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Metroid Dread Discussion (Nintendo Switch) [game]
 
9.3/10 from 4 user ratings

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Posted: 06/15/21, 23:21:36
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About 90 minutes in myself; roughly 20 minutes after the first boss.

So far, so good! It's roughly what I expected--an improved "Samus Returns"-style game. The combat has never felt better in a 2D Metroid (or possibly ANY Metroid), which really made the first boss fight shine. It was appropriately challenging in all respects, from the variety of moves to the amount of health the critter had.

I like that the game has been holding off on the Morph Ball for now; makes things a bit less predictable as @nate38 mentioned. That said, the first new ability, the Spider Magnet, I found slightly underwhelming as it's essentially a built-in ability from Fusion. Although to be fair, they seem to be doing a bit more with it than in that game.

I think the balance of enemy types and attack approaches (beam vs missile vs melee) is quite good, and I dig the new sliding and melee moves. The visuals are nice but I'm still not quite sure if I'm getting a strong enough sense of "place" in the areas yet compared to the best Metroids, but it does seem more distinctive than in Samus Returns at least. Actually naming the areas (instead of "Area 1," "Area 2," etc) helps for sure.

My favorite part of the game has been about 30-40 minutes in, when you have a great little Mother Brain-lite miniboss fight. Totally unexpected but very much welcome.
Posted: 10/09/21, 15:33:55
Secret_Tunnel said:
The movement and navigation is so smooth, it feels amazing just jumping around and exploring.
Yeah I mean I LOVE the Prime games but one the only thing Anand is right about is that they feel slow paced for Metroid. This game feels so fast paced and the controls feel so smooth that it's a joy just to move around. It has taken me a little bit to get used to where everything is... so many buttons it even has you using clicky sticks... but once it starts to gel, it feels very nice.
Posted: 10/09/21, 20:19:43  - Edited by 
 on: 10/09/21, 20:25:52
Yeah, I just got an item that requires you to hold down three buttons AND move the analog stick all at once in order to use, heh. But I like it, it feels like there's a high ceiling for mastery here.

Second boss fight was awesome, even better than the first. I've played for a while beyond that too, and oh man, there's some very cool stuff in this game. We might need a spoiler thread.

I will say, I'm curious if some of the flashier powerups will have applications for movement beyond serving as keys for locks. They're so fun to use! I think one of them has helped me in combat a bit.
Posted: 10/09/21, 20:46:15
Yeah I'm 4 hours in now, this is a slick game full of cool moments. I'd say it takes the best parts of Fusion, Other M, and Samus Returns and improves on them all. I'm doubtful so far it'll have the open-ended replay value of a Super Metroid or Zero Mission, but it's very very good for what it is.
Posted: 10/09/21, 21:39:47
Finished! A bit under 8 hours, with 50% item completion, which is surprising since I never really explored that much.

The finale is insane.
Posted: 10/10/21, 18:34:21
I just beat the game too! 6 hours and 7 minutes, 42% of items collected.

Loved it. It can't top Super Metroid's classic iconography and huge impact on environmental storytelling and the Metroid-like genre, but as far as moment-to-moment gameplay goes, Dread was so much fun.

Was this game more linear than past Metroid games? I've always felt that Metroid games aren't nearly as open-ended as people make them out to be; you get a power-up, and then the game funnels you directly to the spot to use that power-up. But Dread felt especially funnely, I'm not sure if that really was the case or if I'm just getting better at picking up on the patterns. The Polygon review was all, "ah, it feels so good to finally not know where to go in a Metroid game again," but over the course of the whole game I probably spent a total of five minutes not knowing where to go.

Looking forward to getting 100% of the items and going for some extras, I'm wondering if they'll have any story nuggets. That ending was cool, but I'm not quite satisfied yet!
Posted: 10/10/21, 21:19:53  - Edited by 
 on: 10/10/21, 22:14:17
@nate38


Dammit. lol. I've been at the end for the last 12 hours or so but couldn't beat the boss. (It took me far too many tries to work out how to get him to his flight phase!)

Decided to spend most of last night backtracking for an item cleanup instead, was sitting at 99% with the last Missile+ tank openly taunting me at about 2.30 AM.

I'll have another go after work and see how I do.
Posted: 10/11/21, 00:54:38
@Shadowlink

Yeah, some of these hidden upgrades are ridiculous! Some of them I feel like I could snag if my execution was perfect, but there are a couple that I have no idea how to get at all, so I'm hoping the ones that seem to require precision platforming are just puzzles in disguise.
Posted: 10/11/21, 01:41:06
@Secret_Tunnel @nate38

Did both of you get the Crossbomb ability?

By that stage of the game I'd kinda fallen off the path a bit and I felt like I stumbled upon this by accident. And I really don't remember if it was actually required for game completion. But it's definitely required for a few of the item puzzles (and I believe for this last one as well.)

Just wondering if A) was it optional, and B) if so and you didn't get it, it might explain some problems with some items?
Posted: 10/11/21, 01:46:03  - Edited by 
 on: 10/11/21, 01:46:56
@Shadowlink

Yeah, I got that, I'm pretty sure it's required for completion. All of the item pickups I haven't been able to figure out involve speed booster blocks! But I'm glad I'm bumping my head up against these, they seem like really interesting puzzles, it almost seems like they're training you in speedrunning techniques...
Posted: 10/11/21, 01:49:20  - Edited by 
 on: 10/11/21, 01:50:42
100% items in 9 hours 12 minutes! I did look up how to get into one room that seemed to only have an exit on the map, and there was no friendly Flashing Map Box to point me in the right direction. It turns out it's exactly where I thought it was, and I could have sworn I did what I needed to, ugh.

@Secret_Tunnel I agree that this playthrough felt very linear, but I think that's mostly because it does a very good job of funneling you forward (and only now and then closes off your side paths)... Seemingly at the expense of open-ended discovery and sequence breaking, but a friend tells me Twitter is all aflutter with at least one developer-acknowledged skip. I did get a few small items before you're "supposed to," using one of the classic tricks, but I didn't see many opportunities to sneak off the beaten path.

The 100% item reward is a nice little extra, but it's not on the level of Samus Returns teasing the next Metroid game (i.e. this one!) And yeah, some of the items require extreme precision and some experimentation with the ability in question, since it's not all spelled out in the tutorial.
Posted: 10/11/21, 04:52:13  - Edited by 
 on: 10/11/21, 04:53:18
And clear here too! 100% 11:48:01.

Not the fastest time (I had a lot of dicking around), but I enjoyed every minute of it.

Many know of my Zero Mission evangelism and my praise for its ridiculously good level design (and perfectly balanced 15% challenge). To this day I had considered that game the pinnacle of 2D Metroid.

But Dread more than rivals it. The boss fights and combat are so fast and fluid, it's such a joy to play. And unlike my incoherent screams of rage that are generated by some notoriously spammy/cheap bosses elsewhere in the franchise, I honestly felt like this game was being more than fair. Every defeat, every loss- Completely my fault. Learn the patterns, get better, try again.

I'm not sure I can reconcile a game with a 15% run goal with a game like this- Reducing your items can severely limit your combat choices. So some theoretical game that combines those two styles is probably intrinsically impossible. Although if you build your bosses with multiple strategies to defeat even with a small toolset....maybe it can be done. Who knows.

But in the meantime this definitely stands as (at the very least) the *equal* best of the 2D Metroid series. Retro is going to have to bring something special to the table for Prime 4 to hit the same peak for the 3D side.
Posted: 10/11/21, 16:35:38
I'm at 79%, hopefully will be able to beat the game tonight if not finish it. Really enjoying it. I feel that it's definitely on-par with Fusion at this point, which is to say I think it's really really good.
Posted: 10/11/21, 17:54:37
I also 100%ed the game last night! 9 hours and 11 minutes, one minute faster than Nate!

Those item puzzles were crazy, but almost all of the solutions were really interesting and satisfying to figure out. Part of me was thinking this morning that I enjoyed the game more as a linear adventure than I did after exploring the full map, but now I'm reading on Twitter that there's some very interesting sequence breaking stuff to try, and...



As far as the plot goes: I think that it didn't quite live up to 20 years of rumors, the E3 trailer presenting it as "METROID 5" (a title which isn't even in the game!), and developer interviews saying that this is the conclusion of this arc of Metroid. I wasn't quite expecting Samus to die, but I do feel like this game was built up to be a climax of some sort, and... it feels more like the start of a new series! That didn't conclude anything at all!

So I'm kind of torn, but ultimately... it had some cool moments, and eh, having an opinion beyond that is too much work. I don't know that this game really had anything deep to say, it's just an amazing new chapter in an ongoing space adventure. (You could probably draw some connection where Samus now has the Dread of being a Metroid looming over her?) I enjoyed it, and its portrayal of Samus is the best its ever been. The encounter with Kraid where she starts charging up a shot before even lifting her arm is PERFECT, and her single voice line halfway through was hype. She's not mute like Link, she CAN talk, she just only talks when something needs to be said. And they had her speak in another language to avoid inevitably jarring English voice acting too!


@Shadowlink

Yup, I loved the boss battles. The final boss felt impossible the first time, and then last night when I played it again I beat it while taking barely any damage. There's a loading screen tip that says "Every attack can be avoided!", and once you internalize that, the combat feels so rewarding to master.
Posted: 10/11/21, 20:44:25  - Edited by 
 on: 10/11/21, 20:50:22
I don't expect a whole lot from Metroid story bits but the part where Samus speaks in Chozo to the Chozo really got to me. Damn!

With that said, I'm so lost on Metroid lore right now. Samus was raised by the Chozo, I know that. But then, she went off on her own? Why? What happened to the Chozo? For some reason I was under the impression that they were extinct at this point? Is that a thing? But they obviously aren't? So why hasn't Samus been in contact with them / vice versa?

Shadowlink said:
Retro is going to have to bring something special to the table for Prime 4 to hit the same peak for the 3D side.
Yeah. I never thought I'd be in this position, but at the moment it is tough for me to imagine Retro topping this. I HOPE they can, but it felt like they started strong with Prime 1 then slowly lost what Metroid is over the course of the next 2 games, with 3 being a lot more linear and too many arena combat parts. Dread, on the other hand, really feels like it just nails everything that 2d Metroid was while expanding on it all. I'd LOVE to see Prime 4 do that, but they would need to look hard at the direction they have been going over the last few games and kind of course correct.

I'm still only halfway? through but geez, this game is good.

Secret_Tunnel said:
But Dread felt especially funnely
Really? It sort of feels the opposite to me, like I always feel at any given time that there are a lot of paths. I know MOST of those are probably just a few rooms and a power-up, but it feels like any of them COULD be the way forward and I'm just picking one and seeing what lies ahead. With that said, I feel like I keep stumbling on the right path more often than not, so they must do a pretty good job of pushing you there. Though I spent like an hour or two last night trying to find the way forward, and it ended up being in some way earlier area that I only figured out because I started just randomly going everywhere on the map that I could with my current powers, and after a few that just led to power-ups, I stumbled on the correct path.

Part of why it feels this way to me too is that the map is HUGE. I mean, Super Metroid was a "big" game at the time but it's really not that big. If you're stuck and check your map, there are usually only a handful of places to even check. In Dread, if you're not backtracking constantly every time you get a new power to get every little thing, you can end up in a position where you look at your map and have like 10 different possible things to check on or so. Which happened to me last night! Part of why it took so long to find the right way forward is I had so many things left undone on my map at the time.

Even the Prime games are like, longer games, but the maps aren't super huge? I think a part of that is because a lot of how Prime works is slower-paced, solving puzzles within rooms, etc. so more time per room means less rooms. So if you do get stuck and check your map, there are usually only a handful of possible ways forward at any given time.
Posted: 10/11/21, 21:12:40  - Edited by 
 on: 10/11/21, 21:30:08
I kind of just took the path of least resistance through the whole game, and it worked, haha. I beat a boss, get a power-up, and then get spit out a couple rooms away from an elevator? Okay, better use that elevator. Ah, and a few rooms from that elevator, there's a place to use my new ability, that must be that path.

I've seen a lot of people on Twitter say that they've been getting lost though!

Zero said:
With that said, I'm so lost on Metroid lore right now. Samus was raised by the Chozo, I know that. But then, she went off on her own? Why? What happened to the Chozo? For some reason I was under the impression that they were extinct at this point? Is that a thing? But they obviously aren't? So why hasn't Samus been in contact with them / vice versa?

YES, I don't get it either! This is what I was trying to figure out in this post a few months ago:

Secret_Tunnel said:
So wait, when exactly are the Chozo first mentioned in the Metroid series? There are statues of them in all the games, and you even fight one in Super Metroid, but had they been named yet? When was it established that they created the Metroids? Was that not until Fusion? And when was it established that they trained Samus? I think Prime mentions that, but is it ever mentioned within any of the mainline games? It seems like so much of this series' lore comes from semi-canon mangas and instruction booklets.

Like, is it actually canon that Ridley killed Samus's parents, or is that just a manga thing? Is that ever mentioned in-game?

I also thought that the Chozo were extinct. Or that they were this godlike race that transcended physical reality or something. I didn't think they were just normal dudes who walk around and have factions and stuff! Are there other Chozo on other planets still hanging out?

And then there's stuff later in Dread that makes certain things even more ambiguous...
Posted: 10/11/21, 21:44:46
Secret_Tunnel said:
I also 100%ed the game last night! 9 hours and 11 minutes, one minute faster than Nate!
...9 hours 11 minutes and how many seconds EXACTLY?

Posted: 10/11/21, 23:11:40  - Edited by 
 on: 10/11/21, 23:14:01
Finished this game last night! I liked it a lot. The game did feel kinda funnely. I was actively looking for ways to sequence break without much luck. I was able to get a couple of super bombs early, only to be told that I can't use them yet. That's cheating! I didn't mind the linearity though because you always have the option to deviate from the path put ahead of you. Every time I did this, I kind of regretted it since the map is so big and winding, and I'd inevitably hit some kind of roadblock. And the game is long enough that I feel like I got my fill without hunting down extra collectables. It kind of reminds me of Prime 3. It's a bombastic roller coaster that hits all the right notes, with the open-endedness taking a backseat to accommodate. You can't blow the hinges off of the game's intended sequence like in Super Metroid or Zero Mission. But those games don't deliver on the kind of spectacle a more railroaded approach can offer.

So yeah, there's a lot to love here. I loved the visual design of many of the areas and enemies. Samus's default suit might be my favorite. There were multiple moments that gave me a huge grin. Legendary moments. The boss fights were awesome. The combat as a whole was a ton of fun. The callbacks were exciting, but tasteful. The story feels significant and major enough to suit "Samus's last game". Shit really hits the fan, and I felt that as the player. But I didn't like the ending. It feels too clean and easy. I kind of wanted more tragedy. Samus accidentally unleashes the X parasite, learns more about the history of her people, and has to combat the last surviving member of the Chozo-the one responsible for their extinction. And on top of all that she is slowly being corrupted by her Metroid DNA. This is finale worthy stuff, but it ends without any sense of finality. The status quo is seemingly resent back to the point of Super Metroid. But it's not a big deal; I still had a ton of fun with the story.

@Secret_Tunnel

For whatever reason, I thought these were the Chozo were believed to be extinct and the few we see here are last of the Chozo. I can't point to any evidence as to why I came to this conclusion, but I always thought they were extinct. Maybe I'm just transplanting Halo lore onto this.
Posted: 10/11/21, 23:29:01  - Edited by 
 on: 10/11/21, 23:29:35
I mean. There is no way this is going to be Samus' last 2d game, regardless of what anyone says, lol. And they could do a "reboot" or some nonsense (please god no) but I feel like they will just keep chugging along and smush the stories together somehow.

Possibly do what the 3d / Prime games do, which is sort of technically exist in the same canon but barely reference the 2d game stories.
Posted: 10/12/21, 00:04:40
@nate38

9:10:42 to beat the game with 100% completion, 8:56:41 on the file select screen from the final save.
Posted: 10/12/21, 01:21:40
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