Who remembers Metroid on NES? It was one of the best games on the console and also one of the most confusing.
There is no denying it, Metroid was an 8-bit classic and it will always be remembered for having one of the biggest twists in gaming. Samus was a woman.
Putting all of that aside Metroid is still a pretty solid title today, and I mean that in both senses, it was one of the better adventure games on the NES but it was also one of the most confusing with endless tunnels and no map to guide you along the way.
So how have Nintendo improved on this classic?
Like I said this is a remake so it has the same plot as the original Metroid.
The game sees you play as Samus Aran who is on her first mission as a bounty hunter. Her mission is to exterminate all Metroid's on planet Zebes and to defeat the space pirates, destroy their leader Mother Brain and put an end to their plans once and for all.
As you would expect this is a 2D Metroid game so it will be just like Metroid Fusion and Super Metroid.
The game doesn't have a two player mode but it does connect to Metroid Fusion so that you can unlock bonus content such as a playable version of the 1986 NES Metroid.
What can I say? You've played this before. Its 2D Metroid; it follows the same formula as the other games.
You start with just your beam and suit searching for power ups so that you can become more powerful.
The more abilities you obtain the more you will be able to do and see as you delve deeper into Zebes.
The controls in this game are the same as in Fusion, you press A to jump, B to fire, L to aim and R to use rockets.
There have been quite a few noticeable changes from fusion in this game. For starters there isn't much narrative in the story, the game doesn't feature much dialog. The next difference is the way that the game is planned out. Metroid Fusion was a fairly linear game, you could only go to certain areas at the start of the game, in this game you have to figure most things out yourself with only a small amount of help.
The game does offer a lot of freedom, you can go anywhere on SR388 as long as you have the needed abilities. For example you might want to go somewhere but there is a hazard or wall blocking your way, if you have the needed power then you can carry on, if not then you have to turn back and find that power or find an alternate route, so there is a fair bit of freedom.
Later in the game you will find yourself doing a stealth section where you have to sneak past the space pirates without being caught, this section is done really well and is good fun but it can become frustrating.
Putting that aside Zero Mission does still play better than Fusion, it is quicker and more fluent.
Another thing about Metroid Zero Mission is that there are more power ups to find, in this game you start completely powered down so you have to find as many abilities as you can for example, you have a short ranged beam at the start go you need to find the long beam, another example is the power grip, in Metroid Fusion you could hang off ledges at the start of the game, in this you don't have that power you have to find it. One thing that is a nice change is that you don't have to fight bosses to gain powers, or use data rooms.
Another good feature that this game has is the option to change the games difficulty, you have 3 choices of difficulty, easy, normal and hard.
In easy you take less damage from attacks, there are also fewer enemies and they tend to go down a lot quicker.
In normal you take the regular amount for damage and enemies are at full health.
As for hard mode, well I will admit it is pretty hard. For starters you now take more damage and enemies take less damage, to make matters worse you now get few power ups, Missile tanks are only worth 2 Missiles instead of five, same for the energy tanks you now get an extra 50 energy points instead of 100.
I will admit the choice in difficulty is a great thing, the game can provide a challenge for both hardened gamers and newcomers alike.
Once again this game has plenty of replay value, the game is ideal for speed running as it can be beaten in one sitting, a great way to better yourself, also lets not forget the rewards for completing the game such as art and sound clips.
Graphics and Sound
In all the graphics here are much better than the graphics in Fusion, the colours standout more and you get a much clearer view, it really looks great, some of the backgrounds look like artwork, it is that clear.
Another thing I love about this game is the animated cut scenes they are so clean and fluid, it is like watching a cartoon.
The sound is great as well, Nintendo took all of the classic tunes from Metroid and revamped them.
In all Metroid Zero Mission is a really solid title that does a good job improving over the past games, expect plenty of twists, turns and surprises.
+ Gameplay perfected
+ Eye pleasing graphics
+ Nice Cut scenes
+ Plenty of content
+ Plenty of freedom
- Can be frustrating at times.