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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Metroid


Metroid

This was my first request! Anyways, I was told to check out the famous Metroid, so I fired it up and off I went. Now the only games I've ever played that Samus was in were the Super Smash Bros Series, so I was expecting to be able to charge up my giant energy ball and drop mines when I crouch. This wasn't entirely the case, but it was still interesting to play the game for a character I've been using for the past 10 years. But anyways, back to my impressions.

I was surprised again that there was absolutely no backstory, no explanation to what you're trying to accomplish (besides survive and shoot spikey things I guessed), no reason why you are there or anything. Just New Game... Woah! Look out for those spikey things! So I went scouring the internet to find what the manual said and was I surprised. There is a very lengthy story about how, in the future, space pirates are a huge problem and end up stealing some newly discovered life form called "Metroid" that just wiped out an entire planet. You are Samus Aran, a mysterious cyborg pirate-killing that is the best of the best (notice it says *he* not *she*). Anyways, your job is to infiltrate the Space Pirate's base and destroy the Mother Brain before they multiply the Metroids and take over the galaxy... Wow. That's seems like one of the most intricate explanations for an NES game that I will ever come across.
Press Start and you're already dodging this spikey things

Also worth mentioning, the health system confused me for awhile. I thought at first the number in the top left meant how many shots you had (those two orange dots reminded me of bullets ok?). When I found out that I had unlimited energy bullets, I realized that it had to be my health. But 30 health is a lot to start with right? No. I soon figured out that when you get hit, you don't just lose 1 health, you lose upwards of 8 or 9. All in all, you die. A lot.

What I Liked: The combat was pretty fun and entertaining. Different enemies required different strategies to kill (those bee-like things were the end of me several times before I figured it out). Many times the game requires you to jump around to evade all these flying enemies while trying to shoot those coming straight for you, which ends up making a very intense fight that got me pretty into it. There also was a saving system that, though it was confusing to me, probably worked pretty well.

What I Hated: I know this was probably one of the first "free roam" games ever, but it really frustrated me. I had no idea where I was supposed to go or what I was supposed to do. I frequently would fight my way 3 screens over to find out the door was locked and I'd have to turn around and fight the same enemies again. There was no map that I could tell of, so I was continually wandering around until I died. It just made me lose any interest I had in the game. *Edit : I was not aware that there was a map of sorts in the manual*

My Impression: It was not a bad game, but not my favorite by far. I could tell that if I got really into it, it could be really fun, but the constant running into the red doors that wouldn't let me pass just made me too frustrated to keep playing. I later learned that missiles break the doors, but no longer had the patience at the time to go searching around randomly for the missiles while I constantly kept running into doors that require them. It did make me want to try out Super Metroid though, as I've been told it is a much better version of the original with some pretty epic boss fights.

It reminded me a lot of Zelda, but as a side-scroller instead. In both games, you run around fighting bad guys that you can't really tell what they are, and you eventually find some power ups that let you access places you couldn't previously go to. Also, they are both very, very open worlded

Overall, a very frustrating game to a current-gen gamer, but an original that created one of the most famous and well known gaming series of all time.

**GameFaqs was used for storyline purposes only**

31 comments:

Momotaro said...

nice lol

Caroline Amnesty said...

yes, the game is actually very frustrating

Kafar Smith said...

Nice lol

Nessa said...

Nice game, nice post.

Kevin said...

Yea, the openness was a bit daunting, but it was at least more forgiving than Zelda on the NES. That was a bit too much for me, especially at my age. Great post.

BKRandy said...

good stuff brah!

livingwithcolitis said...

i actually never played this game but want to try it out now

Aeylita said...

Metroid, great stuff. I played it as well as a kid. Thanks for sharing!

lockonstratos said...

the plot twist was great for it's time

shaurz said...

You need to get missiles to open the red doors.

BigLoser said...

Still have the original game with box and manual.

Adam N. Copeland said...

You should play Super Metroid for the SNES. That game is an absolute masterpiece.

Ryan said...

I don't know about the manual, but many old games explicitly tell you to draw your own map. I'm a bit too lazy but for some games it's really essential. And it can be sort of fun: for games based on exploration, having to draw a map helps a lot with immersion. But eventually game designers realized people were too lazy.

Not all that many NES games have this problem, though. Even Zelda had a rudimentary minimap. Older computer games like Zork probably account for most of the cases where this is really essential.

Jae said...

If you think about Shadow Complex (360 Live Arcade), then you can see where the developers of SC drew their inspiration from. They even mentioned it several times, but it was a throwback to some classic days of gaming.

Ken Oh said...

Re: no explanation or backstory

If you wait at the title screen, you get "Emergency Order. Defeat the metroid of planet Zebes and destroy the Mother Brain the mechanical life vein. Galactic Federal Police M510."

Love the blog, but it also makes me nerdrage. I guess that's the point. Keep it up!

DaveT said...

You have GOT to come back to this game and open yourself up to the magic of exploration. You go around and hit a red door and you're supposed to think "man there must be some awesome stuff behind that, I'm going to come back later once I figure out how to get in there".

obskurantist said...

You are incorrect that the manual didn't specify a gender, it explicitly lies to you and uses 'He' to refer to Samus thoughout.

Later games, ex. metroid II for the GB, didn't do this as the secret was out.

Ryan said...

@DaveT I actually am planning on going back to it tonight. I'll try it again, but if I begin to feel the rage again, I'm going to have to put it down.

and @obskurantist, you were right. I couldn't find my manual, so I looked online and the one I found specifically left out any words referring to gender. Someone referred me to a site that scans in the manuals, so I checked it out and it does say *he*. Thanks for the heads up

Remorseful Prober said...

metroid has the germ of greatness, but rather falls short in retrospect. Nintendo really did rehabilitate this title in the GBA version called "Zero Mission". You get more clear direction as to your next moves and a map that you can refer to in game. if you want to experience this title, i'd aver you go portable. tho, being made after you were born, it wouldn't fit the constraints of your blog.

Fearsome Tycoon said...

Metroid 1 is the second-highest selling Metroid, after Prime. In the olden days, "hardcore" gamers played games like Zork and drew maps. Metroid appealed to the kind of gamer that normally only played home computer games on the Commodore 64 and Atari ST.

Jeramie said...

If you're not playing a game for immersion and challenge, then what's the point? I've never seen so much whining than from the current generation of gamers that everything is too difficult. Spoiled by the FMV backstory intro, the every-click-of-the-controller tutorial level, the minimap, the quest log, the compass pointing to your next goal, the step-by-step task notes... there was a time when gamers actually had to figure things out for themselves, and that was part of the experience.

It's not your fault, it's just the state of the industry now. You've never known anything else.

Joe said...

Yea I remember drawing out a map and everyone I knew that played this game wanted one, took a long time to complete though and yes it was very frustrating.

CD said...

Contra and Battletoads are classics man! I completely agree with your contra analysis but you need to jump on that BattleToads train buddy!

RobDPT said...

?

zachary said...

You new-school fools are such wuss-bags and quitters. I beat this game when I was 6 yo with no map. The best thing about old-school games is that the game-world was reinventing itself as you found new items and increased your understanding and skill-level. Today's games suck ass.

zachary said...

Super Metroid has nothing on the original.

Colmarr said...

Another Metroid lover here. I still have fond memories of it 20 years later, even though I never could finish off that Mother Brain (I think I got distracted by Faxanadu).

I don't recall ever having trouble with finding my way around, so the map in the manual must have been sufficient, and I don't recall being confused by the red doors. Maybe that's a generational thing - back then when you hit a road block the default action was to try all your weapons on it?

Geoff said...

Super Metroid is (in my opinion) the best Metroid game and one of the best games of all time. The original Metroid has its charm, though. I could never beat it without the Justin Bailey cheat when I was a kid, but nowadays it's not so hard.

Craig Kielinski said...

This was one of my favorites as a kid, i was around 10-11 then, and getting to the "Mother Brain" at the end was a classic moment. Sure there was "Nintendo Power" magazine with hints and mini-maps for various games, but I don't recall having to use it- you just kept track of a whole world in your head. Metroid's multi-path structure was so brilliant and unique. I loved this game on par with Zelda and remember the Saturday morning Nintedo cartoon with the characters from Metroid, Zelda, and others. I can only think of Kid Icarus, another beyond classic, for difficulty and fun factor.

Aox said...

When you first run into Metroids, they are the most obnoxious enemies in existence. Well, only if they latch on... freeze 'em and run past, takes too long to actually kill them.

The second Metroid (the one on gameboy), is where you kill all kinds of Metroids (that is your mission, to eradicate all metroids). It is pretty cool, but.. it is on gameboy unfortunately.

I agree with Geoff, Super Metroid is a whole lot of fun, and I would really like to play that one again.

Konstanty Kwas said...

Yeah, i remember this, i must download game card emulator to nes and play ;> thanks man

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