Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Metroid Prime: Federation Force announced at E3 2015

Thursday, 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.

Review: SteamWorld Dig (Wii U)

Monday, 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..

Harmony of a Hunter THIRD anniversary!

Thursday, 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

MHQthon 2014

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Our good friends over at Metroid HQ recently announced that this year’s MHQthon will take place this week, between July 16th and July 22nd. MHQthon consists of a marathon through all released Metroid games, played by the staff of MHQ. Donations will be accepted for the Child’s Play charity. Tomorrow marks MHQ’s 10th anniversary, so the staff are promising and extra-special event for this year!

MHQthon will be livestreamed at Metroid HQ starting tomorrow (July 16) at 2:00pm CDT.

GBA VC games on Wii U come with original manual

Monday, March 31st, 2014

As previously reported, Gameboy Advance games will be coming to the Wii U Virtual Console this month. One unexpected and welcome addition however, is their original game manuals, viewable on the Wii U Gamepad. We live in an era now where game manuals are a thing of the past, reduced to a single piece of paper, if you’re lucky. It’s good to see that Nintendo at least, still cares about them.

Source: Chris Scullion

Classic FM Hall of Fame 2014

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Voting for Classic FM’s Hall of Fame 2014 has opened!

ClassicFM, an independent national radio station in the United Kingdom, is compiling a list of music for their hall of fame. Three hundred pieces of classical music will be entered, as voted by the general public. Since 2012, we have campaigned to get a Metroid piece featured in this top 300 list, which has featured music from Jeremy Soule’s Skyrim and Grant Kirkhope’s Viva Piñata. We feel that this year, we have a much better chance of achieving this goal due to the growth of our amazing community.

There are already two Metroid themes available in the database, “Super Metroid Theme” and “Metroid Prime” both by Kenji Yamamoto, so we have decided to support both of these themes. To ensure we are giving Metroid the best possible chance, we are requesting that “Super Metroid Theme” be the first vote, to ensure it gets the maximum place. Considering that Super Metroid celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year, it seems fitting to give this particular piece some attention.

To vote, please follow these instructions carefully:

1. Go to

2. Follow the instructions under “To cast your vote” section and type “Metroid” into the search bar

3. Two entries should appear below the search bar. Click “Super Metroid Theme” followed by “Metroid Prime

4. Once you have clicked each, they should appear as your first and second choice. You will need to enter a third song in order to submit your vote, we would like to suggest “Donkey Kong 64” by Grant Kirkhope.

5. Double check to ensure that you have entered your votes correctly, and click “Submit your vote”

6. You will be promoted to add your name, e-mail address and telephone number. Once you have entered the details and confirmed you have read the terms and conditions, you can submit your vote.

We are competing with some of the most famous composers and pieces of music of all time, so to get a Metroid theme anywhere in this top 300 list is going to be a huge achievement. We urge you to spread the word by linking people back to this post so we can help Metroid enter this notable list. Voting closer at 23:59 GMT on 28th February 2014, with the big reveal taking place on ClassicFM on the Easter weekend, so we don’t have long to make this happen!

Sam Dillard’s new project – Eternity Rising

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Harmony of a Hunter’s Sam Dillard has pitched a new original album idea on Kickstarter. The album is Eternity Rising, A Science Fiction Score & Animation which Sam hopes to put together with the support of his fans. Sam is an invaluable asset to Harmony of a Hunter and our upcoming album Harmony of Heroes, and we know there’s a lot of supporters of him here too! Sam has also offered some very awesome things to tempt you to donate..

By donating $40 you can even get yourself an early copy of Sam’s upcoming Legend of Zelda track from Harmony of Heroes. (Limited to 100)

By donating $200 Sam Dillard will compose a piece of music for YOU! (Limited to 20)

We really hope that you will support Sam and help a very talented musician reach his goal. For more information, click the link below!

Metroid Headquarters annual marathon

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

This week, fellow Metroid fansite Metroid Headquarters will be hosting their annual Metroid marathon, MHQthon 2013. As usual, they will play through all of the Metroid games, this time attempting to do so in an walkthrough manner. During the marathon, they will be raising donations for the Child’s Play charity. Check it out!

Ex-Retro Developer Says Metroid Prime Sucks

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

In an interview to GameInformer, ex-Retro Studios member Mark Pancini, currently working at Armature on Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, expressed his distaste for the Metroid Prime games. Here’s what he had to say:

Even though you don’t want to be seen as the ex-Metroid Prime guys,  fans are going to be excited when they know ex-Metroid Prime guys are going to be making a Super Metroid-style game.

I hope so. I hope we don’t disappoint them. That’s always my fear, because I think everything we do sucks. But that’s just me because I thought all the Prime games suck. At the end of the day all I see are all the bad things. Prime 2 was a blur to me. It was so quick, it was so fast. That thing just went out the door and it was a very divisive game. People either liked it or thought it sucked, and I can completely agree because I couldn’t tell you what that game was because it happened so quickly. Prime 1 was the best designed game. Prime 3 I feel is the most fun one to play. Prime 2 is divisive. You either like it or you don’t. That’s kind of the way I look at it.

Source: GameInformer

As a developer, it’s not easy to look back on your own work. The faults will always stand out to you and remembering your involvement in all of it might turn out to be difficult. I can respect how he feels, but think it’s unfortunate that he does so. He participated in three fantastic games that so many people enjoy and love, not many game developers can say that! With a portfolio rocking Prime, Echoes and Corruption, it’s a real shame that he isn’t as proud of it as the games’ fans are.

Shinesparkers founder and webmaster Darren Kerwin asked me to emphasize that he disagrees with Pancini. Metroid Prime is his favorite game of all time.

I’m a Zero Mission guy, but I love the Prime trilogy and believe it to be the greatest in all of gaming.


Ex-Retro Members Working On New Batman Game

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Warner Bros. Games has announced Batman: Arkham Origins for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U as well as Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate for Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. Arkham Origins Blackgate is being developed by Armature Studio, a team including several lead members from the Metroid Prime Trilogy team: Mark Pacini, Todd Keller and Jack Mathews, former Game Director, Art Director and Principal Technology Engineer, respectively. It will be a 2.5D game focusing on action and exploration, which means it could be an excellent game for Metroid fans. Expect to hear more about both games at E3 in June.

Source: GameInformer

Also revealed today was that Armature had started working with Capcom on a Mega Man reboot, called Maverick Hunter, a few years ago. The game would have been a first-person shooter and feature a more dark and gritty look. It was canceled by Capcom in 2010.

Source: Polygon