Metroid (NES) Retro Review


Metroid is an 1987 action adventure developed by Nintendo (specifically Nintendo Research and Development 1) and Intelligent Systems before being published by Nintendo. The plot is the planet Zebes where Samus Aran (the player character) has been sent to retrieve the Metroid, parasitic organisms, that were stolen by Space Pirates who plan to replicate them to be used as a biological weapon.

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The title screen was quite cool with an ok looking logo and if you wait a few seconds you see the emergency order Samus got from the “Galaxy Federal Police” although it oddly spelt Zebes as Zebeth. The game uses a password system in the US and EU versions but i heard it uses saves in the Japanese one.

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Getting into the game i noticed the graphics were surprisingly good if you ignore the lack of a background and the obvious blockiness. The music was quite good from the very start, obviously repetetive like most old tunes but you’d be willing to listen to it a few times anyway. Both controls and gameplay are very easy to figure out without any help whatsoever. I personally liked how they don’t give you the morphball straight away but instead use it as an example at the very beginning, it motivated me to look for more powerups. The game can be seen as evil in some ways as you start with only 30 health and enemies do a surprising amount of damage but once you realise all enemies can drop a hp ball (restores 5 or 20 depending on size) and missiles (5 per pickup) as well as the useful upgrades you get it starts to feel quite generous like energy tanks which refill your health and give you an extra 100 on top. This isn’t even mentioning that dying gives you a game over yet starts you at a checkpoint (start of areas) with the powerups you’ve collected.

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I can’t deny that the game is far more linear than it may seem at first and that the amount of backtracking means not everyone would enjoy it. On top of that Passwords only really change once you’ve done something important so its not for people with little time either. However anyone thats willing to put enough time and effort will get plenty of satisfaction in return as they get more and more powerful and defeat the few bosses, especially if they manage it in a decent time. I enjoyed myself quite alot, in fact i got quite alot further than you’d think (need to replace the 2nd screenshot).

Overall i can highly suggest giving this game a try although I’m sure the GBA game Metroid: Zero Mission is a remake of this and therefore it might be better to recommend that.

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