Mark Pin, a Morph Ball 3D Keyring and a 40 page Metroid: Samus Returns Artbook.[11] Similarly, preordering the game itself from GameStop had the player gain a special keychain depicting a colorized sprite of Samus Aran's Varia Suit from Metroid II.

A Metroid II remake had been requested by fans for many years, to the point where a widely popular unofficial remake, AM2R was developed and released in 2016, in time for the 30th anniversary of Metroid. Shortly after its release, it was taken offline by Nintendo. In response to Samus Returns, DoctorM64, the creator of AM2R stated: "N won E3 for me, #SamusReturns looks like the Metroid 2 I always wanted to play. Looks like the ANOTHER part of #am2r still makes sense now." [12] Interviewed by Kotaku, Sakamoto stated that he was aware of AM2R and while he had not seen the game, he appreciated that DoctorM64 cared so much about the Metroid series. [13] Reggie Fils-Aime, the president of Nintendo of America, addressed AM2R and implied it was shut down in order to protect profits that Samus Returns would generate.

MusicEdit

Kenji Yamamoto and Minako Hamano, veteran composers of the series, returned as directors of the soundtrack of Samus Returns, with the main score being made by Daisuke Matsuoka. The game features remixes of several classic tracks, including the classic SR388 theme from Metroid II. It also uses some versions of tracks from the Prime Series, such as the item acquisition fanfare (which returns for the first time since Metroid Prime 3: Corruption), the expansion item and puzzle solved jingles from Metroid Prime, the elevator room song from Echoes, and Samus Aran's Appearance Fanfare. Samus Aran's Final Cry, the Game Over jingle from Super Metroid, returns as well.

Other returning tracks include In the Cockpit, Lower Norfair/Magmoor Caverns, the theme from Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption when Samus enters the atmospheres of Aether and Norion, the item room/boss defeated song from Echoes and the theme from Super Metroid that plays when Samus flies to Ceres Space Colony and Zebes.

amiibo functionalityEdit

Samus Returns will support amiibo, including the figures of Samus and Zero Suit Samus from the Super Smash Bros. series, as well as two new amiibo of Samus in her classic Metroid II pose, and a Metroid (with a squishy texture). While amiibo support was first confirmed at E3, their exact functionality was not revealed until July 24, 2017.

The Smash Bros. Samus amiibo unlocks a Missile Reserve Tank, which automatically replenishes Missiles, and a gallery of concept art to view after beating the game. The Zero Suit Samus amiibo will unlock a Reserve Tank that automatically replenishes health and a Sound Test mode in the Gallery that unlocks after beating the game. The Samus Returns Samus amiibo unlocks an Aeion Reserve Tank that automatically replenishes her Aeion, and Metroid II artwork for the gallery. Finally, the Metroid amiibo unlocks a marker on the Map showing the location of the closest Metroid, and a harder Fusion Mode that unlocks after beating the game once, and enables the Fusion Suit from Metroid Fusion to be worn on subsequent playthroughs.[14] A standard Hard Mode is present in the game without amiibo, unlockable after beating the game once.

ReceptionEdit

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"Multiple mutations will cause a Metroid to grow into an even larger and more powerful adversary."

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Samus Returns received critical acclaim, with many fans and critics considering it a return to form for the Metroid series. Reception was positive pre-release as well, a contrast to the previous two Metroid games, Metroid: Other M and Metroid Prime: Federation Force, which were received negatively by fans and the press.

The announcement of exclusive amiibo figures, each with an unlockable feature tied to them (most notably Fusion Mode), caused minor controversy and confusion, requiring Nintendo to issue an explanation and reveal the existence of a traditional Hard Mode that does not require amiibo to unlock.[15]

The first official review, by Famitsu, gave the game a score of 32/40, with each of the review panel's four critics giving the game a score of 8.[16] The review embargo was officially lifted on September 12 and the game received critical acclaim, with over 56 positive (and no negative) reviews sitting at 8.8 in Metacritic and Opencritic. [17][18]

Samus Returns was the eighth best selling game in the United Kingdom for its first week of release, and was the highest selling Nintendo release that week. (NBA 2K18 on Nintendo Switch was higher on the list, but because it is only a digital release it is not counted as a Nintendo release for those charts)[19]

See alsoEdit

GalleryEdit

For artwork, see Metroid: Samus Returns/Gallery

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://www.polygon.com/2017/6/15/15813568/nintendo-metroid-prime-4-switch-e3-2017
  2. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UBpHhTa0ao
  3. ^ http://ca.ign.com/articles/2017/06/14/e3-2017-metroid-samus-returns-hands-on-a-welcome-upgrade
  4. ^ http://ca.ign.com/articles/2017/06/14/e3-2017-metroid-samus-returns-hands-on-a-welcome-upgrade
  5. ^ http://www.cgmagonline.com/2017/07/03/sakamoto-talks-metroid-samus-returns/
  6. ^ https://www.polygon.com/2017/6/15/15813568/nintendo-metroid-prime-4-switch-e3-2017
  7. ^ http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2017/06/18/samus-returns-39-developers-on-bringing-back-2d-metroid-and-why-mercurysteam-is-developing.aspx
  8. ^ http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2017/06/18/samus-returns-39-developers-on-bringing-back-2d-metroid-and-why-mercurysteam-is-developing.aspx
  9. ^ http://kotaku.com/metroid-samus-returns-feels-great-to-play-1796236226
  10. ^ DIajxqAVYAAKW2D.jpg
  11. ^ https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DCT3C_OXsAQOTRA.jpg:large
  12. ^ https://twitter.com/AM2Rgame/status/874701004092166145
  13. ^ http://kotaku.com/the-creator-of-metroid-ii-fan-game-am2r-isnt-mad-about-1796175492
  14. ^ https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nintendo.co.jp%2Fhardware%2Famiibo%2Fgame%2Fa9aj%2Findex.html&edit-text=&act=url
  15. ^ http://www.usgamer.net/articles/nintendo-addresses-the-metroid-samus-returns-amiibo-controversy
  16. ^ http://www.nintendo-insider.com/famitsu-metroid-samus-returns-review-infiltrates-sr388/
  17. ^ [15]
  18. ^ http://opencritic.com/game/4498/metroid-samus-returns
  19. ^ http://ukie.org.uk/news/2017/09/destiny-2-holds-firm-no1-second-week


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