Archive for July, 2011

Harmony of a Hunter: Final Preview

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Video not available

With just a week to go until the launch of our album, we’ve put together a further preview of Harmony of a Hunter, which will be the last before release. We hope you enjoy it and we look forward to hearing your thoughts! Harmony of a Hunter will release on 7th August 2011 as a download through Shinesparkers and the wider Metroid community. A big thanks to Nate Horsfall for his help with this video.

Update: The Harmony of a Hunter website is now live!

On a side note, today is the final day of our Haiku competition in collaboration with Metroid Headquarters to win a personalised autograph from Jessica Martin, the voice of Samus in Metroid: Other M who will also be judging the contest. If you want a chance of winning, register to our forums and enter here.

Harmony of a Hunter track list revealed

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

I am now able to reveal the final track list for our album Harmony of a Hunter celebrating 25 years of Metroid.

Disc 1

  1. In the Beginning… (Title Screen, Metroid NES) by Mercury Adept
  2. Danger in old Tourian (The Space Pirates appear, Super Metroid) by DoctorM64
  3. Earthroot (Brinstar Red Soil, Super Metroid) by VikingGuitar
  4. Bioluminescence (Sector Four, Metroid Fusion) by Theophany
  5. Infectious Fear (Sector One, Metroid Fusion) by The Fishhead
  6. Desperation (Escape, Metroid NES) by Mozzaratti
  7. Into The Green World (Brinstar Vegetation, Super Metroid) by Sam Dillard
  8. Leader’s Lair (Ridley’s Lair, Metroid NES) by Prophetik
  9. The Caves of Brinstar (Brinstar, Metroid NES) by Aries T
  10. Ashes to Ashes (Lower Norfair, Super Metroid) by Zircon
  11. Kraid’s Campfire Ballad (Kraid’s Lair, Metroid NES) by Sebastian Mårtensson ft. Kristin Björkebäck
  12. Cave Dweller (Vs Ridley, Super Metroid) by Prophetik
  13. The Mission’s Briefing (Last Instructions, Metroid Fusion) by Aries T
  14. Metroid Legacy (Introduction, Super Metroid) by Omni-Psyence
  15. MQ2 (Metroid Queen, Metroid 2: Return of Samus) by Stemage & Chunkstyle
  16. Bonus: Mission Complete: Ending Suite (Various themes) by Sam Dillard
  17. Bonus: Metroid Medley (Various themes) by Derris-Kharlan

Disc 2

  1. Parasite X (Parasite Queen, Metroid Prime) by Mazedude
  2. Echoes In Eternity (Title Theme, Metroid Prime 2) by DJTheFishhead
  3. Frozen Utopia (Phendrana Drifts, Metroid Prime) by Mesmonium
  4. Lore Hunter (Bryyo, Metroid Prime 3) by Darkesword
  5. Hostile Shadows (Various, Metroid Prime 2) by Mozzaratti
  6. Melting Sun (Rundas Battle, Metroid Prime 3) by Pyro Paper Planes
  7. Solitude (Tallon Overworld 2, Metroid Prime) by Zircon & C-GPO
  8. Corrupt Beginnings (Title theme, Metroid Prime 3) by George R. Powell
  9. Path of Ruin (Chozo Ruins, Metroid Prime) by Darkesword
  10. Entering A New World (Tallon Overworld, Metroid Prime) by Aries T
  11. The Adventure Continues (Mission Final, Metroid Prime 1,2,3) by The Fishhead
  12. Thunder Shooter (Vs Kanden, Metroid Prime Hunters) by Chernabogue & VikingGuitar
  13. Symbol Of The Ancients (Artifact Temple, Metroid Prime) by Aries T
  14. Lone Star (Ending theme, Metroid Prime) by Pyro Paper Planes
  15. Omega Cannon (Title theme, Metroid Prime Hunters) by VikingGuitar
  16. In the End… (Title theme, Metroid Other M) by Mercury Adept
  17. Bonus: The Crimson Depths (Kraid’s Lair & Brinstar Red) by Sam Dillard
  18. Bonus: Phazon Corruption (Various themes) by Video Game Music Choir
  19. Bonus: What’s Past is Prologue (Metroid: Other M commercial music) by Theophany

Harmony of a Hunter will launch on the 7th August. Stay tuned to Shinesparkers for more information.

Metroid Fusion coming to Nintendo 3DS

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Nintendo have made an official announcement that the Nintendo 3DS system will be receiving a price drop in all regions, and Nintendo are also offering a Nintendo ambassador program to those who bought or buy the 3DS console before August 12th will have access to 20 FREE NES, Gameboy and Gameboy Advance titles. One of these titles have been confirmed as Metroid Fusion. This marks the first release of a Metroid title on the system. Metroid Fusion originally released in 2002 for the Gameboy Advance and is the latest game in the Metroid timeline.

The price of the 3DS has fallen in all regions, with the console available to buy in the United States at $169.99 and Australia/New Zealand at $249.95. The UK and Europe price drop will be determined by retailers, but word is that it should be around £160 / €180 (thanks NintendoLife).

Starting 1 September, Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NES Virtual Console™ games at no charge and before they are available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public. These games, including Super Mario Bros.™, Donkey Kong Jr.™, Balloon Fight™, Ice Climber™ and The Legend of Zelda™, are slated to become paid downloadable games, but Ambassadors get them early for free. Once the paid versions of the games are posted to the Nintendo eShop later in the year, the updated versions will be available to Ambassadors for download at no cost.

By the end of 2011, Nintendo will provide Ambassadors with 10 Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games. These include games like Yoshi’s Island™: Super Mario™ Advance 3, Mario Kart™: Super Circuit, Metroid™ Fusion, WarioWare™ Inc.: Minigame Mania and Mario vs. Donkey Kong™. These games will be available exclusively to Ambassadors, and Nintendo currently has no plans to make these 10 games available to the general public on the Nintendo 3DS in the future.

3DS owners must connect to the Nintendo eShop on their consoles BEFORE August 12th to be eligable for the Ambassador program. Nintendo Ambassadors can then download their 10 NES titles starting September 1st and by the end of 2011, they will be able to pick up the GBA titles, including Metroid Fusion.

This is incredible news for 3DS owners and opens doors to the possibility of a Metroid: Zero Mission release from the console in the future. I have received personal confirmation from Nintendo in Europe, United States and Australia/New Zealand that all these regions will have the Ambassadors programme.

More information on the Nintendo Ambassador programme will be revealed by Nintendo at a later date.  Stay tuned to Shinesparkers for more information as soon as we get it!

Sources: Nintendo Australia, Nintendo Europe, Nintendo America

NGamer Issue 65 featuring Metroid’s 25th anniversary out now

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

The latest issue of NGamer magazine is available to buy now in stores across the UK. The magazine features a special four page article on Metroid’s 25th anniversary featuring contributions from Metroid Database, Metroid Headquarters and Shinesparkers. It was put together by writer Chris Schilling. The article was born of my own suggestion which Charlotte Martyn, the editor of NGamer magazine approved.

For those of you who live outside of the United Kingdom and would like to read the article, you can purchase the magazine online in a digital format through Zinio or through NGamer’s Facebook page by clicking the ‘shop’ link.

I’d like to personally thank Chris Schilling and Charlotte Martyn for making this feature happen. I’d also like to thank Devin Monnens and Elias Thompson for their contributions to the feature. Rest assured, Shinesparkers will always aim to do its best as far as Metroid is concerned!

Metroid Acoustic duet

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Video not available

I just wanted to share this one with you guys…

Super Guitar Bros (a.k.a Sam and Steve) perform Acoustic covers of video game music. They have previously covered games such as Ninja Gaiden, Zelda and Super Mario Bros and have worked on projects in the Overclocked Remix and Dwelling of Duels communities. The duo also plan to cover themes from Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy Castlevania and some original pieces. Be sure to give them some support by subscribing to their YouTube channel and offering some feedback!

A big thank you to Nate Horsfall for bringing these guys to my attention.

NGamer magazine article: Metroid’s 25th anniversary

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

As i’m sure you’re aware, Shinesparkers has been very pro-active in its attempt to mark the 25th anniversary of the Metroid franchise, and since March 2011 we have been contacting various publications to feature something so we could get the message out there. I am very pleased to say that one publication (N Gamer) was happy to go ahead with our idea.

N-Gamer is a British unofficial Nintendo magazine under Future Publishing, who also publish the official Nintendo Magazine in the UK and Nintendo Power in the USA. In issue 65 (August 2011) the magazine will feature an article called “METROID: The Forgotten Anniversary?” featuring the webmasters of Metroid Database, Metroid Headquarters and of course, Shinesparkers. The four page feature will cover what the Metroid fan community are doing to promote the anniversary and offers opinions and thoughts on Metroid as a whole from each of the webmasters.

Subscribers already have the magazine prior to the official release, which will be Wednesday 27th July. If you live in the UK, this should be easily obtainable as it’s quite a popular magazine, however you should be able to order it without a problem. If you live outside of the UK, you can purchase a digital copy of the magazine on release day from Zinio. Just be sure you buy the August 2011 copy.

For anyone who has found the website through this feature, we welcome you to Shinesparkers and the Metroid community. We hope you enjoyed the article and will join us in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Metroid!

Samus (Lara) plays Metroid NES ending theme on Violin

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

There is a great deal of talent out there in the Metroid community, we’ve got a number of impressive cosplay artists and musicians who have performed a number of Metroid melodies. However I must admit, I was never expecting to see the two talents combined..

Video not available

Meet Lara, she is a talented pianist and violinist. She combines cosplay and music together and has produced some impressive performances. One of her latest, is the ending theme from Metroid NES. Lara has also performed pieces from Mario, Zelda, Sonic, Castlevania, Portal and many more.

I was able to contact Lara for some comments on her reasons for putting together this Metroid performance and her thoughts on the series.

I have always loved music from 8 bit NES games because it is so unique, the Metroid music manages to be very atmospheric despite the limitations of the NES. I have recently started to get into cosplay, and people seem to like the videos where I go to the effort of dressing up! I intend to do more metroid, I might record Brinstar today, as it is probably more recognisable for most people who have played metroid.

Video not available

Lara has since updated with a further video, this time she plays Brinstar on the Violin, another excellent performance that you should check out on her YouTube channel here.

Nintendo UK launch Metroid hub website

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Its less than three weeks until Metroid’s 25th anniversary, and although Nintendo have yet to announce anything directly about their plans on the milestone, Nintendo UK have launched a special website to detail Metroid releases. The website details Metroid releases from a variety of Metroid games. It’s mostly official statements and press releases and on a personal note I am disappointed that we didn’t have something more focused towards the anniversary. You can check out the website here.

Metroid will turn 25 on the 6th August 2011. Stay tuned to Shinesparkers for information on our own projects to mark the anniversary.

Metroid Headquarters marathon results

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

The Metroid Headquarters 101 hour marathon is now over. After working their way through every single Metroid game on the hardest of difficulties and completions, the team pulled together a grand total of $500.20 for Child’s Play. This is a fantastic result and was made possible by the dedication of the staff at Metroid Headquarters. It was also memorable with special guests showing up to contribute such as Gene Kohler (Character modeller, Metroid Prime), Jeff Skalski (Producer of Bioware Mythic), Jessica Martin (Voice of Samus, Metroid Other M) and Mike Wikan who was Senior Game Designer at Retro Studios and worked on all three Metroid Prime games.

I feel privileged to have been an audio guest on the Metroid Prime 2, Metroid II: Return of Samus and Metroid: Other M segments of the marathon and it was fantastic to communicate with the many supporters in the chat. I just want to say a big thank you to those people for making this stream a memorable and successful one. Metroid Headquarters have clearly shown they are a dedicated bunch and it’s nice to see a team of people work so hard and be totally dedicated to the cause. They celebrate their 7th birthday today and I am certain with this amount of care, they will continue on for many years to come.

Metroid Headquarters marathon

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

The Metroid Headquarters 101 Metroid marathon is live! In just 24 hours they’ve already raised $125 for Child’s Play, which is a fantastic achievement. To learn more about the marathon, see the previous post. I shall be contributing to the stream later today as an audio guest during the Metroid Prime 2 part of the marathon, played by Metroid Headquarters staff member Falcool. Be sure to donate generously!

Update:I had a blast as audio guest on the Metroid Prime 2 segment of the stream with Falcool last night and was quite surprised to see former Retro Studio’s staff member Mike Wikan join to give his support! He answered a few questions based on his time at Retro and was thrilled to see the stream taking place stating that this is why he makes games. It was great to see you Mike and we hope you will keep in touch!

So far the stream has also had donations from notable people such as Gene Kohler (character modeler on Metroid Prime) and Jeff Skalski, who is the producer of Bioware Mythic. It’s fantastic that such notable people were able to support the stream and we hope it continues!