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dbarry_22's Video Game Reviews (221)

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Demon's Souls 3.5/5
Metroid Dread 4.5/5
Returnal 4/5
Dead Cells 4.5/5
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 4/5
Bloodstained: Ritual of... 4.5/5
Bloodstained: Ritual of... 4.5/5
Red Dead Redemption 2 4.5/5
Blaster Master Zero II 3.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Li... 5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Li... 5/5
Golf Story 4/5
Tetris 99 3.5/5
Red Dead Redemption 4/5
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes... 4.5/5
Mega Man 11 4/5
Octopath Traveler 4.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Sp... 3.5/5
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

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Metroid Dread   Nintendo Switch 

A Welcome Return to Metroid's Roots    4.5/5 stars

A 2D Metroid platformer has finally returned to a console and it doesn't disappoint. Anyone who is a big fan of Super Metroid on the SNES should find time to give this a play.

Metroid Dread goes back to the roots of the series while also blending the updates to the weapons and game play implemented over the years to create a fun, engaging, and fairly challenging at times experience on the Switch. The last time a 2D platforming Metroid came to a console was Super Metroid in 1994. 3 handheld games have been released since then but being able to play it on a TV has definitely been lacking, and I am definitely glad it's back.

The story in Metroid Dread can be a little bit complicated if you haven't played the previous games in the series but the game does do a decent job of catching you up. This isn't a prequel at all, it takes place after all the other games in the series. For those who may not know, "Metroid" is not the name of the character you control but of the enemy you fight. Your character is Samus Aran, a female bounty hunter. The other interesting thing about this is that actual Metroids have pretty much been eradicated from existence for quite some time in the series and hasn't been a true focal point for quite some time. In Dread, a mysterious signal has been detected on a far away planet which Samus investigates and she ends up losing a bunch of her powers and has to fight her way to the surface retrieving them along the way. It's a very familiar and not unexpected plot.

Fortunately though, Metroid games are no played because of the story. Yes, I do like the idea of a space bounty hunter taking out threats across the galaxy but really I play the series because of the game play and this game doesn't disappoint. Controlling Samus is comfortable. You can make quick cuts and concise jumps with ease and you have tons of ways you can shoot and attack your enemies. While you can tilt and shoot your gun on the run, you can also stand still and aim in a 360 degree circle by holding the 'L' button. It even creates a laser sight for you to help. You can shoot your secondary weapon, missiles, by simply holding the 'R' button and eventually you'll obtain a charge shot too. If you've played previous Metroid games all the other abilities make a return as well including the morph ball, grapple beam, and power bombs to name a few. It even has the melee attack / counter ability that was introduced in the most recent installment in the series, Samus Returns on the 3DS.

Unsurprisingly this is a perfect example of a true "Metroid-vania" type game. You're put in a pretty big world where only by gaining new abilities you can access blocked off areas and you can pick up tons of upgrades to your health and ammo along the way. During the journey you'll face several bosses and new types of enemies. Sometimes you might get confused as to where to go and I can only say if that happens you'll have to try out new things and use some critical thinking to figure out if there's a hidden block to shoot or something. The game won't hold you hand the entire time,far from it.

The "gimmick" if you will to try and make this Metroid game feel new are the E.M.M.I. robots. These robots were initially sent to the planet and were actually good guys but for some reason have turned evil and chase after Samus. Very early on in the game you discover you need a certain charge ability to actually kill one and you can only get it every so often. So, because of this, you find yourself evading them often. Fortunately it's not all the time though because I found myself getting killed by them often. For me it was better to just try and run away from them because even though you're given a cloak ability to try and hide from them it just didn't work for me a ton. There are several of these robots in this game and at a point I was starting to get sick of them but almost knowing this the game then shifts and it's not as much of a focal point anymore which I welcomed. It was just enough without overdoing it.

The game can be fairly challenging at some points. This mostly happens during boss fights. Do not expect to beat them all on your first try, or even your second or third. Learning their patterns so you can dodge and land attacks safely is key and sometimes you need a few tries to figure it out. The good thing is when you die the game puts you back right before the fight so it's not so bad. Also a piece of advice if something doesn't work perhaps you need to try something new. For example, a couple of the fights it's pretty much necessary that you use your counter at certain points and if you forget you have it things won't go well.

Like previous games in the series, the atmosphere is great. The music and environments have a great Sci-Fi feel. While the art style was good, I wasn't wowed by it by any means but I didn't think it hurt the game at all.

A couple minor complaints about the game. When you get all your abilities back remember what buttons do what can start to be challenging. It almost gets too complicated. With that said it wasn't too bad, you can handle it but don't be surprised if you hit the wrong sequence of buttons from time to time. The loading times between areas in the game can be frustratingly long at times. It's just not something you expect from games of this generation anymore. Also, you move between them enough that it'll start to get to you.

Setting those minor complaints aside, this really is a fantastic game. I found myself wanting to go back to it every chance I got. I found all 100% of the items and beat the game in just over 10 hours. I've had friends who did it in the 13-15 range and I've heard if your goal is to just beat it you'll probably come in around 8 hours. I didn't think this game was too short but for those of you who think you need a 50-60 hour game to pay a full $60 price tag you'll be disappointed. All in all, I think it's worth a play for sure.

4.5/5

 

 


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