Before writing this post I thought “should I really start with my favorite game? One that makes many other games pale in comparison?” Hell yes, I decided, because sometimes ya just gotta have dessert first.
So, it’s been said before and I’ll say it again. Best. Game. Ever.
Super Metroid, released by Nintendo in 1994, has all the elements that make up the greatest of great games: story, action, intensity, the chance for exploration, the discovery of new abilities, and replayability to the nth degree.
In the Metroid mythology, Super Metroid lands near the end of the spectrum, but it’s the first of the series I ever played, and I’m pretty sure it was my first video game obsession. Even as I’m typing, thinking of the incredible joy I get from playing the game sets my heart all a-flutter!
We had the game for our Super Nintendo. Years later after moving away, I bought a Super Nintendo on Ebay just to play Super Metroid, which I also bought on Ebay. And in the recent past, I bought Super Metroid through the Wii shop. Did you think I was joking when I said obsession??
Super Metroid is a 2D side scroller. You make your way through various levels, killing baddies and fighting some fairly formidable bosses. Samus can jump, shoot, drop bombs, and grapple, and receive power-ups to make all those things stronger. On the outside, it’s a standard point-shoot-run game; but there are several things that make it stand out as fantastic:
1. The hero, Samus Aran, is a girl! Ha, girls rule. (Since I hadn’t previously played Metroid, this reveal at the end of the game was pretty awesome.)
2. The music and sfx. Super Metroid’s soundtrack is pretty much the best thing going. Each world or level in the game has a specific theme that ranges from minimal and moody to deep and evocative. And though there’s a certain, dare I say 90s cheesiness that prevails at time, each song is unique and fits the mood of each level. (For copyright reasons, I can’t post any of the songs here, but you can find some of them on Kingdom Hearts Insider.) The sound affects are pretty great too. Many of the bad guys “cry out” when you hit them, which lends to them a bit of sympathy. (I don’t really want to hurt you, you blue and white bug-like, four-legged creature, but you are so in my way.)
3. The renderings. This game is colorful, to say the least. The backgrounds and characters are rendered in just the nicest looking brightly colored 16-bits. Granted, the characters do not harness the most complex movements, but they don’t need to. Everything just needs to move seamlessly, and it does. Whether you’re making your way from one level to the next or fighting a boss there’s always something pretty to look at.
4. The replay factor. This was the first game for which I ever kept notes. There is so much to remember and each level map only shows so much. There are tons of secret areas to find and explore; and to this day, I still haven’t found them all. I’ve also yet to master some of the special moves needed to find said secret areas. Unfortunately, I don’t have my original “game notebook” anymore, so now-a-days I have to wing it on memory. But each time I’ve play through the game, I find or figure out at least one new thing that I hadn’t discovered before. There are also different endings depending on how fast you beat the game or how many items you’ve found. I’m not much of a completionist, but someday I’ve like to achieve 100% on this game.
If you’ve never played this game then, well…for the good of all that is holy, find some way to play it. If you have played this game then you know just what I mean. Best. Game. Ever.