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?
I fell asleep on Earth and now I’ve woken up after an unknown number of years, alert and refreshed. Kindred Technologies are just the best, aren’t they? They call themselves the “4th best” space exploration company, but they really speak to me as a normal human being. I didn’t have much to live for so I signed up for their “experiment”. The year was 2034 and I got myself into 5 million dollars of debt from working too much and… wait, is that how working is supposed to work? I’ve never had the time or energy to think about it. Anyway, I’ve been given an opportunity to redeem myself by being launched towards a random planet in an experiment to find a habitable environment for humans. I was feeling lucky and sure enough, managed to land somewhere in one piece. Let’s see what this place is all about.
What happens when you get the director of Mega Man and three people from the Metroid Prime team, then rush out a game with their names as the selling point? Something pretty forgettable, evidently. ReCore came out in 2016 with so many bugs they had to make a “Definitive Edition” on the same console a year later. Since then the game has been sitting in discount bins and Game Pass, tempting me with mild intrigue. I’ve been in a Metroid mood lately so I decided to see what this game was all about.
After losing everything at the casino, I’ve started a brand new life. My character Zane was maxed out to lvl57, with nowhere left to go. I received a wedding invitation in the mail to remind me of what’s important. Love! Hammerlock and Wainwright were getting married and wanted their favourite vault hunter to do the honours. Fresh with inspiration, I made a brand new character, FL4K. I’m still the same person, I just look and talk like a robotic slayer now. I’ve also got a pet Skag! He’s a good boy and sometimes coughs up extra ammo.
What if Metroid was a cat? You would finally be able to crawl. It would also be a completely different game with different level design, different movement options and Nintendo probably would have chosen Yoshi to star in the game instead. Hmmm, that wouldn’t be such a bad timeline. We would have a whole genre of Yoshivanias. Moving on from this alternative past, we have a brand new Indie game called Gato Roboto with a similar aesthetic to the original Metroid on NES. You could argue it’s even more ancient as it lacks a full colour palette. However, once you start playing this game it comes to life and impresses with modern movement and design.
Those industry fat cats want to charge big bucks for their tunes, but I think music should be free man. I’ve been making a few tunes to see what works in this thing, and thought I’d share. For ease of use I’ve put a separate sound clip, followed by an image of the notes you can input yourself. Enjoy the freedom. No likes, favs, subscribes or divides here man. This is all about sharing the vibe.
Keep in mind there are limitations of the Town Composer, it doesn’t have sharp notes so some things have gotta be in different keys. Still, a bit of compromise can get most songs in a recognisable state. You just gotta take what life throws at you man. How do you get these? There’s no password or online sharing unfortunately, but it’s very easy to just copy the notes yourself. Talk to Isabelle in the Town Hall and just move the notes up and down until you get what you want. If you don’t have the Town Hall yet then keep playing and come back to this later! Music always waits for you, so you can wait for it.
In the depths of the Nintendo eShop lies a treasure. Navigating through randomly generated sales offers, new releases and upcoming titles, you’ll find this gem buried somewhere a few pages back. Chasm is an ambitious game that takes the modern procedural approach and applies it to the classic handheld Castlevania formula. Groan, another randomly generated game? I know, I know. I am sick of them too, but I picked this game up because I wanted a new GBAvania experience so badly. There’s a lot of action games and loot games in the formula, but nothing based on exploration quite like this. It’s a very specific itch that needed scratching.
A fellow user by the name of Travis Touchdown on VG Facts recently brought to my attention and others this fan comic.
Besides the not-so-obvious fact this is a Metroid comic strip, that is Samus with a punchline that makes absolutely no sense, but the comment she makes Samus say at the end is actually hilarious, in a “god you are a dumb ass.”
The two images (which the artist redrew in their own style) of Zelda from Breath Of The Wild are somehow evidence Zelda is somehow another crying princess that has to be rescued. I don’t know how many of our readers have played through Breath Of The Wild yet, so major spoiler warnings after this paragraph, because I have to break down why this webcomic author is a fucking moron.Continue reading “Short-Sighted Ignorance”→
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.