It seems like it was only last year when Koei Tecmo partnered with Nintendo to launch Hyrule Warriors for the Wii U. The Dynasty Warriors and The Legend of Zelda crossover was wildly successful, with over 1.2 million units sold according to VGChartz. In addition to these sales numbers, Koei Tecmo cited Hyrule Warriors as breathing fresh air into the Warriors series, saving it from declining sales. It's no wonder then that Koei Tecmo would want to try to recapture this success for a second time. Recent rumors have indicated that the developer is already hard at work on a new Nintendo-themed Warriors title. The rumors don't indicate anything about which of Nintendo's IP would be used in the crossover, with the exception that it's neither The Legend of Zelda nor Star Fox.
What could it be? Many people seem to think that it'll be Fire Emblem. While I think that would be the easy choice, a crossover like this shouldn't play it safe. If Koei Tecmo really wants to recreate the success of Hyrule Warriors, it needs to take a chance on something different, just like it did once before. So if not Fire Emblem, then what? The answer is short, but sweet—Metroid Warriors. It may sound like a weird concept, and admittedly it is, but there are a few reasons I think it could work well.
Metroid fans everywhere are clamoring for a good entry in the franchise. Nintendo has largely ignored the Metroid franchise for a number of years now. Sure, Metroid Prime: Federation Force came out last year, but it received largely mixed reviews. Before that, the next closest release was Metroid: Other M in 2010, a game which also was very divisive and causes controversy even to this day. In fact, the last original game which was well-received by most of the fanbase was Metroid Prime 3: Corruption—a game which turns 10 years old this August! While Metroid Warriors certainly wouldn't take the place of a full-fledged Metroid game, it would give fans something to tide us over until Nintendo (hopefully) gives us one.
The Metroid franchise also offers a number of assets that would lend themselves well to the Warriors series. One of the best parts of Hyrule Warriors for me was the ability to play as a number of different characters, and though on the surface it seems that Metroid would lack in this department, there are quite a number of characters that could make an appearance. First and foremost, of course, is Samus. No Metroid game would be complete without her.
In addition to Metroid's leading lady, however, we could see the return of Adam Malkovich, Dark Samus, Zero Suit Samus, Ridley, and even other bounty hunters such as Trace and Spire from Metroid Prime: Hunters. This diverse cast of characters would lend itself well to a wide array of weapons (such as different types of beams or missiles) or abilities, in turn leading to different gameplay styles. Even with all these characters, we could always encounter someone brand new too!
Second, Metroid's strongest asset is almost certainly its setting. The Metroid franchise is one of the greatest science fiction universes in gaming and has been since it first released. There's a lot of lore that could be explored or even an entirely new story to be found. Maybe Samus can team up with some of the other bounty hunters to stop a Space Pirate invasion. Maybe she turns against a corrupt Galactic Federation and leads a revolution. Maybe someone manufactured an X Parasite epidemic. There are countless scenarios that could take advantage of the need to fight off hordes of enemies that can only be played out in such a game. As a bonus, Metroid Warriors could include an adventure mode similar to that in Hyrule Warriors where you traverse Zebes from the original game.
Sure, the Warriors franchise is mostly known for its fantasy settings, but there's nothing saying it has to stay there. In fact, one successful spin-off, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, takes on a science fiction setting, even housing some of its battles in space! So the idea of a science fiction styled spin-off isn't as farfetched as it might seem. What better universe to set one in than that of Metroid?
Metroid as a franchise has a lot to offer a Warriors game. A diverse cast, a fairly unique setting, and a variety of customization options make it the perfect candidate for such a spin-off. And with Nintendo just sitting on the franchise, this could be a great way to breathe new life into it. Old fans would appreciate a good, quality Metroid title while newcomers would gain an appreciation for the franchise which could lead them to go out and experience the older games for the first time. Metroid Warriors may not be the game Metroid fans need, but it's definitely a Metroid game I want.
Samus fighting Ridley art by: Jeex-Farfadet