Community Spotlight: Samuel Lidström

Our first Community Spotlight of the year is a talented musician, music producer and sound designer, Samuel Lidström! Samuel has played a huge role in many Shinesparkers projects, originally debuting arrangements to Harmony of a Hunter: 101% Run, then later with Harmony of Heroes and Harmony of a Champion. Samuel is an award-winning musician who has worked professionally on the music of Magnetic: Cage Closed and Medusa’s Labyrinth. In this Community Spotlight, he highlights the origins of getting into music and his love for MIDI. Be sure to check out the Community Spotlight below to learn more about Samuel, check out his arrangements in the linked videos and support him on the links provided.

Click here to read the feature

Reminder of Wii Shop Channel Closure

It won’t be long now until all Wii Shop Channel content, which includes Virtual Console and WiiWare games, will be unobtainable for good. You have until January 31st to re-download any already purchased content (though you can’t add more points to buy anything new, but you can use up any you happen to have already purchased). Metroid for the NES and Super Metroid for the SNES were released on this platform.

While it might not affect everyone, especially seeing as many Virtual Console titles have been released again elsewhere, it’s also the only place to obtain certain games. Specific WiiWare games have not been released anywhere else, such as the Konami Rebirth games, or have features only available on the Wii, like Lost Winds. Don’t let this opportunity pass by if you do happen to have anything uninstalled as they will cease to be available for download very soon.

Source: Nintendo of America, Nintendo UK

Feature: Super Metroid – The Unexpected Masterpiece

Our first feature of the year Super Metroid – The Unexpected Masterpiece is now available to read! Staff member KomodoZero shares his thoughts on how one of the most notable Metroid titles in the history was a success, largely by accident. He highlights how gamebreaking bugs could have ruined a game, but in Super Metroid’s case, expanded the game to even greater heights.

A big thank you to KomodoZero for taking the time to put this together for us!

Click here to read the feature

Datamine reveals SNES games on Nintendo Switch includes Super Metroid

Nintendo Switch’s online service launched last September, and brought with it a growing library of NES titles to play as part of its paid online subscription. Thanks to a recent datamine by modder Kapu, it looks like a selection of SNES games could be on the way, including Super Metroid! A total of twenty-two games were found in the datamine which includes Samus Aran’s third outing as the beloved bounty hunter.

Super Mario Kart
Super Soccer
Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past
Demon’s Crest
Yoshi’s Island
Stunt Race FX
Kirby’s Dream Course
Pop’n Twinbee
Star Fox
Contra 3
Kirby Super Star
Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
Kirby’s Dream Land 3
Super Metroid
Super Mario World
Pilotwings
F-ZERO
Star Fox 2
Super Punch-Out!!
The Legend of the Mystical Ninja
Super Mario All-Stars
Breath of Fire 2

This list doesn’t confirm when or if the games will be added to the online service, but it would make sense for Nintendo to expand and enrich the library of games it currently offers as part of its online service. Making Super Metroid available to Nintendo Switch owners with an online subscription would be an amazing opportunity for many first time players to try one of the most popular titles in the franchise.

Source: Kapu on Twitter, Pastebin

First 4 Figures Meta Ridley Teaser Released

First 4 Figures announced a while back that they were working on a Meta Ridley statue in their Metroid range of statues, you can see the prototype figure from our post from nearly a year ago. Now they’ve produced a teaser trailer for the upcoming statue.

Reservations for the statue start on Friday 18th, alongside a Q&A session to answer any questions you may have.

Source: First 4 Figures on YouTube

Feature: End of Year 2018

We are delighted to share our End of Year feature for 2018! The team have come together to share their thoughts on a number of topics, and I hope you will enjoy our final feature of the year. Before that however, I would like to say a few words to our audience.

We have reached the end of 2018, and while it may not have been the year for a brand new Metroid title launch, we did have some reasons to celebrate. On a local level, we are proud of how far our community has come this year, ensuring that the lack of a new Metroid title isn’t going to prevent us from celebrating the franchise and its incredibly talented community. Our Community Spotlights have been a wonderful addition to the website this year, and we are thankful to all of those who took part in sharing their fantastic projects with us!

We were also fortunate enough to publish three interviews with Jack Mathews (Metroid Prime 1/2/3), Clark Wen (Metroid Prime 1/2) and Hirokazu Tanaka (Metroid), and we are thankful for their support. Personally speaking, when I put together Shinesparkers back in 2010, it amazed me that people who worked on my favourite video game franchise would be willing to speak to me and share some of their memories and comments about their time working on these games, and it still amazes me now. We will continue to do our very best to reach out to more notable people in 2019 and beyond.

I am also very thankful to our talented team who have supported us this year with our written features, opinion pieces and group discussions. I also want to thank the team for ensuring that we get the news out as fast as possible as soon as something Metroid related breaks. Ensuring our news and content gets out there to our audience as fast as possible has been a huge priority for me personally. Regardless of what contribution our team have made to the website, large or small, it means a huge deal to have you with me on this journey to make Shinesparkers a website that aspires to be at the heart of the Metroid community.

Finally, a huge thank you to all of our readers and supporters for engaging with us, taking part in our group features and being generally awesome. Representing the Metroid franchise is a huge honour and pleasure, so it pleases me to see just how far this community has come. Shinesparkers is a passion project that I hope I get to continue for many more years from now, becoming the community it deserves to be. See you in 2019!

Click here to check out our End of Year feature 2018

Shinesparkers Interview: Hirokazu Tanaka

For the past few months we have been working on an extra special interview for Shinesparkers with the legendary composer of Metroid, Hirokazu Tanaka. If you’re a fan of music from the Metroid series such as Kraid’s Lair, Brinstar and the iconic opening theme to the first Metroid title, Mr. Tanaka is the man you should be thanking. His musical compositions are featured in many iconic Nintendo titles, such as Kid Icarus, EarthBound, Super Mario Land, Duck Hunt and many more. His work goes beyond music as the designer and programmer for the Famicom and Game Boy audio hardware, and is credited in the design of the Game Boy Camera and Printer!

We are incredibly thankful to Tanaka-san for sparing his time to speak with us, along with translator Antoine Fantys and his friend Toya Yukawa for their support in helping us translate this interview. Special thanks to Ben Stewart for the great header image, as well as team member RoyboyX with helping us put the interview together with yours truly.

Click here to read the interview

Metroid: The Decisive Battle Against Ridley added to Switch NES

A special version of Metroid has been added to the Nintendo Entertainment System selection available to Switch Online subscribers. It starts you off at Ridley with all her equipment, in particular the Ice Beam upgrade, to prepare you for the battle with Ridley and the route through Tourian following after.

Also added was a special version of Dr. Mario, which starts you off at a rare scene after completing the game at level 20 at Hi speed.

Source: Nintendo

Nintendo applied for a Metroid: Other M trademark

It has come to light that Nintendo has recently applied for trademarks for two games that were released on Wii – Metroid: Other M, and Super Mario Galaxy. These trademarks were applied for with the purposes of “video game program”, “downloadable video game program”, and “program for smartphone”. Other M was released on Wii in 2010, and re-released as a digital download through the Wii U eShop in 2016. It is possible that Nintendo is seeking to trademark Other M for re-release on Shield TV in China, or another digital re-release on Switch. We’ll let you know if we hear more.

Source: My Nintendo News/Japanese Nintendo

Feature: Metroid Smashing Through The Ages

The latest game in the series, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, is just around the corner. To celebrate the occasion our staff member Quadraxis has written up a feature highlighting the Metroid franchise’s impact on the Smash Bros. series throughout the ages. In his feature, he discusses the inclusion of Samus and other playable characters, stages, trophies and more. We’re all very excited for this brand new title to hit Nintendo Switch on December 7th 2018, and we hope you are too!

Click here to read the feature