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Classic Game Review: Metroid - Destructoid

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I generally hate doing bios because I honestly don't know what to say about myself other than I'm a 29 year old college graduate, a lifelong gamer, and movie buff.

How did I get into gaming? Well I got into gaming when I was 5, one day my dad came home with an NES that came with a controller, a light gun, and two games and I bet that most of ya'll can guess what the two games were.

What are my favorite games? Well I have so many favorite games that span over multiple consoles so for the purposes of this bio I'm just going to list my current top 7 favorite game franchises instead. The are as follows 1. Super Mario Bros./Super Mario, 2. Castlevania, 3. Resident Evil, 4. Bioshock, 5. Mortal Kombat, 6. Batman Arkham, and 7. Assassin's Creed.

What am I currently playing? Well on the PS3 I've been playing Borderlands 2, on the Wii U I've been playing Zombi U, and on the 3DS I've been playing Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.
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Greetings Dtoid & da internets,


Tav7623 here live from the planet Zebes and I'm here to bring you a game review for the "classic" NES game Metroid. Now some of you may be wondering why the f&*k is he reviewing a 25 year old game, well the answer is pretty simple really.......I never got to play this game as a kid. So I thought to myself that I should rectify that since, this game is considered a "classic" after all and what the hell while I'm at it I might as well post a online review for it.

For the uninitiated Metroid is set on the planet Zebes (sounds kinda familiar doesn't it ;P) in the year 20X5 and follows galactic bounty hunter Samus Aran who is on a quest from the Galactic Federation to stop the evil Space Pirates from turning a parasitic organism known as a Metroid, which they had just stolen from a Federation Research Vessel into a biological weapon. The game is a open ended action adventure platformer in which the player explores a series of caves hopping around shooting enemies and occasionally battling boss characters. Because of the open ended nature of the game a password system was implemented so that when players died they could enter the password and return to the area where they died. Now at the time this was a fairly new and somewhat innovative feature,or at least it was until The Legend of Zelda showed up with it's built in battery back up "save" system. I personally find password systems annoying as hell and even growing up I hated playing games that had that kind of system. Mainly because it was a pain in the butt having to either remember the code or having paper and pencil handy to write them down and then turn around and go through the slow process of entering them in on the password screen.

Graphically and control wise the game looks and plays (B to shoot, A to jump, select to change weapons) pretty much like you'd expect if you grew up playing NES games. So I won't go into detail about them, what I will go into detail about is the game play which is for the most part pretty straight forward. You jump around to different platforms shooting enemies, collecting health, ammo, and occasionally weapon & health upgrades. It is also infuriating for a number of reasons though one of the main ones for me was the fact that the game's designers occasionally give in to what I like to call "Medusa Head" Syndrome (see AVGN Castlevania episodes) which led to the loss of a lot of health and the occasional death. If that and the use of a password system were the only things that pissed me about the game then I'd readily agree with any and everyone who called this game a classic.

Sadly that's not the only thing that pisses me off about this game and it's pretty much a deal breaker for me. Now what exactly am I talking about? Well I'm talking mainly about the game's level design and how it fits into the games open ended nature. I feel that this game's level design is heinous at times mainly because the game's developers probably decided that due to the open ended nature of the game's design that they could get away with artificially increasing the game's difficulty even further by hiding paths that players needed to access in order to advance to any of the game's bosses in places they normally wouldn't think to look. Throw in the fact that in order for the players to be able to access these paths they needed to have the right weapon upgrade as well as having another weapon upgrade (like the ice beam entering into the boss fight with Kraid) so that they wouldn't get their @$$ handed to them by the boss. Now just to give you an example of what I'm talking about one of the areas in the game is called Ridley's Hideout and it is divided into two sections. In order to access the other half of Ridley's Hideout and get to Ridley himself you'd need to know that you needed the bomb upgrade and that if you bomb the ever living shit out of the second to last block (and the blocks underneath it) at the bottom right hand side of the eastern most cavern it will temporarily open a path to the other half. Now seriously how many of you would have been able to figure this out without accessing an online guide or map, talking to a friend who played or had managed to beat the game or popping open a Nintendo Power game guide. I know I sure as hell hadn't able to figure it out (without resorting to those methods I mentioned above) until I started bombing the f&*k out of the floor in that area due to a combination of shear boredom and frustration.

Overall Metroid has decent controls and graphics for the system it originally was released on and I did enjoy playing the game at times, but unfortunately parts of the game's level design and " innovative" open ended game design seriously hampered this reviewers enjoyment of the game. Which is why I give Metroid a 5.5 out of 10 and honestly would only recommend this game to those who have either A. already been a fan of this game or B.never played this game, but are informed enough about the game and are able to over look these flaws in the game's level design.

Well I hope that you enjoyed the review, have a happy Thanksgiving and I hope y'all will be back in a few weeks to check out my next review which will probably be either Super Mario World or Bayonetta.



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