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Metroid Musing: Should Metroid Prime 4 Stack Super Missiles or Keep the Beam Combo?

Metroid Prime introduced a new way to activate the Super Missile. Rather than toggling it on or off like Super Metroid or simply stacking it on top of the standard missiles like Dread, you have to charge it up. It’s a short wait, but man is it rewarding. The blowback to the enemy, the need to hold two buttons, the thrill of potentially being interrupted or even missing your target, it all adds up to an exciting means of launching your Super Missile.

The question that came to me though was should the Beam Combo still be the means for using the Super Missile in Prime 4? My initial reaction is yes, but it does seem odd to have the mismatch going forward. The 2D games stack the Super Missile while the Prime games use the combo.

Again, I still lean on the yes side of this. I think the 2D games are intended to be fast paced–particularly with the slide having been introduced. Dread almost feels like Metroid parkour at times, sliding through tunnels, carrying your momentum forward. Even the Melee Counter was tweaked so you don’t have to stop every time you reach an enemy. I think it would be a mistake trying to implement the Super Missile as a Beam Combo here. It would be like the Melee Counter in Samus Returns–slow and disruptive to the pacing.

The Prime games, however, feel more methodical. I wouldn’t say they’re intended to be slow, but you are expected to take your time. You scan your surroundings for clues and ways to activate different systems. In combat, you doge and dash around your enemies; even the standard pirate fights are more intensive than most enemies in the 2D games. So, here the Beam Combo feels right. You have those moments of dodging attacks to charge up for a Beam Combo. It works well and doesn’t feel disruptive.

I also think if they decide to stick with the Beam Combo for activating the Super Missile, it could be a great way to bring back the Accel Charge from Other M. This would allow you to progressively increase the speed in which you charge up for a combo.

So, what do you all think? Would you rather see Prime 4 stack the Super Missile like Dread, or continue with the beam combo? Does it matter story-wise if the 2D and Prime games don’t match going forward? Share your thoughts in the comments below.