Confessions and Impressions (and a mini-Mission)

August 31, 2007 by · 2 Comments 

SNESI’ve been playing video games for something on the order of twenty years now.  While that serves to remind me that I’m getting older, that’s not all it means.  It also means I’ve been around the block a few times and I know what I’m talking about when it comes to games.  Name a classic game, and I’ve probably been-there-done-that, played it to death, right?  Well, no, not necessarily.

If you think about it, how many video games have been released in the last twenty years?  Thousand upon thousands for dozens of different platforms.  And hundreds upon hundreds of those are good games that are worth playing.  So in the end, how likely is it that I’ve played every game that a “true gamer” is supposed to have played?  Apparently, not very.  In fact, I have a confession.  I’ve let several games slip through the cracks, and one of them… Well, one of them is a doozy.  (But I’m making up for it, honest!)

Quick! Name a few of the best SNES games ever.  Or better yet, name some of the best 16-bit games ever.  Or hell, name some of the best video games ever…  Did you include Super Metroid on your lists?  I bet a lot of you did.  But I didn’t.  Why not?  Because as of today, I am playing through Super Metroid for the very first time.  Yes, 13 years after its release, I’m finally playing what many people consider to be the best game of all time.  On top of that, I’m pretty much an all around Metroid newbie.  I’ve played maybe a total of five minutes each of Metroid and Metroid II, as well.  The only game in the series that I have spent any significant time on is Metroid Prime on the GameCube, but I still didn’t even get close to beating it.

Alright, so now that my confessions and rationalizations are out of the way, what does this neophyte think of Super Metroid?  I think that I understand where everyone is coming from when they talk about how great this game is.   I’m only about an hour in so far, but I’m finding the whole experience really gripping and satisfying.  I especially like the fact that it strikes a very nice balance between exploration and action (which is nice, since I generally favor exploration while most games provide action).  There is one thing I haven’t quite made up my mind on yet, and that’s the difficulty.  I actually pretty much suck at the shooting sections.  It’s because I don’t really bother to learn enemy patterns and avoid their attacks.  I just charge right through with guns blazing.  But when I say I’m not sure about the difficulty, it’s not because I think it’s too hard.  I think it might be a little too easy.  Since there are so many missile and energy refills popping up all over, there’s very little challenge, and not much incentive to get better at combat.  What’s the point when you can just charge right in then get the energy refill the enemy drops?  Anyway, maybe that changes as the game moves along.

So there it is, my first impression of Super Metroid, only 13 years late!  But that’s not all.  In the spirit of The Snatcher Mission, I’m assigning myself another mission — one that will be a little shorter term.  This mission is “The Beat Super Metroid Mission.”  It sounds very much like what it is.  I going to make up for the last 13 years of negligence in not playing this game and I’m going to beat it before I allow myself to play anything else.  Once and for all, I’m going to beat one of the games that people toss around as “The Best Ever.”

(P.S.: I’ve also never beaten Super Mario Bros. 3, Chrono Trigger, Zelda 1, A Link to the Past, The Ocarina of Time, or any of the 16-bit Sonic games.  Oh god… At least I’ve played them all for hours on end!  That counts for something, right?)

About Tim
My name is Tim. I live in Chicago, IL. I'm a retro gamer.


2 Responses to “Confessions and Impressions (and a mini-Mission)”
  1. Steve says:

    Don’t worry about being late to the party. I just played SM for the 1st time myself this past February, and quite loved it. As you said, perfect balance of action and exploration. Yes, I agree it is too easy. I only died a few times, and they were all on account of the later bosses.

  2. Tim says:

    A few more hours into the game, I’m less enthused with it. The jumping controls make platforming sections much harder than they should be, and the wall jumping is next to impossible. It’s also starting to get a little tedious.

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