Written: 3.9.07 Acquired: 4.3.06 Status: Cart only Price: FREE
Dev: Nintendo R&D1
The best Metroid game ever. The best freakin' SNES action/adventure title ever. The best SNES game. The best video game, PERIOD. These are all things that gamers have said since mid 1994. It embarrasses me to admit I never really played Super Metroid until Saturday night of February 3, 2007. Nearly 13 years after its release. Did the game live up to its massive hype and billing? Well....
"Say HELLO to MAH LITTLE FRIEND!"
I played it very briefly when it was on display in the spring of '94 at Kay-Bee Toys. Otherwise, I've never really played Super Metroid. It's a crime, I've been told. You won't believe how many SNES games I'm discovering for the first time! I definitely missed out on a lot, and this rebirth resurrection has been some gaming journey thus far
Eagle eye readers will have noticed I received this game for free. I bought a cart only copy from a rather reputable member off a message board for $7 shipped. Strangely, he went MIA for the better part of 2, 3 weeks. When the game finally arrived, I found Super Mario All-Stars as a bonus! His note read, "Sorry for the delay! As a token of my appreciation for your patience"
Already owning the almighty compilation, I eBayed his copy, which was in rather (below) average condition, yet it still sold for around $15.50. Therefore, I essentially got Super Metroid for free. I can't complain!
THE PLOT THICKENS
Years ago, Samus Aran descended to Zebes, demolished a Metroid army and destroyed the Mother Brain
After Zebes was taken care of, Samus blasted the Metroid population of SR388 and discovered a hatchling
Samus took the Metroid hatchling to Ceres Space Station for the scientists to study and look after
The scientists discovered that the Metroid hatchling had energy-producing characteristics
Answering a distress call, Samus returned to the Space Station to find the lab in ruins.... as well as the pirate Ridley, who was waiting for Samus with the hatchling in its claws
After a short fight, Ridley made its escape with the hatchling and took off for Zebes
Ridley scales beautifully out of the screen, laying waste to the lab... get out before the whole thing crumbles!
Escaping the earthquake, you hop into your space ship and head directly for Planet Zebes... where the hatchling awaits rescuing
God knows what they plan to do with the poor little thing...
Unfortunately for you, many nasties lie in waiting, ready to rip your head off, all in the name of their higher Master... you better find some of the key powerups and weapons to insure you a shot in hell....
Between you and the hatchling lies countless chambers, catacombs, lairs, caves and pitfalls
PLACES TO GO
Press start to view this screen, here it keeps track of what you've acquired, and you can deactivate certain items at your discretion. Try and toy around with a combo of beams to get new ones....
SOME USEFUL ITEMS
These bad boys give Samus a complete energy recharge
Fill 'er up!
The Super Missile is the equivalent of five Missiles. You can carry a total of 50, and they're used not only on baddies and bosses, but a must to open certain doors
Bombs are infinite and highly useful to destroy blocks and whatnot, leading to hidden passages
The Energy Tank stores 100 units of energy. Throughout Planet Zebes, a maximum of 14 can be carried
These pods allow you to save the game! No need to worry about ink ribbons or any of that nonsense!
After saving, on the auto map it marks the spot where you last saved the game. You might not think much of this feature initially, but later on you may realize how handy it can be
From that minute's play way back in the spring of '94 at Kay-Bee Toys, I remember this part vividly to this day. I always thought it was pretty odd to start an action game by going left, instead of right as per usual, but here in Super Metroid you do indeed start the game off by going left
And the sci-fi adventure begins....
One of the first things you should do is head to Brinstar and collect the Morphing Ball, which allows Samus to roll around like a hamster in a ball
Throughout the game, Chozo statues can be found. These guys are used to decorate the surroundings. Of course not! They contain new power-up's and some, well, why not try rolling in their hands and see what happens...
Some Chozo statues though aren't as friendly...
... Like this one! Welcome to your first (mid) boss, the Torizo!
He's a piece of cake, but the way the statue erupts and reveals Torizo is pretty damn cool
Much later in the game, he comes back looking for revenge....
Throughout the journey, there are many regular baddies to take out. In all, you'll come across over 60 of them!
However, some are friendly and even give you tips on how to best proceed... it'll be wise to take heed
(Dachola, Etecoons, later on there comes a point where you can even save these little guys........)
Some may leave behind health or missile refills, and when you're low on health, it's wise (though some may call it cheap) to employ the ole "Kill baddie, hope for refill, leave room, re-enter, repeat" method
Of all the regular bad guys, the Space Pirates are by far my favorite. One of the few bipedal enemies (in fact, the only, other than the Mini-Kraid!), they come in a variety of colors and strengths, from wall leapers to ground patrolling soldiers! They fire laser from their hands, and the most powerful Space Pirates require your most potent beam. If that doesn't work, try the Super Missile...
If there was one thing I could change about the game... I'd like to have seen more "standard" bipedal baddies, but maybe that's just me
This pink variety is in the middle of the Space Pirate hierarchy, with a health point of "only" 300
Throughout, you find new power-up's such as the Speed Booster, which allows Samus to destroy otherwise indestructible blocks as well as other uses
In addition to the 60 plus enemy roster, there are a horde of mini and full bosses to contend with! The Spore Spawn is one of the first you'll meet
In an isolated region within Crateria lies this strange golden statue, encrusted with jewels...
Whatever it is, I have to agree with Samus on this one....
Kraid is a handful, and a screen full as well! His entrance is truly awe-inspiring. Right outside his lair, his Mini-Kraid version awaits. But this is the DADDY! Yipe is right!
Where's Godzilla when you need 'im? SHEEEEESH!
There are many (mini) bosses but I'll refrain from showing the others. The toughest for me was by far the Draygon, who took me down to the wire. My favorite? This guy! --->
Of course, the game was very well-received and graced a-many covers, including Nintendo Power...
... and Super Play to name (and show) but a few!
Super Play, those tough graders those, awarded the game with a massive 92% rating, saying
"Great, very Japanese game-looking and a cool, thumping soundtrack also hoof Super Metroid securely into the endzone where the classics dwell. I'll be playing this one for ages. And I've got a feeling it's going to get better and better with age"
The first 24-meg monster on SNES!
#6 on EGM's Top 100 Games List issue #100 (November 1997)
EGM awarded Super Metroid GAME OF THE MONTH honors, scoring four 9's, saying:
"It blows away the original" -Sushi-X
"I have never played a more addicting sci-fi game" -Al Manuel
"If you own a SNES, this is a must-have. It's great!" -Ed Semrad
"The lengthy quest and sheer number of hidden items and the great background tunes add up to one wild adventure" -Danyon Carpenter
Finally, GameFan gave it scores of 96, 98, 98
The beauty of the game comes in the form that it's so extremely beautifully interconnected. Though you may be able to access Brinstar from the get-go, there are certain regions you cannot pass, until much later in the game when you discover a brand new power-up. Then you think "Oh yeah! With this new ability, I can go back to X and now do Y!" It is this lovely web that the producers at Nintendo R&D1 have crafted, and it's all wrapped up in a very polished, slick package. The graphics won't exactly wow anyone, but they're excellent and more than do their job well. The music is highly atmospheric and different for each region on Planet Zebes, each tune fitting the respective area to a tee. Some tunes are haunting, while others perfectly craft a feeling of desolation and despair. F'rinstance, even the specialized creepy theme that accompanies each time you take an elevator shaft up or down is RIGHT ON THE MARK! The music is splendid and lends the game an incredible atmosphere throughout. The boss theme is dramatic and adrenaline-packed. The gameplay is classic and addicting, with so many hidden secrets, weapon combinations, power-up's, special techniques, etc. etc. In terms of longevity, though certainly not a title I'll play once a month, I definitely know I'll be coming back to this next year, 5 years from now and even in the year 2017
With so many "kiddie" games on the SNES, it's nice to play a more serious action adventure oozing with that cool factor. A game packed with so much love and care you can't help but fall in love with it. My only complaint is that the game is far TOO easy, with the multitude of energy tanks available and what have you. But it's not a big enough knock to flag the game. My other minor pet peeve is the annoying wall jump, AKA the triangle jump. They aren't as easy and smooth to execute as I would have liked. It's no wonder Nintendo discarded the wall jump in later Metroid games. Thankfully, there's only ONE section in this game where the wall jump is required. Other than those two very minor flaws, there are so many great things going for this game. The control is incredibly crisp, and the gameplay is a wonderful concoction of awe, joy and discovery. Each time you grab a new beam, item, or suit, the game's incredibly intricate design expands before you and you love every second of it. Samus is an agile sucker, firing in all directions, swinging from cliff to cliff (once you've nabbed the grappling beam anyhow), hell, she can even kneel! The previous Metroid games did not have this feature and it gives Samus more range. This is simply gaming at its best and makes you wonder why more games aren't like this!
I finished Super Metroid a week after I started (Saturday 2/3/07 through Saturday 2/10/07). It was one of the greatest games I ever played, and I can't believe it took 13 years for me to finally sit down and play through this. If you haven't played it yet, STOP EVERYTHING YOU'RE DOING AND GO DO SO NOW!
If you own a Super Nintendo, it's a requirement. Don't have one? This is reason enough to get one!
Graphics: 9 Sound: 10 Gameplay: 10 Longevity: 9
Pound for pound maybe the best Super Nintendo game ever. Certainly in the running, anyhow. Blends a wonderful sense of sci-fi adventure, action, mystery and good ole fashion fun. If you haven't beaten the game yet, yer flippin' mad. Kudos, Nintendo. Kudos