[Gameboy]  [gamegear]  [Lynx]  

Title: Metroid 2: The Return of Samus
Rom Player: Reaper54
Reviewer: Mike Grace

Synopsis: Metroid, a new smash hit for Nintendo's "game cube", was once glorified as the "hardest handheld game" in the business. Of all my friends, I was the only one who could beat it (I had no life, so shut up). Anyways, in this game, Samus returns to open up a can on some Metroid. It was the kind of game that made you allergic to sunlight, social gatherings, and pretty much any interaction with another human. Hell, I played it through dinner, most of the time. It didn't go over too well with my parents. Here's a sample of the conversation we would have. "Hey, can you pass the potatoes?"..*waits*.. "Hey, idiot, pass me the potatoes now, please!"... "Sorry dad, I just was trying to jump up to the top of this cave thing, and I got shot by an alien and fell back to the bottom, and I..." "You gonna pass those potatoes today or not?" "Oh yeah" *grabs potatoes* "HOLY SHIT! A METROID!" *knocks over all dinner-ware on the table, drops potatoes on the ground* "You're gonna die, you freaking alien".. *Insert the sound of a mother crying here*. That game was probably the reason my ass was spanked to hamburger everyday by my dad. Oh well, can't say I didn't deserve it. But, back to the game.

You start out with a kinda cool cinematic scene on your Gameboy of Samus landing on the planet and then getting out of her ship. Thatís when the fun starts. You begin your long (veeerrrryyyy long) trek into the heart of the infested planet. The only problem? The entire fucking game is A FUCKING MAZE. The only reason I was able to get to new areas is because the game has a kind of liquid acid that has filled the caves, and is only drained when enough Metroid have been eliminated. But, aside from that, I had no fucking clue where I was going half the time. And that little map thatís in the game booklet didn't help at all either. It had a map of about a quarter of the entire game. In other words, you spend most of the entire game trying to figure out where you are and where you're going, as opposed to killing aliens and shooting anything that moves. That single aspect is what pissed me off about the game. Well, that, and the musical talent in the game. Granted, we all have been spoiled by newer consoles with subwoofers and surround sound, but back then, we didn't have any of that. AND WE LIKED IT! But, even for a Gameboy game, the sound was pretty awful. Just think of a bunch of random beeps and boops (the standard, at the time) put into a weird-ass tempo. That was about all the music in the game. The only thing that kept my rating above a zero is because when you meet a Metroid, the music gets REALLY LOUD and MUCH BETTER. Like in movies, when the music ads to the effect of the moment in scary movies. Thatís the kind of thing that happened. And, I swear to god, every time it happened, I SHIT MY UNDEROOS! It happened so often, my mom threatened to put me back into diapers or take away my Gameboy. But, she's a mom; All bark and no bite.

The gameplay and action is pretty much the same thing throughout the game. See an alien moving in a pattern or standing still, shoot alien, jump around a lot, repeat. That, and getting lost in the game is literally all there is most of the time. But, you know what? WE LIKED IT LIKE THAT BACK THEN! Trivial running around, shooting the same damn alien over and over again was deemed a part of the journey, training for the bosses and the final boss. Almost like ninja training, but with missiles and lasers, not a sword or throwing stars. Speaking of lasers, throughout the game, you get weapon upgrades. You start out with this dinky little peashooter. You work your way up to freeze ray, then up to the wave gun (the laser travels in a wave. It's about as effective as spit wads against a battleship), then a 3 ways split (beam turns into 3 separate lasers that travel parallel to each other), and then finally the badass laser (best one in the game). You also get personal upgrades for Samus. You get bombs (they look like diamonds and blow up after about 3 seconds), you get to turn into a ball (and eventually are able to stick to walls in ball-form), you get the ability to fly by doing flips (and eventually get an ability that does damage to enemies when you jump), and armor/life increases sporadically. Now, onto the enemies.

The one enemy that makes this game worthwhile is the Metroid. Youíre here to kill 'em all (a.k.a.-genocide), and each time you fight one they get harder to kill. Their first forms aren't very hard to kill, as all they do is run at you and try to hit you with their head. All you gotta do is shoot 'em with your missiles and, after about 10-30 hits, they'll die. Their later forms get much harder to kill, as they actually start to get a kind of strategy when they try to rip your heart out. They get big, and occasionally swoop down and knock your ass over. But, eventually they all fall to you, you're ninja-like skills of dodging and ducking, and your missile launcher. Just watching them die is addictive. "screeeeettch!!!!! KABOOOM!". That is the reward you get from killing the universes most feared alien. And believe me, once you hear it, it's the one driving force that keeps you from trying to break the game with a chisel or setting it on fire. The enemies in the game, as stated before, don't do much other than act as target practice and a nuisance.

The road to the final boss is the hardest part of the game, bar none. You have to fight about 12 little, baby Metroids, and man are these shits annoying! The whole ideology of the "metroid" is the fact that it's a huge fucking roundworm. It needs a host to live, and eventually kills off the host. This is where Samus comes in. these new Metroids are hungry, and you're the only one around. They're also fast little shits, making your job of shooting them with your freeze ray even harder. And then, if it wasn't hard enough, you have to stand on it and try to blow them up with your bombs. YOU HAVE TO STAND ON THE FUCKERS!!! And, the only way to get 'em off of you if they do try to suck you dry (like a Saigon hooker) is to blow them away with your bombs. It's pretty tricky, but eventually they all meet the same fate. At this point in the game, it's IMPERATIVE THAT YOU SAVE!! (Oh yeah, I forgot you could save the game on these little terminals that are placed in different parts of the map) The hallway to the final boss is pretty much like an obstacle course from hell. You gotta jump through a hallway of nothing but spikes. But, after playing this game for an estimated 2 weeks or so (this estimate is for those who have no life, a VERY understanding girlfriend, and live at home with your parents. for everyone else, Iíll take about a month to do), you should be an expert of mid-air-jumping, so it should present little challenge to you. Next, the final boss. This is the thing you've been training for, SO DON'T FUCK IT UP!! The boss is pretty much like a huge ass dragon with a huge mouth and acid reflux disease. All it does is bite you with it's huge mouth, and shoot these little spike-looking things at you. the best strategy i found when fighting her is to SHOOT MISSLES LIKE CRAZY DOWN THAT BITCHES THROAT!!! But, if you don't have enough life to beat her, thereís a trap door you can go through and you'll be able to re-stock your missiles and life, but you gotta travel all the way back up to her lair and start from the beginning again. Eventually, after you waste about all of your missiles on her, she'll die a dramatic death. A death that made your lonesome Friday nights worthwhile. A death that allows you, for a brief moment, to forget that you're a miserable virgin who lives in the basement of your parentís house. She screams in a game-boy-like scream, and falls apart, pixel by pixel. in other words, she disappears dot by dot, letting you savor your oh-so-sweat-victory for as long as possible. Once she's dead, you get a really really, REALLY FUCKING SAPPY SONG THAT PLAYS FOR THE REST OF THE GAME. Samus runs into a little baby metroid again, but this one is friendly (the odd child in the family, i guess) and helps you escape. No, it doesn't lead you out of the cave while it's collapsing. no, it doesn't sacrifice itself to the other aliens on the planet to let you escape on your ship. and no, it doesn't even give you directions out of that fucking cave maze. IT EATS BLOCK-LIKE THINGS THAT BLOCK YOUR WAY OUT OF THE CAVE!! THAT'S IT!! and, this whole time, you get the sappy "We-all-learned-a-lesson-about-carnivorous-aliens,-maybe-life-will-be-peaceful-in-the-galaxy-once-more". Yeah, it's overused and shitty. very shitty. But, once the little turd-Metroid leads you out of the cave, you get to walk to the edge of this cliff, and jump off. you fall for about 2 minutes, with the turd-Metroid following you and the sappy-ass music playing the whole time. My guess is that they want you to end the game so you can take a shower, or to get some kind of outside stimulation. You end up right next to your ship, and once you jump in, the game is over. The music carries into and through the credits, but gets to sound like a cool techno song instead of a love song. The credits role, consisting of names that you can't pronounce and words that look like some kind of brain/spinal infection. Once that ends, you get to see a cool pose of Samus and a "the end" screen. That's all, enjoy the game. Remember, winners don't do drugs.

Best Cheats: can't think of any off the top of my head, but i'm sure there are some game-genie codes floating out there.
If you jump in samus's ship (at the very beginning of the map/game) you get full missle ammo and health.

Game Play: 8
Graphics: 5
Music/Sound: 4
Originality: 9
Overall Rating: 7


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