I’ve already reviewed Metroid Dread¸ but during that review I attempted to stay away from spoilers. But after ruminating on the game for a week or so after finishing it, I feel I have to talk about Metroid Dread with spoilers aplenty. Metroid Dread is supposed to wrap up the story that began with the original Metroid on the NES, 36 years ago. And its 19 years since the last game in that particular story. The pre-release hype not only centred around the EMMIs, but it centred around the game being the end of the Metroid storyline. So you can’t really talk about Metroid Dread without discussing its story. And you also need to examine whether or not it is s fitting end to the Metroid saga.
It had been eight years since an entry in the Metroid franchise…but then, lo and behold, in 2002, we were gifted not one, but two, Metroid titles! Metroid Prime is the more popular/critically acclaimed, and for good reason…but Metroid Fusion for the Game Boy Advance is just as worthy of attention as the sublime Metroid Prime. Metroid Fusion is a direct sequel to Super Metroid, and also returns Samus (for the opening act) to SR-388, the world she explored in Metroid II. Continue reading →
The original Metroid is almost impossible to play in the modern era. It’s interesting to explore as a relic of a bygone era. But that’s all it is: a relic. The remake for the Game Boy Advance, Metroid – Zero Mission, has all but made the original obsolete. Apart from a few niggles, this is how a game developer should approach a video game remake. Don’t simply upgrade the graphics and add a few bonus modes. Rebuild it from the ground up, modernize it to today’s standards (if it’s an older game, of course!), and add to the original experience whilst staying faithful to the spirit of the original. Continue reading →
I had to come to this sometime…this is undoubtedly the worst entry in the Metroid franchise (disregarding the spin-offs, of course). Who thought this was a good idea? Right from the beginning, it’s clear the direction that Team Ninja (the team behind Ninja Gaiden) want to take Metroid: a story-driven, character-developing action game. We begin with a stunning recreation cut scene of the end of Super Metroid: Mother Brain, the Metroid, and Samus all in stunning 3D. The question that Samus asks, walking in the rain, stays with her throughout the latest adventure: Why am I still alive? She should be asking: “why am I in this game?” Continue reading →
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!). Continue reading →
There’s not much I can say about Super Metroid, apart from that it’s a goddamn masterpiece. Few games evoke such an atmosphere of isolation, few games offer such a diverse range of areas whilst forming a cohesive whole. Still, to this day, game developers are trying to ape the perfection of Super Metroid’s game design (from Hollow Knight to Guacamelee, the indies seem to thrive on Metroidvanias…to varying degrees of success). Continue reading →
I loved this game as a kid. It felt epic, especially compared to other games from the Game Boy era. Samus indeed returns…to commit genocide of the Metroids! It’s pretty grim when you think about it…but who thinks about that as a kid? I never really thought about its flaws as a kid, either. For one, there’s no map, and because some of the areas look very similar, it’s easy to get lost (a reason why I thought it was epic back in the day). Clunky controls (especially with the Spider Ball and Space Jump) don’t help progression, either.
As for massacring the Metroids, some people find it repetitive. I didn’t, and still don’t. Sure, there could be more variation, but the game was pushing the boundaries of the Game Boy anyway. Metroid II, like its predecessor, was too ambitious for its time. However, it’s simply more fun to play than Metroid and less punishing. I wonder what the remake is like…(or just click hereto check out my Quick Review of Metroid – Samus Returns (3DS)
A remake is supposed to capture the spirit of the original whilst bringing something new to the table, isn’t it? This remake of Metroid II is not particularly a bad game. But in updating the original for the modern era, this remake sacrifices the spirit of the original. This turns the Metroid franchise into the more action-orientated game play of the risible Metroid: The Other M. Continue reading →
My Contra journey ends at the beginning…with the European version of Contra! Yes, us Europeans didn’t like violence in video games in the 1980s. Instead of two musclebound heroes shooting legions of a foreign army, here we have two robots shooting…other robots! However, that doesn’t detract from the sheer thrill of this game. It’s the shortest of the three, but it’s just as difficult (apart from the disappointing last boss). Continue reading →
It’s strange, going from a video game sequel to its predecessor, rather than vice versa. Before purchasing the NES Classic, I always wondered what came between Contra and Contra III (strangely, the NES Classic doesn’t have the original Contra included…). It seems to me like Super C is often forgotten in favour of its precursor and its sequel, but make no mistake about it, Super C was just as exhilarating, thrilling and downright frustrating as Contra III, to no surprise. Continue reading →