Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 17, 2017

Metroid: Sakamoto Returns

The hardcore are shocked, reader. On a thread on Neogaf, the hardcore have just discovered that Metroid: Zero Mission did not sell well. They can’t understand why.

When you look at Metroid sales, the less influence Sakamoto has, the better the Metroid sells. Metroid Prime is the best selling Metroid game. “That is because,” huffs the hardcore, “people bought Metroid Prime thinking it was Halo. No one actually likes Metroid Prime.” And yet, Metroid Prime 2 sold over a million. On. The. Gamecube. For a game as difficult and mature as Metroid, the Gamecube is a tough platform to sell on. Metroid Prime 3 also sold over a million, and then its sales fell off a cliff due to the Trilogy version (people would just buy Trilogy instead of Prime 3 of course).

Metroid Prime Hunters also sold over a million. Imagine that!

The real reason why Metroid Zero Mission did not sell that well was because of how bad Fusion was and how bad Zero Mission was. Sakamoto does not know how to make Metroid games. There. I said it!

Even a game like Super Metroid is seen differently today than it was when it came out. I remember. I was there. Super Metroid was fairly disappointing to Metroid fans then, and it quickly entered the bargain bin. Months later, Donkey Kong Country came out and overshadowed it. Metroid went on recess due to Super Metroid. Super Metroid’s late popularity has more to do with how easy the game is compared to other games of its era. Super Metroid is like 16-bit NES Metroid but in Kiddie Mode. As a huge fan of Metroid, I never bought Super Metroid when it came out because I could beat the game in a rental. I did buy it when it was firesold at $20. The last battle with the giant Metroid and Dino Mother Brain was STUPID. But I am sure Sakamoto thinks it is so genius as he made a movie out of it in the intro cutscene of Other M.

The point is that what people say on the message forum doesn’t jive with reality of the real market. That same forum that Switch was ‘dead on arrival’ and had no good games for its launch lineup.

Image result for nintendo sakamoto samus returns

Above: WRONG. Metroid: Samus Returns is NOT a 2d Metroid, it is a 2.5 Metroid which is a very different thing.

Sakamoto destroyed the ‘storyline’ of Metroid with Fusion.

Sakamoto retconned Metroid with Zero Mission.

Sakamoto nearly destroyed the IP with Metroid: Other M.

And now here is the great new Metroid game from failed developer, Sakamoto. The marketers are trying to downplay Sakamoto. “Isn’t that the guy who directed, wrote, and produced Metroid: Other M?” “Yes,” quickly whispers the marketer, “but everyone deserves one mistake.” What about the other abominations of Metroid games he has made such as Fusion? “Let us focus on how he made Metroid and Super Metroid.” No, he didn’t. Those were Gunpei Yokoi games. Kano was the producer for Metroid 1, 2, and Super Metroid. But you don’t hear about Yokoi or Kano because they aren’t at the company any longer so they aren’t useful for PR purposes.

Sakamoto had nothing to do with Metroid 2: Return of Samus on Gameboy.

Did you know that, reader? Metroid 2 was done by Gunpei Yokoi but directed by Kimura (who was the character designer of Super Mario Brothers 3) and Kiyotake(the one who designed the Wario Land games).

The 3DS game is being marketed as a new ‘2d Metroid games’ because Nintendo wants to satisfy its fans. I call bullshit.

This 3DS game is all about Sakamoto. With Samus Returns, Sakamoto gets another stab at his mission to turn Metroid into a 2.5 game (which he attempted to do with Other M) despite the fact that no one asked for a 2.5 Metroid. We want 2d or 3d Metroid, not 2.5 Metroid. There is also no reason why this game cannot be simultaneously ported on the Switch unless Sakamoto insists on utilizing the 3d aspects of the 3DS (which he will, just watch!).

Sakamoto intends to RETCON THE HELL OUT OF METROID 2. Be prepared. The Sakamoto worshippers, most of which are probably Nintendo marketers, will come out of nowhere and declare, “This is now the ‘true story’ of Metroid 2.” He will provide origin stories for Chozo and all that no one cares about, similar to how Ridley Scott provides origin for the xenomorph that didn’t need one.

Sakamoto is also the probable reason why Retro will not make another Metroid Prime. There has been public clashes with Retro and Sakamoto. Retro has told stories about how they would do something but receive all this weird feedback from Japan. At one point, they wanted the premise of Metroid Prime 3 to be Samus traveling to different planets because she is a bounty hunter (which said she was in the original manual to Metroid). Sakamoto had a cow over this. “SHE IS A HERO!!!” he would scream. I personally blame Sakamoto for the design fences that the Metroid Prime games were forced to be in.

The three big NES titles that endured were Mario, Zelda, and Metroid. What do all three have in common? In 8-bit standards, they offered OPEN WORLDS.

We all know about Zelda 1 and 2 being open worlds. But Zelda 1 was made simultaneously by the same developers as Super Mario Brothers. Super Mario Brothers had an ‘open world’ as much as 1985 technology could allow. Mario having a map screen with much larger levels (Super Mario Brothers 3) further shows the Open World is where Mario belongs.

But Metroid 1 was very much an ‘Open World’ as could be seen in 1986. In a market filled with arcade games or abstract RPG or strategy PC games, Metroid was a real scale open world platformer similar to Mario. But unlike Mario, Metroid was HARD and was COMPLETE SCI-FI.

Above: Metroid’s original commercial talks about ‘challenge’ and shows the player using a NES Advantage. Why? Experienced gamers of that era used the JOYSTICK because they grew up with Atari controllers. Metroid was for experienced gamers.

Above: “…to search a bigger world…”

That key word, ‘world’. Metroid 2 is a ‘world’ when you consider its technology at the time. This was the original Gameboy after all.

Super Metroid, while doing many things right, was not a ‘hard world’ to go through. However, it is seen as such to younger generations since its lack of difficulty has made Super Metroid more accessible than other games of its era.

Metroid Prime felt like a world.

Above: Small map clip of Metroid Prime

Changing Zelda’s priority into ‘open world’ created the Breath of the Wild blockbuster that people want so much, they buy the hardware to get to that game. Why not place the priority of ‘open world’ with Metroid, both 2d and 3d?

In movies, directors get carried away with perfect shots of the protagonist jumping away and an explosion happening behind him. In the same way, game makers get carried away with making perfect ‘cinematic flashes’ or ‘feelies’ with the gameplay. Sakamoto seems hellbent on making Samus into a Perfect Ninja complete with melee moves and perfect gymnastic skills. He’s completely missing the point of Metroid: to explore a vast, alien world.

The Metroid does not matter. The only reason for the Metroid is to give Samus a reason to be in that alien world in the first place. It is the WORLD that matters, not Samus’s gymnastic moves, her feelings, her motives, or anyone else for that matter.

Will Sakamoto understand this? No. When the game fails, he will blame the fans for ‘not understanding his glorious vision’ just like he did with Other M’s disastrous crash and burn.

Above: But Other M did create this commercial. It is much better than the game!



%d bloggers like this: