TUCSON, Ariz. — The new “Metroid” game is called “Dread,” but it may as well have been called “Metroid Delight” because of how thoroughly satisfying it is at granting the wishes of players who had been begging for a sequel like this since the Super Nintendo days.
Nintendo kept on making “Metroid” games, but never a true side-scrolling fashion. Fans were left with a nostalgia for old-fashioned 2D games, no matter how strong the GameCube “Metroid Prime” trilogy.
Such was the longing for a new 2D Metroid that an entire genre — dubbed Metroidvania — sprung from the yearning. Some of these games were even better than the 2D Metroids.
Nintendo is the OG of the OG. With a sweeping sense nostalgia and a strong sense of awe, Nintendo returns to the game.
“Metroid Dread”, released on the Switch Oct. 8, delivers exactly that with six to nine hours’ worth of intense action-platforming. The game adds to a stellar year’s first-party Switch games with its serpentine levels and plenty of power-ups. There are also a number of brutal bosses.
Step aside, Mario. One second, Pikachu. Samus has the chance to shine.
Although the game is filled with fan service, it does not give every player all their favorites. Although predictable, the final act twist rings true to the 1980s-style storytelling tropes and to the lore.
Samus is stripped of her powers and begins to grind her way through the caverns in various realms. She plunges through a linear path disguised by an open-world, which is laden with false walls, hidden secrets, and tantalizingly difficult-to-reach or impassable paths.
E.M.M.I., the Devilish sentries known as. Your cat-and-mouse portion will chase you. The near-invulnerable monstrosities follow you around with terrifying persistence, adding an extra layer of terror to the mix. The E.M.M.I.s quickly become a nemesis, and it only makes you feel more satisfied when they are finally removed.
The story is filled with anachronisms and a manual save system that can be difficult to use, but there are many quality-of life improvements that make the game more modern.
Nintendo also makes use of its graphic powers to create boss scenes, which evolve into mini cut-scenes. This expands the scope and allows for moments of triumph.
While “Metroid Dread”, while it may not do much to propel the franchise forwards, it is still a great example of what it can do.
It’s as replayable and exciting as any of the 2D “Metroid”, and it’s just as thrilling as blasting through walls and finding an upgrade.