Nintendojo.com
Member Log In or Register
Nintendojo.com

Home
News
Previews
Reviews

Columns & Editorials
Interviews
Specials
Podcast (RSS)

Forums
Twitter Feed
Contact
Hiring

reviews info and tools





Super Metroid Package Art
 GENRE
  Action-Adventure
 DEVELOPER
  Nintendo
 PUBLISHER
  Nintendo
 NUMBER OF PLAYERS
  1
 WORTH PLAYING TODAY?
  yes
BUY NOW AT
Super Metroid

Where, oh where do I begin? Ah yes, the year was 1994. As the third installment in the elusive Metroid series, the word “Super” doesn’t even begin to describe the innately captivating magic, the absolute wonder that is garnered by playing Super Metroid. As an SNES brat, not a gamer at all, the few games I owned as a young-un were all purchased for me as gifts. My aunt was particularly the pioneer in this department, with the bulk of my games originating from the depths of her beautiful pocketbook. Naturally, I kept them all and played each during much of my free time. It was of great fortune that all she bought were commercially hailed products, for I became the proud owner of the game under question here, one of the only three in existence that I can say I developed a true emotional attachment to.

visuals

The creatures, the environments, the backgrounds, the weapons, your ship, you…are all perfectly displayed. This game is a true in-house, mature application, and the graphics show this. A dark and methodical visual feast, each room would illuminate brilliantly every time you charged up and released your powerful beam. Little flakes of ice would slide off a legion of frozen foes. Walls and obstacles dissipated and crumbled as you flipped (screw attacked) or ran warp speed in hues of green or blue, respectively. Torrents of lava and fire billowed from the ground, challenging you to make your way up and out safely, wherever you might have been. You’d shoot out an impressive electrical grappling beam to circumvent certain obstacles and make it safely to the other side of a deep chasm or body of water. Very originally, bosses would become darker and darker, until they radiated a blazing scarlet, signaling their near-death state.

Super Metroid is graphically one of the very best Super Nintendo games I have ever seen, rivaling that of many other two-dimensional games of the 32-bit generation. If Nintendo were to port it over to their handheld, it would hold its own and even surpass most of the games that are dolled out to us today. Graphically, this one truly stands the tests of time.

audio

The sounds are as much—if not more so—moody and atmospheric than the visuals present in Super Metroid. The game even starts off with a fully digitized voice over by Dan Owsen, which I imagine was quite the technical feat for the time. Much more memorable, however, are Ridley’s stentorian screams and the unsettling cry of the baby Metroid. The spits of fire and the descent of an elevator are as equally amazing, only pervaded further into perfection by the seamless flow and composition of the musical score (provided by Mr. Kenji Yamamoto).

In addition to some of the most memorable and captivating music of the 16-bit generation, his score complemented the sound effects like no other -- suspenseful beeps would form a disturbing tune to accompany the radiated sound of some electrical vent. A galactic theme of patriotism would chime in at high points in the game, only for you to be surprised by the conversely haunting themes of the wrecked ship or the sorrowful melody of Maridia’s deep, dark, and deadly waters. I truly cannot say enough here, for the ears are treated to an immaculate compilation of audio splendor.

gameplay

Nintendo has been hailed as the king of first party games for good reason, as is demonstrated by their pack of legendary franchises. Why else have we remained such fervent fans these many years? Alas, Super Metroid is no exception.

Talk about coming back with style! Much like present day, the triumphant return of the Metroid franchise on the latest and greatest platform was a big deal. With its 16-bit inception, many new innovations and additions were introduced to the series, like taking advantage of the wonderful shoulder buttons to aim Samus’s arm cannon. As is, Metroid has always been a top-bottom side scrolling adventure, having you power up and find various items to allow access to other areas and greater foes. Such progression is complemented by the story of the sole heroine, Samus Aran, whose entire life seems bound to the parasitic Metroid race. Different creatures required different weapons, and the brilliant bosses all had their own individual weak points.

With so much depth and variety, I feel that the third Metroid game is one that must be played to acquire a true understanding of what one is missing. Exactly what a game should be, playing this one brings to light the true meaning of the word FUN.

multiplayer

N/A

overall

I hate to use the word perfect, especially as a pseudo-cynic when it comes to games, but Super Metroid seems to be just that. As with all games, there are a few frustrating moments, all of which are nothing that wasn’t intended or won’t be looked back upon later and praised, even. With some ingenious hiding spots for items and the ambitious goal of finding them all, replay ability is heightened significantly. The ending left room for speculation and the continuation of a deeply contrived story-arch, and closed on a nostalgic note.

Truly masterful, this title made clear that Metroid was back in a big way…which is why Super Metroid will always remain a part of gaming history, eternally renowned as one of the greatest games of all time. Just like your women and your wines, this title only gets better with age. Let this also serve as a reminder of why we all grew up to love Nintendo, and why no other developer shall ever come close to fully replicating the original formula created by the late and great Gumpei Yokoi. Remarkable.

dojo doubletake
Back in 1994, when I was 10 years old, was the year Super Metroid came out. When I first heard about it, I was skeptical. Running around as a space-man, shooting blobs, how clichéd could you get? Yes, even at that young age, I had a sharp eye and a French fancy for my games. They had to be perfect. However, the reviews were persistent about this game being amazing. I decided to take a risk, so I asked for it as my Christmas present. When I ripped open the package on that holy day, inserted the cartridge into my Super Nintendo and turned the switch, something happened. I couldn’t explain it then, and despite growing older (and supposedly wiser), I still can’t explain it today.

Gaming happened, plain and simple. Video Games are their own art form, as much as art is itself. There is something you get from playing a truly magical game, as there is from listening to a few bars of Mozart. Video Games are the evolution of telling stories. It’s interacting with the story much more than it is listening to it. Games such as Chrono Trigger, Super Mario World, and yes, Super Metroid, are the games that made gaming what it is, and what it is supposed to be. Super Metroid did so much more than make you push a few buttons or complete a few objectives; it transported you to that alien world, put you in the suit of a bounty hunter, and made you live an experience.

Discussing the play mechanics, the graphics, and the music is of no use. They are all perfect. More than that, however, they combined to create something greater than their individual parts. Hundreds of feelings, thousands of thoughts, and a million shouts of joy occurred in Super Metroid. There is something in Super Metroid that we’ll never be able to put our fingers on, the same way we’ll never be able to define Picasso. It goes beyond definition. All you can do is enjoy it. Super Metroid, I herald thee one of the greatest games of all time. 9.9/10

-- Casey Reece



final score 9.9/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar William Jacques
Staff Profile | Email
"Oh oblivious, naïve Humanity... How ignorant we really are - safe only in our blind "superior" view of the world."


DOJO TECH
Bookmark and Share
This Story in Printer Friendly Format

E-Mail This Story

Search Our Website:



All original content ©1996 - 2010 Nintendojo.com Nintendojo is an independent website and is not affiliated with Nintendo of America or Nintendo Co. Ltd. All third party images, characters, and names are property of their original creators. About | Contact | Hiring