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Nintendo's final 2D Metroid game out now on Wii U eShop

Nearly 12 years after its initial release for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo’s landmark 2D action-adventure game Metroid: Zero Mission has resurfaced as a downloadable Virtual Console title via the Wii U eShop.

Zero Mission, an enhanced remake of 1986’s Metroid, retrofits the classic adventure with modern features and new gameplay mechanics introduced in subsequent games like Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion.

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Metroid: Zero Mission finds series protagonist Samus Aran on the surface of planet Zebes once again in search of space pirates that are performing experiments with the dangerous Metroid life form. Like its series predecessors, Zero Mission features an open-ended gameplay structure that unlocks new explorable areas as players discover new items and abilities throughout the quest.

Zero Mission is thus far the final entry in the series to feature 2D gameplay. Publisher Nintendo shifted the franchise to 3D following the success of Metroid Prime on the GameCube, leading to sequels like Metroid Prime Hunters and Metroid: Other M. A series spinoff, Metroid Prime: Federation Force, is due to launch for the Nintendo 3DS later this year.

Metroid: Zero Mission launches alongside other new Wii U eShop releases this week like the shooting gallery game Wicked Monsters Blast HD, Asteroids-like shoot-’em-up Near Earth Objects, and the Super Monkey Ball-inspired marble-rolling game The Perplexing Orb.

Also launching for the Wii U this week is Space Hulk, an adaptation of a classic role-playing board game. A PC version of Space Hulk premiered in 2013, followed by ports for the PlayStation 3, PS Vita, and iOS and Android devices.

Nintendo 3DS owners can expect to see Lionel City Builder 3D: Rise of the Rails arriving digitally as part of this week’s eShop update, along with Slice It!, a geometric puzzler from publisher Aksys Games.