Review: Super Metroid

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Next up, we have the infamous Super Metroid. This is a game that I actually never managed to acquire back in the day. Instead, I had a friend that left it at my house for about year. (LOL.) So yes, I did play it. But I did not own a copy until its virtual console release on the Wii. Recently, it was released again on the Wii U virtual console where it drew quite a bit of attention due to comments posted by younger players on Miiverse. These poor kids were lost without all of the on-screen tutorials that are so common in today’s games…

Regardless of the apparent confusion on Miiverse, this game is Metroid done right! Bigger mazes, more items, bigger badder monsters, and… a map!  Everything good about the first two games was improved upon here. The only exception to that might be the music. While not a bad as Metroid II‘s soundtrack, Super Metroid is not much better. Nothing beats the original game as far as music goes, I guess.

This title picks up pretty much where Metroid II leaves off. Samus takes the hatching to a science lab and leaves it in the care of some scientists. Not long after she leaves, a distress call comes through, Space Pirates have attacked! By the time Samus can doubleback, the lab is in ruins. The last thing she sees is Ridley snatching up the hatching and flying off! Of course, from there Samus follows Ridley back to the planet Zebes, where the game starts.

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One of the fun parts of this game is being able to go back and see places from the original Metroid – now time redone in better graphics and often with a twist. At this point, the game is much like it’s predecessors. Hunt items, find bosses, unlock new areas.

Finally, at the end of the game, Samus makes her way back to the Tourian area where she once again encounters Mother Brain. After a pretty wicked fight, all seems lost. The Mother Brain has Samus backed into a corner and is about to deal the killing blow. When suddenly, the hatchling, now fully grown, dives in and latches on to the mother brain, drains her of her life energy and transfers it to Samus. Finally, in a last resort attack, the Mother Brain lashes out an attack on the Metroid, killing it…

Revitalized, Samus slays the Mother Brain. Then, just like in the original, a self-destruct sequence begins. Once you ascend the corridors, Samus finds her ship and flies off the planet victorious.

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I’ve recently decided against posting too many spoilers in my reviews, but my son was on the edge of his seat during this game. Especially at the end fight. He was bouncing with excitement when the Metroid showed up to rescue Samus. I thought he was going to cry when the Metroid died. It was cute.

Back to my earlier comments about the Miiverse buzz, despite lots of initial griping by younger players, the majority of them really gave the game positive reviews. The Super Metroid/Miiverse phenomenon has, in many ways, opened my eyes into something the Wii U has done right. It’s given single player games a level of online interaction that’s accessible right from the console.

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Difficulty: Medium  –  This game has a few really tough spots when it comes to boss fights. But most of these are easy learnable. The environment is not too challenging, but it can be frustrating at times for younger players.

Story: Again, we have a bit of storytelling at the beginning and end of the game. Most of the game’s plot is unfolded as you play by situational things. It’s not spoonfed to the player.

Originality: More of the same really. This game takes the ideas and concepts of the original game and makes them…. super. Not that I can complain tho, Super Metroid really seems to be the definitive Metroid title so far.

Soundtrack: Again, weird stuff here. I think this is what they were going for. The soundtrack is Super Metroid is a little bit more hummable…

Fun: Super Metroid is super fun if you ask me. I always have a ball playing through the game. The graphics add a lot of atmosphere. Plus, seeing a lot of the original locations and slightly re-imagined bosses make the game a fun nostalgia trip.

Graphics: This is one of the shining points for the game. The alien environments really shine through on the Super Nintendo. The bosses and monsters are more detailed. Everything loos superb.

Playcontrol: No complaints. Flawless and responsive. Feels a little awkward if playing on the Wii U gamepad, but you get over it pretty quick.

Overall rating (out of four stars): 4 –  Excellent first party title from Nintendo. If unlockable platformers are your cup of tea, this is the game for you. This is the game that set the bar for such titles.

Currently available on: Wii Virtual Console, Wii U Virtual Console

Other Reviews In This Series:

MetroidMetroid IISuper Metroid – Fusion – Zero Mission – Prime – Prime II – Prime III – Other M

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