Lost amidst the Legend of Zelda 25th anniversary celebration is the fact that the Metroid franchise also turned 25 this year.
More than two decades ago, bounty hunter Samus Aran changed the face of video game heroes, as players made the shocking discovery that the power suit wearing warrior was a woman. Forget about Lara Croft. Samus paved the way for the strong-willed heroines you see today.
And yet, Nintendo has no current plans to give Samus her due. No concert series. No video game. Not even a pat on the back.
Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that. You see, Metroid is 25 years old in Japan. The original NES adventure didn’t make its U.S. debut until 1987.
No 3DS owner would turn down Super Metroid.
So, pretending its home country doesn’t exist, Nintendo may kick off the Metroid party next year, in 2012, and few Western fans would be the wiser.
That said, we expect the big N to show Samus the same love that it bestowed upon Link and Mario, who turned 25 last year.
What does that mean? Releasing a series of products that pay homage to the blonde haired and deadly killing machine.
We love the Club Nintendo exclusive The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time CD soundtrack, and think gamers would also dig one featuring select pieces of music from the Metroid series, especially the Metroid Prime trilogy.
From there, Nintendo should release a new Metroid for 3DS and/or a compilation of several Metroid titles.
Just imagine a classic collection that includes…
Metroid Prime would make a fine addition to the 3DS library.
Of course, the company could put Metroid II: Return of Samus on the eShop’s Virtual Console.
We’d also like to see the original Metroid Prime for GameCube shoehorned onto the system, if in fact that’s possible. Considering Retro Studios’ critically acclaimed smash hit appeared in 2002, a port seems feasible.
Whether Nintendo will make this kind of effort, though, remains to be seen. We love Metroid, as do millions of other players, but the franchise isn’t nearly as popular as Mario and Zelda. That, more than anything, may dramatically affect the type of party Samus receives.
With this in mind, cross your fingers that Nintendo kicks off Metroid’s 25th at the start of the New Year.
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