Next Level Games’ president and co-founder Douglas Tronsgard is retiring

Today, the president and co-founder of Next Level Games Douglas Tronsgard announced his retirement. In a statement published by Video Games Chronicle, he said:

After over 20 years in the Video Game Industry, I am happy to announce my retirement. I wanted to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who helped me on my journey to get here. A special thank you to Nintendo for believing in me and Next Level Games. It’s truly been my honour to be a part of NLG’s incredible history. I look forward to a new chapter in my life that should involve lots of travelling with my wife.

As CEO of the then-independent Next Level Games, Douglas produced their published titles, including Metroid Prime: Federation Force on the Nintendo 3DS. Last year, Nintendo acquired Next Level Games, making Douglas the president. It was recently announced that NLG is working on Mario Strikers: Battle League, which is set to be released on June 10, 2022.

On behalf of the team at Shinesparkers, we would like to thank Douglas for his role in the development of Federation Force, and we wish him a long and happy retirement.

Source: VGC/Eurogamer

Metroid Dread nominated for EE Game of the Year 2022

Today, it was announced that Metroid Dread has been nominated for EE Game of the Year 2022! This award is part of the BAFTA Games Awards and is made possible through a partnership between BAFTA and EE, a British mobile network provider. The other nominees are Deathloop, The Forgotten City, It Takes Two, Unpacking and Chicory: A Colorful Tale. The winner is selected by public ballot. Voting is open today and will close on April 1st, with the winner being announced during the BAFTA Games Awards on April 7th.

Click this link to vote for Metroid Dread.

Source: MercurySteam

Feature: Metroid Around the World

Our first feature of the year is now live on the website! For this one, we searched far and wide across Google Maps to discover various companies and real world locations with a Metroid sounding names. Did you know there’s a lake in Sweden named Kriken? Or a mountain hiking route in Spain that translates to Path of the Chozo? We were quite surprised to find so many places with familiar sounding Metroid names! Perhaps you know some that we didn’t mention? Let us know on our social media pages!

Click here to check out the feature

Episode 22 – Kynan Pearson (Ex Retro Studios)

Shinesparkers Metroid Podcast
Shinesparkers Metroid Podcast
Episode 22 - Kynan Pearson (Ex Retro Studios)

Our twenty-second episode welcomes Kynan Pearson, a former Retro Studios developer who was a Level Designer for Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. He then went on to become Lead Designer for Donkey Kong Country Returns.

Kynan discusses how the Metroid series could be adapted for other genres, and goes on to share his thoughts on Metroid Dread, and his concepts for future Metroid games.

Podcast is hosted by Amanda, with team member Roy joining in with the conversation.

00:00 – Guest: Kynan Pearson Introduction
03:36 – Topic: Metroid in other genres
24:20 – Topic: Kynan’s thoughts on Metroid Dread, and concepts for Metroid
35:14 – Mailbag: If Metroid Prime was released in 2022, what quality of life improvements would you like to see made to it?
40:55 – Bloopers

Retro Studios changes Twitter banner to concept art with Samus

It has been brought to our attention that Retro Studios has changed the banner on its Twitter profile. It shows Samus’s silhouette, standing in what appears to be a corridor with dim blue lighting. While they have not explained the change, this concept art is not known to have been previously released. It could very well be a teaser for Metroid Prime 4.

We will update this post if more information develops.

UPDATE (February 18, 2022): An advertisement has been spotted on ArtStation. It shows another silhouette of Samus with “Your next mission awaits”, followed by the first image with “Retro is hiring!” You can see it for yourself here.

 Source: @RetroStudios

Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShop purchases will end in March 2023

Tonight Nintendo has revealed unfortunate news: they are slowly ceasing support for purchases from the Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS in March 2023 (the Switch eShop is unaffected). After May 23, 2022, you will no longer be able to use a credit card to add funds to your account on either eShop, and after August 29, you can no longer use an eShop Card to add funds. Finally, in late March 2023, it will become impossible to purchase any games or demos on either eShop. These are likely to lead toward a full closure of the eShops at a later date, but you can still download games you’ve purchased after March 2023 and play online.

This is particularly disappointing to hear as Metroid fans, as with the exception of the original Metroid, Super Metroid and Metroid Dread, the vast majority of Metroid games cannot be played on Nintendo Switch. After these dates, it will no longer be possible to purchase Metroid II: Return of Samus or the Metroid Prime: Blast Ball demo on the 3DS eShop, or Metroid Fusion, Metroid: Zero Mission, Metroid Prime Trilogy, Metroid Prime Hunters and Metroid: Other M through the Wii U eShop.

For new fans of the series who do not have the original games and consoles, which are now sold for extortionate prices online, the sunsetting of the eShops will reduce their access to legal copies of past Metroid titles. We do not support this decision, and strongly urge Nintendo to consider porting all other Metroid games to the Switch.

Source: Nintendo Support

This post has been updated to add that online play and downloading of previously purchased games on the Wii U and 3DS eShops will still be possible after March 2023.

Dread Suit Figma Figure Announced

Earlier today, it was announced that Good Smile Company will be manufacturing a new Figma Figure from the Metroid series. This Figma features Samus Aran donning her Power Suit as seen from Metroid Dread.

Similar to previous figures, the PVC model should include posable joints allowing owners to set Samus in a variety of poses and scenes. Other details, such as pricing, release, sizing, and other additional features are yet to be confirmed.

This isn’t the first time Metroid has received the Figma treatment, in fact, there are currently four other models that have been made, such as Zero Suit Samus and Metroid Prime 3’s Power Suit.

Super Metroid “Special” Added To Nintendo Switch Online

Earlier this week, Nintendo dropped an SP (Special) version of the classic Super Metroid to their Nintendo Online service, which is effectively a save state with the intention of showing a later part of the game to encourage new players to try it out. In this instance, you start the game just outside of the Gold Statue Chamber with all abilities and full health, as you descend down into Tourian, you can fight Metroids and eventually come up against Mother Brain, the final boss of Super Metroid. There’s even plenty of time on the clock to complete the game in under three hours to see the best ending.

To be honest, a rather random and odd addition to the Nintendo Online service, but if it encourages more people to play Super Metroid, we’re all for it!

Free Updates for Metroid Dread Add New Modes

Metroid Dread is receiving some free updates to enhance the existing game. From today, Metroid Dread will include two new mode! Dread Mode will offer a great challenge for players, where a single hit will cause an instant game over. For new players, a Rookie Mode will also be available, offering increased recovery to help those players who struggle. Both of these modes are available right now. In April, a Boss Rush mode will allow you to face bosses continuously, one at a time.

We are delighted to see Metroid Dread receive some free updates to enhance the game even further!

UPDATE: The updates are now available. Rookie Mode increases enemy and ammo replenishments, decreases boss attack damage and the durability of their projectile attacks, increases the Missiles you have at the start, and makes some Finish Counters are easier. The Results Screen also shares new details (only for files started after the update), and fixes an issue where Samus sliding down a surface and touching a frozen enemy would crash the game. The demo of Metroid Dread available on the eShop has been updated as well to add Rookie Mode, and extend it so you can fight Corpius (without crashing the game this time).

You can read the patch notes here.