Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Top 10 Games of All-Time (#9)

9.) Super Metroid

Super Metroid is yet another game I missed the "first time around." It released back in 1994. More than a decade had passed by the time I finally tried it out. The fact that Super Metroid stands the test of time is part of what it makes it so great. Not only was it a great game by 1994's standards, it's a great game by 2014's standards and one I highly recommend to anyone.

The graphics of the 16-bit era have aged better than the 8-bit era before it, and some would even say they aged better than the 32 and 64-bit eras that followed. Unsurprisingly, Super Metroid is downright gorgeous. The art style truly sets it apart; evident as you explore the harsh, diverse landscapes of the planet Zebes.

Aside from the visuals, the pacing and difficulty are nearly perfect. I'm not a developer, but I would wager to guess there is no magic formula to nail the pacing of a game. You just know it when you play it. And Super Metroid has it. You're almost immediately met with a sense of desolation, a Metroid staple, but also the freedom of exploration. What you'll quickly discover - and discovery is oh-so-important in Metroid - is certain paths are blocked off at the beginning. Only by upgrading a certain item or ability will you be able to pass. If it sounds familiar, it's likely because you've played a game in recent years with this mechanic. Chances are the inspiration came from Metroid.

Who could forget battling Kraid?
Finally, one would be remiss to not mention the boss battles. They're a collection of the most memorable bosses in gaming, complete with an unforgettable final boss - and even a story twist - that help solidify Super Metroid's place as one of the greatest. You'll need to utilize all your weapons and abilities to conquer all the game has to offer. Oh and don't skip out on energy tanks. Find as many as you can because you'll need them.

Super Metroid represents one of Nintendo's finest games ever made. Gorgeous art and visuals combine with rock-solid gameplay that makes for a truly memorable experience. Even the story is somewhat intriguing, which isn't often said for Nintendo titles. More than anything, it's a game that still plays well 20 years after its release. And my expectation is gamers will continue to enjoy it 20 years into the future...and beyond.

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