For all those Wii owners, it’s not hard to keep one’s game on when a plethora of old school games are readily available on the Virtual Console (provided one has the funds to buy Wii-points).
It’s a blessing to be able to revisit all the games you remember playing as a kid, and have the opportunity to play those not-so-popular gems you might have missed out on.
One such game that falls into the latter category is Super Metroid. With tight controls, nonlinear gameplay, and action that refined the 2-D platformer experience, this game became an instant favorite for anyone who played it.
The game stars Samus Aran (most are familiar with her from the Super Smash Bros. series as the really fast, hard-to-kill girl with a ball of energy coming from her arm) as one of the most revered bounty hunters in the galaxy.
She had just completed her mission of retrieving the last Metroid larvae (a being that can drain energy from anything) and delivered it to the Ceres Space Colony where scientists could conduct research to find ways that Metroids can benefit mankind.
As she is leaving to pursue another bounty, she receives a transmission from Ceres and returns to find that the Space Pirates, a group of baddies that want to use the Metroids to do wrong unto the universe, have attacked the colony and stole the larvae. She chases them back to their home world of Zebes, and proceeds to battle the nefarious pirates on their own turf until she rescues the helpless Metroid.
Most of the fun of Metroid is the weapon system. Throughout the game, Samus will discover power-ups that make her stronger, faster and more dangerous. All of that ties in well with the progression of the game itself; for when you acquire certain power-ups, you access new parts of the map that were previously not passable.
So, suppose that there is door that requires a specific laser power-up to open it, Samus must explore the already-accessible areas to find said power up in order to continue farther.
This dynamic makes for an interesting experience, as the game doesn’t tell you where to go, specifically, just that you have a goal to fulfill.
With power-ups like the speed run, ice laser, and grappling hook, Samus certainly has a lot to accomplish to save the little Matroid.
The controls are well tuned, and everything flows smoothly. There are some instances in the game where Samus will find herself having to do a speed run through three or more segments of a level to gain access to a new area, causing the player to pay close attention and have excellent timing when executing jumps and grapples to overcome the obstacles between point A and point B.
That type of responsive, "turn-on-a-dime" type of play makes for some very intense boss fights, where any wrong move can cause a lot of damage.
In summation, Super Metroid is a worthwhile play, and anyone owning a Wii (or perhaps an SNES emulator on his or her PC) should definitely check it out. After all, that helpless Metroid isn’t going to save itself.