It’s time for another Metroid review, I suppose. And that means I get to talk about the best game in the series: Super Metroid.
Super Metroid is, at least in my opinion, one of the best games on the SNES, if not the best. It is the peak of two dimensional Metroid gameplay, the story wraps up the threads presented in both the first and second games flawlessly, the music is absolutely superb, and it’s one of the best looking games on the console.
To prove that last point, here are three random screenshots from three totally different areas of the game.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind looking at this for several hours at a time. Which I don’t. Because I’ve played this game many times.
Exploring in this game is so much fucking better than the first game. It’s just linear enough that you never get super lost, and just open enough to maintain the feeling of constant adventure. The feeling of isolation is absolutely superb, capturing the atmosphere that made the original NES game so magical.
The story, as mentioned earlier, is a perfect follow up to Metroids 1 and 2. After the events of 2, Samus takes the baby Metroid to a group of scientists for study, who discover that the creature produces a powerful energy that could revolutionize technology in the galaxy. But just as Samus leaves them to it, she receives a distress signal. She returns to the ship, where she finds all the researchers dead (this perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the game) and the baby Metroid in the grasp of a familiar enemy: Ridley. After a brief battle, Samus flees the exploding station and pursues Ridley back to the planet that started it all: Zebes.
Again, feel free to let me know how you pronounce it down in the comments. I’m curious.
From there, it’s much like the original game. Explore Zebes, kill bosses, and head underground to kill both the new Metroids, rescue/kill the baby Metroid (who may or may not be the titular Super Metroid) and once again slay the Mother Brain.
Oh yeah, she looks like this now.
It’s a simple plot, but it gets you invested, interested and engaged right off of the bat. Some motherfucker kidnapped your kid and murdered their baby sitters. Now you, the hero, must go murder that motherfucker, all his friends, and the mother.
Whom he may or may not fuck.
Even if this game didn’t have a really good story, it would still be a ton of fun to play. Exploring and finding new power ups feels better than ever before. Some of the new upgrades are freaking awesome. The Spazer beam, which splits your shot into three beams, makes you feel like an unstoppable monster, especially when combined with the power of the Charge beam. And now, unlike Metroid 1, you don’t need to sacrifice one beam type to get the affect of another. They all stack on top of each other.
This is fucking awesome. By the end of the game, your regular shots will be split in three, pass through walls and enemies, freeze them, and deal shit tons of damage. Combine that with your extreme maneuverability thanks to the Space Jump, Screw Attack and Speed-Run Boots, and you feel completely unstoppable.
I love this. One of the major things I like in a video game is the power fantasy. Growing from a weak and helpless level one character to an unstoppable level 99 character is immensely satisfying. That’s the main reason, I play RPGs. And that feeling is perfectly executed here.
Especially with the ending. Blasting rainbows and murdering a dinosaur has never been so awesome.
There is only one flaw I can think of is the weapon select. When you want to switch between Missiles, Super Missiles, Power Bombs, and the Grapple Beam, you need to hit the select button on the SNES controller, using it to scroll through the list until you reach the weapon you want. It does the job, but it is rather cumbersome. Having a way to more easily access these items would be the only way to make this game even better than it is.
I adore this game. Every second playing it was a second enjoyed. It is easily one of my top ten games of all time, and without a doubt my favorite Metroid game. If you want to get into the Metroid franchise, this is easily the best game to do it. This is, at least in my opinion, the peak of the Metroid franchise.
It’s a shame that we had to wait a decade until the next one…