GameSpite Quarterly 2, #1: Super Metroid

1. Super Metroid
And with this, we bring GameSpite Quarterly 2‘s online iteration to a lengthy, self-indulgent conclusion. For everyone who’s ever wondered why I keep this blog active when I work full-time for a gaming site, it’s because there’s no possible way I could ever publish something like this under the auspices of 1UP. Honestly, I doubt people have a lot of patience for it here, either; it’s the sort of thing that worked better in print. But whatever. You guys voted Super Metroid your favorite game of all time, and I wrote about why the game is great and why I love it, too. So deal with it, baby. And if this doesn’t scare you away, remember that GameSpite Quarterly 3 goes on sale Monday.

31 thoughts on “GameSpite Quarterly 2, #1: Super Metroid

  1. I think you are wrong in thinking that it requires patience to read through something like this; it was a fantastic write-up. Keep up the good work!

  2. You know it’s funny, even though Super Metroid is not my favorite game, it IS the game that saved me from an “early retirement”.
    Much like you, I had almost given up on games… until I saw that Super Metroid commercial, bought the game, played the hell out of the game and became the nerd I am today.

    This is not the first time I’ve heard people saying that Super Metroid was the one that brought them back to gaming.

  3. Damn, JP! If that doesn’t sum up what I love about Metroid and the Metroidvania brigade in general, I don’t know what does.

    I’m sad to say it took me a good 20 years to fully appreciate both Metroid and Super Metroid. I always loved the verisimilitude afforded by Zelda, but found Metroid to be too much for my feeble five-year-old mind. I always had a love/hate relationship with Faxanadu — and went on to love Castlevania dearly — but never gave Super Metroid its due until I randomly decided to devour Metroid whole one summer afternoon. After that quickly came Super Metroid, and I just couldn’t believe how innovative it still felt after playing its imitators for the past couple of decades. It truly is one of the tightest, most enjoyable adventures of all time — although I might have something with a sword in it in my top slot ;).

    I hope Nintendo sends you a card or something for their sudden bump in Super Metroid VC sales.

  4. That definitely wasn’t too long, I think the #1 voted game deserves to have an article as long and great as this one (The picture on the postsays that this was game “2”. Super Metroid, by the way).

    Super Metroid was some of the most fun I’ve ever had playing a game. The ending, as you mentioned, was amazing too- I think I beat the final boss multiple times after I first beat it just so I could experience it again.

  5. I liked this article so much when I read it in the quarterly that I actually played and beat Super Metroid for the first time. It was an awesome experience, and I thought about this the whole time.

  6. A stunning plot, played out without a line of spoken dialogue? How quickly we forget the stunningly delivered, “The last Metroid is in captivity. The Galaxy is at peace…”

    I kid, I kid. Amazing write-up. Makes me want to start another game of SM right now.

    Can’t wait for GSQ3!

  7. Super Metroid: biggest series improvement. Ever.

    None of the Metroidvania Castlevanias have the same level of design. Heck, Symphony of the Night is actually among the more bloated/segregated, which is why I think it gets too much credit.

  8. A great article. I remember not giving the original Metroid a fair chance due to it’s lack of battery saves at a time when I was completely immersed in Zelda, but then Super Metroid came along and made me eat crow about it.

  9. I first played this a year ago and I have already replayed it again. Considering how little free time I have these days, this is the highest praise I can give it.

  10. Ironically, I wasn’t overly interested in Super Metroid initially. Of course, that might have something to do with not having an SNES, and I was going through my heavy RPG phase (which I’ve never really left, but whatever). I was eyeing Zelda and Final Fantasy and whatnot.

    However, all that ended when the local video store started selling off their SNES games. I managed to snag a copy then, and needless to say, I was enthralled. It’s a great, great game. I would watch my younger brother speedrun the original, and I enjoyed the first one, but Super Metroid improved on the formula in all regards. It, and Castlevania: SotN, have provided the type of game that really puts their hooks into me, those non-linear exploration-platformers. I tend to even be enamored with the flawed ones.

    I can’t help but wonder, in some ways, if Zelda II was one of those games that prepared me for this. It was the first NES game I ever owned, and as such, even as maligned as it is, still remains an indelible mark of my childhood.

    Anyway, before I end up typing as much as the original article, this was an excellent writeup. I honestly wish more print mags would go down this route. I typically never tire of good articles about my favorite games of yesteryear.

    I have this huge backlog of games… and I feel a strange urge to go play Super Metroid now. Wonder why that is? ;)

  11. I think I have a mint copy of this in my closet. I played it when it first came out but abandoned it towards the end. I should be able to make some good money off of it on Ebay.

  12. I’ve read this article a bunch of times in print, so maybe I’m a bit bias by now. There’s nothing wrong with it in any format, its a personal narrative and a reminder of what makes this medium so special in the first place. All in all a great conclusion to a wholly wonderful book.

  13. Great game and an outstanding article, but, um…. The banner image has the game listed at number “2”.

  14. Shellshock said:
    >>>”I think I have a mint copy of this in my closet. I played it when it first >>>came out but abandoned it towards the end. I should be able to make some good >>>money off of it on Ebay.”

    Thanks for the pointless anecdote fuckface. Let me guess, you also sold the gold watch, passed down from generation to generation, that your father gave to you on his deathbed?

  15. Jeremy subconsciously listed Super Metroid as #2 because he knows, in his heart of hearts, that the greatest game of all time is Episode 1: Racer.

  16. Bah! I’m terrible at commenting… my opinion is too complicated so I’ll just summarize which will no doubt lead to misunderstanding. Apologies in advance.


    I feel the need to play Devil’s Advocate given the self-effacement of the introduction… the article really needed editing! Do we need ten paragraphs of foreplay?

    I don’t think Super Metroid needs that kind of wistful backstory to stand. The second half of your aticle is fine with me, I wanted to hear your opinions on Super Metroid and eventually you got there, but I don’t think the other stuff is relevant at all. Instead it represents all that is wrong with so many “retro gaming” articles: NOSTALGIA.

    The reason some people respond positively to this kind of writing is because they already KNOW the article will be positive. You’ve listed the game as Number One so everyone who reads the article knows the orgasmic affirmation is coming eventually. They love Super Metroid and soon someone will tell them they’re SO RIGHT. The first few paragraphs simply build the tension, before the inevitable release and I think that sells the game short. It’s not simply a nostalgia piece to be played only when you’re sufficiently pumped full of rose-tinted memories of innocent discovery – it’s a GREAT GAME.

    The second part of the article was about that, the first bit wasn’t.

    Anyway keep it up, believe it or not :)

  17. That was great. This whole issue was great.

    But I’m feeling a little over-saturated with gushy love letters to favorite games now. Kind of an emotional sugar-shock. I feel it’s about time for a palate cleanser. (And no, I’m not asking for another prog-rock article.)

    Enough with the games we love, what about the games we hate? Come-on man, where’s the SPITE?

  18. What has always stood out about this game is the level of polish given to every aspect, especially compared to the first game, which looked hastily thrown together and half finished. Super Metroid almost looks like a Neo Geo game with it’s huge sprites, extensive animation, and the way it’s tileset hides the “grid” most 2-d games are laid out on.

  19. @ norfair: Oops. Somebody takes TV games too seriously. Don’t let them get in the way of living your life.

  20. I actually thought the Metroid recounting was pretty cool. I know most people just want to get to the main content, but a lot of what makes Super Metroid special is that it took a great game and improved on it in every way. It very much built on what the original (and the oft-forgotten Metroid 2) did, and as such, the nostalgic retrospective was very effective.

  21. @ Chris – maybe GameSpite isn’t for you.

    @ Bad Hair Man – the spite is in normal game reviews. Go read some of those.

  22. This may be the best piece you’ve ever written on this site (it’s either this one or the one about taking home the boxed NES on the bus). Magnificent.

  23. Norfair, that’s apples and oranges; and even if video games COULDN’T be stored forever as data (hi! I sold my SNES carts long ago, yet I have them on my PC, and portable devices, and there’s the Wii VC…) there is still something VERY sad/wrong/sad/pathetic about you for valuing them so much. Or would selling it be more ok if it were just a used cart? I wasn’t aware that the BOX was so important to the enjoyment of the game. FUCK, why have I been downloading all my new games via Steam?! I’VE LOST SO MUCH OF THE EXPERIENCE ZOMG

  24. If there aren’t boxes in your brave new world Hugh, there are still logos and associated “product art” that serves a similar role to the physical packages of yore. And I’m sure this virtual packaging still keeps folks from trying a demo or purchasing a game if it goes against their established identity — this is the “girly pink lettering” or “Secret Antiperspirant” effect. Important business stuff, cause games gotta make money.

    The irony is that I’m sure many readers enjoy relating to Jeremy’s specific perspective with Super Metroid, which has as much to do with shared experience of the cart and packaging and childhood and sermon-daydreaming as it does with the game itself. So I’m left wondering — trolls don’t think, but do they feel?

  25. The irony is that you claim I “don’t think”, but you clearly missed the point of my comment entirely. Did I make any comment about marketing? It’s A BOX. It doesn’t effect the game, nor does it’s delivery. Good for you, you have a memory associated with it, that doesn’t make it of any influence. If we still lived in the pre internet world, I could certainly imagine mocking someone who bought Metal Gear Solid simply as discs getting stuck without a codec frequency (not that it couldn’t still be figured out), but we’re talking about a man who is angry that someone wants to sell a game that is readily available. It’s not a “one of a kind” thing like some of my movie props that I have collected.

  26. @ Tomm –

    I really resent that reaction. It reminds me of the No Mutants Allowed community centred around Fallout – those guys will immediately single out anyone who DARES say anything outside the status quo.

    I like this site, I’ve read just about everything that’s been posted on it for atleast a year. I read the forum but I rarely post. I’ve listened to Retronauts since it started and I read Jeremy’s reviews over at 1UP. So I resent the idea that I supposedly don’t belong simply because I dared suggest the article needed editing.

    My issue was simply with the nostalgia, not with Gamespite or the process of writing about older games. I think it’s perfectly possible to write about old games without having nostalgia enter into it, and there were other articles in GSQ2 that did that.

    On the chance that you’re Tomm Hulett your reaction is particularly disappointing to me since you’re IN the book and yet can’t see the value of offering a different perspective.

    Frankly I think a good community ENCOURAGES differences of opinion and if you come here or read these articles simply to have your back patted then maybe Gamespite isn’t for you.

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