Metroid II: Return of Samus (1991) – 87/100
– At the time that I did this review, it was the earliest installation of the franchise that I have played, and yet it was also the most recent game I had played through. This game was originally released on the Game Boy console, however I played it on a Game Cube system thanks to the attachment. Unlike the other Metroid games I played, this one did not start with an area to get used to your controls or get an idea of the plot (I am unaware of the story was in the booklet that game in the original game). The game starts with Samus existing her spaceship on some planet’s surface, and immediately you control her to enter the caves of the tunnels below. Eventually you run into a metroid and once you kill it, you realize that there is a number with a picture of a metroid in the corner has decreased from 39 to 38. And suddenly, it all makes sense. You have come to this planet (known as SR388) by orders of the Galatic Federation to exterminate all of the metriods that exist on it. So you’re off in search of the remaining metroids. This was the first Metroid game I played that did not have a map. It was frustrating for me at first because I kept getting lost and all the corridors looked the same (and this was in color. I can’t imagine what it must have been like playing it in just black and white). Eventually, after the playing the game for a while, it all starts to make sense. The planet contains little subsections, and you can not move on to the next one without killing all the metroids in that specific area. Each time you do, the earth shakes, and an area that used to contain lava will become accessible. Along the way, there are lots of power ups. You can gain missiles, an assortment of beams, health, and typical Samus abilities such as the screw attack and the morph ball. All these things will help you on your way. There are also save stations along the way so that you are able to save your progress and pick up from where you left off. As you go through different areas, you encounter different kinds of species of metroids that are tougher and tougher to kill. Metroids stop looking like jellyfish, and start looking like giant lizard creatures. After 9 areas (not including the one you started on), you will reach the final area where you will encounter the queen metroid and complete your objective once and for all. All in all, it took me about over 5 hours to complete the game the first time. The controls were a little frustrating for me at times. Sometimes they were too touchy, sometimes they weren’t touchy enough. I found myself having to climb up the same cliffs over and over again because the controls just weren’t as smooth as in later games. Also frustrating is how you don’t have much control over Samus when she gets hit and she is most likely to get hit several more times before you get your grounding again. I finally got used to the controls and style of the game towards the end of the first play. Because of this, I instantly played the game again so that I could enjoy the beginning of it now that I was used to it. I was really happy to say that I enjoyed the second time a lot better and completed the game at just above 3 hours. It is definitely more linear than most Metroid games I’ve played due to the subsections, however there is still plenty of chances to get lost and wonder where everything is. Aside from that, I enjoyed the concept and like the idea of counting down how many enemies remain. I also found the final boss to be a challenging fight when you are not sure what to do, but a really fun boss fight once you know what to do. I also really enjoy the ending, after you have beaten the boss and make your way back to the surface level.