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Virtual Console Mondays: August 13, 2007

by Steven Rodriguez - August 14, 2007, 11:30 am
Total comments: 58

Metroid is the top of the class of this week's three releases. Or is it?

The "Month of Metroid" kicks off on Virtual Console with the release of the NES original. A true classic, Metroid. But how well does it hold up in modern times? Especially compared to the impending release of Super Metroid next week? You'll have to read our recommendations below to find out. Don't forget about the other two games released on the VC service this week, as they're not bad alternative choices.


Metroid

SystemVirtual Console - Nintendo Entertainment System

Cost500 Points
Players1
ControllersWii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB RatingEveryone
ReleasedAug 15, 1986

Click here for a video preview

Metroid is undeniably a huge piece of gaming history. Along with The Legend of Zelda, this space-faring adventure ushered in the non-linear level design. Aside from that, the 2D Metroid series as a whole inspired Koji Igarashi to create Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which has, in turn, determined the direction of all the Castlevania games we enjoy today on our GBAs and DSes. And without the Metroid, Zelda, and modern Castlevania games, sandbox games would not exist. Clearly, gamers owe a lot to the original Famicom Disk System Metroid (and its NES port). But having said that, is this 20-year-old game worth blowing your precious Wii Points on?

Sadly, the answer is undeniably "no." Metroid existed in an era when passwords, rote memorization, endless restarts, cheap hits, and grinding for energy were acceptable pieces of the core gameplay. You may think that the Wii’s save system would make up for some of these critical downfalls, but it doesn’t. When you die, and you will (a lot), you will respawn from the first room in the game. If you manage to scribble the password down upon dying, you’ll actually restart from whatever level of the planet you’ve most recently found yourself in. The game’s graphics and sound have not aged well, either. Save your pennies, folks. Super Metroid is on its way, and that game manages to rectify basically every sin that its predecessor commits.

Not Recommended

Shining in the Darkness

SystemVirtual Console - Genesis

Cost800 Points
Players1
ControllersWii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB RatingEveryone
ReleasedNov 01, 1991

Click here for a video preview

The early ‘90’s was a golden age of experimentation and evolution for role-playing games that spawned some legendary genre classics. Shining In The Darkness almost seems like an anomaly looking back on it in historical context. There are no grand dramatic pretenses that would later come to personify the entire genre; instead, you have a simple first-person dungeon crawl through a single maze with nine floors (counting some gratuitous basement levels). Gamers used to RPGs done on an epic scale may well feel a little claustrophobic playing through Shining In The Darkness. There’s no overworld map or mysterious new continents to explore here. If you’re a serious fan of RPGs, however, don’t let the stripped-down presentation fool you. Shining In The Darkness more than makes up for all its narrative shortfalls with an incredibly satisfying and finely-tuned combat system, and a robust bestiary which makes chugging through the murky corridors a genuinely rewarding experience.

While the dungeons are comprised of a lot of repeating tiles and backgrounds, they are surprisingly detailed and ambient, especially when compared to other 3D console games from that time (take a look at Sword Of Vermillion or Silent Debuggers for instance). The enemy sprites have a tremendous amount of personality, filling out each floor of the dungeon with exaggerated and ornate variations on RPG enemy mainstays like skeleton warriors, slimes, and hellhounds. There are some unpleasantly antiquated gameplay mechanics, like the necessity of blindly level-grinding for long stretches before being able to really make headway into newly accessible parts of the dungeon, but nothing that will be unfamiliar or overly disagreeable to RPG fans. For all it’s paucity of RPG ostentation and operatic melodrama, Shining In The Darkness comes through where it counts: an approachable and entertaining combat system and a detailed variety of bad guys to hack through on your way to the ultimate confrontation with the proverbial darkness.

Recommended for Fans

Cratermaze

SystemVirtual Console - TurboGrafx-16

Cost600 Points
Players1
ControllersWii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB RatingEveryone
ReleasedMar 1990

Click here for a video preview

Take one part Bomberman and one part Lode Runner. Mix well. Bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. What will come out of the oven is Cratermaze, something that can be best described as Lode Runner with a Bomberman maze level layout and top-down camera. Your character must go around levels collecting treasures chests in order to open the level exit. He cannot directly attack his enemies, instead needing to dig holes to bury them into the ground to temporarily finish them off. Items like guns and bombs can also be had to help you clear the maze of the baddies, leaving you to concentrate on navigating the level's transporters, springboards and dead-ends.

Cratermaze is more Lode Runner than it is Bomberman, and as such is a hard game. The normal difficulty mode is so easy that casual players would become bored with it, so the only way to play is on the game's difficult setting. Right from the start you need to be on your toes, else you'll fall into one of your own holes. It offers a genuine challenge for players that are looking for one, and is fun to play despite its high difficulty. This may be one of the hardcore sleeper hits on VC.

Recommended for Fans

- Steven Rodriguez


Props to VG Museum for the screenshots.

Talkback

UltimatePartyBearAugust 14, 2007

I have a feeling this will get ugly for Zach, but I agree with him. I'm a fan of the Metroid series overall, but I absolutely cannot dredge up any enjoyment from the first game. There is no nostalgia there for me.

MashiroAugust 14, 2007

You know . . . I thought not recommended was really harsh but yeah after thinking about it I really didn't like the original metroid all that much. Hell I never even beat the original. Yet I'm a metroid fan, so I guess the not recommend is right on the money.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorAugust 14, 2007

I'm still sad that we're getting Metroid 1 and Metroid 3, but no Metroid 2 - the best game in the series (IMHO).... I can't wait for GB/GBC downloads (assuming they're even going to happen)...

GoldenPhoenixAugust 14, 2007

While I think not recommended is harsh, I was expecting a recommended for everyone which I do not agree with. Metroid 1 has NOT aged well at all, while it was definately an innovative game at the time it doesn't hold up in gameplay like other classics, which is why I appreciated Zero Mission which balanced the game more with Super Metroid (easily the best Metroid game EVER!).

vuduAugust 14, 2007

Someone's going to link to this, so it might as well be me. face-icon-small-smile.gif

MashiroAugust 14, 2007

Haha vudu that is kinda funny.

Shouldn't Kid Icarus suffer the same fate as getting non-recommended?

S-U-P-E-RTy Shughart, Staff AlumnusAugust 14, 2007

Who needs passwords when you can beat it in one sitting without dying? face-icon-small-cool.gif

Kid Icarus doesn't have a whole bunch of sequels that are far superior games. It also had structured levels, which work a lot better with the save state system of the Virtual Console and get rid of the need for a map and aimless wandering. I also think the fact that we know Super Metroid is coming next week might come into play in this case.

shammackAugust 14, 2007

So here are just a few of the games that, according to NWR, are better than Metroid: Bravoman, China Warrior, Bloody Wolf, Kid Chameleon, Milon's Secret Castle, Elevator Action, Wario's Woods, Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV, Donkey Kong Country, The Legend of Kage, Galaga AND Galaga 90, Gain Ground, Comix Zone, Balloon Fight, and Ice Climber (not to mention lots of others, but those are some of the most egregious).

Give me a break. If you're going to give it a not recommended, there are better reasons (like the fact that it's been rereleased so many times already) than the fact that you start at the first room when you die. If anybody takes this seriously and spends their Wii points on one of these other games instead of Metroid, they're missing out on a great game.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterAugust 14, 2007

I was expecting at the very least a "recommended for fans" since even if the game hasn't aged well I'm sure there are many hardcore fans that still love it for what it is.

UltimatePartyBearAugust 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: pap64
I was expecting at the very least a "recommended for fans" since even if the game hasn't aged well I'm sure there are many hardcore fans that still love it for what it is.


Those people already know they like it, so they don't need this review.

GoldenPhoenixAugust 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: shammack
So here are just a few of the games that, according to NWR, are better than Metroid: Bravoman, China Warrior, Bloody Wolf, Kid Chameleon, Milon's Secret Castle, Elevator Action, Wario's Woods, Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV, Donkey Kong Country, The Legend of Kage, Galaga AND Galaga 90, Gain Ground, Comix Zone, Balloon Fight, and Ice Climber.


That list sounds about right.

ArbokAugust 14, 2007

Yeah, if someone said that the original Metroid was better than Donkey Kong Country... I would have to slap them, I'm afraid.

GoldenPhoenixAugust 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Arbok
Yeah, if someone said that the original Metroid was better than Donkey Kong Country... I would have to slap them, I'm afraid.


Too bad it is.

ArbokAugust 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
Too bad it is.


Not according to this review. face-icon-small-wink.gif

Super Metroid beats the DKC series hands down, no question there... but if it came down to buying either the original Metroid or DKC, my choice would be painfully clear, even if the latter would cost more.

GoldenPhoenixAugust 14, 2007

Oops I misread your post lol. I agree with you actually. I would much rather play DKC than Metroid 1. Does anyone recall the blocks of doom in Kraid's lair when you try to get back up?

GoldenPhoenixAugust 14, 2007

What is with these double posts?

ArbokAugust 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
What is with these double posts?


Karma, for automatically assuming you would disagree with me. :P

GoldenPhoenixAugust 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Arbok
Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
What is with these double posts?


Karma, for automatically assuming you would disagree with me. :P


I don't automatically disagree with you it is just that other guy who shares a similar name and Ian!

Ian SaneAugust 14, 2007

Not only is DKC better than Metroid but so is Galaga. Oh I'm probably going to get burned for that one.

Metroid is really dated and I honestly don't like playing it very much at all. But it still needs to be played because of its historical significance. I hate ignorant dolts. If you have at least half-a-brain you've been there where you've encountered someone that seems to have no knowledge of anything outside the last three years. And these jerks are usually spouting opinions about stuff they're unfamiliar with. It's not just kids or teens. Full grown adults do this too. So I encourage people to familiarize themselves with the past. Not only can it be rewarding since you'll find stuff you never would have known about that you like but you'll have perspective and can form real opinions. Don't say The Beatles suck if you can't even name their albums.

So everyone should play Metroid at least once just to have some knowledge of it. A game like that should not be forgotten. And the world is so DUMB that classic games will get forgotten over time.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorAugust 14, 2007

I personally don't think that password saves should be counted as a fault. I've been playing Kid Icarus since it came out and haven't written down a password yet. The save state does all the work for me.

Also, I would have recommended Metroid 1 for everyone if I had written the article, but this is precisely the reason why we have multiple staff members.

For those who don't know, I'm the one who recommended Kid Icarus for everyone. Both games stand head and shoulders above the majority of other NES games in my opinion.

Edit: just read that thing about save states not helping because of the starting point. Meh, once you know where to go in the game it's easy to get back there. In my opinion, that just adds to the feeling of it being one persistent world, which is what Metroid games have been based on ever since.

Again, this just goes to show why multiple people write these.

GoldenPhoenixAugust 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Pale
I've been playing Kid Icarus since it came out


That is the problem right there. face-icon-small-smile.gif

vuduAugust 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Pale
Also, I would have recommended Metroid 1 for everyone if I had written the article, but this is precisely the reason why we have multiple staff members.
Actually, this seems to be a strike against having multiple reviewers. How are we supposed to know which game is better if you can't compare the two reviews? Windy should fire everyone and run the site single-handedly.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorAugust 14, 2007

Actually you should read all of our articles and start to see which writer falls in line with your own opinions the most. face-icon-small-smile.gif

UltimatePartyBearAugust 14, 2007

Reviews shouldn't be used to figure out whether a game is "better" than some other game (especially if the reviews use a three point scale).

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorAugust 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Ian Sane
Don't say The Beatles suck if you can't even name their albums.


Wait... does this mean I can't say N*Sync or New Kids on the Block suck if I can't name their albums? Does this mean people who can't name Hitler's book can't say he sucked?

Can we have Zach Miller, savior of NWR VC reviews, retroactively review Kid Icarus?

vuduAugust 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Pale
Actually you should read all of our articles and start to see which writer falls in line with your own opinions the most. face-icon-small-smile.gif
But what happens if I happen to agree with--say, for the sake of inflating your ego--you the most? You didn't review any of the games in this week's VC lineup; how do I know if any are worth picking up? Did you review Mario Strikers? How do I know if it's any good?

That's one of the good things about IGN. There's only 3 people who review Nintendo games on a regular basis. It's pretty easy to find out who you like and how your tastes compare to theirs.

nickmitchAugust 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: UncleBob
Quote

Originally posted by: Ian Sane
Don't say The Beatles suck if you can't even name their albums.


Wait... does this mean I can't say N*Sync or New Kids on the Block suck if I can't name their albums? Does this mean people who can't name Hitler's book can't say he sucked?


How about, if you were alive during the height of a band's popularity, then not being able to name a band's album is a testament to how much they suck. See, you wouldn't know the name of an album because you'd never listen to one due to suckiness. But with older groups, you'd have to go out and give them a listen before you can say they suck.

I knew you were kidding; I'm just bored.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorAugust 14, 2007

I still disagree. face-icon-small-wink.gif

The Beatles are overplayed about as much as Elvis that you can hear their music enough and be able to make personal judgment calls on your opinion of the quality of the music without having to have memorized (or ever heard) the names of any of their albums.

WindyManSteven Rodriguez, Staff AlumnusAugust 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: shammack
So here are just a few of the games that, according to NWR, are better than Metroid: Bravoman, China Warrior, Bloody Wolf, Kid Chameleon, Milon's Secret Castle, Elevator Action, Wario's Woods, Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV, Donkey Kong Country, The Legend of Kage, Galaga AND Galaga 90, Gain Ground, Comix Zone, Balloon Fight, and Ice Climber (not to mention lots of others, but those are some of the most egregious).

Give me a break. If you're going to give it a not recommended, there are better reasons (like the fact that it's been rereleased so many times already) than the fact that you start at the first room when you die. If anybody takes this seriously and spends their Wii points on one of these other games instead of Metroid, they're missing out on a great game.


We're not saying that all of those games are better than Metroid. We're simply recommending them more than Metroid. Though for its time, Metroid was a new, genre-defining experience, nowadays there are so many better experiences that are pretty much the same thing, namely Super Metroid which will be coming next week. Basically, if you've played any of the recent handheld Castlevania games, you'll wonder why Metroid is so basic in comparison. At least, that's the way I see it.

I want to point out to everyone who keeps referring to our recommendations as "reviews" that our recommendations are not reviews. They are what we call them: Recommendations. We're not telling you that Metroid is a bad game. We're simply telling you that based what's currently on Virtual Console (and in this case, what will be coming to Virtual Console), we don't think the game is worth it, in this day and age.

GoldenPhoenixAugust 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: WindyMan
Quote

Originally posted by: shammack
So here are just a few of the games that, according to NWR, are better than Metroid: Bravoman, China Warrior, Bloody Wolf, Kid Chameleon, Milon's Secret Castle, Elevator Action, Wario's Woods, Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV, Donkey Kong Country, The Legend of Kage, Galaga AND Galaga 90, Gain Ground, Comix Zone, Balloon Fight, and Ice Climber (not to mention lots of others, but those are some of the most egregious).

Give me a break. If you're going to give it a not recommended, there are better reasons (like the fact that it's been rereleased so many times already) than the fact that you start at the first room when you die. If anybody takes this seriously and spends their Wii points on one of these other games instead of Metroid, they're missing out on a great game.


We're not saying that all of those games are better than Metroid. We're simply recommending them more than Metroid. Though for its time, Metroid was a new, genre-defining experience, nowadays there are so many better experiences that are pretty much the same thing, namely Super Metroid which will be coming next week. Basically, if you've played any of the recent handheld Castlevania games, you'll wonder why Metroid is so basic in comparison. At least, that's the way I see it.

I want to point out to everyone who keeps referring to our recommendations as "reviews" that our recommendations are not reviews. They are what we call them: Recommendations. We're not telling you that Metroid is a bad game. We're simply telling you that based what's currently on Virtual Console (and in this case, what will be coming to Virtual Console), we don't think the game is worth it, in this day and age.


Yeah for WindyMan, and his cool recommendations.

Karl Castaneda #2August 14, 2007

It should be noted that Zach is a gigantic Metroid fan, so I think he's just as qualified to speak on the subject as anyone else.

Ian SaneAugust 14, 2007

"Does this mean people who can't name Hitler's book can't say he sucked?"

Hitler didn't suck because of his book. face-icon-small-smile.gif

"The Beatles are overplayed about as much as Elvis that you can hear their music enough and be able to make personal judgment calls on your opinion of the quality of the music without having to have memorized (or ever heard) the names of any of their albums."

I was just using it as an example of ignorance. The Beatles are such a huge band that most people with any knowledge of modern music could probably name most of or all of their albums or at least recognize the names as Beatles albums if they heard them. In other words if you don't have at least a really basic knowledge of argueably the most popular, successful and critically acclaimed band of all time then what the hell do you know about music and why should anyone care what you think? Same thing with videogames. Don't know Metroid then you don't know anything because anyone who makes the slightest effort to familiarize themselves with games outside of what's current would stumble upon it's existence almost by accident. If you care to know anything some of the really big stuff is just going fall in your lap. And if you don't care to know anything then why should anyone care about your opinion?

Maybe I should make my example less specific. Can you name ten Beatles songs and if required hum how they go? If so then you probably know enough to have an informed opinion. I'm more opposed to the dumbsh!t teenager who says they likes punk but cites Avril Lavenge as an example of the genre and doens't know who The Clash is. The "I'm a huge videogame nut but 2D games suck and Nintendo's k!ddy!!" types who don't know what Metroid is, let alone what it plays like.

My man Windy is exactly right. Maybe if Metroid were the only NES game available on the VC, yeah, it'd get a higher recommendation. But the fact is there are tons of NES games on there, the vast majority of which are less frustrating and more enjoyable than Metroid. Now, I don't expect everyone to agree with me that Metroid is a terrible game. Indeed, I thought that my opinion was one of the minority. Metroid is one of Nintendo's Big Three franchises (well, four if you include Smash Bros.)--how can I poo-poo all over the original game?

Well, for exact same reason I poo-poo'd all over the original NES Castlevania: it's horrible by comparison to its far better sequels and even contemporary NES games.

And Pale, dude, if you have to start from the beginning every time you die, that's not a "persistent world." That sucks. :-P

Who in their right mind would RECOMMENED Kid Icarus to everyone they met?

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorAugust 14, 2007

I would and do. I'm NEVER bending on this one. =P Even though it follows me everywhere!

GoldenPhoenixAugust 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Pale
I would and do. I'm NEVER bending on this one. =P Even though it follows me everywhere!


Pale, the ultimate goober? Hmmm.

I will refrain from once again yelling about how different people write different reviews. That said, I firmly believe the first 30 minutes of Metroid are the worst, because you don't have energy tanks to curb the life grind-fest. A significant design flaw. Metroid is much harder if you don't attempt it in one sitting, too. But I would personally recommend it over Kid Icarus any day.


Milon's Secret Castle.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorAugust 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Ian Sane

Hitler didn't suck because of his book. face-icon-small-smile.gif



Well, the Beatles don't suck (or don't not suck) because of the names of their albums. face-icon-small-wink.gif

Quote

I was just using it as an example of ignorance. The Beatles are such a huge band that most people with any knowledge of modern music could probably name most of or all of their albums or at least recognize the names as Beatles albums if they heard them. In other words if you don't have at least a really basic knowledge of argueably the most popular, successful and critically acclaimed band of all time then what the hell do you know about music and why should anyone care what you think? Same thing with videogames. Don't know Metroid then you don't know anything because anyone who makes the slightest effort to familiarize themselves with games outside of what's current would stumble upon it's existence almost by accident. If you care to know anything some of the really big stuff is just going fall in your lap. And if you don't care to know anything then why should anyone care about your opinion?


I understand your point, but I don't think Metroid is the game to focus this argument on. Honestly, I agree with this recommendations in that the original has *not* stood the test of time well. And I still have my Intellivision hooked up (now to my 37" flat screen TV). If I recall correctly, the original Metroid didn't even sell that well (at least not in Japan) in comparison to many of the other games on the NES (or FDS, as is the case in Japan). Is Metroid the worst NES game ever? Not by far. But I don't think I'd rank it in the top 20 by any means. To say that gamers don't know games if thy don't know Metroid is a pretty bold statement.

Quote

Maybe I should make my example less specific. Can you name ten Beatles songs and if required hum how they go? If so then you probably know enough to have an informed opinion. I'm more opposed to the dumbsh!t teenager who says they likes punk but cites Avril Lavenge as an example of the genre and doens't know who The Clash is. The "I'm a huge videogame nut but 2D games suck and Nintendo's k!ddy!!" types who don't know what Metroid is, let alone what it plays like.


You know, some people don't like 2D games. Some people don't like 3D games. Some people don't like sports games. Their opinion is their opinion, even if it's not right. face-icon-small-smile.gif And if some dumb teenager can associate themselves more with the music of Avril than some band 95% of the population has never even heard of, does that mean their opinion means less? Because when it comes to sales (the only thing these companies look at), it doesn't.

KhushrenadaAugust 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: TheYoungerPlumber
Milon's Secret Castle.


How can you recommend it when you can't even pronounce it?


I agree with the "not recommended" rating. I've recently discovered Metroid and played all the Metroid games in the past 2 years except for Hunters and Metroid 2. Metroid NES is, I think, almost impossible to get into. Especially if you have played any other Metroid game before it.

I tried to play it a few times but my interest and enthusiasm dropped faster than a (insert clever simile here) and I just can't get into even though I am just mad for metroid these days. Feel free to use that qoute (I'm just mad for Metroid) as we wait for the release of Prime 3.

Of course, it may not have helped that I was introduced to the NES version after completing Zero Mission and unlocking it.

Frankly, this recommendation is better than IGN's where they gave the game an 8. Too much.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorAugust 14, 2007

Khush - Get Metroid II and play it. It's good.

KhushrenadaAugust 14, 2007

I hope to soon. I keep checking ebay once in awhile. I want to buy a copy that's close to mint to add to my video game collection.

CalibanAugust 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Khushrenada
Quote

Originally posted by: TheYoungerPlumber
Milon's Secret Castle.


How can you recommend it when you can't even pronounce it?


I think you are mistaken, it's Karl that never pronounces it properly.

KDR_11kAugust 14, 2007

I was expecting Metroid to get something better than that because it's high profile and so on but IMO the Not Recommended rating is clearly deserved, it just sucks. If someone wants to subject himself to the pain of Metroid I he should buy Zero Mission, finish it and unlock M1 as a bonus game that way, it even saves the last password you got so you only have to hit continue.

UltimatePartyBearAugust 15, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: WindyMan
I want to point out to everyone who keeps referring to our recommendations as "reviews" that our recommendations are not reviews. They are what we call them: Recommendations.

What is a review but a verbose recommendation? Just because you don't put a number on the end of it doesn't mean it's not a review. It seems like there's something suggested by the word "review" that you don't want associated with the VC blurbs, but I can't figure out what that might be. Do you just not want us to take your opinions too seriously?

Ian SaneAugust 15, 2007

To avoid conflicting opinions maybe you guys should recommend the game in a "review crew" kind of way. You use the same three recommendations but have a couple people give their own. It's like how Ebert and that other guy each give a thumbs up.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorAugust 15, 2007

I agree with Ian on this one - While some of the smaller games don't apply here, you can't tell me only one staffer here has played the original Metroid. You could still stick with one final recommendation, but giving a paragraph or two to 2-3 staffers would not be overkill.

You know, when I wrote that Silent Debuggers recommendation, I was confused by the "how is this not a review" question, too. But as I played it (and then Metroid), I realized that it's not fair on the game to review it. You can't review Metroid in 2007. It would get a 2 out of 10. Or less.

"Reviewing" an old game using modern standards would simply not work. You can only talk about your own experience playing said old game, and then tell people whether you would recommend they play it or not. There are precious few older games that stand the test of time and remain awesome in the modern age. Super Metroid's one of them, Super Mario Bros. 3 is another, Super Mario RPG is one I keep praying will show up on the VC, but Metroid definately is not. It remains firmly entrenched in 1987.

KDR_11kAugust 15, 2007

No, reviewing old games is fine. You don't need to hold them up to modern graphical standards but just because they're old you shouldn't let them get away with outdated game design. After all we're paying for them in 2007 so we should review them in 2007 as well.

NinGurl69 *hugglesAugust 15, 2007

shazaaam. money talks.

I might have said "Recommended for Fans" (same as I gave to Milon's Secret Castle), but I can't fault Zach. What he wrote about Metroid is totally correct. It was an ingenious game that influenced countless others and spawned sequels that I consider to be some of the best games ever made. But Metroid is a game you would play in a Gaming History class to learn about game design. It's not very much fun on its own merits, unless you are extremely patient and forgiving. Back in 1987, I was. Not only am I twenty years older now, but the state of gaming has changed so much that it's hard to accept Metroid's many flaws, even if it is revolutionary. I believe Metroid's ideas and ambition far outpaced the technology available to create it at the time. Super Metroid was when the tech finally caught up with the vision.

Also, I want to second what Windy said. These are recommendations only. In the case of Metroid, you are much better off finding a copy of Zero Mission and playing that on your GBA or DS. It's the same game but expanded and improved in every possible way. And you'll still get the original, just so you can play it and be disappointed. Alternately, you can put Metroid Prime into your Wii and play the original Metroid that way, just like I did yesterday when showing a friend what all the hoopla was about.

UrkelAugust 15, 2007

I don't believe technology excuses many of the faults in Metroid. Zelda did most of what Metroid did, only better.

Zelda also had a non-linear overworld, but you had a MAP so you knew where the hell you were. You didn't need to grind for health because there were fairy springs. You could warp to certain points on the map once you got the flute. etc. etc.

Metroid was flawed mostly because these concepts weren't common at that time, not because they couldn't be done. Super Metroid's greatness has as much to do with Intelligent Systems gaining experience over the years as it did with improved hardware.

Basically, if the Snes existed back in 1987 Metroid would still be rubbish. Running around for the first 20 minutes of the game killing Zoomers to fill up your health would still be a chore. It just wouldn't look as bad.

KDR_11kAugust 15, 2007

Alternately, you can put Metroid Prime into your Wii and play the original Metroid that way, just like I did yesterday when showing a friend what all the hoopla was about.

I thought that requires GBA-linking Fusion to it? Either way I don't think I've unlocked the original metroid in MP but I've also never beaten the final boss (why bother, he's just annoying and the game ends after that anyway).

Ian SaneAugust 16, 2007

"These are recommendations only. In the case of Metroid, you are much better off finding a copy of Zero Mission and playing that on your GBA or DS."

You're right. That's a much better value.

Also, I just noticed Viewt's post. I am a huge fan of certain Metroid games. :-) For example, I love Metroid Prime but disliked Metroid Prime 2.* I love Super Metroid though I merely enjoy Metroid 2. I can't get enough of Zero Mission, but I feel that the structure of Fusion is a bit un-Metroid-esque. Still a great game, though (note to self: play Fusion again).

*I could go into this in greater detail, but it would take awhile.

Having said that, I'm wetting my pants just thinking about MP3.

BlackGriffenAugust 20, 2007

I must say that I find the grinding and cheap shots in Ninja Gaiden more frustrating than the old Metroid. At least with Metroid I'll usually survive (the occasional inescapable pit notwithstanding) and refill my life. Yes, grinding for life is boring, but it develops a certain insane level of patience that comes in handy in life.

For those who are getting lost, GameFaqs has several maps, one of which consists of screen shots so you can see where you are.

Ah, those were the days - I still remember getting called when my sister was the first person to reach Mother Brain, though I was the first to actually beat it. face-icon-small-smile.gif One of my sisters even managed to work her way out of that bottomless pit in Brinstar without the wave beam once. I don't recall exactly how she did it, but it involved letting the blocks solidify around Samus somehow.

Now, GET OFF MY LAWN IF YA CAN'T APPRECIATE IT! face-icon-small-happy.gifface-icon-small-wink.gif

UltimatePartyBearAugust 21, 2007

Maps. That reminds me of a long ago lunch period during which a school chum was drawing a map of Tourian for another school chum. I hadn't played Metroid myself, but I saw the maps and the ominous one word warnings on parts of it, "Metroids!" That really drove home how dangerous Metroids were supposed to be, and to this day they still freak me the heck out.

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