Super Metroid is one of those games that’s close to peerless in its genre and stands as one of the most respected games of all time. It’s a large part of the reason why “Metroidvania” games are given their name, and to this day is still popular in the speed running communities, as well as the broader scope of gaming culture. As part of its ongoing interview series in anticipation of the SNES Mini launch, Nintendo has opted to publish an interview with key members of the original Super Metroid team, and many fascinating details are brought to light.
The developers talk about everything form the sound design to the cinematic presentation, with a particularly interesting tidbit being that Kenji Yamamoto—the man in charge of scoring the game—came up with the game’s iconic opening theme when riding his motorbike home from work one night. The developers were keen to stress that they worked exceptionally hard on the game in its last stages of development, to the point of working on Christmas and other holidays and setting up a futon room in the office so they could sleep in shifts. Also, Metroid: Samus Returns is mentioned towards the end, and Yoshio Sakamoto—the creator of the Metroid series—revealed that he had not beaten any Metroid game until this remake came out. The interview is certainly worth a read, you can find it here.
What do you think? Is Super Metroid still just as good today? How do you think Samus Returns stacks up to it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
I like stuff like this, finding out how things worked out behind the scenes.
Definitely the best of its genre.
The only 16-bit game I remember having real atmosphere. Remarkable.
Truly a masterpiece (except for the wall jumping) that completely holds up to this day. And this is not nostalgia talking as I didn't play it until many years later.
@Other-Brother I'd agree, the first I played it was on the VC a few years ago. It's definitely an old game, but there are few games I've played from that generation that I can confidently say still meet today's standards. There's really very little here that feels dated.
'Yoshio Sakamoto—the creator of the Metroid series'
Ahem. Co-creator. How could you leave Gunpei Yokoi out like that?
My first full playthrough of a Metroid game was Fusion. I passed Super Metroid at the time as I didn't 'get it'. Going back to it after really getting into Metroid from Fusion and Prime and I was amazed at how atmospheric a SNES game could be. That just wasn't something 12 year old me could grasp at the time, but adult me certainly appreciates it now.
Samus returns is incredible and does justice to super metroid.
Must be played in stereoscopic 3d to be truly appreciated though.
I have yet to play Other M. Could you explain why you believe that people did not understand his vision? I hear from all over that he ruined Samus' character and would love to hear an opposite take on it.
The Queen of the genre.
The characterisation of Samus in Other M is identical to how she's always been depicted in official media, essentially.
Due to her rather limited narration in games prior to Fusion and the lack of availability of the manga in non-japanese speaking countries, people had very conflicting ideas of what Samus, as a character, should be.
It's really not a bad game at all (in fact it's a fantastic one), it's just one that people hate on without really giving it a go.
This game is still my favourite game of all time. I completed countless times on SNES, played it on Wii VC and recently completed it again on 3DS. If you compare it to newer indie 2d metroidvania games, it still holds its own. The music, atmosphere, level and boss design are all top notch. Great read - thanks!
One of, if not the greatest games ever made. It took over 20 years and BOTW to challenge it to that title in my opinion.
@sligeach_eire I couldn't agree more.. a fantastic game, light years ahead of it's time!!
"The Last Metroid is in captivity. The Galaxy is at peace." I'd never heard voices used in a SNES game before, that was some next gen stuff right there back in the day, I bet it took up most of the cart space.
Ah, I still vividly remember buying the big boxed edition of Super Metroid with that huge players guide in a second hand store because it was impossible to buy in the stores, my best friend offered me many of his SNES games for it.
@Lost_Hope Oh yes because the Samus from the other games loved being bossed around by others and being forced to give up all her weapons just because some moron thinks she isn't ready for them despite the fact that she clearly has enough faith in her own skills and abilities to BECOME AN ALIEN BOUNTY HUNTER so that made no sense with the character we have seen in every other game. Also isn't the reason Samus is a bounty hunter is to live by her own rules? Otherwise, she would become a member of the Federation Force which does pretty much exactly what she does, they are just owned by a Government. So it makes no sense she would take others authority far higher than her own when in every other game she has shown to have far more common sense than that. Ya actions speak louder than words. So just because she has never talked, that doesn't mean her actions don't show her character once you actually think about her story and what she does throughout the games. And Other M just Crapped all over her character.
This makes sense, I've never actually seen any promotional media for the games so I always pictured her as most other's I know do. I never wrote off Other M as being bad, but I've always been hesitant to play it. I'm gonna pick it up soon after I have my run through the series again.
I know being a Bounty Hunter means that you just pretty much take on jobs and make money being a freelance law enforcer. So she has some freedom. But in Metroid 1-4 all those missions are given to her by the Galactic Federation. If she disobeys direct orders I'm sure she would have repercussions from doing so. I haven't played Other M, but I guess you could see it like that. Not sure how to explain the Ridley thing though.
@OuterTsuchinoko No, there would be no repercussion to Samus turning down those missions. If she wanted to she could turn down those missions as if they need her more than their own military then obviously they have no leverage over her. Same goes for Other M. They ruined Samus's character by dumbing her down. Taking the bada** bounty hunter that single handily took down a race of Alien Pirates and a planet of Life absorbing aliens. And yet her commanding officer thinks she is not ready to handle the most basic weapons. So the very fact she is a bounty hunter and not part of the Federation shows she lives by her own rules and she fights her own way. She takes whatever jobs she feels like and she laughs at anyone saying she can't handle her own weapons.
I own Super Metroid 4 times over 4 platforms. it my favourite franchise, I love SM it holds a special place in my heart... I just adore Metroid, so many tattoos and merch and statues it crazy lol ... This is up there as one of the world's best ever games
I didn't mean repercussions for turning the missions down, I mean for disobeying orders while on an a mission giving to her by the GF. In Other M is she given the mission she is on by the GF? I'm not trying to defend it, just trying to see if there would be a logical explanation.
@OuterTsuchinoko Again no she is free to do as she pleases. Being a Bounty Hunter they can hire her for missions giving her details such as destroying the Space Pirates or capturing 1 Alien to keep for science. But she can still turn down the missions if she chose to do so. But if she is going to do a mission then it makes sense for her to complete all of the objectives for a higher pay. Makes sense. What doesn't make sense is for them to tell Samus she is too weak to handle her own weapons. In Other M Samus was very accepting of the fact she couldn't handle her own weapons. REAL Samus would not have handed over her weapons for quite a few reasons. 1 primarily being that if crap were to go down she would need them to help take care of any invaders. That's common sense and something Samus has learned to be prepared for on a daily basis. But no in Other M they forget all of that and dumb her down to having less common sense than the commanding officer, WHO DE-ARMED THEIR STRONGEST FIGHTER AND PERHAPS ONLY HOPE AGAINST THE ALIENS!!!
Samus Returns doesn't quite tick all the boxes for me so far. The core gameplay is great, but the locations are a bit non-distinct and repetitive at times, and I don't really care for fighting the same boss over and over (nor did I in M2 or AM2R). I also feel there should be more enemies that don't charge. I never quite get the feeling of exploring a strange place, as every critter is seemingly out to get me. Still enjoying it, but not at the level of Super/Fusion/Zero Mission.
I see your point there. I really need to just play this one already so I can stop hearing all the controversy and make my own opinion on it.
I've been playing Samus Returns right now so maybe I'll buy it after I get the SNES Classic and give SM another run. Without spoilers how are you liking Samus Returns so far if you have it? I've got about 13 Metroids left and I find the game outstanding. Definitely not better than SM, but it holds its own among the 2D games. Still have a soft spot for Metroid 2 though over the remake.
I really have to agree with the agressive enemies statement. I wish they were more neutral, everything is trying to kill you which pretty much makes it necessary to clear a room whenever you go in if you want to thoroughly look around. Something I think that would have helped this problem out would have been to at least make the flying enemies only attack if shot at.
The beginning of Super Metroid is one the best intros to a game. That brilliant opening intro then off to a space colony with a boss fight and explosions then landing on that quiet planet zebes with that eerie music as you figure out which way to go, with no hostiles in sight, like you are being watched, then the planet springs to life with danger when you pick up your ability, when it senses you are a threat. Brilliant.
@MegaTen hahaha, the last part of the video with the scientists studying the metroid is funny
I think Super Metroid is one of the very few SNES games that is stilll very playable today. It’s one of my all time favorite games
Nice read! On a sidenote: Don't you guys think its strange that Mercury steam isn't even mentioned on the title screen of Samus returns? Back in the Metroid Prime days, Retro studios was mentioned on the title screen of the Prime games.
Finally got 100% on Samus Returns last night and I'll be starting a play through of Super Metroid today to continue the saga. I've got Metroid fever. So glad the series is back from the dead.
I've tried to complete it and I couldn't. Got stuck. I might try again on the SNES mini.
I think there are a lot of SNES games that are playable today.
I played this game for the first time just a couple of years ago on WiiU virtual console. It remains one of my top five games of all time. As for Samus Returns, I am loving it! Last night was up until 4 AM because I just couldn't put it down! (Not the best idea in hindsight given Im have work in a few hours)
@Lost_Hope Nice to see another person who actually enjoyed Other M.
@OuterTsuchinoko It’s not a perfect game but it’s very fun and while very melodramatic, the story isn’t that bad. Don’t let other people’s negativity stop you from trying it. Other M is just one of those games people jumped on and made a big deal out of its flaws.
Anyway... yes, Super Metroid is one of the greatest games ever made and one of the best examples of good game design.
Can't decide whether Super Metroid or A Link to the Past is the GOAT.
However, the Super Metroid cover is fascinating. It makes no sense when you look at it for more than second.
Super Metroid is an awesome game, and worthy of being considered one of the best games of all time.
But I still think Symphony of the Night is the best Metroid-style game ever made.
Super Metroid is a close second, but SOTN is the best game ever made in that genre.
Yoshio Sakamoto is NOT the creator of the Metroid series, not even close. He came in near the end of development on the NES game. The credit should go to Satoru Okada, who directed Metroid, but for some reason Nintendo seems to be hiding his name from publications as of late. Sakamoto took over the series afterward and ran it into the ground with rehashes of the same game over and over and then one different take (Other M) that was garbage because it didn't directly remake Okada's creation. Please don't continue this marketing lie from Nintendo to make it seem like Sakamoto brings value to a game @switchvogel
@avocadopear He co-directed it, didn't he?
@NinNin @SwitchVogel Nope. His alias 'Shikamoto' is credited for being the "New Matsuoka" for the game, a reference to Hirofumi Matsuoka who was an artist at Nintendo at the time. He was just an artist for the game. People commonly think he directed the game because there is another person credited as 'Yamamoto' with the credit "Directed by", but this person is Masao Yamamoto who was the programming director for the game. And then of course Satoru Okada is credited as chief director because he oversaw all elements of the game. A quick look at a credits video on youtube will verify this. And in this interview about the game Sakamoto says himself that he came in during the last 3 months before release, even though the interview is set up to give the two interviewees way more credit than they are due and it doesn't mention Okada by name once (just "another new employee"):
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