MecurySteam, the studio who worked with Nintendo on 3DS' Metroid: Samus Returns, the remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus, has really hit it out of the park with Metroid Dread on Switch. But, given the studio's debut with the series — which launched soon after one of the most popular and well-known Metroid fan games, Another Metroid 2 Remake (Project AM2R) — it's only natural that the creator of that game has something to say on the topic of Samus' latest all-new adventure.
In a recent episode of the KIWI TALKZ podcast, DoctorM64 — now a programmer at Ori & the Will of the Wisps developer Moon Studios — talked about the difficulties of making AMR2, the influence of Metroid Zero Mission and how that influenced the trajectory of the project, Skippy the Robot, and more.
However, when it comes to Metroid Dread, DoctorM64 focused attention on the E.M.M.I. encounters and has a few conflicting thoughts about how these sinister robots fit into a Metroid game.
Here's some edited excerpts of what he had to say:
"I’m not entirely sure if the E.M.M.I.s were something that would make sense in Metroid. The concept is amazing, right? But if you mix something like survival horror with a huge monster that can one hit kill you, you need to feel vulnerable. Think of the first couple of Resident Evils with tank controls and very limited ammo and you stun a couple of zombies, you shot them, but your health is very limited, you're feeling that tension, that dread.
But suddenly if you're a space hunter that can leap around and jump and have very manoeuvrable moves and you happen to be able to wall jump and run super fast, that changes the dynamic a lot. Suddenly the monster has to move at the same pace as you and suddenly the fail state is faster to achieve. So in a run of Resident Evil or any other survival horror you take a couple of minutes to explore and you see the monster and you try with your very limited resources and mobility to escape and hide and be tactical about your choices. You have time to think and act right.
But since Samus is so snappy and the actual E.M.M.I.s have to be snappier than her to compensate, you don't have those Metal Gear moments of you know stealth and taking action. You're pretty much reacting to things, so it's a very cat-and-mouse thing that happens so quickly that for once it's distinct and unique but it's also kind of annoying in my humble opinion."
It should be said that DoctorM64 is full of praise, too, as he gushes about Samus' agility, which astounded us too. The whole chat is an excellent insight into the creative process behind AM2R, and the creator's thoughts on all things Metroid and Metroidvania, so we highly recommend you give it a watch. You can listen to him discuss Metroid Dread specifically in the video below:
In our review of Metroid Dread, we said of the E.M.M.I. encounters: "There was definite potential for it to be a little frustrating, but the tense face-offs and encounters you have with E.M.M.I. robots are standout moments in the game."
How do you feel about the E.M.M.I. encounters in the game? Let us know in the comments!
And that's why Nintendo makes original stuff, and other people remake Nintendo's stuff.
I think he's got this spot on here. The EMMI are a cool concept, but about halfway into the campaign they stop being scary and start being annoying. You've killed enough EMMI at that point, so they're just given frustrating abilities that make them a chore to deal with. Wonderful game overall, but I don't think anything would be lost with fewer EMMI encounters.
I love them!! They are the things I remember most about that game, and I love the payoff of the final encounter with them
I like when someone gives their opinion and adds why they feel that way. Especially in a respectful manner. He didn’t say something like “it sucks” or “I hate it, it’s trash”. Of course I’m sure the dregs of fanboy gaming will still go after him for being critical, but I find nothing wrong with him expressing how he feels here.
To be honest, I enjoyed Metroid Dread. But also, I was bit disappointed. I still prefer Super Metroid and both GBA Metroid games to this.
I will say, that he worked on my favorite Castletroid of them all in the Ori games so while I disagree I know he has a decent head on his shoulders for design
Call me crazy but I was hoping the EMMIs would be more aggressive
I appreciated them but like the game as a whole I wasn't blown away by them either. After the first couple they were kind of just there. I think Dread had interesting ideas but played them all a little safe and tucked in. I guess maybe I've been spoiled by the amazing indie Metroidvanias we've been getting over the last few years.
It’s a great game but also one I can’t ever see myself going back to.
But Metroid isn't Resident Evil - it's all about Samus' repertoire of skills and getting around in neat ways.
That's precisely why the EMMIs work IMO. Your use of Samus' abilities are put to the test when confronted with an undefeatable pursuer. It's a nice change of pace to the series' core gameplay and - IMO - every EMMI was killed off before they had time to become stale.
I agree. The EMMI chasing samus ruins my joy of exploring the places. Topple that with the way you have to kill them and it becomes an annoying experience.
@MrGawain Nintendo didn't develop the game, Mercury Steam did. Nintendo produced it as its IP (and supervised it to an extent). So Dread is 'other people' making Nintendo's stuff. Also, you say this in a dismissive tone as though AM2R is some kind of trashy remake of M2. AM2R is way, way superior to Mercury Steams 3DS M2 remake, and feels authentically like a Metroid game in the way Steam Metroid's dont. It is a remarkable fan 'remake' by any standard, produced with passion and care that eclipses most big budget titles. I think that DoctorM64 is entitled to his opinion.
I like the concept of the EMMI, but autosave removes all the tension. Even if I die, I'm repawning a few screens aways and get to try again immidiatly, they don't scare me at all. On the other hand without autosave, it would be super annoying to get kick back to the save station considering how fast they are and most players won't immidiatly figure out how to deal with them.
So all in all they're an enjoyable encounter I guess, but it doesn't work as well as it should. They're definitly not as great as SA-X.
Game is awesome and I like the EMMIs, I do agree though they did get annoying most of the time later on but every game had annoying stuff in them even in AM2R so not sure what the problem was. I enjoy it overall and just recently got through Dread Mode difficulty with no issue.
No. The emmi encounters added something to cat adn mouse gameplay that has been sorely lacking-- a sense of speed and some level of skill to maneuver through. Its not just hiding and waiting, its literally needing to understand the environment.
The only people I've seen complain about it are people who don't enjoy those kinds of movement puzzles or things that require fast reflexes.
Also not every video game needs to be some farm of negative emotions, sometimes games can, and should milk your ego instead. It feels nice to avoid emmi with your movement skills, its a different kind of rewarding. You feel like you earned it when you take one down, not like you're just running from some over powered thing that you can't fight back against like in every other cat and mouse style gameplay mechanic.
The game just had too many bosses
While I appreciate the obvious 'this i for the fans' style of game that the fan made metroid games are, I think what Mercury Steam has done for the metroid franchise is invaluable. The original concept is there in full but they added enough new stuff that it feels like a modern game.
Where what the fans did was create this expansion upon the original with a bunch of fan pandering stuff that no one outside of super fans will care about. They both have their merit, but its nice to have a samus that plays as badass as she is after all these years.
The problem with the EMMIs is that they originate from one of the much earlier versions where they probably would have made sense in context. They're basically grafted onto the released game.
This. this this this this this.
Also, its one thing if a game is tense because the gameplay is limited like old resident evil games, but there's ways to make games where you're badass and you can still feel tense and even scary situations.
I think people want something out of Metroid that Metroid has never been. Yes, Super Metroid has a horror like feel in parts of the game and an isolated feeling, but overall, you're still fighting bright green big bellied crocodile men and Zorak looking aliens. Not everything needs to be made into some gritty pseudo-psychological horror experience.
I honestly don't understand modern horror game fans, they're some of the most pretentious people in the world. Some of the most scared I've ever been playing a video game was like doing the Green Demon challenges in Mario 64. Fear is subjective, and if I know a game is trying its hardest to scare me, it often time has the opposite effect.
Uhh... guys... you're not meant to get spotted by the EMMI. Of course there's no stealth when he's already up in your ass
I loved the EMMI encounters wholeheartedly. Even the one that took me like 20+ tries to get past. Especially that one.
That said, AM2R is still perhaps my favorite Metroid game, with only Dread really matching the smoothness and boss design. I think Doc's points are well-stated even if I disagree.
I 100% regret buying Metroid Dread. It just didn't do it for me and I'd rather just play Super Metroid at this point. I think until Prime comes out, this series is just dead to me. The 3DS game was similar and I didn't care for it either. I don't like the art style, and the parrying mechanic would be better if only used in boss battles. Just not for me it seems.
@smithyo Except the E.M.M.I. were a Nintendo idea. Sakamoto was very clear the AI involved to make the E.M.M.I. work was the very reason the concept was shelved in the mid-00s. The E.M.M.I. were directly inspired by the SA-X Samus that would chase you in select portions of Metroid Fusion. Sakamoto wanted to weave that organically into Dread and the technology was just not there. Mercury Steam directly implemented that idea and made a rather gorgeous game with tight controls that make the cat and mouse encounter a blast.
As for Samus Returns that was meant more to be a direct remake of Metroid II with some combat and gameplay ideas that would be further implemented into Dread. It was a testing ground to let Mercury Steam prove they can shepherd the franchise and do it well. Also, Metroid as others have pointed out is not meant to feel like Metal Gear Solid or Resident Evil. The reason Metroid NES and Metroid II feel that way was that it was new technology. By the time Super Metroid came out the controls evolved into being for exploration and quick and snappy movement. Even Metroid Fusion the most "survival horror" Metroid does not rely on blocky controls to get that idea across. It uses atmosphere and ambiance to get the player to feel overwhelmed by what they are playing. The SA-X Samus you are supposed to run from in full force and maybe fight back against once equipped with the tools you can use to defeat it... that sounds a lot like the E.M.M.I. to me.
He's wrong. The EMMI make Dread stand out as an objectively unique experience. It's not the same game without them. And why are we now all of a sudden bashing them? (could it be leftover am2r salt?)
I found the OHKO nature of the EMMI annoying myself, after I was caught by them for the umpteenth time. But I don't think it was a bad choice to have them.
Gameplay reasons aside, I felt that sense of vulnerability meshed well with the narrative line established back in Fusion, where Samus had been greatly weakened by the X Parasite infection. Badass bounty hunter or not, all it takes is one well-aimed spike and she's dead.
The game was conceptualised by Nintendo in 2002 way before Mercury Steam got their hands on it, and Nintendo had Yoshio Sakamoto of Nintendo EPD acting as producer.
I'd much prefer Nintendo to focus on new game mechanics than just produce a glorified DLC sequel.
AM2R is the best Metroid 2D game I've played along with Super Metroid.
Huh, yeah I'd agree with his point. They're cool, but also really annoying when I'm just trying to get to another point of the map
Well, MercurySteam improved over Samus Returns but I wouldn't exactly say they knocked it out of the park.
He missed the whole point of how EMMIs fit in Dread's gameplay
@MrGawain ...and after creating said original stuff, Nintendo then farms it out to a second or third party dev to misunderstand what made the original great!
Everyone is just being very pedantic here. Regardless of how it originated or who developed it, it’s a great game.
One of the reasons I didn't buy Dread (the other being the graphical style), and I have Samus Returns and like it.
I loved the EMMI encounters. I think people who struggled with them tried the slow, stealth approach (how I started) and people who enjoyed them realized you can maneuver around them pretty fast (how I ended).
It should look like (85% Sanic and 15% Solid Snake to get out of a tough EMMI route placement).
From a conceptual perspective, the SA-X, the Space Pirates in the Zero Mission epilogue, and the EMMI all kind of fill the same space. They aren't an entirely new concept in that sense, more of an expansion of what was already introduced in a few of the previous entries. Maybe even that crazy mining robot (Diggernaut) in Samus Returns could fall in that category to a lesser extent, although I think it filled the space in a more linear fashion.
I also get a sense that they really tried to create a game that would excite the speed run crowd, and I think the recently released 1 hit mode furthers that.
This dude spent years refining the Metroid formula based on what was already released up until that point though, so I think his opinion is really worth considering. I would consider him an authority on classic Metroid gameplay. I haven't finished AM2R although I big time appreciate the project and how long he worked on it. Definitely not knocking on him or anyone, just throwing some thoughts out there.
@shgamer Have you tried the demo? Dread is a better game than Sami’s Returns and even if EMMI turns you off it’s not that big a part of the game to hold you back.
I literally stopped playing the game the moment I ran into one.
That is not the game I wanted to play at all.
And I've played every metroid game - even played the first metroid when there only was one in the series.
@AG_Awesome Agree wholeheartedly. It’s just a well articulated and considered statement. Whether you feel the same way as him is another matter, but at the very least you can understand why he feels the way he does.
Yeah definitely not a fan of EMMI either. Made me stop playing. Didn't expect a survival horror. I get the appeal it just ain't for me.
I was wondering who the heck cared about what the ASMR creator thinks, then I re-read the title.
I liked the EMMIs mostly because of how you have to find enough space to kill them with the Omega Cannon. That's what made the EMMI encounters unique and interesting.
Being chased by more powerful enemies has been done in Metroid games before (SA-X in Fusion, Space Pirates in Zero Mission) so I'm guessing the AM2R creator didn't like those either 😆
@Spiders I tried the demo, yes. But it didn't really appeal to me. I thought Samus was to small (I have a Switch Lite) and as I said I don't like the graphics (they're a bit too cold/soulless looking IMO).
I don't like them either. I found them interesting to begin with but as I progressed in the game and encountered another one I would just let off a moaning sigh. I don't intend to play this game again because of these enemies, they're not fun they're just bloody annoying.
Maybe it's me, but I feel E.M.M.I.s aren't so bad to deal with after you nail the window for counters. It's especially satisfying when you counter the stab.
Somehow the internet made me think I'd be stuck in those areas for hours, but if I got killed more than 30 times by the 7 E.M.M.I.s, I'd probably be exaggerating.
Truly annoying that part, not game breaking though, but short and also 60$ for a 2d game shows how much nintendo lowered the bar in recent years when it’s come to new games.
@Nintendo4Sonic When the first trailer dropped, I was excited, but it was somewhat tempered by the fact that it was clearly Samus Returns Part II, which to me was a solid 8/10 game rather than "one of the greatest games ever." There's nothing WRONG with an 8/10, but it's a bit of a letdown for this series.
@clianvXAi Are we still with the stupid mentality of "2D gAmEs aRe nOt woRth 60 doLlaRs!1!"?
My fantasy on them was way cooler than what was shown. I thought the EMMI was going to be a single robot not many. And it would get more feral the more times you eluded it. Unfortunately it’s just one of many of the exact same copy paste encounter in different environments.
Yeah, I got real sick of the EMMI about halfway through. It's really fun to finally take one down, but I get tired of having to run and hide when I'm just trying to pass through an area to explore.
Also don't like fighting the same chozo warriors multiple times.
Not buying the Game because of it.
I also dislike the Metroid 2 remake because of the Counter System.
Without it would be a better Game for me.
"I literally stopped playing the game the moment I ran into one.
That is not the game I wanted to play at all."
This is hilarious. So you're a massive Metroid fan who didn't even see the reveal trailer for Dread, went in 100% blind with no knowledge of the EMMI, and then you quit 5 minutes in, the moment you encountered the first one?
the EMMI were one of the best parts of the game when I started only hiding as a last resort. It’s much more fun to try and out maneuver them rather than rely on stealth all the time, and feels more true to how Samus the character would actually act in the situation. Felt like a much better and more well-realized version of the cool but bland SA-X encounters from fusion
I'm not a fan of AM2R so there. It's just what Nintendo probably would have done if the Metroid 2 remake had been made on GBA. Instead we got a far more interesting remake on 3DS with better combat. It was so good in fact that Mercury steam was brought back again to finally bring us Metroid Dread.
Sorry but i don't get the AM2R hype. Nintendo could have done the same thing but probably better on GBA. So what?
@AugustusOxy your comment on Mercury Steam 's contribution to the Metroid franchise is one of the most measured and compelling games I've heard on Samus Returns vs AM2R.
Certainly both have their merits
I think this guy just has a bone to pick with MecurySteam. Understandable I guess. AM2R was a great fan game but I still preferred Samus Returns to it.
The EMMI are great enemies for a Metroid game. It's so satisfying to destroy them after sneaking around them for a bit.
I only played the demo, I liked it but the EMMI encounter was pretty aggravating. I'm interested in picking up the full version if I can get it discounted. I'm just not a fan of the developer's previous work and Dread has too much MercuryStench on it for me to justify spending the full $60.
I think Mr AM2R just overthought the EMMI encounters. Yeah, they're not real survival horror moments, but they still were pretty engaging IMO. I do think, as one poster already noted above, that the game did have too many (recycled) bosses. Overall tho a great game, but not as good for me as Samus Returns — or the best in the series for me, The Return of Samus on the original Game Boy.
I stopped playing the game basically because of them. Easily the worst Metroid game from the main series. Metroidvanias are supposed to be hard to put down. Yet I wanted to stop playing this every hour. Oh and the music sucks too.
@MrGawain Spot on mate
@BranJ0 I mean that’s why towards the end game they start to disappear
@BranJ0 I disagree... I too felt it lost the feeling of Dread by the last couple of EMMI but their abilities were also harder to beat. To me it felt like playing Dying Light during the night runs. At first you had to run from the powerful zombies but by the end you had so many abilities at your disposal that you could face then head on time after time.
Metroid Dread didn't drag as long in this regard and I love that I was able to parry do many encounters which gave me an adrenaline rush every time. (Somehow I was able to parry 3 times the same EMMI pursuit).
This game is a 10/10 for me. But I can see how some people might feel differently
No mention so far here of the game of Twister your fingers are increasingly forced to play as you progress through Metroid Dread. In a game where you're dealing with opponents that can move/attack as fast as Samus, it was beyond frustrating to die repeatedly because of having to hold down a combination of three or four buttons simultaneously while standing still and/or aiming; I have played countless games since the Atari 2600 days and have rarely ever struggled with mechanics that were too complex for muscle memory. I played deep into the game but simply lost interest because boss/EMMI battles felt more like dying to the controls to me. I understand why Dread gets the praise it does and if others had no issues with the controls/difficulty, more power to them. And maybe someday I will persevere and finish the rest of it, but then again the frustration took away the fun and enjoyment that I play games for to begin with, so I doubt it is even worth it on that note.
Gotta agree with them, I simply found it to be an off-putting aspect of the game more akin to a survival horror experience than what I would normally attribute to Metroid.
Removed - unconstructive
Half-agree. I mostly dreaded EMMIs because killing them was so repetitive, I could use only half of them in the game and it would be enough.
I disagree with the idea that the EMMI take away exploration and stealth and I don't see it as a mere cat and mouse moment in the game. There's a lot of stealth and strategy when you have an EMMI after you and many times using the Phantom Cloak wisely is what makes the "dread" arise. I enjoyed their addition
Aww diddums I guess. I liked the EMMIs, they really made me panic and gave the game some urgency. Mind you I am a coward lol,.
I liked AM2R but it felt too similar to Zero Mission. I'm glad we got something different in Samus Returns. Hoping for a Switch port sometime because playing that on the 3DS gave me the worst hand cramps ever.
Can’t say I agree with this analysis and opinion. The E.M.M.I chases we’re some of my favourite moments in the game.
But each to their own.
Video Game Creator Says Game Could Be More Like That Other Game If It Were More Like That Other Game
I thought Dread was excellent all around. I enjoyed the EMMI bits and found them really tense (a lot of shouting when trying to escape them or trying to land a shot on them with the hyper beam), though I didn’t really “dread” them as intended.
Prime 4 could really deliver on horror elements if it leans into them given the slower pace of the Prime games. There were several times during those games that were really unsettling so it’d be cool to see them turn it up a few notches; always thought a properly scary Metroid game would be a lot of fun.
I don't understand his complaint. He simply said "It's not like MGS or RE; it's faster so it's annoying". He (or this excerpt) didn't really explain why slow is good and fast is bad. The fact that it's not like those games is great. Not because there's something wrong with those games, but because those games already exist. The E.M.M.I encounters are "like Metroid".
Yup, they suck. They felt like a chore, not like a challenge that would help me build skills that I’d use for the rest of the game.
I agree. While I began to dread the EMMI encounters, I don’t think it was the dread they were going for.
But the EMMIs were nothing compared to the ‘oh jeez, not you again’ encounters of the Chozo.
The game was at its best when it stopped interrupting itself.
@Nintendo4Sonic honestly I always feel the snes game is a bit overrated while the original gets underrated- but I would definitely say the gba games were the absolute peak for metroid. Not that the games that came after were bad, they’re all nice- but the gba games were perfect
Why is their opinion being put on a pedestal as if it's more important then anyone else's?
I loved the Emmi encounters. They added tension, they were brief and didn't overstay their welcome, and provided the Dread from the game's name sake.
I liked them, but he’s entitled to his opinion and presented why he felt that way in a respectful manner.
Far more than the fanboys in this comment section writing him off as ‘salty’ for reasons that don’t even make sense.
His comments don't make much sense to me, sure, Samus is very agile, but the environments in EMMI sections get in your way, or you simply don't have all those abilities at the time earlier on. Keep in mind, just because be made AM2R, his opinion is not any more important than anyone else's.
Did he not play Metroid Fusion? Or the stealth sections of Zero Mission? Being placed in a hostile scary environment is very much part of the Metroid formula. You get used to dodging these impossible threats until you gain enough experience and upgrades to allow you to overcome these obstacles. It feels satisfying to see Samus using her new abilities to dodge the E.M.M.I. and use the Omega Cannon to overcome them.
Removed - unconstructive
i for one do not like the robits.
a) they are so contrived and forced into being that they seem tacked on. you are never surprised by the presence of an EMMI, as they only exist in certain zones. every time i come across one of those zones i roll my eyes and bear through. its just not fun to me and really breaks the flow. its like my game is put on pause while i complete a chore.
b) metroid is all about biological threats, not robots. im just left cold by these things, they seem wrong in the universe and a little clichéd imo. id much rather a beast of some kind play the same role in a Metroid game.
the game is good, but honestly i was SUPER hyped for it (as i was about all the other sequels) until it came out and i played it, and now it sits on my shelf while i catch up on games that are actually fun to me.
i hadnt quite thought about it fully until composing this comment, and now i feel sad about it : (.
@BranJ0 There weren't really enough EMMI encounters to ever get annoying or boring if you ask me, isn't it something like 6 EMMIs in the entire game? I can't remember off the top of my head but I'm certainly not far off. Besides it's a perfectly valid thing to make the player feel empowered by having an enemy they could barely escape from early on become just another slightly more annoying minion. It's what RPGs are built on, and other genres with progression have this same concept too.
Couldn't disagree more. They added a unique flavour to the game and never overstayed their welcome. They built on each other so that they remained novel throughout the adventure. Sure, they aren't as anxiety inducing the third or fourth time through, but once you get into the speed running they present a break from the normal game that you can still appreciate.
While I don't think a mechanic like this should be as central a feature in future instalments I think it would be neat if the EMMI returned for a one-off encounter.
I completely agree the EMMIs were super annoying, more frustrating than fun. Knocked the game from a 9/10 to an 8/10 for me
I love Metroidvania games but Dread was more of a boss rush game and the EMMIs are annoying padding.
I'm glad others enjoyed Dread but Ive enjoyed Hollow Knight, Ori games and others a lot more than Dread.
There is a rookie mode now if you get filtered by EMMI which makes the encounters easier to deal with. Of course the best action is not to get caught to begin with which there are multiple ways in doing so and only punished the impatient gamer.
That said never had a problem with the EMMI encounters as it added another layer of danger to the play-through. Bumped it to a 10/10 for me. Dread was more enjoyable then when I played Hollow Knight with the pitfalls of what that game chose in comparison
I completely agree. The EMMI encounters have grown on me a bit and overall I am enjoying Dread a lot but they can be a bit annoying and mess up the pace for me. I have only played Metroid and Super Metroid and love both of them for the exploration. I don’t get that as much with Dread and it feels a tiny bit more linear. Also music was better for Super Metroid.
@JaxonH I think because they’re intimately knowledgeable about Metroid by way of AM2R. Considering the level of some of the critique in the comments, I do think it’s more worthwhile coming from a developer. I think they’re wrong but at least it’s a more thought out take than most.
On the other hand, Jonathan Blow’s critique of Breath of the Wild was embarrassing — and more relevant, on David Jaffe’s critique of Dread was a meme-worthy mess.
I can understand why some people may not like them, but I think that their concept and design is pretty solid.
When I was playing Dread the first time through, I had a nightmare one night that I was being chased by an EMMI... I cannot remember the last time that I had a video game-related nightmare.
@MrGawain I would usually think that comment is a bit severe but I have to agree. AM2R is a solid fan game, but it was way ovehyped and it holds nothing against something like Dread. It was simply a safe remake and while I enjoyable I didn't get why people were praising it so much. Even the official Samus Returns remake is superior in my opinion, although Dread was the one to make the game feel better than ever.
As many people have said his comparison to MGS and RE doesn't make much sense either. EMMI encounters are meant to be fast paced encounters with brief puzzle elements to add tension to the case. 90% of the time you are searching to outspeed them and when that fails stealth is your best option.
It's an interesting discussion, but in my opinion he suffers from analyzing Dread through the lens of previous games that it's not even attempting to replicate. Dread might be scary/tense but there's no survival horror in its DNA, so the comparison to Resident Evil feels like apples and oranges. A traditional "pure stealth" game like Metal Gear isn't what the game is aiming for either. Dread's EMMI moments are something new that might be like "frantic stealth" or "twitch stealth". The mix of stealth+speed felt really fresh to me and while there's not a lot of time to react, plan, and strategize, there's JUST ENOUGH time to do it and make the most of your environments. It's a really skillful balance and it's sort of miraculous they pulled it off as well as they did.
Whilst I wasn’t the biggest fan of the EMMIs, I was willing to tolerate them. However the game would have been improved if it had the following:
1) Partway through you acquire abilities to stun the EMMIs just like the ice missiles on the SA-X.
2) Make the counter move easier to perform and make it so that you loose a sizeable chunk of energy when caught so there is some impact to being caught but not make it practically a 1-hit death.
"you are never surprised by the presence of an EMMI, as they only exist in certain zones."
If I had one criticism it would be this: I was really expecting the game to destabilize your comfort zones later on, by putting you up against an EMMI that is capable of operating throughout the entire map and stalking you anywhere. "you thought you could breathe safe outside of EMMI zones? think again!" what a missed opportunity.
I actually wouldn't doubt if this idea was thrown around and maybe was even initially planned, but maybe they decided that it actually wasn't fun and was overly difficult when they prototyped it.
psst, if any devs are reading this: it would make for a killer DLC.
EMMI was a good concept but it wasn't so hard as they point it out. But again, Metroid is about fast pacing stages, unlike Prime which is more about collecting and exploring at your own leisure
This just in, Paul likes those EMMI encounters. Who is Paul and why should I care about his opinion? Great question.
Like others mentioned, EMMI encounters are not primarily about stealth. They're about speed and figuring out the path as you go. They're closer to the Badeline chases in Celeste.
I don't think I ever activated the phantom cloak ability in the emmi zones. I kinda just bum rushed through trying to get to where I needed without being brutally slaughtered. As such the Emmi zones never really outstayed their welcome for me.
@Ron22 His reasoning is, slower gameplay gives the player more of a chance to react before failing. Plus, slower gameplay stretches out those moments of tension for longer periods of time, which in his mind is more memorable.
I understand the reasoning, but I disagree that slower gameplay is the only way to produce meaningful and memorable tension.
Metroid Dread takes an entirely opposite approach by creating tension from the blistering pace of an EMMI's chase. EMMI's in my opinion succeed at conveying a completely different, more frantic sense of tension.
In fact, EMMI's would not have worked if Samus' movement were as slow as conventional metroidvania's, and indeed, if it were as slow as classic Metroid's like AM2R. The pure speed and fluidity that the game achieves is where Metroid Dread innovates and stands apart from the myriad of metroidvania games.
After playing that dread metroid dread and with MecurySteam hands on it i will never buy it
I like the EMMIs, it’s just the further into the story they became annoying. You got stronger weapons and abilities as it went on, but the EMMIs didn’t so once you figured it out how to avoid them it became more of a chore than a challenge. Still a great game tho
The thing is emmi's sucked compared to the SaX because the SaX could be anywhere at any time (in the players mind) where as the emmi's give you a door saying EMMI'S here! Which was so much less dreadful.
The EMMI made me think of the xenomorph in Alien Isolation. But in AI I think of it as my irritable friend, that I can sic on my enemies. EMMI would have been more interesting if you could/needed to use her to fix stuff for you at some point.
Everyone in 2015: "Hire this man, Nintendo!"
Me in 2022: "Don't hire this man, Nintendo!"
It would be nice if they could be countered more easily. 90% it is instant death. Otherwise, I'm fine with them. They function like "Evil Samus" in Metroid Fusion, except they are more difficult to evade and are initially frustrating. Then you learn to simply keep running and taking gaps the EMMI can't. Dread is really a compilation of ideas from all Metroid games.
The EMMI sections almost ruin the entire game. The way they instant kill you as well with a spike to the chest; horrible.
literally the best parts of the game, my flatmate (who was also playing at the same time) and I were shouting and screaming out a bunch when they came out of nowhere, especially when they got really close and we were pulling risky jumps over them
It was so cool, I wish they'd follow you around the whole game. During boss battles, at save stations and even when your collecting powerups. And after killing an EMMI, just when you think it's safe, another emmi should emerge from the slain emmi. They just chase you around the whole game! And they should add a gigantic boulder, that's constantly rolling towards you, where they give you narrow escapes just when you think it's all over. Oh yeah, Just like the original meteor creator was thinking(only if the console hardware was capable)... forget exploration, make it all about a gimmick and name it dread!
Have to mostly disagree. While the EMMI encounters can be frustrating initially, I found the challenge they presented to be spot on, and the sense of satisfaction derived from finally defeating them was tremendous. Contrast the EMMI encounters with the boss encounters though - OMG they're annoying and in a league of their own when it comes to frustration! The boss encounters totally ruin the flow of the game to the point where I stopped playing the games for weeks at a time. Got massively stuck on Kraid, stopped playing, managed to sequence break, but derived no satisfaction from it - just absolute relief. IMO, keep the EMMI concept, revise the boss encounters and/or make them entirely skippable. EMMIs brought something fresh to the experience, the bosses brought mostly grinding tedium.
Sadly, while the article tries to step it back, it starts with making it sound controversial. Does a disservice to what he is sharing here. There's nothing controversial about what he said here. If you are hating on EMMIs and thinking you are agreeing with him, you probably aren't.
On Dread itself, I had a reaction of disappointment in my first play through, but then getting 100% and playing through again, I really turned around and love it. More than the EMMIs I found some of the repeating bosses a problem with the game progression, though.
My other disappointment is that we don't have a Switch version of 3DS Metroid Samus Returns. I want both.
I mean, while i was going to diss his opinion because its his opinion and he sound a little "it was not my idea so it's bad" he gets a free pass just cause he worked on the best games on the genre, then again, same thing could be said about those times in the Ori games when you have to scape real fast or else you die
@BLD no I'm not a massive Metroid fan
and I saw some promotional stuff for the game but I'm not sure if I watched the trailer enough to know that I would immediately face the thing.
And yeah - the game didn't give me the vibes that the old metroid games gave me.
So - you got a LOT wrong in that comment, which is weird.
But yeah - as soon as I realized the feeling the game was going for - I was like "Nope. This isn't for me"
I'll pick it up one day when it goes on a decent sale...oh wait...I won't be playing this. Just not enough bang for the buck to me.
As the only person on Earth who isn't a fan of Zero Missions tacked-on stealth section, I was a little relieved when the EMMI zones ended up not being a stealth exercise. The easiest way to clear all of them, by far, is to gun it through. This does make your first playthrough kind of frustrating, since you don't have any idea where to go and the cost for taking a wrong turn or dropping down in the wrong place is sometimes instant death, but I find that those sections are rarely a hang up on replays.
@MetroidBossesRuinThe I 100% agree with your entire assessment. The EMMI were really not that hard to overcome, most times I got caught were purely from goofing off, and trying to master counter timing for them. The bosses like you said were the real block to progress and did cause me to quit for a few days at a time. They have way too much HP like in Monster Hunter, so they're far more boring than any EMMI. To contrast this, I've been playing through Zero Mission recently and those bosses are significantly easier.
If you've played Ori Will of the Wisps where this guy to did some original level design.
The setpiece chase segments in that game are a lot more clumsy than the EMMI ones. It's a bit rich to be on a game like that and then go after the dynamic EMMI chases.
This guy's reputation is being hard carried by the Metroid IP being used in AM2R. This guy isn't anyone to listen to, better off listening to the Axium Verge guy.
I see his point.
I enjoyed the SA-X encounters in Fusion and the Zero Suit stealth section of Zero Mission, but the EMMI's broke me.
Metroid's should be (IMO) equal parts intense challenge and more relaxed exploration, but the EMMI zones come so frequently and involve a virtually non-existent margin of error that I was in a constant state of anxiety. It culminated when I had two active EMMI zones at once with no option to backtrack and more thoroughly explore other areas of the map I had passed through earlier. I was essentially soft locked between these two one-hit death encounters. October 2021 was already a stressful time for me IRL, and Metroid Dread was no longer a pleasant escape from that so I quit.
My life has thankfully stabilized since then, maybe it's finally time to pick up where I left off.
I completely agree.
Two words: “Who cares?”
Someone still salty I see.
To all the people thinking that he is bashing the game, just listen to how he talks about the game. He's gushing over it! Check out what he said at 52:01.
He displays deep admiration for the game, and just happens to think like a designer and strategist who has a reasonable, though controversial, opinion about the EMMI encounters.
The EMMI encounters were irritating if only because there were too many. That specific mechanic is best left for rare instances. The first two encounters were pretty intense. But once it became apparent it was going to occur in every single section it was just irritating. Plus the "difficulty" was only increased by arbitrarily applying more damage to destroy the things rather than any real skill involved in evasion.
@smithyo You apparently don't understand how Nintendo does 3rd Party with their IP. They embed people within the teams, they're in regular contact. They reserve full right to include or remove anything they want. It's a Nintendo game.
@Shredderlovespizza Outside of your art-style complaint I'm confused. Your only other critique is a mechanic that outside of boss fights is 99.9% unused. There's only maybe three times it's preferable to use the parry mechanic. You can blast your way through everything else in the game as you would any previous Metroid. They literally did what you said they should do.
@Mommar You can but the parry technique kills a lot of those enemies' way faster. Shooting them takes much longer. Honestly, I just am not a fan of this game style in general. I love the Super Metroid and Symphony of the Night, but the recent Metroid games just aren't as fun as they seem to be forcing so much more running back and forth than previous titles. I get tired of it after a time as it doesn't seem that bad in the older games.
I think that was intentional. Samus is so fast and agile in this game, that escaping from the EMMI is really satisfactory on its own. About exploring, the areas are open later on, so hating them for that seems weird.
I just don't think such survival horror mechanics belong in Metroid at all. It's like they took the worst thing about "Metroid Fusion" and made it even worse.
Yes, Metroid games have always had an eerie atmosphere where you're basically fighting against the entire environment, but the series (at least to me) is still much more about patient exploration and action-platforming rather than stealth, jump scares, or fast-paced escape sequences (aside from the traditional endgame segments in the latter case).
The EMMIs are why I have no intention of ever playing "Dread" and settled for watching a Let's Play series of it.
@BulbasaurusRex they were very boring and the game was a borefest
Too bad many employees left during development because of the working conditions and weren't credited in the game. Another Naughty Dog. #BoycottMecurySteam #TrashyGame
Definitely agree WAY more with DoctorM64 than Nintendo Life 🤷🏻♂️. The game would be much better to me without those aspects, replaced by something else.
@BulbasaurusRex i sadly bought it digitally & definitely regret it. It was maybe a 6/10 for me. Not a horrible game, for sure, but a bad Metroid game in terms of what i loved about the franchise. I liked other M, tho, so what do i know, lol. 🤷🏻♂️
@Shredderlovespizza yes the parry is another thing i hate about mercury steam's versions of Metroid. Without that & the emmi, it could have been much better. I definitely won't buy the next one out of sheer love for the series. I will wait to see if i should just buy it used so i can sell it, or pass entirely.
@twztid13 I also got really lost trying to remember where on the map I could use that one power up etc. that I ran past hours ago. As much as I love Metroivanias they are begging to wear on me too. Symphony of the Night is still amazing, but seems less confusing than this one. Same with Super Metroid. Maybe I'm getting too old for these lol.
The game is good because its Metroid and has all the map exploration and back tracking which was the standard set by all the previous games.
Emmis are okay but generally I don't play stealth games but generally do play Metroidvania games.
I can say when the game is a mainline Nintendo game then it always brings something new to the gameplay.
If it's the same as older games in gameplay then its released as a kind of spinoff.
In the way Prime games were main games on the GameCube and the 2D Metroid games were released on the GBA that resembled the older style.
Personally I was blown away back in 1994 from Super Metroid and wanted more of that but it never quite got to the same level of gameplay as they did in that one in terms of the item placement, bosses and open exploration.
Metroid Fusion advanced many gameplay mechanics but it was a linear game.
Then you had Metroid Zero Mission which didn't advanced Super Metroid rather it remade the original.
I hear you can sequence break in Dread but I haven't got that far yet
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