Metroid II: Return of Samus

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When your shoulder pads are unnecessarily large

Hey guys! Continuing on with the Month of Metroid. So it’s the sequel…on a handheld and I also beat this one in a day, I’m on a roll here. For some reason, like Kid Icarus, the sequel to Metroid was on the Game Boy. Last time, I played Metroid; It’s a game you can instantly get lost in…literally. It’s dark and gloomy for that the developers wanted, the gameplay is kind of dated and the music is minimal but memorable. Add the fact that Samus Aran but her mark on the gaming map for being a bad ass and you have a game that whilst dated, remains a classic to this day. So, it’s time to play the next game in the series…again, on a Game Boy, Metroid II: Return of Samus (メトロイドII RETURN OF SAMUS Metoroido Tsū Ritān Obu Samusu), developed and published by Nintendo and was released in 1991 in the US and in 1992 in Japan and Europe.

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Eh, it’s better than the low budget suit from the first game…if you didn’t get the joke, read my review of the first game.

Last time on Metroid. Samus Aran defeated the aliens and found and destroyed the Metroid, as well as the strange looking Mother Brain. Upon realising this, the Galactic Federation assembled a team and sent them to the heart of the Metroid, the planet SR388, in the hopes of finally destroying the Metroid once and for all. However, the team mysteriously disappear and the Federation calls for Samus to continue where the team started and go to SR388 herself. However, in the planet, Samus meets a number of Metroids where most of them have evolved from jellyfish-like aliens to bigger, uglier and more dangerous monsters.

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I wonder what’s inside?

So the gameplay is very similar to the original, shooting and exploring. But your objective this time ’round is to kill a certain number of Metroids. And that’s all you do! I know it’s the Game Boy and there were limits but do you really think the replay value would be high with this? Actually, yes. Now there are many areas like the original and you have to take down Metroids with most of them being an evolution of their original forms. There will be areas blocked by lava and you need to take down Metroids for the lava to disappear, you’ll know you defeated the Metroids in an area when there is an earthquake, only then can you venture deep into the planet. The game is still non-linear but not by much, not like the NES game, the areas are smaller but you can still get lost since the level design is samey near enough all through the game so you may get confused as to where you go. The first time I played it, I had a frustrating time figuring out where to go because of this.

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WOAH! No wonder Federation saw them as a threat!

Now for the Metroids. See, you don’t battle the original ones, you actually take down evolved Metroids, these include Alpha, Gamma, Zeta and Omega, with the Original forms being the first part of their development cycle. SCIENCE FICTION!!! But in any case, you have to destroy them, the more the developed the Metroid is, the harder it is to destroy them.

In terms of items, Samus has the bare necessities for once, like having the long beam, the Morph Ball, 30 missiles and having 99 health instead of a measly 30. She can also crouch to kill smaller enemies and even shoot down, this is really useful throughout the game and I wish it was in the original game, but oh well, there may be a hack for that. Just like the first game, there are red doors to shoot missiles on and you can once again collect upgrades like the Bombs, Ice Beam, Wave Beam, High-Jump Boots and the Screw-Attack.

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The Varia Suit, more defence, more strength, and shoulder pads bigger than your head!

As for the Varia Suit…well it’s there and accounted for, but because of the graphical limitations of the Game Boy, they had to give Samus shoulder pads when she eventually gets the suit, but these shoulder pads would be part of Samus as a default part of her suit for many years to come. But, we also get new weapons like the Spazer Beam (Could you have given it a better name?), in which Samus can shoot three blasts at a time and the Plasma Beam…it’s a Plasma Beam, it’s powerful and does a good job defeating enemies, though the other weapons are still great too. In addition to the new weapons that you can use, you can also get upgrades for your Morph Ball like the Spider Ball, where Samus can climb up walls and ceilings, and the Spring Ball, where Samus can jump whilst in her Morph Ball form. And by far, my favourite upgrade is the Space Jump. Whilst it’s finicky, you can jump in the air to get to higher places. It also makes the Spider Ball obsolete…unless if you fall from a certain height.

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Ain’t no passwords here!

And if you want to save…well, you can save, though if you’re low on health, it will also record how much health you have left, there are areas where you can refill your health and missiles but they’re few and far between and the only way to fill them quick is to shoot enemies, hopefully giving you the goods, and you’re going to do this all the time and this, along with the main objective put me off continuing the game first time around.

The graphics are chunky but detailed, I adore Samus’ sprites and her trainers…I mean seriously, it looks like she’s wearing a pair of Nike trainers. The level design isn’t that great as again, it looks samey through out and there’s no sense of identity to them. The music is dull and horrible, add to the fact that most of the game is quiet anyway, I can see that this could add to the atmospheric factor but it just didn’t work here. With that said, I love the Staff Credits music, that is just a joy to listen to. I also like the…well, it’s near the end and I don’t want to spoil it, but for those who have played it, it’s before the Staff Credits.

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I still don’t need clothes for this!

Overall, Metroid II is a decent affair and has some great improvements over the original, but I guess because it’s on the Game Boy, whatever did work for Metroid on the NES didn’t work here, but it’s a good game nonetheless. It’s another game where you need a map once again because the areas feel similar to one another. It’s another Metroid game that I think is a good recommendation.

You can get it on the Game Boy and Virtual Console for 3DS.

Rating: 3/5

And now, next week, it’s time to take a look at a game I’ve been yearning to play for years, it’s Super Metroid.

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Why would you want to play this game when you could play Federation Force? Said no one ever!

And for those who are wondering if I played AM2R? I did have a go at it, and what I played was really good, and it has great elements of Super Metroid. But did you have to make it hard as nails? Really? Either way, it’s a shame Nintendo told the creator to get rid of it…unaware that you can’t get rid of anything on the internet, once it’s there, it stays there HEHEHEHE!!!

Feel free to take a look at my Facebook page, where you’ll find review posts, my art work and maybe some other random bits and bobs.

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3 thoughts on “Metroid II: Return of Samus

  1. I didn’t play Metroid II until the 3DS Virtual Console version came out. It’s a bit hard to play, but I respect the improvements they made over the original Metroid, especially regarding health and saving. It’s still tough to figure out where you’re going in the mazelike black-and-white corridors, and Samus’ sprite is perhaps a bit too big. It’s still overall fun as a one-time adventure. Great review of it!

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