“Metroid Dread” Reminded Me Why Metroid Is A Must-Have Series

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Nintendo sometimes deals with some of its big franchises, but Metroid usually isn’t one of them. In reality, Metroid Dread is the first brand new game in the series since the division Métroide: Other M arrived in 2010. As the fifth side-scrolling main game in the series, Fear has a lot to live for. And while it’s not a total reinvention of the franchise, like Metroid Prime was 19 years ago, it also does a great job of avoiding the pitfall of feeling like a retread, an issue that sometimes plagues Nintendo’s other flagship franchises.

If you’ve played any of the previous side-scrolling Metroid games, Fear will be familiar. As usual, Samus Aran loses all of his powers and must escape an underground labyrinth, fight the bad guys, and collect bonuses that let you explore new sections (or old parts of the map that you don’t want). could not cross before).

It’s a well-marked path, but Nintendo has turned things around this time with the EMMI encounters, terrifying robotic enemies that stalk you through specific parts of the map. They can’t be killed until you explore their area for a weapon power-up that puts you on a level playing field. At first I was concerned that these encounters would be too frequent or too hard to escape, but developer MercurySteam has done a great job balancing the EMMI zones. Escape from the dreaded robots by leaving the areas they patrol isn’t too difficult, and you don’t have to spend so long in their zones that the whole game turns into stealth tension.

On the other hand, if you do get caught by an EMMI, that’s about it. You have a chance to block their deadly attack, and I’ve only done it right once. I’ve probably been caught dozens of times and never made it out alive. Fortunately, the game simply resets you at the gate entering the EMMI zone if you fail, so you won’t lose much progress.

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During this time, I had a blast exploring the wet tunnels and caverns that make up the world of Fear. As with most Nintendo games, the atmosphere and artistry is top notch, although Fear doesn’t hold the candle to the most technologically advanced titles on the Xbox Series X or PS5. When I play a game this well designed and thought about what it does with the technology at its disposal, I don’t care about counting the pixels. Having said that, it’s also extremely impressive when connected to my 4K TV.

Most of the gameplay features of Metroid titles are here, including bonuses like charged shots, morph bullet, missile cannon, and many other returning favorites. But there are enough new features here, like grappling hook and screw attack, to keep the game fresh.

Maybe for people who have obsessively played the Metroid series before, Fear will feel more like a retread. But although I know the basic components of these games, the first person Metroid Prime is the game I know best – I never beat the original game, or the much loved one Super Metroid on the Super NES. If you’re like me, don’t let that stop you from trying Terror Metroid. There is a reason why Metroidvania games are always popular.

And if you’ve never tried one before, getting the latest installment in the series that helped define the genre is a great way to get your feet wet. More importantly, it doesn’t feel like MercurySteam and Nintendo just ticked the boxes on this game. Indeed, the skill that MercurySteam brought to Samus returns (a 1991 remake Metroid II: The Return of Samus for the Game Boy) is exposed here; Nintendo definitely picked the right developer to create the first main Metroid game since 2002. It’s an inspired addition to a series that already has an impressive legacy. Don’t be pushy – run like hell if an EMMI stalks you.

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