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Nintendo has officially announced the release date for the highly controversial Metroid Prime: Federation Force. The game is set to arrive on the Nintendo 3DS starting August 19th, and nearly a month later in Europe on September 2nd.
IGN picked up the news as part of the big gaming news explosion for PAX East in Boston, Massachusetts.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force went gone dark in the media shortly after being announced. A lot of the news chatter about the game was how fans of the Metroid series were not very pleased with the game's aesthetic, the fact that it was called Metroid Prime but had nothing to do with the ongoing saga from the GameCube series, and most importantly... the game didn't star the heroine from the long-running series, Samus Aran.
You could liken it to a Rambo movie that didn't star John Rambo.
As pointed out by IGN, Nintendo of America's president, Reggie Fils-Aime, went on damage control to explain that people who played the game firsthand enjoyed it and that gamers who were angry were that way because they were at a “competitive disadvantage” and just needed to play Metroid Prime: Federation Force to have a change of mind about the game.
Nevertheless, Reggie's words only angered long-time fans, especially after he mentioned that they needed to challenge the paradigms and “challenge the conventional wisdom” to turn the franchise into something new.
A lot of fans were perturbed that the last time they were playing a major outing in the series was from Team Ninja called Metroid: Other M, and many felt as if it wasn't a true Metroid game because of how badly it misrepresented Samus and turned her into a shell of the fearless bounty hunter that had been established many years before.
So what is the new game about and why are people still frustrated with it? Well, it's a four-player cooperative shooter where players will work together to battle against various forces throughout the galaxy as a Federation of peacekeepers.
Players will acquire various weapon upgrades and battle bosses with friends across a variety of challenging levels. Now to be fair, for the people who have played it they did say that they enjoyed it as a co-op title.
A few commenters on the IGN article make a good point that Metroid: Federation Force may not be a bad game in and of itself, but they feel as if it's a cash-in title on a recognized brand name. It's true that there would be no hate from Metroid fans if it were simply called Galactic Federation Force and was a little casual shooting title. However, attaching a recognized brand to the game while foregoing everything that made that brand popular is a surefire way to make fans angry.
We'll see if the risk will pay off for Nintendo. It's a dangerous game they're playing, and one that could backfire on them if the game doesn't turn out to be super stellar. Even Star Fox Guard wasn't a complete departure from the Star Fox formula, finding itself bundled in with the new Star Fox Zero as a way to maintain brand cohesion. Maybe Nintendo will have some news at this year's E3 for a new Metroid starring Samus? It could be used as a way to please fans and help soften the blow when Federation Force launches at the end of the second quarter.