Review: Metroid: Samus Returns

Genre: Action / Metroidvania
Developer: Nintendo EPD
MercurySteam
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Releasedate: 15-09-2017

Metroid Samus Returns BoxartAfter thoroughly enjoying myself with Metroid: Zero Mission on my Nintendo Wii U I thought it was finally time I’d play the series second instalment, and although techincally speaking Metroid II: Return of Samus is the second instalment, I decided to go for its 2017 remake as well. Of course, I did play a bit through the Game Boy original to get a feel of just how well this remake is and well, it is what a remake should be. It takes what was good from the original, but adds in so much quality of life changes. But just how good is it?

Gameplay & Graphics

First off, this game was one of the first I played from start to finish since I rediscovered my 3DS and I have played the game almost entirely with 3D set to max. This game is absolutely stunning in 3D and I really feel that the developers, Nintendo EPD and MercurySteam knew what they were doing. During the gameplay everything runs very smoothly. I only noticed frame drops during elevator scenes and teleportation screens.

Samus Returns 1

When it comes to the gameplay, Samus’s movements and reactions to player controls are really smooth and fluid, which is one of the series mainstays. The flow of the game is also really well done, with Samus gaining more upgrades as she progresses through the planet SR388’s areas. Of course, this also means that you’ll be doing a lot of backtracking if you want to get all the possible upgrades like Energy Tanks, Missiles, Power Bomb and Aeion Tanks. This game also features a move called the Melee Counter, which allows you to counter incoming enemies if you time the move right. You can also freely aim your gunarm anywhere, the drawback being that you can only do this while being stationary. But it does open up a lot of options for the player and makes aiming all the more easy.

Samus Returns 2

The game’s difficulty (I played only on Normal for now) is pretty good too. It offers enough of a challenge that you’ll definitely need to redo some of the boss battles, before figuring their move sets out. The labyrinth like levels will also cause you to get lost a couple of times as well, especially when trying to backtrack, or tracking down the next Metroids.

Music and atmosphere

The music in this remake is done as well as the rest of the game and really sets an atmosphere of being in danger, exploration and intense fights. A lot of the songs from the original games get their own iteration in the soundtrack for this game, which is always a good thing, because it makes you feel like you’re playing a Metroid game. While some of the songs are more melodic in nature, there is also a lot of ambient songs on the soundtrack, which suit this series really well. Check out the full soundtrack below! It is definitely better than the one for Metroid: Zero Mission, most likely because this game didn’t have the restrictions of the Game Boy Advance. 😉

Conclusion

Metroid: Samus Returns is the better of the two remakes that were done for this series. From the melee counter to manual aming and countless other improvements, this game is the definition of what Metroid means to me. I love the exploration part, remembering that I can go back to collect some upgrades I was previously unable to grab, because I didn’t have the right upgrades yet, and the boss fights are epic. The only thing I didn’t like so much was that my hands would often cramp up after playing for a little while, because the game uses a lot of buttons to control Samus and while this is normally not a problem with a regular controller the 3DS is a handheld I believe is more suited towards turn-based RPG’s, but not so much for action games and platformers. Still, this game is a very memorable entry in the Metroid series and a must play for all fans of action games.

Graphics: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Gameplay: 🌟🌟🌟🌟½
Soundtrack: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Originality: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Story: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟🌟½

Happy gaming!

~Jeffrey

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