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Metroid II: Return of Samus (Virtual Console) Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . There once was a time when Metroid II was the most controversial game in the franchise. Thanks to the release of Metroid: Other M and Metroid Hunters, those days are long past us. But there's certainly something about this Game Boy follow-up that rubs people the wrong way. Be warned that some purists may balk at the recommendation, but Metroid II is worth at least $4. Just make sure and stick around for the touching ending. Rating: 64%
Metroid II: Return of Samus (Virtual Console)
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Metroid II: Return of Samus (Virtual Console) Metroid II: Return of Samus (Virtual Console) Metroid II: Return of Samus (Virtual Console) Metroid II: Return of Samus (Virtual Console)
  • Review Score:

  • B-
What Is It? There once was a time when Metroid II was the most controversial game in the franchise. Thanks to the release of Metroid: Other M and Metroid Hunters, those days are long past us. But there's certainly something about this Game Boy follow-up that rubs people the wrong way. On its surface it looks like any other Metroid outing, complete with the female lead running around a giant world killing aliens and collecting useful items. The game plays out like a classic horror movie, where the threat of death is always just around the corner. The world is purposely isolated and cold, forcing players to creep through the maze picking off Metroids one at a time.

Unfortunately Nintendo made a few decisions that still anger longtime fans of the series. Instead of featuring an open-world the size of the NES original, the developers opted for a more linear, path-oriented adventure. The game still allows for a lot of exploration, even if the world isn't nearly as interesting this time around. Also a bone of contention is the game's mission, which involves you searching the maze-like world for Metroids to kill. There are a certain number of aliens you need to defeat. Worse yet, that number is always front and center on the screen. There's a sense that you always know what's coming next, ruining some of the excitement of discovery.

Does It Still Hold Up? The graphics here are large and well detailed, even if the backgrounds tend to be repetitive. The game's audio isn't that strong, but isn't bad enough to annoy gamers wrapped up in the solid control and interest paths. The game also features one of Nintendo's better endings, offering a heartfelt finale that needs to be seen.

Is It Worth The Money? Metroid II is a solid action game that shows off what the Game Boy was capable of. At the same time, it suffers from some questionable gameplay decisions. While I would have preferred a less linear sequel, Return of Samus is still a heck of an action game. The graphics are good, the gameplay is top notch and I still had a great time exploring this convoluted maze. Be warned that some purists may balk at the recommendation, but Metroid II is worth at least $4. Just make sure and stick around for the touching ending.
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