GB – #12 – Metroid II: Return of Samus

History:

Still pretty new to actually playing the Metroid games, with the first on the NES being my first full playthrough of one. In that regard it’s pretty cool going from the first directly to the second.

Expectations:

So the original Metroid game took me from straight up not liking Metroid games to at the very least appreciating them, and actually, maybe even enjoying them. As long as this game isn’t terrible I’m hoping to have some fun with it.


Day 1:

150703-0708.mp4_snapshot_00.01.48_[2015.07.03_12.14.20]

Yep, it’s Metroid all right. It actually, surprisingly, more closely resembled Super Metroid both in terms of visuals and handling, and the color pallet is MUCH closer to the NES version on the Gamecube’s GBA Player than on the Super Gameboy I’m playing it on. I may try playing my next session on the Gamecube, though it’s notorious for it’s latency…

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So this time around you actually have a set mission: Kill all the Metroids. There’s even a counter in the lower right corner showing you how many are left. As you kill Metroids, different parts of the map will start opening up, keeping the game feeling a bit more linear than the first. I think this is great! You still have a strong sense of exploration yet the game manages to keep you on track and helps you not to get lost.

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Still no map, and still no beam swapping, but at least this time around the Ice Beam actually hits HARDER than your default beam, so you don’t feel like you’re sacrificing power for function.

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There’s also some new abilities, like the somewhat clunky yet excessively useful Spider Ball, pictured above.

All in all my initial impressions of the game are not negative! We’ll see how long it takes to trek through all of it though…


Day 2:

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Yay color! Boo S-Video!

My SNES is RGB modded so the sharpness is much better, but I guess it’s no “that” bad on the Gamecube. Control lag isn’t that bad either… Colors are great anyway! Right so I ended up sinking another two hours into this game and I’m actually really liking the flow of things.

Since I last played I’ve picked up the Varia suit and immensely useful Spring Ball, allowing me to jump while in morph ball form without using bombs! I had to do some back tracking as I missed the High Jump Boots, and between those and the Space Jump which is effectively an infinite jump if I can time it right, there’s nowhere I can’t go!

Well sort of. Each section of the game is gated until you’ve killed enough Metroids, which I actually really love. As you progress through the game, you start to uncover new types of Metroids.

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So far I’ve encountered the smaller Alpha Metroids and the larger, scarier Gamma Metroids, and still have Omegas to look forward too…

After long play session today it seems I’ve somehow missed a Metroid and am unable to move to the next area. I looped the current area a few times using a map and still can’t seem to find the one I’ve missed…

Later…

It was late, but I really had to beat this game. That missing Metroid was just bugging the hell out of me!

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A second glance at the map showed me it was pretty obvious which one I missed, but getting to him was a different story. I ended up fighting him outside the encounter room and kinda cheesing it through cleve use of game mechanics. So long as he was in that corner I could hit him with a missile or two, then spider ball to the ceiling to lure him back up, and repeat. Took a while, but he did go down…

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After that it was basically a gauntlet of Alpha and Gamma Metroids, until eventually I had to face down my first Zeta. At first I thought I wasn’t even dealing damage to these guys, eventually realizing that the way to hurt them was with several missiles to the face… just like with most other things…

The whole back half of the game was basically a straight line to the queen, well, straight line as far as Metroid games go anyway. After several more Metroid fights it was time to start taking on Omegas…

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Big and scary, sure, but ironically these guys were a lot easier to take down than the Zetas and even Gammas once the patterns were learned. Still took a crapton of missiles though…

I knew that the way to the Metroid Queen would involve taking down some classic Metroids, so the first thing I did was look up whether or not I’d need the Ice Beam like I did in the first game. The internet told me that, while it helps, it’s not required this time.

…The internet lies.

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After dying to the little head humpers I circled back for an Ice Beam which then allowed me to make quick work of them.

Final boss time…

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She took two tries as I learned the timings to stun her, crawl up her throat and into her belly and lay bombs and holy crap Metroid is a weird game…

After a fun if not too terribly challenging final encounter I decided to adopt a baby Metroid and head home!

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Conclusion:

So, here’s what GamesRadar had to say about this game at the 12th on their list:

“It’s easy to dismiss Metroid II as a failed sequel, or at least a game that’s aged so poorly it’s beyond recommendation. And we’d agree that by today’s standards, with its black-and-white graphics, labyrinthine corridors, and complete lack of a map, this is indeed a hard game to praise.”

…and that’s what I went into this game with. As I said just a little bit ago, the internet lies. It’s still really weird for me to say that I actually like Metroid games now. I thoroughly enjoyed playing through the first game, giving it a 81 in my review, and I liked this one even more.

Yep, I really liked this game. The pacing was great, having a clear set of goals was great and playing through it was genuinely fun. Sure there were some quirks, like still occasionally needing to glance at a map or look up how an item worked, but as far as I’m concerned this whole game is a marked improvement over the first.

Liked:

– Great graphics for a Gameboy game, acting almost as a visual segue between Metroid and Super Metroid.
– Handling was fantastic, just as good as the NES version and probably better since now you could crouch and shoot down!
– Game was streamlined very well without being too linear, keeping you on track while still allowing you to explore.
– No more mandatory secret paths!
– Even though it was light, the story element was nice, and it gave a lot more meaning to Super Metroid, which I’m now even more looking forward to playing.
– Save system!

Disliked:

– Still no map.
– Items like the Space Jump could have used some explanation.

Metroid II

2 comments on “GB – #12 – Metroid II: Return of Samus

  1. Pingback: Playthrough Analysis – 146 Games | 600 Games

  2. Pingback: Playthrough Analysis – 193 Games | 600 Games

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