Metroid: Samus Returns: Nintendo 3DS Gameplay Details Emerge

Metroid: Samus Returns: Nintendo 3DS Gameplay Details Emerge
Metroid: Samus Returns, a reimagining of Metroid II on Nintendo 3DS, was announced at E3 2017.
Metroid: Samus Returns, a reimagining of Metroid II on Nintendo 3DS, was announced at E3 2017. (c) Nintendo

In a Nintendo developer diary, Metroid co-creator and Nintendo exec Yoshio Sakamoto talked details on Metroid: Samus Returns.

The upcoming Nintendo 3DS title is the first 2D Metroid game Nintendo has made in 13 years since Metroid: Zero Mission on Game Boy Advance. The story and structure is based on Metroid II , which was released 25 years ago on the Game Boy 2. Metroid II has never been remade, but it depicts a key character, the Baby Metroid, and Samus’ encounter with it. For that reason, Metroid II was chosen for this remake treatment.

Sakamoto explained that the goal of Metroid: Samus Returns was to create new gameplay elements that would evolve series traditions while still being true to the soul of the Metroid games, especially since the story of Metroid II is so critical to the Metroid timeline.The key features of a Metroid game, according to Sakamoto, are: action-exploration as you maneuver through massive, intricate stages and power-ups that allow you to proceed through those stages. By preserving these aspects of the original game but tweaking the controls, action and Samus’ abilities, Metroid: Samus Returns should feel like an all-new game.

For an example of new gameplay features, Sakamoto cites the change to a very basic control: Samus’s ability to fire her weapon. As usual, you fire shots in the direction you’re facing, but by standing still and holding L, you can aim freely instead of only in eight directions. During boss fights, this promises to come in especially handy. This also means players have the option of whether to use Samus’ classic aiming controls or try out the new free aim feature, leaving something on the table for purists and newbies alike.

Another example comes in the form of an all-new defensive ability: Melee Counter. When landed on an enemy who is about to strike, it stuns them, freeing you to follow up with your own powerful attack. In past Metroid games, you’ve had to defeat enemies from afar and dodge their charges. Melee Counter adds a new level of strategy that allows you to surprise enemies and enjoy a new Metroid combat style.

As far as special abilities are concerned, you receive access to them by picking up extra equipment that increases how many abilities you have. This includes shots with different effects as well as the Spider Ball from Metroid II that lets you stick to surfaces, which allows you to explore more of each stage. Metroid: Samus Returns features several power-up items and abilities never seen in the original Metroid II that give players new ways to explore and fight the Metroids, adding critical aspects of the original game.

Samus’s new abilities are called Aeion abilities, a special energy Samus can use to temporarily power up with a range of different powers. For example, Samus can power up her attacks and hold down the fire button to release a machine gun flurry. Sensors can be boosted to reveal more of Samus’ surroundings and hidden paths. Samus can even surround herself in lightning armor that negates damage and deflects enemies. Aeion abilities provide powers that have never been played before and should add a lot to an otherwise orthodox 2D Metroid game.

“We’ve really expanded on the breath of things possible in a Metroid game,” said Sakamoto.

Sakamoto also pointed out that the game was co-developed with a Spanish company, MercurySteam Entertainment. Finally, Metroid: Samus Returns will introduce two new Amiibo: Samus Aran and Metroid. The Metroid one will be soft and squishy, a first for Amiibo.

Are you excited for all the tweaks and new features going into this Metroid II remake? Looking forward to seeing more of Metroid: Samus Returns ? Feel free to discuss the new Metroid game on Nintendo 3DS in our comments section below.

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