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Metroid II - Return of Samus review
by XV

At first glance, Metroid II can look (and at times be) overwhelming, and it comes with quite a few problems but it also manages to give a satisfying playthrough and challenge.

Starting from the beginning, your mission is to hunt down 39 Metroids scattered through all the planet, pretty simple and straight forward. At first, you'll find weaker Metroid forms but when you progress you'll find harder ones that ads a lot of challenge. The map is open and up to you to go wherever you like or at least on the surface it goes that way, in order to get to new areas, you need to hunt "X" quantity of Metroids, once you hunt them down, a new area will be unveiled (pro tip, whenever an earthquake happens, it means that you have a new area to go), this progression stays with you through all your playthrough. The bad thing about the exploration is that you don't have a map and the areas are massive and pretty vertical (you need to do a lot of jumping), also, you have to relay a lot on your memory to map every zone in your head, this at first is way too frustrating but as you navigate through the map, you'll find yourself familiar with your surroundings so it depends on how you view this limitation. Another issue is the double jump, halfway you'll find an ability that gives you the power to maintain Samus in air when done it right, the problem is that it needs rhythm and it can be tricky and a lot of the final areas require that you navigate through them doing this jumping, so it can be very frustrating when you go to the top of area and then you fall, it can happen too much and can be very dishearting at times. Lastly, the music is the biggest offender, excluding the final area and the title screen, the soundtrack feels more like random uncanny sounds collection, which is pretty disappointing since the original game had great music.

Although it may seem that I have a bad time playing this game (and at times it was true), I enjoyed quite a lot the challenge and the atmosphere within it, the fact that you feel lost in this uncanny and hostile planet simply added more to the feeling of loneliness and hardship, also it was so rewarding after you discover a secret area and find a Metroid wandering around. One thing is for sure, this game can be tough at times, HP and missiles are way too scarce and sometimes you'll be farming them, so keep that in mind. Maybe the thing that I liked the most was its narrative, there's no single line of text but you see the story through your gameplay, and some brilliant musical cues and animation in the ending, it may have my favorite ending in all the Metroid Series.

It is hard to recommend this game since it has a lot of rough edges, but if you're a Metroid fan I'm sure that you'll find the shine in this raw diamond.
«Just one more turn»
«Can’t stop playing»
«Constantly dying and enjoy it»
«Underrated»
«That ending!»