Thursday, January 26, 2012
Super Metroid really earns the 'super' in its title
Where would the video game industry be without the likes of Metroid? So many games have copied many of the gameplay elements of the series, some more blatantly than others. Not that that's a bad thing. Xbox Live Arcade title Shadow Complex from Chair Entertainment is perhaps the finest example of how to do the Metroid formula right. Much like Samus herself, main character Jason Flemming gains new weapons and abilities as he progresses through the game, allowing new areas to be reached. Many people have coined this brand of gameplay Metroidvania, as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night also took the idea and ran with it.
Super Metroid was the first game in the series that really hooked me. For the longest time, I had actually thought that the original Metroid didn't have an ending. I always figured the game was just about running around and shooting all the baddies, but never had a definite ending point. This may have been because all the areas looked pretty similar, or it could have just been because I was six, who knows. When I got my hands on Super Metroid some years later, there wasn't a game that had drawn me in quite like it had. The soundtrack for the game really lends itself the the lonely, isolated feeling that Samus must have felt exploring the planet of Zebes. There isn't anything quite like exploring the space station for the first time only to find Ridley has stolen the Metroid hatching for the Space Pirates.
There are so many things that Super Metroid did right that at the time, the game was in a class of it's own. Heck, even today, not many games have hit all the same notes that the 1994 classic managed almost two decades ago. From the games pacing, to the shear fun of firing Samus's blaster, Super Metroid is truly a special game that can stand head to head with any game of this, or any generation of games.