Hype is an odd thing. When it gets out of hand, people get disappointed. Some creators, some studios cultivate hype in the hopes that their work becomes widely discussed and sells a lot. In fact, hype seems to lead the entire industry of entertainment nowadays. Unfortunately, it happens frequently that a piece of entertainment dosn't measure up to the hype, leading to deception for many hopeful fans. *cough*NoMansSky*cough* There’s hype for a single solitary piece of work, but there’s also the powerful fandoms around a franchise or another, which makes it a tad intimidating for someone to get into a new franchise. The fans love it so much, will I enjoy it too? What if I don’t? That’s always the question.
|Impressive physical prowess, arm cannon, screw attack...|
Yep: Don't fuck with Samus Aran.
So, if I wanted to get into a new franchise, of course I had to choose one of its best titles. Super Metroid has become famous for its opening lines, spoken to the player. “The last Metroid is in captivity. The galaxy is at peace.” Of course, since it’s not the first Metroid game, there’s a bit of backstory to this one, making it a bit difficult for me to discuss this, but it’s not the first time I review the Nth title in a series without seeing the previous ones!
|Of course, you might think Ridley is stealing the Metroid|
to clone it and re-create the species, to use for its
Space Pirates? Well... we're never quite told.
|It's a rainy day on Zebes. In the sky, and deep down. For,|
Samus will soon be raining blows on the enemies below.
|You were a statue! You were supposed to stay immobile!|
Fine then, I'mma destroy a work of art!
After the statue is defeated, Samus can use the bombs to get out of that place and finds her way around. Soon, she finds her way down through Crateria and into Brinstar.
You know, it seems kinda difficult for me to review this game; there’s not much plot yet, only Samus going around, collecting powers, going deeper, visiting further down into Planet Zebes. Nothing else to speak of so far. Nothing to crack jokes at, no reference to make, no interpretations to give… Please game, give me something to make fun of!
Spore Spawn potentially voiced by Levi Stubbs.
|Yeah, I know, it's a bit flimsy to make Little Shop of|
Horrors jokes at this thing, after all, it's not like
Audrey II was an alien or- ...wait a minute...
Actually, Audrey II WAS an alien in the 1986 film.
|Meh... I've killed bigger.|
Yeah, apparently Samus left with her weakest suit that morning. So now, she needs to find other suits and equip them if she wants to continue. The Varia suit, which can endure environments of intense heat, is required to go into Norfair; how else would Samus go in there anyway? In her Zero Suit? In the bikini she wore at the end of the first game? Yeah, no, I think not. You know, I admire the Metroid series for, at first, making it unclear that Samus was a woman; she was just a featureless protagonist in a robotic armor, and there was no need whatsoever to discuss the character’s gender. That’s also why Samus appears minus her suit only at the end – in part to be a plot twist but also because, let’s be honest here, in the middle of an adventure the last logical thing to do is to think about boobies. "You want me to strip? How about I save my Metroid hatchling first, you perverted moron?" It's the same reason why Samus is in full-body armor, in contrast to those barely-covering, borderline-slutty bikinis they pompously call “armor” in some fantasy games out there.
Now, if only the team behind the Metroid series stopped giving her high heels and stuff… do you have any idea how much it must hurt to wear those in an adventure? Come on!
|This also applies to fighting games. No, just because|
many other battlin' ladies of Smash wear high heels.
that doesn't mean Samus has to wear them.
Norfair is already hard, but sometimes the magma level will rise, making it even harder to go across some rooms. So Samus finds her path around a weird bubble room, fights lava creatures, and finds a speed booster that allows her to go into a super-sprint and destroy some blocks in her way. Somewhere later down the line, she also finds an upgrade to her weapon that turns it into an ice blaster, allowing her to freeze flying creatures in place and use them as platforms, allowing her to climb higher and higher. Hurray for the laws of gravity apparently not applying to those monsters!
|The sad part in all this? A case could be made that|
Crocomire is just defending himself from an invading Samus.
Following this, Samus gets another energy tank, and while going around the next areas, she finds the Grapple Beam, a new move that allows her to latch on to a metal ceiling to cross wide gaps. It’s pretty hard to master it, but once you do, you have even more freedom than before. Although, it’s just some kind of high-tech version of Link’s Hookshot. I’m pretty sure the green-clad hero would protest and call her a faker, if he were able to align two words that weren’t grunts. And if his unhelpful fairy decided to shut up, too.
|Little known fact: Two of Samus's senseis were Tarzan and George.|
From the former, she learned how to swing with her grapple beam.
With the latter, she learned exactly what NOT to do.
See? That’s the tough part with this Metroid game. It is really cool, but it’s hard to make fun of it. Little to no plot, little to no characters aside from Samus, the bosses, and the enemies. I have to go back to making fun of the other Nintendo characters! I can say that much; Samus is probably even more awesome in base physical prowess than every other Nintendo platformer hero (and she still improves thanks to various power-ups), but none of the emphasis is put on her personality until later games in the franchise. That’s a general issue with early Nintendo titles that focused more on gameplay than telling a story. And, to be fair, Super Metroid has excellent gameplay. Well, that is, as long as you learn the tricks. You’re never really taught to wall jump. Using the grapple beam becomes a lot easier if you hold down R, which means Samus will always be pointing at the ceiling, after which you can easily let go of the previous grapple beam and make another one to cross large gaps. All stuff that the player must learn to do, often by themselves. Even if they do learn to do these things, they still need to become skilled enough to use these abilities to the best.
Soon, we find the X-Ray scope, and we can use it to detect hidden passages. Once again, the room you find it in turns out to have been built specifically so that you must use that new tool to get out. I mean, there have been plenty of secret passageways before, many breakable blocks; but getting out of the X-Ray Scope’s room requires that you find out that the exit is above the Chorizo statue. As a bonus, you can use the Scope to find which item is required to break certain particular blocks - yay!
I think I’m gonna stop here for now. See you in Part 2.