OPINION: In Defense of Metroid Prime: Federation Force

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

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Metroid Prime: Federation Force | oprainfall

Easily the most polarizing moment of E3 this year was the announcement of a new sci-fi themed co-op FPS for the Nintendo 3DS with simple, almost chibi-like graphics. Its title? Metroid Prime: Federation Force.

Though we didn’t know it at the time, we actually got our first look at the game at the Nintendo World Championships on Sunday, where it was introduced as Blastball. Many were quick to notice Blastball‘s HUD had a striking (pun not intended) similarity to the HUD seen in the Metroid Prime series, and debate quickly ensued–was Blastball a Metroid spin-off, or was it a new IP that simply borrowed from Metroid? Of course, we all know now that Blastball is simply another play mode in Metroid Prime: Federation Force.

But it’s odd: People seemed a lot more receptive to the idea of that game being Metroid on Sunday than they do today.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force | Blastball 3DS

Looking around the Internet, the game has received almost nothing but vitriolic hatred. It’s “too kiddy,” “not a real Metroid game,” “some stupid soccer crap,” and many more colorful comments. The official trailer on YouTube, at the time of writing this article, has over 35,000 dislikes as opposed to about 3,600 likes. Incredibly, this has even culminated in a change.org petition for Nintendo to cancel the game.

If you’re old enough to have concerns about the more family-friendly look of the game as opposed to the darker Metroid games of the past, you’re probably old enough to also remember the absolute maelstrom hurled at Nintendo when they first showed off The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. It, too, was met with rage and disappointment and more rage over the “childish” and “cartoony” appearance of the game. Today, however, it’s lauded as one of the best entries in the franchise. Besides, catering to a younger audience will bring new blood into the fanbase, helping it to grow, rather than remain stagnant and slowly die out.

The most cursory watch-over of the Federation Force trailer will tell you that Blastball is only a secondary multiplayer mode within the game. The game’s main focus is as a cooperative shooter, and Nintendo’s Treehouse presentation did a great job of showing that off. People more or less liked Blastball well enough on Sunday, but now it’s suddenly the highest offense in the history of gaming now that it’s an optional mode in a Metroid spin-off.

To those crying “METROID IS RUINED FOREVER NOW”: How childish can you be? The existence of a spin-off that isn’t all grim/dark doesn’t at all preclude the possibility of more Metroid like what you want in the future. Wanting this game cancelled because it’s not what you want is such a supremely elitist and whiny attitude to take. If you don’t like or want a game, show it with your wallet; there’s no excuse for wanting it to be unavailable to everyone just because it’s not what you want.

I admit, I am not generally a fan of FPS games, and I haven’t ever really played a Metroid title, despite wanting to get into it. Watching the Treehouse presentation on the game, however, has gotten me interested in picking it up, since it’s for a system I own and use frequently, besides just looking fun.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force has only just been announced, being revealed less than 48 hours ago, and it’s due in 2016. There’s still so much we don’t know about the game. Such harsh judgment on the game is extremely premature. Take a deep breath. Step away from the keyboard for a bit. Try being more optimistic about the game and about Nintendo. The company hasn’t survived this long based on luck, and neither has the Metroid franchise. It’s OK to be skeptical or concerned about the game, but be reasonable about it.

About Ben Hafen

Ben is a 20-year-old college student who joined the Operation Rainfall crew in 2015. Amongst his hobbies are writing stories, singing, raging against post-game bosses in Etrian Odyssey Untold, and biking everywhere in the hopes of hatching a shiny Carbink.