While the Metroid series famously skipped over the Nintendo 64, a fanmade project shows what a game could look like on the console.
The Metroid series had trouble when it first was considering going into 3D. While Samus Aran did make her polygonal debut on the Nintendo 64 console, it was only through the Super Smash Bros. as opposed to a mainline game. It took several years for Nintendo’s bounty hunter to be brought into the third dimension, until it finally happened on GameCube with the critically acclaimed Metroid Prime developed by Retro Studios.
Famously, the reason why the series skipped the Nintendo 64 was due to Metroid series producer Yoshio Sakamoto being apprehensive of how to transition the game into 3D. The specific reason according to an old interview with games™ (now known as gamesradar+) was that he himself couldn’t imagine how Samus could move around while using the N64 controller. He also stated that Nintendo itself was approaching another company who could possibly develop an N64 game as well, but that offer was also turned down. While this never came to be from Nintendo, one fan is putting together what an N64 Metroid game could have looked like.
This concept was created by Twitter user Luto Akino, who is an indie game developer from Mexico. They posted a video of this Metroid 64 concept, where Samus is in a 3D re-imagining of the Lower Brinstar area. It demonstrated a rotating 3D camera around Samus, where the player can look around at any angle. Unlike the Metroid Prime series, this project is a 3D action platformer, where Samus can lock onto certain objects with the press of a button, which keeps the player centered on what they are shooting at.
Some of Samus’ movement and weapons were also demonstrated in this video, with her jump always being in a corkscrew motion, or her being able to use a quick dash/dodge mechanic. Aside from her arm cannon, she also has access to her morph ball form, which can lay down a series of bombs like from her 2D entries. Many fans compared to the fan project to Capcom’s Mega Man Legends game, due to their similar third-person gameplay mechanics.
This fan game looks incredibly promising, as some felt it captured what Metroid could have looked like in 3D before Metroid Prime took off. Others were however wary of this project being talked about publicly, as Metroid fan games have been forced to shut down development before. Some are already dreading the inevitable request from Nintendo to cease any further development on Metroid 64.
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Source: GamesRadar, Nintendo Life
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