For the first time in nearly a year and a half, the world will finally be blessed with a new, full-scale, 50 minute Nintendo Direct tomorrow. I tend to keep my speculation pretty conservative, but with such a massive Direct on the way, we’ll no doubt hear from some of Nintendo‘s juggernauts like Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, and even potentially Mario and Animal Crossing. While those franchises are ripe for speculation, I’d instead like to focus on a series near and dear to my heart that often fails to receive the attention it deserves from the house of Mario.
That series is Metroid, and while a lot of what’s to follow contains a healthy amount of speculation, it’s all reasonably safe to assume one or more of these possible announcements will be featured in tomorrow’s Direct.
What’s on the scanners?
As it currently stands, the only officially announced new Metroid game in the works is Metroid Prime 4 for the Switch. However, that game is almost certainly a long ways off, having completely restarted development with Retro Studios as the developers back in early 2019, and the project was still in need of a lead producer as of late last year. Furthermore, there’s no telling what the effects of COVID-19 lockdowns and work-from-home orders have had on the project.
That would probably lead one to assume that it will once again be a no-show, however, a new teaser for this game would probably be one of the easiest and least committal things Nintendo can do concerning the franchise, and as such, I would bet that it’s the most likely thing we could see concerning Metroid tomorrow.
Metroid Fusion 2 – Can it be?!
This next reveal is a bit more unlikely, but would absolutely be a welcome sight. That being the announcement of a new 2D Metroid title, more specifically, a true Metroid 5 in the form of a direct sequel to Metroid Fusion. Normally, I would be incredibly skeptical of such a possibility, however, noted leaker Sabi shared info last year that 2020 would see a new Paper Mario title that would be more in-line with the series’ roots and a sequel to Metroid Fusion. Last year did indeed see the release of a new Paper Mario game in the form of The Origami King, which has been the most well-received since the Thousand-Year Door, so it could be assumed that the alleged Metroid title was held back for this year.
Whether the delay of a 2D Metroid title was due to COVID-19 complications or some other reason is unknown, and that’s assuming it’s even real, of course. Half of Sabi’s claims have come true, however, and combining their claim with the critical success of Metroid: Samus Returns back in 2017, it does bode well for this possible announcement.
The Holy Grail
This is it — the most talked about Metroid topic for what feels like the entirety of the Switch era thus far: A Metroid Prime Trilogy port.
It has been rumored and spoken of by so many sources and “insiders,” that it almost seems like a given at this point. Though, with Prime 4 still being a ways out, it’s been assumed that a port of the collection has been held back to set the table for that triumphant release. I, however, say it’s finally time to see this fabled trilogy on Switch for more reasons than most may think, and tomorrow’s Direct is the perfect place to show it.
The Metroid Prime Trilogy has the potential to fill a few unique holes in the Switch’s otherwise impeccable catalog. The most obvious of those holes is a first-party first-person shooter. It’s no secret that the genre is wildly popular, and Switch fans have proven to be interested in such content with the success of games like Overwatch and Doom on the platform.
There’s another, less obvious hole that could be filled, and to be honest, it may not be filled at all. That hole is a first-party co-op shooter. You may be scratching your head on this one, as the only multiplayer the Prime Trilogy ever had was Prime 2’s arena-shooter-style PVP. Now, hear me out on this one — and please don’t call for my firing in the comments — but I think it would be fantastic if Nintendo were to release Metroid Prime Federation Force as the Prime Trilogy’s co-op component alongside making Prime 2’s PVP playable online.
Prime 2’s PVP needs no justification, as it’s almost a no-brainer at this point with how successful Nintendo’s online games have been of late. Federation Force, on the other hand, may need a bit of evangelizing to convert the skeptical. It isn’t a bad game per se, it was just the wrong game to release at the time it did. Had Nintendo released it alongside the announcement of Samus Returns, and then followed up one year later with the announcement of Prime 4 alongside Samus Returns’ release, I’d be willing to bet that it would have been far more successful — perhaps even celebrated!
Above all else though, Nintendo believed in Federation Force enough to release it. Rolling the spin-off into this package would give the game a second chance at life while potentially driving Nintendo Switch Online membership purchases, which is a major focus of Nintendo’s long-term plans as a whole.
See you next Mission!
Even if Samus is entirely absent from tomorrow’s showcase, it’s nice to finally have a juicy speculation conversation like this again. Heck, I wasn’t even working here at Nintendo Wire the last time a Nintendo Direct aired. Are you hoping to see the triumphant return of the galaxy’s toughest bounty hunter in tomorrow’s Nintendo Direct? Let us know in the comments below!
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