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