*days may or may not be concurrent.
I always felt like I kinda got the alternate history of Nintendo when I was growing up. Were a lot of gamers my age would of grown up on the NES, I went from Commodore 64 to Game Boy. Most would of had Super Mario Bros 1 as their first Mario game, but Super Mario Land 2 was mine. Chances are your first Zelda game would have been Legend of Zelda where as mine was Links Awakening (or was it Link to the Past the lines blur abit there). And the same goes for my next game, a game that is part a series that other then this entry I had not really looked at until in recent years.
I see this game getting a lot of hate around the place. I can somewhat see what people don't like about Metroid II . The best part of playing a Metroid game (or any really good Metroidvania game) is the open ended exploration where your movement throughout the world is only hampered by the skills you have. Metroid II is abit more linear in that you can only explore the next area after you have cleared a set amount of Metroids. So from that point of view I can kinda see where people are coming from. Iím guessing had my introduction to the Metroid games been in the form of Metroid on the NES my outlook on Metroid II may have been different. But as it is this game was my introduction into the world of Samus Aran, & to be fair if your gonna start on a series as great as Metroid maybe started on the weaker entry to the series was a great move.
The game puts you on the Planet SR388 to kill off all the remaining Metroids to stop the Space Pirates getting more and using them for their own evil purposes. Initially the game is very closed off to you, you only have a small area to explore as the rest of the world is covered in lava blocking your way. As you kill off the Metroids more and more of the world is open to you. As with the other Metroids there are various items to make the adventure easy such as returning classics the Morph Ball Bomb, Ice Beam, Screw Attack, High Jump Boots and so on as well as new items like the Spider Ball, Space Jump, Varia suit and a few new arm cannon attacks. Also new to the series are the god send of save points & thank god for them. I hate password save, its the most annoying thing ever and I'm soo glad they got rid of it. Plus can you imagine writing down passwords while playing this in the back of a car, would be a freaken nightmare.
The game looks a dream, nice big beautiful looking graphics. Unlike the small tiny Samus we had in Metroid, Metroid 2's Samus is rendered in full 8bit green and black (Black & White if you have a Game Boy Pocket) and she looks amazing. We owe most of her current look and design to what the Game Boy game gave us. If you can find one gripe with the graphics its that everything is a little too big and feels cramped, but thats just nit picking. The game plays a hell of a lot smoother then its predecessor, you can now shot down while jumping as well as being able to crouch and shoot.. Add in all the new Movement upgrades and its just a joy to explore SR388. The music is a little hit and miss, the Tunnel Theme as you get off Samus's ship is fantastic but a lot of areas the music is just bleeps and bloops in the background. This is a quality game and it shows with lots of the awesome polish most Nintendo games on the Game Boy had.
So we got the game around the same time I got Ghostbusters II for Game Boy. This is one of the games my brother got for his Game Boy, still it didnít stop me playing it as much as I could. Iíd never played a game of this scale or scope before, it was just massive and much bigger then anything I'd ever played up until that point. Looking back now I'm surprised I was able to finish, I never had any maps and I was just making through it as I went. I'm sure I never set any speed run records or anything but I finished it, yay for save games I guess. I'm sure I would of spent hours exploring that maze of tunnels and caverns just trying to find the next Metroid. I can also remember the fear of seeing a Metroid coming into view on the screen, You always knew you were in for a fight when one of those things turned up, I'm sure I got killed lots of time by those things.
I don't really know what kept me away from the Metroid series for soo long. I liked this game a hell of a lot but it would be almost another 12 years before I really played another Metroid game. That was Metroid for the NES on the Wii Virtual Console. The only reason I played that was cause I really enjoyed Castlevania Dawn of Sorrows on the DS and was looking for another Metroidvania style game to play. And hell I didn't even really enjoy Metroid at first I found it way too hard and punishing but I gutted it through and would now class it as one of my fav NES games ever made. I still have to finish Super Metroid and even really play the Prime games. I guess part of being a retro gamer is not just playing what you knew but also discovering great games for the first time that you may have overlooked when they came out, and its been like that with me and the Metroid games. I still love Metroid II & I still don't get all the hate it gets. I agree it may not be as good as the rest of the series, but its still a damn fine game.