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Metroid is a futuristic action game that takes place in outer space. After along dormant period, the game has been revived with a series of first person adventure games. The games follow the adventures of bounty hunter Samus Aran.
Metroid was produced by Gunpei Yokoi, but was largely the brainchild of the director Yoshio Sakamoto and scenario writer for the first three games, Makoto Kanoh . The first game did poorly in Japan, but became quite popular in America.
The Metroid series was notable for doing two things in its first installment. It was one of the first games to have a password system for resuming gameplay. It also introduced Samus Aran, one of the first major female video game protagonists. However, that was only revealed if the player beat the game fast enough. Then they would get to find out Samus was actually a woman, much to the surprise of gamers.
The second installment was released on the Game Boy five years later. Metroid II: Return of Samus greatly expanded on the first game, despite its limited platform. The story had Samus traveling to SR388 to exterminate all the Metroids. In the game, her gunship was introduced, the Metroids received multiple stages of life, and Samus's arsenal was greatly expanded.
In 1994, Super Metroid was released for the Super Nintendo. The game greatly expanded the previously explored Zebes and the Space Pirates while adding a variety of new abilities and gameplay features that would become staples of the series. The game was tremendously popular and acclaimed as one of the greatest games of the generation.
After this, the Metroid series went quiet for six years. No game was released for the N64, but in 2000 it was announced that the fledgling developing company, Retro Studios, would be developing the next Metroid game on the Gamecube. A 2D Metroid game for the Game Boy Advance was also announced. In 2002, both Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion were both released. Whereas Fusion was a continuation of Super Metroid, Prime took the game to a new first person perspective taking place between Metroid and Return of Samus while acting as the first 3D game in the series.
The Prime series continued with Metroid Prime 2: Echoes in 2004, and in the same year Metroid Zero Mission was made for the GBA as an expanded remake of the original Metroid that added gameplay elements from the later games. Two Prime spinoff games were made outside of Retro, Metroid Prime Pinball and Metroid Prime Hunters on the Nintendo DS, the latter adding new bounty huntrs and multiplayer options. In 2007, the main Prime trilogy was concluded with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption on the Wii. All three games were rereleased in 2009 as Metroid Prime Trilogy, with the first two games being modified with Wii motion controls, although this compilation was suddenly pulled from shelves in 2010.
Nintendo later collaborated with Team Ninja on Metroid: Other M, a new title for the Wii. This game tried to combine elements of 2-D and 3-D gameplay, and it featured a story with full voice-acting which attempted to be deeper than previous entries in the series. The game received mixed critical reception, and its sales were ultimately considered disappointing by Nintendo.