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Discussion about Metroidvania style titles.

StalkerUKCG

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Jun 4, 2011
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So I was just watching a TAS of Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub Zero and it occurred to me that a title like that likely wont be released as a major game in today's market.

Metroidvania style titles and their cusions the sidescrolling beat em up are titles have been relegated to the XBLA's of this world. It's a genre that I never really played as a child but have a great interest in. Ghost Story looks exceptional.

What I'm getting at is what's the reason for this. With the tools of today I'm sure some exceptional sidescrollers could be made, SF4 seen the return of the 2D fighter but Metroidvanias didn't get the same resurgence.

Would you buy a "AAA" Metroidvania? Do you think it could ever return to prominence like 2D fighters did? Am I way off base?
 

revolverjgw

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These kind of games never had the kind of prominence that 2D fighters had, they were always niche. It's not like consoles like the PS1 or whatever were full of popular Metroidvania games, games like SOTN were few and far between, and even SOTN at the time was considered more of a retro throwback more than a big AAA blockbuster. With the rise of indie and downloadable games, this genre is about as prominent as it's ever been, it has more games than ever.
 

Creaking

He touched the black heart of a mod
May 17, 2013
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Depends on the kind of game. I really dig the Castlevania aesthetic. Fighting monsters with whips and swords and whatnot, and exploring the beautifully designed castle is almost more important to me than the Metroidvania setup. It's why I don't care all that much for Metroid, despite being the precursor to the whole thing.


That said, I'd totally buy up all the GBA/DS Castlevanias if they ever ported them to PSN/XBLA as downloadable titles.
 

Doctor_Thomas

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May 27, 2013
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It's just a very hard sell for people at full AAA prices.

You could make a AAA title, but the market would "wait for a Steam sale" or "wait until the price drops".

That said, I think they're probably as good as they're going to get right now and the low cost for entry probably works more in their favour from a profitability point of view.
 

Mama Robotnik

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Apr 11, 2008
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As much as I love the genre (and I mean love), I always got the impression that their sales were steady at best. I can't think of a Metroidvania that skyrocketed the charts (someone could correct me on that though).

Does anyone have any idea how well Zero Mission and Fusion sold on the GBA? Let alone the DS and GBA Castlevanias?

As for why there aren't more... Could it be that linear level design is simply easier, and its not worth it for publishers to authorise a dev to dedicate time to a more complex product, for no predicted increase in sales?

As for why Nintendo aren't releasing more Metroids, even less expensive 2D Metroids, your guess is as good as mine.
 

Novocaine

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I guess Strider will be a good test to see if it's wanted still. Still waiting for a new 2D Metroid, it can't be too far off since Nintendo have gone back to 2D with all of their other games.
 

Portugeezer

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I guess Strider will be a good test to see if it's wanted still. Still waiting for a new 2D Metroid, it can't be too far off since Nintendo have gone back to 2D with all of their other games.

Strider doesn't look like Metroidvania, or even a very good game. Not a good test.
 
Feb 21, 2008
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Pretty much what revolverjgw said.

Also in todays world of handholding and in-your-face-tutorials it's almost like metroidvanias are freaks, unfortunately.

I would say that the Prime trilogy was as AAA as we get. Aren't Rcoksteady's Arkham games in metroidvania design as well?

Also for the Super Metroid fans who don't know what Ghost Song is...





Kickstarter for this beautiful metroidvania meets dark souls upcoming game.
 

Novocaine

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Strider doesn't look like Metroidvania, or even a very good game. Not a good test.

It's as close to a Metroidvania as all of these other games that get piled into the classification. And you haven't seen hardly any of it yet so how do you know how good it's going to be? Don't be such a Negatron.
 

zolointo

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Feb 14, 2013
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I run http://metroidvanias.tumblr.com, which specializes in Metroidvanias on PC. You should stop by. There are a bunch of extremely promising games in development aside from Ghost Song.

Look out for Valdis Story very soon, and The Iconoclasts... well... whenever it's ready. Update: Teslagrad is another to keep an eye on.

The problem with the original question has to do with the definition of the genre. This thread might drum up the "is/isn't Metroidvania" discussion soon enough. I'd say that the Batman: Arkham X games and Dark Souls are AAA representations of the genre.
 

Novocaine

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I can totally see the Arkham games being likened to the genre but I have no idea how Dark Souls resembles it.

I guess it could be my definition of the genre being wrong, which at its simplest, an open world platformer with gated areas. Dark Souls didn't really have this, unless you count the yellow fog gates.
 

Portugeezer

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It's as close to a Metroidvania as all of these other games that get piled into the classification. And you haven't seen hardly any of it yet so how do you know how good it's going to be? Don't be such a Negatron.

I played Strider on PS1, I can't remember much about it but I don't remember many Metroidvania elements (correct me if I am wrong).

But do you backtrack and unlock abilities to progress through other paths? That is the minimum to be a Metroidvania game IMO, and I don't think I saw that in the new game from the gameplay.
 

Novocaine

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I played Strider on PS1, I can't remember much about it but I don't remember many Metroidvania elements (correct me if I am wrong).

But do you backtrack and unlock abilities to progress through other paths? That is the minimum to be a Metroidvania game IMO, and I don't think I saw that in the new game from the gameplay.

That's what is being claimed so far. Not very much game play has been shown so it's really hard to tell.
 

BumblebeeCody

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Pretty much what revolverjgw said.

Also in todays world of handholding and in-your-face-tutorials it's almost like metroidvanias are freaks, unfortunately.

I would say that the Prime trilogy was as AAA as we get. Aren't Rcoksteady's Arkham games in metroidvania design as well?

Also for the Super Metroid fans who don't know what Ghost Song is...





Kickstarter for this beautiful metroidvania meets dark souls upcoming game.

Looks awesome!

Anyone ever play Shadow Complex?

One of the best MetroidVania titles that respects the genre and plays tribute to so much of the series. Also, from one of the Gears of War creators, Cliff Bleszinski.
Damn good game. Well worth looking into (for XBLA).
 

eXistor

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I consider Metroid-likes to be the epitome of game-design. It's good to see that the genre won't go away, but it's rare that one really knows how to nail it and it's an even bigger shame that they don't get the budgets they deserve. A new Metroid Prime would be heaven. It's also funny to see how people almost always have a different opinion on what games are Metroid-like. Not to say my view on them is the right one, but I've noticed a lot of conflicting opinions on them. The fact that they don't have an official genre-name is also an indication that this genre needs morelove. I suppose "pathfinder" is one of the better descriptions.
 

Brera

Banned
Jul 21, 2009
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Why are they called Metroidvania titles in the first place? Isn't it just Metroid-like gameplay?

Because Iga basically raped and milked the sub-genre dry and making every other game using that formula very dry and old feeling.
 

D.Lo

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Aug 20, 2006
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The genre should be called 'Metroid like games'.

Castlevania stealing Super Metroid's game design whole and then running it into the ground should not get co-naming credit.

Ah, and I see I have been beaten with the same point.
 

Maedhros

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Apr 16, 2010
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Why are they called Metroidvania titles in the first place? Isn't it just Metroid-like gameplay?

Super Metroid and Castlevania SOTN are two of the most influential games of the genre, so it's a fair name.

You don't like it? Deal with it, it is already plastered everywhere.
 

Portugeezer

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The genre should be called 'Metroid like games'.

Castlevania stealing Super Metroid's game design whole and then running it into the ground should not get co-naming credit.

Ah, and I see I have been beaten with the same point.

I agree, but who cares at this point. Metroid comes first in the subgenre name anyway :p fuck you Castleroids!
 

Lusankya

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Super Metroid and Castlevania SOTN are two of the most influential games of the genre, so it's a fair name.
It's a fair name for Castlevania games that use Metroid-like gameplay, but stupid for every other game.


You don't like it? Deal with it, it is already plastered everywhere.
I won't deal with stupidity and don't care whether it's plastered everywhere or not.
 
Jun 12, 2013
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I won't be satisfied until we get a full budget 2D Metroid game for Wii U, whether it be by Retro, SPD1, or whoever. Make it happen Nintendo.
 

D.Lo

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Super Metroid and Castlevania SOTN are two of the most influential games of the genre, so it's a fair name.
The only possible way this argument works is if the Castlevania you are talking about is Simon's Quest.
SOTN is a straight Super Metroid clone. It changed the setting and added extraneous RPG elements (clutter) that almost no-one would agree are a core part of the genre (like collecting 900 useless swords and equipping 467 capes). But the entire structure was lifted, whole, from SM.

Metroidvania should be a term for Castlevania games that use the Super Metroid formula.

The genre (side scrolling interconnected dungeon where offensive power-ups creatively double as keys) should be called "Metroid-like games'.

Or you could call it 'Side scrolling interconnected dungeon where offensive power-ups creatively double as keys' if you like.

EDIT: Lusankya and EuropeOG - High fives all round.
 

LeleSocho

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Jun 13, 2011
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It's a fair name for Castlevania games that use Metroid-like gameplay, but stupid for every other game.



I won't deal with stupidity and don't care whether it's plastered everywhere or not.

ahahah what?
Castlevania holds all the merits to be in the name of the genre
 

Durante

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I don't think the genre should be limited to side scrollers. IMHO, every game which has an interconnected world where upgrades allow both gameplay advantages and progressing to new areas should qualify.
 

Nymphae

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Jun 3, 2013
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As much as I love the genre (and I mean love), I always got the impression that their sales were steady at best. I can't think of a Metroidvania that skyrocketed the charts (someone could correct me on that though).

I think it's in part because nobody has tried to do it bigger and better than SOTN since that came out. We've had metroidvania's, but nothing has really 1up'ed the granddaddy to this day. I would love to see someone do it.
 

QMontague

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Does anyone remember that Birdboy game? It had a demo couple years back. I forget if you float or fly around.
I'd Google it, but the words "bird" and "game" only gets back "angry."
 

D.Lo

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I don't think the genre should be limited to side scrollers. IMHO, every game which has an interconnected world where upgrades allow both gameplay advantages and progressing to new areas should qualify.
There's an argument for that, but then it's a lot closer to a Zelda game, or at least a Zelda III overworld game.

That's how I originally understood Metroid - as a sidescrolling Zelda (in a Sci-fi setting of course) where the dungeons were more integrated into the adventure. Like as if you had to pass through already beaten Zelda dungeons repeatedly to navigate the overworld, or pass back and forth between inside and out of dungeons at points. This does happen to some extent in the best Zelda games (particularly Link's Awakening and Wind Waker), and when it does it strengthens the games IMO, by creating a stronger sense of place and of an interconnected world.
 

Maedhros

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Apr 16, 2010
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The only possible way this argument works is if the Castlevania you are talking about is Simon's Quest.
SOTN is a straight Super Metroid clone. It changed the setting and added extraneous RPG elements (clutter) that almost no-one would agree are a core part of the genre (like collecting 900 useless swords and equipping 467 capes). But the entire structure was lifted, whole, from SM.

Metroidvania should be a term for Castlevania games that use the Super Metroid formula.

The genre (side scrolling interconnected dungeon where offensive power-ups creatively double as keys) should be called "Metroid-like games'.

Or you could call it 'Side scrolling interconnected dungeon where offensive power-ups creatively double as keys' if you like.

EDIT: Lusankya and EuropeOG - High fives all round.

Yeah... okay. Great that most people don't agree with your reasons and the genre name will be maintaned.
 

Momentary

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Jan 22, 2011
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I had a look, some interesting stuff there I didn't know about, including Valdis Story.

Valdis Story should be released this week from what's been said on Endless Fluff's Facebook. Also, they are number 12 on Greenlight, and anyone who orders through them also gets a Steam key when they get Greenlit.

Man, as for The Iconoclasts, I've been waiting for Konjak to make some kind of update for the last 4 or 5 months.
 

Durante

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There's an argument for that, but then it's a lot closer to a Zelda game, or at least a Zelda III overworld game.

That's how I originally understood Metroid - as a sidescrolling Zelda (in a Sci-fi setting of course) where the dungeons were more integrated into the adventure. Like as if you had to pass through already beaten Zelda dungeons repeatedly to navigate the overworld, or pass back and forth between inside and out of dungeons at points. This does happen to some extent in the best Zelda games (particularly Link's Awakening and Wind Waker), and when it does it strengthens the games IMO, by creating a stronger sense of place and of an interconnected world.
Yeah, I agree with this. It's a shame that in many of the more recent Zelda games the items are primarily used in the dungeons you acquire them in.

Valdis Story should be released this week from what's been said on Endless Fluff's Facebook. Also, they are number 12 on Greenlight, and anyone who orders through them also gets a Steam key when they get Greenlit.
Awesome! I'll vote for it ASAP.

Man, as for The Iconoclasts, I've been waiting for Konjak to make some kind of update for the last 4 or 5 months.
Me too. Noitu Love 2 was great (though obviously not a Metroidvania).
 

LeleSocho

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Jun 13, 2011
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Why? They copied the formular and published thousand castlevania games using it. That's what you call "holds all the merits"?

Because it made the genre way more popular with SotN and added a lot of mechanics to the genre like not having awful controls.
The only good reason to not seeing Castlevania (or at the very least SotN) as a game that gave great importance to the genre is to be one of those guys who hates Igarashi for whatever reason.

But yeah if you want you can continue to have this battles against windmills, Metroidvania is already a term accepted pretty much everywhere.
 

Maedhros

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Because it made the genre way more popular with SotN and added a lot of mechanics to the genre like not having awful controls.

Now that's ridiculous. Super Metroid controls are fucking great and responsive, specially playing with a SNES controller.
 

Dremark

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Sep 1, 2011
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The genre should be called 'Metroid like games'.

Castlevania stealing Super Metroid's game design whole and then running it into the ground should not get co-naming credit.

Ah, and I see I have been beaten with the same point.

There were Castlevania games using that type of gameplay before Super Metroid came out.

I don't really like the genre designation as it's too tired to specific games, but realistically both series developed the gameplay style. Someone should coin a better name for the subgenre though it's like back when FPS games were called Doom Clones and such.
 

D.Lo

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Because it made the genre way more popular with SotN and added a lot of mechanics to the genre like not having awful controls.
The only good reason to not seeing Castlevania (or at the very least SotN) as a game that gave great importance to the genre is to be one of those guys who hates Igarashi for whatever reason.
Super Metroid almost certainly sold far more than SoTN, SoTN was a bomb on release, and got some legs only as a budget re-release (you needed hilariously low sales to reach 'greatest hits' status for Sony, something like only 100k). Though it's nearly impossible to get accurate data on low selling games from that era, we know SM sold over a million from Nintendo reports.

It gave no 'importance' to the genre. At the time, all reviews simply called it a really good Super Metroid clone. Terms like Metroidvania developed to differentiate between linear Castlevania games and Igarashi's growing glut of Metroid formula Castlevania games.

As for 'awful controls', well, unlike your other points here it's an opinion (if a strange one) so I can't prove it false. Though I have noticed people confusing SoTN and other games with fluid animation for having 'good controls', even though in reality SoTN's controls are significantly less nuanced than SM, in terms of physical properties such as acceleration and momentum.