I’ve been talking a lot about Metroid these past few weeks. That’s mostly because Nintendo does not seem to care all that much about the franchise, even though they are releasing Metroid Prime: Federation Force, a game that got a lot of heat for being untraditional, and including new Metroid-themed items in Miitomo, which actually made me start that App for the first time in a month. No, the Metroid thing most people seem to talk about these days is a little fanproject called Another Metroid 2 Remake, or AM2R for short. I got it, played it and now I’m going to tell you how it holds up to official products.
AM2R is the game a lot of Metroid fans have been waiting for: It’s a classic 2D-Metroid with a huge focus on exploration and the typical atmosphere the franchise is known for. Other M hasn’t exactly scratched that itch and the last games to do so were Fusion and Zero Mission. And AM2R is pretty much picking up where those games left off: You have great sprite based graphics combined with layered backgrounds. You didn’t have those in the Gameboy original, so the upgrade is huge, at least in terms of graphics. There are some neat lighting effect going on, that are quite subtle and fit in well with the overall style of the game.
The leveldesign is of course pretty much the same as in the original, with some added stuff, as far as I can tell. It all comes together really well and it makes for one of the more fast paced 2D-Metroids out there. This is also due to the fact that Samus moves quickly, with fluid animations to boot. It doesn’t take long until you find a lot of power-ups that make you feel stronger and faster. The movement options especially are expanded a lot: You can jump higher, run faster, do screwattacks and climb up walls in morphball really quickly. This also makes exploration more interesting, varied and fun, since you can experiment with you new movement options.
All the areas present their own challenges: Lava, water, special doors and mechanism all try to hinder your progress. Some puzzles, like the super missile grabbing robot are completely new to me when it comes to Metroid games and fit in really well. I don’t know whether they were in the original too, but it seems really innovative and is a nice break from the usual structure you see in Metroid games. Overall, I really enjoyed the pace of this remake and it was always a lot of fun.
The only thing I can criticize is the music. While most tracks are fine, some of them are a bit unoriginal. They aim to remix the original music and I found some tracks to be too close to the source material or not interesting to listen to. It’s not a huge thing and it’s very personal, but I felt like I should mention it. Outside of that, the game is flawless, even if I have to play it with the Xbox 360 controller, which has a terrible D-Pad. Oh, and you can’t exit the map screen with the B-button, which annoys me way more than it should. But as I said, these are only minor annoyances overall, I highly recommend this remake to any Metroid fan. You can check out a full Playthrough of it on my Twitch channel and Youtube page!