Report: The Return of the Return of Samus

Samus ReturnsI’ve been waiting for this one for a long time.

The Metroid series has long been a favourite of mine. While I found the original a little hard to digest when I was little I enjoyed it nevertheless, even if I did have to resort to using other people’s passwords in order to see the ending. Later on was lucky enough to receive the SNES hardware bundle that included Super Metroid, which solidified my love of the series.  From then on I’ve played every new Metroid that has been released, some great, others not.  But there was a gap.  I never owned an original Game Boy, so never had the opportunity to play Metroid II: The Return of Samus when it was current.  I did attempt to purchase a used copy years later when I had a Game Boy Advance, but the package was lost in the mail and later retrieved and delivered… torn open, and empty.

Last week that changed.

Metroid: Samus Returns was announced in a kind of relaxed “oh, and while you’re here” manner during Nintendos’ E3 2017 livestream to the surprise of all, alongside the teaser for Metroid Prime 4.  Now, three months later, in an announcement/release timeframe I wish more games would adopt, the game is in our hands.  To sum up my feelings on it so far is simple: It’s everything I hoped it would be and more.

The MapSamus Returns is influenced strongly by its predecessors.  Many sound effects appear to be lifted verbatim from previous games, notably the Prime series and Super Metroid, and this is a great touch to be reminded of the series history while playing in this way… even if one of the sound effects that seems to be borrowed is the sound of Samus dying.  Gameplay is the very familiar 2D Metroid exploration and platforming, with some aspects streamlined and expanded to keep the formula fresh.  The new melee counter attack and full 360° aiming make much of the combat feel “new” without taking it too far and feeling like not-Metroid.

At my current pace I expect to have finished my first playthrough of the game before next Monday, so hopefully I’ll be able to report that I’ve finished it.  Suffice to say though, I’m very pleased with the game, and am looking forward to seeing it through.

See you on Wednesday, where I’ll dig up some game I’ve previously finished to possibly praise, lambaste, or just ramble incoherently about.

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