The First Mainstream Heroine of Video Games Is Finally Getting the Recognition She Deserves
When Metroid was first released for the Super Nintendo back in 1986, no one knew the game's hero, Samus Aran, was a girl. In fact, it took years for some fans to find out, since only the fastest players could unlock the ending that made the shocking reveal.
More than 30 years later, seeing powerful female characters as the heroes of video games is becoming more common, but that doesn't mean that the playing field is even. That's why we're so excited by yesterday's big E3 announcements that not one, but two big Metroid games are on the way.
Fans were hoping for, but not at all expecting, this to happen. This is partly because the last two Metroid titles weren't very well-received.
While we actually had plenty of fun playing last year's Metroid Prime: Federation Force, others didn't care for the somewhat cutesy art style of the game, the repetitive co-op gameplay and the fact that Samus was nowhere to be found. Before that, 2010's Metroid: Other M was criticized for its linearity, clunky controls and laughable voice acting. With these two games greatly underperforming, fans were starting to think that Nintendo might have given up on the Metroid franchise.
These two upcoming games prove that's not the case. After all, the loss of those two games wasn't the fault of the characters or the premise, but they way they were handled—and one of the game's failures was precisely that a beloved character was not represented within the game.
And if there were any concerns that a female-fronted property won't perform as well as one starring a man, the success of the Wonder Woman movie has probably put them to rest.
The first game is Metroid: Samus Returns for the 3DS, which is a modern-day reimagining of 1991's Metroid II: Return of Samus. While the graphics on the old game were as 8-bit as it gets, the new one will render all of the classic characters and locations with gorgeous 3D models within the 2D platformer. The game will also introduce new moves to Samus' arsenal, making the game better than it ever was. It'll be out on Sep. 15.
But the big news is that we'll be getting a brand new Metroid game for the Nintendo Switch—Metroid Prime 4. The original Metroid Prime releases on the Gamecube in 2002 blended first-person gameplay and platforming into a puzzling adventure that hadn't been seen before, and its sequels did more of the same. Not much has been announced about the new game, but it's currently in development and we'll probably have to wait a while before it's out.
And if that wasn't exciting enough, new Metroid Amiibo are also on the way, and we got to see them in person at E3. Samus may also have a standard and zero suit Amiibo thanks to Super Smash Bros., but this upcoming figure in a crouched action pose is even cooler. We also hear that the Metroid Amiibo's top is squishy.
We're thrilled to see that Samus, who paved the way for other butt-kicking video game ladies, is finally going to be back in her own great games. We've been waiting years for this to come, but we think the wait will be well worth it.
Want more news from E3? Click HERE to read about our favorite game from the floor so far, Ooblets.