Super Metroid (10/10)

Now, when Super Metroid first came out, I was a mere 5 years old and about 2 years away from my first gaming console (Sega Genesis) so my experience with gaming was limited to only a few select titles I had managed to play.  It was not until the Metroid Prime Trilogy that I really got into Metroid.  But thanks to the joys of Nintendo’s Virtual Console, I can now play the classic Metroid games, including Super Metroid for the SNES.

Now, you can’t really review Super Metroid (or any Metroid game for that matter) without talking about the amazing atmosphere the game creates.  The planet of Zebes is diverse and wonderful.  The graphics are beautiful and the music is perfect.  You really get the sense that you are on this other planet and can become immersed in the game on a level that is rare for any game.  And while I could have used a little more story, the small narrative fits in well with the game and offers a lot more plot than many of the game’s contemporaries.

The platforming controls great and feels more natural than in most games.  I found that the aiming takes a little getting used too,  but once you have mastered it, it becomes second-nature.  There is a nice variety in the assortment of weapons and abilities available to Samus and the rate at which new upgrades are found progresses at a steady rate, so the gameplay never quite gets stale.

The level design is superb.  The world of Zebes is huge and each room seems to almost have its own personality.  The sense of exploration that accompanies this game is amazing, and there is always another little secret around the corner.  And you are encouraged to explore every nook and cranny as doing so yields special power-ups that will help out out later in the game.  However, this is where the game’s first problem comes into focus.  While exploring the world is endless fun, you are bound to get lost in the huge, non-linear world.  I have spent more time that I would like to admit wandering around aimlessly trying to figure out what to do next.  As much as I’d hate to admit it, I would probably still be lost if it were not for the innovation of  gamefaqs.com.

The combat is fun, and the boss battles are where it really shines.  There is a nice variety of bosses and mini-bosses.  Some of them require special strategy to defeat and others just have to be shot over and over.  Both types are fun and challenging and will have you yelling at the screen and cheering when the battle is over.  Though, there was one particular boss battle towards the end of the game where the difficulty spikes far too much.  This boss is insanely hard and feels more cheap than challenging.  However, if you can get past it and make it to the final battle, you will be well rewarded as the final battle of the game is quite possibly the most intense, most exciting battle I have ever played in a game.  It is challenging and will require all your skills, yet it is not like cheap like that other boss.  It is one of the few game segments so exciting and so intense, that just playing it causes your heart to race and will provide you with an adrenaline rush that will last far after the ending credits.

All in all, Super Metroid is a masterpiece of a game.  It was amazing then and it still holds up just as well today.  For 800 Wii points, this game is well worth your investment.

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