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Metroid Zero Mission Review: how is this remake of a flawed NES console fair on the virtual console.
My youtube video review
The Metroid zero mission title screen.
Note all images and the videos were capture using a video capture software and using a legal copy of the game on the Wii U. some of the images have been photoshop to add in the captions.
I am not a big fan of the original Metroid on the NES despite being an old school gamer myself. Now I know a lot of people will be like it’s a game that was ahead of its time and revolutionized a lot of free world concepts that are use today. Yeah and that was its problem it was on a system that couldn’t handle the idea. What we ended up with is a game that was frustrating to get around in, no in game map, and even repeating rooms made it frustrating to navigate.
However I do like some of the Metroid sequels, Super Metroid and Metroid Prime deserve to go up on the lists of some of the best games of their era. So imagine my joy when Nintendo redid the original Metroid and fixed all the things I was complaining about and updated the gameplay to GBA standards in Metroid Zero Mission. Now out on the virtual console let’s take a look back and see how well this game has aged.
While there is a lot of back story to Metroid if you’re a huge nerd you can always check it out on the internet, but it can be simply summed up like this; Space Pirates have stolen a creature called Metroid’s which can wipe out entire civilized planets. The galactic federation has sent the mysterious bounty hunter Samus Aran after them to make sure all the Metroids and the space pirates leader mother brain are destroyed. No real dialogue is ever spoken except for some brief intermonologue by Samus in a few places; a few small cut scenes with some great comic stills are shown too. Overall the entire story isn’t much but it never gets in the way of the action or the atmosphere the game is trying to project.
Alright let’s talk about how the game is played. Metroid Zero Mission is an action platformer that tries to be nonlinear and more on why I say tries instead of is later. But anyways you start off with the bare basics and grab power ups has you go to power Samus up and to get around. For example you start off with a crappy laser but along the way you will grab things like the long shot, or the charge shot that will power up your attack. Other power ups like the Varia suits give you more protection and the screw attack lets you do a spin attack. It makes the game interesting just starting out with this weak character without a lot of options and just build her into a bad ass.
The puzzles in the maze are also pretty good and there are some areas that showed that I was rusty R RGW puzzles that I had trouble solving because I couldn’t remember but they were still really fun. The bosses in this game are really challenging and fun, way better then Super Metroid, even Mother Brain puts up a fight and is actually really hard to put down.
Also towards the end of the game there is a really fun part where Samus loses her suit has to go into a pirates base all stealth like, if your caught by a pirate alarms sound and she has to run or get killed easily cause all you have is a stun gun. But in the end you get a really kick ass suit, that can pretty much just power through anything the pirates can send at you.
If I have one real complaint about the games gameplay it comes with the fact that it’s linear. Yeah while there are areas to explore on the side sometimes the game is not truly non-linear like it’s original self. The game in fact likes to hold your hand constantly. Throughout the game you will find these bird statues that Samus must latch on to that will give her instructions on where to go next to proceed, what happen to letting the player figure that part out. I just need a map and a game design that is good enough to tell me where I am at and which direction I am going, I don’t need constant way points like this and it’s a bit of a frustration. Still it’s nowhere near has linear has Metroid Fusion was.
Also worth mentioning that if you beat this game you unlock the original NES game free of charge, then you can play through it and decide if I am right or not.
While you might not tell it by the way the Wii U emulation makes the GBA look all fuzzy on a HDTV but Metroid Zero Mission some really good graphics. The background have a comic book feel to them, the character designs are top notch. The animation is smooth, and it even has gorgeous if limited animated cut scenes and stills. All in all the graphics are top notch and I can always tell what area I am in, unlike that other version.
The game has a comic book look to it
Some awesome music that’s just haunting plays throughout the game, one of the best sound tracks on the GBA, even played in surround speakers it’s just haunting and memorable. The sound effects are pretty good too.
I give Metroid Zero Mission.
A 4 out of 5. Yeah the hand holding is a problem but the rest of the game is just so solid and it is one of my favorite Metroid games. Not has good has Super Metroid or the original Metroid Prime but better than the rest.