Metroid: Samus returns is a “metroidvania” (A subgenre of action-adventure games) developed by Mercury Steam and published by Nintendo. It was released for Nintendo 3DS family in September 2017. It’s a remake of the original METROID 2: RETURN OF SAMUS for Nintendo Gameboy with a lot of new content, called as a “re-imagination” of the original title. Defining what makes this saga great could take many and many pages but I will try my best. The caves, the feeling of isolation and the history that lies beyond the path are some of the many things that make this story a “must play and live”.
Our adventure begins as always in any Metroid, a number of text images and suddenly, we reach the planet SR388 to investigate and exterminate the metroids, creatures that we will hunt anything over the planet. We will also face many dangers through our adventure, a robot that chases us and brings moments of survival-horror to the title.
This time Mercury Steam decided to introduce a number of new abilities called “AEION” that facilitates the exploration of SR388. The scan pulse for example shows us the location of the hidden rewards in the map. It seems a good idea that can make things much easier for the new players. Metroid is a very demanding saga which requires the player to think a lot, and it can be frustrating sometimes. That’s why these skills are an innovation to keep in mind and the best thing is that they are optional, in case you are an experienced player. Another new thing that has the title is the “Melee counter”, a physical counter-attack that lets us defend against the enemies in a close combat. It is a skill that has been needed in the saga for a long time and the same as the AEION skills greatly improves the game for beginners. It is also necessary to mention that this time we will be able to aim in 360º what supposes a greater precision when hunting the beasts that wander around the planet.
We could say that the story of the game is the one we feel when exploring it, seeking the memories of the Chozo recorded on the walls and I believe that there lays the beauty of Metroid, marks us a final but not the way forward. Although there are events that sets the rythm, the exploration runs at your own risk, stop to observe each background carefully, it’s worth marveling at how detailed the rooms are, where we observe the fauna and flora of this world. Awesome…
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
It is in this section where METROID: SAMUS RETURNS shines above all, Mercury Steam has managed to collect the essence of the classic metroids creating the most immersive backgrounds possible. The environmental narrative takes over this game to the point where the whole story is told without a single word of our main character, each plant, cavern and ruin of the planet tells the story of the Chozo in their work to make the planet habitable. The 3D function brings depth to the set and it is simply amazing. Each room, irrelevant as it may seem, is decorated with the same care as the most important rooms, each sector is unique and realistic within its possibilities, all this without saying a single word.
On the other side the sound section of the game does not reach the quality levels of the graphics, the only memorable songs are concessions of the Metroid Prime, games of which Mercury Steam seems to have been heavily inspired. I think that they could have done a better job in this section because the sound is essential to create atmosphere.
13 years have passed since the last Metroid 2D, Metroid fusion is considered a masterpiece and this Samus Returns seem to be also. We are faced with an exceptional game that collects everything that makes this saga great and brings you the newest of the last generation. But for me, the most important thing is that it is a hope. Samus is back.
The most despised saga of Nintendo has returned to reclaim its position to stay. A very bright future is coming. Now is time to wait for the Nintendo Switch Metroid Prime 4, the other great game announced at E3 in 2017!