Metroid: A Return to 2D
For fans of the 2D Metroid series, of which I am most definitely a part of, today is a great day! It's not an absolutely wonderfully fantastic day, but it is a great day, and at this point I'll take what I can get. Why is this day noteworthy at all you might ask? Well, today marks the release of the latest 2D entry in the Metroid video game series, Metroid: Samus Returns for the 3DS Family (3DS, 2DS, New 3DS and New 2DS).
Another question you may ask then, is why is it great, and not 'absolutely wonderfully fantastic'? Well, as great as this is, the release is really just a remake of an existing game, the 1991 GameBoy game 'Metroid 2: The Return of Samus'. Granted, it so far seems like a fantastic remake, but at the end of the day it is still just a remake nonetheless. And since the LAST release in the 2D series of Metroid games was also just a remake, a remake of the original 1986 NES classic, it makes it even more disappointing that Nintendo would choose to simply remake a game yet again instead of giving us an all new 2D adventure.
Of course, when you take into account that that last game, titled Metroid: Zero Mission, was a GameBoy Advanced game released WAY back in 2004, it adds another layer of conflicted emotions. For those really bad at math (no judgment), that makes this latest release, the second consecutive remake in a pretty iconic series, 13 years later! That's at least 10 years too late!
So because Nintendo has not treated this series very well (in my humble opinion), I really will take what I can get, which does make this a great occasion.
Before I move on, at the risk of beating a dead horse, I do just want to point out all the Nintendo systems that have been released since the last 2D Metroid title. Since the GameBoy Advance, we have had the original DS, the Wii, the Wii U and the Switch. Yes, the 3DS is in that list as well, but, that is the system that got this title so that is not needed in that list of systems. So ignoring the Switch (which just came out), that is 3 systems that got skipped! I am ignoring the GameCube because it was too close to it's end of life when Zero Mission came out.
I also do want to mention, for those itching to yell at me for ignoring it, I am not talking about the 'Prime', aka 3D games, because I am specifically talking about the 2D titles. I'm also ignoring Metroid: Other M because I don't know WHAT that was... Anyway, the 3D titles are great, but they really aren't my cup of tea to be honest. And even if they were, there is such a big difference between the 2D and 3D titles that they really are two separate things (in my opinion).
As of right now, I have picked up my copy of the newest release, as well as the stupid amiibo two pack that compliments it (don't get me started on those amiibos; I hate that I like them so much). Though, getting my hands on both was a challenge. It's a long story that involves a very messy and unorganized Target location that just couldn't find their stock (their isles were absolutely packed with stacks shipment boxes making it impossible to navigate at least a quarter of the isles) forcing me to go elsewhere.
Anyway, I put in maybe 30 minutes before I felt compelled to at least mark this occasion with some kind of posting. I'm not sure I'm ready to give any kind of thoughts on this, even in the form of initial impressions, other than it does look solid and am eager to get back to it.
So to wrap this all up, a lot of video game series that started in 2D, went to 3D and thrived (or at least did moderately well) have been able to maintain at least a somewhat relevant chain of games in both styles; 2D and 3D. Metroid, as iconic as it is (and it IS iconic), hasn't fared so well, especially in 2D as outlined above. And that is a shame, because the Metroid series, especially in 2D, is just so damned solid.
If you are reading this, and are a fan of the 2D Metroid games, I would have to say that you shouldn't wait for anyone else to tell you what they think of this game. You really should go out and pick up a copy yourself as soon as you can. If nothing else, that alone will probably be able to tell Nintendo that we really DO want a brand new 2D Metroid title (since they don't seem to think so apparently). And if you have never played a 2D Metroid title, or any Metroid title for that matter, but are a gamer, you owe it to yourself to give this series a try.
Although, if you are brand new to the series, I'd have to suggest the SNES title, Super Metroid, or even the already mentioned Metroid: Zero Mission, first, assuming you have the ability (both titles are on a previous Nintendo consoles Virtual Console, I just don't know which system has what game).
Keep an eye out for a new post from me to at least give some good general impressions of this game, sometime in the near future.