With the last couple of games not being up to par and sporadically released, it seems like the Metroid series was going the same route of many other antiquated Nintendo series. All hope returned when at E3 earlier this year Nintendo Announced two new games including a 3DS remake of Metroid 2. Will this remake bring back the space-faring Metroid melting Samus?
While the original game, and many other games in the series have focus more on game-play than on story, this remake manages to tie in with the rest of the series pretty well. It was satisfying seeing certain lore and characters being referenced without having to scroll through walls of text from outside sources like fansites and strategy guides.
You can expect the same great side-scrolling gameplay that we know and love with some modern (and optional) mechanics that make back tracking and exploring less infuriating. One of the most noticeable new mechanics were the melee counter attacks which you could use to gain an advantage against enemies by stunning them and doing extra damage with your beam.
A slight bother I had was that the button scheme for the controls were unusually mapped for a Metroid game (B was for jumping instead of shooting, and A was for activating skills instead of jumping etc) and were unchangeable. Though after playing for a bit I was able to get used to it.
Graphics and Quality: 2.5/2.5
Thanks to using a 2.5D approach like The more recent Street fighter games; Samus Returns takes great advantage of the 3DS hardware while still retaining its side scrolling roots. Details in the background pop out but not enough to distract you from all the action in the foreground.
Even though i was playing on a New 3ds xl I did notice some framerate issues during certain screen transitions which reminded me of early Playstation era cutscenes; but since they were only prevalent during those scenes it didn’t mess up the rest of the game for me.
Music and Sound: 2.5/2.5
The soundtrack as a whole was astounding. I felt the wonder of exploring every nook and cranny, the curious yet tense atmosphere when searching for a Metroid, and the exhilarating tenseness when fighting a boss and learning its pattern.All for the sake of not dying to it another 5 times.
Conclusion: Nintendo gave us exactly what we wanted and what the series deserves. I see this a great precursor to more great Metroid games in the future. Samus is back!!!!
By Glenn Brooks, the JRPG Guru