AM2R, short for Another Metroid 2 Remake, is an action-adventure video game developed by Milton Guasti under the pseudonym DoctorM64, and released in August 2016 for Microsoft Windows, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Metroid series. It is an unofficial, enhanced remake of Nintendo's Game Boy game Metroid II: Return of Samus (1991), borrowing the art style and overall feeling of the Game Boy Advance game Metroid: Zero Mission (2004). Shortly after the game's release, Nintendo sent DMCA notices to websites hosting AM2R; download links to the game were removed from its official website, but Guasti said that he still planned to continue working on the game privately. In September 2016, Guasti ended the development of AM2R after he received a DMCA takedown request from Nintendo.
The game follows Samus Aran, who aims to eradicate the parasitic Metroids from their home planet SR388. It includes several new features, including redone graphics and music, a map system, and new areas and minibosses. The controls were changed to be less "floaty", in line with the gameplay of later titles in the series. Video game journalists appreciated the game, frequently calling it impressive and commenting on the improved visuals compared to those of the original Metroid II, although one thought the conditions required to win battles against Metroids were too specific considering how often they occur. The game was nominated for The Game Awards 2016, but was later removed from the nominations page without notice.
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I attempted to play the original Metroid II: Return of Samus yesterday. Within only an hour and a half I felt nauseated due to the greyscale visuals (I didn't know I could change the color until after and even then it didn't help much), the gratingly terrible soundtrack and noises, and just the overall snoozefest it was turning out to be. So I decided to drop Metroid II for this wonderfully crafted fan game instead, and I'm glad I did.
Dislaimer: I also own Samus Returns for the 3DS, so I feel no guilt in playing this game. Not that I would anyway, it's not piracy, it's a fan game, and I don't really feel bad with emulating games anyway given Nintendo's BS stance on the matter.
AM2R is just a really well crafted game, filled with moments that actively made me tense and filled me with anxiety on levels that neither Dread nor Fusion could reach. Fighting Metroids in dark corridors, having them pop out of nowhere for a fight, the building up to new evolutions of the species, all of it coalesces into one of the most kino Metroid games I have ever played.
The controls feel precise and smooth, only issue I had was trying to Shinespark using the analog stick, which at times felt pretty slippery which screwed with my timing. I don't know if that was a Me issue or a game issue but just something I noticed while playing.
The challenge was fair for the most part, though I would like to give mention to The Tester for probably being the most annoying boss in the game. It's an overall fair fight, but Metroid games aren't Sh'mups so having to adapt to a completely different mindset for that boss was a bit irritating. Invincibility frames could also use some extending just saying, getting juggled in this game is the worst and I really hope it's something that gets fixed in an eventual update.
Overall, this game felt great enough for me to collect every item in the game, the second Metroid game I've done that for now, with the only other one being Dread.
This is definitely a phenomenal experience, and basically makes the original Metroid II completely obsolete. Don't play the original Metroid II, play this. Or Samus Returns if you're a purist, just don't play the original Metroid II, it's gross.