UNITED STATES—I’ve always had a knack for video games ever since I was a little kid. I haven’t played them much since my teenage years, but my recent purchase of the SNES Classic has given me the opportunity to relive my childhood with such a level of peace it’s hard to describe with words. A few weeks ago I chatted about one of my favorite games of all time “Secret of Mana,” this week I want to chat about another one of my favs, “Super Metroid.”
Now, when “Super Metroid” was released on the SNES in 1993 it was a game that blew people away. It was everything fans came to expect of the NES classic, as well as an evolution of the special items introduced to audiences with the Gameboy version. Yes, it’s a 2D game, but the fun is that it’s a game that takes a bit of time to accomplish. Note: you can easily beat this game in one sitting, but that is granted you’ve come accustomed to get all of your special items to complete the game with a 100 percent ranking.
What I love the most about this game is it’s a mission to find items and it’s not easy. There are many items (particularly missiles, super missiles and power bombs) that are located in places that you would never imagine to look if you weren’t a fan of the series. Some of you might say, “Oh, finding the missiles don’t matter that much,” but I would disagree. To me if a game has put all these items out in the worlds to be found, you need to find them, otherwise you’re cheating. When you first start the game Metroid (who happens to be a woman) has nothing, but her suit and typical weapon. As the game progresses you find upgrades to your suits, weaponry and items that help your mission tremendously. The game consists of 6 worlds, but to be honest it’s really only 4: Brinstar, the Wrecked Ship, Maridia and Norfair, but if you factor in Crateria and Tourian that is your six.
You begin the journey in Crateria, which soon takes you to Brinstar where the actual fun starts. Brinstar is the most frustrating of all the planets to me because there are so many goodies here and you have to return multiple times after obtaining enhancements to your suit and receiving special powers like the Grappling Beam or X-Ray Scope. This world has a boss, who while big, is pretty easy to beat in Kraid. For those who played the NES version you know what I’m talking about. The only difficulty in beating him is not having enough blood, but 3-4 super missiles to the mouth and he’s done. That gives you the opportunity to earn your Varia Suit, which is needed to enter Norfair.
Norfair is the lair of Ridley, the large dragon, fire breathing creature you encountered at the start of the game; however, he is the last boss you’ll face before Mother Brain. Norfair is the biggest of the planets and has the most items to collect. Be patient and take your time because you will be forced to come here multiple times before you can bid adieu. Such items include the Hi-Jump Boots, Speed Booster (super cool), the Wave Beam (good for escaping those trap doors), the Ice Beam, the Screw Attack and the Grappling Beam. Not to mention missiles, super missiles and power bombs galore.
Perhaps one of the smallest planets is the Wrecked Ship, but it has a formidable boss in Phantoon, an octopus like ghost who breathes fire and has a wicked attack if you piss him off by utilizing super missiles on him. After that battle is over, you get the Gravity Suit. This suit is important because it allows you to move in water, without it, you don’t have a chance in hell in Maridia, also known as the water planet.
I might be saying a bit much, but of all the planets I love Maridia. It’s something about the water, the sand and just the neat items you find here that are so much fun. Specifically, the Spring Ball, the Plasma Beam and the Space Jump. The Space Jump makes your life so much easier America, trust me, it helps you locate those missiles and other items that can otherwise be impossible to find. However, getting this item is not easy battling Draygon, a sea creature that loves to spank you with his tail. Trust me; this is not a boss you want to play around with because you can die within seconds.
However, there is another trick to take out Draygon super quick, kill those three cannons in the room. When Draygon emits that gray matter that slows you in your tracks, allow him to grab you and utilize your grappling hook on one of the cannons to electrocute Draygon and yourself. He’ll die much sooner, but ensure you have enough energy. After that battle, you return to Norfair to battle Ridley and just fire at him nonstop with everything you have until Ridley can take no more.
Once you’ve defeated the four major bosses, you enter the final stage of the game where you battle Mother Brain. Mother Brain is super easy and there is no way to lose this battle unless you’re not even attempting to fight her. The fun of the game ends when the planet is on self-destruct mode. You have 3 minutes to escape or you die. Is it easy, yes, but at the same time it can be difficult if you play around too much.
So I’ve probably given you too MUCH DETAIL about the game, but you want an overview, but this is a game about collecting items. The more that you play the game, the more familiar you become with the landscape. By that I’m referring to the various worlds, how to quickly navigate through them and how to locate all the items with ease.
The one thing that I can say by “Super Metroid” is that even though I have been victorious in the game multiple times, each time I play I notice my time to complete it to become faster and faster. “Super Metroid” is visceral, fun, entertaining and a game about memory and strategy. For any true gamer you’ll fall in love with it.