It’s been a fantastic week to be a Metroid fan and the hits just keep coming since the announcement of both Metroid Prime 4 and Metroid: Samus Returns yesterday at E3. For further information about the announcements click here. Information has been pouring out about the collector and standard editions of the upcoming 3DS title. The standard edition will be retailing for the typical $39.99, but more interestingly is the special edition, seen below, that is shown on Gamestop for $49.99.
The special edition is to include a CD-ROM archival soundtrack, assumedly a greatest hits of the series or a mix of tracks from both versions of Metroid II. This is a nice bonus for fans and the series-staple screw attack logo on both the cover and CD is a nice touch.
What’s a big Nintendo announcement without some new Amiibos? Samus Returns is getting two dedicated Amiibos upon release with a model of Samus herself and the infamous Metroid. Both contain a lot of detail and will provide some nice desk candy for anyone picking them up upon release. No word on what functionality they will provide within game or other games that will support them, but Nintendo was sure to advertise that the Metroid Amiibo in particular is “squishy.” We wouldn’t have it any other way. No release date have been mentioned as of this time, but you can start the hunt for the original Samus and Zero Suit Samus Amiibos if they aren’t in your collection already. Nintendo stated that they would be compatible with Samus Returns upon release.
The last bit of news released by Nintendo is a developer diary video discussing new abilities and game mechanics in more detail. Explanations of the free aim, melee counter, and Aeion powers are discussed and shown via gameplay. An informative interview and a must watch for any Metroid fan itching for more information about the upcoming 3DS release.
Since the begging of the Nintendo Spotlight at E3 2017, Nintendo has blown the doors off the whole event. From the relatively short, but dense with announcements conference spotlight to their post conference Treehouse event, Nintendo has proven that they have a lot of games in the pipeline for fans to look forward to. While I’m always hopeful that a new Metroid game will be announced, the series has been basically dormant for the last 7-10 years depending upon your outlook on the series as a whole.
Well no more! During the conference a short teaser trailer for Metroid Prime 4 was on display that showed off a logo and a message stating it is currently in development for the Nintendo Switch. Seems a fitting time as any to announce a new game in the wildly popular series no less then 10 years after the release of Metroid Prime Corruption. No release date was mentioned, but its just good to know that Nintendo is finally giving this wonderful IP some attention that it sorely deserves.
An announcement for a new installment of the Prime series was enough to get people talking, but Nintendo doesn’t seem to be resting on their laurels this year and also announced Metroid: Samus Returns, a remake of the GameBoy game of the same moniker, for the 3DS during their post-conference Treehouse event. Samus Returns looks to be a 2.5D take on classic Metroid gameplay and will find Samus hunting down Metroids with familiar and new moves alike. The best part is that this game is going to be playable on September 15th of this year. Thats only 3 months away and it’s clear that Nintendo has put a lot of love into the project as the combat, enemies, and environments look amazing on the 3DS.
Nintendo really stepped up at this year’s E3 and honestly blew everyone else out of the water. The conference was all about games and Nintendo had some seriously great ones to announce. I’ll continue to keep you informed of future updates from Nintendo on these titles and check back for my analysis of the Metroid: Samus Returns trailer at some point this week.
A Grand Romp Amongst the Undead and Dracula’s Other Ghoulish Minions!
Back in 1987 a little known game called Castlevania was published by Konami for the Nintendo Entertainments System. From the opening theme to the gothic tapestry of environments you will be exploring, Castlevania just screams fun.
Like most games of the 8-bit era, Castlevania is a pretty short and to the point experience. 6 levels comprise your adventure to hunt down the Dark Lord himself and can be finished in the course of a couple hours. Gameplay consists of basic platforming and using your trusty whip to send all enemies back to hell where they belong. You also have access to 5 subweapons; knife, holy water, stopwatch, cross, and axe. Each subweapon is useful in different situations. For example: the axe is great at taking out airborne enemies such as crows and flying medusa heads. The cross and holy water are amazing for dealing with tough bosses due to their ability to hit them multiple times per use. Subweapons require a certain number of hearts to use so you can’t rely on them most of the time. Hearts can be dropped from enemies, but in general are found in candles scattered throughout each level which can be destroyed using your whip.
The haunting and blood pumping tunes are absolutely incredible when you consider that they are created from simple “blips” and “bloops” that were simply limitations of the hardware. Konami deserves the utmost credit for composing what could argueably be considered the greatest soundtrack of the 8-bit era. The music and sound design matches each and every level, boss, and action perfectly resulting in audio bliss.
I mentioned earlier that the game’s 6 levels could be completed in the matter of a couple of hours, but let’s get real. This game is tough. Real tough! Levels 1-4 are hard but very doable with 1 or 2 continues by a seasoned gamer. Once you hit level 5 get ready to have your skills questioned. Running a gauntlet of the games most difficult enemies and then finish off with a battle to the death with Death himself. Every attempt and every continue used will test your patience to the limit until you become so acclimated to the level that you actually make it to the end boss without getting hit. Unfortunately that isn’t enough to save you because death is rather difficult in his own right flying across the play area and sending sickles from all directions. This wouldn’t be so bad if the control of your character wasn’t so stiff. Jumping is the biggest culprit here. You had better be sure you want to jump when you hit the A button because you are now completely committed for the next few seconds. You can’t redirect midair and this can be a real pain when there are several flying enemies out for your head.
So while the levels are fairly short and sweet, there is a lot of replay value due to the difficulty at hand here. Don’t let that fact scare you away from a truly classic and quality experience though. The music and gameplay will keep you wanting to come back time and again even after completion.
Release Date: May 1987
Systems: Nintendo Entertainment System, Gameboy Advance, PC