Metroid Dread (2021) Review

Metroid Dread is the 5th game in the 2D Metroid videogame series, It was developed by MercurySteam for the Nintendo Switch. The game was a long time coming and was originally meant to release on the Nintendo DS, it was cancelled due to Hardware limitations of the system and now 15-20 years later it finally came out for Switch much to fans anticipation. But how does this new Metroid hold up?

After the events of Metroid Fusion, the federation has received video satellite showing that some of the X parasites had survived the desolation of the Planet SR388, The planet ZDR believed to be the location of the transmission is sent E.M.M.I robots to investigate but after they seem to go rogue Samus Aran is sent to the planet instead to make some investigations of her own which in turn becomes her toughest and most dangerous mission yet!.

As per usual with Metroid games we as players are thrown onto the planet with no idea where we are supposed to go, these games encourage exploration in order to find health and missile upgrades to help you survive.

Exploring in this game is particularly encouraged due to the the extreme difficulty of this entry but also because of how beautiful the art style and environments are, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the most modern 2D Metroid game is better graphically than its predecessors but the detail and the realism that the team put into the environments is absolutely breathtaking, I almost wish this was 3D so I could appreciate the work of the art team so much more.

There are many returning upgrades to Samus’s Armour, series staples include the morph ball, the Super Bomb. The Gravity Suit, Ice Missile and Screw Attack amongst many others, a few were added to this game as new entries, the Flash Shift ability I found myself using constantly it allows Samus to quickly flash across the screen. This came in handy to get past obstacles and avoid boss attacks.

The Phantom Cloak allows Samus to turn herself invisible for very short periods of time before she takes serious damage to her energy tanks. This one I didn’t use too much although it did occasionally help me avoid detection by the corrupted E.M.M.I Robots.

If I have any complaints about this game it would definitely be how familiar the game begins to feel when it comes to the E.M.M.I, These robots are extremely high tech search bots which are built to find Metroid’s or Parasites and remove them, because Samus has Metroid DNA in her body they will kill her at any chance they get. The first two times these segments are fine but they are all pretty much the same, the E.M.M.I don’t behave differently to each other and even hide the same mini boss before getting the upgrade to defeat them.

This doesn’t get boring or anything but I really think they could have made the robots behave differently, for example one that crawls, one that flys, one that swims, one that does everything etc. This could have added more challenge and kept these segments more interesting than they were.

The main boss fights here are some of the best in the series and definitely the most challenging, I often had to take day long breaks between them just so that I could refresh my mind enough to focus on the quick reactions I needed to survive.

The return of Kraid was a welcome sight, I always found him the least interesting of the original Mother Brain crew but he was more fleshed out in this but it was weird seeing him chained up, I’m assuming he was being kept prisoner and experimented on without Samus knowing since he definitely seemed dead after his battle in Super Metroid.

My favourite boss of Dread was Drogyga an underwater sea monster who proved very difficult but could be defeated with a lot of patience and good timing, although this could be said for all the bosses I just really liked the design of Drogyga and it being underwater Samus’s jumping and movements are slowed down adding more challenge to the battle.

The music in Dread is of course just amazingly immersive and creepy as it has been for more than 30 years but there is something a little different this time around, for the first time this game in the series has a heavy use of robotic enemies over the usual aliens, a lot of the music here feels very different to the past as it matches the robotic vibes, it is still quite chilling but you can listen to this and imagine killer robots chasing you down for the kill. It might be my second favourite OST only being beaten by Super Metroid which is also my favourite game in the series.

Metroid Dread is one of the best video games Nintendo has released in years, this very much feels like a reboot of the Metroid franchise an introduction for new gamers, for a lot of switch owners this was their Metroid game and watching them complain about how hard the game is on forums and group chats definitely goes to show how easy video games have become.

You really should take your hat off to Nintendo because they gave zero help with this one and in fact I would say Dread is the hardest game in the series so far or at least the 2D games. It is a satisfying game to progress through and after I beat it I was smiling with satisfaction, I cannot wait for the next 2D Metroid game after Dread but in the mean time I think a remake of Super Metroid with the this new art style would be a nice addition.

And with that all said and done I reward Metroid Dread a very nice score of 9.6/10

See you next mission.

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Metroid Prime (2002) Review

Metroid Prime is the first game in the prime series, these games follow an action adventure style with a focus on exploration and puzzle solving which is a completely different style to the previous games in the series. It was developed Retro Studios for the Nintendo Gamecube and was released in 2002, the game was also re-released in the Metroid Prime Trilogy for the Nintendo Wii, In this review I am focusing on the original GameCube version of the game so keep that in mind.

After escaping Zebes in the Original Metroid, Samus recieves a distress signal from to travel to the Planet Tallon IV to prevent Meta Ridley and the Space Pirates from exploting the planets core and stealing its phazon energy, Samus lands her ship directly in planets center in a forested area and prepares herself for her very first 3D mission.

Right from the get go the game looks gorgeous and it has a large variety of different areas, my favourite was the forest but you also have to deal with ice and snow, lava, underground caverns, mines and toxic substances, all of the areas of the game are fantastically designed and I have no issue with graphics or visuals.

You will spend the majority of this game shooting enemies and as you explore you will discover new weapons, the game is very well designed with the different weapons needing to swapped regularly in order to damage different types of enemies, so many games will give you loads of weapons but only one will really be needed, in Metroid Prime however you need all of them to survive and the final boss of the game requires you to use each of them.

You can also find many upgrades to your armor most of these are series staples but the final phazon suit upgrade is new, it allows you to walk through the toxic substance without taking damage, the gravity suit also makes a return allowing Samus to double jump.

Of course the morph ball makes a return and while there isnt any new power-ups for it, it is very satisfying to use and once you unlock the spider ball upgrade it makes exploration a lot easier and at times a little bit quicker.

What is new is the ability to use half pipes to launch your morph ball to high ledges, this takes a while to get the hang of and I feel it could have been made a lot less stressful if they took out the need to time you boosts.

For the first time in the series Samus is able to upgrade her Visor to deal with different environments, the scan allows her to scan enemies and items to collect information and interact with the environments, the thermal visor allows her to see heat in the dark and the x-ray helps her to find secrets hidden within the landscapes such as walls that she can destroyed or ice she can melt.

The boss fights are really memorable but I do feel they drag out a bit too long, some of these fights can take up to 20 minutes and all of them quite difficult, it doesnt help that you still need to discover save stations to get a checkpoint, I feel that auto saves in some areas would have been a better choice, for example half way through the game you get to the mines and there is a section where you have to take out various difficult difficult space pirates and solve puzzles to get to through the areas, after getting so far you have had your health drained and instead of giving you a chance to save and heal the game just throws you into awkward boss battle that takes off large amounts of your health, at the same time more space pirates turn up making this the only part of the game that I felt was badly designed.

Another really annoying issue with the boss fights is that you have hold down the controller buttons in order to do powerful charge shots and missiles, your hands really start to ache after 30 minutes or so fighting the same boss and while this may come across as nitpicking it really does get annoying when you are really getting into the game and you have to stop playing for a while just so that you rest your fingers.

As per usual the soundtrack for Metroid Prime is as great as you would expect it to be, these games have always had immersive music that fits the lonely atmosphere of the games surroundings perfectly, the music is often creepy and chilling, it makes the player feel uneasy and on the edge of their seat not knowing whats lurking in the darkness and this is no exception its a really good soundtrack and while I still prefer the music from Super Metroid even though most of that music is remixed here this is still one of better Metroid soundtracks available.

I may have complained a little bit about this one but I did really enjoy my experience with Metroid Prime, for the first game in 3D the developers did a remarkable job in making it feel similar to its predecessors, this may be the hardest Metroid game I have played yet and while I do enjoy a challenge a few extra save stations would have been nice especially before major boss battles. I am very excited to eventually get around to playing Metroid Prime 2 but for now I will leave the series here, giving It’s first 3D game a score of 8.4/10

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Super Metroid (1994) Review

downloadSuper Metroid is a Super Nintendo Entertainment System Game and is the third game in the Metroid Franchise, it is a direct sequel to Metroid 2 Return of Samus.

Similar to its predecessors Super Metroid is an Action Adventure Game which was developed and published by Nintendo.

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After bringing a baby metroid to scientists for study, Samus receives a distress call after Ridley steals the baby metroid and kills every human in his sight, Samus travels back to the Planet Zebes (Location in first Metroid game) in order to rescue the baby metroid once again.

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Like its predecessors Samus is first only armed with her trusty arm cannon however with some exploration using the new map system you can easily find new weapons and upgrades, introduced in Super Metroid was the gravity suit which allows Samus to move freely through liquid environments such as Lava, the grapple beam which allows Samus to grapple and swing from certain terrains making traversing certain areas a lot easier and the final new addition worth mentioning is the hyper beam that is only available for one segment of the mission however it is the most powerful weapon in the game and is great fun to use.

That_s_one_doomed_Space_Marine_As I previously stated Super Metroid introduces a map system however it is still far from easy to not get lost, the map while useful will only update if you either reach an area of the game therefore unlocking it on the map or by finding hidden map rooms that will unlock large chunks of the map for you however this will not show where bosses or upgrades are hiding so be wary of  where you are going.

hqdefaultSuper Metroids visuals are stunning and are easily some of the best in the series, the artists pushed the SNES to its limits on this one giving us a perfect blend of dark and protruding colours leaving the game with a creepy yet exciting feeling to it, I had a blast seeing all of the different areas of the game however I must say that the boss designs took the cake for me, I really enjoyed to designs for Kraid (pictured above) and Crocomire however they were all fantastic and suited their respected areas nicely.

 

As much as I really enjoyed the first two Metroid games I wasn’t too fond of the soundtracks as I found both of them lacking in tracks and quality, I am pleased to say that Super Metroid has a stellar soundtrack, its creepy and a lot of fun, the game has plenty of music throughout choosing to use slower and more creepier tracks to emphasise the the emptiness and danger of the corridors while using faster and more exciting tracks to pump up the adrenaline for more dangerous scenarios such as boss fights and escape sequences.

 

Super Metroid is an amazing entry to the franchise and is a fan favourite of many Metroid players, it is better than its predecessors in every regard due to its beautiful and artistic graphics, amazing and scary soundtrack and great controls, the only issue I had with the game is very small and that is trying to perform a move called a wall jump, it was awkward to pull off and at times it had me a little frustrated but its only really needed once in the game so its not so bad, Super Metroid is an amazing journey and it is well worthy of a 9.8/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Super Metroid if you respect my opinion I will respect yours.

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Metroid (NES) Review

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Metroid was released in 1986 by Nintendo it follows intergalactic bounty hunter Samus Aran as she searches throughout the planet Zebes in a mission to hunt down the wanted space pirates Ridley, Kraid and Mother Brain

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The concept of the gameplay is simple but most players find it very difficult once they take control over Samus, what made Metroid unique when it came out was the freedom to go where ever you want from the very beginning however there are a lot of areas to explore and many paths you can follow which is what makes the game so challenging also the lack of any in game map means that getting lost is likely to happen more often than you may expect.

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Samus is first only equipped with her trusty arm cannon but by exploring the game players will find many different upgrades for her cannon and her suit, a good example which doesn’t give away to many hints is that if you go left from the very start of the game you can find an upgrade which allows Samus to morph into a ball and drop bombs, you can also find upgrades for Samus’s health bar and early on in the game you can find missiles which allow you to break into more securely locked areas, be wary that the game doesn’t allow you explore free from danger as many enemies will try and destroy Samus  and don’t be surprised if you are dead only 10 minutes into the game because it honestly really is that difficult.

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Metroids visuals were outstanding for the time, the art designers managed to use a great blend of dark backgrounds and areas with bright and outstanding colors for the important parts of the game, the dark backgrounds make the game more scarier as it allows the atmosphere to feel empty but dangerous, it helps to keep the gamer on edge while they are dealing with the threats within the darkness, the labyrinth design of the world makes it clear that if anything was to happen too Samus she may never be found, in my opinion this is Nintendo’s first video game for adults compared to lighter hearted titles such as Mario and Kirby.

The soundtrack isn’t anything to get excited about, its not terrible but like many of these early Nintendo games it lacks in variety, there are few tracks that last longer than 20 seconds before looping which quickly becomes redundant but I will say that some of the quiet and shorter tracks help make the atmosphere feel more empty and far away from society and the Brinstar theme really packs a lot of energy into the game and makes the player feel like a real bad-ass also its one of my favorite video game tunes so I have to give some credit for that.

Upon it’s release Metroid quickly went on to become a classic Nintendo game which soon became a much beloved series for video game fans alike, its a product of the time and many younger gamer’s will definitely struggle to survive without using a cheat code but don’t let the difficulty put you off buying this on the virtual console as its well worth your time, there was a remake for the GBA called Metroid: Zero Mission which was much easier and a lot more story driven so it may be more worth your time to pick up that one instead either way Metroid is awesome enough to earn itself an impressive 8.8/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Metroid for the Nintendo Entertainment System

By Padawan

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