Metroid: Samus Returns review by Tyson
It has been many years since we got a new and good Metroid game. Nintendo now has given us Metroid: Samus Returns and it is all sorts of awesome. While the game is a remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus it also adds in a lot new mechanics that help improve the game. Metroid: Samus Returns is a game you must buy for your Nintendo 3DS.
Samus Returns keeps the original story from Metroid II: Return of Samus. The Galactic Federation has sent Samus Aran out to the Metroid's homeworld SR388 to exterminate them. The game will give this story out in a nice cinematic style which I liked. My only issue with the story was that I would of loved stuff to find in game that would give me more details about the world or the Metroids that I am fighting.
The core of Metroid: Samus Returns is the same as the other Metroid games. You will explore deep into SR388 and collect various upgrades for Samus's Chozo Power Suit. Exploring SR388 is a lot of fun since Samus Returns adds in many Power Suit upgrades and gameplay elements from later Metroid games. Having Samus be able to grab onto ledges and pull herself up is amazing. Upgrades like the Super Missiles, Power Bombs, and the Grapple Beam from Super Metroid show up here and they are lots of fun use. Not only can these weapons help you quickly defeat many enemies but are used a lot in helping you unlock more areas of SR388 or solve some environment puzzles. One new upgrade feature in the game is this Aeon system. Aeon is a resource you can collect from enemies or certain objects. You then use this resource for some cool abilities like sending out a sonar like pulse to update the map around your or you can use it to create a shield that can protect you from some damage. Samus Returns also helps make the backtracking of previous Metroid games less frustrating as there are warp points that you can use to quickly move from one location to another.
Using Samus to blast away at the various enemies is also a lot of fun. The various upgrades you get like the Wave Bean, Ice Beam and the like help keep the combat fun. I liked how in Samus Returns the Wave Beam could be combined with other beams like the Spazer or Plasma Beams which wasn't possible in Metroid II. The Ice Beam is now its own thing and it is very powerful as many enemies can be frozen solid for a short time in one shot. Not only is the Ice Beam a good way to fight some enemies but you will also need to freeze some enemies to reach higher areas. One neat move that is new to Samus Returns is this counter attack that Samus can use. Hitting an enemy with your arm cannon at the right time will stun them and allow you to get many hits on them before they can move or attack again. My only complaint about this new counter attack is it feels a bit slow to use but I got much better with it once I was able to get the timing down.
One issue I did have with Samus Returns is that there are some crazy difficulty spikes throughout the game. One difficulty spike that I didn't like was this boss chase section in the game that has a one hit death. Thankfully most of the games difficulty spikes do disappear once you get more upgrades for Samus's Power Suit. By the end of the game I felt like an unstoppable killing machine. This is such a great way of seeing how Samus improves from the start to the end of the game.
I felt that the control is weakest area of Metroid: Samus Returns. The 3DS control setup would cause my hands to cramp up after a bit of play time which sucks. I also felt that they tried to do much with the bottom touch screen. You will use the touch screen to change your current cannon beam or choose different missile types and this doesn't feel good to do when you are in a furious boss battle. Some things I did like was how you could hold the L button down to shoot at precise angles.
Samus Returns has an excellent look to it. The polygonal models of Samus and the various creatures look great. The backgrounds are also well detailed and also have some nice animation to them. Texture work is a bit blurry on many objects which is a bit disappointing. Still even with some blurry textures Samus Returns still runs and looks greats.
The soundtrack in Samus Returns is more of a Metroid best of list then its own thing and honestly it didn't bother me that much. Some of the few new songs like the main theme are awesome. Also hearing background music from games like Super Metroid is pretty cool as well. The various sound effects in the game also sound great. I would of liked some voice samples for Samus at times but having her be a silent heroine works just as well.