Super Metroid is a continuation of Nintendo’s Franchise series, the third game in the series. Released in the middle of the Super Nintendo’s life in 1994? The game focuses on the planet Zebes once again, with Samus Aran penetrating the depths of the planet like never before to defeat the leader of the Space Pirates, Mother Brain.
Veteran players will notice one thing – they’ve seen it all before. From the beginning battle with Ridley, to the first area of Brinstar entered where you obtain the morphing ball. There’s nothing hugely new to begin with, just the standard Metroid action from previous years.
Until you get the bomb, and you’re trapped in a room, and you face the first boss.
From then, you are taken on a wonderous journey around Zebes meeting dangerous (and some friendly) creatures. This is exploration at it’s absolute best – the game has been cunningly designed to frustratingly lock doors and make jumps just that bit too far away for Samus’ leap. Only on a return to a previous area do you realise that it is the way to go, not further into the murky depths. Once you realise that exploring is the way forward in this game do you feel pleased that you are abandoning an area before defeating a boss (in fact, in one area of the game you have to defeat the boss first to open up the rest of the area, as the boss is sucking power from the automatic doors, locking them completely).
Part of the brilliance of the game is it’s balance, not one bit of the game stands out more than the others, and the symbiotic relationship enjoyed between the familiar but unique graphics of each level, and the moody but memorable music add to the overall experience. Sure, there are nice touches, but Super Metroid achieves something that most other games of it’s nature can’t achieve.
It is engrossing without a storyline.
The “Plot” of the game consists of a few early narritive cut scenes at the beginning, and about half of the “Tourain” area, but where this game shines is the truly explorative nature of the game, you really feel like you’ve dropped into a community, not an enemy base – and that some of the creatures trying to kill you aren’t working for Mother Brain, they are simply defending themselves from your attack. You also go on a voyage of discovery with Samus, as you can learn special commands and situations to assist you in the game – some of the planet’s inhabitants will teach you, but some you have to pick up on your own.
The other thing is that it’s also more accessible than previous Metroid games, and it’s partly due to the unprecidented (at the time) 24 MBit cartridge. In the previous Metroid, half the time was spent which one of the identical corridors you are located – whilst the “Metroid Tune” (which is noticably absent from this incarnation) played endlessly in the background. You also aren’t left wondering about what the power up you’ve just picked up does, as a handy primer appears when you obtain it usually to let you know how to use it, unless if they’re ball achingly obvious, of course.
This game is truly stunning, and a must for any game fantatics. It won’t leave you disappointed, I guarentee. It is a masterpiece of gaming and probably the best Metroid game, and one of the best platform and exploration games ever released.
One Word of Warning: Recently I came back to this game on the Wii, and Wii’s classic controller does not lend itself at all well to the controls. It’s just overly sensitive. It’s still playable, but I’d prefer the digital sticks of the Super Nintendo, rather than the analogue sticks on the classic controller.