The first new Metroid game in years (and the first new 2D Metroid in 19 years),It is the concluding chapter of a series of games that expanded to the original Metroid in 1986. It is now available with a new , aiming to become Nintendo’s big holiday title in a year without any new Mario or Zelda games.
Producer is Yoshio SakamotoFrom the Beginning: On a Zoom from Japan, I interviewed Sakamoto about Metroid, how the new game was conceived and its future.
Here are edited excerpts of the conversation.
Metroid games have moved between TV-connected play and handhelds for a while now. Now on the Switch it’s a little bit of both. Do you find that a priority for you in terms of how you play on the Switch?
Sakamoto: I don’t have a very strong preference on TVs or handhelds.
Metroid has a massive world with a massive sci-fi atmosphere, so I personally think it might be more exciting to play on the big screen than it is on a TV. The visual quality has definitely improved and evolved immensely. In that sense, Nintendo Switch hardware could be a very, very good match.
You’ve made several Metroid games for handheld systems. Did you find the handheld for Metroid a particularly good match?
original development department in which I was [with Metroid] Very familiar with handheld games. However, I wasn’t focusing exclusively on handhelds – I did my best to make the best possible Metroid on each [type of] Hardware. This Metro Dread idea originated 15 years ago in the Nintendo DS era. I was considering what kind of Metroid ideas might work well with the Nintendo DS’s exclusivity. Now, finally, Metro Dread is on the Nintendo Switch. Of course, there were ideas that we needed to develop and modify from the Nintendo DS era. But I think ultimately, every single idea has been fine-tuned and completely customized.
As far as Metroid’s influence on games goes: Your ideas have given rise to the term Metroidvania, and Switch games acknowledge what Metroid started. How do you feel about those games? Do you think how these designers are messing with your ideas? And does it inspire you?
There have been tons of games released in this Metroidvania genre. Of course, I’m not super familiar with all of them. But the fact that I’ve been one of the original members that created this genre, and a lot of game designers are digesting it and customizing their style, creating their own games… I’m very grateful Am. And it’s also very, very interesting. I honestly feel so happy and grateful that what we did back then was done through so many game developers and game game designers, creating so many different games.
Has your perception of the meaning of Metroid changed? Has your relationship with him changed?
Do we have a very solid character or franchise image for Metroid and Samus, and have we really presented it the way we wanted in the original game? I’m really not sure how to answer this. However, I think the character Samus has evolved over the years, and with all of his adventures it really deepened my understanding of what kind of character Samus is, and his inner self – what he’s been thinking in each adventure. Was? Metroid Dread ends the intertwined fate between Metroid and Samus, which is a major theme of the narrative. My understanding and vision of the Metroid franchise and Samus have deepened over the years.
As long as the character of Samus exists, I think his adventures will continue. I think Samus should continue on his adventure, and that’s something we’ll really need to put our best effort into. Metroid Dread concludes a five-story arc that has been going on for 35 years. However, I think this is not the end. There has to be something that will enable the franchise and the universe to continue. So yes, as long as your character Samus is loved, I would like to do what I have to do.
If you wanted to make another game for another Nintendo franchise, which one would it be?
well, what to say? This is a very difficult question. I guess it really depends on when the time comes, what I want to build, what my team wants to build, and whether it’s something Nintendo fans will love. Unless I see that vision, it will be very difficult to realize that idea. And of course, if I also had this idea, it would be very difficult to answer. Sorry for the very vague answer – this is a very difficult question to answer. Movies would also be very interesting, but nothing really concrete that I can answer here.
So that’s a very interesting thing. Personally, I hope this becomes a reality someday.