Review by Bobo The Clown

"Really, Who The Hell Was Justin Bailey?"

Ah, ''Metroid''. The game that produced Nintendo's first female sex symbol, Samus Aran. Well, unless you were a Princess Toadstool kind of man (or woman). But I think we all know what sort of crowd liked Princess Toadstool - the herbal tea, figure skating, and clothes shopping crowd, if you get my drift. Samus Aran was the video game dream for every eight year old who someday hoped to have a future in the pornography industry, or the next best thing, the anime industry.

Samus Aran was the star of ''Metroid''. In the game, you play a bounty hunter. You mission is to journey through the various areas of Zebes, defeating enemies and bosses, like Kraid and Ridley, on your way to the top alien scourge, the Mother Brain. Along the way, you'll collect powerups and other goodies to help you in your quest.

The gameplay of ''Metroid'' was highly innovative at the time. It was one of the first games to offer map style gameplay now seen in almost all major games. You have freedom of movement in all directions, and it's vital to re-visit areas you may have already seen. The two button control scheme simplifies matters; one button shoots, one button jumps. The control pad is used to move around, and to aim your gun.

Much like another early Nintendo hero, Samus Aran uses an arm cannon to slay her opponents. Various enhancements can be found while venturing through the areas of Zebes; missiles, an ice attachment, and a wave beam, in addition to bombs.

Of these, missiles are the most important. They're your main firepower against the bosses in the game, as well as your ''keys''. Certain doors must be opened by firing missiles at them. You only have a set amount of missiles though, so you must be choosey when and where you use them.

''Metroid'' wasn't an easy game by any means. And unless you subscribed to Nintendo Power, or were an expert gamer, you might not have even known that the main character of the game is a woman. All is revealed at the end. If you beat the game fast enough, the heavy space suit comes off, and the luscious figure of Samus Aran is revealed. Oh boy!

If you couldn't manage to beat ''Metroid'' in one sitting, then a password system was available to continue later. However, it's twenty four characters long, and didn't resume exactly where you left. There was the super code of ''Justin Bailey'' though, which allowed you to play as Samus Aran without her space suit on.

Graphically, ''Metroid'' won't knock your socks off in comparison to today's graphics. We're dealing strictly with solid colors here, and mostly dull ones at that. And outside of the main theme, there's nothing that will stir your blood in the music department. The main appeal of ''Metroid'' lies solely in its gameplay, like most of the games for the NES.

Overall, if you're a fan of old games, then ''Metroid'' is one you simply must play. It set the bar for future space and adventure exploration games. It can be found at Funcoland or on E-Bay for only a few dollars.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 06/14/02, Updated 06/14/02

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