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dbarry_22's Video Game Reviews (213)

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Blaster Master Zero II 3.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Li... 5/5
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Golf Story 4/5
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Red Dead Redemption 4/5
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes... 4.5/5
Mega Man 11 4/5
Octopath Traveler 4.5/5
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Bloodstained: Curse of ... 4/5
Everybody's Golf 3.5/5
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 4.5/5
Super Mario Galaxy 2 4.5/5
Castlevania: Portrait o... 4/5
Final Fantasy X / X-2 H... 4.5/5
Final Fantasy X / X-2 H... 4.5/5
Kirby's Dream Course 3.5/5
SteamWorld Dig 4/5
Super Mario Odyssey 5/5
Star Fox 2 3/5
Metroid: Samus Returns 4/5
Dragon Quest VI: Realms... 4/5
Super Mario RPG: Legend... 4.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Br... 5/5

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Metroid: Samus Returns   Nintendo 3DS 

Metroid Finally Returns To 2D And That's Good    4/5 stars

Metroid: Samus Returns is a welcome return to 2D for the series and just proves more original Metroid games should be made in the future.

Why it was decided that Metroid II: The Return of Samus for the original Game Boy needed a remake instead of just creating an original game with an original story I'm not sure. But, with that said, this is a solid story to visit. In a nutshell Samus must go to a planet and rid it of all the Metroids. Along the way she finds suit upgrades that help in the fight as you traverse 8 different areas and multiple bosses.

If you've ever heard the term "Metroidvania" as a term describing a game needless to say Samus Returns falls into that category. This 2D game has a map you can follow with upgrades all over the place which make your character better. It's a great formula. Other games in the series that follow this pretty much exactly are Super Metroid, Metroid Zero Mission and Metroid Fusion. Shockingly enough it's been over 13 years since the last 2D Metroid game was released (2004).

In previous Metroid games you had two basic ways of attacking. First is with your gun attached to an arm and the other was by dropping bombs by being in ball form. In this game a new mechanic is introduced, a melee attack. For the most part this is the way of introducing a counter attack to foes advances. Early on in the game it's important to be able to use this effectively as your weapon is pretty weak and if you don't use it you will get hit by most enemies. Enemies in this game often will flash briefly before making a lunging attack giving you a heads up that you have the chance to use this melee attack. By doing this, you stun the enemy and can fire on and kill it quickly. While generally speaking this will make you be more patient while exploring the caves, I think it's a pretty good addition.

The graphics in this game use 3D visuals and while you can definitely tell it's a 3DS game with limitations, it looks pretty good. Some of the enemies look a little too polygonal but Samus and the environment look pretty good. I wish the game had some more vibrant colors as sometimes the caves seemed a little dreary and monotone but I generally likes the visuals. Like other Metroid games before it, I really enjoyed the music. I know playing on a 3DS can sometimes lead you to play games silently, this game you should make sure you at least experience part of it with the sound up. It's even better with headphones. The eerie base music really adds to the atmosphere.

In my opinion level design was a bit lacking. When you start the game there's a Metroid counter on the lower screen indicating how many you still have to defeat in total (The game starts at 40). Then, in each area there's a big statue which will indicate how many Metroids you need to defeat in order to open up the next area. Sometimes it's just a few, a couple others it's more like 10 but it's all the same. That means you explore that area, get a couple suit and weapon upgrades, find and defeat the Metroids, then you can advance to the next area. The problem I have with this is that it makes the game feel very linear. And while that in and of itself isn't a bad thing, it's annoying when you see a certain door or obstacle you need to overcome to find a missile upgrade but you know you don't have that ability yet so you have to return much later on basically just to do that. There's no reason to visit previous areas unless you want to seek out those other upgrades which can make it feel tedious. There are warp points that let you do it faster but that doesn't change anything. I recall in the GBA versions Metroid they did a better job of having you intertwine throughout the world map as you go to help avoid this backtracking just for upgrades.

Samus Returns almost overloads you with abilities for Samus. All of the familiar suit upgrades return like the freeze beam, wave beam, missiles, super missiles, morph ball, bombs and power bombs are there. But, this game also gives you Aeon abilities which uses a particular type of energy in order to use them. As you use these abilities the Aeon energy bar gets depleted. You replenish it by defeating enemies. I won't tell you all the abilities but the one you'll use by far the most is the scan pulse. This is the way of opening the map in this game. It will also help you find upgrades by indicating to you what blocks are destructible while the pulse is in action. It makes searching for upgrades a little less tedious almost to the point where it gets too easy.

I won't spoil anything for you but the big bosses of the game I for the most part enjoyed. Against one of them during the CG death scene the game froze and crashed making me do it again which was annoying but hopefully that's a rare event and won't happen to you. The Metroids you face as you go deeper get more difficult and make you use the abilities you have. I find that it would have been nicer if they had a couple more forms of Metroids to take on because you get used to them and it feels like you're just going through the motions at times.

This game isn't overly long but it's not short either. My clear time was just over 14 hours for my first run through and I got all 100% of the items. This game works great on the 3DS with having the map on the bottom screen and your main action on the top screen. I had a good time playing the game and hope more 2D Metroid games come in the future.

4/5

 

 


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