Posted by: seanmalstrom | May 20, 2015

Email: Someone came around and agreed with you on Super Metroid

“Let’s take off our nostalgia goggles for a moment and call Super Metroid what it really is: an embarrassingly easy game.”

The emailer is referring to something I said YEARS ago. Super Metroid was not my first Metroid. It was my third Metroid after the original and Metroid II. I considered Super Metroid an embarrassment because of how easy it was. I only rented it and never bought it (until it fell down to $20). Metroid II was unique in that it was a Gameboy game. It couldn’t do much. But Super Metroid couldn’t hold a candle to the majesty of experience that the original Metroid was.

When people play the original Metroid today, they find the mechanics crappy and the game super frustrating. These complaints are valid. However, EVERY GAME back then has those issues. Metroid came out in 1986, nearly THIRTY years ago. The original Metroid should not be compared to Super Metroid or to games made in 2015. That’s silly. Look at the games before it and during its time. There is no comparison. The original Metroid was a HUGE game compared to the others. It was very mysterious and a work of art. The endless corridors and the brutal difficulty just add to it. If you use a map, the game becomes straightforward and somewhat easy. However, if you do not, you’re in for a very brutal game that will wipe the paint off your Dark Souls.

I think Super Metroid gets slightly challenging only with Phantoon. Other than that, the game is a cake-walk. The reason why it has aged so well is because the game asks very little from the player like modern games.

The article talks about playing a script. That is obvious with the final boss, but I don’t see it as that. I think Sakamoto is a hipster type who loves being ‘ironical’. Playing Super Metroid is like watching Sakamoto jump out of the bushes and go boo as if he thinks he is getting a rise out of you.

“Ohhhh, the lab blows up. YOU DIDN’T EXPECT THAT DID YOU!”

Yeah, I did, Sakamoto. There were no enemies in it.

“Ohhhhh, old Tourian comes to life with enemies. YOU GOT SURPRISED! ADMIT IT! YEAH!”

Oh yeah. I never expected enemies to attack me at old Tourian. You are such a mastermind, Sakamoto.

“Ohhhh, the Chozo statue comes alive to kill you. YOU GOT HAD! ADMIT IT! ADMIT IT!”

So surprised! Oh, me. How can I contain myself?

“Ohhhh, in Wrecked Ship, the Chozo Statue carries you to the underground place. You couldn’t have seen that? Could you!?”

Yawn.

Super Metroid is filled with such moments. I just found them lame.

In the game’s defense, here are the moments I was genuinely surprised:

-Falling down a long shaft to meet the bird that does the power jump. It is near the beginning of the game. You dash down a hall of blocks but accidentally fall down a huge shaft. Whoops. Then you meet Big Bird.

-Super-bombing the glass corridor in Maridia. That is a classic moment there. I love how it shatters. I did not expect that.

-Electric shocking the Maridia boss with your grapple beam if you grapple an electrical conduit. This was really cool.

Super Metroid felt like a retcon of the original Metroid. Where were the Metroid evolutions? Baby Metroid was just a giant normal Metroid which was lame. Queen Metroid seemed so much more terrifying in Metroid II.

Super Metroid’s wall jump was not done well. It is very annoying to use.

The Super Missiles and Power Bombs act more like keys than anything else.

The Xray vision slowed down the pace of the game.

What Super Metroid did right was correct the flaws of the original Metroid design (I think adding in a map was a good idea as well as being able to charge up missiles and power because, fuck that, it took forever to grind it up in original Metroid).

Super Metroid had brilliant, and I mean brilliant, graphics and sound. The music is divine. The power fantasy was also still intact.

The grapple beam is incredible.

Screw it, let’s post some Super Metroid music.


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