Just recently we shared the most recent work of Unseen64, which produced a devastating expose of the doomed Project H.A.M.M.E.R., highlighting the problems between North American studio Nintendo Software Technology (NST) and Japanese management. It was an episode that, ultimately, didn't reflect well on anyone concerned.
In researching that video with internal sources, however, Unseen64 also learned more about other projects from the period involving NST, bringing intriguing information on some Metroid games.
First of all there's Metroid Prime: Hunters, and the revelation that in its early days it was planned as a sizeable single player Prime experience for the DS. As development progressed and the challenge of creating a single player adventure became clear, however, the barebones local multiplayer mode seen in the DS hardware E3 reveal became the focus, expanding into online multiplayer. In fact, the single player segment suffered due to this focus, with the final result apparently being thrown together from elements of the multiplayer modes.
Some insight is also given on the mysterious Metroid Dread. It was apparently in the concept stages for a good spell, though kicked into prototype development around 2008. A 2D sequel to Metroid Fusion, NST wasn't involved but did see it - along with Nintendo of America staff - in a behind-the-scenes internal demonstration at E3 2009. At this stage the Dread name had been dropped, suggesting it was never prominent in the project, and due to the similar artstyle to the GBA predecessor "literally looked like a port of Fusion on DS", according to one insider.
Finally, Unseen64 tackles Metroid Prime: Federation Force. NST, despite developing Hunters - the only other first-person portable Metroid game - has had absolutely no involvement in the Next Level Games project, again highlighting the fallout and drop down the reckoning following Project H.A.M.M.E.R.; in fact the studio only found out about it during E3 along with the public, upsetting some Hunters development veterans.
As always the video is well worth a watch, so check it out below.