Day 235: 3DS Metroid Reviews (Federation Force and Samus Returns)

For the final Metroid review, I decided to roll both 3DS games together into one post. Don’t worry, it won’t take too long to get through them. That being said, let’s get started with our first game…

Metroid Prime: Federation Force


Metroid: Samus Returns

After the catastrophe that was Other M, followed by the even greater disaster that was Federation Force, Metroid fans had all but given up hope on a true title. Everyone believed that the final nail in the coffin had been hammered, and Metroid would join F-Zero in the ‘Waiting for New Game Forever’ line up.

But then, a ray of hope emerged through the clouds. E3 2017. Here, Nintendo made two announcements that brought hope and joy to all who craved another lonely sci-fi adventure. These announcements were a brief teaser of Metroid Prime 4 and a 3DS remake of Metroid 2.

The ladder of which released later that year.

Samus Returns is the first 2D style game to come out since Zero Mission all the way back on the GBA. And much like Zero Mission, this game deviates so far from the original Metroid 2 that it can be considered a wholly unique stand alone game.

Plot wise, you know what to expect. Samus has been hired once again by the Federation to go to SR388 and wipe out the Metroid menace. Story wise, that hasn’t changed. Sure, they threw in a few new boss fights that pad out the game (all of which are very challenging) including the giant drill bot, which is now one of my favorite fights in the series, and a cyborg Ridley as a secret final boss.

Which is used to tease the X parasites after the credits. So I must ask: does this mean that the Ridley from Super Metroid was actually an X parasite? Cause that wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense, but I’d be down for that.

While the plot itself isn’t much different, the level designs and general gameplay are. For one, the levels are far more open than the original Gameboy game. Sure, it’s still reasonably linear, but you have more freedom to explore than before. The environments also look more visually distinct, making it easier to keep track of where you are. And the backgrounds are fucking gorgeous, especially for a 3DS game. This is one hell of a pretty game.

And the gameplay is fucking solid as hell, with plenty of quality of life changes to make your life better. For one, Samus can now aim in a 360 degree radius, at the cost of being forced to sit still. But fear not; she now has a melee counter move, which can open enemies up to massive damage if they get too close. Using this move is immensely satisfying, at it can lead to some awesome Other M style kill animations when used on the bosses.

If you’re gonna take anything from that game, those are a solid thing to take.

And then there are the new Aeon powers. These four powers are completely unique to this game, and honestly? I hope they come back later, because they’re pretty fucking awesome. They include: a massive missile barrage that deals tons of damage, a shield that absorbs damage, a time slowing ability, and a scanner that detects hidden objects and breakable walls. They’re all fun to play with, and they’re optional enough to not feel necessary if you choose to avoid using them.

Don’t get me wrong though. This isn’t a flawless game. Killing the same Metroids over and over does get repetitive, and the controls can make your thumbs ache over prolonged periods of play (fucking 3DS controls, man). Plus, there are some minor changes that detract from the impact the original game had.

For example, the final hallway. In the original, this hallway was completely empty. There was no music, no enemies, nothing. Just a long, quiet climb back up to your ship, with the only company you have being the baby Metroid. But in the new one, the music is blaring full blast and enemies stand all up in your way. Hell, they even throw in a boss fight with Ridley right in front of your ship. While it is fun, it does sort of ruin the feeling of guilt and isolation that the original game had so strongly.

Still, this is the best Metroid game to come out since Prime 3. If you love 2D Metroid, or Metroid in general, it’s well worth your time and money. If you’re looking for something to hold you over until Prime 4 comes out, there are few games better.

And that’s all of them! Except for Metroid Pinball, but I might come back for that one. Eventually. If you’ve been reading these, thanks a lot! It was a ton of fun to talk about my favorite game series, and I loved sharing my thoughts with all of you! Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments, and we can get a discussion going.

So long as that discussion isn’t about Federation Force.

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