10 Unpopular Opinions About The Metroid Series, According To Reddit

The successful launch of Metroid Dread has lead to renewed interest in the franchise across the board. Many fans who experienced Metroid for the first time through Dread are now going back to try the rest of the series, whereas veterans have been replaying classic titles in preparation for the new game.

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With renewed interest comes renewed discourse, of course, and Metroid has always been a series that generates a lot of intense opinions about nearly every game it has to offer. For every person out there willing to stick to conventional wisdom surrounding the franchise, it feels like there are just as many willing to go against the grain.

The murderous E.M.M.I. were the cornerstone of Dread's marketing, and are essential to creating that titular atmosphere of "dread." However, for some like Redditor ElisaurusWrecks, they aren't all they were cracked up to be, especially next to Fusion's SA-X. For this user "sometimes scripted encounters are the better choice" when it comes to creating fear.

However, while the SA-X might have been more effective where scares were concerned, it's hard to argue that the E.M.M.I. aren't more effective as enemies. Knowing when and where the SA-X will appear in subsequent playthroughs of Fusion effectively negates it as a threat, whereas the E.M.M.I. will punish even the slightest mistake with a prompt game over screen

Perhaps the most purely unpopular opinion one can have in the world of Metroid is to come to the defense of the endlessly-reviled Other M. Redditor TheTurnesHaveTabled does just this, and by merely suggesting that "the game looks great and the story is good." 64 highly charged comments were generated in response.

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Fans really don't like Other M, and it isn't difficult to see why. On the surface, it's a broadly mediocre action game, easily outclassed by titles like Bayonetta, but what really drove people crazy was the story. Samus' confident, independent attitude is nowhere to be found, and she's shackled to the orders of her Federation C.O. for much of the game.

Dread is a difficult metroidvania that will satisfy even Dark Souls fans, but not everyone out there is warming up to the game's difficulty. Redditor enjoyyourmeals is one such detractor, arguing that the boss fights "...take the fun out of the game to just get your ass handed to you constantly." This complaint doesn't come from nowhere -- Metroid Dread is indeed pretty hard.

Still, it seems odd to level this critique at Dread when the Metroid franchise at large is no stranger to challenging bosses. Ridley in Super Metroid was no slouch, and the notoriously difficult Mother Brain fight at the end of Zero Mission is the reason for many an abandoned playthrough. Moreover, the popularity of intense 2D action games like Hollow Knight and Cuphead shows that gamers have developed an appetite for this sort of challenge in recent years.

Metroid has been graced with two remakes thus far, Zero Mission and Samus Returns, which are remakes of the first game and its sequel respectively. Where Zero Mission is seen as a much-needed upgrade to a dated classic, Samus Returns is considered decent at best. For Redditor orkokhan, though, Samus Returns "did a much better job at rejuvenating a very old game than" Zero Mission did.

Unfortunately, Samus Returns succumbs to many of the shortcomings that its source did -- namely an uninteresting structure gated behind repetitive boss fights. On the other hand, most would agree that the original Metroid featured the core of a great game held back by the limitations of the NES era, making it more deserving of a remake in the first place.

While everyone has their own preferences, the first Metroid Prime title is by far the most critically successful. Redditor Imoneclassyfu** goes against the grain by defending its sequel as the superior game. For this user Prime 2's labyrinthine world "made up of more detailed smaller areas" is superior to the more open environments of the first game.

This is all very subjective, but the consensus that's formed around the Prime trilogy puts the first game at the top for good reason. While Prime 2's twisty, narrow world might lend itself well to exploration, it comes at the cost of environmental uniqueness. Each of Prime's zones is expertly crafted and features a unique atmosphere, which tends to elude its sequel.

Dread's punishing boss fights have emerged as one of the most lauded elements of the game, but not everyone is as taken with them as audiences at large seem to be. Redditors like Moldy_pirate argue that the fights are little more than "pattern recognition and reflex challenges," and that their punishing attacks make collecting energy tanks less rewarding.

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On the other hand, though, it's hard to argue that Dread's bosses aren't a marked improvement over the series at large. Even Super Metroid die-hards will concede that the game's bosses are its weak point, after all. Moreover, Dread's bosses feature secrets that most players will miss on their first playthrough, which is proof of the strategic depth that the fights bring to the table.

Considered by many to be the crown jewel of the Metroid family, Super Metroid is the archetype from which nearly all other metroidvanias stem. However, there are those like Redditor Cinnfhaelidh, who consider Super to be an overrated sacred cow. His complaint that the game's controls could use an update is relatively common, but he goes further to argue that the game "has a dirty jagged look that ... holds up far worse than the GBA games," and has poor physics.

It's hard to overrate Super Metroid, though, because this game is the very epitome of a genre-defining metroidvania. Its design ethos was so influential that players can find traces of it in basically every other game in the genre that came afterward. While there's certainly room for personal preference, none of the GameBoy Metroid titles enjoyed the influence that Super continues to have.

Next to Super, Metroid Prime is the title that ends up at the top of Metroid series rankings most frequently. Its atmosphere, soundtrack, and world were universally praised, but for fans like Redditor Rez-o, those high points can't save it from one fatal flaw -- backtracking. This user argues that the game looks great, "but you’re going to see [the same rooms] hundreds of times," which cuts down on their appeal.

While most would agree that the Prime games get a little too backtrack-y towards the end, the first in the trilogy is a classic example of the "backtracking done right" that the franchise is known for. The player does frequently revisit environments, yes, but usually they end up receiving a new power-up that allows them to explore the zone in a novel and interesting way.

Getting lost is part of the Metroid Experience, but getting hopelessly, aimlessly lost is rarely satisfying. Some players, like Redditor show_me_yo_moves, found themselves feeling the bad kind of lost a little too frequently in Dread. This user puts it bluntly and states that the game "...could've used some handholding."

Still, the flip side of being lost in a Metroid game is the immense feeling of satisfaction that comes with figuring out, for yourself, where to go next. That organic feeling of exploration and discovery doesn't come without getting lost. Furthermore, learning not to be afraid of getting lost is an essential tip for Metroid beginners, so there needs to be a sense of confusion regarding one's surroundings.

Metroid Fusion is beloved by many for good reason -- it's got fantastic graphics and atmosphere, memorable boss fights, and a spooky horror atmosphere. A common refrain from its critics, though, is that the game is too linear. Redditor MrRazzio elaborates: "The computer telling you what to do next for a vast majority of the game wasn't that cool."

That's certainly a valid critique, as even Fusion's biggest fans will concede that the game is considerably more linear than preceding titles. However, that linearity is used to great effect, and Fusion's scripted sequences make up some of the most memorable moments in the franchise, like that SA-X scare.

NEXT: Metroid Dread -- 8 Things You Might Have Missed On Your First Playthrough



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