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Super Metroid (1994) – 99/100

Super Metroid was released three years after Metroid 2 for the Super Nintendo System. The story picks up right where the ending of Metroid 2 left off, but it terms of gaming, it is miles ahead. The story takes place on the planet Zebes, where Samus searches for a metroid that was stolen by Ridley (the leader of the Space Pirates) out of the hands of the Galatic Federation who was trying to research and understand metroids. Like all Metroid games, Samus explores a huge open ended area that allows for backtracking. Unlike Metroid 2, it is not linear. In that game, once you were done with an area, you did not need to return to it again. In this sense, it is much more like the original Metroid game. This world consists of 4 different and distinct areas that you are constantly moving between and going back to. This is because different power ups are located in different areas and it is necessary to continue to gain these power ups to advance. In Metroid 2, some of the power ups were not necessary to advance. Some of them were, but others just tended to make things easier. The areas consist of Crateria, where the ship lands and involves tunnels and caverns as the name would suggest, Brinstar, which is a jungle/forest like area with a wide array of wildlife, Maridia, which is a water area and contains a diversity of sea creatures, and Norfair, which is a hot area consisting of fire and lava. Another smaller area is the Wrecked Ship which is a mechanical spacecraft which is destroyed and contains electrical areas, robots, and ghosts. Most of the areas contain mini-bosses and 4 of the areas contain main bosses. Once all of the main bosses have been beaten, a new area called Tourian opens up in the heart of Crateria where you will experience the metroid you have been looking for (now the size of the metroids you experienced in Metroid 2), as well as the final boss Mother Brain (which is the same final boss that you battle at the end of the first Metroid game). Elevators connect the different areas and the path is not always clear. However many times you think you have explored it all, there is always something you are missing, and the flow of the game makes more sense with each time you play it. The game has very unique upgrades that help you on your journey. These include different kinds of beams, missiles, morph ball upgrades, speed booster, gravity suit, varia suit, space jump, screw attack, grapple beam, and X-ray vision. The game play is very smooth and some of the complaints I had with Metroid 2 are essentially gone from this game. The jump responses when doing wall jumps can sometimes be a little difficult, but overall the smooth gameplay makes this one of the most enjoyable games to play time after time. The boss fights are fun and challenging at the same time. Like Metroid 2, they are focused on spamming missiles, as opposed to Prime Trilogy where there are more unique styles of fighting bosses. The areas are very interesting to look at considering that this game was made in 1994, and the music might be one of the best video game soundtracks I can think of. It is creepy, atmospheric, and perfectly fits the mood of each of the areas. Certain music from this game have been used in subsequent Metroid games giving them a nice sense of nostalgia. All in all, I cannot say enough about this game. It is always a pleasure to play and to get better at. The average play time can range from about 5 to 10 hours, with many people becoming so good at it that they can speed run it in about an hour or two. My average play time comes to about 6 or 7 hours. I personally enjoy taking my time when playing this game and making sure that I’ve been to all the areas and that I have gotten all the possible upgrades. There are some parts of it that can be frustrating, but over all it is one of my favorite games to just relax to while playing.