Super Metroid (Nintendo, 1994)

The Metroid Prime 4 announcement influenced my purchasing of Super Metroid (Super Famicom) on the 3DS eshop, a game I hadn’t played seriously since 1994. I borrowed Samus’ first venture into 16-bit space from a friend; I recall the packaging being huge, as if Nintendo were attempting to emphasize the size of the of the games Universe. Super Metroid is a big game and in ‘94, I hadn’t played anything of it’s kind before. As I borrowed the game, I didn’t get to experience half of what it offered, but what I did play was immersive, captivating and so, so fresh. I’ve since played games that have aped it, the better ones being Castlevania: Symphony of the night, Guacamelee (to some extent a ‘metrodvania’), Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow and Axiom Verge, a game that wears its Metroid tattoo on it’s sleeve with almost worship-like pride. Despite the advent of the Metroidvania indie glut during the 7th generation of consoles, revisiting Super Metroid in 2017 is still a very unique experience unlike any other. The isolation and tone still hasn’t been bettered and the soundtrack would sound fresh if it were used in a release today. That I only play the game late at night, headphones on, is a testament to the quality of it’s living, breathing setting and it’s total immersion. Often imitated, but never bettered, Samus’ only Super Famicom entry is the franchises best and one of the mediums greatest ever titles.

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