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Metroid Prime: Federation Force

by Maple Leaf

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Original Thread: Two Is A Prime Number: Federation Force and AM2R

If you liked this LP, you might also like Mother 3 by Maple Leaf, Goldeneye Wii by Maple Leaf and Kid Icarus: Uprising by Maple Leaf

Introduction



Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a spinoff title of the Metroid Prime series, and the third game called Metroid Prime on a handheld. The game was developed not by Retro Studios, as the original trilogy was, nor was it developed in-house by Nintendo as Metroid Prime: Hunters was (which you might not have known!), but by a company called Next Level Games, which had done titles such as Super Mario Strikers and the Nintendo Wii game Punch-Out!! So, they’re a trusted Canadian developer with more than a few notches in their belt; if they could do such a wonderful job with Punch-Out!!, surely they could be trusted with the next Metroid game, right?

Well, it turns out…

Metroid Prime: Federation Force was revealed at E3 2015, and the response was overwhelmingly negative. The people were willing to put up with Metroid Prime: Pinball – a game that was clearly tongue-in-cheek and obviously intended to come off more as a side project than something deserving critical scrutiny – but this game was essentially the perfect storm to piss off Metroid fans:

There was no Samus. The gameplay looked cartoonish, starkly contrasting Metroid’s more adult look and themes. The main plot was optionally co-op, which went against the isolation and lone-wolf-ism themes of the series as a whole, and apparently some objectives borderline required co-op. Not only did it barely resemble Metroid, but it just didn’t look fun to play. The last game in the series was Metroid: Other M, released a whopping five years prior, and Nintendo had the gall to follow up that smoking failure with a spin-off? It got so bad that a Change.org petition to get Nintendo to stop development reached 24,110 signatures. The fans would rather have no game at all than a bad one.

Reception on release was average at best, scoring a 65 on Metacritic. It sold only 4,000 copies on its opening weekend, which is considered a colossal failure – fucking New Super Mario Bros. 2 did better.

Videos


Episode 1: Help
Episode 2: Aiuto
Episode 3: Respect
Episode 4: Destroy The Beeper
Episode 5: Zoo Tycoon
Episode 6: Pattern Recognition
Episode 7: Platform Peril
Episode 8: I Didn't Enjoy It
Episode 9: Mistakes Were Made
Episode 10: Can I Not?
Episode 11: I Need That
Episode 12: Pump Up The Jam
Episode 13: Come At Me
Episode 14: I Hope You Die
Episode 15: I'm So Lonely
Episode 16: That's About All You Can Say
Episode 17: All The Time In The World
Episode 18: Everyone Died
Episode 19: Riveting Gameplay
Episode 20: I Am Protected
Episode 21: Good, She's Dead



Another Metroid 2 Remake is, as the title would imply, a remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus. Apparently, those are fairly popular. The game is entirely fan-made and was developed by some dude in his bedroom named Milton Guasti, under the pseudonym DoctorM64. It took ten years to develop, although a lot of that was on-and-off. The game was made in GameMaker and its engine was designed by Guasti’s friend Martin Piecyk. Neither of them had any experience in making a game: Guasti just knew that, after playing Metroid II for the first time, playing the game with modern graphics and an in-game minimap (as opposed to an actual map that came with the game) would be a more immersive experience, and he set out to see that come true.

When Guasti announced the project, he received offers from artists and musicians offering to pitch in and see it come to life. AM2R was a collaborative effort that went through a number of changes and challenges – motivation, primarily, seeing as nobody was getting paid. But, slow and steady won the race, and AM2R was officially released, after two public demos, on August 6th, 2016, coinciding with Metroid’s 30th anniversary.

The game met enormous critical acclaim with freelance reviewers giving it nothing but love and accolades, praising its gameplay; its music; its art direction; the inclusion of new mechanics and features, such as data logs and entries; and just the way that Guasti and his team managed to capture the feel of Metroid. That was important: the game felt like Metroid. It had the graphical integrity and attention of Super Metroid with the pace and tightness of Metroid: Zero Mission, along with a handful of upgrades and changes, all for the better. AM2R was a monumental success, critically speaking, setting the standard for fangames and fan projects forever.

AM2R was downloaded approximately 1.5 million times off its home webpage in the first twenty four hours. It was so popular that Nintendo even acknowledged it, praising the game for its ingenuity, and soon after offered Guasti and Piecyk positions in their American branch.

Except, replace ‘acknowledged’ with ‘damned,’ ‘praising’ with ‘attacking,’ ‘ingenuity’ with ‘infringement,’ and ‘positions in their American branch’ with ‘an ultimatum: take it down or get sued into the dirt.’ AM2R was DMCA’d just one day after its official release. Guasti promised that he would continue to work on updates in private, but Nintendo sent him another DMCA, and that’s that: AM2R is as golden as it will ever get.

AM2R does not run off a modded ROM of any sort: it’s a standalone .exe that requires nothing external to function properly. This being the Internet, nothing is ever truly deleted, and you can easily find the game off Google with some proper searching.

Videos


Episode 1: Waterlogged
Episode 2: Red Light
Episode 3: A New Challenger
Episode 4: Carpet Bombing
Episode 5: I Am Alive
Episode 6: Cruise Control
Episode 7: Intuition
Episode 8: Are We Dumb?
Episode 9: Oh No, I Died
Episode 10: This Game Is Cute
Episode 11: Mildly Annoying
Episode 12: That Is Your Hell
Episode 13: Good Job, Samus
Episode 14: The End of Samuel
Episode 15: Like A Friggen' Casual
Episode 16: Bad Ending

The LP:

Metroid Prime: Federation Force and Another Metroid 2 Remake were released very close to each other, and were on absolutely opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to content and reception. The two games couldn’t be more contrasted – one is official and bad, the other is unofficial and good, and that’s just one comparison – and it’s a series I love, so, why not kill two birds with one stone? Also, it cost a lot of money to mod my 3DS and I don’t want it to just sit there.

Traditionally, I prefer doing LPs post-commentary, and I prefer doing games that I have at least some modicum of expertise so that I can maybe show the viewers something they might not have gotten their first time around, or maybe I just want to show off or something. This time, both my close friend Olive Branch and I are going in absolutely blind. It’s all news to him and I.

That said, no spoilers, please. Neither of these games will match the travesty that is Metroid: Other M or the brilliance that is Kid Icarus: Uprising, but we still want to see how bad/brilliant it gets for ourselves.
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