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Retro Studios Stepping Back From Metroid For A Bit 72

Posted by Zonk
from the not-plugging-away dept.
Retro Studios, the makers of the games in the Metroid Prime series, has announced they'll be stepping back from the games for a bit now that Corruption is in stores. Comments from project director Mark Pacini discuss that decision and their interaction with the Wiimote: "I'm sure that there will be other titles created but as far as Retro Studios is concerned, we're taking a break for a little bit. We started with the core ideas of the game ... but we did not receive the information about the Wii controller until well into development. So we got a big surprise, of, hey, this is what we're going to do for the next console. Many things had to be refactored, but actually many things fell right into place. The Wii remote enables us to do things that we hadn't previously done in other Metroid games."
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Retro Studios Stepping Back From Metroid For A Bit

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  • "Whoa there, Samus, put the arm cannon down, we don't want any trouble..."
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      what a tiny, meatless, pointless article that was.
      waste of time.

      nothing to see here.
  • by techpawn (969834)
    They where mad that they had to redo things but other things worked better than they thought? I'd rather them take a break and come back to make an even better game
    • I'm wondering how Nintendo justifies not giving them full information about the wiimote from day one. This was a title that was expected to be a mover for the console, the last thing nintendo should want is the producer saying something like "we got the wiimote partway through and it hurt us."
      • by zolaar (764683)
        Games have a development cycle of 2-3 years, especially top-notch games like Metroid. Considering I'm fairly sure I remember reading someone had noticed changes to the wiimote as recently as a few months before launch, it makes perfect sense that the design/layout/API/etc. wasn't finalized by the time MP3 was in full dev cycle.

        Them's the breaks. Sucks? Sure. Unreasonable? Not at all.
  • Doing other games should be good for them. There is a finite limit to the number of sequels you can make without having new ideas in the game. Other games with different premise will challenge them to do different things some of which might be very good to bring to a future series of metroid games. The way I see it, them taking a break keeps metroid from getting stale. I wish them well with all their future endeavors, (unless they get sold to microsoft)
  • by Ang31us (1132361) on Friday August 31, 2007 @03:57PM (#20428191) Homepage
    It's about time!

    First of all, MP3C is a game made for gamers...it uses every button on the Wii-mote and Nunchuck AND uses motion sensitivity AND aiming. You already know that the play control is better than any console experience (my trusty mouse is still more accurate). I will NEVER play a FPS using a Xbox 360 or PS3 controller...those controllers SUCK for FPS. In a single-player first-person shooter/adventure I would rather be aiming at the screen with my arm-cannon than moving a mouse because I feel like I'm in the game AND it's sooo much fun!

    Secondly, Super Mario Strikers Charged is also a deep and complex game that uses almost every button, function, and feature on the Wii-mote and Nunchuck. Play it online against some highly-ranked players and see how many ways there are to pass, shoot, score, and play defense.

    The talk about Nintendo ignoring their hardcore gamer base is utter nonsense. I love both of these games as much as I love Zelda, Resident Evil 4, and Madden on my Wii. Everyone knows Wii Sports is still da bomb...I still box and play tennis and baseball when friends come over (right after the game of Strikers). Put one of those "casual gamers" up against me in Wii Sports tennis or boxing and I'll dispatch them faster than you can say "Nintendo wins the console war."
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Pojut (1027544)
      First, my credentials as a lover of FPS games...I have been playing FPS regularly since Catacomb 3-D [wikipedia.org] came on the scene...in that time, I have played countless FPS games on the PC. My first console FPS that involved actual aiming (Wolfenstein 3D/Doom on SNES don't really count in this instance) was Goldeneye.

      Now. While I think for FPS NOTHING will EVER top a solid keyboard/mouse combination, I will also say that the 360 controller is sufficient for playing an FPS. It takes a while, I had to play through f
      • by seebs (15766)
        I think it's quite possible to get used to analog stick aiming enough not to hate it in games that were built for it, but it seems to me that the pointing devices will always win.

        The comparison here isn't K/M vs. wiimote, but wiimote vs. analog stick, and I think the wiimote wins hands down.
        • by Pojut (1027544)
          agreed...I just like planting seeds wherever I can:-) I was once a "K/M elitist", and luckily someone convinced me to give it a shot and showed me the error of my ways...I hate to think of the games I would have missed had I never been willing to play an FPS on a console...

          But yeah...Wiimote would likely be better (I don't know firsthand though...never played red steel, and haven't gotten a copy of MP3 yet)
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Ang31us (1132361)
            Skip RedSteel...the play control sucks ass. Once you moved your WiiMote anywhere near the sides of (or off) the screen, the whole screen goes into a spin (your character is "turning" even though you're "aiming"). I got such bad vertigo from it that I gave away my Wii launch copy to my younger brother so he could play it on his own Wii.

            Definitely check out Resident Evil 4 and especially Metroid Prime 3 Corruption using the WiiMote. In RE4, you can't run and shoot at the same time (my only criticism of t
          • by Pearson (953531)
            You're admitting that you want a copy of an MP3 - on the internet?! You fool! The RIAA has spies everywhere!

        • by KDR_11k (778916)
          Personally I think the analog stick just doesn't work well for aiming since you can't have both quick turning and fine aiming for larger distances. Solution? Make the enemies larger. 10m ants are hard to miss, even with analog stick precision. That's why I don't mind stick aiming in Earth Defence Force 2 but do mind it almost everywhere else.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Ang31us (1132361)
        Yup, the analog stick on the 360 and PS3 controllers are definitely harder to use in FPSes. I can't hit a moving target when I stand still. I can't even hit a still target that's a few feet away without aiming past it 2 or 3 times before I get the crosshair lined up correctly using any joystick. How am I supposed to hit a target while I run, strafe, and jump around to avoid his shots?

        "It works well enough" is not good enough for me. I need to be able to get a head shot in Resident Evil 4 on a moving t
        • by Pojut (1027544)
          I will tell you the secret. It's very simple, and it will seem very obvious, but sit and think about it for a minute and it will make sense to you.

          Feather-light touch with the sensitivity cranked. Trust me.

          • by Ang31us (1132361)
            I do trust you and what you suggest definitely makes all the sense in the world when using an analog joystick to aim.

            Think about what have you done with your analog joystick by turning up the sensitivity and using feather-light touches to aim where you want. You have essentially turned it into a controller you have to "touch" ever so slightly to get the crosshair to move to its desired target. Does that sound like an analog or a digital aiming device? This is how we used to drive in racing games on th
            • I've done something similar but the amount of touch(actual movement of the stick) I use varies by how far away the target is from the aiming reticule. It's a little for near ones, more for ones further away and all the way if I want to turn around fast, In other words the stick is still analog because you don't use "light movements" for everything.

              • by Ang31us (1132361)
                My point is that "tapping" and "touching" a joystick on an FPS sucks when compared to the fluid movement and accuracy of your arm aiming at a screen or the mouse.

                I would also argue that old school FPS gamers who grew up on mouse-based aiming on the PC (the platform that gave birth to the genre) should turn their noses up at the mere suggestion that they pick up a gamepad with a joystick for a FPS. The N64, GC, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2, and PS3 controllers are a leap back in play control for the FPS genre.
                • okay if "true analog" is so much better then why keep using WASD? Keyboards aren't analog.

                  Personally I have found that in FPS's designed for the console the right analog stick is fine for aiming. It's the PC ports where it doesn't work so well. In that case I plug the mouse in, but continue to use the dual shock for movement.

                  • by Ang31us (1132361)
                    The keyboard is good for running, because FPS players have always run full-speed since the days of Wolfenstein and Doom...no analog necessary for that.

                    The discussion has been about analog aiming and how the Xbox 360 and PS3 controllers compare to the Wii-Mote and mouse.
                  • okay if "true analog" is so much better then why keep using WASD? Keyboards aren't analog.

                    Honestly I have no idea. My hope is that the Wiimote + Nunchuck combo will meet its' potential and be superior to the Keyboard + Mouse set up. Quite simply WASD is inferior to Analog control, however in FPS games precision aiming is the more important function which the mouse trumps an analog stick.

                    In a perfect world we'd have the precision aiming of the Wiimote to at least match mouse pointer control and we'd ha

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            It also helps that most analog stick games "assist" you a bit. If you ever tried Halo or Halo 2 for the PC, they're retardedly easy because of that. Console FPSes though are tuned to console controls, so everyone has a fair shake, and you can get quite good at it. Just don't expect to beat a PC or Wii gamer on an absolutely even, control-wise playing field(as in no auto-assist, simple movement of cursor, they're so much faster and more precise then you... you will lose, horribly). You won't.

            K/M is still
      • I'll just say whenever I watch Halo 3 trailers, I never see precise movements of varying speed in the view... it's always jerky (turnstopturnstopturnstop). Whenever I use a K/M I crank the mouse sensitivity up high and aim with precision. The Metroid Prime 3 "Advanced" controls are almost as good as a K/M, although it took me half a game to get used to it.
        • by 7Prime (871679)
          The Advanced controls seem ludicrus for me. There's no null zone, so it's impossible to keep the screen still. I started to get a headache after playing it for just a little while. I put it back on Standard, and it's feeling a lot better now, I find I can aim and turn a lot more precisely on Standard.

          My only huge complaint is that the crosshairs are often impossible to see against many of the backgrounds.
          • I like the responsiveness of the Advanced controls but had the same gripe with the lack of a null zone. I've taken to holding the Z button, which when no targets are present locks the view, any time I'm going in a straight line. It helps immensely and is very easy to get used to.
    • by NonSequor (230139) on Friday August 31, 2007 @04:20PM (#20428405) Journal

      (my trusty mouse is still more accurate)


      Actually the human brain is capable of exceptional accuracy with a pointing device like the wiimote. Your brain is pretty much hardwired for this sort of thing and it only takes a little practice to get really good at it. I've seen a shooting instructor teach people how to hit an aspirin in midair with a BB gun in less than 10 minutes. This is something that pretty much everyone who isn't braindamaged is capable of doing.

      With the wiimote you can easily do some things that are much more difficult with a mouse: track a fast moving target and quickly move between targets. Of course, the PC still has the advantage that you can map keys to all sorts of useful macros, but I think the mouse's reign as best input device is at an end.
      • There's just one teeny-weeny little problem: The Wii Remote does not actually "point" at the object on the screen. It interpolates a set of coordinates based on the positions of the IR LEDs according to the sensor on the front of the remote. The problem this creates is that the aim is inaccurate. You're really aiming within the field of the sensor bar and NOT within the field of the television. Even worse, you're dealing with polar coordinates to determine Cartesian coordinates. This can slightly warp the aim of the Wii Remote, making it even harder to aim precisely.

        When I used the Zapper as a kid, I stood far back from the television. (The first mistake people always made with the zapper was to stand too close to the television.) From there I was able to lift the weapon and fire with pinpoint accuracy at ducks/clay pigeons/gangsters/plates/glass panes/various junk the magician threw/etc. At least among my family and friends, I was a crack shot. You can't do that with the Wii Remote. Every time you heft it as a weapon, you need to orient the reticle before taking the shot. You can get good at aiming the remote fairly close to your target, but there will always need to be that visual feedback loop between the reticle and your aim.

        While I have yet to play Metroid, I understand it gets around these issues with a "lock-on" control system that actually corrects your aim for you. So if you can get the reticle close to your target, it's good enough to take the shot. Not very realistic, but certainly a lot more fun. ;-)

        Now don't get me wrong. The Wii Remote is lightyears ahead of the ultra-fine motor control required to play FPSes with a dual-analog controller. A player can respond faster, shoot quicker, aim more precisely, and otherwise manage to make the controller do what they intend. I think it's an absolutely wonderful update to the venerable gamepad, and wouldn't want to play my console any other way. I'm only pointing out that it has no real advantage over a mouse when it comes to hand/eye coordination skills. In some ways it actually does worse, because the spatial movement of the controller lacks the precision that a mouse's digital-optical sensors can provide. So there is still room for improvement. :)
        • by NonSequor (230139)
          Those are issues but I don't think they are really that big of a deal. It doesn't seem that much different from adapting to the peculiarities of a gun. After shooting a bit you learn to transparently compensate for things like the speed of the shot and how much the shot drops over distance. I had a BB gun with a bent barrel and I adapted to that too.

          So long as the game provides a consistent mapping between spatial coordinates and display coordinates, a player can learn to internalize the mapping with a litt
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by AKAImBatman (238306)
            I don't think you really understand the difficulties posed by the Wii Remote. The problems you mention all are something that can be ocmpensated for at the gun. With the Wii Remote, you have no such luck. Your aim will be different depending on the position of the sensor bar, your distance from the television, your position along the parallel of the sensor bar, how deep of an angle you're firing at vs. moving the remote side to side, the height the remote is currently being held at, etc. Just about every fa
            • by NonSequor (230139)
              In practice I haven't found the inconsistency to be a problem. I've played Call of Duty with the cross hairs disabled and I could easily make headshots, something I could never do well with a mouse. With a little practice you can get to the point where you can just look at what you want to shoot and hit it.
            • Let me put a strong rumble pack on your gun and let's see how well you compensate for it. ;-)

              It's a matter of fact that any dedicated player can adapt to even a monumental handicap.

              I played copious amounts of Perfect Dark with a good friend of mine on controllers that had been permanently damaged by Mario Party. When I say permanently damaged, I mean that both controllers acted as though aiming was determined through a random number generator. "Spastic" would be a good descriptor. Despite this handicap we a

        • by Ang31us (1132361)
          "You can get good at aiming the remote fairly close to your target, but there will always need to be that visual feedback loop between the reticle and your aim. While I have yet to play Metroid, I understand it gets around these issues with a "lock-on" control system that actually corrects your aim for you."

          Wow, what a great post!

          The visual feedback loop is the crosshair that you see painted on the screen when aiming. If you see a moving target far away, you have to aim ahead of him in the direction
      • "but I think the mouse's reign as best input device is at an end."

        The end is not quite yet there sparky, the mouse has advantages in being on a flat stationary surface. When you're waving a wand around your arm and hand is wobbling. Next time you boot up your Wii just simply hold the wii-mote aimer at the menu screen and you'll see it wobble. The Wii-mote is a big improvement over analog stick, but the fact has to be faced that the best FPS games everyone wants are on the Xbox 360. Next the motion-sensi
        • by Ang31us (1132361)
          I agree with the vast majority of your post, but...

          "The best FPS games everyone wants are on the Xbox 360"

          I would qualify that a bit more; yes, the Xbox 360 has more popular FPSes than any other CONSOLE and that the Xbox 360's (and PS3's) joystick aiming scheme is the weakest of all. In my view, the BEST FPS out there is still Unreal Tournament 2004. Halo 3 will do nothing to de-throne it, due to weak play control. UT3 will be the game that de-thrones UT2K4 as the best FPS on the market.

          Meanwhil
        • by NonSequor (230139)
          The wobble is a software issue. In Metroid Prime 3 it's completely fixed. The cursor doesn't shake and always moves smoothly. Hopefully other developers will catch on soon.

          And since there aren't really any decent FPSs on the Wii I'd have to agree that all of the good FPSs are on the 360. But I think we'll have some interesting times ahead when third party devs start to get their act together on the Wii. The 360 will still have it's advantages in graphics and being able to get screamed at by foul-mouthed 8 y
    • I sold super Mario strikers, there was one thing which ruined the game for me, it was the endless super strike animation triggered every 15 seconds if you did intensive super strikes. Needless to say, that such a small detail ruined an otherwise excellent game for me.
      • by Ang31us (1132361)
        Good defense can stop a player from performing a Super Strike almost every time. You'd be lucky to get one or two off in an online game against an experienced player.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MemoryDragon (544441)
          That doesnt unfortunately change the fact that you have to go through 15-20 seconds of non stoppable animation if you trigger a superstrike, after the 100th time seeing mario jumping into the air you simply dont want to play the game anymore, give me the same game without superstrike animation and it would have been a classic.

          It is amazing how such a minor detail can ruin an otherwise excellent game.
          • by Ang31us (1132361)
            Alright...I get it; the animation feels overly repetitive to you and you really hate the fact that you can't skip it -- to you, the repetitive super strike animation made an otherwise excellent game not worth playing.

            The animation does something entirely different for me. It's so rare to pull off a super strike against a good player online that I actually get PUMPED, jump out of my seat, and let out a primal scream (YEAAAAAAHHHH!!!!) when I see my team captain jump into the sky and blast 6 high-speed so
  • Prime 3: "Corruption on Wii"

    What is that supposed to mean?
    • by BenoitRen (998927)

      The "On Wii" part isn't part of the subtitle. The title is Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.

      "Corruption" refers to the one of the game's main gameplay features. You have to make sure that you don't store too much Phazon, or you'll be corrupted and turn into Dark Samus, and then it's Game Over. To avoid this, you must fire Phazon at enemies to discharge yourself.

      There's more to it than that, but that's all I know. I haven't played the game yet.

  • I love Retro and everything they've done with the Metroid series. They brought the series into the third dimension near perfectly, and hammered out three stellar titles for it. Now, though, I'm interested to see just what they could do with something totally new... Go in any direction, instead of focusing only on the Metroid formula. I can only imagine what they could do if they planned an entire title around the Wii, instead of retrofitting an existing project onto it.
    • It has been known for quite a while now that Metroid Prime 3 would be the last Metroid Prime title, and I don't think they would have done anything else.

      It's good they're taking a rest, because quite frankly, they've been losing direction since after the first game. Metroid Prime was a great transition to 3D. It felt right, the gameplay was solid, there was exploration, an interesting world, etc. But then something went horribly wrong.

      It is my understanding that the original Metroid Prime was heavily infl

      • by KDR_11k (778916)
        Don't forget the translator codes... ugh.

        Ammo for the beams is probably meant to keep you from just using the most powerful beam on everything. I know in Prime I used the plasma beam as much as I could since it would often 1-2 shot an enemy.
    • by Glytch (4881)
      I'm hoping that Retro starts licensing their engine and libraries to other developers. If I were a developer looking to build a console FPS, I'd be looking very seriously at the Wii. It's got a huge install base, lower development costs than the PS3 and 360, and Metroid Prime 3 has proven that a first-class FPS with a fantastic control scheme can exist on the Wii.

      Or maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part. I love FPSs, but I hate the neverending costs of PC gaming, and Halo-style analog-stick schemes wi
  • Sorta related (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by The MAZZTer (911996)

    I think I'LL step back from Metroid Prime 3 for a bit... the end boss clobbered me. Only had 1/3 of it's health down too. I figured out how you're supposed to kill it though, so next time I try I'll probably get it.

    I'm also still missing some stuff, and I got some questions. I know this isn't GameFAQs or wherever but no-one seems to have written a good walkthrough or power-up guide yet and I don't have the $30 guide. Any help? (Warning: Minor spoilers below)

    1. I'm missing five pickups. Two energy t
    • by macshome (818789)
      Hey! How about a spoiler warning on there?
      • I did? Sorry if I didn't make it prominent enough. :( I tried to keep spoiling to a minimum as well.
        • by macshome (818789)
          Eh. OK. So I missed it the first time, but I did stop reading right away when I saw specifics. Sorry about jumping the gun there...
    • I remembered that GameFAQs usually will still have what I need, just in disorganized jumbled form on the game forum. I got the answers to most of my pressing questions.

      1. I was missing two energy tanks, one missle expansion, and two ship missile expansions.
      2. I still don't know this.
      3. The word is when you start a new game in the same slot (once you beat the final boss it asks you) you save your tokens. I still am not sure about globally...
      4. There's a bunch of people on GameFAQs swapping friend codes and tradi
    • You're referring to the powerup maps you get after launching the satellites in Skytown's observatory, right? There's definitely one for the pirate homeworld. There's no map for the Valhalla, though.

      The ship missiles get refilled like any other items. You'll get them in crates or from killed enemies.

      I'm in the same boat for friend tokens. If you want to swap, add me to your list and I'll send what I've got. My code's 2982 4515 0998 4954.
    • by alvinrod (889928)
      1. The best way to find missing pickups is to run around with the x-ray visor on. Any power ups will show up as a bright orange color that really stands out against the rest of the gray. This works really well for stuff that's at a long distance.

      2. I know I've seen a counter for them somewhere. I think if you bring up the command visor or some other ship menu it has a display somewhere. I'm guessing that they refill at save points similar to how all your regular missiles do.

      3. I haven't finished the game ye
  • by Dorceon (928997) on Friday August 31, 2007 @05:52PM (#20429205)
    Seriously, since MP3:C got the controls right, and it does such a good job on the graphics, it seems like licensing the engine out is an obvious step. When you consider that Nintendo owns Retro, and Nintendo stands to benefit from the quality of games on the Wii going up (in both hardware sales to hardcore gamers and in software licensing revenue), not to mention that they can collect engine licensing fees, it seems like an obvious choice.
  • Metroid Prime 3 is the best game on the Wii right now and the control rocks. Simple as that.

    I hope the next Metroid game that comes out is as different from Metroid Prime as Metroid Prime was from Super Metroid. Three games in the series is enough. I would hate for Metroid Prime to become like Zelda, which has been the same game over and over since Ocarina. (To Wind Waker's credit, it had a lot of water).

    Anyway the point of this rant is MP3 is the best game right now because it was designed for the Wii,

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