Axiom Verge – 01001110 01101111 01110100 00100000 01001101 01100101 01110100 01110010 01101111 01101001 01100100

BOOM! There goes the lab. As you stand up and gather your wits, the last thing you remember is something being knocked over. You don’t know what was happening in the lab, and memories of your identity are just as vague. It must have been a big explosion. You’ve suddenly appeared in this well-constructed series of rooms with 2D platforms, throbbing enemies, bizarre surfaces and kickass music. What could the experiment have been? To create a Metroid game?

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Metroid Prime – Federation Soldier Log #09

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I’m not Samus Aran. I can’t wall jump, roll into a ball or somersault over waves of enemies. Armed with a human-sized mech, Federation equipment and a positive attitude, I’m just an ordinary soldier doing my best. I joined the Federation Force three years ago and I’ve been working my way up, taking care of a few Space Pirates here and there and helping other soldiers where I can. Today I’ve been assigned my toughest, most dangerous mission yet.

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Federation Force is a good game, and that’s NOT okay

I have spent the last week trapped in an emotional prison and I can’t take it anymore. I am absolutely fuming with anger after playing through Metroid Prime: Federation Force. It is a well-crafted game, and this is a big problem. Next Level Games have poured tons of resources into what is fundamentally an INSULT to Metroid fans. They’ve wasted 20 hours of my life, and KILLED the Metroid franchise by gutting the structure, butchering the art style, and offending my entitlements as a traditional gamer who has supported Nintendo since the NES.

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Super Metroid – Sub-Hour Speedrun

I’ve been getting into Super Metroid more after the 3DS release and set myself a personal goal of beating the game in under an hour. I’ve already done this with Metroid: Zero Mission and had a great time finding the fastest route. With Super Metroid I had done what “felt” like a speedrun, but it’s a different kind of speedrun to Zero Mission. A lot of tricks and skips in this game are very difficult and non-traditional. This is due to Samus’s movement being more complex, and a lot of open environments that don’t stop you from doing crazy things. My current best time was 1 hour 19 minutes, and on 3DS I managed to get 1 hour 27 minutes on a refresher course through the game. My main motivation came when I realised there was still a lot about the game I didn’t know. How do you shortcharge? What other items can I skip? Are there better ways to fight the bosses? Can I do the Zebetite Skip?

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Super Metroid – New for 3DS

In the recent Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced SNES games for the N3DS would be available immediately with Super Mario World launching the service on the same day, and more to follow. In Australia, one of those early games was Super Metroid and I grabbed it ASAP with the dream of finally being able to play the US NTSC version of the game. That’s right, all SNES games on the EU / AU 3DS eShop are the 60hz American versions, making it the first time Super Metroid and Link to the Past have been available here in 60hz. Even though I’m pretty happy with the Wii U Virtual Console, for some reason we’re still stuck with the PAL versions of a few games. In my experience it’s not that big a deal for Zelda, but Super Metroid is a much more action-focused game, loaded with tons of precise tricks and wall jumps you can not afford to miss. So not only was I keen to experience SNES games on 3DS for the first time, but also discover Super Metroid in its original 60hz form.

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Metroid Prime – The Brightest Star

The cosmos. In the vast universe, the history of gaming is but a flash of light from a lone television. The light of a single console should be lost in space and time, but in the disc tray there is one light that burns brighter than all the rest. The light of Metroid Prime. Its legacy extends beyond the GameCube’s life and etches itself into gaming history. Today, a review of that legacy will be written.

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Metroid II: Return of Samus – Exploring the 8-bit Abyss

Welcome to SR388, home planet of the Metroids. My desire to learn more about these creatures has thrust me into the dark depths of Metroid II on the Game Boy. It’s an ancient screen the Chozo used to replay historic moments over and over. On SR388, Metroids thrive in a monochrome habitat and keep themselves hidden in a dot matrix maze of grayscale caves. They are aggressive creatures when threatened but enjoy their privacy. This game stars Samus in her most faithful role as a Bounty Hunter, with the goal of hunting down 39 Metroids to eradicate the entire species. Set after Metroid 1 / Zero Mission and Metroid Prime 3, the Galactic Federation just randomly held a conference and decided the only way to stop further chaos is to drive Metroids to extinction. It might be the only way, or perhaps this is a classic overreaction to a threat they don’t understand. A sensation that might be familiar to Metroid fans. Could it be a cover up, a conspiracy, a trap, or just plain stupidity? What is going on behind the scenes? A bunch of Federation Troopers mysteriously disappear while “investigating” the Metroids here. Samus is sent to terminate the Metroids because “she can handle it” based on previous experience. This must be how Next Level Games feel right now. Metroid II is a hostile environment, with convoluted passageways forming a structure that takes advantage of the Game Boy’s limitations to provide a great sense of scale. Isn’t that contradictory? I would say it’s ambitious and necessary. Metroid II shoves an entire planet under the Game Boy screen and lets the player deal with the repercussions.

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Let’s get HYPED for Metroid Prime: Federation Force!!

The build up to E3 this year saw the hype train going at full speed. With Nintendo’s show being a big secret, everybody had their own wild predictions. However we saw one name mentioned more than most: Metroid. It just felt like it was “time” with Retro Studios project being a secret, and no real Metroid being released in almost a decade. I was hyped for this too, because why else would Retro Studios open a Twitter account right before E3? The gaming media also helped set up the disappointment, with articles like “Why Metroid should be announced” and “Metroid Prime devs tease E3” right before E3. It wasn’t “Donkey Kong devs tease E3” despite that being their most popular, and most recent game. So when you deconstruct this hype, it didn’t follow much solid logic. Does it ever? Regardless, expectations were set to Metroid and hopes were high. Then we got this…

grantandcarolprime

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Metroid Fusion – Review Authorised

I’ve just finished a playthrough of Metroid Fusion on Wii U and there’s a lot I want to say about it. I remember it fondly as my first Metroid game in 2002. The dark unstable black hole that is the classic GBA screen, a perfect window to the man-made prison that is Metroid Fusion’s research station. Gazing into that screen with a burning lamp on my ear made me feel like I was out in space, in hostile territory. Fast forward to 2015 and I still love this game, it’s aged very well graphically and is fantastic to play on Wii U. Unfortunately, a lot of the design choices don’t fly with me anymore after experiencing the good stuff. Super Metroid, Metroid Prime 1, 2 and Zero Mission are what I would consider perfect games, and happen to highlight a lot of Fusion’s flaws just by existing and being their own beautiful selves. The biggest flaw being a slap in the face right at the start of the game.

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Metroid: Zero Mission – The Last 2D Metroid Is In Captivity

I’ve been on a massive Metroid binge lately, playing through the Trilogy again on Wii U with glorious Wiimote controls, then revisiting Super Metroid which I have already written a piece on. Metroid: Zero Mission is a game I’ve had my eye on for a while because it’s the only Metroid I hadn’t played. It came out on the Japanese Virtual Console over a year ago so I thought surely, it can’t be far way. How hard is it to translate a Metroid game? Months passed, and sarcastic tweets were muttered into oblivious PR accounts, as Nintendo missed so many chances to release this game. The game had passed the Australian ratings system gauntlet which is usually the hardest step, but there was just no sign of Nintendo caring about it. Eventually I gave up, and this was the game that made me stop looking at eShop updates. I decided life was too short to live by a release schedule and in retrospect I have to thank Zero Mission for liberating me.

Anyway, the game finally came out and was it worth the wait? Fuck no, but it’s an absolutely fantastic game.

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