Team Ninja + Nintendo = Metroid: Other M

I think we all knew that another Metroid title was inevitable. The series that was started by Gunpei Yokoi back in 1986 only got better and more intricate as it aged. And while it’s nothing new to have an outside developer work on the series I don’t think anyone was ready for the announcement that the legendary Team Ninja from Tecmo would be the collaborators on this project.


The trailer for Metroid: Other M we’ve seen from E3 looks polished and professional so my hopes are pretty high for this game. The cutscenes are very sharp and bear a striking resemblance to something out of a Final Fantasy game. The gameplay appears to be a mix of first-person shooter and platforming play. I’m very interested to see how the marriage of those to design styles works out in the final product.

What concerns me is that aside from hard-hitting action games with a notoriously high difficulty level, Team Ninja is known for their hyper-sexualized female characters. It’s almost as if they never got over being weaned off of breast milk and have developed something of a fetish.

Normally I’m okay with top-heavy female side kicks and fighting games that have a variable “jiggle” level in them. My problem is that Samus Aran is one of the first – if not the first – strong female characters to be put in a game. She’s certainly one of the first female characters to be the star of her own game. I’m not sure I want that legacy to be tainted in the typical Team Ninja fashion.

I’ll grant that these fears could be unbiased; especially considering that video game developer bad-boy Tomonobu Itagaki left the team so dramatically nearly a year ago. Many of my other fears have been allayed after reading an interview with the developers on The director of the series, Yoshio Sakamoto said “we’re not taking the same approach as with Ninja Gaiden,” referring to the fact that he recognizes that the Metroid franchise is something unlike anything Team Ninja has worked on before and requires a different approach.

Aside from those fears I’m pumped for the 2010 release of this game. I’m excited to see what Tecmo and Team Ninja can bring to the table. It’s well known that the Metroid Prime series was developed by Retro Studios out of Austin, Texas and those games easily hold their own within the series. In the past Nintendo has also let its Legend of Zelda franchise be handled by other developers. The most famous of which would be Capcom’s work on Minish Cap and Oracle of Ages/Seasons, and the most infamous would be Phillips regrettable trio of games for the CD-i.