Metroid Series Catch-All

ccesarano wrote:

Similarly, each door is given a very unique appearance that makes sense given the context of the tool or weapon required.

I want to say this started with either the GBA or Prime games, but it's been so long I can't remember a specific game. But I swear this isn't the first to do it, or maybe they expanded on what was done in previous games?

I think they expanded. I do feel like it was done prior, but not so creatively as we see here. For example, Fusion was different colored ...um...stalk...things? And Prime would put the lock over a blue door to indicate a missile was required. Zero Mission and Corruption might have been more inventive, though it's been long enough since I played either to recall accurately.

To add to the counter mechanic:

Ok, so I don't want to say I dislike it. I don't, it's a really solid addition. But I'm not ready to say I like it yet. I've always found with Metroid games, you get into a sort of rhythm with each room; enemies take 1-3 hits to take down, so you can typically keep running and gunning if you're good.

With the counter, I feel like I'm always stopping and waiting, it breaks a bit of that rhythm, that flow? A lot of the enemies now take many more hits to take down. It feels very different. On the bright side, it feels really nice and the extra boost of healing pickups enemies drop saves you from mindlessly farming the same enemies before a boss room.

It's different, and I'm trying to embrace change.

But yeah, on the whole, the game is fantastic. It feels like a proper Metroid title through and through. It feels more like a new entry than a remake. In my opinion, it's only Metroid 2 in the loosest sense.

Actually that's something I never thought about despite it being so obvious. That enemies take a lot more hits means you almost have to rely on the counter-attack. I don't want to have to do that, and even with later weaponry enemies can take two shots to kill, let alone ones in current areas. It lends to feeling like I'm not becoming as strong as I'd like, because early foes can still be troublesome.

Which means back-tracking is going to be less fun.

ccesarano wrote:

Which means back-tracking is going to be less fun.

Nah it is just as glorious as always. Screw attack everything and zoom zoom from room to room

I like the counter attack. I try not to rely on it too much, though. Enemies can be fast. They can charge forward at speed. It is the best tool to nullify them like a total boss, but I try to vary things now and then. Chaining the counter attack obliteration into a dance of death feels so good I cannot help it at times, though.

Enemies either telegraph a lunge or follow a movement pattern, which creates an opening to get out of the way, and estimate how many shots can be fired before and after. Getting the wave beam helps as it has more stopping power, and travels through solid objects.

Maybe it's difficulty dependent, but I find so many missiles that I'm using them on scrubs and grunts, just for kicks. Pure stopping power.

The ice beam freezes most enemies in place. Pop a missile and their dust. Or swap in the wave beam.

Go green with the aeon shield and waltz through with a skip and a hop. Take a break from genocide.

The counter attack may have an average recovery time, I wouldn't call it slow, but it is quite broad in its coverage. I had three enemies sweep into the same counter attack, from varying positions, not exactly all at once, and all three were stunned. Samus only locked onto one critter. The other two were seeing stars for long enough to take manual aim with no concerns. I have also experienced the opposite where one such critter times it right to land a hit during the down time. They get to eat a missile.

Maybe I'll find it more difficult as the enemies continue to become more lethal. I'm not too far in.

Samus Returns is the first 3DS game to really make me appreciate the 3D effect. I'm happy with the 3D off, but the 3D on is so good.

Samus Returns is the first 3DS game to really make me appreciate the 3D effect. I'm happy with the 3D off, but the 3D on is so good.

Oh yeah!

I was the biggest advocate for the 3D feature, even when all of my friends were turning it off. But I too, eventually, got very tired of the strain, and having to hold my head still.

Even with the New 3DS's tracking, I still had it off. This is the first game in 200+ hours of play, that I've played entirely with 3D on. I'm not sure if it's because I had a huge break, or it's just that good. Everything looks so much more crisp with it enabled, and the depth it adds is just lovely. My favourite effect is when you shatter a frozen enemy and it flies right out at you! Amazing!

Another trick I learned involving the melee counter:

Spoiler:

you can freeze an enemy with ice beam,
then shatter them with melee counter. You get fewer drops from them this way.

I've hit a wall

Spoiler:

The final encounter with the mining robot. I know what to do to beat it, but my timing is just SO OFF on some of the defensive moves. But I think I've been relying on the shield Aeion ability. That sucker drains ALL of your Aeion energy when it gets hit by the rotors.

Yeah for that fight you also need to save the aeon shield for the final phase, IMO. Makes that part much easier.

Here's a hint if you want it:

Spoiler:

Try using spider ball

I just finished my Hard run at 3:08. I could have beat my normal time, but I screwed up the route a few times. Next up, Fusion Mode.

Damn I can't even finish normal under 4. I got lost again, and just passed the 4 hour mark in area 7.

I have an image of the full map which I've marked with the route. Otherwise it's too easy to get lost in a few areas.

Yeah I had a map but without items, so it wasn't much help. Google was frustratingly taking me to old Metroid 2 maps instead of the new ones.

I see a couple better ones were posted on gamefaqs over the weekend. There's one with items marked A-Z, and another just with their names. Both look helpful in keeping things in order and getting from area to area quicker.

I couldn't help watching some of the endings on youtube already. But I'd like to earn them myself.

Area 8:

Spoiler:

The first time I beat the game, and the Queen Metroid, I was never able to pull off the stun move properly. I missed the timing, or maybe I missed the grapple point, or I just finished her off. I can't quite remember. But enough missiles and she goes down eventually.

This time I missed the first couple stun chances again. But on the final stage of the fight I successfully pulled it off. Then I rolled into her belly, ready to set off one power bomb to finish her. And promptly died because my health was so low.

Apparently it takes 3 power bombs, so you get 3 stun chances? I guess I'll just keep doing missiles if my health isn't high enough to survive a trip inside. It really looked cool in 3d though!

Here's the map I used. I added notes on my own for the Metroid order, generally following the route of the run I posted before.

ahrezmendi wrote:

Another trick I learned involving the melee counter:

Spoiler:

you can freeze an enemy with ice beam,
then shatter them with melee counter. You get fewer drops from them this way.

I discovered this by accident and it was awesome. I have since used it many times.

A_Unicycle wrote:
Samus Returns is the first 3DS game to really make me appreciate the 3D effect. I'm happy with the 3D off, but the 3D on is so good.

Oh yeah!

I was the biggest advocate for the 3D feature, even when all of my friends were turning it off. But I too, eventually, got very tired of the strain, and having to hold my head still.

Even with the New 3DS's tracking, I still had it off. This is the first game in 200+ hours of play, that I've played entirely with 3D on. I'm not sure if it's because I had a huge break, or it's just that good. Everything looks so much more crisp with it enabled, and the depth it adds is just lovely. My favourite effect is when you shatter a frozen enemy and it flies right out at you! Amazing!

Bolded for awesome. I really dig the depth it creates. The areas feel more vast and memorable as a result.

Loving the art for the areas, too. The colours and the architecture are fantastic.

So I ended up completing this last night with 100% completion and... oh crap, 14.5 hours on the clock!

I was able to find almost everything without any assistance online. There was just one trick I couldn't figure out when it came to those long passages with the orange crystals on floor and ceiling.

Spoiler:

Use the power bomb while in spider-ball form to launch skyward or sideways. In the instance of one puzzle, you actually have to release spider-ball halfway through to allow gravity to take control again. I found a hint on GameFAQs and partially felt like an idiot, but I wasn't sure I'd have discovered that on purpose anyway. I have a tendency to roll away from bombs unless I'm specifically trying to use them to bomb-jump.

Which reminds: that would have made one particular upgrade a lot easier. But I managed to get it anyway with the bomb jump. Slightly different timing in Samus Returns, but if you get it right you can pretty much bomb jump forever. Haven't been able to manage that since Super Metroid.

I'm typically more for completionism than I am for beating the time, but... I dunno. Something about Samus Returns just felt unsatisfying to 100%. Part of it is my fault, at this point I should know that it's not really worth back-tracking to pick up items until you have the power-bomb or Screw Attack (whichever comes last). Otherwise you'll go back again and again and again. Fusion sucks because its linear nature means you have a very small window of opportunity to actually explore the whole ship until it forces you to go through to the end. Other M actually did a decent job in giving you that one-last run through the environment for all the upgrades (I know, how dare I speak positively about Other M).

But for me, Super Metroid and Metroid Prime actually have you go back to prior areas with new pathways, which allow you to think "Hey, while I'm here, why don't I snag that one item I missed?" It doesn't pad the time much and allows you to enjoy exploring and making new use of your upgrades. And that's one of the things that I love about Metroid. It's seeing something you can't get, and once you get an upgrade you have ample opportunity to take advantage of it to earn more rewards.

Samus Returns lacks that by being too linear.... which I should have seen coming after AM2R, but it's possible AM2R looped things back a bit better. I kind of feel like hooking up my 360 gamepad and giving it another spin to compare. However, even with AM2R back-tracking was a pain, so I think some of it is just the downside of being a remake of Metroid 2.

Which is a shame, because this is almost the side-scrolling Metroid I'd go back and replay over and over again. Instead, it's not quite there, and so Super Metroid and Metroid Prime are going to end up being my constant go-to's.

...though... it's been a while since I played Echoes, Corruption, and Zero Mission, and now this has me itching to go back and play older Metroid games... I might just go on a marathon.

On the whole I enjoyed it, though, and made for an interesting action-oriented take on the franchise. It's pretty clear these guys liked Fusion, and hearing that they originally approached Nintendo about remaking Metroid Fusion is not surprising.

Stele, in response to your three boss comments:

Spoiler:

The mining robot. This guy felt pointless, but I'm also just pissed at having to run away from him over and over and over again. That moment sucked, I hated it, and I wanted it to die. If I replay this game, that's the moment that would probably tempt me to just give up. As for the actual fight, simple enough once you figured the pattern out better. His attacks seem hard to dodge at first, but some of them have an "oh wait" moment. Even so, just... eh, could have done without.

I only used the power bomb on the Metroid Queen once, not thrice? But then again, I missed at least one or two opportunities to counter. I only died against the Queen on my first attempt through as well. I think what really screwed me up was the green thingies that you can't destroy. When the Queen starts breathing fire they become a real nuisance, but what I'd end up doing is, if she started with the ground, spider-balling up onto the ceiling and then simply waiting until the floor extinguished to drop down. Simple enough!

But Ridley? Well...okay, Ridley had been spoiled for me. I was listening to a podcast that's a lot more laid back (YouTuber BriHard has what he calls the "Poodcast", and I've been listening to it as a casual "guys shooting the sh*t" podcast this week while work has been Hell), and just hearing that was disappointing for two reasons: first, why you gonna drop that so quickly? Second, why is Ridley in here? Can we not? Just... can we not?

I mean, I love Ridley. I'm all about "Ridley for Smash" despite his incredibly disproportionate body size. He's an iconic character, and the guys on the podcast argued that this explains how Ridley was so close behind Samus in Super Metroid.... only no one needed that explanation. It was unnecessary.

It's sh*t like this that makes me worried for a remake of Super Metroid. Just what f*cking unnecessary sh*t will they add "because they can"? And honestly, this was the biggest reason to 100%, because Ridley's got a sh*t ton of health and an easy to miss counter. In fact, if I go back and fight him again, I might save all my super missiles for the later, tougher parts because regular missiles seemed to have no effect and thus I had to blast him with the plasma beam.

I can't say the fight wasn't enjoyable. Even when you figure out his attacks, you need to be alert and attentive to dodge and avoid him. So it was a blast. But you know what rocked in Metroid: Other M? A surprise fight against someone like Phantoom. Give me a boss I haven't seen in a long time as opposed to a character that doesn't need to be brought back for every f*cking game.

This is probably more negative than I intended. I really had a blast, but some things just had me being all grumpy wumpy. I'll probably be more positive and fair on my blog. Maybe. We'll see.

ccesarano wrote:

I'm typically more for completionism than I am for beating the time, but... I dunno. Something about Samus Returns just felt unsatisfying to 100%.

I felt the same, then I started doing any% runs and found it significantly more compelling, particularly on the harder difficulties. The game becomes about execution and thinking on the fly, and proper use of all your tools is of paramount importance. Even if you're not normally about the speed running, I recommend at least trying it once in this game.

ccesarano, boss stuff:

Spoiler:

Queen gives 3 opportunities to power bomb. But if you miss the chance you can still do enough missile damage to get to the next phase.

Proto Ridley is immune to regular missiles the entire fight. I think it's part of his leftover armor from Prime 3.

I did not get spoiled and I absolutely loved it. I appreciate the bridge between prime and the main series too. And the post battle scene for fusion.

100% is worth doing only once, for artwork.

I always like Game Maker's Toolkit, and he brought up some points I mentally glossed over.

I actually concur with what he's saying about the changed atmosphere of these games. In Metroid II, it definitely had a much more... creepy feel to it. I don't know if I'd have called it horror when I played back in High School (around 2001-2002, I think is when I played it?), but it felt more in line with the opening of Super Metroid than anything else in the Metroid series. The deeper you went, the more dead I imagined the world and the more unsettling.

I had forgotten a lot of specifics, such as the wrecked Chozo statue, but both AM2R and Samus Returns changed this greatly. With AM2R I think the trade-off works well enough, as you get a much more rich world with an effort to establish a deeper understanding of the Chozo. In fact, if you take into account the continuity of the Chozo creating the Metroids, then it makes sense that SR388 would pretty much be a world overrun, with the lower depths being where the Metroids chose to nest.

Samus Returns is... a place! With things! Why's the robot digger there? Because he is! Don't completely know why. I mean, Super Metroid had some sh*t like that as well, but we're now capable of explaining that sort of thing in a more sophisticated manner even when restricted to environmental narrative.

Regardless, I feel like going through a whole slew of Metroid games now and am wishing more people I followed on YouTube had Metroid content I could go back and watch. AAAARGH.

I think I'm done. I feel conflicted, I acknowledge that the changes that have been made are good, that Samus Returns is a great game, but I'm not having fun any more. More often than not, I fire it up and feel frustrated. And I feel a lot of it comes down to the counter mechanic.

It's good, it works, it's a new spin on an old formula. But it changes the tempo of the game. I love that in other Metroid titles, backtracking feels great because you zoom through the areas with new skills which make it easy! You feel strong after each upgrade and that's a big part of the appeal for me. With this counter mechanic, they needed to make the enemies more threatening and bulky so you need to use it. Which means you are constantly stopping and starting. And when you're constantly stopping and starting...Backtracking feels a lot less exciting.

I'm still trying to play it like the old Metroids, so maybe that's my problem. I love that it's a harder game, I love hard games. I'm just so frustrated with this and I can't pinpoint any reason other than countering.

Maybe I came into it at the wrong time in my life, maybe I'm craving the old. I played and adored 2 a few years ago, so I don't know why I'm not lapping this up. But yeah, for now, I think I'm going to put it down. I've played 5 hours, and I just haven't been able to "get into" it in that time.

As I just said on Monday, once you get screw attack backtracking is just as fast as always. The only enemies that resist that are in area 7 or 8, which you barely backtrack in because you have everything. You can zoom through all the early areas easy.

And honestly you shouldn't backtrack until after area 8 because there's such a mix of obstacles. You'll waste a lot of time going back to get super missile doors, then going back for screw attack blocks, then going back again for power bomb doors, etc.

Yeah, no back-tracking until basically the end of the game. Trust me, my 14.5 hours was a lot of going back, getting one or two upgrades, and then progressing forward only to do it again an hour or two later. Yeah, you'll have a few more missiles and sh*t, but honestly it's not the most worthwhile thing.

I actually found myself using counter less the deeper I went. I feel like it's more useful early on and everything's a bullet sponge. Granted, a lot of the stopping-and-starting persists because I'd basically just shoot at enemies through walls. So perhaps it's not much of a difference either way, but it still fit with what I was doing in earlier Metroid games.

Perhaps the real issue is that the only real incentive to counter is to kill enemies faster. You can typically dodge them easily enough once you get used to their pattern, and if you bother to try and kill them they always take more than one hit (except surface area enemies, and even then it takes multiple beam upgrades).


Speaking of upgrades, before I had watched the Game Maker's Toolkit video I had already noticed the lack of a key Metroid upgrade. Yesterday afternoon I took to Twitter to share my thoughts on its absence. I figured I'd discuss it more in-depth here.

Spoiler:

So there's no Speed Boost in Samus Returns. I don't miss it. I didn't even realize until thinking back to AM2R that I'm not actually a big fan of the speed boost. In AM2R, they have a lot of Shinespark and other such speed booster challenges that would cause me quite a bit of frustration trying to execute. Not figure out, but execute.

What a few of you (by you I mean GWJers, I can't keep track of who is who on the forums sometimes) mentioned was that the Aeion ability slowing time was essentially a replacement. And you're not wrong! But it's more like they took the speed boost and divided its traits up across multiple different powers. The most obvious is using the Aeion ability to pass over ground that would otherwise collapse. It actually works well for a Metroid 2 remake due to the more compact level design in most areas. However, you now lose the skill-based Shinespark that allowed you to launch into the air or across a chasm... sort of.

You won't be busting through walls, but as long as you combine spider-ball and power bomb, you effectively accomplish the same task. Once again, though, skill is removed from the equation.

Personally, I f*cking love this change! I'd be glad to never see the speed boost again! While I enjoy some skill-based challenges, Shinespark was always so f*cking finnicky in every iteration of Metroid that I just didn't want to bother dealing with it (except for Other M, but Shinespark was similarly simplified in that game).

But I can see how this change would be hated by speed-runners and people that appreciate Metroid for more of a challenge – which, I'm learning, is one of the draws of the 2D games for a lot of people. Evidently there's a whole bunch of players that think the Prime games are fine, but prefer the 2D games due to more skill-based challenge and obstacles. The Prime games, on the other hand, are slower, more deliberate, and focus more on puzzles than obstacle courses. Personally, I love both Metroid Prime and Super Metroid equally and for different reasons. But I'd say following Super Metroid the side-scrollers have only become more challenging. I'm curious if there's a sort of divide of players based on what it is they love about Metroid most, and how the Prime divergence influenced things.

Anyway, just random sh*t I'm thinking about this morning.

So I finally caved, took the plunge and ordered a copy of Samus Returns. Only partway through Zone 2 (3rd section total), here's my thoughts so far:

- The 360 degree aiming still hasn't fully sunk in with me yet. I'm getting used to it, but there's still that part of me that pines for that ol' 8-point aim.

- Even with the Aeion Scan ability highlighting breakable blocks, the world is still designed in a manner that it's still a puzzle to find a way through to certain powerups/boosts.

- With as many minibosses as there are with the Metroids, that Continue function is a gorram godsend.

- I hadn't even thought of utilizing the 3D, I'll have to try that when I get home.

- I, too, have some general issues with the Counter, but my opinions on it aren't exactly breaking new ground. I think I mostly just need to get used to it, because right now I'm still letting most every bat-thing slam into me while I try to aim-and-shoot them down from stationary.

- SAMUS IS BACK, BAYBEE (insert PeachesAndHerbReunited.mp3)

Finally. 3:41 on Normal. The more I fight and learn bosses the easier it is. I beat the bosses of Area 6 and 8 on the first try this time around, and with plenty of health to spare.

Spoiler:

That was the first time I beat that stupid robot in one phase of bombing him. I would always get 2 of the 3 bombs but couldn't quite get the last one. Quick use of Aeon and I spider rolled to all 3 spots in time. Felt great.

Got 2 power bombs on the Queen this time, sped things up considerably.

Now to try Hard and Fusion. Whee!

Stele wrote:

As I just said on Monday, once you get screw attack backtracking is just as fast as always.

This game also has the Screw Attack "lite" undocumented feature from Super Metroid. Once you get a change beam, if you spin jump while fully charge you'll instantly kill many of the smaller enemies although it depletes your current charge.

Area 5 is really great. The music. The visuals. And I've encountered less enemies whilst exploring the more labyrinthine map. This reminds me of the solitude I revelled in with the original. This area has also provided a few of the better power ups. Yippee!

The more Samus uncovers the more I'm enjoying this creative re-imagining.

Also, whilst reviewing Samus Returns on the eShop I discovered BoxBoy. Excellent!

This past weekend I 100%ed this game. Great great game. I really enjoyed it. I didn't like the video on youtube of the graphics, but ended up not being an issue at all. It was the Super Metroid fix I was looking for. I guess I didn't get the best ending, but meh, 22 hours isn't bad. Not going to play on hard mode though, as nothing would really change.