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Retro Thursday: Super Metroid
Welcome to Retro Thursday, Leviathyn’s spotlight on retro gaming. Join us as we take a stroll down memory lane and pay homage to our roots by highlighting the classics of yesteryear.
Thursday, May 3:
Before Commander Shepard and the Master Chief, there was Samus Aran, the ass-kicking bounty hunter with a deadly arm cannon and a serious gripe with Space Pirates and Metroids.
Now over 25 years old, the Metroid franchise has graduated from its old-school roots, even persisting with us in this current console generation. And while each installment in the franchise continues to add to the Metroid universe in its own unique way (love it or hate it), Super Metroid for the SNES is still touted as one of the greatest Metroid games in the series’ history.
Not to take anything away from the original Metroid and Metroid II, Super Metroid not only stuck to the conventions that made the first games so great, but it built upon them, creating a more polished and solid addition to Nintendo’s original sci-fi series.
Even in its primitive, 16-bit glory, nearly all aspects of Super Metroid still hold up to this day. Visuals are clean and help build the classic labyrinth-style level design, controls are sharp and responsive, the music is creepy and conveys a great sense of atmosphere, and an assortment of enemies adopt a wide range of abilities and attacks.
Probably the most notable detail of Super Metroid is its return to the series’ iconic style of explorational and retraversal gameplay. Players start in the beginning with basic level weapons and abilities, and as they explore and backtrack throughout the level, more abilities and weapons are acquired, allowing players access to new areas of the level. A similar style was adopted by Castlevania, and all games designed in a similar manner are said to have a “Metroidvania” style of gameplay.
Armed with a no-nonsense attitude and an suit cool enough to impress any sci fi geek, Samus Aran has long resided in the hearts of classic gaming fans as one of the most influential and iconic heroes from the SNES era. With a great eye to detail and a style of gameplay that still holds up in our modern age, it’s safe to say that Super Metroid has cemented itself as one of the most iconic classics of gamin’s bygone era.