Super Metroid

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Of course, hardcore players like me don’t need strategy guides (“Ha! I laugh in the face of your pathetic guide of weakness!”), and I blitzed my way through this enormous and complex game with nary a moment’s pause. OK, maybe I peeked at the guide a teeny weeny bit, but only when I was really stuck. Honest. ~Lewis Packwood

Super Metroid

Format: Super NES Genre: Adventure Released: 1994 Developer: Nintendo

Metroid Prime on the GameCube was a strong contender for the list, but in the end I decided to go with Super Metroid as my most fondly remembered Metroid game. If you’ve never played it, I urge you to download it from the Wii Virtual Console with all possible rapidity – it really is an absolute classic, reflected in that fact that it’s still knocking around the top of the Game Rankings ‘All Time Best‘ list.

Super Metroid - SNES

The thing that always stands out in my memory about Super Metroid is the bloody great big box that it came in – bizarrely, Nintendo decided to ship the European version of the game with an enormous strategy guide detailing every last corridor and secret item in the whole game. I don’t think this kind of marketing tactic has been attempted before or since (correct me if I’m wrong) and you’ve got to admit that it’s a bit of strange decision. It’s as if Nintendo were about to launch the game and then suddenly thought:

“Ooooh, maybe it’s too difficult for them? What if they get a bit, you know, frustrated? I know, let’s tell them exactly how to do everything in the entire game. That should do it.”

Super Metroid - SNES

Of course, hardcore players like me don’t need strategy guides (“Ha! I laugh in the face of your pathetic guide of weakness!”), and I blitzed my way through this enormous and complex game with nary a moment’s pause. OK, maybe I peeked at the guide a teeny weeny bit, but only when I was really stuck. Honest.

The highlights of Super Metroid were undoubtedly the bosses – particularly the screen-filling Kraid (see screenshot below). He (I presume he’s a he anyway) doesn’t seem to learn though. Put it this way: if I was entirely invulnerable except for a weak spot in my mouth, I would probably keep my mouth shut the entire time, rather than periodically unleashing reptilian screams of fury then wondering why I kept getting hurt.

Super Metroid - SNES

However, I think the overall reason that Super Metroid was so successful was that it constantly drove you to see what was around the next corner. Every few screens you’re presented with some sort of barrier to your progress – perhaps a seemingly impassable lava pit or a platform that’s just out of reach – and one of the game’s joys is collecting a new item or ability and then backtracking through the game to see what new areas it will open to you. In fact, Super Metroid engendered an almost compulsive urge to explore every nook and cranny of the game world in the hunt for elusive weapons and upgrades, and the triumphal music that accompanies the discovery of each item is right up there as one of the most pleasing game sound effects of all time (possibly only beaten by the music accompanying the opening of a treasure chest in Zelda: Ocarina of Time).

Super Metroid - SNES

You could argue that its excellent graphics and inspired shift to 3D make Metroid Prime the instant stand-out game of the Metroid series, but in terms of gameplay there’s very little Prime does that Super Metroid doesn’t.

Excluding duplicated games, Super Metroid is currently at number 8 in the All Time Best games list – which is frankly not high enough in my opinion. Buy this game now: you won’t regret it.

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Thais Weiller: JoyMasher

joysmasher

Name: Thais Weiller

Title: Game designer and producer

Company: JoyMasher

Favorite Classic Game: Super Metroid and Yoshi’s Island

Why it is your favorite: I just love beautiful well done 2D graphics and both of these games grab me at first because of that. I grew to love them, however, for very different reasons. I love the sense of solitude and utilitarianism Metroid makes the player feel. It’s like “You felt in this cliff with no platforms back to security. Deal with it”. Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island is completely different and I love the small and simple design choices that made the game so much fun. The joyful pace, the lovely sound tracks, Yoshi’s extra jump which makes the player fell just a bit more confident and Mario’s cries (though a bit disturbing in the beginning, they end up bringing a sense of familiarity to the gameplay and also were a not too punitive punishment to the player).

My Favourite Games: VI

Gran Turismo – PlayStation (1998)

Gran Turismo - PlayStation

There’s been a few landmark driving games over the years but I can’t remember any that had the impact that Gran Turismo had. Much of the adulation it received initially was earned by the near photo-realistic quality of its action replays, although this always confused me – sure they look good, but it’s the game that counts, isn’t it? Luckily, this aspect of the game was also ground-breaking in many ways. Featuring masses of real cars, numerous testing circuit-based courses, extensive car customisation options, and lots and lots of competitions, this was a driving game fan’s dream come true, and is still the series others aspire to. Many prefer one of the various sequels but this original is the one I always return to, mainly because I’ve never been too good at ‘simulation’ driving games but this game lets you keep boosting the power of your car until you’re more powerful than your rivals (the sequels brought in BHP limits for races)! My trusty Honda Prelude destroys all!

Super Metroid – SNES (1994)

Super Metroid - SNES

I can still remember buying this game second-hand in my local game/music store. I had little knowledge of it and, thanks to my prior Sega allegiance, I had never played the earlier Metroid games, but I had heard that it was supposedly something special. I really didn’t know what to expect so, upon playing it for the first time, proceeded with caution. What followed was one of greatest awakenings of my gaming life! I was initially wondering what was going on (no one reads instruction books unless they get stuck!) but was quickly immersed in the atmospheric, haunting world of Brinstar and all the other amazingly designed areas of Super Metroid’s world. Not many games have hooked me like this one did – I spent hours, days, weeks trying to uncover all the secrets and explore every square inch of its fascinating game world. In fact, given my love of this game, it’s nothing short of insane that I have yet to get around to playing the subsequent Metroid games!

Exhumed – Saturn (1997)

Exhumed - Saturn

Due to my lack of interest in modern gaming and PC gaming generally, there’s very few first-person shooters I’ve actually played – something which perhaps needs to be rectified – but this is one of the few exceptions, and a damn fine one it is too. Its set in and around Egypt which gives it the potential for a great story and lots of secret passages and traps, not to mention a fantastic atmosphere! It strikes the perfect balance between puzzles, exploration, and shooting and features a huge game world to play through, with new parts of older levels being continually opened up after the acquisition of new items and abilities. A superbly programmed game by the now sadly defunct Lobotomy Software which did things on the Saturn that supposedly weren’t possible.

Psycho Fox – Master System (1989)

Psycho Fox - Master System

My affection for the Master System has been well documented in these pages and this is one of my very favourite games for it. Sure, in mere screenshots it probably just looks like every other 8/16-bit platformer going – grass, desert, ice stages, formulaic characters, cute graphics, etc, but take the time to play it and you’ll find that it’s a lot more than that. Featuring four playable characters with unique abilities that you can switch between using ‘transformation sticks’, large stages with multiple routes, a perfectly-graded difficulty level, and lots of secrets, there’s plenty here to keep any fan of platformers happy for a good while. It is also home to several features that I hadn’t seen before, but which would later become commonplace in the genre, so for it’s time it was pretty original too. On top of all that, it has springy poles that can fling you halfway across the stage! Great fun and addictive as hell!

Ocarina of Time – Nintendo 64 (1998)

Ocarina of Time - Nintendo 64

To my shame this remains the only Zelda I’ve played properly (yes, I know!) – as much as I have enjoyed the few RPG’s I’ve played, I guess my attention span isn’t up to it! However, this game was one of the few I’ve actually bought full price on the day of release and it was worth every penny. Like Super Metroid, Link’s first 3D adventure draws you into its world completely and hours pass by without you noticing. Featuring lots of large areas and dungeons, many of which reveal new secrets every time you return to them, countless side-quests, dozens of characters to interact with, and a whole host of items and equipment to collect, some new, some old, this is about as immersive as videogames get for me. Now, I must get around to playing A Link To The Past!

 

Super Metroid

Super Metroid - Super Nintendo - Box

As I came across this game I though to myself why not pick it? After all, this game is one of the most praised by Metroid fans as they pick it as their favorite. The game itself has a very intriguing storyline that kept you interested in the game. As many of you remember the tragic ending of this incredible game….ahhh yeah the memories….Anyways, on with the game. Here you have a platformer style game with RPG elements and action packed! Should I even say more? The music is unforgettable and the graphics were top notch for its time.

Super Metroid - Super Nintendo - Gameplay Screenshot

 

Want to hear even more? The hero is actually a very sexy heroine! Yes, this is girl power to the max! I’m sure most of you Metroid fans already knew that but back when the first one in the series where at the ending your “hero” would take his/her helmet off and surprise surprise it was a chick! I have never felt so turned on!! har har har.

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So I won’t say much more as I don’t want to spoil the fun for those of you who haven’t played this masterpiece but I will tell you one thing, try it out! It’s available for the Wii virtual console.

Vern Jensen: ActionSoft

Action Soft logo
Action Soft logo

Name: Vern Jensen

Company: ActionSoft

Profession: Programmer / Game Designer

Favorite Classic Game: Super Metroid

Quote: “It’s hard to pick just one game actually. Super Metroid pretty much ties with Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. I had first gotten into game programming around age 8, making simple programs in Basic, eventually culminating in a maze game and an explore-the-castle game around age 13. It was at this time that I first saw someone playing Zelda on their SNES. The graphics were incredible. The special effect this game had, from rain, to warping between light and dark worlds, were astonishing at the time.

I felt like everything I had done programming was unworthy compared to what I was seeing on the screen. And, once I got to play the game, the gameplay certainly matched the special effects. Super Metroid wins by a couple of points though, just because when I played it, I couldn’t put it down until I had finished it. Everything about this game was awesome, from the graphics to the power-ups to the secrets and bosses. It really had a cohesive “mood” to it that was well fleshed-out. I even own the Boston Pops orchestra soundtrack of music from this game, which is also incredible.

Bio: ActionSoft (www.actionsoft.com) ActionSoft is basically just me. I write retro shareware games. Since I grew up on 2D games in the 80’s, my fondness for those games has remained. I haven’t really gotten into 3D games. My goal is to make the kind of games I would want to play myself, and bring back some of the games from an era long ago that have been forgotten.

Midnight Mansion logo
Midnight Mansion logo

Project: Midnight Mansion port to Windows and iPhone.

Project Info: Midnight Mansion was my first game, released in 2005, and it has gained a following of loyal fans. However, it is Mac-only. My project is to port it to Windows and iPhone / iPad. In the process, Midnight Mansion 2, which was released this last August, will also be ported.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alasdair Evans: Laughing Jackal

Laughing Jackal logo

Name: Alasdair Evans

Company: Laughing Jackal Ltd.

Profession: Senior Producer

Favorite Classic Game: Super Metroid

Quote: I thought long and hard about the answer to this question as I’ve been gaming since about 1983 and struggle with the definition of a ‘classic’ game. Casting my net into the 90s, I am also a huge Street Fighter II (or III or IV, for that matter!) fan. I think, though, that Super Metroid just edges it for me as it probably had a greater impact on me when I first played it. The feeling of being let loose on a huge and deserted alien world was unparalleled at the time. It was the first game that really made me feel something emotionally and was just so well constructed that I still go back and play it today. It also has a maturity and an eeriness that few games of the time did – especially on the SNES. There have been many imitators, including Shadow Complex, the ‘Metroidvania’ games, and the Metroid series’ own new entries in the time since, but for me Super Metroid is the ultimate single player experience and an absolute gem that everyone should try at least once. Still, props to Street Fighter II, if you’d asked me what my favourite multiplayer classic game was I wouldn’t have hesitated! I still play SSFIV on my 360 to this day. If anyone fancies a game, my gamertag is evanac   😉


Mary Sue To: Aksys Games

Aksys Games logo

Name: Mary Sue To

Company: Aksys Games

Profession: Marketing Coordinator & Community Manager

Favorite Classic Game: Super Metroid

Quote: The secluded atmosphere, the epic boss battles, the relationship between Samus and the baby metroid, and the urge to collect 100% items…this is the game that I will never forget.


Donald Harris: InstantAction

Instant Action logo
Instant Action logo

Name: Donald Harris

Company: InstantAction

Profession: Sales and Social Media

Favorite Classic Game: Super Metroid

Quote: First and foremost the haunting music was just perfect for that game. But one of things I like most about it is that they took my memory of the first Metroid and made the game feel even more technical. The way you get to select weapons and the suit layout. The game was perfect.


Super Metroid Intro

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Super Metroid Intro

An unmistakable classic, Super Metroid or Metroid 3 is the immediate sequel to, Return of Samus. The intro recaps what happened in the previous chapter and leads you directly into the new game.

Super Metroid Snes box cover

In the intro Samus talks about how the baby Metroid believed her to be its mother and how she brought it to the Ceres Space Colony. You can guess what happened next, the scientists discovered they could use the Metroid as a power source, but just as Samus leaves she receives a distress call and heads back to see what happened.

It’s a truly great game and if you haven’t played it yet, get on it.

Jason “Generalvivi” Mojica: Raven Software

Raven Software logo

Name: Jason “Generalvivi” Mojica.

Title: Level Designer

Company: Raven Software

Favorite Classic Game: Super Metroid

Quote: (Super Metroid) has some of the best game design I’ve ever seen. I really enjoyed how you would find a new weapon that would open up more paths in older areas. It also had some really awesome platforming sections and crazy over the top bosses. There were also tons of secrets to find and upgrades to get. Just a great game all around!