Metroid 1 – Where the Universe Began

Your health is getting low, and you’re lost in the depths of Norfair. The only light in this dark hellscape is burning hot lava. You can feel the heat threatening to chip away at your HP. Alien creatures sense your fear and hop towards you aggressively. You fight and push on as far as you can go. You’re not quite sure what’s up ahead, but the hope of an Energy Tank or any kind of upgrade is keeping you going. You could go back and farm for health, or you could risk the unknown for a big pay off. What’s there to lose? You can always respawn and try again with full health…. oh wait, no you can’t. Help is not coming.

Dying in Metroid punishes you by reviving you with 30HP, regardless of how many additional e-tanks you had. This means enemies can kill you in a few hits, and farming health back will take more than a dozen enemy kills to get. The odds are never in your favour, as you lose health much faster than you can get it back. This might seem unfair but it was essential in creating this feeling of danger while moving forward to the next room. How much are you willing to risk?

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Tutorials, are you too stupid for them?

I’m 12 hours into Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and the tutorial complaints have been lost in the wind somewhere. A small batcave of manchildren on the internet has been raging about how things are explained too in-depth with endless text, much to the burden of their active lifestyles. Many reviews have also docked the game for this apparent intrusion of text in an RPG. I recently finished Bowser’s Inside Story just before playing this game, and I can say for a fact that Dream Team is flowing much smoother, like a dream is supposed to. The new concepts are easy to grasp, the gameplay is more interactive and it’s a much better designed game all round. The only difference is people complain more in 2013 than 2009.

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