If you played Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for Nintendo 3DS, then you know all about Next Level Games. The Vancouver studio has become a trusted Nintendo partner, working on franchises such as the Wii’s Punch-Out!! and Mario Strikers Charged before eventually taking on Luigi’s latest haunted caper. According to recent information though, the studio almost worked on a 3DS Metroid instead. Concept art for an “unknown Metroid game” was discovered by German site Nintendo-Online, and has now been added to the portfolio of a former Next Level Games concept artist.
You can check out the designs in the gallery below — they’re pretty awesome, to say the least.
The artist in question says that the designs were part of a pitch Next Level sent to Nintendo, which went so far as to include a working prototype for a new Metroid game. Ultimately, the studio instead took on Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for Nintendo 3DS, and the new Metroid project was brushed aside. That said, the existence of the pitch has been confirmed elsewhere, with a source reached by Destructoid stating the following.
Yes that is real. That’s the first I’d actually seen of that concept art, but a prototype was made before being shelved in favour of Luigi’s Mansion 2. It was about as bare-bones as it gets, but it was still pretty fun.
Pretty fun, huh? That sounds about right — in fact, I’d wager that rescuing one of Nintendo’s premier franchises from its current slump and dormancy would be far more than just “pretty fun.” Luckily, remarks made by Nintendo’s Shinya Takahashi at E3 suggest that the franchise will return in due time.
At this point we have two different types of Metroid games. We have the Prime style of Metroid game and we have the more traditional style of Metroid game. We feel that we do need to take care of both of these styles of play. And the hope is that at some point in the near future we’ll be able to share something about them.
Well, that was back in June, so I’d say September counts as “near future.” Why not bust out some Metroid news this Friday? That would certainly shock and surprise everyone, not to mention send Wii U and 3DS holiday shoppers flocking to Amazon so they can preorder. Don’t get your hopes up just yet, but stranger things have certainly happened.