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AM2R - Metroid II's Zero Mission - Spoiler Discussion

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2 weeks out from Metroid Samus Returns, a little over a week ago, I really started getting very hyped for the upcoming release. Now I'm definitely trying to avoid any kind of spoilers, and I personally have not seen much beyond the initial announcement trailer. I did decide that before I get my hands on Metroid Samus Returns this Friday I would complete AM2R, Another Metroid 2 Remake. Goal was accomplished a couple of days ago, and I've got to say that AM2R is definitely one of the better Metroid experiences I've had.

 

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AM2R has been on my laptop since its release, but I only played a couple of hours of the game before I moved on to play through Metroid Prime Federation Force. I'll say this now, I prefer this fan project to Federation Force...Most of the problems I have with AM2R are very minor. I did occasionally have performance issues in a few of the deeper regions of SR388 which thankfully were brief. If AM2R had cleared a release on the eShop through a deal with Nintendo, I'm sure those performance issues would have been non-existent...or for that matter a better laptop would have likely had the game running smoothly through its entirety. Other than those brief slowdowns, AM2R outclassed Federation Force: gameplay, environmental design, enemy design, boss design, sound design, visual design and possibly even lore.

 

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I say possibly lore with some bias towards Federation Force, as it clearly is building up for Sylux to have an epic return in Metroid Prime 4 with the events that play out over the game's 22 missions. I'm also not particularly into the Chozo race, and find myself much more intrigued with the Alimbics and even the Luminoth. Having said that, AM2R had me more invested into the Chozo than I think I have ever been in a Metroid experience. The only exception may be Super Metroid. What I enjoyed, and what typically doesn't get displayed too much in the series, is the technological prowess of the Chozo being emphasized on SR388 and that prowess being highlighted in a number of ways. The best in my opinion were the quick travel tubes that were stationed in the planet's water region, as it opened up the world to further exploration with a better equipped Samus Aran without the need to navigate back through the main tunnel.

 

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Unlike the original game, I really appreciated that AM2R showcased what occurred to the Galactic Federation research and rescue teams dispatched to SR388 that were referenced in the classic's manual. It was a nice touch and helped offer more perspective to the mission. The Metroids certainly benefitted from their inclusion and demise, helping to truly elevate their threat to the galaxy...The biggest winner being the Omega Metroids. Metroid IIs' Omega Metroids and Metroid Fusion's Omega Metroid are no where near as vicious as what AM2R offers up for Omega Metroid encounters. To introduce the Omega Metroid evolution by having it slice through four Federation commandos was really perfect and as the player, even as a well equipped Samus Aran, it definitely had me anxious to battle the beast.

 

In general, AM2R raised the bar with its take on the Metroid evolutions. Much like in Metroid II, I felt like each encounter with an evolution above Alpha stage was its own mini-boss. The difference between the two is that AM2R added more believability, lethality and difficulty to those encounters by expanding the abilities of those evolutions. Nothing felt added just to be added in; the new abilities felt sensible for each evolution. The Gamma Metroid's new ability to catch Samus in an electrifying vice grip or the Omega Metroid's ability to knock back Samus with a miniature, localized quake are both examples that added more personality and intensity into the atmosphere of each new Metroid encounter.

 

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Going through AM2R has done the job; I'm more hyped for the 15th. It gave me an excellent "Zero Mission" styled remake of Metroid II, so I'm now ready for the remake of Metroid II that looks to be trying to evolve the gameplay of 2D Metroid. My hope is that Metroid Samus Returns builds on the lore and viciousness of SR388 just as AM2R did, and from what I've seen, I do think the final product will succeed at that in its own way. To rank AM2R next to Nintendo's own Metroid titles, I would say it is in my Top 5. In my opinion, if it weren't for some brief slowdowns, it would be a solid 3rd favorite, but I think I would put it just a hair off of Metroid Prime as my 4th favorite Metroid experience. I do still think Super Metroid is the best 2D Metroid. The gap is a lot smaller now though, and may get even smaller Friday.

 

Who here has had the chance to experience AM2R? What were your thoughts on the game? Dislikes? Favorite moments? What did you think of the Metroid evolutions and the lore expansion provided in the remake? Final Boss impressions? Opinions on the Fusion and Super Metroid references?

Edited by IU

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