2D Metroid Rumors: Is A New Installment on the Way?

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The Metroid series has lied dormant for much of the past decade. Originally released in 1986, the series used to be one of the biggest IP’s in video games. However, Samus hasn’t had her own 2D adventure since 2017’s Metroid 2: Samus Returns, and that was a remake. If we’re talking original 2D missions, you’d need to go all the way back to 2002’s Metroid Fusion. Fortunately, there are some rumors that a new 2D Metroid could be coming to the Nintendo Switch.

2D Metroid Rumors: Why A New Game Could Be On The Way

Are the 2D Metroid Rumors Legitimate?

Before we get too excited, let’s break down the rumor itself. Obviously, nothing is official, but some rumors deserve more merit than others. As far as I can tell, rumors about a new 2D Metroid began in January when a known leaker named Sabi tweeted that a new 2D Metroid was on the way, as well as a new Paper Mario that goes “back to how it was”. Sabi also predicted both games would release sometime in 2020. 

The new Metroid game obviously didn’t release in 2020, but we can’t hold that part of the prediction against him. At the time of the leak, COVID-19 wasn’t nearly the global threat that it is today. The pandemic delayed the production and release of multiple games, and it’s entirely possible that this new Metroid was one of the aforementioned projects. 

The Paper Mario rumor, however, carries some more weight. Sabi correctly predicted both the existence of the game and a 2020 release, but I wouldn’t call Paper Mario: The Origami King a true return to form. While it certainly incorporates some elements from the original games, this game still functioned more as a sequel to Color Splash than The Thousand Year Door. Sabi’s leak is interesting, but it’s not enough to get fans too excited on its own.

However, Metroid fans finally had a genuine reason to get excited in late 2020. A few months after Sabi’s leak, fellow leaker MarkoMaro added to this report, noting that a new 2D Metroid was on the way and nearly done. According to the leaker, the game would’ve been announced sometime in 2020, but COVID-19 caused delays in Nintendo’s release schedule. He goes on to add that the game should drop sometime in the first half of 2021, although he admits that timeline could still change. MarkoMaro has a long history of accurate leaks, so the combined reporting of these two is enough to make me believe that a new 2D Metroid is on the way.

What Type of Game Are We Getting?

Now that we’ve established the validity of the rumor, let’s talk about the game itself. According to Sabi, the new game will be “related” to Metroid Fusion. While nothing is confirmed, most expect this game to be a sequel to Fusion, rather than a remake like 2017’s Metroid: Samus Returns

Again, these are rumors, so we need to take them with a grain of salt. However, this new Metroid will reportedly be developed by Mercury Steam, the same company that developed Samus Returns. The 2017 3DS release launched to rave reviews and, even though it was a remake, felt like a completely new adventure. It’s entirely possible that Nintendo was thrilled with their work and commissioned them to work on a sequel.

If you really want to go down the rabbit hole – Charlie Kelly style – you can go all the way back to 2015. According to Nintendo Life, MercurySteam first started working on a possible Metroid game for the Wii U and 3DS. While the project was initially scrapped and possibly turned into Samus Returns, the report states that the initial pitch was for a sequel to Metroid Fusion.

That’s not all – we can go deeper. Rumors and reports from yesteryear are great for speculation, but we some actual in-game evidence that supports a new 2D adventure. In Samus Returns: the player has to collect various Chozo Memories. We don’t have time to do a full dive into the Chozo, so for the sake of this video, just know that Chozo memories recollections of the history of the Chozo and the events that befell SR388.

The game lists 10 memories, but there is actually a hidden 11th. Listed as memory 2d/10, one could interpret this as 5d, as 10 divided by 2 equals five. 2D obviously hints towards an upcoming 2D adventure, and the d in 5d could stand for “Dread” – a reference to a cancelled 2D Metroid game that, at one point, was going to be the fifth installment in the Metroid series and direct sequel to Metroid: Fusion.

Possible Gameplay Elements

Ok, time to take off the tinfoil hat and focus on the gameplay. Even though Samus Returns was a remake, the game brought a lot of great ideas to the table that the Metroid team should re-use in the upcoming release.

Thanks to the D pad, the original games only allowed for a limited range of shooting angles. Samus Returns allowed for a full 360 degrees of aiming, which was a much-appreciated update. Additionally, adding an optional sensor to detect breakable blocks and hidden secrets was a stroke of genius that cut down on a lot of frustrating backtracking.

The new counter move, however, can probably be left in the past. The move was a little too helpful, making combat too easy and taking away from the overall run-and-shoot formula. Standing still is typically discouraged in Metroid, yet the new mechanic actively encouraged players to sit around and wait to counter an enemy attack. 

Also, it goes without saying that the Switch’s hardware will allow for the best-looking Metroid to date, and Nintendo should take advantage of that opportunity. Samus Returns did a good job of breathing some life back into the series, but this new game will need to build on that momentum leading up to Metroid Prime 4

Ultimately, making too many speculations about what could come in a new 2D game is a bit of a fools errand. Considering the lack of recent installments in the series, fans will happy to have anything at all, just as long as it doesn’t deviate too much from the series formula. 

Thank you again for watching this video. Leave a comment down below with what you’d like to see in the next Metroid game, and please don’t forget to like and subscribe – it truly does help the channel.



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David Latham, Managing Editor
David Latham, Managing Editor
Structural Engineer by day, sportswriter by night. Living a bigger double life than Bruce Wayne Follow me on Twitter @DLPatsThoughts
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