Nintendo’s Metroid: Samus Returns remakes without replacing

With so much to offer, “Metroid: Samus Returns” offers a fantastic, if difficult, return to form that begs to played and completed many times over.

“Metroid: Samus Returns” for the Nintendo 3DS is a remake of the 1991 Game Boy title “Metroid 2: Return of Samus.” While fans love the original game, Metroid 2 is considered to be the black sheep of the series because of awkward movements and controlling, extreme close-up environments, a more linear structure than the previous game and minimalistic music that relied on beeps and boops to convey atmosphere.

Creators evolved the series substantially. Metroid produced quite a few games that many players would put on their “best of all time” lists. The remakes made an impact with bright and detailed 3D environments, new personality-filled musical tracks and rich ambient sound to replace the retro soundtrack.

Weighty, snappy and immediate movements replace the original's awkward sense of movement. The game's precise control scheme, complete with a 360-degree aiming mechanic for added precision, enhances the gameplay. Another major change is the addition of a "melee counter" move that, when timed correctly, can turn the tide of even the most difficult encounters. 

Those encounters prove difficult as this remake is harder than the original and arguably the hardest entry in the franchise. Enemies are certainly much more aggressive than ever before, but the normal enemies are small potatoes compared to the titular Metroids that the player’s character, Samus, is hunting down. Each encounter with one of these monsters presents a unique variant, and each new variant is beastly compared to the ones before it.

Despite being a remake, the game hardly resembles the original at all, and not just from a graphical perspective. The complete redesign of the original maps make sure that even veterans to the original game have to check the map quite often.

There also are many elements that weren’t in the original, such as the new Aeion Abilities that slow time, provide armor, reveal areas of the map or turn simple shots into hails of gunfire.

The only real complaint is the 3DS’s small screen size that makes the map difficult and confusing. Any other complaints would just be nitpicking.