UNITED STATES—The Super Nintendo Chronicles continue this week with a game I know I’m not the only fan of, “Metroid” or in this case “Super Metroid.” Look, as a kid I played the original “Metroid” on the NES system and that was a tough game because it was damn hard to decipher one room from the other. What I can say about “Super Metroid” is the elevation of graphics (they are amazing by the way), the new weaponry, the various worlds and the multitude of secrets scattered throughout the game that takes a bit of perception to not lose.
The game starts in a lab, where you are challenged with seeing what transpired with the little Metroid that you just dropped off. You soon discover your foe from the past Ridley, has taken the creature and all chaos is about to erupt America. This brings you to Crateria where you are tasked with discovering all is not well. From here, you are forced to travel between several worlds: Brinstar, Norfair, Maridia and the Wrecked Ship. The great thing about this game is the fact that you constantly have to travel in between each world, I would argue you won’t visit Crateria that much, but the world is the glue to the other four if I’m being honest.
It soon becomes a mission to locate the Metroid, but in the process you have to obtain enhancements to your suit, and battle vicious bosses, including two foes from the past in Ridley and Kraid. In addition, you have two new baddies Phantoon and Draygon. If we’re being honest Draygon is the deadliest of the bunch, if he grabs you 2-3 times if could be the end for you with those wicked tail spanks that he delivers. Not to mention you’re battling him under water.
There are new nifty items like the Grappling Beam, which allows you to swing from ceilings and the X-Ray Scope which helps you find hidden spots where you find goodies like missiles, super missiles and super bombs. Yes. You don’t just have missiles this time around you have super missiles which are green and deliver a beating on annoying enemies. The super bomb also does major damage, destroying all enemies within a certain scope.
With that said Brinstar and Norfair are the biggest of the worlds and have the most items to gather. There are indeed tricks along the way that you can utilize to get items before you’re expected to get them like the Wave Beam and a few others, you just have to know the tricks of the trade America. Don’t expect to venture far into Norfair without the Varia Suit which protects our hero, who happens to be a woman America, from the extreme heat. The same applies to Maridia. You can’t venture into that world without the Gravity Suit that allows you to move freely in the water without being hunkered down.
You have your nifty gun upgrades like the Charge Beam, Spazer, Wave Beam, Ice Beam and the best of them all the Plasma Beam. In terms of upgrades, how can we forget about the Hi-Jump Boots, Morph Ball, Spring Ball, Screw Attack and Space Jump? One of the best additions to this game is the Speed Booster which allows our hero to run at extreme speeds. It is visually explosive and you can also travel to heights high in the sky
I would argue “Super Metroid” is the game of memory because there are so many items to find and they are sometimes hidden in the most obvious places, but sometimes in places that you least expect. Now the big question some might ask is how long it takes to complete the game gathering every single item would take about 3 hours. Maybe 4 hours if you’re peddling around and taking breaks while you play. The final world, Tourian is like a cake walk. You really can’t lose unless you don’t try.
You do battle with Mother Brain once again, this time an enhanced version, and once she destroys that massive Metroid, you receive all of its powers including the Hyper Beam that ends Mother Brain once and for all before a bomb is unleashed and you have to escape in less than 3 minutes. It’s very easy to do, but once the explosion starts scattering some of the visuals on the screen, you might be a bit frustrated, especially as you climb your way to Crateria and ultimately your spaceship.
I don’t know what else to say, but “Super Metroid” is a game I can play over and over again and I get so immersed in the game all the things in my orbit disappear and those things don’t become a worry to me at all. A massive improvement visual from the 1986 NES version, with new gadgets, weapons and bosses to give any gamer a run for his or her money, “Super Metroid” is a classic that you cannot forget. Next week, we turn our attention to Mega Man, but in this case “Mega Men X.”
Written By Davy Jones