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Metroid Dread

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Liking Dread a lot so far, the movement feels really great. Controls to execute some of those moves can be a tad clumsy (we really out here pressing 3 buttons + aiming just to use the grapple beam?), and I think it gets a bit wordy in places to really hammer the objectives home.

It does repeat the Samus Returns thing where bosses get recycled (the brains, EMMIs), but I've also had a few good unique fights already.

Adam as a computer I'm fine with for now.

Mentioned this in the Shocktober thread but beat Metroid Dread earlier today. I had collected all the items yesterday and tried my hand at the final boss but after a few losses I figured I'd go to bed and try again today and wrapped up the story earlier in the afternoon. I was wondering what the Ending Gallery requirements were and found out they are based on the speed with which you beat the game.

Currently doing another run of the game. Trying to reach the 4 hours or less mark but not sure I'll make it this run. However, I am flying through it at a much quicker pace than my initial play through. Stopped playing with the timer at 2:13 and I've just finished seeing the death of Quiet Robe and beating the first Robot Chozo Soldier. I feel like halfway would be having the X freed from Elun so it seems like I'm behind but maybe wrong there.

I've had 12 deaths so far in this run. I was going perfect until the third E.M.M.I. got me three times in about the same area. The first time I ran into a door that you need to sneak past in Phantom mode but got dead-ended by not activating the cloak in time and it caught me. The second time was learning something new. There were some beam block walls ahead of me so I figured I'd just leave them be in front of me as hiding place and wait for the E.M.M.I. to see it as a dead end and move on. Instead, the thing just started walking into them and destroying the blocks that way. Quickly hit the Phantom Cloak before it saw me but then kept moving forward and finally touched me. The third time I didn't see it on the map so I dropped down from a bit height only to land directly on the thing. Terrible timing.

The next three deaths were against the fourth E.M.M.I. and they all occurred while I was trying to take the thing down after getting the Omega beam. That darn thing can move so fast and my aim seems to have trouble with keeping up on it. Could tell it was getting close to me as I was trying to blast away the fact shield but turned too late a few times. Finally got it done on the fourth try.

The other four deaths came against the Chozo Robot Soldier. I had trouble with it the first time and the dang thing annoyed me again this time. It seems to have a generous range of attack. There's a time where it glows red to do a charge. Even trying to leap over and Flash Shift would seem to get me caught in that attack or there were times I jumped up from the lowest floor onto a middle ledge and it still hurt me from the bottom floor as I was on that middle ledge or trying to jump up to the top ledge. Finally went back to my first strategy of running in circles. Get to the top ledge. As it comes to the top ledge, fire a couple missiles and drop down before it can do any attack. After it does its attack which can't hurt me on the bottom floor, it drops down to the bottom floor where I hit it with 4 or 5 missiles before quickly jumping to the middle ledge and then back to the top before it can do its first attack. Rinse and repeat as it chases after me to the top ledge. I think the problem with this robot compared to the others is just the low health one has at this time of the game and maybe not having super missiles makes a difference. It would help if I could do a melee counter against it also but can't seem to pull it off on this one.

Will I make it in four hours at this rate? Unsure but it will help me better put together the path and progression the game unfolds in if I have to do it again. Still, I was feeling pretty good at going so far without dying at first compared to the first time I played this and if it wasn't for some bad timing moments with the E.M.M.I.'s, I'd have probably gone undefeated until that recent miniboss. It just shows that you definitely learn the moves and skills for the game as you keep playing and suffering through at first so that now the difficulty is way less. At least on Normal. We'll see how much of a pain Hard Mode is later once I'm satisfied with my Normal performance.

I finally beat the game this weekend with 100% items.  I really liked it.  I will say that I agree with how quickly the game just stops.  The pace of the story just accelerates suddenly and then it's over.  It felt like I missed a few things. Adam basically says you're nowhere near strong enough to face the boss, and the next time you speak to him he says you're almost strong enough.  Then Samus just fucking kills the last Emmi in a cut scene before you face the final Chozo Soldier.  You don't even really interact with it before that point.

The final boss was tough, but not too tough.  To be honest, while most of the bosses were challenging, some of those freaking Speed Boost puzzles took me hours.  Those were the hardest and most frustrating parts of the game to me.  I spent so many hours getting such minor power-ups.  I guess it felt worth it in the end, but man.

Well, I wrapped things up with Dread late Saturday / early Sunday evening. When I last posted in this thread, I was attempting to finish Normal under 4 hours. I ended up finishing that run at 4:32 and change. Mistakes were made along the way. I knew I wasn't going to make it since I saved before the final boss and then checked what the playtime on my save file was which showed 4:18 and some change. I think I might have had around 43% - 46% items at the end of that attempt. I then decided to go through the game and collect all the other items again and remind myself of their locations.

I then did a third playthrough. However, in that one, I was worried that I was still going to slow and had recently seen a gif from Matt Z about sequence breaking to get the Gravity Suit early. I was in the area and thought I'd try to duplicate that to speed things along and skip a boss or two. I did pull off the moves I saw and was able to get myself to the Green Teleporter early. The problem was that I then couldn't reach a door I needed to in Burenia to progress to the Gravity Suit. It seems like I needed the Space Jump to do so which is what I had been on the way to getting when I attempted this sequence break instead. Unfortunately, I never saw Matt Z post anything about that. Maybe there was a Shinespark trick for it. I worked my way back up around the map and got things to the point were ZDR was getting cooled down because of Experiment Z and decided I'd probably lost too much time so better to restart.

My fourth attempt went very smoothly. At that point, I pretty much had the progression down of what to do and what directions to be going from the start of the game to about the first time reaching Ferenia and also had the end run from about acquiring the Gravity Suit to the Final Boss pretty much laid out in my mind. The aborted third attempt helped me solidify much the middle portion connecting those that start and finish. I ended the 4th run with a time of 3:44 and some change and around 54% items. I then went and got the remaining items again.

With Normal mode done and the game's path firmly in mind, I decided I might as well try Hard Mode. It turned out that it wasn't that hard. It seems like the only thing hard mode did was increase the damage enemies had on Samus when they hit her or she ran into them. I'm pretty sure that only caused three deaths from me just trying to tank things and run through rooms and colliding with an enemy or two. Fortunately, none of those set me back very much or cost much time.

Maybe enemies required a bit more ammo but it wasn't anything that noticeable to me. It seemed like they still took the same amount of time and ammo like Normal mode including the bosses. In fact, Hard Mode ended up being my best showing against bosses. Didn't die once with the majority of them. Only the Escru (or whatever the electic beetle like thing is in Ferenia that you get the storm missiles from), Gorgonzoa (or whatever the crab like thing is called that you get the Cross Bombs from) and the first single Golden Chozo Robot were cases where I had multiple deaths. It was the first time I got past Experiment Z in one try. I was saving and then checking my time along the playthrough as well. On this run, after I left Elun, I checked the time and it was like 2:03 so I was quite happy with that. I felt like that should be the halfway portion of the game. When I beat Experiment Z, I felt I couldn't be further along then 3:15 but it was 2:57.

With my time being so good at this point, I decided to create a copy of the file and see what happened if I went after a few more power-ups on my way to the end. I thought maybe I'd gone a bit too far when I was trying to get what I think is the hardest power-up in the game. It is the missile upgrade in Ferenia where you have to get a shinespark then get up a floor and morph ball to a spot that's first blocked by four beam blocks and requires getting past four drop blocks to a spot underneath two bomb blocks. Blowing those up and then launching straight upward with the Shinespark gets you the power-up. I felt I might have wasted around 5 minutes trying to get it before accepting it as a loss and moving on. I was glad I made the copy of this file. However, it turns out I didn't need it as I finished the run at 3:52 and with that I unlocked all the remaining Gallery images. I had an Item Completion Rate of 68% as well. I could probably crack 70% if I did another run but even the 68% is more than enough. It gave me 10 full Energy tanks, 195 missiles and 8 power bombs which is more than enough for the last couple bosses.

For old times sake, I figured I might as well also get the 100% item completion for the Hard mode so I went back and collected the remaining items. Doing that and getting back to the Save Room for the Final Boss added about an hour to the time and my save file time was at 4:45 with 100% items just before the fight. With that, I'm pretty much done with Metroid Dread now. Not really one of those gamers looking to challenge myself even further with some kind of 0% run or something.

My brief experience with Hard Mode did make me think of this:

--- Quote from: Luigi Dude on October 10, 2021, 11:15:57 PM ---Of course for me personally, as someone who did the low percentage Hard Mode run on Zero Mission back in early 2018 so I could get all the ending images of that game, having a Metroid made for a hardcore fan like me was like a dream come true.  If they make the next game more around the difficulty of Super and Zero Mission to make it more appealing to those turned of by Dread, I won't mind because at least I now have something like Dread that can fill my desire for a hardcore Metroid experience.

--- End quote ---

I have a feeling Luigi Dude may also no longer see this game as a hardcore Metroid experience anymore. The difficulty of the game really seems to drop off the first time you play it. My second playthrough was much easier and quicker and it only seemed to get easier and quicker over my other couple playthroughs. (Sorry pokepal148. I know you complained about the difficulty and gave up on the game awhile ago but I think it can all be overcome with practice.) At this point, I'd say Metroid Prime 3 is more difficult than Dread. Heck, Zero Mission with some of its requirements to unlock images is probably more difficult. One thing I've meant to still do is finish getting all the unlockable images in that game. I think there was an image or two on Hard I needed to get done and didn't partly because I was getting tired of playing the game over and over just with different requirements here and there. That fatigue was starting to set in a bit with Dread but I got it done and dusted before it wore out its charm. Now back to the wait for Metroid Prime 4....

Luigi Dude:

--- Quote from: Khushrenada on November 09, 2021, 12:02:32 AM ---I have a feeling Luigi Dude may also no longer see this game as a hardcore Metroid experience anymore.

--- End quote ---

Well if you just trying to play it normally, it's still harder then Super, Fusion, Zero Mission and Returns since normal enemies are more aggressive and the bosses can kill you pretty fast if your not careful.  Only the final half of Returns with bosses like Diggernaut, Metroid Queen and Spoiler even come close to what Dread is offering on just a regular playthrough.

But yeah, nothing in this game compares to Zero Missions low percentage runs which still take the cake for hardest 2D Metroid experience that's an official requirement to unlock something.  Or trying to get 100% in Fusion and Zero Mission in under 2 Hours is also harder since there's little room for error.  I don't quite think it's fair to compare it to the Prime games since the gameplay is completely different, but I do agree that the Prime 2 and Prime 3 on their hardest modes are harder games, but that's a challenging FPS gameplay, vs a challenging 2D gameplay.

I do agree that on my second playthrough of Normal to get the under 4 hour reward and my playthrough of Hard to also get under 4 hours it was a much easier experience.  The Slide and Flash Shift are very important tools for dodging that I didn't use as much my first playthrough but used them all the time on my second and that made a huge difference.  Because previous Metroids game didn't have them it's easy for people including myself at first not to really use them since we're not used to them.  But on my second playthrough it became very clear that many of the games more aggressive enemies and bosses kind of want you to use these abilities to dodge.

The other major ability that I didn't realize was as useful was the Storm Missiles.  I though just spamming missiles would be quicker like previous Metroids but my second playthrough I realized just how much more powerful a fully locked on Storm Missile attack is.  This is why the game even tries to teach players by having you fight 2 Chozo Robots at once right after you get this ability.  If you fully lock on to them with the Storm Missles it completely destroys them much quicker then trying to shoot them with regular missiles.  It's the games way of telling players they should be using these for tougher enemies for now on.  Using these made the fight against Experiment Z and the Final Boss go much quicker this time as well.

Still, even though the game is much easier once you fully master what it offers, I'm still pleased with the end result.  Still a very engaging experience from beginning to end that will be fun to replay from time to time.


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