Regardless of the remake, 19 years have passed since the last genuine version of the 2D Metroid series, but Samus is finally back and she is marching towards Nintendo Switch. Go deep into the ZDR planet and learn about Sams’ fate through brand new weapon upgrades, enemies and terrifying EMMI robots, who will see the end of our interstellar protagonist at all costs. Metroid Dread will scare players, but is this a satisfying ending to a 35-year-old story? Let’s find out…
The 2D Metroid Saga finally ends with Metroid Fear, which is the pinnacle of many fans of the series. According to reports, since Metroid Prime 3 on GameCube, it has been said to have been teased, and a sneaky visor entrance points to its development. However, it finally landed and we left a proper impression. In fact, the last entry in the series is absolutely fun. From the moment Samus landed on the ZDR planet to discover why the Galactic Federation lost contact with the EMMI robot, it is clear that Nintendo and MercurySteam Entertainment have been loyal to the staple of the series.
In our preview, we talked in detail about the feeling of isolation, and this part hit the nail on the head. Controlling the first few steps of Samus on ZDR, isolation is obvious, your only companion, ADAM, an AI that helps you take risks. In addition, due to some beautiful weapons, abilities and techniques Samus can use to deal with her enemies, the Metroid game is also highly regarded. Unlocking abilities usually allows you to enter new areas. This is another iconic feature of the series, and a comeback is welcome. The melee attack is back, and it feels more satisfying than before, the grab beam is very fun to use (and very helpful in difficult encounters), and Sams’ Aeion ability has proven effective in almost all situations . Aeion abilities such as the Phantom Cloak allow Samus to be invisible to the enemy in a small amount of movement, thereby reducing the consumption of the Aeion slot. But if you start zooming the ceiling with spider magnets while invisible, you will quickly burn out your meters. Once the meter drops to zero, you can always choose to use your energy, but this is a risky trade-off.
Of course, we will keep everything unspoiled in this evaluation, but according to tradition, due to a timely and unfortunate incident, Sams lost all abilities except basic abilities. Therefore, your task is to explore the depths of the ZDR to regain strength and escape to the surface. New players in the Metroid series do not have to worry, because you are already familiar with the story at the beginning. In addition, the gentle guidance of the game in the first few hours ensures a quick transition to the old Galactic Castlevania way.
Escaping the EMMI robot is the main focus of Metroid Dread-it is a focus that will never be annoying. These EMMI controlled areas (they are limited to patrolling through the “EMMI area” gates) allow you to rethink, refocus and utilize the growing list of Samus capabilities, which will keep you alert. The continuous game of cat and mouse is at first daunting, but with a little encouragement from ADAM, escaping the capture is a huge victory, so you can breathe a sigh of relief. Of course, until the next EMMI encounter.
The good news is that EMMI is not invulnerable, and there are many ways to get rid of their control. At the right time to parry, Sams will counter their final attacks, leaving a little space between them. Slide below one and you will soon find a safe space, but there is almost no time to formulate a strategy for the next move. The only way to completely prevent EMMI from continuing its ruthless tracking is to obtain Omega Blaster: a temporary upgrade to Samus’s reliable Arm Cannon weapon. Face-to-face confrontation with a robot slowly crawling towards you is a stressful thing, but gaining the upper hand and getting rewards makes it all worthwhile.
Draw this. You know that the exit is somewhere, it must be in a part of the map that you haven’t fully discovered yet. The faint beep of the mechanical threat is far away, but you know it can detect you in just a few seconds. Do you use the shape of a deformed ball to escape through a small gap, or do you slowly wade through the water-filled fence below? You venture into the water, but your actions will attract noise, so you use your spider magnet ability to grab the ceiling and carefully move closer to the other side of the room, ignoring the path of the deformed ball.
Everything seems to be fine until EMMI detects your movement and quickly discovers your location, and locks the EMMI area door in the process. You are trapped. You don’t think about the small platform under your feet—the tiny gap is just enough to see you. You activate the phantom cloak, hoping that the quick decision will be rewarded and you can blend into the surrounding environment, but it is too late and it is locked. Panicking, your heartbeat speeds up, you fall down and hope to survive. At this time, you just need to run away. You walk to the other side of the room in a few seconds while the beep pierces your ears as if it is behind you. But the exit is closed. As your death is imminent, the EMMI robot presses you on the floor, then quickly stabs you in the heart, and the game is over.
Fortunately, there is no harm in trying again, maybe this time it is the ability to deform the ball. With a fast reload time, you will return to the action again, change tactics and approach EMMI with a different combination of abilities. Much depends on trial and error, but understanding the enemy’s pattern will be the key to success. The same is true for the terrifying boss battle, and the development team once again used their imagination. No boss is the same. Fear forces you to use Sams’s ability to ensure that the greater threat disappears. Sometimes we think that the struggle with some of them is unfair until that “oh!” light bulb moment. Hit, we control the more difficult battle.
Between the threat of EMMI and the fight with the boss sitting on the edge of your seat, the action is compact, fast and frictionless. Fortunately, for novices and veterans of the series, controlling Samus is easy to master. You can aim anywhere you like, as long as you press the L button, Sams will become firmer when her laser sight appears, allowing you to accurately aim at the hard-to-reach enemies or hidden blocks.
It is this ease and familiarity that brings the ingenious level design and makes some truly awesome moments. Metroid Dread is not trying to reinvent the series-it is not necessary-but it improves upon the tried and tested formula that many people will be used to. Therefore, even if you have not played a 2D Metroid game before, but like “Ori Wizard” and “Will of the Wizard”, “Hollow Knight” or “Death Cell”, you will have a general understanding of what to expect here.
Most areas are initially impassable; there is a specific “lock” on the door or obstacle, which can only be cleared by some ability. As you progress and unlock more abilities, the area gradually opens up and backtracking becomes necessary. We are not afraid to admit that at several points in the game, we found ourselves scratching our heads, wondering what we missed. Fortunately, Sams acquired an ability that is very helpful for navigation in the late game-in fact, it almost eliminates the fun and challenge of the game. But for the finisher, you will be happy to know that a 100% item extraction rate is a fair task.
For review purposes, we experienced Metroid Dread on the Switch (OLED) model. In handheld devices, this means that every area is full of vitality and the iconic Metroid feel. One area is overgrown with brightly colored plants protruding from a crack in the wall, while on the other side is a fiery closed tunnel nest, engulfed by lava. Here, the background is amazing and gives a real sense of depth. Although there is no 3D slider this time, each area depicts a lively world, with friendly residents rushing through the crumbling cracks, pleasantly distracted. Although Metroid: Sams Returns is a beautifully made remake on the 3DS, Metroid Fear has been upgraded on the TV and in your hands. It is difficult to find dull niches or boring chasms in Dread, because its performance is usually enhanced by excellent sound design and music.
After playing most of the titles with headphones, the audio here deserves special mention. Of course, each area has its own unique and memorable theme tune. The sound of Sams’s attack will produce a violent roar when launching missiles at the thick alien skin of the boss, or when you rush through a soggy rift, it will burst with loud thunder in your ears, making You have a strong sense of immersion. Everything helps to make us fascinated by every room we have explored. Some subtle touches, such as broken office sparks, flickering lights, and the whispering complaints of creatures living on the walls, will not be ignored. It is very atmospheric, but also very helpful. For example, new players in the series will want to keep a keen ear for the enemy’s attack clues, such as the screams of flying creatures or the battle cry from a huge boss. Here, it is best to pay attention to the attack pattern, learn from mistakes and adjust the technique.
It is also very satisfying to attack our enemies with a perfect parry, thanks in part to the smoothness and stability of the action in the handheld and TV modes. In terms of performance, although we have no technical means to check and confirm, the action seems to be very close to 60 FPS (as stated by other news sources). However, we noticed that when the screen is full of enemies, or when we activate one of Samus’s more exciting technologies (such as the navigation tool), the frame drops strangely. Things were only slightly hit in a few cutscenes. Please be assured that it has not hindered our experience, and for many fans, it will basically go unnoticed.
The impressive performance and smooth gameplay all help to complement the narrative. This story does an excellent job of closing the last chapter about Samus’s relationship with Metroid.But how good Has Metroid Dread brought the 35-year storyline to a climax? This is the end of a legend, but we believe that the conclusion will have a lasting impact on those who followed from the beginning. Even though it is a bit bittersweet. We stay away from the details of the story here, but the narrative is generally well connected.Finally got the last piece of the puzzle is a touching but fascinating ending of the legend, but we think most Will be satisfied. It is worth noting that this last part does not include Metroid Legend, which will disappoint enthusiastic fans. However, Fear ends things with enough twists and turns to make a second guess before the credits roll.
This last 13-16 hour part is an exquisite display of 2D Metroid in its golden age. Newcomers and die-hard fans of the series can revel in the Nintendo Switch game, which not only provides one of the deadliest and most exciting experiences on Nintendo’s latest handheld computer to date, but also has a very enjoyable game thanks to the improved control and high-definition graphics Metroid Dread is the explosive and emotional ending of a beloved story that should not be missed, and we can’t wait to see where the next mission will take us. As long as it does not include the terrible EMMI
Nintendo UK provided My Nintendo News with a Metroid Dread for Nintendo Switch and a Nintendo Switch OLED model for this review.