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Topic: What if Nintendo pulled a "Star Fox Zero" with Metroid?

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DarthNocturnal

We already know the reason why she doesn't have all her powerups: bad velcro.

I don't mind the explanation when it actually kinda adds up. Fusion and Prime 2 comes to mind (Prime 1.... kinda).

Other M's approach kinda made sense...... but then there were a few "um, use common sense?" moments (Varia Suit anyone)?

Edited on by DarthNocturnal

"Sometimes, I just don't understand human behavior" - C-3P0

MarcelRguez

@Octane: That's pretty much RE4. It popularized it, after all.

About Samus losing her abilities, yeah, that kind of sticks out like a sore thumb at the beginning of each game. It can always be justified from a story perspective (Fusion did that best, in my opinion), but they actually need to put some effort into it.

Another solution would be adopting what the Prime series toyed with to an extent: Samus doesn't necessarily have to lose her abilities, she needs to use new ones to advance through new environments. This obviously creates the need of coming up with new sets of abilities for her power suit, which can be a difficult task. Then again, games like Wario Land used to take a middle-of-the-road approach, preserving some of Wario's main abilities (shoulder bash, bomb jump, headbutt) while adding new ones that were only seen in one game.

MarcelRguez

3DS Friend Code: 3308-4605-6296 | Nintendo Network ID: Marce2240 | Twitter:

Haru17

NinjaWaddleDee wrote:

@Haru17: Yeah I think first person melee combat would be amazing. Unfortunately, Nintendo seems incable of making survivor horror combat like that. I assume what you are talking about would be gory right? I'd honestly like some more gore in my metroid, but that's just my opinion. I know that others will disagree with me.

Well, mostly alien goo gore. I imagine Samus would just get game overs like in Metroid Prime; the visor flickers and dies and you get a gameover screen with a terminal medical connotation. Maybe with a blood splotch or something.

Don't hate me because I'm bnahabulous.

NinjaWaddleDee

@Haru17: Yeah, I don't think we need to have Dead Space levels of gore or anything, but I'd like a bit more satisfaction from blowing up baddies. So, like Halo level gore I guess.

Check out my YouTube channel if you love gaming, and Nintendo (especially Metroid) I think you'll enjoy my videos. :)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCagN36OxIjCGUVMaYFtPgSg

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NinjaWaddleDee

@Marce2240: Good idea, I've been thinking about what abilities she should just keep. I think for every game she should have her basic abilities like: bombs, missiles, space jump, charge beam. And then get the rest from the game, just so that it doesn't feel like Samus is starting at a blank slate all the time.

Check out my YouTube channel if you love gaming, and Nintendo (especially Metroid) I think you'll enjoy my videos. :)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCagN36OxIjCGUVMaYFtPgSg

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DarthNocturnal

I thought we already had Halo levels of gore... because Halo gore almost doesn't exist (and yet it was rated M until 5...). I know Prime had some gibbing and multicolored fluid splashing here and there.

"Sometimes, I just don't understand human behavior" - C-3P0

KO-Cub

The whole purpose of Samus losing her equipment is to show evolution, survivability, and development.

I personally would like to see if Samus lost something... more.
Chozo implants making her frail and weak, the Power Suit rejecting her or being unresponsive/unusable as a result.
A more reason to give players a deeper sense of seriousness when playing Samus from the start again.

Samus always keeps losing her equipment, what if she lost all of it?

Edited on by KO-Cub

Wavedashes behind you Got some of dat Maylay?
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DefHalan

KO-Cub wrote:

The whole purpose of Samus losing her equipment is to show evolution, survivability, and development.

I personally would like to see if Samus lost something... more.
Chozo implants making her frail and weak, the Power Suit rejecting her or being unresponsive/unusable as a result.
A more reason to give players a deeper sense of seriousness when playing Samus from the start again.

Samus always keeps looking her equipment, what if she lost all of it?

Didn't that happen in Zero Mission?

People keep saying the Xbox One doesn't have Backwards Compatibility.
I don't think they know what Backwards Compatibility means...

3DS Friend Code: 2621-2786-9784 | Nintendo Network ID: DefHalan

KO-Cub

Not really. The time you lose everything, you're basically almost finished with the game. The evolution is done. And the development happens in one fell swoop when you gain your survivability back.

Edited on by KO-Cub

Wavedashes behind you Got some of dat Maylay?
FE Heroes: 0964602082

3DS Friend Code: 5343-9126-6120 | Nintendo Network ID: KOCub

DefHalan

KO-Cub wrote:

Not really. The time you lose everything, you're basically almost finished with the game. The evolution is done. And the development happens in one fell swoop when you gain your survivability back.

But does that kinda work better. You spent most of the game building up your survivability and then everything is taken away. Taking you from a moment of feeling unstoppable to a moment of complete weakness. After already progressing and getting so many power-ups it wouldn't be fun to have to get them all over again, so they did just return them all to you at once, but maybe they could have given you them in batches and let you re-live gaining those power ups and becoming stronger. I think Zero Mission did it well, there are other ways to do it, but Zero Mission did it better than just starting off with nothing and having to build it all up. That wouldn't feel very new or as exciting as what Zero Mission did.

People keep saying the Xbox One doesn't have Backwards Compatibility.
I don't think they know what Backwards Compatibility means...

3DS Friend Code: 2621-2786-9784 | Nintendo Network ID: DefHalan

MarcelRguez

@NinjaWaddleDee: Speaking from a non-Prime perspective, I don't know if I would include the space jump (it kinda trivializes platforming). Bombs and charge shots for sure, though. Samus starting with missiles is not unprecedented, so I guess that's the most fitting one.

@DefHalan: I know we are the minority, but speedrunners usually hate that segment of the game precisely for the reasons you mention. Making Samus so vulnerable at such a later stage of the game adds more possibilities for run-ruining screw-ups. I'm not saying it's an inherently bad idea, just that they'd have to know what kind of game they're making to justify its incursion. For example, would this segment lock you out of the rest of the map for a while (remember, no abilities) or would you still be allowed to explore everything as if nothing happened?

I think these ideas would fit better in a game with stronger focus on story (mainly the 3D Metroid games), but not so much in the more exploration-based 2D ones.

MarcelRguez

3DS Friend Code: 3308-4605-6296 | Nintendo Network ID: Marce2240 | Twitter:

NinjaWaddleDee

@Marce2240: Sorry, I meant it from a Prime "double-jump" perspective. Not a "jump infinitely" perspective.

Check out my YouTube channel if you love gaming, and Nintendo (especially Metroid) I think you'll enjoy my videos. :)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCagN36OxIjCGUVMaYFtPgSg

Nintendo Network ID: NinjaWaddleDee

DefHalan

@Marce2240: Sounds like an entertaining part when viewing speedruns. Plus I thought the whole point of speedrunning was to risk a lot for the reward of trying to be the fastest. This just adds to the risk/fame for actually being able to do it.

People keep saying the Xbox One doesn't have Backwards Compatibility.
I don't think they know what Backwards Compatibility means...

3DS Friend Code: 2621-2786-9784 | Nintendo Network ID: DefHalan

MarcelRguez

@NinjaWaddleDee: No worries. I keep forgetting that Prime reduced it to a double-jump and that Retro only slapped it with the screw attack in Echoes. When talking about Prime games, sure, that one's a mandatory by-default ability.

@DefHalan: I agree. I'm just reproducing the popular opinion about those segments. It's not like the stealth segment in MZM is that big of a deal to begin with, although it can be really cheap in hard mode, and all the more so on low-percentage runs.

Now I want to play MZM again.

MarcelRguez

3DS Friend Code: 3308-4605-6296 | Nintendo Network ID: Marce2240 | Twitter:

DefHalan

@Marce2240: Me too. I can't remember if it came out on Wii U VC, I most likely bought it if it did lol

People keep saying the Xbox One doesn't have Backwards Compatibility.
I don't think they know what Backwards Compatibility means...

3DS Friend Code: 2621-2786-9784 | Nintendo Network ID: DefHalan

Indy83

NinjaWaddleDee wrote:

Okay, hear me out. From what I can gather, Star Fox Zero was meant to be somewhat of a "reboot" for the Star Fox series. It retells the original plot (again) and adds in some new elements. It defined what a Star Fox game is supposed to be, after Adventures, Assault, and Command kind of messed with the storyline.

Now what I'm asking is, what if the next AAA Metroid game was like this? What if it brought Samus back to Zebes, and mixed bosses from Metroid 1 and Super into this grand fusion, while adding in it's own new features and gameplay nuances, just like Star Fox Zero? It could appeal to both old and new fans alike, and remind them of what Metroid is supposed to be, while also reminding Nintendo of what it is supposed to be. Thoughts?

Whether Metroid Reboots the story or not is by and large irrelevant. The story is not a problem the series is having. Complete reboot, sequel to fusion with metroid Samus, doesn't matter. Either one could be a complete success that reinvigortes the franchise, or the next Other M that buries it further into irrelevance.

What metroid needs now, is the same thing the series has always needed, and until recently, always delivered. Peerless world and progression design made possible by mechanic altering powerups, and discovered via player agency.

Metroid didn't became an iconic legend of videogames because it had a cool story, and Samus didn't become an Iconic character because she was cool. People began to care about the story, because they were playing an amazing game that blew their mind non stop from start to finale. And when they were done, they were so excited they wanted to talk and obsess about every detail, inside the game, and out. Samus became a video game Icon because she was the avatar of an amazing game. It's called a halo effect.

Other M, was an anti metroid game. It was literally the opposite of every great metroid, in every way except the outer wrapper.

In Great Metroids the player explored, using their critical thinking, ingenuity, and problem solving skills to figure out where they could go, thus making progress in the game. Figuring out where to go leads to a great feeling of accomplishment. It feels good.

In Other M an NPC tells the player where to go, puts a dot on the map for them to follow, and then locks any doors along the way that dont lead to the objective. Reaching the objective the player feels nothing, because they found nothing, they put down the controller and watch a video that tells them how they should feel. They often don't agree with the video on feeling that way.

This shattered metroids halo effect for a great deal of people, and in its place arose a negative halo effect, or devils effect. Suddenly Other M became more than a bad metroid game, with an akward poorly localised story. everything the game did was now wrong under the devil effect, and people en masse began making up things that were wrong with the game that didnt even happen. Powerful psychological phenomena halo effects. Its why marketing companies have spent billions in researching and executing ways to manufacture them. But thats getting a bit off track...

In great metroids successful exploration has players discovering a powerup, not just simple missile or e tank upgrades, but a powerup that alters the fundamental mechanics of the game, permanently changing the rule set in how the player observes and interacts with the game, and having the player learn anew how they can explore and interact with the game world. Suddenly, even areas the player has already been to are being thought of in new ways.

This is the basic gameplay loop for metroid. Explore, find the way, get rewarded with new areas to explore and with a powerup, that changes the way the game plays, learn new way to explore, get rewarded with new areas to explore and a powerup.

The second Nintendo remembers this, and makes a metroid game that knocks this out of the park, is the second metroid is back to that moment in time when super metroid or metroid prime just came out. And whatever story they have attatched with it, will be remembered with great fondness, because of that halo effect.

Going further into this, a simple cosmetic copy of this loop is not enough. Lots of Indie companies are trying to do this right now, and, completely failing to understand what metroid was, they make these 2d metroidvanias that often just feel cheap, and don't really seem to scratch the itch (Probably the best out of the bunch is axiom verge, and while by far the best it doesnt come close to a great metroid).

The key is in a design mechanic the original metroids and the first prime excelled at. Soft locks. But soft locks are a bit tricky, so I will get into the Hard lock first.

A hard lock is simply put a lock and a key. get the key, open the locked door. Now paint the key or put a sticker on it to make it look like something else. Get the drill shot, break those big boulders. Get the glitch ray, make those messed up areas passable, get the speacial visor, now you can shoot the switch to open the door. Get the missile, open the red door. Metroids famous hard lock. The great metroids used hard locks sparingly, generally when the designers wanted to make absolutely sure the player couldnt get into an area without a certain powerup, to keep them from getting stuck, unable to get back, and having to start the game over. Hard locks are useful tools. But they have beome a crutch.

EVERY Indie metroidvania, and most large publisher metroidvanias have all used nothing but hardlocks, which makes for a very very weak exploration adventure design. They are horribly boring compared to a great metroid. Its very simple get the key, whatever disguise its using and go to whatever door it opens up, behind it is another disguised key, go across to the other side of the map again and open whatever door this key is intended for. Its monotonous. There is no thinking involved, no experimenting, no learning... For that, you need soft locks.

A soft lock, is something that is both much simpler than a hardlock.... And much more complicated. Its something that changes a fundamental mechanic of the game, at its simplest its something like how fast can you run, or how high can you jump. Now, "jump higher" sounds a lot simpler than "A Thermal beam that can ignite and melt certain alloys to clear the way", but in execution, it can be infinitely more complex and nuanced.

With the Thermal beam, literally the only thing that can be done with it, is open a certain locked door, in the shape of a certain rock graphic. Thats it.

But jump higher, that can have ramnifications. There are dozens of ways you can design an area to be "impassable" without the ability to jump higher.

You can have a high wall that the player cant get over until they jump higher.
You can have a long pit the player cant jump over unless they can jump higher.
You can have a series of platforms the player cant properly navigate until they can jump higher.

I am going to stop here, because this can literally go on forever, and I have more than enough to get across this point: Any one of these, can drastically alter the design of an area, or room, or path to progress, with visually engaging changes in scenery design. The other power up, the hard lock can only ever be a locked door the player opens.

On top of this, for the clever player, this can all be overcome without the power up. Perhaps the player is skilled with walljumping, and makes it over the high wall. Perhaps the player is clever and lures an enemy into a certain position and then freezes them with the ice beam to get across the far gap. Perhaps the player is skilled enough to do both, and navigate the series of platforms without having the jump.

Once again, with the hard lock, you have a key, it opens the door, thats it.

In order to have a great metroid again, Nintendo needs to create a game involving a series of NEW soft lock based powerups (They have not done this since the original Metroid Prime) and design a compelling world around them for the player to explore, experiment, and triumph over.

Edited on by Indy83

Indy83

MarcelRguez

@Indy83: Good post, especially the part concerning hard and soft locks. Only thing I'd like to add is that soft locks need to be correctly implemented into the world itself for them to really be satisfactory. Shantae and the Pirate's Curse had many hard locks that were presented as soft locks (your long pit example comes to mind), and I can see that being the case for many indie devs.

Another thing I only think Metroid and Castlevania (although to a lesser extent) get right is the interconnections between maps. It's not enough for a map to loop into itself like Pirate's Curse does, you have to create secret shortcuts that allow for more exploration through the use of the character's abilities. Many indie metroidvanias I've played either make you backtrack through exactly the same corridors or just place you at the beginning of that map section when you're done with it. It's the difference between an "O" shaped map design (you reach the furthest point through route A, you come back through route B) and a "D" shaped map design (once you reach the point you want, you can go back at the starting point through an immediate shortcut).

Edited on by MarcelRguez

MarcelRguez

3DS Friend Code: 3308-4605-6296 | Nintendo Network ID: Marce2240 | Twitter:

Indy83

Marce2240 wrote:

@Indy83: Good post, especially the part concerning hard and soft locks. Only thing I'd like to add is that soft locks need to be correctly implemented into the world itself for them to really be satisfactory. Shantae and the Pirate's Curse had many hard locks that were presented as soft locks (your long pit example comes to mind), and I can see that being the case for many indie devs.

Another thing I only think Metroid and Castlevania (although to a lesser extent) get right is the interconnections between maps. It's not enough for a map to loop into itself like Pirate's Curse does, you have to create secret shortcuts that allow for more exploration through the use of the character's abilities. Many indie metroidvanias I've played either make you backtrack through exactly the same corridors or just place you at the beginning of that map section when you're done with it. It's the difference between an "O" shaped map design (you reach the furthest point through route A, you come back through route B) and a "D" shaped map design (once you reach the point you want, you can go back at the starting point through an immediate shortcut).

Absolutely, to further your example, Nintendo has become so familiar with the metroid power ups they have been using over and over for so long, that they have actually turned the soft lock powerups into hard locks with titles like fusion and other m.

Its an extremely hard balance to get right, there is a reason why Nobody else has even remotely attempted to make a full size 3d metroid like game, even when prime released to critical acclaim. Its hard.

It seems the series about exploration has been at its best when its creators where exploring design and mechanics concepts themselves.

Indy83

NinjaWaddleDee

@Indy83: I'm not sure it's even possible to recreate the magic of Super Metroid and Prime anymore, especially if Nintendo is making the game. It seems like they want to make sure every single one of their franchises appeals to children. (Ex. Federation Force.) Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I don't see why they can't have ONE franchise that appeals to mostly adults and teens.

Edited on by NinjaWaddleDee

Check out my YouTube channel if you love gaming, and Nintendo (especially Metroid) I think you'll enjoy my videos. :)
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Nintendo Network ID: NinjaWaddleDee

Octane

@NinjaWaddleDee: They did fund Bayonetta 2, so who knows? I'm more worried about their need to ''innovate'' every new game and franchise.

Also not sure if ''appeals'' is the right word. They want their games to appeal to everyone, and they are made suitable for children. I don't think they necessarily want to appeal to just children.

Octane

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