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Metroid: Samus Returns

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.

I just finished and... I can't find anyone else who feels the same way... but it felt too easy? I think that had a lot to do with the map being on the bottom screen. I think it drew my eyes more than it should and made the top screen activity somewhat trivial... Especially late game.
Idk... I see the reasoning behind these design choices with the full map and the pulse-map-filling-move... But they seemed to take away a lot.

Plus, I feel like they handed out too much energy and ammo from enemies. Again... I can understand that design change as it means less players have to stop and grind a spawning enemy to restore health... But this new way just seemed like you could bump into enemies all day and it not matter.

So... Not having to fully pay attention to dodging enemies and not studying the environment for clues and sort of mentally charting the levels... Idk... Is it just me that this seemed to make the experience easy?

I did find it harder than previous Metroid games (disregarding the NES difficulty of the original). Enemies get easier, but still IMO I don't think you can tank as much like in Zero, Fusion or Super (the later areas for when fully powered). I don't know, I feel if you think in this you can bump into anything all day, I think the last games you might feel like you're invincible. Though it might also be because of the checkpoints, that death, isn't as harsh as having to restart from a save station.

I do agree it might be the easiest Metroid to get all items do to the scan pulse, yet that might also be why the ending is for speedrunning without taking into account the item percentage.

I really liked the game. So happy to have a proper 2D Metroid again, for the first time is almost three hundred years, I believe.

Looking at this game, though, here are things I'd love to see things handled in a new 2D Metroid for Switch, if the same developers makes it. Will spoiler tag it since I will spoil some major finalé things.

Spoilers below!

Spoiler

Spoiler

Comment regarding the end-game bosses:

Spoiler

Don't forget those ground wave attacks. Always a classic.

I do agree with those points, I think more precise aiming could make for more demanding boss fights, and I think if we continue for the path of accessibility, maybe they could put a hard boss as being optional, since I can see the precise aiming or countering that could be way more demanding but still possible. Like for example, there was a time an enemy attacked me and for whatever reason I had to counter it twice in succession. Also despite already getting the pattern, I think it's fair for the damage to be so high, even at full power, since if anything it makes it more risky, like missing a jump or touching the boss by accident.

hamr
Tue Oct 03 17 11:53pm
Rating: 1

Spoiler

"Don't forget those ground wave attacks."

"maybe they could put a hard boss as being optional"

I dunno if I trust Nintendo not to lock something like that behind an Amiibo.

In regards to spoiler

Spoiler

I dunno if I trust Nintendo not to lock something like that behind an Amiibo.

I think if it reaches that point, it'll be for a guest boss. (Until proven wrong). Could be the most likely scenario to make that StarFox crossover rumor.

Spoiler

"Could be the most likely scenario to make that StarFox crossover rumor."

Honestly I think I would rather have no crossover than a crossover that forced me to buy an Amiibo. :-​x

I think 2017 makes us ask the question of where certain fracnhises should go. Zelda, RE7, and Metroid since they have big fandoms, it makes me worry, the main criticisms is debating if they change too much. I think it's only natural, and I think it's fair to say when it has gone far into becoming a different entity.

In regards to Samus Returns, combat certainly is pushed more than the exploration, while not eliminating exploration entirely, combat is much more relevant.

I think it isn't as surprising considering that's what Mercury Steam does. I also think it's not as severe, since this is technically a retread of an old game, so even if it was more exploratory, there's little in the sense of giving surprises if we're doing an old story.

What I worry in regards to the fandom, is getting the feeling that if it's not Super Metroid it isn't a Metroid experience. I always comeback to the quote from Reggie, where he says, "fans want what's familiar BUT with the excitement of the new."

WIth all that said, IMO. Samus Returns, is better than Fusion, mechanically better and different from the original Return, better combat than Zero Mission, but no better exploration or freedom in terms of progression. Better than the original Metroid. And finally when compared with Super Metroid, I think aside from exploration and progression, I think Samus Returns lacks the presence, and IMO that's because the visuals are limited by the hardware, especially because of it being 3D, the enemy designs are limited, the environments aren't as memorable, and it lacked more subdue moments, like when awaking the Diggernaut.

Nintendo still makes games first and then worry if they're telling something. I suppose that's also why people have some expectations shattered when getting serious about their games.

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