Yesterday, Nintendo hit fans longing for the return of Samus Aran with a double whammy, announcing Metroid Prime 4 for the Switch and unveiling the aptly titled Metroid: Samus Returns for the 3DS. Now, a developer diary has been released, offering a little more information on the handheld project.
The video begins with an acknowledgement that Samus Returns is the first 2D Metroid game since Zero Mission launched for the Game Boy Advance in 2004. There’s a lot riding on this title, and it seems clear that everyone involved with its development is eager satisfy the fans.
Nintendo’s Yoshio Sakamoto then offers up some information on how closely the game will be based on the original Metroid II for the Game Boy. Apparently, the story and basic structure will remain the same, although the new gameplay mechanics and abilities at Samus’ disposal will change up the experience significantly.
Sakamoto goes on to explain that the importance of the baby Metroid featured in the game’s story inspired Nintendo to remake the game for a new audience. While the events of Metroid II are already a key part of the series’ lore, this might suggest a narrative link between Samus Returns and Metroid Prime 4.
There’s also a discussion of the new gameplay mechanics being introduced via the remake, which are intended to expand the player’s range of motion without abandoning the well-established hallmarks of the series. As we saw in the reveal trailer, Samus can now shoot with a 360-degree range of motion, and has access to a powerful melee counter attack.
There was plenty of frustration among the Metroid fanbase earlier this year when promising fanmade remake AM2R was shut down by Nintendo. Now we know that the company had good reason to call time on the project — and the reimagining that’s being created internally certainly looks like a must-play.
Metroid: Samus Returns is scheduled to launch for the Nintendo 3DS on September 15, 2017.