Tag Archives: metroid

Metroid Cosplay Is Blowing Socks Off

Here’s Japanese cosplayer 11Vadu with one of, if not the best Samus outfit I have ever seen.

The accuracy, the movement, it’s incredible.

I think what I like best, though, is the material used for the bulk of the chestpiece. It’s…modular foam floor mats, cut and shaped, which you can see in this vid that doubles as a making-of, as well as a showcase of the suit’s lighting effects.

The first two vids, and the pics below, were all taken at the 2019 Toyama Cosplay Festival.

まことにこふ

Source: Kotaku.com

Two Old Men Rank The SNES Games On Switch

After years of wishing and hoping, Nintendo finally added a selection of Super Nintendo games to its Switch online service. Which of the 20 classics should you play first? We had Kotaku’s resident old men, Chris Kohler and Mike Fahey, Statler and Waldorf together a ranked list.

20. Super Soccer

Chris Kohler: I played this for a minute.

Mike Fahey: Same. I played for a minute, got two fouls, felt very American.

Chris: The opposing team got the ball, started running it toward my goal, and I realized all too late that I had no idea what buttons did what.

Fahey: Which is exactly how real soccer works.

19. Super Tennis

Fahey: I do understand tennis. This is definitely tennis.

Chris: Yes. This one I got the ball over the net a couple times.

Fahey: I appreciate the use of Super Nintendo’s Mode 7 graphics to turn the court around once per match.

Chris: That’s a model of restraint.

18. Brawl Brothers

Chris: There are a lot of great side-scrolling beat-em-ups on the SNES. This is not one of them.

Fahey: It reminded me of several good ones, so much so that I had it higher in my list. Then I played it again.

Chris: It’s not much to look at, the controls are stiff… it doesn’t have the personality of a Final Fight. Where’s Final Fight? Oh, it’s on the Capcom Beat-Em-Up Bundle. Where’s Final Fight 2, then?

Fahey: In the hearts of little children everywhere.

17. Super E.D.F. Earth Defense Force

Fahey: Talk about a misleading title.

Chris: Yeah, if you were thinking this was going to be about killing giant ants, I have bad news.

Fahey: That a game could make me feel bad about a lack of spiders is an amazing feat.

Chris: It is a competent side-scrolling shooter. Again, though, not much personality.

Fahey: We’ll get to good games soon, I swear.

16. F-Zero

Chris: We’re there now!

Fahey: This is certainly a game that people love a great deal. I still love its look, if not its feel.

Chris: Yeah, F-Zero never really grabbed me. Not sure why.

Fahey: I liked the Gamecube version much better. Until the virtual console gets Gamecube games, we have this.

15. Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics

Fahey: Here is a game I did not remember enjoying, but I’m having fun with it now. Maybe I’m growing up?

Chris: Maybe you appreciate the slow-paced leisurely island lifestyle more now that you’re a parent.

While the original was a straightforward port of the arcade game, this is a console exclusive with more adventurey elements. It’s fun although it’s not quite as exciting as the first one.

Fahey: Or dinosaurs. My kids love those dinosaurs. Either I am older and more mature or I am projecting. Either way, mildly better than those other four.

14. Stunt Race FX

Chris: I had never played this back in the day but I’m fascinated with how they pulled off a polygonal racer on the SNES.

Fahey: It was too slow for me back when it came out, and I was too shallow to appreciate the technical achievement. Now I gawk at it in wonder.

Chris: It has charm. The cars have eyes.

Fahey: Proper headlight eyes, none of this Pixar windshield eyes BS.

Chris: 10 FPS means you have time to appreciate each frame as it goes by.

13. Star Fox

Fahey: Is this the one with the furries?

Chris: ‘Tis. And I think again the personality of the characters and the design helps smooth over the fact that as an early polygonal game, it’s pretty choppy.

Fahey: I do love the characters. And I remember being blown away by what the Super FX chip could do. They basically installed an extra GPU inside the game cartridge. That’s amazing.

12. Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts

Chris: They keep re-releasing this and I keep playing the first minute of it only to realize the only way I’m going to get past the first minute is to make mastering this game a second career.

Fahey: I just choked on a delicious beverage. This is another game that was much higher on my list until I played it. Still love the look and the terrain morphing.

Chris: Yeah, the music, the graphics, the tech is all so beautiful! It is an appealing game. And then everything about it is designed to murder you relentlessly. I’m too old for this.

Fahey: It will always be the fastest I’ve ever gotten naked. Can’t take that away.

11. Pilotwings

Fahey: You’d think there’d be more non-sim games about casually flying. Aren’t we humans always dreaming about this stuff?

Chris: It’s just this side of being a glorified $60 tech demo for the SNES’ sprite rotating and scaling ability, and yet it’s still super fun. You’re right, the “casual flight” genre is not particularly robust.

Fahey: I am surprised we aren’t playing the latest Pilotwings game on our Switches right now. This will have to do.

10. Kirby’s Dream Land 3

Chris: I forgot to play this. This is good, right?

Fahey: As a fan of everything Kirby, it is indeed good. It’s still too early a game for Kirby to transform into different forms based on which powers he’s using, but the mechanics are all present and accounted for.

Chris: OK. I assumed.

Fahey: KIRBY FOR LIFE!

9. Demon’s Crest

Fahey: Look at us in the single digits, and with a Ghouls ‘n Ghosts spin-off no less.

Chris: It’s all the beautiful animation, art design, music, etc. from Ghouls ‘n Ghosts except you actually have a life bar and mobility and half a chance of winning. This is a very good action game with RPG elements.

Fahey: I remember peeing a little when the dragon peeked through the bars during the game’s opening sequence. In my defense, I was just a young boy of *checks release date* err, 21. Maybe I was drunk.

8. Super Puyo Puyo 2

Chris: It’s Puyo Puyo, which is a good thing.

Fahey: What I love most about Super Puyo Puyo, aside from its Puyo Puyo-ness, is it opens with an anti-AIDS message.

Chris: I saw that! That’s awesome. This particular edition is well-liked for having four-player support. At this point I’m sure you have four Switch controllers.

Fahey: And some of them work!

7. Breath of Fire

Fahey: It’s no Chrono Trigger. It’s none of the Final Fantasies. If I had to pick a turn-based Super Nintendo role-playing game that was not either of those, this would easily be fourth or fifth on my list.

Chris: And yet, where are the Chrono Triggers and Final Fantasies? Certainly not here. So it falls to plucky Breath of Fire to fill the void. I mean, it’s pretty good though.

Fahey: Oh yes, I will happily take Breath of Fire any day. Hell, it’s time for a new, non-free-to-play mobile sequel. I’m sure Capcom is totally on top of that.

6. Super Mario Kart

Chris: When I read the words “Super Mario Kart,” the soundtrack just starts playing in my head immediately.

Fahey: My trigger fingers starts me a-hopping. It’s like F-Zero for people with taste.

Chris: I wish it had four-player balloon battle mode, but I’ll just have to live without it.

Fahey: One day there will be a Mario Kart game with that mode, Chris. One day.

5. Kirby’s Dream Course

Fahey: Now we are talking. For all of the excellent platformers and free-to-play four-player Switch battle games out there, Kirby as a golf ball is the most charming Kirby of them all.

Chris: Oh man, this is still the best golf game ever. So clever. You know, a prototype of the unreleased pre-Kirby version of this, called Special Tee Shot, was just dumped. Would be cool if Nintendo put the final version of it on this service.

Fahey: Maybe they will include it in the modern version of Kirby’s Dream Course secretly being developed inside my head.

4. Super Mario World

Chris: I remember when this came out on the Wii U and it was like, ah, finally, a game to play on my Wii U.

Switch has a few more games though.

Fahey: A couple, yes.

This one was tough for me. I feel like Yoshi’s Island and Super Mario Land are constantly duking it out inside my head.

Chris: Yeah, this one is still a fantastic Mario game, but in the fullness of time you can see that it’s not quite as ambitious as Yoshi’s Island.

We’re splitting hairs at this point though.

Fahey: And spitting eggs.

3. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

Fahey: In the battle between more Mario and something cool and new, cool and new won.

Chris: We’re deep into “masterpiece” territory now. Playing it again, you can see that the art design still looks fantastic. And that music!

Fahey: It’s ageless, like you.

Chris: Yoshi’s Island will be here after we are all gone.

2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past

Chris: I think this is still the best old-school formula Zelda. Prove me wrong.

Fahey: Do I have to?

Chris: No.

Fahey: I would go as far as saying that A Link to the Past is my favorite Legend of Zelda game. The modern 3D stuff has its own flavor. I like 2D better.

Chris: You don’t need to qualify this with “Well, you see, at the time this was released…” — it just holds up. You could put this on a cartridge and sell it (although I’ll glady take it as part of a super cheap yearly subscription instead)!

1. Super Metroid

Fahey: The closest thing we had to a huge disagreement on placement in the rankings, solved by ten minutes of playing this legendary game.

Chris: It is the best Metroid. If you’ve played any other Metroid game and thought, oh, this is cool, but you haven’t played this—this is better.

Fahey: I’d rather be playing it right now.

Chris: Harsh.

Source: Kotaku.com

Stop Calling Games ‘Metroidvania’

Let’s talk about one of my least favorite words in the video game lexicon: metroidvania. A portmanteau combining the video game titles Metroid and Castlevania, it takes two made-up video game titles that are pretty cool and evocative on their own and inelegantly mashes them into something worse. And now, that word is one we use to talk about a whole genre of incredible video games.

Let us count the ways the word is a disaster. Aesthetically, it’s miserable and inefficient, five syllables in the mouth and rakish in the ear. Worse, it is completely meaningless to anyone unfamiliar with either of its root words. Words which are also portmanteaus—Metroid, the story goes, is a combination of the words “metro” and “android.” Castlevania, meanwhile, is a merging of the words “castle” and “Transylvania” into something that actually worked out pretty well.

Imagine stringing out all those words individually: metro android castle transylvania. It is both 1.) way cooler, and 2.) far too much to dump on a person and expect them to know what you mean.

Years of use have acclimated people who play and talk about games a lot to the convenience of “metroidvania,” and it doesn’t hurt that the game that it most often points to, 1997’s Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, was a watershed moment in video games, reinventing one classic franchise by borrowing liberally from another. (The borrowing, ironically, came not so much from Metroid but from The Legend of Zelda.) So influential was Symphony that the term “metroidvania”, which was apparently cooked up and popularized by former 1UP.com writers Scott Sharkey and Jeremy Parish sometime in the early 2000s, was used to denote a formal movement of video game design, with Symphony of the Night as the template.

Here’s where my other problem with “metroidvania” comes into play: It’s at odds with the language we use to talk about video game genre.

Video game genres tend to be categories of interaction. They describe what you do in a video game at a glance. A first-person shooter puts a gun in a character’s hands and a camera where their eyes would be. A turn-based strategy game involves board game-style interactions in the service of a specific goal.

These aren’t perfect terms; they’re not as evocative as genre categories in, say, film, where terms like “horror,” “romance” and “comedy” describe emotions and feelings that you might expect to experience as a viewer. But there’s a logic to them, and they serve a purpose: establishing the ground rules of how you’re going to interact with a game. In that way, video game genre terms are most similar to genres of music, which use a certain set of basic rules for works in categories both broad and specific. Blues tunes will likely use blues scales and lots of improvisation. Conversely, baroque four-part chorales will adhere to an extremely rigid set of rules of composition.

I used to write about video games at publications geared towards people who didn’t necessarily play a lot of games, so I have spent a lot of time thinking about words that we’ve become accustomed to but are really just nonsense to anyone outside of this particular subculture. In real life, too, I’ve seen how quickly someone’s eyes can glaze over when they’re presented with something outside their comfort zone. Reducing those potential pain points in the way we talk about games can do a lot to help more people join in on that conversation, especially if it’s as painless as ditching a word like “metroidvania.”

Genre terms are more for our benefit more than that of the art in question. Genre is a loose system that we have for talking about similar works and establishing canon—an academic exercise more than an artistic one. Those conversations are valuable and sometimes even vital works of scholarship, but they also tend to be exclusive, understandable only to those already steeped in the culture.

Video games need to be easier to parse, not harder. We talk a lot about diversity and inclusion in games—how we games could become a better, more welcoming space if we just figured out a way to represent more perspectives both in the games we play and in the studios that make them. These are necessary, urgent steps. But I also wonder how many people have never bothered because we’ve spent all this time using the wrong words.

Source: Kotaku.com

4K Version Of Metroid Prime 2 Is Using Textures Upscaled By A Neural Network

Just like we’ve already seen with Doom, you can use a neural network to upscale pretty much any old video game textures, and the results are amazing. Metroid Prime 2 is no exception.

This 4K, 16:9 version of the GameCube classic was put together by BearborgOne, using ESRGAN to help drag those textures if not into 2019, then at least into what a PC version of this game might have looked like.

Source: Kotaku.com

Retro Studios Is Now Developing Metroid Prime 4 For Nintendo Switch

Image: Nintendo

Shinya Takahashi, Nintendo’s development head, just announced that Retro Studios, the developer of the original Metroid Prime series, is now developing the fourth installment. Make that, restarting development from the beginning.

Metroid Prime 4 was announced back in June 2017. At that time, details were scant and only the logo was shown. Nintendo did reveal that development was being led by Metroid Prime series producer Kensuke Tanabe with a “talented new development team.”

However, according to Takahashi, the current development status of the game is “very challenged.” This is why Nintendo decided to have Tanabe work with Retro Studios on the game, rebooting development.

“It will be a long road until the next time we will be able to update you on the development progress and development time will be extensive,” said Takahashi.

Source: Kotaku.com