Metroid II: Return of Samus - An underappreciated treasure

Professor E. Gadd

Well-Known Member
Oct 15, 2012
Wii U
Kicking off the discussion about an unbelievably awesome and probably the most underrated in the series, Metroid II: Return of Samus. I can't believe how much fun I had playing something on such a tiny screen. And when Super Game Boy came out with a pre-set color palette for Metroid II, the game came alive again on the SNES!

Several years later, I played it again on a Windows emulator, where I could create my own palette and colorize the game however the heck I wanted to. I remember making a palette that closely resembled the original NES Metroid.

Why did I love Metroid II? It was a real sequel. It followed the original Metroid in spirit while advancing the gameplay and leveraging the hardware of the Game Boy platform. Nintendo paid a lot of attention to detail in the game. The sound was in full stereo if you used headphones, even though Game Boy only had one speaker. The gameplay had the perfect balance of suspense, exploration, and action. Oh, and the Metroids were AWESOME.

While I am a decade and a half late, I also want to give a big thumbs down to Jeremy Parish of for giving this game a D+. I wonder if Jeremy expected how crappy most games would be in 2013, and how much better Metroid II would be compared to most of what's made today.

P.S. The 3DS Virtual Console version is a disapointment due to the lack of color, a ridiculous price, and weird button mapping
I love it. Metroid II has taken some flack through the past 20 years for being too obtuse, too dissimilar from its later sequels and therefore too dated to reasonably return to and enjoy again in hindsight -- but I've been having a blast re-experiencing this game exactly as it is. No guidance, no help. Just me and Samus versus the planet.

I think the lack of those extraneous aids magnifies the feeling of isolation that once defined this series so well -- Samus is alone on this mission, and without the comfort of even a pause screen to bring up some blocky representation of the terrain you end up feeling that lonesomeness all the more.
Even better, the tension of encountering the Metroids ends up becoming epic -- you've stalked through these twisted halls, probably gotten yourself terribly lost, probably depleted your energy tanks along the way and then, suddenly, this huge mutated Metroid appears to tear you limb from limb. The fights are frantic and desperate, with cramped and confined spaces making it even more difficult to catch your breath at any point along the way.
I don't like it as much as the rest of the games, but that doesn't stop me from loving it. All the metroids with the exception of the primes are amazing. I love the feeling of exploration and samus against the world. It is a really great feeling. I wish they would make a metroid in the style of the classics that was actually good.. Too bad other M was a bomb :(
Seems like I really need to get my hands on this one again. My brother had it at some point, and I remember playing it, but I don't remember anything about the game at all. Any Metroid game in classic form is a go for me though. Super Metroid still rocks my world from time to time. That reminds me, I need to download the original Metroid too.
My brother and I used to share a Gameboy, and I remember one day my mom accidentally broke it. She was trying to put it on the top shelf in the closet, when accidentally dropped it, and it crashed, "face" first, onto the corner of a metal box, and it shattered the screen, and liquid came pouring out of it. At least, that's the story we heard. Tho we did witness the liquid pouring out of the screen, as she showed it to us before she got rid of it. In the end, it was a blessing in disguise. You see, they happened to be having a sale on Gameboys, and my mom went to go and replace the one that she broke. And my brother and I talked her into getting us each one, since we fought over who got to play it anyways. So we ended up getting two Gameboy's that day. And the best part... both were bundled Gameboys. One Bundle came with the Gameboy and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, while the other Bundle came with the Gameboy and Metroid II: Return of Samus. So we ended up getting two Gameboys, and two great Gameboy games. We were so excited.

I remembered playing the first Metroid on the NES, but I had never beaten it. I was young, and just couldn't do it. I probably could of, if I had tried. But there were a lot of games, and my friends and brother and i would play other games together all of the time. So I just didn't put much of an effort into the first Metroid game. I had played the first Metroid game, but Metroid 2 is the one that got me into the series. I loved Metroid 2. I had a blast trying to figure it out and finding out what the story was, and what to do and where to go, and things like that. Then, getting new powers, and turning into the ball, and dropping bombs, and "crawling" along the walls as a ball, and finding secret paths, etc.etc.. It was a blast. I even spent the entire game once, rolling around every single wall, looking for any and all hidden paths, as I used the bombs on everything. This was before the internet and we didn't have a gaming magazine with the map or anything like that. So we did what we always did. We just played the game, and figured it out.

Metroid 2 will always be special to me because it was my first real Metroid experience. Sure, I had played part 1, but it was on passing, and I hardly touched it. That is, until part 2 came out. After beating part 2, I played part 2 again. I liked it that much. And, after beating part 2 a second time, I felt compelled to go back and play part 1. I was disappointed that there was no "crawling" along the walls as a ball, as that wasn't in the first game. So that was a let down, as I looked forward to doing that on a bigger screen. But alas, I couldn't. However, I finally went back and beat the first Metroid game. Overall, I liked part 2 better. One was good, but I didn't enjoy it in it's original day. I didn't get around to playing and beating it until after part 2 had come out. So going back and playing part 1 still gives me that nostalgia feeling, as I did play it when it first came out, originally. However, I didn't play it that much. But it still reminds me of that time frame and playing other NES games with my friends. So that's good. But Metroid 2 is special to me because it not only got me into the Metroid franchise, but it also set me up for Part 3, Super Metroid. Which was another great game in it's own right.

I have officially beaten every Metroid game now, and Metroid 2 is still one of my favorite. I think that Metroid 2, Super Metroid, and Metroid Fusion, are probably my Top 3 Metroid games. Tho I like others too. But as I said, 2 is special to me, as it's what got me into the franchise.

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