All right, Nintendo. You got me. I need to apologize for a piece I wrote on February 18th, 2021, one day after the Nintendo Direct from that month that announced Mario Golf: Super Rush, presented a couple new Smash Bros Ultimate DLC characters, the reveal of Skyward Sword HD coming to Switch, and the surprise announcement of Splatoon 3. In my piece, I lamented in the absence of a Metroid announcement during that February Nintendo Direct, and I have a confession: my complaining was unmerited after the E3 2021 Nintendo Direct that genuinely blew my mind.
You gave me and the gaming world one of the best gifts we could ever ask for, and that is continuation. Not just a Metroid announcement, but the Metroid announcement. The first new 2D Metroid in nearly 20 years, and the proper sequel to Metroid Fusion that we all believed would release on the Nintendo DS based on the Metroid Prime 3: Corruption tease that “Dread” was nearing the final stages of completion.
In my piece from February, I attempted to shame Nintendo for neglecting a series that has brought so much entertainment and joy to fans, and neglecting Metroid on its 35th anniversary. In that February Direct, Nintendo focused a lot of time on The Legend of Zelda, which also shares a 35th anniversary this year, so when the presentation finished and no mention of Metroid was there, I was fuming… as were tons and tons of fans.
It has been too many years. The last new mainline Metroid game was Metroid: Other M, which released 11 years ago on the Wii, and fans rejected it because of how it treated our stoic and strong protagonist, Samus. The game did not meet Nintendo’s sales expectations, so Metroid was once again on the backburner.
Since Other M, there have only been two Metroid titles: a spin-off on the Prime series called Federation Force, and a remake of Metroid II, both games for the Nintendo 3DS towards the end of its life. Both 3DS titles were genuinely fun, but they were not what fans have been begging for. As a result, sales for both games were abysmal.
Then came E3 2017, where Nintendo shocked us with a tease of Metroid Prime 4, and the gaming world sighed with relief. However, that relief quickly waned when Prime 4 halted development and started over in early 2019 because things were going poorly. This pushed back a release date by years, and it was not looking good for a 35th anniversary release. Thankfully, though, Retro Studios has taken control since then, so we can assume Prime 4 is in good hands.
But then this image popped up on screen during the E3 2021 Nintendo Direct. My jaw dropped. “This isn’t Metroid Prime 4! This is the original series!” I screamed in excitement. I could tell immediately that this was going to be a 2D classic-style title before they showed any gameplay, and the more the trailer continued, the more I swore like an excited 10-year-old that just learned all the naughty words.
Then “Dread” popped up on the screen, and I lost my mind. Confession time, Nintendo. Metroid fans have been wondering what “Dread” is since Metroid Prime 3: Corruption released in 2007. Since the original Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion released almost simultaneously, “Dread” was expected to be something new and exciting, so when the Nintendo DS came out, fans began to wonder and speculate that “Dread” would be a new Nintendo DS title in the mainline Metroid series.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get “Dread” on Nintendo DS. Instead, we got Metroid Prime Pinball and Metroid Prime Hunters, two games no one asked for, even if they were both excellent titles in their own right. Since then, no mention of “Dread” landed on Metroid fans’ ears, so we all basically gave up hope.
When you tease something like that in the midst of two of the best Metroid games to ever release (Prime and Fusion), fans were expecting something bigger than all the Metroid games we have gotten since then. We have been begging for “Dread”, and we desperately desired closure in the 2D series that many older fans fell in love with.
And then, here we are. In the aftermath of E3 2021, and all I can think about is Metroid Dread. Nintendo, you have been teasing us for years. We thought the Metroid series was dying and that you were giving up on something we love so much, and then you drop one of the greatest announcements in recent E3 history. You didn’t just announce a new Metroid game, and you didn’t just announce a new 2D Metroid game. You announced very clearly that you care, you are listening, and that continuity matters as we are genuinely getting Metroid 5 on the 35th anniversary of the series and the game that will close the original storyline.
It may have taken 19 years for this moment to finally happen, but it was well worth the wait. Thank you, Nintendo, and I apologize for all of my bickering and complaining. With both Metroid Dread and Metroid Prime 4 on the horizon, the Metroid series is looking better than ever, and it is a very hopeful time to be a Metroid fan.
Thank you for stopping by Nintendo Link for all of your confession letters and apologies! What did you think of the Metroid Dread announcement at E3 2021? Were you properly shocked? Or did you not care? Let us know in the comments below! Happy gaming, everyone.
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.