Forget Nostalgia, Super Metroid Was Embarrassingly Easy

TitanAura

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*This is an obvious exaggeration and should be neither quoted nor taken seriously.

EHHHHHHH, you ALMOST got me. Thank christ I actually read everything in an article before passing judgement or else I'd look really fucking stupid right now. *looks up*
 

Covarr

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May 29, 2009
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TitanAura said:
*This is an obvious exaggeration and should be neither quoted nor taken seriously.

EHHHHHHH, you ALMOST got me. Thank christ I actually read everything in an article before passing judgement or else I'd look really fucking stupid right now. *looks up*
I assumed that was just referring to the last sentence, where the * actually was.

P.S. Thanks
 

Odbarc

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Jun 30, 2010
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I remember it being fun. It was a gorgeous game. It rewarded exploration. Options to make the game easy doesn't mean everyone found or used those methods.
 

-Dragmire-

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Mar 29, 2011
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I've played the game too many times to be able to judge the difficulty of it now. At this point, I find it pretty damn easy.

Still can't beat it in much under 4 hours though, so I've never legit seen every ending change.
 

Warachia

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I'd like to bring something up even though the article only mentions it: "In the article, I wrote about how depressing the game really was. I wrote about how it perfectly captured the essence of isolation, desperation, and loss. I wrote about how it was the first title of the series to portray Samus Aran as more than just an unapologetically solitary bounty hunter, but rather as a human being driven by maternal instinct on a doomed mission to rescue her adopted little metroid spawn from the dread Space Pirates."
"...which she affectionately refers to as "the baby," and delivers it to the Space Science Academy on Ceres for research."

Sorry but the game wasn't about Samus trying to rescue an "adopted" alien and she doesn't refer to it as "the baby" in the game or instruction manual (she refers to the metroid as "a larva"). Timeline wise after getting it she immediately (and I do mean immediately after getting in her ship) gives the metroid to some scientists after it helps her out of a cave to do some energy extraction experiments on. She leaves it in their care when their experiments are promising (not to mention Metroids actually being good in some way was something she was really surprised by and didn't think of until after the scientists conducted their research) and only goes back to get it because the space pirates steal it (she recieved a distress call) and they would have likely used to make more and tried to weaponize them like they did before.

There's one scene in the game that's debatable (when the screen turns black when it dies) but Samus doesn't really care in the ending to Super Metroid or in Fusion. The only time she ever showed any emotion (and I do mean she showed, the screen turning black isn't her showing emotion because again she doesn't seem to care) towards it was in Other M, but that's a whole other can of worms.

That said, yes Super Metroid is very easy unless you try to speedrun it.
 

Hero of Lime

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Jun 3, 2013
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If this was my article, it would have been titled, "Forget Nostalgia, Super Metroid is not as great as Metroid Prime." Though I would not go with such a flame bait-y title of course. :p

I've played Super Metroid a lot less than Prime, Fusion, and Zero Mission, so I still find it harder than those three. It doesn't tell you where to go like most Metroid games which is great, I just never found the environments as fun or interesting. Without that familiarization, I definitely am not as good at Super Metroid as the others I mentioned, so by default it's harder for me.
 

Hairless Mammoth

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Ok I'm the 100th person to say this today, but of course Super Metroid isn't hard when you know the game. As you learn more about it and acquire more items, it become much easier. That's where the replay value of 100%ing or speedrunning the game becomes apparent. Since your health and several of your weapons capacities in the series depends on how exploratory you are, a knowledgeable player can adjust the difficulty to suit the challenge they crave. Super even has the distinction of being able to turn off every upgrade, meaning the damage resisting properties of the second and third suits can be disabled, too, without having to do "hell runs" through Norfair or put up with the water physics.

This game and Zero Mission expand greatly upon the player controlled challenge by letting you skip items. I played through Super once without grabbing the grapple beam. Getting into the wrecked ship and through Maridia without it is a test of your speedbooster/shinesparking and wall jumping skills. It's not too hard once you get the reflexes down, but adds to the replay value. I think someone has gotten to Ridley's lair without the space jump. (Still trying to figure that one out.) Skipping items and low percent runs are why ZM has the 15% endings.

The original, Super, Zero Mission, and the original NA version of Prime (which is easily sequence broke) have so many ways to play them, both to make it easier, or to go after stronger enemies sooner. The others unfortunately railroad you through the item progression, making difficulty settings and skipping energy tanks and missile expansions the only ways to add challenge to them.

Fact that Nintendo only made one 2D Metroid as open as open as Super in the past 21 years might be one reason why it's also a popular game for ROM hackers[footnote]Disclaimer: Hairless Mammoth does not endorse piracy (both software and naval based), "sticking it to the man" (in the form of piracy), or aggravated hair loss by playing super hard games made by sadists. He always strokes his SNES cart of Super Metroid for good luck before playing Redesign and quits for a few hours if it gets too frustrating. If you wish to try out any unofficial game mentioned by this guy in plaid pajamas, carts can still be found on ebay and are worth their prices.[/footnote] (also most hacks up the difficulty because they expect players to be series veterans). I'm playing through Super Metroid: Redesign again, and the wall jumping and pixel perfect running jumps are something even save states can't really help you with (though saving on a whim is a godsend against some reallly powerful enemies). Even if you, for whatever reason, don't wish to play ROM hacks, I'd recommend looking at playthroughs/LPs online of Redesign and Super Metroid Eris (especially Eris for it's gorgeous original environment graphics). Super Zero Mission is another one to look out for.
UNHchabo said:
Mother Brain may just be an interactive cutscne, but Super Metroid does have a final boss fight -- Ridley. That fight is hard enough that I died even on my last 100% playthrough a few months back.
Indeed. Ridley is a damage sponge is most of his incarnations. Every other boss in Super either has a weak point and obvious strategy, or is a push over. Ridley is an erratic beast that can be hurt anywhere but his tail. Dodging skills are a must, and even the screw attack can be defeated by his tail. It's a war of attrition, arguably the only one in the game, too.

I believe this game and the comic and/or manga that came out around the same time is also what started the whole personal issue Samus has with Ridley. He's the true threat in her eyes (much more so if you take into account the interpretation of the story where he is the supreme leader that rebuilds the pirates' ranks after every defeat and Mother Brain is just the AI base commander/lead researcher). After Ridley's defeat, getting the metroid larva back is the final part of her quest.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
Nailing the difficulty is pretty hard, even the vania portion of metroidvania couldn't really do it. Most of the exploration castlevania games where quite easy as well.
 

RandV80

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While it wasn't what you would call 'Nintendo hard' I certainly don't remember Super Metroid being hard when I first played it. When I played it again 5 years ago yeah it was damn easy, but I find that to be the case with most childhood games I replay today: Super Metroid, A Link to the Past, Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, etc. Chrono Trigger was especially easy.

With a game like Super Metroid I would imagine most people remember lots of little things like where things are found and generally where you need to go next?
 

CrystalShadow

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I'm really failing to see your point.

Something being easy is hardly an innate negative.
Even taking into account some of it being, as you say, almost impossible to lose, it's still a memorable experience regardless.

You seem to fall into a mental trap of thinking things have to be a certain way to be any good.
Well, it's not that simple.

Anyway, there is of course, the simple fact that with enough practice, anything gets to be fairly easy.

I can play through A Link to the Past without giving it much thought. (usually. Watch me fail horribly when I have an audience though. As you do. XD)
Same for Super Mario World.
Mario 64, Mario Galaxy and so on.

I mean, even something really challenging stops being that hard if you've spent enough time with it.
I can play gradius advance or the like most of the way through without dying...
But that's a matter of practice.

Still, Super Metroid isn't hard, true. But... Does it matter?
Who cares?

Sure, Super Mario 2 (the lost levels version), is hard, but that doesn't make it innately better than the easier original.
Nor are things like Super Meat Boy or even I wanna be the guy good (or not) merely for being hard.

I mean, what are you even getting at with this?

Super metroid is a good game, even if it is easy. Even if it contains 'challenges' that are explicitly fake. That's not the point.
 

Tawanda

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For me the difficulty had to do with knowing where to go next, it was bit overwhelming at times, I remember wondering aimlessly around for 2 days before discovering i had to use bombs to blow up a crack on the floor in order to fight the first boss.
 

Colt47

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@Lizzy That is the thing, though. Nintendo sort of evolved to favor accessibility back in the SNES era of gaming, which helped a lot of young gamers get their first steps into the gaming hobby. The reason I found Super Metroid a challenge, along with a number of other titles at the time, was that I didn't have a huge reservoir of experience to draw upon.

The other thing Nintendo does well is their party games, which unfortunately I haven't been playing much because of a lack of people to actually play with locally. Some people complain about nintendo not embracing online gaming, but online multi-player is a completely different beast from local. Anonymous online play is basically like playing against a much more sophisticated self learning AI than, say, someone right next to you in an arcade.
 

whatever55

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>*This is an obvious exaggeration and should be neither quoted nor taken seriously.
i can't wait to constantly quote this while being very serious.
 

Areloch

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So, the biggest complaint towards the difficulty is that the final boss was a scripted sequence, thus you couldn't lose on it?

That's kind of a weak argument. Besides, you say take off the nostalgia glasses, but really, how old were we when we played Super Metroid the first time?

As adults now, we have VASTLY improved reasoning and deductive skills, pattern recognition and likely a vast knowledgebase of other games' experiences. I remember MegaMan X-3 were rather challenging games back in the day, but when I fire them up to play today, I can crush them in my sleep.

To truely see if Super Metroid is as hard as we thought it was back in the day, you'd have to take a kid about the same age range as we were when it came out and have them play it blind, no internet, no guides.

If they have trouble with it, then it must have actually been fairly challenging.
 

RJ 17

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I didn't realize it was supposed to be hard considering the fact that...you know...it's entirely possible to beat the game in 3 hours to get the special ending. >.>
 

09philj

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It's easy because you've played it over. And over. And over. And over. To the point where you can do the game with minimal actual effort because the whole thing is committed to memory. I played it for the first time recently, and while it's not massively difficult, it's also not a total pushover. Chrono Trigger, on the other hand... now there's easy.
 

Biran53

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"*This is an obvious exaggeration and should be neither quoted nor taken seriously."

Then why make the metaphor?