I'm unwilling to wait a few weeks for another news article on the game, and I think that this is due for a more focused discussion than the general thread for the title. So, I reiterate the question: why was Next Level Games chosen to create Metroid Prime: Federation Force?
Don't get me wrong, because Next Level Games is an awesome developer. The Mario Strikers games, Punch-Out! for the Wii, Luigi's Mansion 2: Dark Moon are all fantastic...but it also highlights my confusion. And yes, I know that Tanabe had this idea in his head since the DSi was a thing and NLG wanted to do a multiplayer joint after finishing up Dark Moon. For the purpose of this, let's disregard that. Ultimately, the reason I ask is because, outside of the Blast Ball component, doesn't seem like something the Vancouver-based studio's thing. And I state this because of one, simple word: PERSONALITY.
Okay, a small request. Go onto Youtube. Search for cutscenes and gameplay for any of the Mario Strikers games. Now Punch-Out! Wii. Now Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. (Or don't, since I'll be linking to examples anyway.) What do all of those have in common? A LOT OF CARTOONY FUN. And there's the disconnect for me. Next Level Games is up there with AlphaDream and HAL Laboratory when it comes to stuffing personality and expression into every nook and cranny of a game. The character entrances in Mario Strikers Charged. Disco Kid being so full of sass in Punch-Out! Wii. Luigi finding the Poltergust 5000 in Luigi's Mansion 2. Over-the-top cartoon goodness that showcases and emphasizes the personality of these characters within seconds. The Metroid franchise is almost on the opposite side of that.
Metroid (disregarding Other M) is very understated. You're a silent protagonist exploring desolate alien lands or space stations filled with terrifying creatures and machines that will kill you with nary a thought. It's pushing a tense atmosphere that Samus, at least on the surface, handles with barely a sweat. She's cool, she's calm, and she's collected when there is a mission at hand. "But you aren't playing Samus in Federation Force, you're playing Federation grunts," I hear you think. Well, in other Metroid games, when you do interact with other soldiers or hunters, they have the same general temperament. Calm under pressure. I 100% expect that to be the case here as well. And while I fully believe that Next Level Games can craft the environments and atmosphere that makes the Metroid series so beloved, I feel like that's a grievous misuse of their talents. Unlike most Nintendo franchises, Metroid is on "serious" mode by default, with any humour in the games being rather dry, dark, or both. It just feels off to see a group of developers who are so good at conveying character, and doing so in comedic ways deliver a product that doesn't seem to have any of that. Which I suppose leads me to a second question: do you think a different Nintendo team could have tackled this project? Do you think NST could have taken a break from the endless Mario and Donkey Kong sequels to create this? Or was NLG the best choice, considering the small number of Western studios Nintendo works with? Am I just a jerk for complaining that a studio wants to try new things? (Considering how much I want Retro to make a new IP, yes, I'm a jerk and a hypocrite.)
(Free free to delete, move, or whatever this if I could have just asked this in the main topic.)