Monday, September 20, 2010
Super Metroid Review
In 1986, Gunpei Yokoi created one of the most popular gaming franchises in history: Metroid. The game was a unique blend of Mario's platforming and Zelda's exploration that worked well, but it had a few big gameplay problems. The 1991 sequel, Metroid 2: Return of Samus, improved some of these (Especially with the Save System), but fans didn't imbrace it that well because of its linearity. 3 years later, Nintendo launched their biggest game at the time: Super Metroid. It not only improved on nearly every kink from the previous two, but is one of the greatest games ever to be made.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
Super Metroid starts out right where Metroid 2 left off. Samus had mothered a Baby Metroid off of SR388, and brought it to the research center. Days later, Samus recieves a distress signal, and finds all the scientists are dead by the hands of her archnemisis, Ridley. He takes the Baby with him and you're left with a minute to escape the exploding facility. It's an epic beginning to a game that justs get better.
For starters, the controls rock. It was probably one of the only games of its time that allowed customizable controls. Samus herself moved swiftly and finesely, and shooting with her beams are no trouble at all, a godsend after the first game's twiddly traction. During the course of here adventure in Brinstar, she gets various weapons like the Ice Beam, Super Missiles, and Grappling Shot, all are insanely fun to use. The enemies in-game are hard enough not to be infuriating, and all have great design. The bosses in particular are insanely fun to fight.
The Overworld is massive, with a ridiculous number of collectibles to find, so thank the Metroid gods they included a map. It's a lifesaver in confusing locations, and with it, you can never go back to the older ones again. The pacing at which you get items is absolutely perfect, and the puzzles are extremelly innovative.
Brinstar and its locales are absolutely beautiful: the graphics took full advantage of the SNES's power. The music is also very enjoyable to listen to, because it sets the perfect mood for the dreary world.
Not every gem is without its chinks. Wall-jumping can be infuriatingly hard, there are places you can get genuinely stuck, and you can't go back to the overworld once you beat the Final Boss. Still, those are very minor problems.
Gameplay: Insanely fun. Keeps you appealed until you beat it, and then some. 10
Graphics: Excellent. Takes full advantage of the system's power. 9.75
Audio: Tunes that set the mood for each area perfectly. 9.75
Overall: You have no excuse not to own this game. Not only is Super Metroid the best game from the 16-bit era, but explains why videogames are so fun to play: it's a giant world begging to be loved and explored.
10 out of 10