Few games are masterfully made while standing the test of time. Super Metroid is one of those games. There have been many great games in the Metroid series and Super Metroid is arguably the best. With extreme rarity can a game captured such powerful moments while never saying a word. Super Metroid is a masterpiece and one of my favorite games of all-time. Be warned, this review contains some spoilers!
The Metroid game style is a personal favorite of mine. Metroid games were one of the earlier incarnations of an open world environment. Instead of progressing through a linear level, the player could backtrack and travel in any direction. Many areas were blocked off and could only be accessed by finding new power-ups and items hidden throughout the game. It was a perfect motivator that didn’t make you want to stop playing because you were curious as to what you would encounter next.
The gameplay is amazing, but what truly separates Super Metroid from other games is the chilling ominous atmosphere it creates. Each song is brilliantly composed to fit the setting. When you first arrive on planet Zebes there is a feeling of hopelessness as you explore in complete isolation. The mood can suddenly shift to complete terror as a ferocious boss appears to attack with the perfect music to accompany it. Many games can take lessons from this game on how to properly create an atmosphere.
What’s most impressive about Super Metroid was that it was able to achieve everything it wanted with next to no dialogue. The eerie atmosphere was done completely from visual cues, level design, and unsettling music. Of course who can forget the moment you encounter the giant Metroid before your fight with Mother Brain, and then its tragic demise as it attempts to rescue Samus from Mother Brain’s assault? By these actions it is implied that the giant Metroid is the Metroid hatching you saved in Metroid II. The Metroid sees Samus as a mother figure and not a single word is spoken to achieve this notion. The game managed to respect the intelligence of the player by letting him or her piece together and organically solve problems on their own. Many games today provide and insulting level of aid to the player.
Artfully designed sprites that capture the eerie isolation of an alien world.
Like the graphics the music captures a haunting, uneasy mood perfectly. Brilliantly captures the foreboding atmosphere.
I honestly can’t find any flaws to this game. There isn’t much left to say other than I highly recommend this game to anyone. Easily available on Wii’s Virtual Console, the five dollar price tag is a bargain for the level of enjoyment to be had with Super Metroid.
- Amazing atmosphere
- Rich gameplay
- Great soundtrack
Style – Single-player, Platform-Adventure
Developer – Nintendo R&D1
Publisher – Nintendo
Release – March 1994