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Metroid: Legacy of Samus Aran
Metroid is my favorite video game franchise from Nintendo, it evens beats out Mario Bros and Zelda in my book. The protagonist, Samus Aran, is an intergalactic bounty hunter wearing a power suit that enables her to jump great heights, shoot lasers, turn into a ball, and even manipulate gravity. Metroid was the first video game to feature a female protagonist. The lone bounty hunter is sent to fight space pirates, giant bugs, and creatures that I don’t even know how to describe. If you’ve never played Metroid before I highly recommend checking out a few gameplay videos. My passion for this game centers around three aspects of the gameplay: environment, enemies, and her Power Suit.
The environments are rich and diverse; each has its own set of scenery, obstacles and enemies. For example, in Metroid Fusion for the Gameboy Advance features tropical, aquatic, arctic, nocturnal, desert and a replica of an alien planet. In the tropical area, vines grow on every surface and huge bugs attack you from every angle. When you head to the aquatic environment you’ll find electrocuted water and a boss that moves at supersonic speeds through the water. Later in the game you discover a secret lab full of genetically modified parasites, called Metroids. You spend the entire game running from the SA-X, which is your fully powered clone reconstructed by parasites. What I’ve described only scratches the surface of rich gameplay that Metroid games offer.
Each of these unique biomes features their own set of enemies and bosses. They come in all shapes and sizes: carnivorous plants, space pirates, flying parasites, and even snakes that swim in lava. Many of these enemies will be immune to all but one of your weapons. The game forces you to adapt your playing style to the current environment. So you can’t get too comfortable just using your missiles or just your beam, in some cases the only way to damage an enemy is to hit them from underneath with a charge shot.
The best part about Metroid is the Power Suit your character wears. At the start of each game your power suit only has dinky little blaster. Within minutes of gameplay you unlock your first cannon upgrade, the missile launcher. Shortly after you’ll unlock your first ability, usually the morph ball which allows the player to turn into a ball and navigate tight spaces. This trend of unlocking abilities, cannon upgrades, and new Power Suit is the center. By the end of the game, you are an unstoppable wave of violence and destruction. The Power Suit embodies the most important aspect of any video game, making you feel invincible. You start off vulnerable and defensive and work your way up. Eventually at the end of the game you’re clearing hallways faster than you can run down them.
The series started on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986 with Metroid. Nearly every subsequent Nintendo console or handheld has released one or more Metroid titles. Metroid is usually a side scrolling open world game, which means you can backtrack and explore the map at your leisure. The newer releases for the Wii and GameCube are set in first person, letting you see through the eyes of Samus Aran. With these epic games you can travel to distant planets, fight inhuman monsters, and (usually) save the galaxy.
Check out our selection of used Metroid games for Nintendo consoles and handhelds.