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Pre-Release Metroid Prime 4: Pre-Release Discussion Thread

not just asset-wise but personell-wise.
Like, this is my big thing, if they spend all this money to hire all these big AAA devs to work on one game, and then switch tracks entirely after that to something that may or may not be as relevant to their skillsets, that seems like kind of a waste of investment to me. So if they did good work on MP4, why not keep them on for MP5?

It's hard to say what the plans are, and I'm not expecting MP5 to be confirmed or anything when MP4 isn't even out yet, but I don't think it's as outside of the realm of possibility as you're saying.
 
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Makes me wonder: has Nintendo ever actually killed a series for underperforming? Metroid Prime originally ended because Retro wanted it to, not Nintendo. There are a lot of cases where you could argue "oh, if F-Zero sold like Mario Kart, they would make sure it had a consistent developer", but if not even Donkey Kong can get that kind of force thrown behind it I'm skeptical.

I think the worst you could say is that as time goes by the less successful series are the ones that get outsourced or left by the wayside when they have the resources to make fewer games, but I'm not even sure if that's true. Star Fox 64 outsold everything they made for the system that wasn't Mario or OoT, yet as far as I know they've never attempted to make another one themselves. Luigi's Mansion was a top 5 seller for GameCube and beat out Animal Crossing, and both Pikmin games combined, but it was the one Nintendo wasn't interested in making a sequel for. Wario Land 4 destroyed WarioWare in sales, but Wario Land died so they could keep making WarioWare.
Mainly cuz Nintendo probably decides what games to make depending on what the devs (director/producer) wants to make. I'm assuming there wasn't a team that was interested in making a Star fox, Wario Land, Luigi Mansion and all the games you mentioned at the time and this also applies to all the games not mentioned. Or maybe there is a producer interested inside Nintendo but no people available, so they rely on outsourcing (e.g. Next Level for Luigi Mansion, Mercury Steam for Metroid Dread). Or vice versa where there are passionate developers that might want to make one of those franchises, and Nintendo okays it. We also have to take into consideration that there are games that gets cancelled time to time.
 
Based on how badly FF7 Rebirth is selling, iterative asset reuse titles are pretty much just rejected right now by consumers (and we see this a bit with Mortal Kombat as well) so Prime 5 would also be incredibly financially risky as well

That’s the conclusion you draw from 7 Rebirth? This feels like such an unsubstantiated claim.
 
Based on how badly FF7 Rebirth is selling, iterative asset reuse titles are pretty much just rejected right now by consumers (and we see this a bit with Mortal Kombat as well) so Prime 5 would also be incredibly financially risky as well!

No actual safe options and probably another 5-6 year gap at best if no cancellations and 8-10 years is again possible if there's a cancellation or two.
Thats NOT the lessons to take about FF7

The lessons are that nobody want a multipart remake (that is not a remake but a sequel of sort ) and more importantly 90% of people dont Complete games and those people never moved beyond Midgar

For many people FF7 is Midgar and nothing else and have 0 interest in the espanded lore
 
If anything, we need more projects a la FINAL FANTASY XIII trilogy: reutilization of assets. I expect the Switch to have games with two entries because of this.
 
Based on how badly FF7 Rebirth is selling, iterative asset reuse titles are pretty much just rejected right now by consumers (and we see this a bit with Mortal Kombat as well) so Prime 5 would also be incredibly financially risky as well!

No actual safe options and probably another 5-6 year gap at best if no cancellations and 8-10 years is again possible if there's a cancellation or two.
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I strongly believe there's validity in the "if they hadn't announced Metroid Prime 4 prematurely, it might've just been quietly cancelled without the public's knowledge" point folks frequently bring up. In that sense, it's a huge blessing they announced the game as early as they did. A vocal fandom expecting greatness makes it that much harder for them to axe the project altogether.
I feel like with Tanabe pushing for the game to happen in the first place, the game would still avoid cancellation. I even think if they didn't announce it prematurely and they still did reboot with Retro, they may have shown a teaser already
 
If I rember well in the direct thread someone already said that the position Retro is looking in is normal for a game at the end of development

Now i agree that the rumor that Prime 4 was completly finished has always been bullshit considering that Triple AAA games are not even done like 3 months before the release (like The Last of Us 2)
 
There's a multitude of reasons as to why FF7 Rebirth (probably) underperformed, but it reusing assets from Remake is most likely not the main reason, if it's one at all.
 
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MP5 would take less time and budget to make. I 100% doubt Nintendo expects 4 to pay itself. It's a project we got because they pulled the trigger too quickly (thankfully!). Prime 4 will diversify Switch/NG's portfolio and potentially give them a 90+. We should be glad Retro is still around and the mild success of MP4 should still make them not disappear. Idk, I'm optimistic.
 
That’s the conclusion you draw from 7 Rebirth? This feels like such an unsubstantiated claim.
Because it is.

You don't have Sega proudly slotting in Like a Dragon alongside the likes of Persona and Sonic as the biggest IPs that they want to push, if that series' strategy wasn't working. The series that buttered its bread over heavy asset reuse from year to year.
 
i do question how much work they were able to get done during COVID since American devs handled the situation more haphazardly than Japanese devs, that and we know basically nothing about Retro's working environment outside of the first 3 prime games
 
Because it is.

You don't have Sega proudly slotting in Like a Dragon alongside the likes of Persona and Sonic as the biggest IPs that they want to push, if that series' strategy wasn't working. The series that buttered its bread over heavy asset reuse from year to year.

Yakuza is a niche series that has not prided itself on its graphical prowess and made by fewer devs in a cheaper area.

Prime 4 being a massive budget, asset rich title and Prime 5 being an asset reuse title would feel ultra cheap and a major step down for consumers.
 
It's not Mario or Zelda in popularity.
and very few things are, hoping prime 4 to potentially break out and give the series more mainstream attention ≠ fans are expecting it to be in the top ten best selling game of the year it releases.

and I hate the fact I have to clarify it because every time someone on this site mentions that they hope Prime 4 gets mainstream success, someone has to "um actually"
 
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Prime 4 being a massive budget, asset rich title and Prime 5 being an asset reuse title would feel ultra cheap and a major step down for consumers.

I mean

A: You might be really disappointed, with how you're going on about this, but I don't think most people would really care.

B: The AAA industry is noticeably straining under these sorts of insane expectations, so pursuing zero asset reuse is a bad idea anyway. Besides, Retro are wizards at optimization and I'm sure they know when to and when not to reuse something to get the best vibes and still the best engine performance.

C: If we look at Prime and Echoes, the most directly connected games in terms of platform and build, most of the noticeable reused stuff is like, mechanisms, and enemy AI and behaviors, but they've all been reskinned to feel new. (Sheegoths to Grenchlers, for example.) So if MP5 reuses stuff from MP4, that's the sort of approach to that I'd expect to see. And Echoes still has enough new stuff added to feel plenty fresh regardless.

D: Again, there are other areas of investment into MP4 that could carry over into MP5, such as the engine and personell hires.
 
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I mean

A: You might be really disappointed, with how you're going on about this, but I don't think most people would really care.

B: The AAA industry is noticeably straining under these sorts of insane expectations, so pursuing zero asset reuse is a bad idea anyway. Besides, Retro are wizards at optimization and I'm sure they know when to and when not to reuse something to get the best vibes and still the best engine performance.

C: If we look at Prime and Echoes, the most directly connected games in terms of platform and build, most of the noticeable reused stuff is like, mechanisms, and enemy AI and behaviors, but they've all been reskinned to feel new. (Sheegoths to Grenchlers, for example.) So if MP5 reuses stuff from MP4, that's the sort of approach to that I'd expect to see. And Echoes still has enough new stuff added to feel plenty fresh regardless.

D: Again, the are other areas of investment into MP4 that could carry over into MP5, such as the engine and personell hires.
If I could "yeah!" this post a hundred times, I would.
 
I mean

A: You might be really disappointed, with how you're going on about this, but I don't think most people would really care.

B: The AAA industry is noticeably straining under these sorts of insane expectations, so pursuing zero asset reuse is a bad idea anyway. Besides, Retro are wizards at optimization and I'm sure they know when to and when not to reuse something to get the best vibes and still the best engine performance.

C: If we look at Prime and Echoes, the most directly connected games in terms of platform and build, most of the noticeable reused stuff is like, mechanisms, and enemy AI and behaviors, but they've all been reskinned to feel new. (Sheegoths to Grenchlers, for example.) So if MP5 reuses stuff from MP4, that's the sort of approach to that I'd expect to see. And Echoes still has enough new stuff added to feel plenty fresh regardless.

D: Again, the are other areas of investment into MP4 that could carry over into MP5, such as the engine and personell hires.
Exactly this. Iterative sequels are a great thing! Developers can re-purpose technology while focusing on the important bits (game design, original world/settings).
 
Yakuza is a niche series that has not prided itself on its graphical prowess and made by fewer devs in a cheaper area.

Prime 4 being a massive budget, asset rich title and Prime 5 being an asset reuse title would feel ultra cheap and a major step down for consumers.
this post is being carried by the flimsy legs of assumptions
 
Prime 2 sold really badly, lol.

Decline from 2.8m to 1m.
Kind of a different scenario. GameCube was a sinking ship at that point, but if Switch 2 carries the momentum that the Switch has, a Prime 5 should do just as well as, if not better than Prime 4.
 
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Prime 2 sold really badly, lol.

Decline from 2.8m to 1m.
That is a fair point, but again, I sincerely doubt asset reuse was the cause, compared to greater competition and other games of the time catching up to Prime's visual fidelity. Also a little thing called Halo 2.

How the heck is Metroid Prime 4 not even out yet and we're already debating over Prime 5?
Think this started with wondering if MP4 alone would be enough to recoup the investment cost lol. But it is kinda silly ^^;
 
I doubt a majority of the (possible) audience cares about reused assets. Especially when it's often not even super apparent until people that do care dig deep into the game files.
 
I doubt a majority of the (possible) audience cares about reused assets. Especially when it's often not even super apparent until people that do care dig deep into the game files.

If you're reusing enough stuff to be able to make a game quickly (which is what the entire discussion started about), then the game will feel and look pretty samey to the prior game and that often causes huge issues for smaller IPs.

The ideal in terms of modern AAA engine and asset reuse is FF7 Rebirth which

1. Still took four years to make
2. Was a significant financial failure despite being a major IP in a popular genre and currently being the GotY leader

And it's possible that the financial failure was caused in part by people already being satisfied (or dissatisfied) with what they got in the first game and the second game not being able to wow people due to being very technically dated due to just reusing its old engine instead of updating it (which would have taken years and years)

We also run into the issue that Retro is known for very AAA stuff... They're known for the sheer amount of assets produced for their games, attention to detail, technical prowess... These are not easy to scale down to low budget development.

We also run into the issue that Prime 4 may be optimized for the Switch 1 like Prime Remastered was (very small rooms to allow for fully baked global illumination) and they may need to massively change the engine for the Switch 2 (eg, switching to more open areas with dynamic lighting).

Overall, we don't know anything about Prime 4, but we do know that making AAA games is extremely expensive and time consuming and Retro is a studio that makes AAA games.
 
Also a little thing called Halo 2.
Given how both of the Halo sequels (which I still do have a soft spot for, honestly, but have kinda fallen out of love with a bit too) overshadowed the Prime sequels, I have to admit to feeling a little bit of vindictive shadenfreude at how the turns have tabled lately. May Metroid see greater long-term longevity and success than whatever's going on over at 343 and Microsoft right now.
 
That is a fair point, but again, I sincerely doubt asset reuse was the cause, compared to greater competition and other games of the time catching up to Prime's visual fidelity. Also a little thing called Halo 2.


Think this started with wondering if MP4 alone would be enough to recoup the investment cost lol. But it is kinda silly ^^;

Halo 2 popularized console online multiplayer! It was a massive addition for the series and not something that felt samey.

Making huge new additions to sequels is very hard if you're making games quickly and cheaply these days.
 
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And it's possible that the financial failure was caused in part by people already being satisfied (or dissatisfied) with what they got in the first game
This, plus the PS5 exclusivity, when to my understanding not a whole lot of people have PS5s and those who do aren't typically the JRPG crowd.

I seriously think you are wildly overestimating the potential negative impact of asset reuse, compared to literally all the other complex factors that go into a game's level of success or failure.

(Another reason I hope MP4 is either Switch 1 or cross-gen. Having access to a wider install base is gonna be vital. Even if Metroid wasn't as niche as it is, games just do not sell consoles anymore they way they used to.)
 
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God I hope Prime 5 gets made. Even if its iterative. What a waste of an engine/talent and resources if it doesn't. But Prime 4 might not even crack 4m units. Unless its of substantially smaller scale or they come up with a great and marketable hook for a sequel, who knows what happens with Retro. 10 years is too long man. At least tropical freeze was peak and Prime 4 is actually in development, could be worse.
 
Yakuza is a niche series that has not prided itself on its graphical prowess and made by fewer devs in a cheaper area.

Prime 4 being a massive budget, asset rich title and Prime 5 being an asset reuse title would feel ultra cheap and a major step down for consumers.
Hey I'm all for prime 2 2.0
 
My guess is that whatever Prime 5 is, the time and care behind Prime 4 is an investment in the franchise even if it’s realistically impossible for Prime 4 to make back its total costs because of the development reboot.

It could very well bomb and that’s that but I don’t think they would’ve put as much time and energy into 4 if they didn’t have a longer term plan for the franchise.
 
To be fair, Yakuza games are not actually huge sales hits despite being cranked out, in fact its because they have so much asset reuse that they're profable, longterm that's not really a pattern Nintendo would want to follow for Metroid since they are pretty insistent on keeping quality and innovation standards high. So if I were making a case against or for asset reuse in a Metroid game, Yakuza would neither be a good nor bad case against the series. Don't really see how reusing assets would be bad though since you can reuse assets while still improving them, and Prime 4 will probably be one of the best looking Switch games.
 
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Prime 2 actually not reuse all that much from Prime 1? The core game movement and the old power ups are pretty much the same for sure, but off the top of my head the assets I can think that's shared are things like the classic Varia suit, but even then it got a rather noticeable facelift. The one thing I could think of that's might've been taken from the first game's probably the space pirates, but honestly I don't remember well enough if they gave a facelift to them or not.
 
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Prime 2 actually not reuse all that much from Prime 1? The core game movement and the old power ups are pretty much the same for sure, but off the top of my head the assets I can think that's shared are things like the classic Varia suit, but even then it got a rather noticeable facelift. The one thing I could think of that's might've been taken from the first game's probably the space pirates, but honestly I don't remember well enough if they gave a facelift to them or not.
I remember there were a few reused creature rigs/behaviours. Grenchlers are basically just Sheegoths with a new skin, for example.
 
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Prime 2 actually not reuse all that much from Prime 1? The core game movement and the old power ups are pretty much the same for sure, but off the top of my head the assets I can think that's shared are things like the classic Varia suit, but even then it got a rather noticeable facelift. The one thing I could think of that's might've been taken from the first game's probably the space pirates, but honestly I don't remember well enough if they gave a facelift to them or not.
Yeah, I think pretty much everything was redone across all three Prime games, even things they could have easily left alone like the scanning UI, the health pick-ups, and the models for Samus and her ship. A lot of stuff in Prime 2 is obviously at least based off the first game, the Grenchlers are a great example, and then the Dark and Light beams are pretty much reskinned Ice and Plasma, but I'd hardly call it an example of a game that had notable asset reuse.
 
The one thing I could think of that's might've been taken from the first game's probably the space pirates, but honestly I don't remember well enough if they gave a facelift to them or not.
They're a completely different species in Prime 2 (and 3).
 
It honestly seems kind of insane to not reuse certain assets for sequels. Like, they didn't have to completely reinvent the wheel for palm trees from DKCR to TF. Even with asset reuse all of Retro's games have a distinct look to them, thanks to the amazing art direction and world building.
 
I know they're different in 3, but are they in 2? Despite their different looks i don't think anything states they aren't Zebesian pirates unless I missed something
Zebesians are in none of the Prime games, actually! Zebesians are very specifically the lobster people from Super/Zero Mission/Other M, and all of the Prime series pirates have a range of completely different body types from game to game.
 
Is there really a 'canon' explanation for that variation? I always thought it was just artistic licence, and that they really all were just the same type of alien. The ones in Prime 1 especially seemed like a different creative interpretation of the Super Metroid pirates rather than a whole new critter.
 
Zebesians are in none of the Prime games, actually! Zebesians are very specifically the lobster people from Super/Zero Mission/Other M, and all of the Prime series pirates have a range of completely different body types from game to game.
This has fueled my personal belief that the Pirates are a loose coalition of several different species with multiple different homeworlds. There is also the ZM manga implying they adapt themselves to suit the climate of whatever world they set up shop on, which is also a cool idea, but I don't think that alone justifies the wide range of ways they've been presented. So yeah, I like the idea that the defeats of the Urtraghan Phazon Cult in Corruption, the Doomseye crew in Fed Force, and the Zebezians in Super, are big blows to the Pirates but nowhere near total defeats like some insist, because they're a whole lot more decentralized than individual games would imply.
 
Is there really a 'canon' explanation for that variation? I always thought it was just artistic licence, and that they really all were just the same type of alien. The ones in Prime 1 especially seemed like a different creative interpretation of the Super Metroid pirates rather than a whole new critter.
I could be misremembering but I'm pretty sure there are scan logs stating/implying that the Space Pirates are made up of multiple species, which makes sense as they're depicted as the opposing force to the Federation.
I know it would be a bit of a retcon and it's maybe a bit too deep for Metroid story-wise, but given how many shady sections of the Federation there are I'd love to see a group of Space Pirates who aren't "bad guys" and simply don't want to be governed by the Federation.
 


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