An Ode To Super Metroid

2007 August 20
by CajoleJuice

Today one of the greatest games ever made was released on the Wii Virtual Console. If you haven’t played it (which is basically a crime at this point) and own a Wii, you should already have this classic downloaded. If you don’t own a Wii, just download ZSNES and the ROM right now. I played the game on my PC eight years after it was originally released and it was still one of the most flawless and incredible gaming experiences I’ve ever had. It is the pinnacle of 2D action-adventure, along with (from what I hear) Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

What Super Metroid does better than any other 2D game (and better than just about every 3D game) is create an eerie atmosphere of isolation. The music is some of the best I’ve ever heard in a video game, and the graphics still hold up to this day, with beautifully animated sprites and backgrounds. The bosses are particularly awesome. The controls and the manner in which the narrative is handled are two of the reasons why the game just might be the most perfect videogame ever created. Learning new movies through trial and error without in-game tutorials and the constant gaining of new abilities made for some of the coolest and most satisfying gaming I’ve ever had. In what other game do you learn special moves from mute animals? 2D gaming just cannot be beat with it comes to preciseness of controls. (I know, I know PC FPSs, shut up)

The story is told through interactive cutscenes throughout the game, mostly packed towards the end – resulting in arguably the best final half-hour of any game. (Of course, Ocarina of Time was no slouch). It’s a method never seen in gaming today; instead we get MGS with it’s massive cutscenes interspersed with gameplay. Hell, even Super Mario Sunshine tried to have a story with cutscenes and everything. Awful. Never in Super Metroid do you lose control of Samus, not even when you think it’s all over. I wish I could’ve experienced the game when it first came out like my friend Anth. He always swore by the awesomeness of it. It’s a shame it took me until the months leading up to Metroid Prime for me to finally play it. So if you still haven’t played it yet, get your shit together already.

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