Metroid Prime: Federation Force announced at E3 2015

June 18th, 2015

On June 16, during Nintendo’s Digital Event, the company announced Metroid Prime: Federation Force, an upcoming spin-off of the Metroid Prime series focusing on the adventures of Galactic Federation marines. The game will be released in 2016 for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force

Metroid Prime: Federation Force will be a 4-player co-op game focusing on Galactic Federation troopers. It is being developed by Next Level Games, the Canadian studio that brought us Punch-Out!! on Wii and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon on 3DS. Producer Kensuke Tanabe, who also oversaw the development of Retro Studios’ Metroid and Donkey Kong games, said that Federation Forces “[is] sort of like a different perspective that I’m taking with this game to create sort of an opportunity to expand, to broaden the universe.”

Also included within Federation Force is Metroid Prime: Blast Ball, a 3-on-3 sports-like game to compete and enjoy with your friends.

Metroid Prime: Blast Ball

Controversy surrounds Federation Force, since it features little of the exploration-driven gameplay players are used to in the Metroid series. Tanabe, however, is confident that “once [players] play the game [they]’ll be able to feel that Metroid Prime universe.” Fortunately, the soundtrack is being composed by Kenji Yamamoto, who worked on Super Metroid and the Prime games, along with Next Level Games’ in-house composers.

Players on New Nintendo 3DS will enjoy enhanced features, but the game is compatible with all systems in the family. It will also feature Download Play, so players don’t have to worry about their friends also picking up the game. There has been no talk of online play so far.

Federation Force Screenshot

Check out the video below to get a glimpse of Federation Force gameplay on Nintendo’s Treehouse Live that happened during E3:

We at Shinesparkers will do our best to keep up-to-date with the latest Federation Force news, so stay tuned!

Sources: Nintendo’s E3 website and Kotaku’s interview with Kensuke Tanabe.

Metroid: Zero Mission on European Wii U eShop

March 13th, 2015

This week, Nintendo of Europe released the GBA classic Metroid: Zero Mission on the Wii U Virtual Console service. If you have a Wii U from that region, pick it up now for £6.29/€6.99/CHF 9.80!

The game is now available both in Japan and in Europe, while people in the Americas have yet to hear anything about it coming to their eShop.


Source: Nintendo UK

Metroid Prime Trilogy announced for Wii U

January 14th, 2015

Earlier today, Nintendo announced that, starting now, Wii games will start becoming available for download on Wii U. Super Mario Galaxy 2 launches the feature today; Punch-Out!! and Metroid Prime Trilogy will follow later this month, on January 22 and 29 respectively. Each game will sell for 50% off during the first week after its release, so this might be a great chance to grab Retro Studios’ amazing trilogy for a low price!

Harmony of Heroes: Final Smash now available!

December 27th, 2014

Shinesparkers’ latest musical project, Harmony of Heroes: Final Smash, is now available! Final Smash is an expansion to Harmony of Heroes, containing tracks based on Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/for Wii U and some0 that didn’t make it in the original album.

Harmony of Heroes: Final Smash
Harmony of Heroes: Final Smash
contains 27 tracks and is available as a free download here!

Review: Metroid Cinematica

December 9th, 2014

Sam Dillard, of Harmony of a Hunter fame, released his first solo album a few weeks ago, entitled Metroid Cinematica. We at Shinesparkers have had the opportunity of listening to it and now bring to you our impressions on the album.

Click here to read the full review!

Ridley in Smash Bros. – but it’s not what you’re thinking

October 23rd, 2014

Earlier today, in the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Direct, it was announced that our one-and-only Ridley will eventually show up in the Pyrosphere stage. Unlike a regular stage obstacle, however, if a player deals a certain amount of damage to him, Ridley will fight alongside that player. Knocking out Ridley will earn a point in time-based matches!

Ridley in Pyrosphere

Samus' new pet

Additionally, certain Metroid enemies like Zeros show up in Pyrosphere, and the Norfair stage from Super Smash Bros. Brawl returns for the Wii U game.

Super Smash Bros., Harmony of Heroes now out!

October 8th, 2014

Last Friday, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS was released, featuring a vast array of Nintendo characters settling it with their fists (and swords, hammers, guns, missiles, bombs, etc.). The game features Samus and Zero Suit Samus as playable characters. Other Metroid elements include:

  • Brinstar, from Super Smash Bros. Melee, returns as a stage;
  • Dark Samus and Mother Brain join Metroid as assist trophies;
  • Metroids, Zoomers, Rios and Ki-Hunters, among others, appear as enemies in the new mode Smash Run; and
  • Custom Mii characters can be of the Gunner class, which feature an arm cannon very similar to Samus’.

Additionally, abilities such as Boost Ball, Power Bomb and, yes, Shinespark are now available as custom moves for Samus.

In Smash-related news, our webmaster Darren Kerwin has released the third album under the Shinesparkers brand, titled Harmony of Heroes, which features 101 tracks covering various themes present in the Super Smash Bros. series.

Harmony of Heroes is available now as a free download over at!

Review: SteamWorld Dig (Wii U)

August 25th, 2014

We had the pleasure of reviewing SteamWorld Dig: A Fistful of Dirt for Wii U, a Metroidvania style title by Image & Form. To find out what’s new in this edition of the game, be sure to read our review by clicking Rusty above..

Samus – in Shorts!

August 19th, 2014

For today’s pic of the day, Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai confirmed that both Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS will feature alternate costumes for Zero Suit Samus, in which the famous bounty hunter uses shorts – the same ones shown in the endings for Metroid: Zero Mission. Sakurai has yet to confirm whether we’ll need to type in “JUSTIN BAILEY” somewhere to unlock the outfit.

Zero Suit Samus

Additionally, the stage Brinstar from Super Smash Bros. Melee is once again making a return in the upcoming 3DS game. There was no word on it being on Wii U, so it might be exclusive to the handheld version of Smash.

Samus in Brinstar

Source: Miiverse

Harmony of a Hunter THIRD anniversary!

August 7th, 2014

Today marks the third anniversary of Harmony of a Hunter!

It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed since we released our fan-arrangement album in celebration of Metroid’s 25th anniversary, marking the occasion with a musical tribute to one of the greatest video game franchises ever made. To this day, Harmony of a Hunter is still being enjoyed by fans of the franchise, the wider video game community and beyond.

Looking back, I feel that Harmony of a Hunter has achieved something far greater than I originally set out to create, and reached a much larger number of fans than I ever thought possible. One amazing example of this was back in March this year, where I attended the wedding of two very good friends of mine. One of the guests had heard of the album, someone I had never even met before! I always considered the album to be a success, but I never imagined I would come face to face with someone who had heard about it outside of the people I speak to personally. In addition to that, there were one or two people at gaming expos that I attended over the past couple of years that had heard of the album. It was incredibly satisfying, and something I am very proud of.

Of course, such a project is never the result of one person, my incredibly talented, dedicated team of musicians, artists and engineers made this album possible, they endured my instructions for longer than any sane person would. We had fun, we also shared many arguments and disagreements, but we got there, and judging by the response that the album received, I think it was worth it.

A notable mention must also be given to the many websites, blogs, message boards and communities who shared our project to their readers. There would be too many to list here, but you know who you are. It’s highly likely that because of those people, you were able to listen to Harmony of a Hunter.

Which brings me on to the next point, the fans. This project was created for people like you, like me, who wanted to mark such a historic milestone for a franchise that was totally deserving, where Nintendo was unable. You motivated us to complete this album, and your continued support encouraged us to create a further album, Harmony of a Hunter: 101% Run the following year. A huge thank you must go to every person who had a kind word to say, who recommended us to a friend and have stuck by us. The continued support you have shown has been driving us, and continues to do so. It means a lot!

The Metroid franchise has now reached its 28th anniversary, and while that original 25 year milestone may be a distant memory, Harmony of a Hunter continues to be enjoyed by many Metroid fans. It is one of my proudest achievements, probably just as much as Shinesparkers. Later this year we will be releasing our next album, a Super Smash Bros fan-arrangement album called “Harmony of Heroes”. I hope that this is something that fans of the previous albums can get behind and will enjoy just as much as our previous albums, if not more so.

On behalf of the team, thank you.


Darren Kerwin