So Metroid Dread is 'out.' (now includes a review by DD!)

HornheaDD

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So I got to a part where all of those shit-ass EMMIs are disabled. I started having fun unabashedly. Got a few deaths at bosses but once I learned the patterns, easy. Lots of fun.

Then I get a message that the big-bad in the game reactivated them. Fun factor dropped by a factor of 10. They aren't challenging because they are essentially invincible. You just have to run. But apparently this reactivated bitch can see me through walls and send a stun shot. Through walls.

Fuck that stupid shit.
 

HornheaDD

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So I haven't beat it, but I'm at what seems to be the final boss of the game. So I'll give it a review based on my experience

Hey DD, is it worth buying?
The simple answer is yes, absolutely. It's a new 2D (or 2.5D) Metroid, which continues the story from Fusion, so yes. Worth a buy. (I pirated it, to be fair).

Controls/Gameplay:
The control is tight, once you get used to Samus' speed on it. If you've played AM2R or the Metroid 2 remake on the 3DS you'll know what's up. I personally am not a fan of having to hold a shoulder button (R) to shoot missiles. I would much prefer a toggle, like in Super. The game cannot be played with the DPad, and it's basically a complete waste of controller real estate. The only button on the DPad that does anything is the left direction. It resizes your map in the top right to small, or medium. That's it. Pressing up, or down or right to activate any of the other weapons such as missiles or super/ice/tracer missiles, or the power bomb would have been a much better idea. Every additional variation of your weapons are activated by holding R. Not a fan. Also when you get the grapple beam, in order to aim it you have to hold L, and then hold the R trigger to fire it. It can be confusing in the heat of traversing areas that need the beam and suffice to say I've lost footing several times because your hand's muscle memory wants to hold L and then hold R to fire it, which just shoots/wastes a missile.

The missiles themselves also change, and you sorta 'lose' them when you get upgrades. You get missiles, they upgrade to super missiles, then you get the ice missile, which is just a super ice missile, and then finally you get a tracer. I cant remember the games term for it, but you lock on up to 5 enemies and shoot a salvo. I haven't gone back to look, but you *might* be able to disable certain power ups like in Super Metroid. So it's possible you can disable the ice, or whatever. But honestly, they consume standard missile ammo, so it's not like you really have to worry about running out of them. So just leave them on as super-ice-tracers.

The parry takes some getting used to, but it is infinitely useful and usually required to defeat a mini boss. Get the parry timing down.

Runtime:
I am at about 10 hours - but I am not at 100% item collection yet. Ive never liked item collections in games other than Metroid, so I'll probably still go and find all of the upgrades which will inflate the play time. But *required* play time is probably about 10 to 12 hours.

Gameplay rant:
You already heard me bitch about them earlier in the thread - but FUCK THE EMMIs. It's not a complaint like people would have about say, Dark Souls, or Bloodborne or Sekiro. The difficulty in those games (although maddening) makes sense. But each enemy can be defeated even the first time you meet them. The EMMIs are hunters that patrol a specific area in each different map. They are invincible. You cannot defeat them, and you can only parry them if you have indisputably amazing timing. The parry will work, but not like it does with every other enemy/boss in the game.

Once you find the control room for each EMMI's area and destroy it, your weapon gets an upgrade to the Omega Beam. At this point you can defeat the EMMI in the area. But only then. Until you get the Omega beam, your weapons do jack shit to them. With the Omega beam you can do a rapid fire which is required to remove the shielding from the EMMI, and then you have to hold L and R to charge the beam to hit them in their one weak spot - the eye. If you time it right and get the shot the first try, they are dead. If you miss, the recharge time for the shot is something like 10 seconds, which by that time the EMMI will have reached you and one-shots you. All EMMIs in the game are instant deaths. It absolutely pulls you out of the game and takes the fun out of it completely. There are arguments in praise of the EMMI macguffin, stating it's more of a stealth puzzle than an action puzzle. Yeah, well eat my taint, if I want stealth I'll play Metal Gear or Splinter Cell. I play Metroid for exploration, item collection and killing enemies/bosses. The EMMIs end up just being an annoyance that prevents you from getting to the next area. But not like a boss. Just a pain in the ass roadblock. There's nothing of value (usually) in the EMMI areas, so you just want to get through them to continue the game. But it slows the pacing to a crawl. You get a stealth power up, but it depletes the energy bar for it very quickly, and if it runs out, will deplete your health bar VERY quickly. And it doesn't recharge unless you're moving quickly - which alerts the EMMIs and is honestly just a big fucking pain in the ass. I said it once, I'll say it again - fuck the EMMIs. Huge oversight in an otherwise great Metroid mainline entry.

Graphics:
I think the game looks great. Samus' suit looks cool and is the obvious evolution of the Fusion suit. I highly recommend playing in docked mode, otherwise the visuals of the game are lost on the tiny hand held screen. Also, Joycons WILL NOT SURVIVE. Dock it to appreciate the visuals, and use a pro controller. There's plenty of detail to enjoy in the background, and if you're in handheld mode, Samus is going to be super tiny. Is it PS5 level graphics? Nah, but who cares, graphics don't make the game. #neogeo

Sound:
There are several callbacks to the original, or Super Metroid songs, but to be completely honest, I essentially tuned out the music since the gameplay is so frenetic. I don't believe it has 5.1 sound in docked mode. But that's ok. It's not a 3D game so you don't REALLY need to hear the enemies that are behind you. The background music may have a larger presence than I recall, but I honestly just tuned it out.

Story:
It's a direct continuation from Fusion and has apparently ignored the Prime games in the continuity. You're not on Zebes or SR388, it's a new planet called ZDR that the Chozo have clearly visited, due to all of the Chozo artifacts and tech you see. I won't go into spoilers, but honestly it's your basic Metroid. The big bad wants to recreate the metroids, there is metroid DNA in Samus' butthole, and the big bad wants it. You see the big bad at the beginning, it kicks your ass and you lose all your weapons, and then you have to find all the goodies. The X parasite also makes an appearance about halfway through the game and makes most enemies stronger, but it is what it is.

Final Analysis:
If you like Metroid, you'll enjoy this outing. It's a fun game. Metroid has always been about replay. I can't count how many times I've played through the original, II, Super, Prime 1 and 2 (not 3, fuck waggle motion) and Fusion. But I will be able to count how many times I play Dread. One times. Thats how many times. Simply because I cant be arsed to fuck with the EMMIs again.

Get the game. You'll enjoy it. You may enjoy the whole EMMI thing. I didn't, but I'm not everyone else.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Chozo statues
 
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jro

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As noted, the EMMIs take some serious getting-used-to, but overall the game is designed well enough that it seems to be worth putting up with them.

Certainly enjoying it, but I'd rank it somewhere midrange in its own genre, with Ender Lillies, Hollow Knight, Momodora 4, Ori games, Timespinner, etc being better games overall.
 

Burning Fight!!

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Running a switch emulator was easier and painless than I anticipated. Not sure if I'm going to be able to commit to playing it on PC but it's an option, and I can always buy the little game card as a token gesture support Nintender and the series.

Once again nerds with nothing better to do, I'm grateful you focused your collective 'tism into emulation.
 

K-2

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I like it.

My favorite part of this game is that it doesn't beat you over the head with story, either with long text or redundant explanations. It just gives you the basics in some cool cut scene and leaves it up to you to connect the dots and interpret. It remembers it's a video game, not a shitty novel or movie.

I think the only lame thing here were the mid bosses they recycled a few too many times. Would have liked a couple more huge boss encounters and about 2 less "chozo knights" or what the fuck was up with the 3 crab bosses - Lame.

Overall I thought it was awesome Nintendo put this out.
 

heihachi

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I like the game quite a bit, but not as much as Super, Fusion, or Zero Mission. Anyways, here are my gripes:

The EMMIs are a bit too trial and error, but once you have the route through their environment down they’re not a problem at all and thankfully the checkpointing is generous. The stealth clock drains too fast when you’re moving so I found it useless and just ran through the area once I’d failed a few times finding the correct way through.

The bosses have the same issue. I’d usually fail a few times while learning the patterns then just need to execute it once I found the correct way to beat them. They do a lot of damage and have a lot of health so you can’t really fuck up the patterns too much and still come through at the end, meaning they usually took a couple tries but weren’t too difficult once you knew what to do.

I’m also not really a fan of the parries. I think they slow down the popcorn encounters too much until you get the screw attack and a number of enemies take a bit too much time to kill unless you parry them or unload with the missiles.

It took a bit to get used to the controls since there are so many button/trigger combos for various things, but it feels good once you get the hang of it. The game also looks really good for Switch, but I thought the areas didn’t really feel distinct enough compared to the older games.
 
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BlackaneseNiNjA

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I’m a Metroid fanatic and I absolutely loved this entry on normal and the subsequent hard mode as well.

I enjoyed the EMMI sequences for the mini Fusion-style SA-X sequences that they were, but they were also just enough of a hinderance that it felt extremely satisfying to eventually hunt them down in turn :lolz:.

Also, flash shifting has to be one of my favorite upgrades in a 2D Metroid to date.
metroid-dread-nintendo@2000x1270-696x442.jpg


I know the parry introduction from Samus Returns (along with the Overblast techniques introduced in OM) are divisive, but I enjoy the more aggressive enemies over the passive “creature patrol routes” that most enemies usually exhibit and follow in the older 2D entries.

Lastly, Z-57 and RB were standout boss battles in this one. It was thankfully not as handholding as Fusion or Other M, but addressed enough criticism from Samus Returns to feel genuinely fresh since I was expecting just a scaled up version of that particular title in terms of pacing and balance.

I didn’t care for Mercury Steam’s Castlevania games, but I believe Sakamoto made a good choice considering how this title turned out. It’s not perfect, but honestly, all Metroid titles aside from Super and Zero have their staunch detractors among the 2D fandom.

If you’ve ever enjoyed a 2D Metroid entry before, it’s definitely worth at least a solid playthrough.

Bonus: The lore fanservice in this entry was great and getting to finally hear the Chozo language spoken so extensively was pretty damn awesome.
 
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jro

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My take on the EMMIs, given several more hours with the game is that the minute-to-minute gameplay is really sharp and enjoyable, but the maps are harder to parse than a lot of games in the genre, and the exploration that's required to find the way through gets tiring quickly when you're running back and forth through the same EMMI zone for the eighth time trying to find the right door. The survival horror kind of feel that you get with the EMMIs in the straightforward areas is really well-done, but when I'm just lost and trying to go the right way they get annoying.
 

Atro

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Thanks HorneaDD for the review.

I just unwrapped my copy yesterday. I can relate to everything you are telling.

I absolutely HATE when I'm forced to pay a 2D game with an analog stick. On top of that, the pace Samus moves makes it even more frustrating.

There's very much "Metroid-formula" in the game which is good, but I think it's too linear for a Metroid game. In Super or the Prime games, exploration and item collecting with backtracking was what made the games so appealing. I don't like to collect various parts of Energy Tanks the way you do with piece of hearts in Zelda games.

Your take on the controls are absolutely spot on. It makes no fucking sense to use two shoulder button to aim and shoot missiles. It's really a useless way to say "you have many buttons, you look like a boss if you use 'em all". No I don't. I feel like a retard that is justifying something with the way this is played.

I won't even lose my time with the EMMI's. If only you could stun them with your arsenal, that would diminish my complaints. 1% change of survival is ridiculous. I'm going already too far with this...

I'm only at the second map zone. So I can't say much for the entire game. But the zones are tooooo big for one to remember where you were. At least, the item collection% is shown in the map, so you can keep track of what you are missing.

I love too much Super and Prime. I want a decent Prime for the Switch, with Gamecube-like controls. Metroid Dread feels like a frustrating masterpiece that you really want to beat, but never ever ever again going back to it.
 

BlackSpy

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I'll buy this.

I love that most of the complaints are best explained by the ageing process of the player rather than design decisions on the developers part.

I'll buy this for my kids...
 

BlackaneseNiNjA

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I'll buy this.

I love that most of the complaints are best explained by the ageing process of the player rather than design decisions on the developers part.

I'll buy this for my kids...
Hey what's up BlackSpy. Everyone's mileage will vary but my kid really got into this one (he's 6) and just beat it yesterday and immediately started his second playthrough. He's seen me replay Metroid games all the time, but interestingly enough, it was the EMMI sequences in this game that drew him to want to play this particular entry. I'm surprised that he's enjoyed this one so much as I thought the difficulty of some of the bosses might drive him away. Much to my surprise, the kid is awesome at anticipating and countering the EMMI's if he's caught and he enjoys the back and forth game of cat-and-mouse that they add to the exploration when they hunt you before the tables turn and you hunt them.

Sakamoto started emphasizing stealth/running from an overpowered enemy in the 2D Metroid series almost 20 years ago (Fusion’s SA-X, Zero Missions “zero suit” protracted stealth sequence), so the EMMI aspect of the game as an attempted improvement on the previous mechanics made sense to me, but I definitely can understand why fans who really just prefer Super Metroid wouldn’t dig it.
 
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BlackaneseNiNjA

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Honest questions for the older crowd here:

Unlike the continuously evolving Mario and Zelda series, why can Metroid not escape the shadow of an entry from 1994?

As great and highly rated as Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Mario World were on the snes, those series continued to add new elements, ideas, and mechanics with each new series entry. Sometimes those entries were divisive at the time of release (Majora’s Mask, Wind Waker, Skyward Sword, Mario Sunshine), but either way those series would still go on to evolve with newer transformative titles: Mario 64, Ocarina of Time, Mario Odyssey, Zelda: BotW, etc.

In contrast to the endless Mario and Zelda games, why then must Metroid remain constrained primarily to what Super/Prime 1 are?
 
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ratson

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To me, Super Mario Sunshine was unplayable in some parts due to camera view. Got so annoued that I quit playing. I liked it at first but the camera ruined it for me personally.
 

BlackSpy

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And I see there is a demo of it, so I'll give that a go this evening.
 

Ajax

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Sup BN? Super Metroid is very special to me. I played it the day it came out and it set an impossibly high watermark for what I expected from non-arcade style games that remains even today. Because of that, and the fact that I've played every other Metroid game (mostly, I guess), I feel like I can speak to the point.

A big part of the issue, to me at least, is the fact that Nintendo seems to have no issue farming out development of Metroid games to other studios. It has been this way since Prime, and I suppose it won't change at this point. It's like playing Metroid tribute games, more than anything. This is something that just isn't true of Mario or Zelda. Can you imagine a mainline Mario or Zelda game not being developed in house? No chance. Metroid historically hasn't reached Mario or Zelda levels of popularity in Japan, so I guess that's why this is the case. Mercury Steam has obvious talent, but I question their knowledge of and devotion to the origins of Metroid.

I finished Dread last week. I'm glad I played it and there were parts that I really enjoyed, but I doubt I'll ever play it again. The movement feels so nice and exploring the map was fun. The melee attacks, of course, change the dynamic of the Metroid style game considerably, but it's not optional in Dread. If you try to take on bosses without using the melee counter, you're probably going to be at some of the fights for like an hour, and it's probably not going to end well. Shit is just stupid. I like the idea, and it's easy to imagine Samus lashing out at enemies in close quarters, but the way the combat flows in this game feels ham-fisted. Jump over the tentacles, shoot the red dealy, grapple beam up to the ceiling, shoot the other red dealy, shoot the boss, melee counter or you're fucked, repeat. No way. Fuck that. It's an ok game, but it doesn't feel like Metroid.

Getting new items was fun. Hunting down an EMMI for the first time was really satisfying and kind of a new experience in a game for me. Some of the hidden techniques in the game are cool. The music is pretty decent (still not prominent enough, if you ask me).

The EMMI zones are really dumb. They completely disrupt the exploration aspect of Metroid, which is core to the game. The Omega Blaster sequences are clunky. Also, why the fuck is Kraid in this game?? I don't know exactly what they were going for with the whole EMMI thing, but if Mercury Steam wanted to make a stealth adventure game with Metroid-ish elements, they should have done it on their own and left Metroid alone. I'm reminded of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, I'm very, very, very sorry to say.

I love Metroid, I always will, and I'll continue to play the games, probably even the Mercury Steam-developed ones, but this game is a big miss, in my opinion.
 
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city41

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In contrast to the endless Mario and Zelda games, why then must Metroid remain constrained primarily to what Super/Prime 1 are?
To be honest, not sure MercurySteam has the design chops to really elevate Metroid. All in all I find them to be a fairly mediocre dev (they also made the Castlevania Lords of Shadows games).

I found Dread to be decent, but that's about it. Very middle of the road for the Metroid series and nowhere near as good as many recent Metroidvanias. I expected more from the company that literally invented the genre, but Nintendo has farmed this franchise out for a while now and just doesn't seem interested in bringing it back under their wing.
 

DevilRedeemed

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Honest questions for the older crowd here:

Unlike the continuously evolving Mario and Zelda series, why can Metroid not escape the shadow of an entry from 1994?

As great and highly rated as Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Mario World were on the snes, those series continued to add new elements, ideas, and mechanics with each new series entry. Sometimes those entries were divisive at the time of release (Majora’s Mask, Wind Waker, Skyward Sword, Mario Sunshine), but either way those series would still go on to evolve with newer transformative titles: Mario 64, Ocarina of Time, Mario Odyssey, Zelda: BotW, etc.

In contrast to the endless Mario and Zelda games, why then must Metroid remain constrained primarily to what Super/Prime 1 are?
Good question. The answer imo is in a word you use in the last sentence. Constraint. It is the pivot point for the game itself. In itself it is unappealing, but games of old, concluding with super, transformed it into something worthwhile. Personally I feel they used an element which is boring tedious and grindy and gave it a brilliant shape which was ultimately perfect for what it was. Atmospheric and masterfully orchestrated.
Furthermore metrovadia these last few decades has become a thing and Metroid is just one more offering within this all.
 

Dr Shroom

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The omega blaster things sucks my asshole. Either you understeer or oversteer using that left control stick because of how sensitive the aiming is, and you have to do it twice too.
 

Atro

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I am at the octopus boss right now.

All I can say os that boss fights are tedious. There was no need to be this repetitive. I kills the pace.
 

ggallegos1

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The EMMI were fine in terms of the evasion and stalking portion,i feel that if the window for countering them was even 2 or 3 frames longer then it would be a viable tactic.

I think if they replaced two of the Chozo bosses that are repeated with something original, it would have helped the pacing and repetition. Hell, they brought back Kraid for no reason, so why not an SA-X or Nightmare. If we fought an SA-X and it for stomped by an EMMI, it would be my GOTY.
 

Atro

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The EMMI were fine in terms of the evasion and stalking portion,i feel that if the window for countering them was even 2 or 3 frames longer then it would be a viable tactic.

I think if they replaced two of the Chozo bosses that are repeated with something original, it would have helped the pacing and repetition. Hell, they brought back Kraid for no reason, so why not an SA-X or Nightmare. If we fought an SA-X and it for stomped by an EMMI, it would be my GOTY.
I actually liked the Kraid fight.

The beast itself was quite well designed. I hope they dont bring me Ridley.

What really pisses me off right now, is not being able to play with the D-pad.
 

HornheaDD

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The Kraid fight was basically the same thing as in Super Metroid. I didn't mind it so much, but I mean.. the dude is part of the baddies, and the baddies had him chained up in lava.

And then he dies in lava.

Did no one look at that during brainstorming and say "uh... guys?"
 
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