It took me nearly fifteen years to get past the first few screens of Metroid. I first attempted to play it when it came bundled as an extra with Metroid Fusion (if you linked the GBA up to the Gamecube and Metroid Prime. I gave up after ten minutes. Next, when the remake of Metroid came along, Metroid – Zero Mission, I attempted to play Metroid again (it came as an extra). Half an hour into it, I gave up. Subsequent attempts ended in quick failure until I purchased a NES Classic! Here, I used the save system to carefully progress through the game. It was still as frustrating as ever…but I managed to get through it (without a guide!).
One major problem that hits you straight away is the brutal difficulty of the game (compounded by stiff controls). You start off with very low health, and that’s one thing that I couldn’t stand. You can’t shoot diagonally, or even crouch and shoot, and the many enemies that are below the level of your gun pose a big problem. Second problem is…everything looks the same. I actually enjoyed exploring Zebes, without any signpost of where to go next. But it’s easy to forget where you’ve been and hard to tell if you’ve been to a certain area beforehand. There’s no map available, and even if you drew one yourself you’d still get lost. Of course, this can’t really be blamed on the designers, as the NES was limited as a games system…but it’s still a very frustrating aspect.
It’s all about fairness, isn’t it? I don’t mind a difficult game, but when progression is obtuse, and the resistance you face seems heavily stacked against you, it becomes a slog to get through. We should respect Metroid for the franchise it birthed…but its ambitions were above and beyond what the NES could deliver. It’s outdated and a chore to play. It’s not an entry I would return to, especially as Metroid has been superannuated by it’s remake, Metroid – Zero Mission.
Hammy’s Rating: 2/5
Click here for Hammy’s Top 10 Metroid Video Games
Click here for my Quick Review of Metroid – Zero Mission (Game Boy Advance)
Click here for my Quick Review of Metroid II – Return of Samus (Game Boy)
Click here for my Quick Review of Metroid – Samus Returns (3DS)
Click here for my Quick Review of Super Metroid (SNES)
Click here for my Quick Review of Metroid Fusion (Game Boy Advance)
Click here for my Quick Review of Metroid – Other M (Wii)
Click here for ‘Metroid : Samus Returns’ (3DS) And How Not To Do A Video Game Remake: Part I – Three And A Half Reviews of ‘Metroid II – Return of Samus’
Click here for ‘Metroid – Samus Returns’ (3DS) And How Not To Do A Video Game Remake Part II : Why ‘Metroid – Samus Returns’ Is A Poor Remake of ‘Metroid II – Return of Samus’