The Space Pirates, merciless agents of the evil Mother Brain, have stolen the last Metroid from a research station, and once again Mother Brain threatens the safety of the galaxy! Samus Aran must don her awesome array of high-tech weaponry to retrieve the deadly Metroid hidden deep within the cave-riddled planet Zebes.
I fell pray to a violent stomach bug recently, so over the last couple of days I’ve not had much to do other than rest in bed and drink plenty of fluids. What better time I thought, to dust of the old retro games and fire something up to keep me occupied. I have quite a few old Super Nintendo games, but the one that stands out most for me is easily Super Metroid. If this isn’t the best game ever made (I would put it up there with Final Fantasy VII and Alundra), it sure is the best game available for the Super Nintendo.
As a child would spend hours completely immersed in the complex and rich environments that Super Metroid offered. In the early 90s era of gaming we were used to the likes of Mario style platformers where you would progress through short levels moving from left to right in a very linear fashion. In Super Metroid we were treated to a true adventure. While there mechanics in place to ensure that the player progresses from one area to another, you are still free to move around as you wish, at least as far as your current equipment allows you.
There are no levels as such, as the map moves fluidly from one screen to another. The game is full of secret areas that require various items to access, not all of which are available to you at the beginning of the game. This means that you find yourself revisiting areas to unravel secrets well into the later stages of the game. Speaking of items, the game offers some awesome upgrades that you can collect, ranging from improved armours which allow you to access new areas, to incredible weapons such as the super missile which will ‘rekt’ your enemies.
It is not just the unparalleled open gameplay that makes Super Metroid so good though, there is a lot to be said for the graphics (which are a retro lovers pixelated delight!) and soundtrack used in the game. They really add to the atmosphere and help make the gaming experience immersive and captivating.
Super Metroid is a game that redefined the genre and set the standards for future games. It wouldn’t be until Final Fantasy VII was realised five years later, that I would experience such an incredibly rich world again. Oh, and one really sweet bonus with the game? No in-app purchasing!