Samus Aran is an ex-Galactic Federation bounty hunter. The events of Super Metroid take place right after Metroid II: Return of Samus. A Metroid larva has hatched and thinks Samus is her mother. Befriending the hatchling, Samus takes it to Ceres Space Colony for future investigation. Scientists run tests on the larva and found that they can harness its power. Samus leaves the colony and then receives a distress call. Ridley and the Space Pirates have attacked the colony and have stolen the baby Metroid. Samus must now travel to Planet Zebes and recover the sample and stop the pirates.
Super Metroid is a side scrolling action/adventure game. This is a nonlinear game meaning you can go back to previously visited areas. Samus will be able to go through different sections of the planet. You start by trying to figure out how to advance to the next section. You might be able to reach a certain place only to find out that the door can only be opened by super missiles. You will have to scourer around the section to find this upgrade to continue. Be sure to use the map as it is a helpful tool to reach the next destination. Along the way there are hidden items in places you would least expect. Extra energy tanks, missiles, bombs and other items are cleverly hidden within the stages themselves. Some of them are within your reach but you need a specific upgrade to acquire it. Speaking of abilities, my favorites are the Wave Beam, Screw Attack, and Ice Beam. You also will gain new suits like the Gravity Suit which lets you traverse underwater.
Super Metroid’s graphics are the pinnacle of what a 16-bit machine can do. The environments are well done and make you feel you’re actually on Planet Zebes. Some of settings that you’ll visit are the Space Colony, the underwater world of Maridia, the lava-filled depths of Norfair, a haunted wrecked ship, and the exotic plant habitat of Brinstar. The animation is top notch as well. Overall, it is one of the best artistically designed games I have ever seen.
The controls in Super Metroid are very responsive and fluid as well. Changing weapons, placing bombs, wall jumping and exploring are a breeze on the Super Nintendo controller. You can also change them in the control settings if you have a certain preference.
This was the first game I actually got chills from when I heard the soundtrack. The distorted sounds and the odd music structures do a great job of taking you to an alien world. The moods in the game can take a shift real quick, for example, you’ll be exploring the terrain with atmospherical music playing in the background, but once you enter a boss battle, the music will go into a high alert mode, making it hard to even handle the controller.
Super Metroid is a classic. It is Super Nintendo gaming at its finest. The art direction, gameplay, music, and settings make it the best Metroid game to date. Every gamer old and new should try this masterpiece. It is a great journey that is unique and unlike any other. Please do not let Team Ninja’s Other M discourage you from playing this game. This is an entirely a different game. Super Metroid is currently available for the Nintendo Wii Virtual Store.
Pros: Atmosphere, Setting, Art, Music, Gameplay
Cons: After every upgrade is collected and the map completed you are done.
VGM: “Brinstar Vegetation Area”