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A series of science fiction action-adventure video games by Nintendo. It chronicles the missions of space-faring bounty hunter Samus Aran who protects the galaxy from the depredations of the Space Pirates and their attempts to harness the power of the eponymous Metroids. Metroid combines the platforming of Super Mario Bros. and the exploration aspect of The Legend of Zelda with a decidedly darker atmosphere and a greater emphasis on nonlinear gameplay.
As of 2011, the Metroid series consists of eleven games, with releases on every Nintendo home and portable console except the Game & Watch, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, 3DS, and Wii U (although the latter two allow users to download older Metroid titles). As well as being one of Nintendo’s most financially successful franchises with over 17.44 million games sold as of September 2012, it is also one of the company’s most highly acclaimed series, with a GameRankings average score of 85% across all eleven titles.
The original Metroid was influenced by two other major Nintendo franchises: Mario, from which it borrowed extensive areas of platform jumping, and The Legend of Zelda, from which it borrowed non-linear exploration.The game differed in its atmosphere of solitude and foreboding. Metroid was also one of the first video games to feature an exploration to the left as well as the right, and backtracking to already explored areas to search for secret items and paths.