In our annual end of year feature, we wanted to share our favorite moments and site content from 2021. This year saw the long-awaited release of Metroid Dread, and a large number of new fans joining the community as a result. The team shares their excitement for the future of Metroid now that Dread has been released, and which Shinesparkers content published this year was their favorites.
The Team taking part in this year’s feature:
I truly believe that Metroid Dread was a huge turning point for the Metroid fanbase. Their excitement has been loud and clear, and continued throughout and beyond the game’s release. Seeing fans experience sequence-breaking, and learning more about the lore and characters from Dread has been fantastic to see. The energy radiating from them this year has been at levels I haven’t seen since the Metroid Prime era, almost twenty years ago!
Personally, I have loved seeing this excitement spread throughout the Shinesparkers team. I have enjoyed conversing over our Podcast about the game and the future of the series, and embracing our head canons as to what this new information from the game means for the past and future stories. But the most notable excitement for me has come from my closest friends ‘in real life’ who weren’t Metroid fans initially, and seeing them get interested and excited for a Metroid game, has been wonderful. For those who completed it, they had a lot of positive things to say, which now allows us to have a str0nger connection as friends because of it.
It’s great to think that Dread has brought our community some brand new Metroid fans, and if you’re reading this, welcome! We hope that you will explore the thirty-five-year history of the series, and learn about it from our community here at Shinesparkers. I hope that as we move into 2022 and beyond, the excitement of Metroid will continue to grow in the run-up to brand new titles, or when we revisit some old ones…
What started off looking like a repeat of 2020 quickly turned into an amazing year. June 15, 2021 changed everything for the better when Metroid Dread was revealed at last. Our calls for the story of Samus to continue were finally answered, and we were not disappointed. It truly is what the series has needed for more than a decade. Not only were veteran fans happy, but there was a large influx of new ones as a result of Dread, who are now in the process of exploring the past games and integrating themselves into the Metroid fan community.
In the leadup to release, I’ve enjoyed talking with fellow team and community members to share our theories about Dread, i.e. why the E.M.M.I. were after Samus, if the animals were okay (they didn’t even show up! Rude), and why Flat Egg’s head is so flat. It’s been heartwarming to see the fanbase in such high spirits, and it marks a major turn from a decade ago when the odds were against the franchise after the backlash to Other M. All of MercurySteam’s staff deserve every bit of recognition and praise they are receiving, and I love that Samus’s voice actress in Dread, Nikki García, has been so warmly embraced by the community. She did a phenomenal job conveying Samus’s character in a single line and a scream of rage.
To say I’m excited for the future of Metroid is an understatement. There are more stories to be told in Metroid Prime 4, an eventual Metroid 6, and games beyond. The series is finally back and here to stay. I’m also excited for the content that Shinesparkers will be bringing to the community in the new year. More Spotlights, features, podcast discussions and, when we can get them, interviews with past and present Metroid developers!
The excitement for Metroid this year? Oh boy. At this point, Metroid Dread was nothing but a myth. The simple mention of it (or even just Metroid) in any Nintendo related leak was enough for everyone to consider it fake… I still have a hard time believing it’s actually real! We got a very special game, and it’s clear that the mysterious aura of Dread has intrigued a lot of people who have never played Metroid before.
Since the announcement of the game during E3, I’ve had the chance to discuss Metroid with countless people. The hype was absolutely crazy! Because it was presented as beginner friendly, tons of people were looking forward to it as their first Metroid experience, including many of my friends! The immense majority of people loved the game as much as I did (and still do!) and it couldn’t make me happier. From what we saw so far, Metroid Dread is on its way to be the best selling Metroid title in the series, with particularly good sales in the US!
Metroid is back and it’s here to stay! Dread ended with a massive twist, and has tons of little teases for what might be coming in the next installment (let’s just hope it doesn’t take nineteen years to happen, this time). I’m very excited for the future of the series, and I have a little idea of what Samus might be up against… but the question is, will it be a traditional 2D game? Or will they see the “closure” brought by Dread as an opportunity to try something new? In any case, it’s very clear that there is still a lot of interest in the classic formula, and I’m looking forward to the next game! Let’s hope this hype carries on with Metroid Prime 4 and makes the series reach even greater heights!
What Metroid Dread meant for the series was that it could return to its roots in a modern style without sacrificing quality or sidelining the Metroid Prime Trilogy. Obviously, there are those who criticised the game’s short length (myself included to a certain degree), but overall it was a great game and possibly the most challenging Metroid game to date. I am still amazed how just one sentence of dialogue spoken by Samus was enough to not only re-establish her pre-Other M personality, but also redeem and elevate her character to levels where she practically had enough.
I very much look forward to the future of Metroid now that the main plot of her path is over, more or less. Since Samus Returns officially established the Prime games to be canon, it makes me speculate on just how much Metroid Prime 4 could further develop the Metroid universe. I believe that Sylux could be the key to solving at least part of the Galactic Federation shadow faction’s role. With Raven Beak’s backstory, could he have been responsible for the actions of this rogue group of Federation operatives, secretly ordering them to create the Metroid cloning project to use them himself once finished? On the other hand, never underestimate the greed of humans and their quest for power either.
Whatever else lingers in the future of Metroid, I hope they keep pushing the boundaries as well as the level of challenge the games would offer. Metroid is at its best when it pushes the players to their limits in both exploration, puzzle solving and combat.
Metroid Dread is definitely my game of the year, and while it may have “Dread” in the title, it was certainly welcomed! What I’ve enjoyed most about it is getting to share in the excitement with other fans. With previous Metroid games, I played them long after the initial release, so it was fun getting to experience it for the first time with everyone else. I streamed my entire gameplay, so viewers would come into chat who also had been playing Dread with comments like “I just did this part!”, or “You’re at the same place as me!”, and we all had plenty of moments with E.M.M.I. that involved running away screaming. While it sometimes took a while to get through some of the boss battles, I had fun and that’s all that matters!
This year created a new batch of Metroid fans, and restored the love of the series to past players, and that has made hosting the Shinesparkers podcast even more rewarding. It’s given me the chance to connect with so many cool guests, and spend more time with Darren and Roy. I’m so proud to be part of something Metroid fans can listen to and enjoy.
I have always been the only Metroid fan among my circle of friends for many, many years and it’s amazing how now, thanks to Metroid Dread, a lot of friends and people on the internet ask me about the lore and story, what games to play next and how everything connects. It fills me with joy to see the franchise receive the recognition it deserves and share my love for these amazing games. Metroid Dread gets a lot of praise from all over the world and I couldn’t be more happy. To all the new fans out there: Welcome to Metroid 🙂
Personally, I’m also very excited for the future of Metroid thanks to Dread. 2021 seems to be only the start of a new golden age for the franchise. Metroid Prime 4 is on the way and Dread’s success surely means that more 2D games will follow. Samus’s story is far from over and I can’t wait to delve deep into the next chapters of Metroid.
What an amazing 35th anniversary for Metroid.
When this year started, we were still in the dark as to when the next Metroid game would come. Later, as E3 was nearing, I remember making bets on Discord whether Metroid would be shown or not. At first, I thought it would be another case of “Better luck next time”, but I ended up going with “There will be a mention of Metroid”.
And then Metroid 5 happened.
To put it lightly, I was excited that I didn’t have to post a picture of myself kissing my copy of Other M. Other than that I may or may not have woken up my next door neighbour over the announcement (Happened at 1:30AM in Japan), although he was cool about it.
The days leading up to Dread were amazing, with so many new people getting interested in Metroid, me running a countdown page on Twitter, and the whole hype surrounding it, all culminating in one of the best Metroid games ever made. It was absolutely brilliant, and I welcome the exciting dawn of a Metroid renaissance ushered by the release of Dread. I’m eager to see you next mission.
When the year started, it sometimes felt as if the Metroid fandom was being kept together by nothing but vague hope and persistence, so when Dread was announced, it was wild to see the absolute revival that followed. Inspiration soared, and it was great to see a surge in Metroid content, especially all of the amazing art. With the game’s great success, chances are the series will return to the spotlight for a longer time.
Additionally, the way Nintendo seems to be handling Metroid speaks volumes of their respect for the series. I’m sure I wasn’t the only fan worried that Nintendo might have lost sight of the important legacy of the Metroid franchise. However, after an important show of dedication in restarting development on Prime 4, the loving polish on Metroid Dread cements my faith in the future of the series. It seems like the higher executives at the company recognise the value of the series as well as the love of the fans. The team at MercurySteam seems to love the series as much as their audience, which shows in their attention to detail and their characterisation of Samus. I’m looking forward to what they bring to the table next, and until then, I’ll be enjoying the steady stream of gorgeous fan content.
2021 has definitely been a year for Metroid fans, and beyond, to get excited. It’s the first time in years Nintendo has properly acknowledged the series, Metroid is once again being treated as a valued IP.
In addition to this, the series turned 35 this year, and it’s evident how much the franchise means to its fans. There’s so much creativity out there for Metroid, just check out the Fanzine for a range of samples. Then there’s Shinesparkers Harmony of a Hunter Returns that I may have a slight addiction to. I also may have been motivated to start ‘something’… not sure if anything will come of it, but we shall see 😉
Of course, the biggest news was the release of Metroid Dread, which is actually the first mainline entry that had launched since I first became a fan in 2009, thanks to Metroid Prime Trilogy.
My main excitement however, comes from the work I do at Shinesparkers. I love getting involved with the conversations in the podcast and get really excited to teach myself new techniques while creating some of the headers. It makes me really happy to see my work on the site, regardless if it’s seen much or not.