Two games for the price of one
[Art by Rob “Robaato” Porter]
Metroid star Samus Aran turns 30 this year, and if the festivities we experienced for her 25th birthday is anything to go by, then we can expect for Nintendo to celebrate the occasion with… a tweet? Maybe a happy birthday text? To be fair, the publisher is planning to release a new Metroid game later this year, but from what we’ve seen, it doesn’t look like Samus will do much more than make a cameo appearance in the title. Just imagine if the only new game Mario appeared in on his 30th birthday was called Daisy & Waluigi’s Logjammin’ Adventure. People would riot.
The future may look uncertain for the Metroid franchise, but thankfully, most of Samus’s past games are so well made that their more than worth revisiting every year or so. Case in point, 2004’s Metroid: Zero Mission, the GBA re-imagining of the first game in the series which was recently released on the Wii U virtual console. While the game feels a little short compared to Metroid Fusion or Super Metroid, and its bosses are often easy to the point of anti-climax, it still has arguably the best graphics, music, and level design in the franchise. There are so many well thought out opportunities to combine abilities for advanced techniques here. It may be on the small side, but those looking for technical depth in a 2D exploration-platformer couldn’t ask for much more.
On top of that, those who complete Zero Mission can unlock the original NES game as well, presented with a new aspect ratio and few other additional features. While Zero Mission is easily the better made game of the two, the first Metroid has more than enough unique quirks to justify its existence. It’s still the only place you can play as green-haired, leotard Samus, who continues to be my favorite iteration of the character. Here’s to hoping she makes it into the next Smash Bros.