This year is the 35th Anniversary for Super Mario and of course Nintendo is going all out on celebrating. Next year however we see another big anniversary, the 35th anniversary for the Legend of Zelda. These two mega franchises are the backbone of Nintendo’s popularity and it helps that the games in these franchises almost always range from good to masterpieces, however Zelda shares its anniversary with another Nintendo franchise. 2021 is also Metroid’s 35 anniversary and if memory serves there was no love 5 years ago when Metroid hit 30. All the love went to Zelda and to Mario the year prior.
I get it, in Nintendo’s arsenal of characters and game franchises, Metroid is a little lower on the list. However just forgetting about the anniversary is a bit of jerk move in my humble opinion. The last big Metroid game that came out was a remake of Metroid II for the 3DS. It’s a great remake (thankfully) but the announcement of Metroid Prime 4 can only do so much. Especially since it’s been 3 years since the reveal and nothing since. It’s also a bummer since almost all of the Metroid games are highly sought after and beloved to this day. Fusion and Zero Mission are climbing in price on the secondary market and Nintendo is making Super Metroid easily accessible thanks to the SNES Classic and the SNES Switch Online app. With all of this what can Nintendo do to give Metroid it’s due next year? Well they can do quite a bit and not as much as other franchises.
One way Nintendo can give more Metroid love is to release certain Metroid games that are harder to come by this day and age. I’m mostly talking about Fusion and Zero Mission. Now Fusion is a special case because it was an exclusive for the 3DS ambassador program, and (as far as I know) you can still get it on the Wii U E-Shop. However, buying a console that didn’t sell too well to play and older GBA game doesn’t seem like the best choice. Putting the games on the E-Shop for the Switch seems like the most logical option, however Nintendo hasn’t done or said anything about putting up Game Boy, Game Boy Color, or Game Boy Advance games on the E-Shop as of now. However putting these games on a Switch cartridge as a bundle makes sense. The other thing the can re-release is the Metroid Prime Trilogy before the release of Metroid Prime 4. This may seem a bit derivative after the release of Super Mario 3D All Stars, but it makes sense for the Metroid franchise. The Prime Trilogy was a huge success for the Gamecube and having it ported to the Wii was a great move.
The least I’ll be happy with when the 35 anniversary hits is really some recognition for the franchise. There are already rumblings and rumors for a Zelda 3D re-release and while I’m all for that, there should be something for Metroid as well. It is a bummer that these two franchises that helped shaped Nintendo into what it is today share a anniversary year, but for now all we have to do is wait and see what Nintendo does.