Samus Aran has been in retirement. It’s not only been seven years since her last major game (the controversial Metroid: Other M) but also nearly twice as long since her own 2D platforming title. After the general disaster that surrounded Metroid Prime: Federation Force, Nintendo’s long-winded reluctance to approach the legendary franchise makes a bit of sense, but E3 2017’s announcements of both Metroid Prime 4 and a Metroid II: Return of Samus remake demonstrated that the company is mustering up the confidence to do right by Samus. While the former game is still shrouded in mystery, the latter was immediately met with skepticism since it was being co-developed by MercurySteam. With some questionably generic mechanics in tow, doubts about the remake could be understood, but they can be laid to rest. Metroid: Samus Returns easily rests among the high pedestals of its forebearers, expertly capturing what made them iconic with exceptional level design and gameplay that remind us what makes 2D Metroid so great.
- Academic Work