The folks at Gametrailers are currently doing a five part retrospective on one of my favorite series of all time: Metroid. The first installment, which came out last week is an overview of the original NES Metroid and its Game Boy successor, Metroid 2.Metroid 2, as a game, never really left much of an impression on me. The limited color palette of the old handheld combined with the title's linear game play wasn't sufficient enough to capture the magic that the original Metroid had provided.
The first Metroid, though, was a game experience that will forever be emblazoned in my memory. Not just for the fact that it was one of the best games ever made for the NES, but because this game, more than any other on the system, swallowed the minds of those who played it.
Metroid memories continue after the jump.
Unlike other games, Metroid had no levels; there wasn't a scoring system, and nothing but the lack of correct power-ups could keep you from exploring wherever, and whenever, you wanted to.
After months of searching, mapping, and a whole lot of dying, the amount of playtime my friends and I had put into beating Metroid was immense. Then, all of a sudden, we find out that to get the good ending (the one in which Samus fully removes her armor), we had to be able to beat the game in less than two hours. Two hours?!
In an era where games mostly consisted of high scores and saving princesses, it was Metroid’s new and unique game play innovations that set it apart from the crowd. Never before had there been a gaming experience so absorbing, that it left an undeniable stamp on the psyche of young gamers everywhere.
A stamp that can still be seen in the eyes of older gamers when they think back to how Metroid slowly, sneakily, and irreparably changed the way they saw video games forever.