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Metroid: Samus Returns - breakdown of the first week sales in Japan, franchise sales comparison

- Metroid: Samus Returns sold roughly 30,000 copies in its first week in Japan
- this was 70 percent of its initial shipment

Comments

30k seems low with the 3ds install base, but I have no idea. So does this seem good, bad, somewhere between? Maybe it doesn't really matter and we need to look at overall sales worldwide. Wonder what the US sales were like. I'm really enjoying the game so far.

That seems pretty solid for a number of reasons:

Japan isn’t too huge on Metroid
3DS is at the end of it’s life cycle
Sold as much as the bigger budget Prime games in its first week.

Also yikes at Federation Force

ngamer01
Sun Sep 24 17 03:23pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 3 times)

Samus Returns is in the ballpark of how new Metroid games usually go in Japan. Assuming word of mouth stays positive, I image LTD will approach 70,000 before 3DS's end of life. Bad word of mouth killed Other M's evergreen attempt and killed Fed Force on arrival, but Samus Returns should reach at least reach evergreen status in Japan.

It also pretty much reinforces the fact Japan believes Metroid is a western series now (the Metroid Prime series didn't help with this). Prime 4 will not change this fact even if Nintendo announces they're doing it in house and not farm it out to Retro/whoever west that's available.

Make Metroid a boy and the series would sell well in Japan

1 like = 1 cure for sexism

No. Make Metroid crawl is the answer to poor sales.

Any ideas on when we will hear about U.S. sales?

Super Metroid sales totals are missing from the list. I'm curious how well it performed, since this chart makes it appear as though Metroid for NES / FDS was the only million-seller in the entire series for Japan.

Why is Super Metroid not on that list? Was it not released in Japan?!

shu
Sun Sep 24 17 07:58pm
Rating: 1

Metroid Prime: Pinball deserves better. That game was great.

Also Metroid 2: Return of Samus isn't on that list.

It's weird that neither Super Metroid, the most highly-regarded game in the series, nor Metroid 2, the game this is a remake of, made it into the list. Was there just not data for it?

This is to be expected. Its kinda odd how Nintendo values Metroid as an important IP which doesn't sell well in Japan. I don't blame them for not wanting to make a Metroid game for a long time.

At the same time, its also a wonder how a lot of Japanese devs are into the metroidvania market when a major chunk of that market is from overseas.

So we know that its on par with Fusion in Japan. So now all that counts is how much the game sold elsewhere.

The Japanese market has seriously bad taste in Metroid games.

To be fair, pretty popular series have noticeable fanart and doujins. Metroid doesn't have that many, and most of the better ones are mainly from Super Metroid.

I can't tell if it's the shooting, the lonely and serious atmosphere or maybe Japan wasn't that into Alien either. At the very least they liked the one that is kinda like John Carpenter's The Thing (though it could also be the ending artwork).

"At the very least they liked the one that is kinda like John Carpenter's The Thing (though it could also be the ending artwork)."

Outside of some aspects of the X, I feel like Fusion takes more of an influence from animu than The Thing. Imo Echoes takes just as much.

Although really, I assume that it comes down to timing. Like Hunters it was helped out by being on a handheld system at the peak of said system's popularity (and I guess not being a remake).

Poor Zero Mission and Returns got stuck with launching when their consoles were on the way out.

Yeah but Echoes and the other Prime games are FPSs. No matter the pedigree it is a genre that hasn't opened in Japan that much. If anything Splatoon is one of the few shooters I see very popular there.

Also going by the list maybe the more linear cutscene approach does make it more accessible there. Since I would have assume Echoes had better chances do to being more scan heavy than the other two games.

Anyway, it is what it is. Maybe if the series continues one would eventually be popular there, kinda like how Yakuza 0, seems like it has been the most commented game from that series, here in the west.

Going by experience, I think the series is harder to sell to someone that isn't a fan already. That's also why I argue there's a bias, in what it should and shouldn't be. [Not that I don't get it, but just how passionate/obsessive the fanbase can get].

"Yeah but Echoes and the other Prime games are FPSs."

So is Hunters.

"Also going by the list maybe the more linear cutscene approach does make it more accessible there. "

Idk, Corruption and Other M top the list in terms of cutscenes and linearity, and their sales are not even touching Fusion's in the region.

It really does seem to be as simple as them only caring about the series insofar as they can get it on whatever handheld system happens to be the hot thing.

The Monster Hunter fanbase there is the same way.

vonter
Mon Sep 25 17 10:20pm
(Updated 1 time)

So is Hunters.

Hunters like the ones who prey on monsters?

Idk, Corruption and Other M top the list in terms of cutscenes and linearity, and their sales are not even touching Fusion's in the region.

To be fair, Corruption did got a late release in Japan, and their cover promoted not one but four hunters and the two main antagonists.

Other M mayabe had a good japanese VA? *Checks filmography*
.....
Other M had *checks Japan's reception*
Easy-to-learn controls. Yeah, sounds plausible. Almost all games do require using every button in the controller. (Though the complaints seems to align to what everyone else thinks).

So in short. When Metroid arrives on Switch (that is both a console and portable system) they just need to add in the subtitle the word Hunter. Or in the marketing in some way. Then we'll have a boost into those best selling iterations.

"To be fair, Corruption did got a late release in Japan"

It might have missed the holidays, but March 2008 was still right smack dab in the middle of Wii Fever sweeping the globe.

"To be fair, Corruption did got a late release in Japan, and their cover promoted not one but four hunters and the two main antagonists."

omg

"Easy-to-learn controls."

That was Sakamoto's reasoning behind the no-nunchuck thing with the controls. He wanted it to be basically just two buttons and a d-pad like in the SNES days. According to him and Miyamoto, there is apparently a whole thing about how people in Japan have trouble controlling 3D games and feel intimidated by them as a result.

"So in short. When Metroid arrives on Switch (that is both a console and portable system) they just need to add in the subtitle the word Hunter. Or in the marketing in some way."

You joke, but I imagine that in Japan they will probably be calling whatever Metroid Prime 4 is by whatever subtitle the game gets to try and de-emphasize the number part of the title.

(Speaking of the Prime games, Geek Critique and KingK both just uploaded lengthy new videos on Echoes and Corruption, respectively.

Both of them make a lot of the same points that I have been talking about for the last decade, lol.)

vonter
Tue Sep 26 17 02:55pm
(Updated 1 time)

(Speaking of the Prime games, Geek Critique and KingK both just uploaded lengthy new videos on Echoes and Corruption, respectively.
Both of them make a lot of the same points that I have been talking about for the last decade, lol.)

I do see the various points. Which comes down to please fans versus bringing new players. Prime 2 might be a more challenging and "meaty" Metroid. Yet it's daunting for new or casual players. Depending on how into you're into the game. It can be dull traversing large areas, especially if you're doing portal hopping. Also I don't agree the Dark World looks nice, dark games didn't look well in GC generation IMO.

All in all objectively they might be right. I agree more with Johnny's points.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jw17mTIA2Qg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiN9oJPi9XE&t=626s

On how Corruption overrelays in the Hypermode to make the game easier, how in general these games haven't come with an ideal solution for shooting up and Nintendo's halfhearted attempts at adding VA. I suppose it comes down I do like the environments and locations in Corruption more than in Echoes. I did like implementing the ship since I think it's an idea that can improve. (Now that I think about it, I wonder what happened to the older ship in that series and if it'll come back).

I suppose that'll be miy defense then, I think Corruption brought more to the table, while Echoes mainly push further the concept of the first Prime. While not perfect, the idea of multiple planets, the ship serving as fast travel, save station and progression item, the environments changed more drastically than Echoes dual changes. On the other hand I admit, setpieces, cutscenes, big boss areas, and company (with the Aurora hints) did hurt the essence of this series.

Samus Returns kinda feels like Echoes, with Samus's body language, the difficulty and ugly dark environments (those acid sections). Yet it might capture better the feeling of the series. Which I think at it's best is a hard entry point for new players.

I also wonder if the shooting in Prime 4 will evolve from the one in Federation Force, I can see gyro being pushed but I think it'll be even more tiring with the joycon given my World of Goo experience with it. I'll like if they implement enemies having location based hits on regular enemies, since that would benefit the shooting.

hamr
Tue Sep 26 17 06:09pm
(Updated 2 times)

"Prime 2 [is] daunting for new or casual players."

And?

There are a lot of horror franchises that are daunting for people who do not like horror games. Maybe they get easily-scared, maybe they dislike the sense of disempowerment, maybe they just like games where you can punch everything to death.

There are a lot of singleplayer series that are daunting for people who do not like singleplayer campaigns. Maybe they like to socialize while they game, maybe they do all their gaming with a friend, maybe they just do not like doing things alone.

Should companies stop making horror games? Should they add co-op to everything?

I cannot agree with the idea that it is an inherent flaw for a game to be challenging simply because it turns off people who dislike challenge.

"I think Corruption brought more to the table"

This is a weird argument to me. If anything, I remember Corruption as a game primarily for all the things it took away: It took away the sense of isolation. It took away the self-direction. It took away the complex and varied bosses. It took away almost all the puzzles. It took away game mechanics like beam-switching and combos (and therefore took away the strategy they brought to combat). It took away any semblance of a difficulty curve. It took away the level design that amounted to more than just a series of linear corridors (and therefore took away the sense of meaningful exploration). It took away the ability to progress through the game in alternate ways. It took away the multi-faceted and useful nature of most of the key power-ups.

In exchange, we got... three Sonic-esque friends who had a combined total of five-minutes of screentime before being functionally killed off, pointer controls that Nintendo has since abandoned, and a few whacky motion-controlled mini-games.

"While not perfect, the idea of multiple planets"

Corruption does not have multiple planets, though. It has a series of disconnected rooms and corridors, which is actually made worse by the segmented design and the way the fast travel works to make everything feel tiny and cramped. Something like Bryyo Ice (which is supposed to be half the planet) is literally just five small rooms, only accessible from a random teleporter in Bryyo Fire. Norion is literally just one building with four short hallways that meet in the middle. Despite being the most important locale in the entire trilogy, Phaaze is literally just one hallway with three loading screens, the whole thing consisting of fewer than a dozen rooms total.

The idea of 'multiple planets' is something that is technically infeasible to do justice in a Prime game. Compare something like Ice Bryyo or Phaaze to Chozo Ruins or Agon Wastes or Norfair. The supposed 'worlds' wind up even smaller (and simpler and less interconnected) than even the individual 'zones' of the previous games, which were themselves only billed as bite-sized microcosms of their planets at large.

"the ship serving as fast travel"

This point largely works against the previous one, I think. The point of extensively-available fast-travel (as opposed to something like Echoes's or Samus Returns's more limited versions) is to drastically compact in-game worlds. If every room in the game is functionally just eight rooms away from every other, then the map is in practice smaller. That might be more 'convenient', but it very much removes any sense of distance. If you are Bryyo Fire, you are just a couple rooms away from Bryyo Ice. If you are on any planet just three rooms away from your ship, then you are also just three rooms away from Bryyo Cliffs... and just three rooms away from Elysia. And just three rooms away from Norion. Just three rooms away from the Pirate Homeworld. Three rooms away from the Valhalla. Three away from Phaaze.

Up to millions of miles supposedly separate these locations, but in practice all the player is doing is just picking from a stage select screen akin to something like Federation Force.

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"Which I think at it's best is a hard entry point for new players. "

And?

Zero Mission, Other M, and Federation Force might all technically be 'easier' entry points to the series for new and casual players. They are also all among the least-commercially successful entries of the series, so even if Samus Returns bombs I do not see much of an argument for further compromises in the name of trying to appeal to people who actively dislike Metroid games.

Edit: "I agree more with Johnny's points."

If we are going to post older vids too, might as well round things out with The Completionist's take, lol: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4YnzLcVszE

vonter
Tue Sep 26 17 08:01pm
(Updated 2 times)

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vonter
Wed Sep 27 17 12:10pm
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vonter
Thu Sep 28 17 07:10pm
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vonter
Fri Sep 29 17 02:15am
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"I think I have, like you, he seems mainly disappointed that the remakes don't accentuate much the horror vibe, one could assume from the original game."

Even though it will never happen because we already have two remakes as it is, it would be cool to get another one that tries the replicate the original's atmosphere.

(Though in fairness, that might be harder to accomplish than it sounds, since some of the components of that atmosphere come from the same parts of the game that make it a tough title to recommend to other people in 2017, like the monochrome color palette or the unnerving, discordant soundtrack or the experience of getting trapped in a corner and having a Metroid sit on Samus to death.)

"Which makes me feel Metroid II was more about discovering than exploring, AM2R is more about exploring, and Samus Returns is more about the combat progression and escalation, being the only of these games where later enemies can still pack a punch"

Cannot comment on SR as I have not played it yet, but yeah, that seems like a solid summation of AM2R and M2. I suppose them being different takes and accomplishing different things is part of why even though I think AM2R is a much better product, it does not really replace the original in my mind the way that Zero Mission replaced NEStroid.

"It's hard to pin down."

At the absolute least, SR is doing better commercially than Federation Force and better critically than FF or Other M. That is encouraging.

At least in Japan it would probably sell better if they could find some way to port it to the Switch, since that seems to be the current 'it' console. Could they do that, though? How important is the 3D part of it?

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