Author Topic: Metroid Dread  (Read 21394 times)

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Offline broodwars

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #50 on: October 09, 2021, 04:29:38 PM »
Put a fair amount of time into the game (for the record, I just acquired the Pulse Radar), and so far I'm finding this game to be just OK. I'm not the biggest fan of 2D Metroid to begin with (IMO, everything the 2D Metroids did well was done better in the 3D ones), but I'm finding Dread just needlessly frustrating.

The E.M.M.I.s feel like a bad idea done poorly, yet another example of Nintendo's post-SNES obsession to shoehorn mandatory stealth into their games for no apparent reason or benefit. It is satisfying to turn the tables on them eventually, but the sequences are so trial & error-based that they come off more tedious than suspenseful. That damn chirping sound they all do when their in the room doesn't help matters.

My biggest issues with the game, though, are that the environments (largely generic industrial early on) are dull and unmemorable and this game is just as linear as Fusion was. It just doesn't explicitly TELL you you're being railroaded like Fusion did. While the game doesn't forbid you from backtracking, you'll often find over the course of exploration that moving forward also slammed a door shut behind you. Just like Fusion, you'll probably have a way to circumvent all these obstacles at the end of the game, but it's really frustrating to run into something like a tricky boss and know you can't just go explore for power-ups to make the fight easier because you blocked off all the exit paths.

Pfft. Not like exploring what you can will help you much. The early areas are full of late game hard locks so there's little to explore for in the early to mid-game. Missile containers are everywhere, but enemies are such damage sponges it's not like it even matters. Health is what you want, and health is what the game either throws in your critical path or locks behind late game exploration.

That said, I do enjoy the game once I got used the kinda-wonky controls a bit. The game has pretty good presentation, for a Nintendo title, and exploration can be as enjoyable as ever. The game also subverts your expectations (in a good way) when it comes to shaking up the usual Metroid upgrade flow.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2021, 04:32:08 PM by broodwars »
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Offline Shorty McNostril

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #51 on: October 09, 2021, 04:30:02 PM »
Just wrapped up the story. Had a wonderful time. Definitely the most story heavy of the whole series. Overall I thought the story was quite solid but a little bit cliched in a couple of points. Some of the writing felt a bit basic in a couple of parts but these complaints are fairly nitpicky. Was a great experience and a worthy entry to the series.

Nintendo said that this entry wraps up the metroid storyline.

Mega spoilers in the following passage

If that's what they've said then I guess it has but to be honest the ending was a bit ambiguous in that respect. Samus herself is a metroid now so by definition that storyline can never be wrapped up. Unless that final X somehow purged her system of it but if that's what happened then it wasn't well demonstrated. Maybe they're leaving a small thread there in case they want to come back to it and retcon one day?

Boss and miniboss fights are great fun. Really interesting mechanics and the parry cutscenes are so cool. Nice variety. But they nailed them in terms of fairness and difficulty. Not once did I find myself getting frustrated and when I died it was all me. But they are balanced excellently so you can feel like you're progressing and learning the fights quickly enough that you don't get frustrated. It also spawns you nice and close to the encounter so you don't have to progress all the way from the last save point.

I think the EMMIs are really nicely done. They have a very bizarre movement which makes them a little creepy and that beep is quite unnerving which builds the tension of these things. I only managed a handful of successful parries against them. The timing isn't constant which is good.

One minor nitpick I do have though when it comes to bosses is why Kraid was in this game. There was no reason for him to be there. No mention of why or how. You just stumble upon him tied up in the basement. I think it was just hamfisted fan service. Would have rathered him not be there, or they could have given us a reason why he was. We don't see him dead so I guess they haven't ruled him out of future appearances but it was just so weird. Thankfully there was no unexplained Ridley appearance. No Space Pirates at all either.

Tomorrow I'll go through and try to pick up all the items. Speaking of which for anyone far enough through the game and has the speed boost. I don't know if I'm missing something, but there are several areas where expansions or paths are hidden behind speed boost blocks that require the shine spark to access. The problem is that there are no flat sections of terrain close enough to these areas so you can get the spark there before it times out. I'm just wondering if there's a mechanic I missed that allows you to charge it up with a shorter run, or a means of keeping the charge longer before it dissipates.

Some other miscellaneous comments:

SAMUS SPEAKS! Unfortunately not in english but even those couple of lines was really cool. And her almighty yell at the end. I was hoping we might have got a post credit scene with her speaking somewhere but sadly it wasn't to be.

Nice to see Adam Malkavich's brain computer thing was in there too. But one wonders at what point Raven Beak hijacked it. Was he controlling it from the very beginning, or did it happen somewhere throughout the adventure? It was definitely the real Adam at some point because he asked her his usual question of "Any objections, Lady?". I was hoping we might get a little more from the Adam story. Hopefully that will be expanded on later. That might be a nice palate cleanser before embarking on a new Metroid storyline actually. Maybe do a prequel with Adam in it and their relationship building. (I know Other M had some of this in it but it seems that Nintendo are pretending that doesn't exist so hopefully we'll get some more).

I'm most pleased they took her bird suit away. That thing was hideous.

Offline broodwars

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #52 on: October 09, 2021, 10:32:23 PM »
OK, it's rare that I actually agree with the Game Journos on something, but Metroid Dread is too fucking hard. For point of reference, I just beat Experiment Z-57 and acquired the Screw Attack.

That last boss fight took me probably a good half hour to an hour of attempts to beat, and even the attempt where I won I was near death after probably 10 minutes of continuous combat, with the boss constantly spamming its Flappy Bird attack (if you've fought him, you know) and just REFUSING to die.

I'm sorry, but this game has no difficult curve. Most games start off relatively easy and ramp up to difficult over the course of the game. Metroid Dread has the lever permanently set to 10. EVERY boss and most mini-bosses will just flatten you in a few hits, even if you've gone out of your way to collect all the available health tanks and missile expansions. I can do it. I have done it. It's fucking exhausting. Hell, with the item I just acquired, this game should be OVER, and the game's STILL throwing 5,000 HP enemies with nigh-insta kill attacks.

I can do hard games. I play hard games all the time, but this game is hard in a particularly boring way: all enemies are incredible damage sponges, and all of them take out 1/3 to over a single health tank a hit so you basically have to play flawlessly in every fight. Then you have the EMMIs, too, with their instant-kill stealth rooms (yes, you can knock them away in the QTE, but the timing between when the counter flashes appear and when the game acknowledges you hit the button seems off).

It's all just so excessive and exhausting. It makes me not want to play the game, not helped by how tedious it is to get around the areas with their incredibly circuitous routes so you can't just blast from Point A to Point B.
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Offline Shorty McNostril

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #53 on: October 09, 2021, 11:49:03 PM »
Interesting. Shows how different people have different views on such things. Sure they were hard, but I found I was progressing sufficiently through subsequent encounters that it kept the frustration at bay.

In terms of the flappy bird attack I assume you mean the stage two attack when he swoops across the screen into the wall.? If so, curl up into a morph ball and he'll go right over the top of you.  I had a great time in that final fight. Yes he hits like a tank but he telegraphs attacks well enough for you to evade as needed. But naturally you'll likely die a fair bit as you suss out the moveset.

Offline broodwars

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #54 on: October 10, 2021, 12:11:44 AM »
Interesting. Shows how different people have different views on such things. Sure they were hard, but I found I was progressing sufficiently through subsequent encounters that it kept the frustration at bay.

In terms of the flappy bird attack I assume you mean the stage two attack when he swoops across the screen into the wall.? If so, curl up into a morph ball and he'll go right over the top of you.  I had a great time in that final fight. Yes he hits like a tank but he telegraphs attacks well enough for you to evade as needed. But naturally you'll likely die a fair bit as you suss out the moveset.

No, it's the attack where he turns on the fans and starts spamming pink goo walls you have to space jump around ala Flappy Bird.

I beat that boss eventually. It just got really frustrating when I had unloaded nearly 150 missiles into the guy (including blasting all 4 of his arms off), and the guy was still spamming me attacks I couldn't interrupt him out of. I feel like if the devs had cut back on the boss/miniboss health pool by about 25% - 33% and maybe their damage by 10-15%, it would solve a lot of difficulty complaints myself and others have made with this game. It doesn't help that the game kinda has the Cuphead problem of it rarely being clear just how much damage you're actually doing and how far into the fight you are.

I still think the "Easy mode" demands I've seen online are going a bit too far. I'm fine with the game being challenging. I just think it's poorly balanced and could use some post-launch tuning. As the game is, it reminds me a lot of Doom Eternal, a game a lot of people put down in frustration due to constantly being on death's doorstep and out of resources.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2021, 12:16:11 AM by broodwars »
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Offline Adrock

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #55 on: October 10, 2021, 12:24:43 AM »
Then I also think back to the Wii and how many copies of Metroid Prime 3 and even Other M later seemed to flood the used games section of Gamestop. Could pick them up for so cheap. Could be the same thing happens here after a bunch of people beat the game. Now it's like I'm talking myself into not even bothering with it for months. Anyone else ever find themselves losing hype for a game they know they'd really like?
I rarely buy games new at full price and Metroid Dread is an outlier launch day purchase for me so I get where you're coming from.

While I've waited nearly two decades and was excited for Metroid 5, I wasn't especially hyped for it and haven't been hyped for any game in a long time. Maybe I'm just old now.

It's possible Gamestop was flooded with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption because people traded up for Metroid Prime Trilogy. And Metroid: Other M is well, Metroid: Other M. It may behoove you to see how many copies of Metroid: Samus Returns you see in the used games section as it may give you a better idea of what to expect if your intention is to pick up Metroid Dread for less.

Anyway, some thoughts on the game so far:

I'm still under the impression (based on the opening "narration") that Yoshio Sakamoto believes fans hate that Samus talked in Other M when the real issue was ALWAYS that the writing and voice direction were both bad. Have Samus talk, just do it well.

Samus immediately zooming over to ZDR with next to no intel seems pretty reckless to me.

I haven't finished the game yet, but I fully expect Samus to blow up yet another planet.

Why is Zordon providing Samus with background info?

Miss me with Zordon-Adam's robot voice. Yikes.

I know MercurySteam redesigned Samus' Whoops-I-Lost-All-My-Things® Power Suit, but it sure did look like that Chozo guy who Top 10 Anime Betrayals'd Samus in the beginning like, changed her clothes while she was unconscious.

The Emmy Rossum sections suck a bag of broken dicks. I got the counter to work and escaped literally once (then got caught again almost immediately anyway and died). Sure, the sections are tense which is what MercurySteam is going for here. I simply don't find them to be particularly fun or engaging, unfortunately. They're the opposite, I imagine, of actual Emmy Rossum.

The first real boss, Corpious, was so f-ing difficult. I've admitted I'm not good at video games before, but this was next level suckage. The first few deaths against this mofo made me feel like I was the nephew/cousin who was given the unplugged controller while the adults were actually playing.

Metroid Dread plays like a more refined Samus Returns which is to be expected and can be good or bad depending on how you felt about that game. I liked Samus Returns though the controls were not as tight as Super-Fusion-Zero Mission. I like that you can free aim in this game. However, I don't feel like it controls as well as it should.

The game looks good graphically, not even with a "for a Nintendo Switch game" modifier. I'm mostly in favor of the art design though Samus, again, has a bunch of lights on her normal Power Suit which is simply baffling to me. My issue is that everything is so clean. This is weird because series canon is that the Galactic Federation just swabbed all manner of DNA from Samus' Power Suit and started cloning ****. This also makes finding hidden destructible blocks harder to find which so far, have been necessary to proceed. I don't remember getting this stuck for this long in the pre-Samus Returns 2D games. I gave up twice already and checked YouTube because I can't be bothered.

Semi-related: Getting the Amiibo for Metroid Dread was straight up one of the most infuriating experiences I've had in recent memory. Amazon had a placeholder page for months. It went live for realsies around noon on Friday and was FLOODED with scalpers reselling for double to often over triple MSRP ($29.99). Amazon's own listing was apparently up for like 10 minutes then was broken for the rest of the day.

Normally, I just hop in my car and drive to the nearest Target or Best Buy except Friday was apparently meetings-palooza at work-from-home. I live in Philadelphia. I was able to order one online from Best Buy in Cherry Hill (roughly 15 minute drive). There were two left then I got an email that they were preparing to put it aside. Yeah, well, they got sold so I had the option to hold the only one left within 50 miles. I drove to Princeton this morning. Yes, that Princeton, 49 miles away. It was a nice drive, but sheesh, buying that toy was much harder than I ever thought it would be.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2021, 12:33:16 AM by Adrock »

Offline broodwars

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #56 on: October 10, 2021, 12:54:52 AM »
Speaking of Sakamoto, I imagine he had a heart attack when he saw that bit in the intro where Mercury Steam explicitly reference Samus as a Bounty Hunter, as ADAM advises that the Bounty here wasn't worth the risk. Funny how it's always the Western-made Metroid games that remember that.

On a personal note, I'm actually a little annoyed for Mercury Steam that Nintendo seems to be taking full credit for this game when you boot it up. I didn't see any mention of Mercury Steam during the boot-up sequence, on the title screen, or in the intro. It's just Nintendo's name. Considering Nintendo let Retro use their name on the Prime games, title screens, this just seems petty.

Oh, and Adrock, you'll find an upgrade later on that will reveal the breakable blocks for a few seconds around you (plus, the map screen flashes white on sections you've been but haven't revealed a hidden item yet), so it will get much easier to find secrets later. I think you'll also find that Nintendo can, inexplicably, do good voice acting outside NoE when they're not dubbing in English.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2021, 01:00:43 AM by broodwars »
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Offline Shorty McNostril

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #57 on: October 10, 2021, 03:52:22 AM »
Interesting. Shows how different people have different views on such things. Sure they were hard, but I found I was progressing sufficiently through subsequent encounters that it kept the frustration at bay.

In terms of the flappy bird attack I assume you mean the stage two attack when he swoops across the screen into the wall.? If so, curl up into a morph ball and he'll go right over the top of you.  I had a great time in that final fight. Yes he hits like a tank but he telegraphs attacks well enough for you to evade as needed. But naturally you'll likely die a fair bit as you suss out the moveset.
No, it's the attack where he.....

Ah right yes I'm with you. [_Use the blink/dash move to go through the gaps. Makes it a lot easier than relying on the natural flow of the bounce_]

_________

(I don't know if there's a way to only quote a portion of a post without the whole thing coming across and having to delete stuff in this tiny little reply window)

@Adrock.
I got the first real boss down on the first attempt. It was most definitely the only boss I got down first attempt. All the others took many attempts. However that did bring to mind another issue I found with the game:

Those eyeball brain things that give you the omega beam to take out EMMIs. There needs to be more clear feedback to the player that you're actually damaging it when you shoot it. I remember the first time I killed one I found myself trying to damage other things in the room, and deflect projectiles at it because I wasn't sure if my shooting the thing was doing anything. Maybe show the metal shell sustaining damage, denting or something.

Regarding the point about having difficulty finding how to proceed through the game - again I never had this problem. In fact I think the level design is just top notch in terms of guiding people where they need to go. Even in the EMMI zones where you're rushing through you still largely end up where you need to go to progress.

By all the above I'm certainly not trying to imply that I'm a better player and what not. Maybe I just got lucky. Or maybe this type of game is just my jam. I am quite sensitive to repetition and frustration in games now. It's an extremely rare game that I will play above normal difficulty, and I'm not above playing something on easy mode. But for whatever reason this particular game didn't labour on me like a lot do. (Luckily for me because there is no easy mode in this game lol). I was looking forward to each boss encounter because each time I went in I was learning more and therefore more comfortable with the fights. And consequently every few more attempts I'd progress a little further in the encounter which kept the frustration at bay.

Offline pokepal148

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #58 on: October 10, 2021, 10:32:56 AM »
As someone with legit cognitive issues with fine motor skills, it's incredibly frustrating that 2D Metroids are basically unplayable to me nowadays when it comes to the boss encounters when Super is legitimately one of my favorite first party Nintendo games ever made. This was also the most excited I've gotten for a game since Skyward Sword and it was nice to get excited for a game like that again but apparently when I get  excited for a game, that's a sign that I should avoid it like the plague because it will only ever bring me anger, frustration, and annoyance.

And of course trying to bring up these issues leads to you being compared to a 70 year old woman and laughed at.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2021, 03:42:33 PM by pokepal148 »

Offline ThePerm

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #59 on: October 10, 2021, 03:00:52 PM »
People who have played Resident Evil 7 and Metroid Dread: How does it compare? One of the mechanics on RE7 is the unrelenting enemy that keeps coming. This sort of thing is a source of great tension that has prevented me from beating the game. 
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Offline broodwars

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #60 on: October 10, 2021, 05:57:09 PM »
People who have played Resident Evil 7 and Metroid Dread: How does it compare? One of the mechanics on RE7 is the unrelenting enemy that keeps coming. This sort of thing is a source of great tension that has prevented me from beating the game.

It's nothing like RE4 in terms of tone. It's more akin to something like Outlast, where you're occasionally on the run from an incredibly annoying enemy who can instant-kill you.

I think I have 100% item completion. Trying to head to the final boss, and OMG I'm sick of fighting these fucking armored lizard mini-bosses with the shield and spear. Dread regurgitates this boss, like, 5 times.
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Offline nickmitch

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #61 on: October 10, 2021, 06:17:20 PM »
I've put a couple of hours into the game, and I must say that I really love it! I think the E.M.M.I. encounters are very tense, which makes them fun.  Those are the primary source of my Game Overs, I think I've only died from other, non-boss encounters like twice.  My one gripe is that I do have trouble aiming for the head (like Thor) to beat them.  For some reason, aiming gets me as much as finding the right spacing to hit them.  I do like that you have a chance to block them if they catch you.  The game warns that you have a 1% chance, so I don't expect to be successful, making any successful getaways feel like an additional relief.

Other boss fights are pretty tough.  The last one I did had two attacks that were pretty similar, but I could only deflect one.  It took me a couple of tries just to figure that out.  Because the game is pretty generous with the respawn points, I generally feel fine with my high frequency of deaths in those times.  Doesn't feel like it matters too much.

Level design and exploration feel on par with the series, so I don't have much to say other than that's another part of the game that I'm really enjoying.  The beginning area being filled with powerups you can't get was a bit annoying though.  I do enjoy the QoL improvements with the map though.
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Offline broodwars

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #62 on: October 10, 2021, 07:02:25 PM »
Metroid Dread 100% complete. The Final Boss gave me a little trouble, but once I got used to his patterns he wasn't so badass after a handful of attempts. I've seen worse in this game.





Well, this game doesn't end, does it? It just...stops. Even by Nintendo standards, that ending was underwhelming.

Overall, I still think Dread is just OK. As much as it frustrated me, especially with the copy & paste minibosses in the game's latter half, the game scratches that Metroid itch and there is some just fantastic presentation. I really think it was a mistake for the game's enemies to have as much health and deal as much damage as they do. The power fantasy really only exists when you're just wandering around in the Endgame, as it feels like every boss and mini-boss were balanced with a 100% completionist player in mind at all times. I never really felt like I was getting an advantage by exploring, but just holding the line.

On a side note, I never did get my Amiibo to work with this game, and I don't understand why. The Samus Smash Amiibo is supposed to refill your health, but I pressed that damn thing against the NFC point on the stick several times over the course of my playthrough and it never triggered. And I know the NFC works. It can read the Amiibo just fine in the system menu.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2021, 07:04:34 PM by broodwars »
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Offline MagicCow64

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #63 on: October 10, 2021, 08:58:31 PM »
Well, some not-so-happy campers here!

For background, I love all Metroid, 2D and 3D (sans Other M), going back to being seven years old and getting lost in the original. I think the vast majority of the indie Metroidvania renaissance pales in comparison to the Super-> titles. The only games I'd put in the same league are Hollow Knight (pre-endless DLC/tinkering), Shadow Complex, and Toki Tori 2 (though it's a much different animal--basically a whole game of learning the wall jump in Super Metroid). It's obviously an alluring formula to attempt, and I play a lot of the attempts to scratch the itch, but almost all fundamentally miss something that makes the princes of the genre shine, be that world design, game feel, abilities, etc.

I wasn't wild about Samus Returns.

Dread is a considerable step up, but at about 1/3 of the way through (I think), it's got too many of the Samus Returns bones for my preference. It's a bit of a strange experience.

On the one hand, the game feels mostly excellent to play. It's all so smooth and snappy that it really carries you along. That not-great Metroidvania feeling of looking at the map and going "****, I have to slog all the way back over there" largely disappears because you can barrel through screens so fast once you get the hang of an area. The slide is great, and I really like that they "blue ball" you to get you to adjust to the new option.

On the other hand, they kept the counter bullshit. It's a bit better because you can do it while moving and they dialed down the number of enemies that have snap moves, but I think it still fundamentally sucks and makes the experience more annoying and choppy for no real benefit. There are still enemies (and even door locks!) that you can only hurt by juking around and waiting for their touchy counter windows. As I wrote in my Samus Returns assessment, the counter should only be there as a bonus shortcut in boss-type fights. It's not as bad here, but still something of a bird **** on the sundae.

I think the map design is very good so far, another big point in its favor. It keeps you on something of a leash, but not like Fusion. I regularly hit sector loops where I have to stop and think about what I'm doing or how I can get past an obstacle. The interactivity of the environment is fun and I'd to see this aspect taken further in the future.

The secrets aren't as great. There's an over-reliance on lock-and-key door/block types (maybe like 8?!) that makes me want to just ignore stuff until the end of the game, a big issue with Samus Returns. I'm hoping the more interconnected map and natural backtracking will move the needle on this, but it's a pretty fundamental piece of the puzzle of this genre, and it's a bit lacking. There's even a weird compromise with the bad SR map scanning ability, where now the map just defaults to a blinking border around an area where there's a secret.

The EMMIs are great! This game needed a gimmick, and I think it's a cool one. They're tense, they change up the pacing, they're not too punishing with the checkpoints, and they really make the game-feel shine as you scramble around and dick with cloaks and **** while trying to achieve an objective. The AI/animation implementation is impressive and intimidating; these things are trying to kill you! Escaping a death grip is a nice jolt, and it's very satisfying to pop one of those motherfuckers and gain ownership of an area.

I actually bought a TV to play this game, and it looks great on a big screen. Very smooth, details pop. Buuut the art design doesn't quite get there. Something just a little too plastic about the style, and most biomes and enemies lean toward the bland (hello, Samus Returns!). But also, the use case of making this 3D absolutely succeeds; the omega blaster is a genuinely interesting crowbar into three-dimensional space that ties in seamlessly with the 2D gameplay, and it also allows for cool transitions in and out of scripted sequences. Another thing I want more of in a future title! (3D map, 2D gameplay, 3D map, 2D gameplay)

Overall, despite some sour notes, it's pulling me forward in the way the good'ns of the genre do. I'm eager to see how it all ends up in the final reckoning.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2021, 09:10:10 PM by MagicCow64 »

Offline Luigi Dude

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #64 on: October 10, 2021, 11:15:57 PM »
I finish the game earlier today and it was excellent.  I really liked Samus Returns but it was held back by trying to be somewhat faithful to the original game.  The new content that was added was easily the best part of that game so I'm not surprised that when Mercury Steam was allowed to make an entirely new game that didn't have held back by an early 90's Gameboy game that really made something special.

I've been playing a lot of indie Metroidvania's on Switch the last few years and while some of those have been great, this game reminds me why I still love actual Metroid game the best.  The amount of attention that goes into each area, making sure every section is unique and important places that you need to return to are memorable is unmatched.  Now it's too early to say if Dread is my favorite since I still need to get 100% items, beat Hard Mode and do speed runs, but it's easily in the top tier for me.

The bosses though are easily the best in the series.  This was the part of Samus Returns that made me most excited to see what Mercury Steam could do with a new game since the final set of bosses in that game were already a step above anything seen in previous 2D Metroid games.  The only negative was they were all condensed to the end of the game, and the first half was filled with the basic Metroid fights with only one other unique boss during that time.  In Dread, the quality of the bosses from the last half of Samus Returns show up at the start of the game and are nicely paced throughout the rest of the game.  This will make Dread a lot more fun to replay, unlike Samus Returns that kind of slogged in the middle before it reaches its excellent finale.  Dread on the other hand was excellent the whole way through.

Now on the issue of the E.M.M.I. encounters, I liked them but was kind of surprised that they didn't make up as much of the game as I thought they would.  I was expecting them to patrol more of the different zones but you actually only deal with them during several smaller sections that you bypass to get to another part of the zone before eventually finding the ability that will let you find what can defeat them.  So every time I died, it's not like I lost a ton of progress since they restart you outside the room to their zone and it doesn't take that long to get past each section.  So I found them to add some nice variety to the gameplay as you explore each zone but nothing too overwhelming.

Now the biggest hot topic of this game is the difficulty, which I personally loved but can see why it's too much for some.  It's kind of funny to think how back in 2004, Zero Mission included an Easy mode because Nintendo was trying to make the series more accessible to the masses.  Now Samus Returns from 4 years ago didn't included an Easy mode so Nintendo was already positioning Metroid as a more hardcore franchise again, but even Samus Returns gave players the Scan Pulse very early on in the game so they were less likely to get lost, plus some of the Aeon abilities in that game like the power armor and rapid fire made things much easier then Dread. 

I wouldn't be surprised if because so many of the popular Metroid style games this last decade have been these challenging indie takes on the formula, Nintendo told Mercury Steam to really embrace the difficulty because that's where much of the audience for this style of game is.  Of course I don't fault anyone for getting upset since Super Metroid and Zero Mission, which are usually the 2 most popular 2D Metroid games are not that difficult, so to jump up the challange by such a degree is going to be a shock that I can see some being unable to complete.

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.

Well that's my current lovefest for the game.  Like I said earlier I need to get 100% items, and then do Hard Mode and do some speed runs so I'll be busy with this game the next week or two so maybe my opinion might change on a few things but at the moment it was an awesome experience from beginning to end.  Of course if I had to pick something I didn't like it would be the music.  Sadly, none of the new tracks are memorable and the whole thing was very forgettable.  Apparently the 2 composers for the game just started at Nintendo so this was their first project.  Well everyone has to start somewhere so hopefully they'll learn from this experience and their later projects will have better scores.

Oh and the lasers in this game kind of suck.  It takes so many hits just to kill some of the more basic enemies.  Of course it didn't bother me as much since missiles kill them much faster and the game hands them out like candy so I never even came close to running out.  But it just feels kind of weird to make the blaster so underpowered to the point were it's almost pointless to use.  I guess the developers wanted to give players a greater urgency to want to find missile upgrades so I guess it works.
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Offline Plugabugz

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #65 on: October 11, 2021, 03:50:14 AM »
I've only just started it last night and while my opinions haven't come together i'm with nickmitch with the bad aiming,  but i'm wondering if its the game or not. On my pro controller, if you try to aim and don't push the stick as far as possible in each direction it treats each direction as almost 90 degree angles so you end up aiming directly at the ceiling, straight down or straight left or right instead.

Offline nickmitch

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #66 on: October 11, 2021, 01:27:49 PM »
I've found that I'm often thinking about the controls a bit too much.  For some reason, I have to remember which shoulder buttons do what and keep track of which ones I'm holding in case I need to aim, and then move.  This is almost certainly a "me problem", however.  There are shortcomings with the controls though.  It's like the game wants Samus to be agile and quick-moving but she's still grounded in that more tanky style from Super Metroid.
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Offline Plugabugz

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #67 on: October 12, 2021, 09:28:18 AM »
I've found that I'm often thinking about the controls a bit too much.  For some reason, I have to remember which shoulder buttons do what and keep track of which ones I'm holding in case I need to aim, and then move.  This is almost certainly a "me problem", however.  There are shortcomings with the controls though.  It's like the game wants Samus to be agile and quick-moving but she's still grounded in that more tanky style from Super Metroid.

I have the exact same "me problem" as this, except I think it gives me more Other M styles of bringing momentum to a juddering halt (fortunately not as extreme!).

Also, i somehow managed to sequence break, but not the good kind, myself into a corner. I managed to travel to the world after Cataris without any upgrades, but couldnt go back as i was stuck behind a thermal door forcing a load of my last save. Well done me!

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #68 on: October 12, 2021, 02:36:09 PM »
It's possible Gamestop was flooded with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption because people traded up for Metroid Prime Trilogy. And Metroid: Other M is well, Metroid: Other M. It may behoove you to see how many copies of Metroid: Samus Returns you see in the used games section as it may give you a better idea of what to expect if your intention is to pick up Metroid Dread for less.

I'm pretty sure MP3 was already a big selection before the Trilogy release. It along with Battalion Wars 2 seemed to have a lot of stock in the used games section from 2007 and on for awhile.

Samus Returns 3DS would seem like a more relevant way to judge this but it released at a weird time. It was almost the last big 3DS sales success after the Switch released. There were a lot of games traded in before when the Switch first came out but there seemed to be less trade-ins by the time Samus Returns released. (Although Federation Force seemed to have a few copies available by this time.) The other problem was the 3DS space was already beginning to shrink to make way for Switch and in 2018 that size continued to condense even further as Wii U and 3DS stock was depleted. I'm not sure how many copies of Samus Returns were made compared to MP3 but a lot of late 3DS games are hard to come by now or find used. There may have been smaller print runs by that point. That clouds things as to what may happen with Metroid Dread.

Yet, with that said, I'll probably will pick up this game by the weekend or next week. Reading NWR's review has got me hyped for it again although I have my doubts I will be in love with it as much as John seems to be. I haven't felt the highs of the series since I dug into it in the early of the 00's playing Super Metroid, Zero Mission, Fusion Prime 1 and 2 in a short span. Part of that is likely tied to the fact there haven't been many Metroid games since that point. MP3 being the last highlight. I still found enjoyment in Other M, Fed Force and Samus Returns but all had things that detracted from the experience as well. Having gone back and replayed a lot of the Metroid games over the years as well has further caused the love to wilt a bit. Still enjoy playing them but definitely see things or notice parts where sections are more rough or kind of boring. With the mixed word of mouth I've seen about the game since its release, it makes me wonder if Dread will end up being another experience like the Metroid games of the past 15 years instead of the excitement I had on its announcement of possibly being another Zero Mission or Prime 1 type of love affair that I had with some of those earlier titles. Guess I'll just have to get a copy to find out.

Offline nickmitch

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #69 on: October 12, 2021, 03:01:21 PM »
I've found that I'm often thinking about the controls a bit too much.  For some reason, I have to remember which shoulder buttons do what and keep track of which ones I'm holding in case I need to aim, and then move.  This is almost certainly a "me problem", however.  There are shortcomings with the controls though.  It's like the game wants Samus to be agile and quick-moving but she's still grounded in that more tanky style from Super Metroid.

I have the exact same "me problem" as this, except I think it gives me more Other M styles of bringing momentum to a juddering halt (fortunately not as extreme!).

Also, i somehow managed to sequence break, but not the good kind, myself into a corner. I managed to travel to the world after Cataris without any upgrades, but couldnt go back as i was stuck behind a thermal door forcing a load of my last save. Well done me!

A friend of mine also managed an unintentional sequence break. He got a powerbomb upgrade before getting the powerbomb. The game did not let him use the powerbomb though.

The part where it's time to kill an EMMI is reminiscent of Other M, but at least it's not in first-person and I can anticipate it.  Those sections are pretty much "once you blast through the door, it's on" so I'm immediately prepped in my brain to do it.  I'd honestly say the switch adds a bit to the tension with killing the EMMIs.  Still, I suck at the aiming for reason.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2021, 03:04:18 PM by nickmitch »
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Offline Order.RSS

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #70 on: October 18, 2021, 06:26:01 PM »
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.

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #71 on: October 31, 2021, 11:02:48 PM »
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.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2021, 12:07:52 PM by Khushrenada »

Offline nickmitch

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #72 on: November 01, 2021, 01:47:48 AM »
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.
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Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #73 on: November 09, 2021, 12:02:32 AM »
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:

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.

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....
« Last Edit: November 09, 2021, 12:04:39 AM by Khushrenada »

Offline Luigi Dude

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Re: Metroid Dread
« Reply #74 on: November 16, 2021, 02:07:19 PM »
I have a feeling Luigi Dude may also no longer see this game as a hardcore Metroid experience anymore.

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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