So, since it's such a big deal, having a Metroid game since 2010 or 13 years since a 2D one.
Does Samus truly returns? Is this still a good Metroid? Has the concept become tired with the recent trend of indie Metroidvanias?
I think I've past the halfway point to at least comment on how the game feels. IMO this game feels denser than Zero Mission and Metroid Fusion. Feels more mazelike with a lot of morphball tunnels, and the vertical areas from the original game are a lot bigger than the vertical areas in Zero Mission.
Enemywise I think the creatures from this game are way more proactive than in past titles. A lot enemies will target Samus a bit before entering their field of vision, and they pack way more damage (I think) than previous Metroid regular enemies. While no overtly punishingly difficult like a certain series, the game does demand to be more wary in terms of taking damage, since trying to tank it all up can very quickly drain your energy tanks. This same line of thought is present in the bosses. since while they do get easier, bosses can kill you with few hits. The diggernaut is my highlight so far, reminded of the Quadraxis fight in the sense that you had to alternate between normal and morphball to damage the boss according to what it was doing.
I think my main gripes are:
- The 3DS for me it doesn't feel like a system well made for intensively active games like this or Smash. It does get a bit tiring pulling some things do to have to hold the L and R to precisely aim a missile.
- The other gripe is the visuals, Samus and big enemies look ok, but smaller enemies can be at times hard to see, and others don't make much of an impression because how is hard to see some intricacies of their designs. You get a general idea, but if I think sprites are better suited for low resolutions than 3D models. That also extends to the environments, things that actually aren't hard to see in the background make an impression while littles details can really get lost on a casual playing session. I suppose that's also why the scan pulse is there, since it's not always clear what you can bomb, I know many times a tile will look like a regular wall, but some intentionally bombable ones were always noticeable in other games. All in all good level design mainly brought down because of low quality textures.
- Finally and this is the minor gripe; I would have liked more original compositions added on top of the inevitable remixes. I don't know how long it takes. Still the music is serviceable, and preferable than the ambient sounds in Other M and screechy noises, which somehow work better in these boss themes than the ones in that other game.
In short, seems like this game is retaking the course on how these games should be. I think it's also food for thought delivering lore through images, as the can be room for wild interpretations. Also Samus conveying her thoughts through body language, could also be expanded and maybe work better. Its a different feeling when the expositions is only given at the very start and the rest of the game is very intimate in how it presents all the other stuff. However if that's how it should be, the game really necessitates to look very clearly for all the smaller details and nuances that happen throughout the adventure.