From a letter to the original Nintendo Power magazine of the very first issue, we read:
Metroid has to be one of the best games ever made, at least the most challenging. Anyone who plays this game cannot say it’s easy. You really have to use your mind for this game.
The things that make this game so popular are the graphics, sound, the challenge, and the enemies.
Sooner or later you will figure out the secret passageways. There are a lot. You must go back and read the instructions to get more clues. If you don’t want to get lost in this planet, you must make maps.
Another great thing is that you do not get many free weapons, you have to earn them. It is not easy to find them all, there are a lot of secrets. If you have this game or are going to get it, you will enjoy it for a long, long time. Keep making more games like this!
Jason Nute’s description of Metroid is 100% right on. This is why Metroid became popular. Let’s look at what he DIDN’T say.
-Didn’t mention Samus Aran AT ALL. (She is irrelevant.)
-Didn’t mention the story.
-No mention of backtracking except for the ‘go back to get clues’ part.
-No maternal instincts. This contradicts Sakamoto in that he thought we played Metroid for the maternal instincts (or was that just Super Metroid?).
What Jason Nute did say was:
-The game is HARD. The game is fun because of it.
-The game has TONS OF SECRETS and is huge.
-You must make maps.
-You have to EARN your weapons unlike other games where you get them for free. (Interesting take on Metroid.)
Jason Nute ends his mail with a plea: “Keep making games more like this!” Speaking for Jason Nute from twenty four years into the future, he will be pleased with Metroid II. However, he will be disappointed with Super Metroid. Why? Because Super Metroid wasn’t challenging. You could beat the game in a rental. Not with Metroid. That game was tough.
Jason Nute would be pleased with the Metroid Primes though. He would be very disappointed with Metroid Fusion (linear, too much dialogue, not challenging) and Metroid Zero Mission (same thing). And imagine how Jason Nute would react when playing Metroid: Other M.
I want Jason Nute to design the next Metroid, not Sakamoto.