E3: First Metroid IV details

[05.17.01] » Samus' GBA adventure shows up on video only.

    While the bulk of America's Metroid obsession has been focused on Retro's upcoming GameCube prequel, the previously announced Game Boy Advance sequel is making a showing at E3, albeit on video only.

    The short trailer, sandwiched in the middle of the looping GBA teaser movie show in Nintendo's booth, begins with the familiar angular Metroid logo, which slowly mutates into a more rounded organic form. The logo fades, and the words "Welcome to a new mission" appear. Starting from the blackness of space, the camera slowly zooms in on a large spaceship. From the gameplay footage shown later, it seems the game will take within this ship. The camera continues to zoom in until the ship's hull fills the screen. An acidic corosion burns through the metal until a roman numeral IV is formed, and the word "Metroid" appears over it.

    Once again taking a page from the Aliens movies, it seems the GBA sequel will find Samus, or at least her power armor, genetically fused with the aliens she fights. The next sequence, which appears to produced on a GBA, shows a data readout with scolling text in an strange language. The text "Initating fusion program" is shown in English, and the data screen displays a schematic of Samus' power armor and a small metroid. The two images slowly move together until they fully overlap, at which point "fusion complete" is displayed.

    A rendered sequence follows, showing Samus in her armor emerging from the fusion chamber. Her normally dark red suit has now taken on a blue-ish transparent hue, though this doesn't seems apparent in the gameplay footage which follows. The short montage shows off Samus exploring with ship, fighting familiar enemies (though no metroids), and displaying her signature moves, including the screw attack, the ice beam, and the dash. In multiple sequences, Samus walks up the walls and on the ceiling using a power similar to the Spider Ball of Metroid II. The gamplay looks to stay fairly close to the classic SNES version, but the new moves should add some variety for series fans.

    Though the graphics are roughly the quality of an early SNES game, they pale in comparison to some of the more impressive GBA games on display. Most noticably, the pallet in the gameplay portions seems extremely simple with few colors used. For example, Samus herself is currently an almost solid red sprite. Hopefully, the gameplay footage is simply very early. Regardless, the small teaser does show that Metroid IV is set to take up the torch from Super Metroid with the same classic gameplay and a real continuation to the Metroid saga.

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