Just in time! I posted this on the site before midnight so this podcast DID go up on Monday! We have a short show as we obviously had a hard time getting this podcast recorded. We talk about the games we’ve been playing this week, what we are buying, Metroid tech support and the Xbox One. No Tony, so be ready for that, by the way.
Starring – Micah, Shannon, Shelby
Run time – 1:06:39
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Once again, video games are the topic and we do a lot of talking. Look forward to Super Metroid, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Mirror’s Edge, Rockpacolypse and more. No Micah this week so we got a three man show. Who will survive?
Starring – Tony, Shannon, Shelby
Run time – 144:15
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We all have them– those spots in games that get us completely stuck. Either they’re completely obtuse in design or simply difficult in general. The following is a list of such sequences, areas, and spots in both classic and modern games. The purpose of this article is to elaborate on specific spots in classic games that got me scratching my head in bewilderment and most of the time, calling a video game tips hotline counselor when applicable. Hopefully this article won’t give you too many bad memories and horror stories of these spots! What I do hope this article will give you are plenty of moments where you go “yes, I experienced trouble here too” and other memories of possibly even overcoming such spots all on your own. After you’ve read the examples, name your own trouble spots that got you stuck way back when in the past or now in the present.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (GEN) – The Barrel of Doom
This particular problem spot occurs in the fourth zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Carnival Night Zone, Act 2, to be exact. While there are multiple red and white barrels sprinkled throughout the zone, they are totally optional. However, there is one near the tale end of Act 2 that Sonic is forced to pass.
So, this should make my good friend Shelby happy. Earlier today I sent him an email saying that I was seven metroids away from completing Metroid II, but that I thought it might be slow going because I didn’t really know which metroids were left to kill. Well, I sat down this evening, powered through and managed to beat the game. It took me between eight and nine hours overall to finish it, mainly because I spent so much time just being lost and backtracking through areas that I’d already visited.
I have to say that I think this has become my favorite game in the franchise…..so far. I’ve played and beaten three Metroid games now; Metroid Other M, Metroid (NES), and now Metroid II. I’m now going to start on Super Metroid on the Virtual Console, but I’ll also be tackling Metroid Fusion after that courtesy of the 3DS Ambassador program.
I’m impressed with the atmosphere that Nintendo was able to create on the Game Boy screen. The lack of any real environments other than bleak, barren caves really gives you the impression that you’re alone and you’re not sure where anything is. You’re going to be lost. As a player it was frustrating, overwhelming and down right creepy at times. I can imagine that Samus might have been feeling many of the same things that I was experiencing. I also really got a sense of fear when I would see those cracked metroid eggs on the ground. I knew something bad was going to be coming, but it wasn’t always when you expected it. There were a few moments when I was genuinely surprised by the appearance of a metroid and was caught momentarily off guard.
This franchise is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I don’t know that I’ll ever rise to the same level of fandom that Shelby, or many others, have achieved, but I really like this franchise. The story really pulls you along (even while the games don’t tell you a lot). The sense of exploration is great. The weapons are a lot of fun, when you learn to control them, and the enemy encounters are sometimes very difficult, without ever feeling like you’re being cheated.
I’m going to continue on with the Metroid series. I’ll report back after my time with Super Metroid. Shelby tells me that this one is going to be one that I really like because of how much I like games like Shadow Complex. I’ll let you know.
Since Nintendo isn’t going to say it, I will; happy 25th birthday, Metroid. Everybody is aware of the 25th Zelda anniversary but for some reason Nintendo has forgotten all about Samus. I’m not sure why but Metroid has always taken a back seat to Nintendo’s other franchises. I wanted to do something special for this occasion but I wasn’t quite sure what. I already did a huge summary of all things Metroid around the release of Other M with our Metroid Week feature. I could continue the pattern and cover some more weapons and characters but I figured it would be fun to share a few stories about my time with Metroid games over the years.
My earliest memory of Metroid is when my brother and I played it in Kmart for the first time in 1989. Metroid was the game they had inserted into the demo NES at the electronics section. We were still new to video games as we had only received our NES a few months before Read more…
We’ve been talking about Metroid for the past week, but it’s always been from the perspective of a series veteran. What about those people who are anticipating Other M and this is their first Metroid experience? Well, that’s where I come in. I’ve been playing games since the late 80′s, but my path never crossed with Metroid. It wasn’t until Shelby gave me a copy of Metroid Prime about 3 years ago that I had even played a game in the series. I played about 20 minutes of that game, hated the control scheme, turned it off and never went back to it.
I’ve also been a rather big fan of Metroid style games. Castlevania has been one of my favorite franchises and I absolutely loved Shadow Complex on XBLA. That’s a game that borrows very heavily from the Metroid franchise. So, why didn’t I ever really play a Metroid game? That’s a really good question, and it’s not one that I don’t really have an answer for outside of I just never bought one of the games.
I recently bought and downloaded both Metroid and Super Metroid on the Super Nintendo and I started playing through both of them to get into the groove of playing a Metroid game. I wanted to know what to expect when I started playing Other M.
Here are some of the things I discovered playing through even a small part of those games. The first, expect to get lost, and maybe a lot. I managed to find a spot in the original Metroid where I was going back and forth trying to find where I needed to go next. I spent two days trying to figure out where I needed to go before describing my predicament to Shelby. I gave him a very vague idea of where I was and he was able to tell me exactly what I needed to do. It turns out I had missed the morph ball bombs and needed to go back and get them. I fully expect there will be other parts of the game where this will happen.
Another is a lot of hidden secrets. There are a lot of places that the developers have hidden things in Metroid. Those can be anything from upgrades to health and secret passages. They also hide them in the most unusual of places. You’ll have to look very carefully for clues in the environment that things are hidden. These won’t be essential to completing the game, but you can bet they’ll make life just a bit easier.
Epic boss battles are also a hallmark of the series. I know this and I’ve only played about an hour and a half total among four Metroid games. Super Metroid and Metroid Prime 3 both start out with very big battles against Samus’ arch nemesis, Ridley. While they may be battles you ultimately can’t win they do you up to be prepared for some tough fights along the way.
My experience with the Metroid franchise has been very limited up to this point. I’m currently playing through the two console side scrolling iterations of the game and have dabbled in the prime series. I don’t know how well I will be able to get through that because I’ve had some issue with motion sickness lately playing through Metroid Prime. I’m going to stick with it a bit and let you know how it goes.
I’m looking very much forward to Metroid Other M, despite my limited exposure to the series. I’ve never been excited about a Metroid game before. Metroid Prime 3 came and went as did Metroid Prime trilogy. This game is striking that chord in me with regard to an old school platformer. Shadow Complex really scratched that itch in me for a Metroid game lately and maybe it has been the huge resurgence in side scrolling games over the last year that has brought it back to me. The blend of old school gameplay with new school cinema is very appealing to me and it helps that it is one of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises. I don’t know how I would feel if this had been done to a Mario game, but because it’s a franchise I’ve not been too familiar with I’m more open to the idea.
Regardless of your experience with the franchise Metroid appears to be one of those games that everyone can enjoy. I’ve not had a chance to play it yet, but that will end soon and I’ll be able to tell you how the game appeals to a newcomer to the franchise. Shelby will be doing the review of the game so you can look forward to that in the coming days. Until then, the wait’s almost over.
Super Metroid – “The last Metroid is in captivity. The galaxy is at peace.” After Samus delivered the baby Metroid to scientists on the Ceres space colony, amazing discoveries were made. In the same way Metroids could absorb energy, they could also release it proving them to be incredibly efficient power cells which could solve the energy problems of the entire universe. Not long after she departs the station, Samus receives a distress beacon from Ceres. Space Pirates have attacked and are after the Metroid. She quickly returns to the colony to find all the scientists have been killed. She then confronts Ridley and watches as he escapes with the baby Metroid. Samus once again returns to Zebes and must retrace the footsteps of her zero mission and stop the Space Pirates and Mother Brain once again. Exploring the planet, she discovers that the Pirates have fortified their stronghold even further and further obstacles stand between her and Mother. She meets friendly creatures, Etecoons and a Drachora that teach her two new abilities to aid in her exploration of the planet. After fighting her way to Tourian once again, Samus watches in horror as the now enormous baby Metroid attacks a Zebeian creature and then attacks her. Samus struggles but cannot escape from the oversized Metroid. Miraculously, the baby stops feeding just before Samus’ life force is drained. Realizing that it almost killed its mother, the Metroid chirps remorsefully before flying away. Samus then battles Mother Brain, destroying the AI’s life support system. However, Mother has learned from their last confrontation and reveals that she has constructed a robotic body for herself. The battle rages on and after being blasted with Mother Brain’s Hyper Beam, Samus collapses to her knee unable to defend herself. As Mother charges up for the killing blow, out of nowhere the baby Metroid turns against the AI unit and steals energy from her. The Metroid then gives the stolen energy to Samus, restoring her strength and bestowing her Mother Brain’s Hyper Beam. Mother Brain continues to attack but the baby Metroid shields Samus from harm. Mother finally delivers the killing blow to the Metroid destroying it before Samus’ eyes. Samus then turns Mother’s Hyper Beam against her and destroys the rogue AI once and for all. A self destruct sequence is once again activated and three hours after her arrival, Samus, the Etecoons and a Drachora (with an egg) escape the planet Zebes as it explodes ending the threat of Mother Brain and the Metroids.
Metroid Fusion – With the threat of Metroids gone, the Galactic Federation grants a private organization, Biologic Space Laboratories (BSL) to research the planet SR388. Leaving nothing to chance, Samus Aran is hired to guide the researchers as they conduct their studies. After shooting an enraged Hornoad, Samus is suddenly attacked by a strange blob like creature. The creature jumps onto Samus and disappears. She then guides the scientists back to their space station orbiting SR388. As Samus pilots her ship she sudden loses consciousness and her ship floats into a nearby asteroid field and crashes. Luckily, her emergency system ejected her from the ship before it was destroyed. Samus is recovered and it is discovered the strange creature from before is inside Samus body, attacking her nervous system. With Samus in a coma and unable to retract her Power Suit, doctors surgically remove parts of her suit in an effort to save her. Their attempts briefly extend her life but Samus is still dying. With the discovery that Metroids were created by the Chozo to combat the newly discovered X parasite, Samus is injected with a vaccine created with DNA from the baby Metroid. This injection combines with her own DNA, permanently changing her cellular makeup and killing all traces of the X. Samus awakens reborn with a new version of her Power Suit and with a Metroid like ability to absorb X parasites. She now owes her life to the baby Metroid twice over. She then travels to the BSL station orbiting SR388 to recover her abilities and exterminate the X which have overtaken the facility. As the X have the power to copy the creatures they attack she finds that another evil version of herself, this time called SA-X, has spawned from the removed parts of her Power Suit. Samus explores the station with guidance from the stations AI computer, which she refers to as Adam as it reminds her of the late Adam Malcovich. Soon Samus discovers the true meaning behind researching SR388. BSL and the Galactic Federation have begun a Metroid breeding program. She also locates and rescues the Etecoons and Drachoras she befriended on planet Zebes. Samus eventually programs the space station to collide with the planet below to exterminate all traces of Metroids and the X parasite. As she is leaving she is confronted by an Omega Metroid. She defeats the Metroid, recovers the last of her lost powers and escapes the station with aid from the Etecoons and Drachoras. After the station and planet explode, Adam now the controlling computer for Samus’ new ship reveals what she had already suspected. Adam truly is the AI representation of her former commanding officer that sacrificed his life to save her.
I just want everybody to know, playing Super Metroid for a Go Round was not my idea. It was Will. He figured it would makes sense with the whole Metroid Week thing we got going on around here. Now it was my idea to not be the one playing. I wanted to make fun of whoever was playing. Peter volunteered and, as per my usual Metroid training regime, I gave him mostly bad advice to train his Metroid secret finding ability. And it is Super Metroid… so it confuses me sometimes.