Game Reviews
Game Reviews / Metroid 2: Return of Samus
Publisher: Nintendo
Rated: Everyone
Released Year: 1991 (GB) / 2010 (3DS)
- Nintendo Gameboy
- Nintendo 3DS
  • Metroid's first portable Metroid game. After the Pirates' defeat, the Galactic Federation decided that the extermination of the Metroid species on SR388 must be carried through. After several attempts on their own, Samus Aran was contracted to finish the job herself.
 Contributor: Kuro-chan

Overall Rating: 6.3

"A good game for classic Game Boy. A few better ones, but certainly a lot worse."

Plot / Concept: 6 / 10   

If you watched the movie Aliens, you can skip this section. If you have not, then you can follow this plotline closely. Samus travels to the world where the Metroids were first discovered on a mission to take them all out... without nukes (Like, where is the fun in THAT?!). Her Metroid-o-meter shows she has 39 to pummel and pounce with her vicious arm cannon so she gets started with more stuff than she usually starts a game with, like missiles, and morph ball. So she goes through the planet, but the Metroids she encounters are larger and more powerful than the ones on Zebes... and they don't want to suck on her *cough* energy. From there, it's a race for power-ups, Metroid zappies and a run of action.
Gameplay: 7 / 10   

Metroid 2 was a step-up from Metroid 1 in most ways. Samus could obtain different weapons, crouch, aim down, explore map rooms that were not necessarily horizontal or vertical and many other things. The game engine was a great improvement over Metroid 1's, even though they still used a few tricks like reusing a few caves here and there when they could get away with it. Still, they built a LOT more unique and custom rooms to explore. Exploration was key to Samus winning as not every route to the Metroids was obvious.

I have heard arguments that Metroid 2 is easier than Metroid 1. To an extent, I think the point is valid. Metroid 2 did introduce real save stations, energy and missile recharge stations. Still, even though you have a few extra ways of surviving the mayhem, the game is quite good at creating the feeling that it is "You VS Everything" on that planet and you are totally going to beat them.

The only major downside to this game (I think) was the approach to how Samus would proceed through SR388, compared to Zebes. The game design was very linear, unlike Metroid 1, which to an extent limits the famous "Backtracking" that Metroid became accustomed to. Samus could not continue with her mission until she cleared out the Metroids in the area she was exploring. Also, with the equipment she has in each level, it is possible to collect every existing upgrade and expansion before moving on. Essentially, once you are done with an area, you have no reason to return, thus each abaondoned city becomes the "No Return of Samus" :P
Controls: 7 / 10   

Controls were easy to get used to and took better advantage of the limited button system than Metroid 1 did, like allowing Samus to do different abilities including crouching, spider ball and jumping in ball mode. Interesting touch with allowing Samus a jump after she had been hit by an enemy, for anyone who caught that.
Music: 3 / 10   

This was a most disastrous low-point for Metroid 2. The music tracks were practically non-existent, aside from a few bleeps, though it did have a couple charms, like the bgm in the "Omega Metroid Chambers" as I put it and fighting towards the Metroid Queen.

The more ambient themes did help give a feeling of isolation, but music can do that too if done right.
Sound Effects: 6 / 10   

The audio effects were a step-up from M1, giving a more real feel with everything, even jumping, energy clashing when you bump into an enemy, and the sounds of the enemy cries when they get hurt or blown up.

I wish someone would do something about that "Low Energy" alert... there is only so much you can tolerate before you feel compelled to shut off the volume.
Graphics: 7 / 10   

Essentially it's a 4-colour version of Metroid 1 in terms of the design of the tiles and sprites. Still, they fleshed out the overall feel of the game well. Like Metroid 1, the use of black is obvious and well-thought out as both a background colour and part of the design of the sprites.
Replay Value:

Metroid 2 only offers three endings and no real status counter for your items, but it does give you your "Time" to let you know how long you wasted getting through ... You do not replay Samus with only a bailey on, so there is only so much you can do once you win, like improve your time since items are not tracked.

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