Review by Ofisil

"Above Excellence"

Super Metroid is an Action\Platform developed by Intelligent Systems for Nintendo. I'm very picky when it comes to games... well I'm picky with everything to say the truth. I'm not the typical fanboy that gets obsessed with a game and instantly buys everything related to it and I'm a bit tough in my reviews even with games that I truly love. However there are some games that are simply excellent and one of these is hiding in a small cartridge of our old, humble SNES. Featuring a great atmosphere, excellent controls and a vast world full of lethal monsters and secrets, Super Metroid is simply one of the best 2D Action\Platformers of all time and quite certainly the best of its era.

Story: N/A

Super Metroid like the original Metroid tells a story... without telling it! I cannot explain it exactly but there are some games that only have some stuff in the manual and then nothing in the game apart from the intro but somehow they make you feel that the story unfolds as you play. Games like the Legend Of Zelda made me feel like this before. Sorry but as I've said I cannot explain that feeling. Anyway here's the deal. After wiping out the entire gang of space pirates and the monstrous Mother Brain, Samus our heroine, (woot!), retrieves the final Metroid larva that somehow become attached to her. She gives it to some scientists to check it and leaves... but after some minutes an SOS is coming from the science facility, so you go back and you see that the Metroid is... more in the game folks...

Gameplay: 10/10
Replay Value: 8/10

Super Metroid is what I consider the epitome of 2D Action\Platforms. I think that it should be used in teaching new game developers what perfection in overall game design means. You control Samus, a space hunter that runs, jumps and shoots in various directions with absolutely flawless controls. I don't exaggerate when I say that Super Metroid is easily among the first games in ALL of gaming history when it comes to great controls.

The basic concept remains the same like in the NES Metroid. You search around for weapons and helpful gadgets and kill bad guys until you reach the main bad guy or to be more precise bad-lady... kind off. While simple the game kicks alien booty with its addictive gameplay. You slowly search the vast, underground world of your enemies, finding and as you do, you heroine gets more and more powerful and after some hours you have an ultimate cyber chick that does all sorts of crazy stuff like run in Mach3, shoot ice that freezes enemies, become a bouncing sphere and make bombs that propel you to various areas, use 2 kinds of missiles and many, many more. Its time you get a special item, like for example the high jump boots, you are able to explore the world even more and find more items for Samus. Of course Super Metroid is also a shooter and is not just an exploration game. Most enemies are simple mobs that you shoot once and get over with, but stronger dudes like the bosses are much more fierce and of course fun to fight with.

Along with the atmosphere it has, exploration is Super Metroid's main attraction. So do you like searching around, finding secrets and strengthening your character? Then you'll love the game... you don't like exploring at all? There is a slight possibility of you being one of the few people that won't like it... don't worry, you can keep company to each other, I think you are about 8 from the last count I've made... Now I know that all exploration games, no matter how freaking good they are, loose their value after the first playthrough, but Super Metroid although a bit short is such a fun, challenging and non linear game that you won't have a problem playing it again and again trying to find all the items in the smallest amount of time as possible.

Graphics: 10/10
Design: 10/10

Believe the hype boys and girls, this game is simply the best SNES game when it comes to graphics with only a few rivals, if any. Where should I start? A great intro which shows the Metroid larva inside the a high-tech contraption with flickering screens around it and a thin white mist covering the corpses of the scientists in the floor, then a great cutscene and then into the game. You stand there watching your heroine coming out of her spaceship and what a heroine is that. The BEST 16-bit animated character ever created! She runs, jumps and shoots at many directions while at it. She even has great animation when she just stays still! Do it and watch her breath through her high-tech protective space suit, her shoulders and chest going up and down. The enemies most of the time are simple mobs like in the NES in their 16-bit versions, nothing special, but the stronger creatures like bosses are... just... wow!!! Gigantic sprites, full of detail that scream, "Danger, Danger, Danger!!!".

You're not convinced yet? Well if you're not impressed by the giant alien bosses, Samus and her endless moves and special effects created from her moves then get ready for the level design. You start in the exterior of the planet with acid rain falling on you and a far horizon covered with mountains, you start searching the place and find silent, dark and spooky caves which are only the start of your journey. Below this planet there are hellish caverns, strange alien-like vegetation and jungles, a great water level that makes you feel like you're actually wet and many, many more. If I, the ultimate nitpicker thins that this game has the best graphics in the SNES, I don't know who won't!

Sound: 10/10
Music: 10/10

Super Metroid is a perfect audiovisual experience and to that contributes its sound. Sound effects are good and abundant although they are not as impressive as the music. When we talk about music in videogames we aren't always talking about catchy, action, Capcom themes but we also talk about ambient music that helps into creating a certain atmosphere. Super Metroid has an atmosphere and what an atmosphere is that! Great and strange themes, almost psychedelic in some parts that actually make the game quite spooky in some parts! Yes you heard that right... spooky! There is a nice variety too, since there are a lot of different areas with a unique theme for each one and many of the music themes are actually modern versions of the old music themes, the classic NES ones. Overal very good music, no wonder it has been remixed and orchestrated like crazy.

Positives:
-A vast, diverse world to explore
-Simply the best controls in the SNES
-Many items and skills for your character
-Great atmosphere with near perfect graphics and music

Negatives:
-People that don't like exploring won't like it
-4-8 hours to reach the end just aren't enough... MORE, MORE, MORE!!!

Also Play:
Castlevania: Circle Of The Moon (GBA)
Megaman X (Series)(SNES)
Metroid (Series)(NES, GB, GBA, DS, GC, WII)

Overall: 9.7/10

This game is considered to be one of the few TRUE classics in all of gaming history. It is innovative, perfectly designed with not a single Bit wasted and the fact that I, a guy that gets easily bored even with the games that I love, couldn't stop playing this means a lot... now enough!!! Stop reading and go out there and start searching for this beyond-perfection gem.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/14/09

Game Release: Super Metroid (US, 04/18/94)


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