When Metroid: Samus Returns was announced at E3 Expo earlier this year, it surprised the fans of the franchise. Perhaps we were all expecting the next game in the series, but Nintendo decided to publish a remake of Metroid 2. When you consider it, it makes sense. The original game was released for Game Boy, so it’s only natural it will be chosen for a remake on another handheld console – Nintendo 3DS.
What Can We Expect from Metroid: Samus Returns?
Anyone who buys the game can hope to see a lot of good things. If you had the chance to play the original, you would recognize most of the concepts. However, Metroid: Samus Returns offers better gameplay mechanics thanks to the advanced technology. It also features probably the best graphics seen on a handheld console so far, which is why fans of the franchise can’t afford to miss this remake.
Can You Please Remind Me of the Plot?
How can we refuse when you ask so nicely? Okay, all jokes aside, Samus Returns takes place right where the original Metroid finishes. Mother Brain and the Space Pirates suffered a defeat and their plan to use Metroids to gain a source of unlimited power was ruined.
However, the United Federation still needs to do one important thing – prevent the possibility that anyone could use Metroids for their bad intentions again. That’s why they choose Samus, the famous badass, and a bounty hunter, to destroy them all! Unfortunately, after carefully analyzing every option, it was agreed that the best solution was to murder every last Metroid.
No Dialogue – No Worry
Metroid: Samus Returns starts with the plot explained in an animated cut scene. However, there won’t be any discussion during the remainder of the game. If you are a fan of later Metroid releases, there is no need to worry. All this reminds of simpler times, and this simplicity worked then, and it works again now.
After all, who needs to talk when you can explore, gather gear and blast lasers? The concept works like this – you land on the home planet of the Metroids. As you slowly discover new areas, you notice an altar that is looking for you to bring DNA from the specified number of Metroid creatures. Then you roam the area collecting the DNA stated and, once you bring it back, the level of the poison goo goes down. That unlocks new areas of the planet, where you should destroy even more Metroids.
It Sounds Crazy, but It Works
The concept might sound repetitive on paper, but it’s fantastic in reality thanks to the amazing gameplay. Metroid: Samus Returns offers incredibly exciting combat. Thanks to the new control system, it is far more addictive than the original. This game might be an excellent example how advanced technology can breathe innovation into older releases.
In the 2D version of the title, we had troubles to target the enemies accurately. However, Metroid: Samus Returns features an option to aim in 360 degrees quickly. The mechanics are simple – hold the left trigger to make the laser pointer show. Now, target the enemy (you will notice that the arrow turned red) and fire. It’s a phenomenal concept that contributes to an addictive gameplay.
Metroid: Samus Returns Also Features Counterattacks
Launching a counterattack at your opponent was impossible in the 2D original. However, Metroid: Samus Returns comes with this option. When the enemy attacks you, just press the X button, and you will launch a counter. Of course, the action on the screen is high-paced, so you need to choose your timing carefully. Either way, it’s nice to have an additional option to destroy Metroids.
I think I can best explain how useful a counterattack can be in Metroid: Samus Returns with this example. In an area where there were only smaller enemies, I was able to pass without a scratch with being a bit more careful. In fact, launching a timely counter may immediately kill the opponent. Counters also come in handy for bigger enemies, but you can’t destroy them with a single shot.
High-Paced Action Instead of a Geometric Problem
There was something addictive about Metroid 2 for Game Boy, but the problems caused by geometrics could be incredibly annoying. In the Nintendo 3DS version, you can concentrate on enjoying the high-paced action that unravels on the screen. I would like to emphasize a cut scene during the boss battles. Whenever you launch a counter, Samus will fly and land on the beast’s head before landing a bunch of rockets.
Aside from that, all the beauty of the gameplay in Metroid: Samus Returns can be seen while fighting the bosses. There are more than 40 boss battles, which is enough to keep you entertained for a long time. In the beginning, it will seem simple – you will be able to kill a Metroid simply by launching a counter along with a couple of rockets.
More Than 40 Boss Battles and Some of Them Are Tough to Beat
The more you progress in Metroid: Samus Returns it gets harder to defeat the bosses. They evolve quickly, and their patterns of attacks become complicated. Aside from that, there are multiple battles you need to win to beat them, which makes things all the more difficult. Fortunately, 3D controls and 360 degrees aiming now make everything more fun and not just annoying like in the original.
The Graphics Are Pushed to the Limits
Metroid 2 was one of the prettiest looking games of the time. Metroid: Samus Returns undeniably deserves the same title, at least if we consider only handheld consoles. Despite being a side-scroll release, the game features 3D graphics and an incredible level of detail. The map is different than the one in the original, and the environments widely vary. You will visit everything from lava pools to dark caves without any plants.
Metroid: Samus Returns Is Not Just a Remake
It would be unfair to MercurySteam and Nintendo, the two developers of Metroid: Samus Returns, to declare this game a remake. You will get a game with not only graphics improved, but with the gameplay completely revamped and adapted to modern times. High-paced action and addictiveness bring this game into a must-have category for all Metroid fans.