“Return with Samus for a Super Metroid Clash!”

Publisher: Nintendo + This is 2D exploration (and gameplay) at its finest.
+ Sprawling map has been used in many games after.
+ Creepy space soundtrack sets the mood perfectly.
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Adventure
Released: 04/18/94  

- Could be a little longer…I guess?


Platforms: SNES

What’s the story: Super Metroid is the third game in Nitendo’s Metroid series. The first was released for the original Nintendo in 1986 and layed down the rock solid foundation of the Metroid series. At the end of the game, bounty hunter Samus Aran defeats the infamous Mother Brain and narrowly escapes the destruction of her lair on Planet Zebes. Our hero is revealed to be female! This was quite a shock back in 1986. The Second game in the series, Metroid II: The Return of Samus was released for Nintendo’s “monochrome” Gameboy system in 1991. In this one, Samus heads to the Metroid home planet of SR388 and makes an interesting discovery – an egg which hatches a baby Metroid. This cute little brain sucker takes a liking to Samus and follows her to her Gunship, setting up the plot for Super Metroid.


Samus brings the baby Metroid to a group of scientists who can potentially use the Metroid’s energy to accomplish great things. Upon leaving the station, Samus receives a distress call…Ceres Station is under attack!

retro_review_super_metroid_15 Whats to like: Ah where to begin, it’s tough when everything about Super Metroid is so damn awesome. When I popped that cartridge in the ole SNES in 1994, and heard my Super Nintendo speak to me and say “The last Metroid is in captivity…the galaxy is at peace” I just about needed to change my pants. How was this happening, clear voice spoken on a cartridge? It begins with Super Metroid being the biggest cartridge on the market. With 24 Megs of memory Nintendo was able to do all kinds of cool stuff they wouldn’t normally have been able to pull off.

retro_review_super_metroid_21 For instance, when you reach some of the game’s bosses you’ll see what I mean. Kraid, making a return from the first game may have been the biggest boss on the system up to that point, taking up the entire screen and then some. Also, the entire world found in the original 8-bit Metroid could literally fit into one of the four huge areas found in Super Metroid. Each area on Planet Zebes (Crateria, Brinstar, Maridia, and Norfair) are also vastly different from one another, giving them all a fresh feeling. The soundtrack for each is also some of the best music ever burned to a cartridge. The music in Norfair is especially creepy (like space hell or something), Brinstar’s tunes are funky, and Maridia – the underwater area is super relaxing, making you forget your all alone on a dangerous planet.

retro_review_super_metroid_14  The true magic of Super Metroid is of course in the games awesome gameplay. Some may call this style “backtracking” nowadays, but the truth is, its purely fantastic gameplay. You’ll often notice doors or areas you just can’t seem to open or reach. Of course, you just need to acquire the right item, and in Super Metroid, there’s no shortage of items to acquire. From the Hi-Jump Boots, to the Ice Beam, gaining the correct ability is essential to your quest. There’s even an X-Ray vision attachment for your visor, making it possible to see hidden items and decaying walls leading to new areas to explore. This is also the first game to utilize an expanding map while you explore, a feature which has been stolen for several great games since the release of Super Metroid.


retro_review_super_metroid_18 Whats not to like: Ha Ha! Really nothing at all. Okay fine, if you want the best ending featuring Samus in her swimsuit you’ll have to finish the game in under 3 hours. So if you’ve played Super Metroid enough you can indeed finish the game in that time span. But trust me, this takes hours of planning and practice. Plus, if your goal is reaching 100% completion you can scratch the “under 3 hours” thing because its not happening. Really though, this game is perfect.

Check out the first few minutes of Super Metroid in the video below. As well as the first major boss battle in the game…Kraid – one of the biggest bosses ever seen!


If you consider yourself a gamer and haven’t played Super Metroid you absolutely need to. In 16 years only one 2D game has matched Super Metroid’s rewarding exploration, fantastic audio & visuals, and spooky atmosphere, and that’s Konami’s Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - which happens to be another masterpiece. Super Metroid was first, and for that it deserves our highest honors. Luckily for anyone who missed Super Metroid the first time around (please tell us you weren’t born yet) its been released on the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console making it fairly easy for you to pick up and play now. Even if you’ve played it before, we suggest you play it again, and remember what a true classic gaming experience feels like.
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