Metroid: Samus Returns

I finally got around to playing Metroid: Samus Returns (despite having bought it when it was released in 2017), and for the most part, it’s exactly what I want from a Metroid game. I like the exploration and gaining new abilities that then unlock new areas and make Samus more powerful. The Metroid formula works, and while I have no idea why Nintendo treats one of their marquee titles like an afterthought (my working theory is that unlike Mario and Zelda, Metroid wasn’t created by Shigeru Miyamoto), but the franchise formula works whether it’s in 2D or 3D. Metroid is also a great title for the 3DS since you can always have your map screen ready to go and it doesn’t take up space on your gameplay screen.

The one part of the game I really don’t like are the boss fights. There are various qualms I have with the game overall–the different areas aren’t visually distinctive; the enemy types are repetitive, the mini-bosses get to be kind of tedious–but none of them are as bad as the boss fights. Near the end, you’ve got three really tough boss battles, and some people live for those kinds of challenges. Those are people who play Dark Souls and Bloodborne and I am not among them. I do not want a game to punish me. I do not want to work to get really good at a video game. I want the video game to make me feel empowered rather than banging my head against a wall as I struggle to succeed. I managed to fell all three bosses, but not before I finally had to resort to a strategy guide to figure out how exactly they needed to be defeated.

The boss battles didn’t ruin the game for me, but they did make it a bit more tedious and take me away from the parts I enjoyed the most. All that being said, Metroid is one of the best franchises Nintendo has ever made and it’s insane that we’re still waiting on Metroid Prime 4.

Friday, March 20th, 2020 videogames

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