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Metroid Dread has been 20 years in the making and it is well worth the wait!
Samus finally makes a return to the gaming universeThis time on the Nintendo Switch in glorious 3D
I am a big fan of Metriod, as a series it is about as old as I am. In my mid-thirties I had an original Nintendo Entertainment System and the original Metriod which came out in 1986. So in many ways the character Samus has some serious nostalgia for original fans of the game. Metriod was always one of my favourite titles on the original NES, it had a dark foreboding vibe that was way ahead of its time. Without doubt Super Metriod was also the standout hit on Super Nindendo. I recently revisited the game last year when it was made available to play via Nintendo Online's subscription service and it still holds up to this day as a superb platform shooter with depth and bags of creativity behind the level design, monsters and story.
Metriod has a dark forboding vibe that was always way ahead of its time
20 yeas after Super Metroid, Samus is back!Metriod is now finally on the Nintendo Switch and we managed to give it a spin
First of all, fans have waited 20 years to play a Metroid game again. The original games are sacred to retro game fans like myself. Near perfect video games rarely come around, when they do it is nearly impossible to follow them up in a way that betters the original experience. I am delighted to say that when you fire up Metroid Dread on the Nintendo Switch it is an amazing experience.
It was a brave and genius move to not be tempted to make Metroid a 3D shooter and try and turn it into a Halo clone. The dynamics of the original game were always about exploring maze like zones and plaftorms, often having to solve puzzels and remember your way otherwise you could get trapped in a maze of tunnels, caves and alien hives. Metroid Dread fully embraces the original vibe of the original series but enhances it with amazing 3D graphics and character design. Samus looks fantastic and her athleticism and ability to vault, jump, climb, shoot and spin are all way more fun to do in the current game than ever.
Metroid Dread is not an easy game, it is very much in the tradition of the hardcore side scrollers from the 1980's and early 90's. What it does brilliantly is introduce a new dynamic with E.M.M.I search robots that are programmed to hunt out Samus and capture her. Once they detect your footsteps or movements they quickly come to investigate, once detected they will seal the area and make your life very difficult. Bosses are also very hard and will take you lots of perfecting and re-do's until you finally figure it out.
I am a big fan of games that don’t compromise their original vision and what made them great in the first place. Broadly this game has been well received but I have seen some negative criticism that the game is just too much of a slog and too difficult. I personally like games that are a bit punishing to play, once you finally beat them the feeling is much more satisfactory and you get much more mileage out of the game. Metroid and Super Metroid were very hard games, so is Metroid Dread.
Sometimes the hard stuff is perfect on a long train journey when all you have for company is a Switch and time to kill.