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Wahey! I finally did it…in two days. This is a game I’ve wanted to play for ages. Oh, this is now the Month of Metroid…and two Halloween reviews. The Metroid games so far have been quite interesting, the gameplay is similar, but that’s the crux of Metroid, exploration, aliens and a cool bounty hunter. So hopefully third times the charm…you know what, the third time IS the charm, I know this is early but this really is a fantastic game. But I’ll explain why this is fantastic. Super Metroid (スーパーメトロイド Sūpā Metoroido), developed by Nintendo Research & Development 1 and Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. It was released in 1994 worldwide.
This was a game I was going to buy a Japanese version of it…until I saw the prices. I mean, I got Super Donkey Kong (Donkey Kong Country), Kirby Super Star and Super Mario Kart, all for cheap prices, but Super Metroid is an entirely different story, I could not find a decent price for it. And why was that? I don’t know, maybe because you can select English text. Heck, the US version is the same as the Japanese version since you can select Japanese text in that version too. Europe however, German and French because SCREW YOU!!! (No offense) In the European version you can select German and French text. The English is there but the foreign text will clutter the screen when text is showing. COME ON, I can’t just have English? I’m playing it on the Wii U thanks to the Virtual Console, but they selected the European version as the copy they put in the service. And because I was lazy, I left it as German. You know what; I’m going to upload Super Metroid again but with German text and French text for s**** and giggles. I don’t know. But back to the game.
It starts with Samus summarising her battle with Mother Brain in the first game. But the game actually continues on from Metroid II: Return of Samus. And yes, this may contain a bit of spoilers. Anyway, you defeated the enemy in that game and destroyed almost every last single Metroid in that game (assuming you did play it). You have one single Metroid to destroy, it hatches and…hovers around you. It’s not threatening, but it’s friendly to Samus. So I guess Samus has a change of heart and not only lets it live, but she takes it onto her ship, where she delivers the Metroid to the Ceres Space Colony, where scientists will experiment on it to try and harness its power. So Samus leaves to find another job. That is until she gets a sudden distress call from the Colony. Samus goes back to find all the scientists dead, then finds Ridley taking the Metroid…despite the fact that Samus completely obliterated it in the first game. After a failed attempt in defeating Ridley, it leaves and destroys the colony; Samus just manages to escape the complete destruction of the colony and follows Ridley to the planet Zebes, the same planet from the first game.
So the game is very similar to the original Metroid game, from exploration to defeating aliens and bosses…but now there’s more! Remember how you could get lost in the original game? Well now you have a map and you will never get lost ever again…though you’ll still need to find the items. Heck, you can even find devices that will let you see the whole area on your map depending on which area you’re currently in. And yes, despite being Zebes from the first game, there’s a lot more to discover. I mean you do access areas from the original game now on the SNES like Brinstar and Norfair, but now there’s new areas to explore like Crateria, your starting point, Maridia, the water area, and the Wrecked Ship, which is pretty much the ghost ship. Each of them having a lot of aliens, challenge and ways of collecting power-ups because Samus for some reason loses her power-ups between games.
Speaking of power-ups, we once again have the morph ball, the bomb, Varia Suit, Ice Beam, Wave Beam and the Screw Attack. Returning from Metroid II, we have the Spazer Beam, Plasma Beam, Space Jump and the Spring Ball. But new to Super Metroid, we have Charge Beam, just hold your shoot button to make your shot more powerful, Hi-Jump Boots, to make you jump higher, though this will be upgraded to Space Jump later in the game, the Grappling Beam, which lets Samus grapple to certain ceilings and walls, the X-Ray Scope, which allows you to scan for hidden areas, this is by far the most useful item to have since you’re able to find items or find areas that contain an item and plan on how to get it, and the Speed Booster, since you now have a dash function it can be upgraded to make you run at supersonic speed…until you bump into a door. In terms of weapons, you can now use your weapon abilities at once and you can pick and mix for different affects, so I’ll have my Ice Plasma Spazer Charge Beam please.
Speaking of items, the upgrades are back like Missile Tanks and Energy Tanks, but there’s more. There’s now a Super Missile, much stronger than the normal missiles, they’re used to blast green doors and are fantastic against bosses and the Power Bomb, which works like the normal bomb but is even more powerful, you can open yellow doors with this too. But if you really need the extra help, you can also get Reserve Tanks, if you’re very low on health, depending on how many you collected, will increase your health, your last chance on surviving the toughest of bosses.
So, the gameplay. What an improvement this is, Super Metroid near enough controls like a dream. Movement is smooth, you can shoot diagonally, extremely useful for certain enemies; and with a map, you’ll have a much smoother experience. The upgrades you’ll use are great and are very helpful, though sometimes they can be a bit finicky when you use them for the first time. The Grappling Beam is one of those examples, but you’ll get used to it so it’s no biggie. Bosses are much tougher…when you know what you’re doing. It mostly depends on how much gear you’ve got but if you got the right weapons for the job, it can be all right, you’ll survive (I guess).
But by far the most finicky move to pull is WALL JUMPING!!! By all that’s good in this world, I had to get the Space Jump and I had to wall jump. So you have to jump on a wall as you’re rolling, then press the opposite direction, press jump and you should jump off the wall the opposite side, keep on doing this until you’re at your destination, but this was SO tricky to pull off it took me an hour to do, that was by far my most painful experience in this game…though thankfully it was my ONLY painful experience in this game. You can also Shinespark, you run fast and as you’re flashing, press down and you hold a lot of power, for the most part you use it to become Superman and shoot up to the skies, it’s useful to get upgrades because Nintendo knew where to put the goods secretly. But Samus can do the Michael Jackson and do a moonwalk…I’m not joking, you can do a moonwalk whilst shooting enemies, this is done so that you can be more accurate. Though this is something you can select on the start-up menu so it’s not something you need to use, I mean I didn’t.
The game world is incredibly massive, even larger than anything you’ve experienced in the first two games. The level design is spooky, atmospheric and kind of creepy, you never know what you’re going to discover or what’s going to pop up, if you’re a first time player. I love the graphics and the level design, it makes for a very memorable experience…and a very lonely feel. Speaking of all things spooky, atmospheric and creepy, how about that music…DAMN, that is a fantastic soundtrack that fits the world, maybe the action-heavy pieces feel out of place in my opinion, but the rest does the job very well.
Overall, Super Metroid is an absolute blast, one of the best Metroid games so far. It improves everything from the original games and freshens it up and adds a lot more to make it even great. I’m glad to have played this and if you’ve wanted to try it out, I urge you to get it, a top recommendation from me, the Metroid fans and other gaming experts, to you.
You can get it on the Super Nintendo and Wii, Wii U and New Nintendo 3DS via Virtual Console.
Next week, we conclude Month of Metroid with Metroid Fusion. Can this be much better or as good as Super Metroid?
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