Metroid: Samus Returns Nintendo 3DS Review

Metroid: Samus Returns gives fans what they've always asked for a Metroid game and everyone else gets a phenomenal 2D action-adventure game with one of the most iconic heroes in video game history

By Grayshadow, Posted 14 Sep 2017

Other than some minor additions and changes Metroid: Samus Returns maintains the same formula. This is a good thing as the Metroid formula has aged well and although this isn't a new adventure the 3D graphics and distinct gameplay additions made this adventure as memorable and exciting as any other Metroid game. It's addicting, well-paced, and full of exciting boss battles. Metroid: Samus Returns gives fans what they've always asked for a Metroid game and everyone else gets a phenomenal 2D action-adventure game with one of the most iconic heroes in video game history.

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Metroid: Samus Returns is a reimaging of the 1991 Gameboy game Metroid II: Return of Samus with some changes. The game's graphics have been given the 3D treatment but maintains the same 2D side-scrolling action. Samus can now control her shots and a new counter technique gives Samus a decent defense option whereas before she acted more like a nimble glass cannon.

The formula hasn't changed for Samus Returns, you'll explore a series of subterranean caverns with interconnecting passages that lead to various areas. As you explore new upgrades get added to your arsenal such as beams and bombs that allow you to access new areas. Other upgrades include improved capacities of existing weapon ammunition and energy. 

The story is simple, you're a bounty hunter set on a mission to exterminate the Metroid species. There's no dialogue and the entire story is told through Samus' actions. This works as the journey from start to finish paints an impressive story of conquering impossible odds using scavenged supplies and skill.

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As a Metroid veteran the 3D presentation was off-putting at first but quickly grew on me. The entire game looks incredible, especially Samus. The 3D gives her movements more life as she holds her arm while shooting. The 3D environments allow for some excellent backgrounds, whereas in Metroid Fusion and Zero Mission they were just plain images. 

This is a remastered game and with it Samus comes with new abilities. The most distinct being the counterattack, which is a timed defensive tactic that is paramount in the beginning hours of the game. The aiming is much more precise than any other 2D Metroid game. Before I had to line up my shots perfectly either horizontally or diagonally, now it's much easier to shoot.

Metroid: Samus Returns does include a lot of boss battles but most of these are recycled enemies. The primary focus of this game is the complete extermination of the Metroids and because of this you'll fight a lot of these creatures. Different versions of the creatures do sometimes appear but they act mostly the same. The game isn't only Metroid-based bosses but you'll spend a bulk of your time fighting them.

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The bosses outside from the Metroids do get increasingly challenging. This is what kept me exploring for hidden upgrades, the possibility that the next boss could easily make mincemeat of me. However, none of them felt cheap and with enough tries could be beaten without having to suit myself up with a massive amount of hidden upgrades. 

Metroid: Samus Returns may be a reboot of a previous adventure but it shows that this franchise is still one of Nintendo's crowning achievements. Using the same mechanics from every other 2D Metroid game released with small changes that make a huge difference, Metroid: Samus Returns is exactly what fans have wanted from this series. Devotees don't want experimental spin-offs like Metroid Prime: Federation Force, they want to hunt for powerful technology and fight dangerous monsters in an unknown world. Metroid has always been held to a high standard by fans, and Metroid: Samus Returns doesn't fail to deliver that same standard fans have come to expect from this series.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): 3DS
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Developer(s): MercurySteam Nintendo EPD
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Space Odyssey
Release Date: 2017-09-15

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