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The Troubled Tale of Retro Studios and Metroid Prime 4

Today Metroid fans woke up to a shocking video from Nintendo that somehow managed to disappoint and exhilarate them at the same time. Nintendo Senior Managing Executive Officer Shinya Takahashi announced that all the hard work Nintendo has put into Metroid Prime 4 over the past two years is being scrapped and the project is starting over from scratch. However, this reboot will be handled by Retro Studios, the team behind the original Metroid Prime Trilogy. How in the world did this all come to be, and what does it mean for the future of the game?

Retro Studios was once an independent developer with numerous projects in the works. Nintendo saw their potential and acquired the company, re-purposing them as a first-party Nintendo studio focused on making 3D Metroid games. They developed three entries in the Metroid Prime series under producer Kensuke Tanabe with some oversight by Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto early on. The trilogy of games received critical acclaim, and the first Prime game remains the highest-selling entry in the franchise to date.

After this, Tanabe moved Retro over to another classic Nintendo franchise in need of a revival: Donkey Kong Country. Without Retro to develop the next 3D Metroid, Nintendo turned to Yoshio Sakamoto (a co-creator of the 2D Metroid franchise) and Team Ninja. The result was Metroid: Other M, a game that saw mixed reviews and sales so poor that it quickly found itself in the bargain bin at most retailers. Meanwhile, Retro continued their streak of impressive marks with the well-received Donkey Kong Country Returns and its successor, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. After the latter game launched in early 2014, the studio went almost entirely silent.

During this quiet period, drama was unfolding behind the scenes. Tanabe left Retro Studios and teamed up with Next Level Games to create Metroid Prime: Federation Force, a spin-off title that launched to mediocre review scores and abysmally low sales numbers. According to a detailed report from Liam Robertson, Tanabe’s departure from Retro wasn’t exactly on great terms.

According to Robertson’s sources, working under Tanabe was no picnic. He was a tough boss who was known to “explode with great passion” if a developer made a mistake or challenged one of his creative decisions. However, this authoritarian style alone wasn’t enough to cause a rift, as his subordinates viewed him as a competent leader. What caused Retro and Tanabe to have a falling out was the level of control he maintained. Retro staff believed they had earned the right to have a little more creative freedom, but all of their decisions had to go through Tanabe first before being relayed to Nintendo executives in Japan, and he wasn’t as receptive to their ideas as they would have liked.

As a result, Nintendo reportedly pulled Tanabe away from Retro Studios in 2014, shortly after the release of Tropical Freeze. He had apparently butted heads with Retro staff throughout the game’s development, compelling Nintendo to find him a new team to manage. This gave Retro the extra freedom they so desperately desired. So what did they do with it? And what would become of 3D Metroid after the failure of Federation Force?

Nintendo and Retro have given us zero official hints about Retro’s activity over the past five years, but reports have leaked out in the meantime. Last year numerous sources claimed that Retro Studios was working on a Star Fox racing game, and Eurogamer stepped forward to corroborate them. But was Retro really working on a racing game for five years? Perhaps not. The same day that the Star Fox racing story surfaced, Kotaku and Game Informer reported that Retro canceled one of their games after development went south. Kotaku believed this project to be separate from the rumored Star Fox game, while Game Informer wasn’t sure either way.

So has Retro been secretly developing multiple projects? If so, that would seem to be a relatively recent development. Eric Kozlowsky served as an Environmental Artist at Retro Studios from 2011 till August of 2015. Following today’s breaking news, he tweeted outUnless Retro has grown to a two game studio since I left, I guess this means the game I was working on when I left in Aug 2015 is’t happening anymore? I honestly have no clue. Excited for everyone there though! I know they’ll do an amazing job!” As of August 2015, Retro apparently only had one game in development, although we still don’t know if it was the Star Fox racing project or something else entirely. For what it’s worth, Kozlowsky was silent on Twitter when the rumors about Retro and Star Fox circulated last year.

Whatever the case may be, Retro has spent five years working on something (or some things) and they still have nothing to show to the public. Meanwhile, the 3D Metroid series has struggled in their absence. Nintendo knew they had let fans down with Other M and Federation Force, and they wanted to earn back some goodwill. Because of this, they showed up to E3 2017 with a short teaser trailer promising Metroid Prime 4 for Switch. Nintendo later admitted that the game was still in the earliest stages of development, but they couldn’t resist whetting the appetites of their disappointed but faithful fans.

After E3, Nintendo confirmed that Tanabe was leading the charge on Metroid Prime 4, working with “a talented new development team.” Nintendo wouldn’t reveal their identity, but they were likely unmasked early last year. The speculation began when a Lead Designer at Bandai Namco Singapore claimed they were working on a “First Person Shooter/Adventure” game coming exclusively to Nintendo Switch. Eurogamer later reported that their sources had confirmed this project to be Metroid Prime 4. Eurogamer later updated their report to state that in addition to Singapore, the Japanese branch of Bandai was working on the game.

Between Nintendo, Bandai Singapore, and Bandai Japan, development continued on quietly throughout 2018 with no real public updates. The silence was finally broken by Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime last November. At the time, Fils-Aime stated that Metroid Prime 4 was “well in development” and that Nintendo internally knew when they planned to release it. What a joyous update! It sure sounded like some major progress had been made. Unfortunately, Reggie spoke too soon.

Almost exactly one month from then, something strange started happening at Retro Studios. Throughout their entire five years of silence they occasionally trickled out hiring ads, but in December of 2018, they opened the floodgates. Retro went on a hiring spree to recruit all kinds of new developers, including a VFX Artist, a Physics Engineer, an Art Director, a Technical Artist, and most recently, a Graphics Engineer. In the case of the Art Director, they were looking for someone with over 10 years of experience, hinting at a pretty major project. Thus, it seems likely that Nintendo’s decision to pull the plug on Bandai’s Metroid Prime 4 and bring back Retro likely happened between Fils-Aime’s statement on November 14th and the beginning of Retro’s hiring spree on December 13th.

With Retro struggling to put together an original game and Nintendo struggling to launch a good 3D Metroid without them, it looks like a “two birds with one stone” solution was reached, and Retro was put back in charge of the series that made them famous. But is this a happy reunion? Retro and Tanabe allegedly divorced due to creative differences. Is Nintendo forcing them back together against their will?

Hopefully, that’s not the case, and we have reason to believe it isn’t. Game Informer Senior Editor Imran Khan has done some digging, and his sources tell him the situation isn’t a problem for Retro. Nintendo was reportedly unhappy with the uneven development of the game over the past couple of years. With studios in multiple countries working on the project (as indicated by Eurogamer), it was seemingly progressing well in some areas while struggling in others. This could potentially explain why just two months ago Fils-Aime believed it to be right on track. Because of this, Nintendo wanted to restart with development centralized under one roof. Retro reportedly wanted to be the ones to take over and presented Nintendo with a pitch to show what they had in mind. Nintendo was impressed with the pitch, and the Prime series returned home to its original development studio.

So what does this mean for the future of Metroid Prime? Well, for starters, we’re in for a long wait. That said, the franchise is hopefully back in good hands. If Retro truly requested the project, then whatever bad blood they have with Tanabe is not serious enough to keep them from working with him again, and they may even have a little more freedom this time around. Hopefully, they use it to restore 3D Metroid to its former glory.

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Metroid Prime 4’s Development Rebooted by Retro Studios


Nintendo first teased the existence of Metroid Prime 4 at E3 2017. Although the game was early in development, they thought it was important to let fans know it was in development. That may have been a mistake. Then in November Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime assured fans it was well in development with a release target in mind. That was definitely a mistake.

Today, Nintendo Senior Managing Executive Officer Shinya Takahashi shared an update on the game’s progress, but it’s probably not what you were expecting. According to Takahashi, Metroid Prime 4‘s development was deeply troubled, and Nintendo had to come to terms with the fact that it would not live up to the quality expected from the series.

As such, Nintendo has decided to scrap all their progress and start from scratch. Series producer Kensuke Tanabe will continue to be at the helm, but with a new development team… or rather an old one. Nintendo is returning to Retro Studios to develop the project this time. The Texas-based development team made the first three games in the series before branching off to make something new. Over four years later, Retro had still not announced anything prior to today.

Previously Nintendo had not announced who was handling development, but reports from reliable sources indicated it was Bandai Namco. It’s unclear exactly what went wrong, but it was serious enough for Nintendo to pull the plug and change development teams. Unfortunately, this means we’re now in for a long wait.

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News Nintendo Wii U

The Next Paper Mario Game Will Likely Feature a New Battle System

Nintendo recently released Paper Mario: Color Splash on Wii U, and although the game received mostly positive reviews, many players found its battle system to be lackluster and too much like the one in Sticker Star. Many fans of the classic games long for a battle system similar to the first two games and hope for a return of companion fighters.

Color Splash producer Kensuke Tanabe was recently interviewed by Game Informer, and he addressed the possibility of returning to the battle style of old. Here’s what he had to say on the subject:

“Personally, I don’t give much thought to how we are leaving old methods behind in any series, not just Paper Mario. I always prioritize thinking about how we can build new methods and new elements. Of course, there were some series where we have not made big changes to the systems, but sometimes that’s because we feel as though these systems haven’t been perfected yet, or the gameplay can be expanded even further. We felt both of those things in Color Splash. However, I do feel as though we reached the end of where Color Splash is headed, so if we get the chance to continue the series, I think we’ll want to create a Paper Mario with a different system.”
— Kensuke Tanabe

Tanabe and his team felt that Color Splash did a good job of building on Sticker Star‘s battle system, expanding and perfecting it. As such, they’ll likely move on from it for the next title, but it sounds like they’re more keen to try something new (once again) than to return to the popular ways of old.

Source: Game Informer (via Nintendo Everything)

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Miyamoto Asked for Paper Mario: Color Splash to be Made Using Only Mario Characters

When the Paper Mario series began, one of its biggest draws was its diverse and colorful cast of characters. This is an element that has been severely lacking in recent entries, as the role of NPCs is now almost entirely filled by various Toads. Longtime Nintendo developer and Color Splash producer Kensuke Tanabe recently sat down for an interview with Game Informer, and he tackled the topic of why popular NPCs from past iterations have not returned. As it turns out, this was largely a decision made by none other than Shigeru Miyamoto.

“Mario is not an IP that I created. From the position of someone borrowing the IP, I think it’s only natural to show respect to the person who created it, and let that feeling of respect guide us. When Miyamoto-san, the father of Mario, asks us, ‘Could you make a game with only characters from the Mario family?’ I think it’s only natural for us to give it our best shot. In other words, we are not currently thinking about returning to old NPCs.

“Incidentally, I do think Color Splash may have proven that we can still make a game entertaining, even if our original characters don’t appear as NPCs. And with that belief, we will keep on continuing to do our best.”
— Kensuke Tanabe

Developers listen when Miyamoto makes suggestions, especially when it involves characters he created. Are you happy with the NPCs in Color Splash, or do you feel Miyamoto’s request limited the game’s potential? Sound off in the comments!

Source: Game Informer (via Nintendo Everything)

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Report: Longtime Producer Kensuke Tanabe is No Longer Working with Retro Studios

We know that Nintendo-owned Retro Studios has been hard at work on a new game since just before the release of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, but they’ve kept their project entirely under wraps. Like many Nintendo fans, industry insider Liam Robertson (known for getting the scoop on cancelled games for Unseen64) wanted to know what Retro was working on, so he began talking to his sources and investigating. While his inquiries have not revealed the identity of Retro’s next game, they have potentially uncovered a major shakeup at the studio. According to multiple sources, longtime Retro producer Kensuke Tanabe is no longer working with the company.

Tanabe, who has had a hand in every single Retro Studios game up to this point, reportedly parted ways with Retro sometime in 2014. Robertson spoke with a number of developers who have worked with Tanabe in the past, and they described him as quite the authoritarian figure. Tanabe allegedly was known to “explode with great passion” if a developer made a mistake or challenged one of his creative decisions. That said, his subordinates spoke of him as a competent leader rather than begrudging his behavior.

However, his hands-on style apparently did not mesh well with Retro in recent years, as the Austin-based development team believed that they had earned the right to create more freely without as much oversight from Nintendo’s executives in Japan. As producer on all of Retro’s projects, Tanabe “upheld the Japanese creative sensibilities of Nintendo at the otherwise Western studio.” Retro found this unnecessary, and (after allegedly butting heads with Tanabe during the development of Tropical Freeze) began requesting that Nintendo give them more freedom. Nintendo is said to have responded by replacing Tanabe with another Nintendo representative.

The identity of Retro’s new producer isn’t completely known, but Robertson has heard rumblings that it could be Yoshio Sakamoto, a longtime Nintendo developer and the co-creator of
Metroid. While you might quickly jump to the conclusion that Retro is working on a new Metroid, Robertson’s sources have not heard anything to that effect, and Sakamoto stated in 2014 (the window in which he allegedly would have taken over Retro) that he was hoping to work on “new experiences” instead of traditional games.

Adding some credence to this report is the fact that Tanabe was asked about Retro Studios
in an interview last year and responded by saying “I’m not quite sure about the stuff that they’re working on at this time.” That’s not the kind of answer you expect to hear from someone who’s been working with Retro for over a decade…unless that partnership is no longer in place.

Source: Liam Robertson

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Chibi-Robo’s Developers Would Think About Bringing Him to Smash Bros. if Sakurai Asked

In a recent interview with Kensuke Tanabe, one of Nintendo’s developers, the interviewer asked Tanabe what he thought about putting the Chibi-Robo character in Super Smash Bros., to which he responded, “If we receive an offer, we’ll think about it.” It is likely that the Super Smash Bros. team had never considered Chibi-Robo for their roster, or even as an assist trophy, but the fact remains that the door is still open.

While it is true that the
Chibi-Robo! games have always had mediocre sales compared to Nintendo’s other mainstays, it is surprising that Chibi-Robo would be left out of a game that is centered around celebrating all of Nintendo’s various franchises.

What do you think about this omission from
Super Smash Bros.? Are there any other Nintendo characters you feel deserve to be put in the game? Let us know in the comments!

Source: The Verge

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3DS News

Nintendo Says Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash Could be the Last Chance for the Franchise

The Chibi-Robo! franchise and its adorable titular character have a following of loving fans (including Gamnesia Editor-in-Chief Colin McIsaac), but unfortunately this is only a very small group. Chibi-Robo! games typically sell in very low amounts, and some of the games have never seen the light of day outside of Japan. The franchise will soon see new life when Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash launches next month, and according to Nintendo producer Kensuke Tanabe, it could be the last chance for the franchise to prove itself or face the axe.

“To be honest, this might be the last chance for us. I’ve continually thought about ways to build this into a mainstream success. We’ve challenged ourselves in assorted ways along those lines, but I can’t say that we’ve found the answer yet.

“The first thing we decided upon was that we’d make an action game that took advantage of his plug and cord. We then placed the core of the gameplay on using it like a grappling hook, throwing it into a faraway edge and using that to traverse gaps and so on. As we kept thinking about ideas, we naturally settled on the 2D side-scrolling format. If the character can gain more recognition, I believe we’ll have a chance to produce another adventure-style game for a large number of people. I’m hoping that we made the right choice for this game’s play style.”
— Kensuke Tanabe

The simpler 2D style allows Nintendo to revive the series with a small budget and hopefully build up a bigger fan base, especially in the West. If it fails to gain traction, this could be the end for Chibi-Robo.

Source: The Verge

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3DS News

Metroid Prime: Federation Force’s Producer Was Surprised by the Backlash Against the Game

In a recent interview with USGamer, Metroid Prime: Federation Force producer Kensuke Tanabe talked about the negative fan reaction for the game and what he thinks is causing it.

Tanabe stated that he was “quite surprised” by the backlash against Federation Force; he feels like people are put off by the game’s visuals, and that players will respond differently once they are playing the game for themselves. He also stated that the game’s negative response gives the developers a chance to turn the game’s reputation around. Here’s Mr. Tanabe’s full statement:

USGamer: Have you been surprised by the backlash against this game and how negatively people have responded to it?

Kensuke Tanabe: I was quite surprised by the backlash, because as far as from a development perspective, I’ve been putting a lot of emphasis into game play and the way the game feels when you play it — as well as the creation of the universe to be within the Prime series, but at the same time I get the feeling that people are talking a little too much about the visuals they have seen through videos they have seen so far. Again, it will be different once you have the hands-on experience.

While there is a lot of backlash as you pointed out, this a perfect chance for me to turn the table around and get people to start liking it. If people are already paying attention to it, there’s always room to get that to work in a positive way – to get interested in a nice way about the game.

Source: USGamer

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Metroid Prime: Federation Force’s Producer Has Ideas for the Game’s Amiibo Functionality

In a recent interview with USGamer, Metroid Prime: Federation Force producer Kensuke Tanabe stated that he has thought about including Amiibo functionality in the game.

According to Tanabe, he has “a few ideas” about how Amiibo could interact with Federation Force, but he can’t say anything more currently because nothing has been finalized; he also stated that he would like to have an Amiibo of Federation Force‘s mech. Here’s Mr. Tanabe’s full statement:

USGamer: What happens if I’m playing on the New 3DS and I take my Samus Amiibo and tap into the 3DS?

Kensuke Tanabe: So while I do have a few ideas, I can’t quite tell you at this time since they’re not all finalized, but there are some ideas coming. If possible at all, it would be nice to have an Amiibo of the mech.

Source: USGamer

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3DS Podcast Videos

NWC: Metroid’s Producer Compares the Series’ Future to The Avengers, and Samus is Just One of Them

Metroid‘s producer, Kensuke Tanabe, recently spoke about Metroid Prime: Federation Force and the goal behind the new multiplayer focus in the franchise. He says that the aim in Federation Force is to tie together the stories of several different hunters, directly comparing it to Marvel’s Avengers. This is one of the subjects we discuss on this week’s episode of Nintendo Week, our Nintendo-themed podcast here at Gamnesia. You can check out the discussion video above to hear our thoughts on the idea behind the game, the story, whether we like the idea of expanding the Metroid universe in this particular way, and what it means for the future of the Metroid series.

If you like this video, you can
subscribe to Nintendo Week on iTunes, where we release new episodes every Wednesday. If you don’t like long-form podcasts, you can subscribe to us on YouTube, where our discussion segments are uploaded on Thursdays, and these select snippets from the rest of the podcast—which we call NWC—are uploaded throughout the week. If you like what you hear, we’d love it if you leave us a review on iTunes, or send us your feedback! We’d love to know what you think of the show, and how you think we can improve it.

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Metroid Prime’s Producer Confirms that the Dark Samus Story is Complete

Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a spin-off game staring Galactic Federation soldiers instead of the famed bounty Hunter, Samus Aran, but it’s also part of the same Metroid Prime universe and is planned to set the stage for a future Metroid Prime game. This is confusing to some, because the story of Dark Samus (the same entity as Metroid Prime itself) appears to be concluded after Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Could Dark Samus somehow return in a future game? Metroid Prime series producer Kensuke Tanabe has weighed in on the subject while also explaining the role of Federation Force in the franchise’s story.

CG Mag: So for the story, will you be carrying over any of the story elements we saw in the previous Metroid Prime games into this one?

Tanabe: So the story around Basin and Dark Samus in my mind is already complete. The previous games completed those stories. But Are you familiar with the ending of Prime 3?

CG Mag: Yes.

Tanabe: Sylux is one of the hunters that was in Metroid Prime Hunters. So in Metroid Prime 3, there’s sort of hints where Sylux is sort of there. In a way to sort of create that potential for the story, between Samus and Sylux. I’d like to have that with a focus on the Federation Force as well.

CG Mag: So it is tying together a universe?

Tanabe: That is the focus of Federation Force. It works in a similar way to the Avengers where they had individual movies focus in on one hero and now this is the team up that brings it all together.

CG Mag: So kind of telling the stories of each hero.

Tanabe: So while we’re not carrying anything related to Dark Samus in the huge universe of Metroid Prime, I do have ideas on how to tie them with that universe of the previous games.

Comparing the Metroid universe to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tanabe points to a Metroid future featuring Samus, Sylux, and the ever-present conflict between the Space Pirates and the Galactic Federation. So while Metroid Prime/Dark Samus itself won’t be around, some of the story elements will carry over, and Federation Force serves as a means of familiarizing players with the Galactic Federation.

Source: CG Mag

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3DS News

Metroid Prime: Federation Force is “Very Important” to the Plot, Two Missions Revealed

It’s been five years now since Nintendo released a new Metroid game, and fans have grown impatient. Nintendo hoped to satisfy fans by unveiling a new Metroid at E3, but it was poorly-received. Metroid Prime: Federation Force ditches staples of the series, like a playable Samus Aran and an exploration-fueled isolationist experience, and replaces them with a four player co-op shooter.

Metroid Producer Kensuke Tanabe and other developers have been defending the game since its initial reveal, promising fans that they’ll enjoy the finished product. In a recent interview, Tanabe opened up a little bit about the content of the game, stating that “this is something that will be very important in the plot, the whole idea of the Prime universe” and revealing some of the game’s missions.

A big focus of
Federation Force will be fleshing out the story of the conflict between Space Pirates and the Galactic Federation. On one planet in the game, you’ll uncover a plot by the Space Pirates to create the ultimate weapon.

“On one of them, there will be research that the Federation has to conduct, and they get to the planet thinking it’s an abandoned place that the Federation used to use before, but they find out that the Space Pirates have been using that place to plot something against the Galactic Federation. Creating the ultimate weapon.”
— Kensuke Tanabe

Although the game is a first-person shooter, it won’t follow traditional shooters in throwing hordes of enemies at the player. Enemies are just one element of the gameplay, and the development team hopes to challenge players in many different ways. One example Tanabe gave was a mission where you must guide a railway cart from the beginning of a level to the end.

“Their idea of first-person shooting games is to have a lot of targets to go through. I also wanted, instead of having an abundance of enemies to shoot around, to have more time to be able to get used to the controls.

“There’s one mission where you have a railway with carts on top of it, and your mission will be to push that from beginning to end. The point of this mission will be to avoid the magnetic force against you to get the carts onward to the goal, and there you have the Space Pirates spawn to add to that, to be in your way.

“It’s not just about bringing [enemies] that are clever, but also focusing on other ideas that I could implement in the game to make things a little trickier and more challenging for players to go through a single mission.”
— Kensuke Tanabe

Based on what you’ve heard and seen so far, what do you think of
Metroid Prime: Federation Force? What direction would you like to see the plot take?

Source: Wired

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3DS News

Nintendo Explains Why Brand-Name Food Items Appear in Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash

Playing through Nintendo’s upcoming platformer Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, one might notice that Chibi-Robo’s world is populated with real-world, brand-name snack foods, such as Pocky and Utz potato chips. Nintendo World Report spoke with producer Risa Tabata to see why Nintendo decided to add these curious items.

Tabata explains:

“We were trying to think of ways to express [how tiny Chibi-Robo is] to give you a point of reference to show you how small he is in real life. Since this time there are no people around, [the snacks are] something we can give you to compare…Because the game itself takes place around the world in various places, we thought coming up with different monuments that you see around the world, such as the Statue of Liberty or the Pyramids, but that would be way too big to use as a reference for a tiny little robot. And that’s when I thought ‘What’s something that’s around us all the time, and makes people happy to see or to find in game?’ I personally also love snacks too, so I thought this is a great idea to implement in the game.” —
Risa Tabata

The process of getting these brand-name objects into the game involved Tabata personally visiting 30 different Japanese food companies. Her boss and fellow Nintendo producer Kensuke Tanabe humorously recalls:

“Around this time in Japan, it is super hot and humid. So she was wearing her business attire, walking around the whole country, travelling to present this idea to all these people. I myself was sitting in the office, just chilling, thinking ‘She’s going through such a hard labor.'” —
Kensuke Tanabe

Source: Nintendo World Report

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3DS News Wii U

Kensuke Tanabe Would Be Interested in Making a Chibi-Robo and Pikmin Crossover Game

In a recent interview with Nintendo World Report, Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash producer Kensuke Tanabe responded positively when asked if Chibi-Robo could ever meet Nintendo’s other micro-heroes.

When asked if Chibi-Robo could ever run into Olimar and the Pikmin, Tanabe’s reply was: “That’s an interesting idea, and something I could speak to Mr Miyamoto about a collaboration.” Looks like there could be a Chibi-Robo and Pikmin crossover game down the line. What do you guys think?

Source: Nintendo World Report

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3DS News Videos

New Gameplay Demo Reveals More Info on Metroid Prime: Federation Force

A new Nintendo Treehouse: Live @ E3 demonstration featuring Metroid Prime producer Kensuke Tanabe showed a mission from Metroid Prime: Federation Force that had players battling space pirates. It was revealed that each mech in the game has a loadout weight limit, keeping players from entering a mission overpowered. Unlockable mech mods include shields, armor buffs, weapon buffs, and more. It was confirmed that the game will be playable on the regular Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL using the gyroscope. Tanabe says the game was first conceptualized ten years ago. You can watch the footage above.

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Kensuke Tanabe Explains the New Loadout System of Metroid Prime: Federation Force

In an interview with Engadget, Metroid Prime producer Kensuke Tanabe described the new loadout system in Metroid Prime: Federation Force. This mechanic has players choose which weapons to equip their mech with before going into a mission. Weapons have positive and negative effects. For example, the Super Missile has immense power but will weigh you down a great deal. Tanabe says his goal was to design the gameplay so that players will need to take on specific roles, similar to RPGs. Players will collect more mech mods as they play through missions, even if they fail.

Source: Engadget

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3DS News

The Character Design for Metroid Prime: Federation Force was Chosen Because of the 3DS’ Small Screen

New details continue to emerge about Metroid Prime: Federation Force from interviews conducted with the game’s producer, Kensuke Tanabe. One question on many fans’ minds is the character design for the game, which seems to clash with the typically more serious tone of the Metroid series. Speaking with Engadget, Tanabe explained that the short, stocky design of the mechs was chosen in order to look better on the small screen of the 3DS.

Engadget: The character design and atmosphere of the trailer seems a little bit different to prior Prime games. What happened?

Tanabe: As far as character design goes, the 3DS screens are relatively small. This means there’s limitations to where cameras can be placed. A tall character or enemy could be difficult to display, while a stockier character, like the mech, fits the hardware and fits the game better. It makes it better to play. I’ll admit, I thought at the start that it might lose the seriousness of the Metroid Prime series and become a little comical, but once I played it, I believe it delivers on the feel of the other game.

What do you think about the character design in Federation Force? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Engadget

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3DS News

Here’s Why You Don’t Play as Samus in Metroid Prime: Federation Force

The newly announced Metroid title, Metroid Prime: Federation Force, is unique for the fact that Samus is not the main character. In an interview with Engadget, the head of development for the Metroid Prime series, Kensuke Tanabe, spoke out about why that is the case.

Here’s a direct quote form Tanabe:

“In Metroid Prime 2, we included multiplayer, but here we wanted to focus on the co-op aspect. But then, if we have four “Samuses,” that would be odd. And that’s where the Galactic Federation came in. Controlling the game, and in terms of how it feels, it feels like a Metroid Prime game.” — Kensuke Tanabe

Are you disappointed that Samus is not the focus of this game, or do you like the fresh take on the series? Leave your opinions in the comment section below!

Source: Engadget

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3DS News

Metroid Prime: Federation Force Was Conceptualized Because of New 3DS’s C-Stick

While there has yet to be any solid indication that Metroid Prime: Federation Force will be released as a New Nintendo 3DS exclusive, an Engadget interview with Metroid Prime producer Kensuke Tanabe reveals that the game was built with the system in mind. Tanabe says he first conceptualized the title when he heard about the handheld’s C-Stick, thinking “it would be ideal for a shooter.” It was previously made known that Metroid Prime: Federation Force was originally planned to launch alongside New Nintendo 3DS.

Source: Engadget

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3DS News

A Multiplayer Metroid Title for DSi Was Cancelled Due to Hardware Limitations

Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a multiplayer, Metroid spin-off title that was announced yesterday. However, it turns out that it is not the first attempt at a multiplayer Metroid game. In an interview with Engadget, Kensuke Tanabe, the head of Metroid Prime Development shed some light on the cancelled DSi game.

Here’s what he had to say:

Engadget: Why hasn’t there been a co-op mode until now?

Kensuke Tanabe: We tried to fit a multiplayer Metroid game into the DSi, but the power of the system was lacking — it didn’t quite work as expected. But with the 3DS we had the power to make that capable.

Do you like the concept of a multiplayer Metroid game, or would you do you prefer to play solo? Let us know in the comment section below!

Source: Engadget

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