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Metroid II: Return of Samus Discussion (Nintendo Game Boy) [game]
 
8.46/10 from 32 user ratings

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Posted: 03/16/16, 00:30:06  - Edited by 
 on: 03/16/16, 00:30:14
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Cool, is this your next one? It's pretty fun. Keep in mind it's a bit archaic compared to later games, but a few Metroid staples got their start here, and it's a bit harder to get lost than in the original Metroid (since M2's macro progression is a bit more linear).
Posted: 03/16/16, 00:45:40
I played through this game over the past few days and I loved it.

I'm seriously blown away. Metroid 2 able to simultaneously learn from the original game while adapting the series to a handheld and trying a new gameplay direction with the focus of exterminating the Metroids. This game isn't good for a GB adaption, this game isn't good for a sequel to an NES game I didn't really connect with, Metroid 2 is just plain good.

The exploration is solid and satisfying without the need for much backtracking unless you miss something. The lack of a map was initially daunting, but I ultimately found the exploration to be more rewarding because of it. I was pushing my ability to craft a mental layout of the landscape to the limit, making the destruction of the final metroid of an area and the subsequent earthquake to let you know it's time to move on all the more rewarding. Towards the end, though, I started to rely on an online map for fear of missing a metroid and screwing myself over. There's a steady sense of progress as you whittle away the metroid counter and complete distinct regions separated by moving barriers of lava.

The presentation is pretty solid too, with nice, detailed graphics considering the handheld's limitations. It can be frightening to stumble upon a metroid, only to see it evolve into a more grotesque and threatening form. Each area is also able to feel somewhat distinct and alien.

I was simply blown away by this game. It plays well, it's as rewarding as other metroid games, it has a unique premise, and above all else, it's fun. When you consider hardware limitations and the fact that this is only the second Metroid game, it becomes that much more impressive. I'm honestly surprised that this game isn't held in as high regard as the likes of Fusion. I feel like the only things holding it back from being so beloved are the lack of a map and color display. This is the rare game that I would actually like to see a remake of. Maybe I'll check out the fan remake sometime.

But as it is now, this is one of my favorite Gameboy titles, and a phenomenal entry in the Metroid series. This might be insulting to some, but I would rank Metroid 2 above Fusion and Prime in terms of personal preference. Moment-to-moment it was a more enjoyable game for me. I have respect for Prime for bringing the series to 3D and carrying over most of what makes the 2D games good, but if you ask me which game I prefer playing, Metroid 2 gets my clear choice. The only Metroid game I've played so far that tops it is Zero Mission.
Posted: 03/16/16, 00:48:20  - Edited by 
 on: 03/16/16, 01:00:02
I did enjoy this in my RGC playthrough, , I found it to be eminently more playable than Metroid 1.

That being said, it's not entirely without some minor flaws as far as Metroid games go.

- Expansions are almost *too* easy to find.
- Ice beam doesn't work against Metroids. That's awful.
- Picking up an earlier beam reverts your weapon and nerfs you. Yuck.

The linearity works both for and against this game. On the plus side it's much easier to keep track of where you are, unlike the first game. But then again, it cuts down on exploration potential. The later games remedied this with the in-game map.

All in all, I think it's a solid effort and a much more accessable follow up to the original game. Unfortunately though the later games really polish up the various facets of the series and leave this in the dust IMO.

I can rank it ahead of Metroid I easy, but not any of the others. (Yes that includes Other M )
Posted: 03/16/16, 01:23:50
Interesting thoughts. This is the only Metroid game I haven't played, and I was never all that interested in doing so. But maybe I'll give it a shot on the 3DS VC.
Posted: 03/16/16, 01:26:41  - Edited by 
 on: 03/16/16, 01:28:03
Shadowlink said:


The linearity works both for and against this game. On the plus side it's much easier to keep track of where you are, unlike the first game. But then again, it cuts down on exploration potential. The later games remedied this with the in-game map.

I like this design method because it prevents the lack of a map from becoming too overwhelming. Instead of one big, sprawling world, you've got a sort of hub-like tunnel that branches into wider areas that are more open and offer a chance for exploration. Visually, I guess you could say it's kind of like grapes connected by a vine. Maybe that's a weird way to visualize it... Uh... picture a bunch of open cities connected by a linear highway... And that's uh... Metroid 2...

Anyway, my point is that I prefer this approach to level design because it gives you the rewarding sensation of exploration without making backtracking a tedious slog. It's the best of both worlds; you get the good things about Metroid style games without having to waste too much time traveling back through places you've already been. I can see the argument that this makes the game feel linear because you can essentially list off each area as its own level that must be completed before you can progress further, but I think that this works with regard to both Metroid 2's gameplay hook and its portable nature.

It would be incredibly frustrating to get to the end of the game, only to find that you've missed a couple of Metroids. Which ones and where are they? Who knows. There's no map to tell you where to look or where you could have missed something. So you're stuck having to scour through the whole world to find those last few enemies. Because there are clearly dilneated regions of the world, you're never struck with this overwhelming burden. If you are able to progress to the next area, you know that you're not missing out on any crucial objectives. And really, most of the Metroid games I've played are somewhat linear in that you have to complete certain tasks in a given order. The only things those titles have over Metroid 2 is that they create a greater illusion of openness and offer the chance to revisit older areas with new abilities to find power ups. And while that can be rewarding in games like Zero Mission, that same approach also sucked a lot of the fun out of Prime for me (the artifact hunting comes to mind here). It is also important to remember that this game has no map, so encouraging players to backtrack from one end of the world to the other in search of newly available goodies would have been problematic, with players getting lost or forgetting where they're supposed to be going when they want to progress.

Metroid 2's world was designed with the lack of a map in mind, and that pays off in the end. It's impressive to think that the designers had learned so much from the first Metroid while also tackling the challenges of weaker hardware and portable game design.

@TriforceBun

What did you think of this game compared to other Metroids. From my understanding, most longtime Metroid fans don't think it can compete with its more revered brethren. I disagree, but I'm new to the series and it seems that my tastes are a bit off from those of other Metroid fans.
Posted: 03/16/16, 17:35:58  - Edited by 
 on: 03/16/16, 17:42:41
I should really try to play through this game again. Although I don't look back fondly on my earlier attempt.

It kind of feels like I'm in an episode of the Twilight Zone, seeing people shit on the first Metroid and praise Metroid 2. I'm not specifically talking about you guys. I mean, the internet, in general.

I mean, the only real flaw that I acknowledge in the first Metroid is that you start each life with 30 Health, but is that really such a big deal, when you can just recharge at a bee-hole? Plus, you acquire so many health tanks that you shouldn't be dying past a certain point, anyway.

I also think it's odd that people think that a map is really necessary for Metroid 1, but I'll admit that I got hopelessly lost in Metroid 2. The monochrome color pallette didn't help. I wish that M2 had received the Zero Mission treatment, rather than M1.
Posted: 03/23/16, 03:43:01
@Hero_Of_Hyrule

It ranks pretty low on my Metroid list, but I still enjoy it (gave it an 8.3, according to my NW games). The way you described the exploration is accurate, keeping it to specific contained, progressive areas--in this way, it's a little bit like a set of Zelda dungeons, but in 2-D. Not unlike Zelda 2, come to think of it. This isn't a bad approach and it prevents the "where do I GO!?" backtracking-through-everything feeling that the first game could cause, but I prefer a more complex, smartly designed mazelike design, personally (akin to Super or Zero Mission). Part of the fun of Metroid is blasting through areas that previously gave you trouble, and Metroid II largely lacks that since you don't really go back to any of the earlier "stages" of the game.

Within each "stage," I think the game is good and enjoyably non-to-semi-linear. Due to its age, I think it's a bit rough around the edges in spots, gameplay-wise: some of the Metroid later forms are large and just sort of charge you, making a lot of the fight take place halfway offscreen and damage feel somewhat unavoidable, the Spider Ball is a cool idea but moves awfully slow and ends up requiring some tedious combing of certain areas, and it can still fall into the "maze-like" trappings of Metroid 1 design, especially with the lack of color.

That aside, it's solid. Some notable mainstays started here like the Space Jump, Spazer Beam, Plasma Beam and Samus's Varia Suit design. The final boss is balanced and pretty darned cool. And the ending is thought-provoking and is the first step in the Metroid series going a little deeper with its narrative.

Are you playing Super Metroid next? Would be a cool chaser to Metroid 2 since it follows directly in the story.
Posted: 03/23/16, 05:07:44
@Anand

The internet also praises Metroid Prime. What's up with that, eh Anand?
Posted: 03/23/16, 05:50:06
I got lost in Metroid 2 all the time. Some of the rooms are just copy pastes of one another and the whole game is in monochrome. It doesn't help that Samus is on the slow side either.
Posted: 03/23/16, 18:35:14
Anand said:
but I'll admit that I got hopelessly lost in Metroid 2. The monochrome color pallette didn't help. I wish that M2 had received the Zero Mission treatment, rather than M1.

ME TOO.

AND EVERYONE SAYS I'M AN IDIOT AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GET LOST.

BUT EVERY ROOM LOOKS THE SAME.
Posted: 03/23/16, 19:09:03
I totally agree. Even looking at the maps is confusing if you're not following along. You could be in any number of rooms at certain points in the game.

It's not a horrible game but it's a product of its time.
Posted: 03/23/16, 20:12:59
Hero_Of_Hyrule said:
It would be incredibly frustrating to get to the end of the game, only to find that you've missed a couple of Metroids. Which ones and where are they? Who knows. There's no map to tell you where to look or where you could have missed something. So you're stuck having to scour through the whole world to find those last few enemies. Because there are clearly delineated regions of the world, you're never struck with this overwhelming burden.
Actually, this can still happen in a different form: If you don't find enough missile expansions, you will not have enough missiles to defeat the final boss. In fact, I never actually beat this game because I didn't quite have enough missiles, and going back through the world to find the ones I missed would have been a huge pain for such little gain, so I didn't bother.
Posted: 03/23/16, 20:34:01
@Mop it up

You can't get missile ammo during the battle?

That's pretty much key with the 15% run in Zero mission. You'll be likely to only have 2-5 missiles at the start of the battle, and have to rely on shooting down incoming projectiles to get more.
Posted: 03/23/16, 21:19:26
@Shadowlink I don't think there was any way to do that, no, unless there was some special way of doing it that I didn't figure out.
Posted: 03/23/16, 21:22:12
Yeah, missile drops on bosses started one game later. It's possible to get stuck on Queen Metroid in Metroid II if you don't have enough missiles...

...but there's a trick! You can actually have her devour you after missile-stunning her and plant bombs in her gut instead, requiring only a handful of missiles (and a good amount of energy).
Posted: 03/23/16, 21:56:42
@TriforceBun Yeah, I read up about that trick just now as I looked up to see if I remembered it correctly. It's something pretty obscure that I don't think players could be expected to figure out; I mean, why would I deliberately put myself in harm's way?

The weird thing is that I don't recall finding anyone mention that when I went to look it up back when I played it, just found people saying that you need a boatload of missiles. Granted, that was over ten years ago, so finding information on the Internet is a lot easier these days.

Hm, I wonder if my old save file is still intact...!
Posted: 03/23/16, 22:18:05  - Edited by 
 on: 03/23/16, 22:18:32
@TriforceBun Was this done in another Metroid game too?! It sounds super familiar, but I'm pretty sure I never finished Metroid II? Probably some Prime game did it?
Posted: 03/23/16, 23:31:59
@Zero

Other M probably. The whole powerbomb in the stomach of the Metroid Queen thing.

I thought that was what you were supposed to do? I didn't know it was a trick.
Posted: 03/23/16, 23:37:05
Metroid II was one of the first gameboy games I ever got and it was only one of a couple I had for a long time. I also had a subscription to Nintendo Power so I played through the game with a full map several times. Now when I play the game I still see in my mind the full area I'm in. I also hand drew a couple sections after I lost a page. So I know my way around that game without trouble nowadays.

As far as the final boss goes. I didn't know about the alternative method until I think Other M came out. I always did the blast her with every mission way for years. I never really had trouble with that though because of my knowledge of missile locations from NP. But if you mess up and want to start over there is an escape hole you can morph ball through beneath the Queen. You can't go back and get missiles. But you can replenish health and missiles if you feel like another go would help out.
Posted: 03/23/16, 23:54:54
@Shadowlink Now that you mention Other M I think that was it.
Posted: 03/24/16, 00:12:04
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