Super Metroid: No, sir… I don’t like it.

September 4, 2007 by · 9 Comments 

Super Metroid BoxThis is going to be tough.  I assigned myself the mission to complete Super Metroid before playing any other games, and I’m starting to regret it.  I’m about halfway through the game, and I’m not having much fun.  Things started out promising in the first couple hours, as I was making good progress and enjoying the combination of exploration and action.  But now, further into it, it’s hitting on my biggest pet peeve in games — not telling me where the hell I’m supposed to go next.

I’m all for challenge in games, but I like the challenge to come from trying to figure out how to overcome an obstacle, not in how to find that obstacle in the first place.  I feel like I have to re-explore the entire game every time I find a new powerup just to find that one hidden panel that’s now breakable, or that one door that I needed a stronger weapon to open.  That’s not fun, that’s tedious.  And all of this could be avoided if there was simply an indicator on the map screen to show when I had found all the exits in a room.  Oh, that floor is bombable?  Don’t show it as a white line on the map; that looks like every other floor that’s not bombable!  Show it as a dotted line or something.

All this would be a little more acceptable if traversing the world was less frustrating, as well.  The jumping controls are far too imprecise and have me yelling out “Oh, god damn it!” at virtually every precision platforming section.  And don’t even get me started on wall jumping.  That literally had me throwing my controller around the room today.  Ugh.

I guess I can see the appeal of this game to truly hardcore gamers — the kinds of people who can sit and play a game for hours at a time, exploring every inch of a game’s world and patiently trying jumping sections over and over until they get it just right.  But that’s just not me.  Maybe it was when I was 12 or 13, but these days, I need my games to be a little less tedious.  I had a headache when I stopped playing Super Metroid today.  That’s not fun.

About Tim
My name is Tim. I live in Madison, WI. I'm a retro gamer.

Comments

9 Responses to “Super Metroid: No, sir… I don’t like it.”
  1. Steve says:

    Sorry to hear, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Some “great” games I don’t get, either. I never was able to get into Gran Turismo. It was too damn touchy for me. Some call it realistic handling, I call it boring and would much rather play an arcade-ish racer like Sega Rally which was much more forgiving. What helps with games like Super Metroid is having a handy guide nearby. For example, when I played I had the official SM strategy guide as well as the Nintendo Power strategy blow-out’s. When I got stuck (a few times) I snuck a peek at the guides and was able to go “AH HA.” Maybe it takes away from the purity a bit, but the key is to advance forward constantly and staying entertained with a game, instead of it becoming a chore.

    The wall jump frustrated me a lot, too. Make sure you know the exact command, and it’s a bit easier to implement. Regular jumping didn’t bug me so much, though. Sometimes, a deep breath and stepping away from a game helps a ton. I’d actually recommend you remove the cartridge, play other games and come back to it later. When expectations are low, you’d be surprised how much a game can sneak up on ya. Whew this was longer than I anticipated. But there ya go, me ole 2 cents

  2. Tim says:

    You know, I agree with you completely — especially about continually advancing and staying entertained instead of letting a game become a chore. Now I’m referring to a guide when I reach a point where I don’t know what to do next. It’s a shame the game is designed in a way that requires me to do that, but it’s much more fun and I’m starting to enjoy myself more.

    And you’re right, just turning the game off and walking away for a while always does wonders. I wrote the above post after I had spent way too long trying to get through a wall jumping section and was mainly blowing off steam. Once I went back to the game later, I figured out the timing and got through it on my second try.

    At this point, I think I have every secondary weapon/power-up, so I shouldn’t hit too many more “sorry, you need another item to pass this point, but you’ll completely forget about it by the time you actually have that item” moments. At least I hope not!

  3. Kathy says:

    Hi!
    Sorry to hear about your experience. If you have a strategy guide by Nintendo covering the same game, please let me know. I am willing to make an offer.I am playing same game and have some problems. Thanks in advance.

  4. David says:

    I agree. I can’t believe people actually beat this game without some sort of guide… it’s just like shooting in the dark most of the time with Super Metroid. Somehow I still feel compelled to go back to it though, but I’ll have to bring my computer with me for help..bla..

  5. butane bob says:

    I bought this game back in 1994 and managed to finish it on the console without a guide. I think the part that i got stuck on the most was around the maridia area, where you have to break a certain glass tunnel….. It took me about 1 or 2 weeks to complete the game.

  6. boozer says:

    lol i hear ya bob! i was stuck in the same spot back in ’94 but managed 2 figure it out somehow n completed the game with no guide, and 85% of items, which i think wasnt too shabby for a 14 yr old at the time hahaha

  7. Popukonu says:

    I guess some people just don’t have the brain to finish a great game. I finished this game over and over again as a 5 year old, and kept on replaying the game over and over again until today. There’s nothing really that hard to think about in the game, I really don’t understand how you’d get a headache over it. It can be finished in less than 5 hours without using strategy guides or anything and playing for the first time, and less than 1 hour if you already played the game many times.

  8. dustmouse says:

    I am playing this game on emulator, which lets you save state whenever. I use it religiously on those annoying ‘jumping sections’ so I don’t have to start over from scratch. They still annoy the hell out of me. But I’d recommend trying to play it that way.

    I beat this game as a kid and absolutely loved it. I’m still enjoying it, but there have been some rage-inducing moments.

  9. Kraid says:

    As somebody who is playing through Super Metroid for the first time, this article confuses me greatly. Why would you want the game to tell you where to go? The signature appeal of the game comes not from the alien worlds, cinematic boss battles, or unique power-ups, although these add to the experience greatly; but the exploration and discovery mechanics of the game. In my current game session, I have searched for long periods of time to find where I’m supposed to go next. But when I do, the feeling of accomplishment I get is immense.

    Besides, there’s always a clue for when there’s somewhere you have to go. Have you tried looking at the map? There might be some greyed-out areas next to the pink ones you’ve already filled out. Try going to those rooms and scan them for possible entrances to the grey rooms. Also, when you finally ARE put on the right track, there is a whole new section for you to explore. When one of them is uncovered, you can search around them for hours before the puzzle arises of where to go next. But maybe you might have come across a block with a certain symbol on it, or a ledge that you just couldn’t reach. If you remember where these areas are, then they should be the places you check out first. Maybe write a map down or put some notes in a notebook.

    I think the fact that you said the game is “tedious” speaks volumes about what kind of retro games you enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with liking left-to-right 2D platformers. I like them too. It’s just that Super Metroid isn’t the type of game you like, and I understand that. But I hope you now know why people remember it so fondly and still play it today. I may have just started playing it a few weeks ago, but the game’s appeal is very apparent to me, probably because I’m part of it. If you want to play a game that’s like Super Metroid but tells you where to go, try Metroid Fusion. If you like Super Metroid but don’t like the exploration, check it out.

    Also, I kinda agree with you about the wall-jumping. Even if it’s not as bad as you say, it’s really hard to master.

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