Metroid Fear Review: One of the best games in the series

Since 1994, I have not lost my way in the Metroid game.

I mean really lost, wandering in the hallway not knowing where to go next.Every Metroid game released since Super Metroid Help is provided, whether through waypoints or simply to provide a more linear experience. However, without nodding to the direction of the next stage of the journey, can you freely control multiple huge areas? It hasn’t happened since the base ace era.

But i’m there, a few hours later Metroid is dead, I have no idea where I should go.

I like every minute of it.

Metroid Fear Is a direct sequel Metroid Fusion, A game with a history of nearly two decades.During that time, Nintendo explored the events that occurred after the original Metroid -With the Metroid Prime series-or it remade the old game with updated mechanics, like Zero task with Sams returns. But after seeing the continuation of the story Metroid Fusion? We have to wait for a shocking 19 years.

Having just wiped out the evil X parasite with a massive explosion—she often does—Sams Alan was sent to the planet ZDR, where some new filth awaited her. The mission quickly went wrong, she was unconscious deep in the planet’s core, and all her hard-earned upgrades were lost.

This is actually an interesting departure from the traditional Metroid structure, which usually starts from the surface and digs down.exist fear, You will start from the underground area needed for science, with laboratories and metal walls, but when you are close to the surface, the built environment gives way to the natural environment of ZDR. The deep sea and lush swamps quickly became the norm.

Image: MercurySteam, Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Playing the traditional Metroid formula is very important Metroid Fear. fear It’s made by MercurySteam, behind the same team Sams returns (Remastered Metroid 2: The Return of Sams). Although it maintains the original 2D perspective, the game introduces a crazy departure from the source material, increases the melee counter and Samus 360-degree aiming capabilities, and opens up new possibilities for combat and puzzle solving.

These two additions return Metroid Fear, And because the game runs at 60 frames per second, these actions are smooth and accurate. But this is not just an enhanced battle for Nintendo Switch. Samus is just walking around in this world, it feels incredible. I can’t think of a 2D game that feels more controlled.

already fear, Samus lacks her patented deformation ball technology. Conversely, when she approached quickly, she was able to slide into the small crack, just as Indiana Jones slipped down on a trapdoor. The smoothness of these slides, coupled with her elegance of spinning in the air before grabbing a nearby ledge, make even simple exploratory excursions more satisfying. Nintendo has a long history of creating incredible sports in its gaming world. For the Metroid series, fear Is the pinnacle.

Samus escaped from one of Metroid Dread’s EMMII robots

Image: MercurySteam, Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

In addition to feeling good, traversing the world quickly becomes a necessary survival mechanism. There are seven “EMMI” robots distributed in various areas of ZDR. Compared with most of Samus’s enemies, they far surpass her. Entering a melee range means almost certain death, even in the late game, when Sams is fully powered up.

This may have something to do with those who like the contemplative nature of Metroid games, which traditionally allow exploration without the pressure of a brutal robot coming out of a vent.But these sequences are interesting narrations fear, Not the core of the game. One reason: these robots are enclosed in specific areas called EMMI areas, which only occupy a small part of the entire map, so you don’t have to worry about looking back most of the time. More importantly, you will eventually be able to kill these robots and free up these areas for you to explore in your free time.

EMMI sequences are exciting; they don’t feel like sneaky stealth missions, but more like crazy tag games, because you have to grab the ceiling or sprint under the walls to break the sight of these metal killers. This is another adventurous change to the Metroid format, but it pays off in terms of variety and rhythm, in stark contrast to the feeling that Sams is this unkillable superman.

Let me reiterate: Sams is definitely not a superman who cannot be killed.Even experienced Metroid players will die more times Metroid Fear More than any other installment of the franchise.This is an hard game. It easily becomes one of the hardest first-party Nintendo games ever.

Metroid Fear There are about six main boss battles and twice as many small bosses. The latter is difficult but easy to manage, often featuring returning enemies with slightly modified mechanics. But the big boss fights? Oh my God, they won’t mess around. These multi-stage battles need to be nearly perfect, and a wrong jump or rocket will cause an immediate restart. In a mid-term battle, I counted no less than seven different attack modes, one of which can best be described as Flappy Bird encountering Metroid. Shit becomes crazy.

Sams uses the 360-degree aiming mode to launch missiles in Metroid Fear

Image: MercurySteam, Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

These boss battles have been professionally adjusted and will never feel unfair. With patience, they can be defeated.But they are also much more difficult than other places Metroid Fear, Just like compared with other games, the Dark Soul Boss can play a huge role in difficulty. Unlike some recent Nintendo games, Metroid Fear Will not reach out to you a helping hand. There is no Funky Kong mode or Super Guide to help you complete these boss encounters.

Even outside of the boss battle, Metroid Fear Did not provide much help. Although most of the content of the game is reimagined, the exploration part is very much in line with the roots of the series. In addition to some (usually worthless) guidance from your AI companion, you also need to figure out for yourself where to go next.

I believe some people will find that there is a lack of guidance Metroid Fear depressing. But I found crossing corridors and cracks very beneficial, and finally found the precise location to use the last upgrade I obtained, allowing me to enter an unprecedented path. It feels more profitable than just following a waypoint.

However, even if it does not make things clear, fearThe map provides you with enough tools so that you can find your own way in this world by yourself. The particularity of the map allows you to browse and view the rooms you have explored (or half-explored) and find them. For example, if you have just acquired Charge Beam, you can highlight every Charge Beam door you have discovered-almost as if you have been taking notes seriously! This is a genius way of analyzing the places you can explore now, without the need for hard waypoints.This is another way Metroid Fear Reimagine the classic Metroid creed for modern times.

Sams kicks the enemy in Metroid fear

Image: MercurySteam, Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

In addition to modern design mechanisms, Metroid Fear Strive for modern visual effects-this is a difficult task for the aging Switch hardware. This is a 2D game, but the world is completely presented in 3D, which looks great when played in handheld mode. On the just-released OLED model Switch, it shines particularly brightly due to its high-contrast shadows and colorful environment.On the original Switch or Switch Lite, it lacks some of them Wow Factors, but it is still one of the best 2.5D games of all time.

As I mentioned before, games usually run at 60 fps. However, in some areas where the impact has increased, there has been some significant decline in performance. These dropped frames rarely affect gameplay, but it can be disappointing to see them in other smooth games.

It is also unfortunate: when it is played in dock mode, the visual effect of the game will be significantly reduced.Specifically, it looks like Metroid Fear Continue to run locally at approximately 720p resolution in docked mode. Try to zoom in on a 720p image on a 1080p or 4K monitor, and you will begin to understand why the problem occurs. When playing on TV, the game looks more blurry and faded, far from the clear 720p visual effect in handheld mode.

Is it a deal breaker? Do not. Metroid Fear It is still very playable in docked mode. Disappointingly, you cannot fully appreciate the visual effects of the game on the huge TV screen.

It’s rare to see these performance issues in first-party Nintendo games, and may indicate fear Designed to run on more powerful hardware, which according to the report was originally planned to be launched this year.I wouldn’t be surprised if we really see a Switch that supports 4K Metroid Fear Patch to support it. But this is purely speculation.It seems that the hardware of the Switch can handle fear It’s fine in handheld mode, but docked mode is a bit out of reach.

Samus charges a new weapon in Metroid Dread

Image: MercurySteam, Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Regardless of these issues, I found myself being Metroid Fear In a feeling I have never felt since 1994 Super MetroidI remembered what it was like to be alone without help, because I searched on a ruthless planet, looking for an advantage over those who hunted me down. It was terrible and overwhelming, until it finally clicked, and I found the next missing puzzle in the paws of the Chozo statue.

fear Reimagining the Metroid format with confidence and caution, it believes that players will make a leap in the process. When following the path of epic boss battles, satisfying upgrades and otherworldly environments, all I can think of is this is the Metroid game I have been waiting for. It easily crosses the best work in the series, and I am eagerly waiting for the follow-up in 2040.

Metroid Fear Will be released on Nintendo Switch on October 8. The game was reviewed using the pre-release download code provided by Nintendo. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These will not affect editorial content, but Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased through affiliate links.You can find View additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.