Super metroid review,
This review is from: Super Metroid (Super Nintendo) [SNES] (Toy)
Arguably the best game on the Super Nintendo, Super Metroid is one of the benchmarks of the 2D platforming genre, through its fluidity of gameplay, intuitive controls, epic boss battles and a non-linear map system that is ripe for exploration.
The story takes place after the events of Metroid 2, where Samus has defeated the Metroid queen of SR388 and returns with a Metroid hatchling that confuses Samus with its mother. Samus entrusts the hatchling to scientists of the Ceres Space Colony to research it, only to be attacked by the space pirates who again wish to harness the Metroid's power.
The game's most celebrated strength is in the control scheme and is one of the most intuitive of the Super Nintendo. Your character can aim and fire in 8 axis, as well as holding the shoulder buttons to hold your aim diagonally to allow for evasive movement while firing. A neatly executed control scheme that was scarcely replicated on the console or later platforming titles.
Weapons selection is varied for particular situations which include collecting more upgrades to enhance your suits functionality. Such upgrades can increase damage resistance, environment immunity, your speed, jump height, and even help procure items. Certain segments of the planet are shut off from Samus until a specific upgrade is obtained, yet fortunately this aspect does not completely restrict the player to a linear path.
The music is very decent and accompanies the setting of the game very well. The foreboding tribal-like drums and electronic samples accentuates the dark and desolate cavernous backdrop, giving a sense of dread of the unknown.
The alien species encountered in the game are also very diverse. Not only do you have the space pirates to contend with, but also indigenous fauna to the planet that interact with the environment in a specific way and act as a hazardous obstacle.
Another great feature is how the beam weapons do not become replaced by the next type of beam upgrade, and once collected are permanently added to your arsenal; a massive improvement over earlier installments that required backtracking to re-equip beams.
The boss designs are excellent, with some specifically designed with their own atypical platforming challenge. Each fight is distinct and creative, lending to some very memorable encounters. The battles do demand some initiative in places, yet feel rewarding to overcome.
The most apparent criticism however is how easy it is to get lost in the game. While the inclusion of a map feature improves over prior installments, there is little indication of the next logical area to go to, demanding the player to search every nook and cranny in order to progress. The platforming while mostly decent can be very unforgiving at times and can halt the gameplay in order to overcome some awkward platforming segments.
Serving as one of the longest games on the system, Super Metroid shows the full potential of the Super Nintendo, and serves as the yardstick to which other 2-D platforming games are compared.