Metroid: Samus Returns development complete, Sakamoto on the wait for 2D Metroid, Other M criticism, more - Nintendo Everything

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Metroid: Samus Returns development complete, Sakamoto on the wait for 2D Metroid, Other M criticism, more

Posted on June 19, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in 3DS, News, Switch, Wii

Kotaku was one of several outlets that went hands-on with Metroid: Samus Returns at E3 last week. The site also spoke with some of the people involved with the game.

According to Tim O’Leary from Nintendo Treehouse, development is complete. Perhaps that not massively surprisingly given how it’s due out in just a few months. Still, it’s pretty interesting to hear.

Kotaku also shares some new comments from producer Yoshio Sakamoto. Sakamoto was asked why Samus Returns is on 3DS rather than Switch, why it’s taken so long for a new 2D Metroid, criticism of Metroid: Other M, and how the 2D / 3D Metroids are handled at Nintendo.

Continue on below for Sakamoto’s comments. You can find a few more on Kotaku here.

On why it’s on the 3DS and not the Switch…

Sakamoto: That was really my decision. One of the big reasons for that is the 2DS/3DS family have two screens. That lent itself so well to the map screen functionality that I’ve been wanting to put into the game that we hadn’t seen before, the ability to have the map screen always on. So it was a very obvious choice.

I wanted to be able to have that free-aiming mechanic, and the analog stick allowed for us to do that. And Metroid, that series, that world-building, that feeling of where you’re at… that level design, all those things combined really make great use of the glasses-free 3D functionality.

So if I take that: the 3D functionality, analog stick, second screen, put that all together, and the 3DS [is the best fit].

On why it’s taken so long to make a new 2D Metroid game…

Sakamoto: I’m working on other titles outside of Metroid, of course. I’ve been fairly busy with stuff. There’s a lot of timing involved when all the pieces fall into place, and we have the ability to do some of these things we’ve been thinking about for a long time. I guess for us the timing was two years ago. Or now.

On how criticism of Metroid: Other M has affected the depiction of Samus…

Sakamoto: To be honest, as far as wanting to change that depiction of Samus, I made what I wanted to make. It did give me some momentum, I guess, and the ability to look at Samus from a new viewpoint, and maybe reconsider what I wanted to show about her.

On how 3D and 2D Metroid games are handled at Nintendo…

Sakamoto: There’s no close proximity to those things. We’re not really in communication. Obviously we talk about, ‘Hey what’re you guys doing, this is what we’re doing, let’s not release these [games] all at the same time, or hey maybe we should release these at the same time.’ There’s that level of communication.

Of course [veteran Nintendo producer Kensuke] Tanabe worked on the Metroid Prime series. And he comes and says, ‘Hey this is what we’re going to be doing,’ and lets us know what’s going on [with his team].

Leave a Reply

  • SM

    At the end of day people, he is the one responsible for us having Metroid to begin with, so if he wants depict Samus in that way in Other M, then so be it

    • JasonBall

      Well said!

    • Zeebor

      Actually, Gunpei Yokoi is responsible for most of Metroids original design and layout. Sakamoto’s just a guy who did some art and backstory.

      • Yep the father of the GameBoy is also the Father of Metroid 😀

        • Linkavitch Chomofsky

          He really deserves to be in the same class as Miyamoto. Very important game designer, and very influential.

          • NintendoPSXTheSecond

            Most likely would have been if not for his untimely down fall that leads into his death.

          • JasonBall

            I was under the impression he is. Miyamoto, Tezuka, Takeda, Sakamoto and Yokoi are all up there.

        • Evan Baranowski

          So if Yokoi is the Father, I guess that makes Sakamoto…
          …The Mother…?
          And then it makes Metroid…
          THEBABYTHEBABYTHEBABYTHEBABYTHEBABYTHEBABYTHEBABYTHEBABYTHEBABYTHEBABYTHEBABY

      • smokeyburr

        According to developer interviews Yokoi had no creative involvement. The project started with Hiroji Kiyotake (who also created Wario) and another developer. Sakamoto was brought in later to do level & enemy design and turn it into an actual game.

        It’s pretty amazing that the Yokoi worship never stops, even after we’ve found out that he’s not even the creator of the Game Boy.

        • Zeebor

          At least we can agree Sakamoto is far from “Father Brain.” Sounds like another Infaune case, where they just prop up the guy with the seniority left at the company that was on the original team, and call him the creator.

        • I do remember there being another name or two that were of importance, but I can never remember where I read that from. Do you have a link, or even just an idea of what the source of the interview was? I’d love to hunt it down and give it a read through.

          • smokeyburr

            Maybe it’s this one: http://www.metroid-database.com/m1/fds-interview-p0.php

            Not sure if this helps, but I think that Kiyotake talked about naming planet SR388 after the number on his motorcycle engine in the same interview. Btw, I don’t think the Inafune comparison is fair because Sakamoto wasn’t just an artist but an actual game designer who helped create the Metroidvania genre.

          • Thanks! I’m going to give it a read through.

            I know Inafune’s role was fairly minimal until like. . . the third or later game? But didn’t he basically conceptualize X and some other spin-offs for the series? As far as naming one guy the father when he contributed a lot but isn’t the sole creator, I think it fits. But true, he doesn’t have the same significance to gaming as a whole as Sakamoto does.

        • Aiddon

          Yup, Sakamoto was actually the co-director alongside Okada. Sakamoto essentially outlined the actual characters i.e. he’s responsible for who Samus is.

      • Thank you for that correction. He is a co-creator, but not the sole creator. Very much so a Mega Man and Inafune case, though I admit I still hold some respect for Sakamoto (trash writing and all).

        (Oh, lol. The Inafune reference was made below too.)

        • Aiddon

          er, Inafune is a TERRIBLE comparison. Sakamoto is actually a designer and director who continues to be deeply involved with the series in spite of his other responsibilities, earning him a reputation as Miyamoto’s rival (heck, he’s the namesake of Yoshi in Mario)

          Inafune….was a guy who just did some art and stumbled into a producer role. And not even in a Jack Kirby creating huge chunks of comic book characters way. Mega Man as a character was done by the time Inafune came on.

          • I mean, that was kind of my end point. There is definitely a world of difference in their significance and role in the series, but they’re both hailed universally as the creator by a lot of people, with everyone else who was involved (even more involved) pretty much forgotten about.

            But outside of that, I agree with everything you said. Sakamoto is very involved, and a genuine creator (even if I have quibbles with some of his creative endeavors), whereas Inafune is a businessman, and a smart one in that he knows how to use people’s worship of him and his savvy to get one over on folks.

            And I like the Jack Kirby reference. I love and respect him so much. You have a point absolutely, but as far as the one guy that absolutely gets all the credit even though he wasn’t even the lead creative force initially, that was my point. (But indeed, worlds of difference.)

    • Billy Bob Throrton

      At the end of the day people,George Lucas is the one responsible for us having Star Wars to begin with so he can do no wrong.
      SM has kinda specious logic.

      • JasonBall

        I actually agree with that statement. I have high respect for senior developers and producers of visual medium.

    • Mohammad Yasin

      tru ppl are so entitled

  • Vigilante_blade

    And thus, proving again that creator’s intent is meaningless in creating a product. Thank you for realizing this Sakamoto, I can respect a developper who is willing to admit his faults.

    • JasonBall

      Not seeing the connection there. Help.

      • Vigilante_blade

        He admitted that people did’ tlike the direciton he took and will take it into consideration. That is growth as a developper if you ask me.

        • JasonBall

          You’re right. But you say dev intent is meaningless? Are you trying to say that if a dev wants to convey something, but does it badly, it won’t matter what he was trying for, only what he actually did badly? I’m just trying to be clear here, I think I agree.

          • Vigilante_blade

            Yes, but it also goes beyond that. I think that if a game designer creates a game, it ceases to be only “his baby” when it leaves his hands. Once a game goes into the wild If people want to play it in a way that he didn’t envision, they they are completely entitled to, just like how when people read a book, they might interpret a few things differently. It is their transformative experience. My interpretation of how a character speaks, looks or moves is my own, and as such, my experience with the novel is highly personal. It may not be how the creator intends for me to see it, but that doesn’t make my experience meaningless.

            Video games work similarily for me. Sure, the Pokemon company didn’ tintend for you to take on a nuzlocke challenge, but some people like to play this way, and this is perfectly fine. Some like to play smash competitively, and this is fine as well. Some want to read all the lore and scan everything in Metroid Prime, while some don’t. Games are a transformative experience, and everyone has their own take on what they enjoy from games. It is the transformative nature of games that allow you to tailor an experience to your liking.

            And as video games are products for consumption, what your fans want trumps creative liberty. Sure, maybe Nintendo doesn’t see the point in a deep Paper Mario story, but fans want it. At some point, they really need to take into account what their userbase wants. I’m not saying that they should just take comments and blindly implement them into their game design, but they should be taken into consideration.

          • JasonBall

            That’s… Mostly fair. Thank you.

          • Mohammad Yasin

            creative liberty should trump what fans want its their game they make it how ever they want to noones buying your entitled bs

          • Fore

            Excuse me, but that’s not quite how consumer + product works. If a consumer dislikes a product, they won’t buy it, and hence the producer doesn’t sell anything, hence they go bankrupt etc etc.

            Why do you think Heroes of Might and Magic as a series had trouble wanting to innovate? They were stuck between doing said innovation, and the core fanbase wanting more of the same. Alienating them by doing their own thing would be a HUGE risk, one they couldn’t afford taking.

          • Vigilante_blade

            Fore said it quite well. You are being an idealist.

        • Mohammad Yasin

          intent very much matters

          • Vigilante_blade

            Picture youself as a game designer. You have this grand idea for a game. You think everyone will like it. In the end, you release that game and people have some strong criticisms towards it.

            You have two paths ahead of you. You either use that feedback and adapt it into your game, or you stubbornly state that they simply and understand your vision and decide to keep the disliked features into the game. The first allows you to improve on your craft. The second might reduce your sales and eventually kill your business. In other words, you may have a vision for your game, but the cold harsh truth of the matter is that poeple disagree with your vision and if you want to keep your fanbase, you need to get off your high horse and admit that perhaps your ideas may not appeal to your customer base.

            Sure, when you make a game, you have a basic concept, but in the end, you must sometimes accept to relinquish part or all of your vision for the greater success of your product.

            Only foolhardy idealists or individuals unfamiliar with the concept of making games can claim that vision trumps all. A designer that refuses to compromise his vision has stopped growing.

      • masterjedi

        Metroid: Other M was HEAVILY criticized by Metroid fans. A very vocal portion of the fanbase was not happy with the narrative of the story because they thought it drastically altered Samus’ character in a negative way. The narrative of Other M was heavily influenced by Sakamoto (series creator) so most people blame him specifically for Other M.

        • Co Creator

          • masterjedi

            touche

        • Velen (Not WoW)

          I have the unpopular opinion that Samus was never truly fleshed out until Fusion and Other M and Metroid Prime 3 Corruption, where more of her character was shown.

          • lol it’s not like that’s not true fusion, other m and prime 3 do have a lot of characterization but they were well executed in fusion and prime 3, for other m’s case it was that tie in manga (which should have been part of the game) that did a good job explaining why Samu’s acted the way she did but I don’t know why they din’t included it in which is what I call a big mistake.

          • Velen (Not WoW)

            Well that definitely would’ve helped with lead up, but lets face it, that would mean even longer cutscenes and people would get sick of that.

          • Still would have been worth it in my opinion but what’s done is done no use in dwelling what could have been . Just hope that next time we actually get something like that that it’s in the vain of fusion. And you know it be cool to have pop up dialogue (or how the witcher handles dialog when your traveling but this would only work if Samus has someone she is working with) while you explore just to flesh out things further but voiced like how prime 3 was 😀

          • masterjedi

            I personally loved the development of Samus in Other M. I never played Fusion but heard good things about it. I honestly don’t remember corruption. I think I may have missed that one.

  • JasonBall

    I was surprised to hear of his complete lack of involvement in Prime 4 so far. I’m sure he’ll step in just to at least playtest it and suggest a revision or two later on, but I’d forgotten just how separate 2d and 3d Metroid are. Someday I want to see Tanabe and Sakamoto collaborate.

    Sakamoto was listed as some kind of special consultant on FedForce, so there’s that.

    • Mohammad Yasin

      he still has ideas and they go to him but hes busy with other things

  • KnightWonder

    I’m going to be bold and say we’ll get a trailer for Prime 4 during the Game Awards this year. It won’t be a gameplay trailer, but a CGI trailer depicting the setting and atmosphere.

    • Devlind

      There’s a manga that covers that period. If it remains canon or not depends on the games. I wish we can finally get a sequel to Fusion. Everything was leading to having to face the corruption within the federation, which would be a fresh concept for the games (please, let the space pirates die, they were extinct after Super Metroid).

    • Vive

      I would like a mix of both gameplay and CGI like they did with Other M years ago (the game itself wasn’t memorable, but the trailers were great)

  • Aline Piroutek

    So, Prime 4 at 2018 or 2019 or…2020? Let’s forget a bit about Metroid Prime for now.

    • KnightWonder

      Well they’ve already begun development, so I could see maybe a late 2018 release, maybe early to mid 2019.

      • Devlind

        Pretty naive. It took them 2 years to finish the remake and you think they can make Prime 4 in that same amount of time? MP4 isn’t going to be released before 2020 for sure (you can see MP3 development cycle as an example… and that game wasn’t in HD!).

        • Aline Piroutek

          Metroid Prime is a game of same quality-wise as Zelda main titles. Just with less fans and games. It needs a lot of polishment and delays to be ready. I hope it doesn’t come at the end of the life of the Switch.

  • carlos holguin holguin

    like i said the other day.. i dont think other m was a bad game.. i really liked the exploration but it was a short game..

    • Adam James Howard

      the only mechanic that I thought was kind of hard, was when it forced first person and you had to search around with the wii remote. otherwise, I don’t know why everyone complained about it… it would actually be cool to see an HD version of it.

      but yeah, it was way short. and I would’ve loved to have explored tourian, that was kind of a bummer but it kept the story going.

    • Devlind

      There was no exploration, you could brick the game if you didn’t do what they wanted you to do. Gameplay was ok but the lack of nunchuck/classic controller support kills it for me.

      • Aline Piroutek

        Support is everything in this life.

    • Bap

      The action was good, the everything else wasn’t.

  • Jesiah Grant

    Wish this was on switch…..

  • Tlink7

    Can’t wait for Metroid 3DS and Prime 4 😀

  • Mando44646

    I wish it had a port on Switch as well

  • I respect that he was neutral and honest about the criticism. I’ve seen some devs be real jerks about that before; which is fair to stick to one’s vision, but when you make it knowing you’re selling it and people are mad about the way their money went, it’s fair to at least acknowledge that.

    I can’t wait to see more 2D Metroid, and see where the series will continue to go.

  • YamiryuuZero

    You see, when you’re a creator, selling what you make to consumers, you’re not making things for yourself anymore. If consumers are not happy with the way it came out, it doesn’t matter how much you wanted to do something or portray something as, you have to give in to your consumers if you want to keep eating.

    But of course, if you only do what your consumers want, you end up creating crap, because consumers rarely know what they want or rarely know how to explain what and why.

    The trick is to find a sweet spot where you can do what you want and still please your consumers. In the case of Metroid, you can’t just change the heroine like that and expect fans to applaud you. That sweet spot seems to be where Fusion lies, where Samus gives information about herself in key moments, enough to explain her motivations and shine a bit of light on her past, but vague enough that we can fill in the blanks for ourselves without ruining the character.

  • ThreadShadow

    My 8bits on Metroid: Other M.

    1. Great gameplay.
    2. Good/really nice graphics- though not as detailed as Retro’s.
    3. Music-adaquate but seemingly uninspired-failed to hit Metroid cues, or ascend to new heights.
    4. Story-broadstrokes are fine, it’s in the details where it goes weak.
    5. Samus is a warrior, but I’m not against her having a softer/vulnerable side, it just wasn’t handled well in this story. Also a couple things in the story drew too much from anime cliche.

    So overall, an excellent Metroid game, but on the shorter side of excellent.

    About Metroid Prime 4, or any of the “bigger” Metroid games. I really want Neil Davidge to get involved with the music composition. His Halo 4 OST is amazing and features a lot of Metroid “flavor”, imo. Which is funny because Halo 4 had a lot of ex-Retro staff creating it too.

    • Velen (Not WoW)

      Kinda refreshing to see a positive perspective on the game tbh.

  • Aiddon

    What Sakamoto is actually thinking in the back of his mind:

    “Really? You’re STILL obsessed with Other M? Holy crap, people, I directed and WROTE the thing and I’m not as obsessed with it as you are. You know why? Because I’m a grownup who knows when to MOVE THE HELL ON. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to finish Samus Returns and take care of my other duties at Nintendo. Good day, sir.”

Related Game Info


Platform: WII
Genre: ACTIONADVENTURE
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo, Team Ninja
Release date: Aug. 31, 2010
OWN IT: 8 [I own this game]
BEAT IT: 6 [I beat this game]
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