Today makes the 15th anniversary of Metroid Prime to be released in the US! Feel old yet?
With that, there’s another announcement. Team SCU (lead by fellow Bestiary artist Tim Hardeman) has released their teaser trailer for their upcoming fangame, Prime 2D.
The game has been digging its way out of development hell for quite some time. Some history from Tim:
We have a long history, starting way back in April of 2004. We joined Samus.Co.Uk when it was created, followed when it moved, left when it died, cycled through 5 different main programmers, and have had hundreds of volunteers making thousands of resources. But that is the past, and we are the now.
Prime 2D has always been focused as a fan project for the joy of creating and learning – this has been exemplified by many prior contributors using skills learned from this project as a way to break into the games industry. As the project has matured, so have we as creators, raising the bar for the quality expected of a game. This shift has resulted in realigned priorities, many of which are demonstrated in this video. Rather than the pixel-perfect translation envisioned by our predecessors, we are taking a more targeted approach as a commentary on the shift from classic 2D to modern 3D gaming. Instead of copying the source material exactly, we are instead focused on taking the core concepts, translating those, and then implementing them in a logical 2D solution. By doing this we allow ourselves to focus on building a good game first and foremost, and then using that as a base on which to create a familiar experience, rather than constraining ourselves to trying to implement 3D ideas in 2D space.
From what I can tell, the project seems to be distancing itself from copyright in name alone. This is a smart move on the part of the team, as they are attempting to avoid a DMCA or any kind of takedown by Nintendo proper, similar to what no one will ever forget happened with AM2R. However, if the trailer is any indication, the game is still very much an attempt at translating Metroid Prime into the realm of 2-dimensional, side-scrolling, sprite-based game design. Even if the game doesn’t contain trademarked names, the inspiration is still quite apparent.
Regardless of boring legalities, the trailer looks really good, and I’m glad they’re still attempting to remake the game after all these years. Let’s hope for the best. I wish the team the best of luck! The development blog/site will commence over at Prime2d.com. Maybe this’ll come out before Metroid Prime 4? Only time will tell.