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.

Nintendo announces Metroid Dread sales of 2.74m units globally

Nintendo’s have confirmed that Metroid Dread for Nintendo Switch has sold 2.74 million units during its launch on October 8th to December 21st 2021, which makes it the best selling 2D Metroid title ever! The results come from Nintendo’s latest financial report, which confirms that the game has outsold every other Metroid title except Metroid Prime, which during that period was only 100,000 units short of surpassing it. This is a fantastic result for the series, which has seen plenty of interest from gamers, and recognised by the wider gaming industry with nominations for several gaming awards in 2021, winning TIME’s Game of the Year award, and Best Action Adventure at The Game Awards in 2021.

It’s also worth noting that the Nintendo Switch, which has sold 103m units, has now officially outsold the Wii (101m units) as of December 21st 2021, which has surely helped the game thrive with such a healthy install base.

As Metroid fans, we needed no convincing that Metroid Dread was a very special title, but its great to see those figures finally confirm the success the game has managed to accumilate. We have no doubts that Dread will secure those additional 100,000 units to make it the best selling Metroid game to the present day. A huge congratulations to MercurySteam for the huge success the game has been bringing!

Source: Nintendo

Episode 21 – Jack Mathews (Ex Retro Studios)

Shinesparkers Metroid Podcast
Shinesparkers Metroid Podcast
Episode 21 - Jack Mathews (Ex Retro Studios)

Our twenty-first episode features special guest Jack Mathews, Technical Lead Engineer of Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and Principal Technology Engineer on Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. In this special extended podcast, Jack goes into his thoughts on Metroid Dread, and answers questions relating to speculation and rumours surrounding the three Metroid Prime games he worked on. He shares his thoughts on a theoretical Metroid Prime remake for Nintendo Switch, and some thoughts on what Metroid Prime 4 and the future of the series could be like for Retro Studios.

Jack also pays a heartfelt tribute to two of his colleagues, Mark Haigh-Hutchinson (Senior Engineer) and Andy O’Neil (Technical Lead Engineer), who played a significant role in the games we love. Podcast features host Amanda and team member Darren.

Featuring brand new jingles, provided again by Mozzaratti!

01:06 – Guest: Jack Mathews (Dread, Interview)
42:14 – A tribute to Mark Haigh-Hutchinson and Andy O’Neil
52:02 – Topic: What we want to see from a Metroid Prime remake for Nintendo Switch
1:10:12 – Bloopers

Real Time Cameras: A Guide for Game Designers and Developers is available on Amazon

Interview: Lenka Volfová (Metroid: Other M Commercial)

We are proud to share our latest Shinesparkers interview, this time with Lenka Volfová, the actress who played Samus for the Metroid: Other M Commercial back in 2010! Lenka’s identity remained relatively unknown to the Metroid community for many years, so we are delighted to be able to recognise her work and learn more about her in this interview. We want to thank Lenka for taking the time to speak with us, and for bringing a beloved character to screen in such an awesome way!

Click here to check out the interview