It's the 30th anniversary of the original Metroid this week, and Nintendo is celebrating by letting off one small party popper at its Kyoto HQ. However, the fans have other ideas for how to mark this auspicious occasion. Yesterday saw the release of the long-teased fan remake of its GameBoy sequel Metroid II, after over eight years of development. I played it a little last night, and it's excellent so far: a great game in its own right, whether you've played Metroid II: Return of Samus or not (I haven't).
AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake) as the project is known, is basically a new game, but also a sequel of sorts to fan-favourite GameBoy Advance title Metroid: Zero Mission. Meaning it plays a lot like that. Differences from the original GameBoy game include entirely new art, a lovely new soundtrack, a map system, a logbook, new areas and bosses, updated AI and more.
It's a seriously impressive piece of work.
Will Nintendo send a cease-and-desist letter to shut the project down? Historically, they're less bothered about this sort of thing than other companies, but even if they do, we have it now; it's already out in the wild.
Thanks to Kotaku for the header image.