I’ve just had a life-changing experience – playing through Super Metroid from start to finish. It had its ups and downs but overall it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played. Matto has an excellent review up here but I figured I’d write some quick impressions while the experience is fresh. This is the first time I’ve played it.
The game is a giant maze of chaos and beauty. The progression in Super Metroid is probably the most seamless experience I’ve had in a game, because the environment is alive and always responds when you poke it. The game doesn’t talk much, but it always answers you when you ask it questions. I got lost a few times but never felt bad about it, I enjoyed being lost because bizarrely it felt like the right thing to do. I’m exploring some weird planet by myself, of course I’m going to get lost! “Let’s just keep going and see what’s there. Hmm nothing, might go back! There’s a funny looking spot on the map, could be nothing… I hope it’s nothing.” The game takes you through different phases where it feels like you’ve seen everything, then you get a powerup and suddenly there’s 10 places you want to go at once.
The graphics are some of the best I’ve seen. I don’t care about technical limitations, I don’t care that it’s a SNES game or that it’s from 1994 – it looks amazing on the GamePad and on my High Def Widescreen Futuristic TV. Good design is the only thing that ever matters. The backgrounds are vibrant and full of energy, and enemies are fast and vicious. You can shoot an enemy in Call of Duty Black Ops 2 and not know if you actually hit them or not, but in Super Metroid they flash white and scream like death is actually a bad thing. Everything here is alive, even the ground you’re standing on throbs with glowing lights and strange flora. What the hell is it? I don’t know, but I respect it. The music brings it to another level; I had already heard half the tunes remixed in Metroid Prime, but they still have a unique eeriness to the way they were output on the SNES. Thundering tones and haunting melodies made my entire living room feel like an alien crash site, when I left the game paused and walked around at night it was surreal.
That’s about it, I’m not even going to talk about the gameplay, the bosses, the abilities or the areas. Read Matto’s review. I’m not done with the game, I just felt like yelling how awesome it is. It’s such an amazing world that gives such a grand feeling of comfort and wonder with nothing holding you back. The controls are janky at times and I still can’t figure out how to space jump consistently, but you don’t need to be perfect to enjoy Super Metroid; just interested.