***This review was written before Nintendo DMCA’d AM2R***
It’s the month of “Metroid” (TM SomeCallMeJohnny) and the “Metroid” franchise turned 30 on August 6th, so what better way to celebrate it than by playing and reviewing Another “Metroid 2 Remake“, which was in development for years and had everyone worried that Nintendo was going to take it down before August 6th. Well, August 6th came and went and “Another Metroid 2 Remake” wasn’t taken down by the Big N. Color me and practically everyone else shocked. I’m pretty sure that we all expected that Nintendo would step in and take the game down near the end of the project (in the same fashion which Square-Enix did to the fan-made “Chrono Trigger” sequel).
So, now that the game has been released, how about a review of “AM2R”? Well, you got!
“Another Metroid 2 Remake” (aka AM2R) puts you in the role of Samus Aran, and her mission is to exterminate Metroids from a planet called SR388. And much like the original game (where Samus slaughters the Metroids) new areas open up, and new areas are accessible. Even so, is “AM2R” just a remake of “Metroid 2” that puts on a fresh coat of paint? Heck no! This remake is far more than that. While it does get a fresh coat of paint, the game does get the “Metroid Zero Mission” treatment. And that would include brand-new areas, some redesigned levels, new bosses, new power-ups and redesigned music for the game.
As someone on Youtube put it “What Metroid Zero Mission did for Metroid 1, AM2R does for Metroid 2: Return of Samus“, while at its core. AM2R plays very similar to Metroid 2. However, the game engine for platforming and movement seems to be taken from “Metroid Fusion”. So the game goes beyond what’s similar. So, what’s new and/or different to the game then?
Well, here´s a quick list over the new things in AM2R:
– Charge Beam, the ability to stack your beams
– Super Missiles, Power Bombs
– Power Grip to grab the edges of ledges, quickly go into Morph Ball Mode with the push of a button
– Morph Ball Mode in mid-air
– Gravity Suit and the Speed Booster along with three new areas
And all of these new features are very nice and welcoming additions to the “Metroid” universe (in my opinion).
Let’s talk about the new areas:
The first new area happens to be a research team that was on the planet exploring and discovered that Metroids were not only alive but mutating. So they sent out a distress signal. And that resulted in having a rescue team came looking for them before Samus stepped onto the planet. As an aside, how the bloody hell did they get that far? Lava was blocking you, did they have lava-proof suits or something? Well, you get there, find that the team is dead and get ambushed by two Alpha Metroids. So I guess that we now know for sure why and how they died.
The next new area happens after you face your first batch of Zeta Metroids. As an aside, the fights against Zeta Metroids happen to be “empty all your missiles into its chest which is level with your cannon arm”. As you go down into the new area, you discover the Power Bombs, in a nuclear reactor. And, as we all know, Samus just can’t help herself and has to set off a Power Bomb… In a room with a massively unstable power core.
Well, shoot, nuclear meltdown. No, you don’t escape it. Because just before you reach to safety, the whole thing explodes, and you’re low on health. Thankfully enough though, you can go back down where you just came from to find an Energy Tank to recover your energy completely. The final new area happens to be the ship that the research team used to land on SR388. Do remember the Metroid containment area in “Metroid Fusion”? And do remember the creepy vibe that it gave you? Well, this area gave me a hell of a creepy vibe, to quote an old roommate…”This is a bad place, I shouldn’t be here.”
So, you look around, and find out that everyone’s dead. So you explore the area some more. And find a handful of power-ups, and finally you get to the cockpit. And analysis shows that there’s no movement going on… Wait, Level Three East Side? Why is there movement going on there?! So you go to level three and… Oh hey, a save point, this isn’t ominous at all. Get to the East Side… Tank with thing, tank with bigger thing, broken tank, Ooooh! Energy Tank, yoink! Wait, why was that one tank broken?
And out pops an annoying boss who (while you can hurt the bastard with your weapons) is as durable as any Zeta Metroid. Thankfully enough though, he’s not very big. However, he’s hard to hit and move around, plus it’s dark. So yeah…It´s an annoying boss to fight for sure, but not too difficult to beat once you figure out his patterns. Basically, get behind him and shoot when he lands on the ground.
That’s it for the new things, and there’s just a little more to talk about. And right off the bat is the Omega Metroids. And you find a Zeta Metroid being attacked by a Search and Rescue team (the one that came to save the Research team). And in front of your eyes, is the thing evolves into an Omega Metroid. The team is, naturally, slaughtered in an instant. And you have to adjust for the new Metroid in-order to stay alive.
And unlike Zeta Metroids, the Omega Metroids have their weak point a BIT off the ground, and you have to try to compensate for the difference. Thankfully when they breathe fire at you, you can run up and pop a Super Missile into their chest. There is a nice call-back to the original Metroid 2 in AM2R though. In the Original Metroid 2, if you could get behind an Omega Metroid, you could deal double damage to them with missiles, otherwise it took over 40 missiles to kill them.
In AM2R (while the back is heavily armored) whenever the Omega Metroid jumps and lands, the back opens up to reveal, for a few moments, the Metroid core. So if you can jump, aim and time your shots right. Then you can hit a VERY tiny area and kill it off, not bad. And here´s a free Pro-Tip: When facing Omega Metroids, don’t rush towards them, walk until you can see their cores, jump up and fire a super missile into their chest. Hey, it’s a free shot, why not take it?
And now, the Metroid Queen:
In the last chamber before you get to the Metroid area, I have to say, the background is breath-taking. Seriously, take the time to look at the background as you play the game, you really get the sense of going deeper and deeper into the planet as you do so. This battle is a LOT different than it was in “Metroid 2”. And while being similar on the outset, you quickly realize that it’s not the same (since you can’t jump down its throat to drop bombs in its stomach right away).
In fact, you really don’t damage her until the end. Furthermore, she does a TON more damage to you than any other enemy in the game. Yes, final boss, but still, it’s stupid! As an aside, it took me three attempts to beat her. Funny enough, while “Metroid Other M” is the worst Metroid game in terms of story. “Metroid Other M” actually taught me how to beat the Queen. Even so, originally I just dumped missiles down her throat until she died in “Metroid 2”. However, after I found out about that. I did the whole “go down throat and bomb her into submission” strategy.
So, what´s the gameplan for the Queen in “AM2R” then? Well, you have to wait until she tries to eat you (and she will). And eventually, you will get the chance to roll into a ball, go inside and… plant a Power Bomb inside of her (just like in “Other M”. All I can say is “Eww!” And that’s the end of “AM2R”, then the credits start to roll and… Oh? The ending has a VERY nice call- forward to “Super Metroid. The Last Metroid is in Captivity. The Galaxy is at Peace.“. Other than that, “AM2R” took me over 4.5 hours to beat (the first time that I played through the game). So now I have to try and beat that record by going through the game even faster.
And with that said, do I recommend this game? Yes, yes I do. This is the game that should have been announced at E3 instead of Federation Force. But, I digress. It’s a great game, lots of love, care and time was put into it, and it shows. And if you haven’t played “AM2R” yet, then you can download the game here at http://metroid2remake.blogspot.com/
A word of advice though, make sure you have a controller that will work. As it’s far easier to control with a Dirty Console Peasant controller than with PC Master Race keyboard. 😉
+ Actual Backgrounds
+ Stacking weapons and not needing to pick and choose
+ far more responsive controls than the original Metroid 2
– Some of the power-ups are in hard to get places
Gameplay – 5/5
It’s a Metroid game, more linear than Metroid 1 or Super Metroid, but the game doesn’t hold your hand and lets you explore at your leisure.
Graphics – 5/5
GBA/DS levels of graphics, we’re not looking at 4K HD 1080p AAA game here.
Sound/Music – 5/5
The music is truly good, as it contains a heavy dose of “Metroid Prime”. So I got nothing to complain about on the music and sound front. Furthermore, the pieces for the atmosphere and boss fights really adds to the tension when needed.
Controls – 4/5
The controls can feel a LITTLE loose (mainly when Space Jumping), but otherwise the controls are really solid. And I’ve got no issues other than Space Jumping sometimes doesn’t want to work, also swapping screens when Space Jumping can be a chore at times.
Replay Value – 5/5
It’s a Metroid Game, of COURSE it has replay value.
Final Verdict – 4.5/5
I can’t give “AM2R ” a perfect score, but the game is as close to platform perfection as one could get. Sure, the game is not as good as “Super Metroid”. Then again, it´s very hard to top “Super Metroid”. Nevertheless, in overall, if you can find a way to get your hands on “AM2R”. Then it´s well worth your time, and the game *IS* the “Metroid” game that we all been waiting (dying) to play since “Other M” came out.
Developer: The AM2R team
Resolution: Max on PC
Release date: 2016-08-06
Spent time: +15 Hours
Average grade internationally: N/A Gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating: +12
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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