Reviews from

in the past

The first two Metroid games did not age well. The 3DS remake is much more enjoyable, even though this version still has its merits.

Super underrated but still flawed for sure. Probably the best thing is the atmosphere this game makes. There's such an eerie, claustrophobic feeling you get plunging deep into the caverns of an alien world, hunting for metroids that are gradually becoming stronger and more horrifying as you progress. And the ending sequence is incredibly cinematic and terrifying for a Game Boy game from 1991. But the fact that most rooms look exactly the same so you get lost easily and the somewhat clunky controls make it a bit hard to recommend. But if you can push through all that, this game is a great experience for any Metroid fan

I didn't play this game back in the Game Boy days and it is pretty rough to play today on the Switch's emulator. It's no wonder we've gotten both a great official and unofficial remake for it. I shouldn't be too hard on it though. It was doing some cool stuff for the Game Boy. It feels pretty atmospheric with some interesting music and you do feel like you're descending into this scary alien planet. Unfortunately, the lack of map and all the environments looking very similar (especially when it never got a colour version for the GBC) make it incredibly difficult to navigate. I know getting lost can sometimes be the point of these games but when you can't discern one area from another, it just becomes a frustrating experience. I did still get some enjoyment from hunting down all the metroids despite the repetition. I'm glad to have played through it but any revisit will be through either of the remakes.

If there ever was some good to come out of the NSO service, it would be the new opportunity to find out just how much Game Boy games rule. After enjoying Wario Land 4, the Japanese app's catalog planning to include the never localized The Frog for Whom the Bell Tolls was the kick I needed to finally find it on the information superhighway, and it was a blast too. The misadventures of the Prince of Sable (Note that hurts me to write: the Assist Trophy guy that turns into a frog) got me thinking about how the console's library tends to stick out from a lot of Nintendo's usual lineup. I was originally going to write something longer about that game itself, pointing to how Game Boy games having a smaller technical scope, and perhaps a looser leash than their console counterparts, could enable them to explore more unique narratives. In particular, the role of the protagonist is oddly subversive across the library. The aforementioned and often incompetent Prince of Sable, the way in which the Mario Land series was supplanted by its own antagonist, or even the bittersweet nature of Link's quest in Link's Awakening. But I could never really get beyond that thesis statement. Sure, I could point out how telling it was that the Prince had to buy his own transformation items, but nothing ever came together in an interesting way.
Well, the latest game for the system that I played, Metroid II: Return of Samus, turned out to be the final piece of the puzzle I was trying to construct from my previous thoughts. This comes in part from how cruel and callous the whole journey felt, distorting the role of a video game hero well beyond the lighter satires of Mario and Zelda I had checked out before. It's a game where the only goal is to exterminate the whole species of the Metroids, a fact that even the UI makes inescapable with the everpresent Metroid counter. The act of fighting these bosses should characterize the whole experience, and the game chooses to make them rather static and predictable fights in which you blast them apart with missiles. Especially as I found the Varia Suit, these creatures who were supposed to pose an unknowable threat in the last game devolved into a pretty mindless chore. The original Metroid didn't have particularly interesting bosses, but the likes of Kraid and Mother Brain at least put up a fight. Here, what you would expect to be the highlights of the game end up being a curbstomp, and I think that's telling of the kind of story they were going for.
In games, combat often empowers and uplifts the player by having them overcome obstacles, marking your proficiency and domination over the game's systems. The Metroidvania genre in general loves to use your ever expanding arsenal to facilitate a power trip in locations where you once struggled. However, Game Boy games, running on hardware far less suitable to twitchy action than the contemporary SNES, often deemphasize the role a player has in fighting through their play space. Wario, for instance, does not get damaged by enemies at all in his second and third outings, as an effort to alleviate the problem of enemies bumrushing your small screen in the likes of Super Mario Land 2. Without the stakes of violence inflicted upon him, enemies often serve as minor inconveniences or puzzle solutions rather than something to gain instant gratification from besting. Likewise, the Prince of Sable's cartoon dustcloud slapfights are purely automated, doing more to characterize him as feeble yet well-meaning than as to reward the player. In Samus Aran's case, the rote boss fights deglamorize the violence she is committing towards the Metroids. It takes relatively little effort to blast these creatures out of existence, all the while hearing their singular cry of pain. The fights in the game's 3DS remake would contrast this simplicity, obscuring a lot of this violence behind complex aiming challenges and flashy cutscenes. Meanwhile, the barren fights of the original leave no room to hide the brutality of your hunt.
If the Metroids can't stop Samus, then nothing else stands a ghost of a chance. The wildlife of the planet are often just weird and in the way, and it's almost trivial to rip most of them to shreds. Even outside of the creatures, the whole space of SR388 feels incredibly disposable. Part of this owes to the linear structure, where you rarely have any reason to look back unless you're in dire need of a recharge station. Beyond that, though, SR388 itself is characterized as being irrelevant. Outside of long decayed Chozo temples, there's no culture that can be deemed as significant. There's hardly any backgrounds either, further decreasing the vibrancy of this world. Even the name is based on the convention we assign to (presumably) uninhabited celestial bodies in real life. Each bit of this design contextualizes this planet as an empty husk to run over in pursuit of your mission, with no need to regret anything caught in the crossfires. Sure, the Metroids seem to be relatively sustainable predators on the food chain of SR388, as most life does just fine staying out of their nests. But yet the political tensions of completely separate planets necessitate that this natural equilibrium gets demolished with no regard for any consequences. From what I've learned of this series through cultural osmosis, that will probably not go so well in the future.
Outside of the violence represented through gameplay, one thing that stands out about this adventure is the soundtrack. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say soundscape, as when leaving the overworld theme, much of the songs devolve into discordant beeps. As these weirder tracks play in the areas more inhabited by the Metroids, they enhance the unease of hunting them down. The low health sound also stood out to me as having this unbridled annoying smoke alarm energy, droning on constantly and even warping in pitch based on health. I can't even put into words how these sounds get so... invasive in my own thoughts, the kind of thing that just makes me think way too much about what's going on. Even the ever sudden return back into the overworld track functions more like a gasp of fresh air than simply getting back to a better tune. It's certainly a hard sell, but I can't think of a better way to capture the soul-crushing mundanity of Samus's mission.
And that's probably how I'd describe Return of Samus as a whole. The Game Boy's low fidelity works full throttle to wipe away the heroics you would expect from most Metroid games, leaving you on your own to think about how it feels to go along with this extermination. I finally understand why there's been so much discussion of this game on the Internet, as it leaves so many interesting ideas up to interpretation. Even the final twist of sparing the baby Metroid feels so open ended as to the motive that it's hard to pin a particular meaning to it. It's no wonder that a game that accomplishes so much in such a small form factor stuck with people enough to be remembered so many years later, to the point of getting remade twice. That being said, I kind of doubt the ability of either successor to replicate the sorts of emotions I got from this game. While the work on both is admirable, I've already expressed my issues with Samus Returns, and AM2R seems to play much more in line with the sort of thrills you'd get out of Super Metroid. Throughout the years of the Metroid series and the discussion surrounding it, Metroid II: Return of Samus remains a one of a kind beacon of the Game Boy, and reflects everything I find special about the console's lineup.

It was aight. I can see why a lot of metroid fans don't like it though. It is definitely linear, and the fact that the linear map is also non-euclidean (you pretty much need a pre-made map with this game, drawing this game as it is on paper is literally impossible) makes this not really much of a metroid game in all honestly. If you instead choose to see it like some sort of weird 2D collectathon or something then maybe that might be a better experience. I give a rec since its still pretty badass for an original game boy game, but still a cautious rec if you are a fan of the series or somethin. Maybe try the 3DS remake instead, though I haven't played that yet.

I liked this one but.. I just don't have the drive or desire to finish it. the problem with Metroid 1 and 2 is that even with a map, navigating and playing is still a pain because of how stupid it is to heal. There are healing stations in this game yes but they're so out of the damn way it's like they're not even there at all. I'll leave this one behind unfortunately.

I’m comfortable recommending that new players start with Super Metroid instead, but that isn’t to say I don’t like this game. It’s just that it’s much easier to say I like Metroid 2 now that I’m done with it and not faced with the prospect of having to actually play it again.

Metroid II is an interesting sequel. It makes some changes to the gameplay of the first and introduces things that would become franchise staples like the shoulder pads on the Varia Suit, Screw Attack, Space Jump, and proper save rooms. While those gameplay changes are very much appreciated, just like the first game, it's limited by the hardware it was designed for.
When comparing the two in terms of which is better, I'd almost consider them equals in a lot of ways. But the reason I give the first the edge over this comes down to something that I think is crucial to the series: the music.
Metroid II has some very good tracks. The reoccurring overworld theme is well done in getting you excited about your adventure through SR388, and when it comes back into play later, succeeds at motivating you as the Metroid counter decreases further. Other tracks worth highlighting are the final area, the Queen Metroid's theme, and the lovely piece of music that plays when you and the baby Metroid are heading back to the ship. However, if you noticed what tracks I highlighted, most of them come from the endgame. For a good chunk of the game, it relies heavily on silence and the occasional Game Boy bleeps and boops to have something go on in the background.
Its attempts at trying to be more atmospheric are welcomed, but I don't think it really succeeds in being scary or tense. Never found the Metroid fights intense or exciting. Besides the annoying bastards that are the Omega Metroids, they're nothing special gameplay-wise, but they do have some cool designs. In fact, I dare say that this game is easier than the first because you aren't dealing with old-school jankiness as much as you did in the NES original.
Having finished both Metroid I and II, it's pretty clear to see why these got the remake treatment. In Metroid II's case, it happened twice. The game continues to build upon the foundation of the original to help solidify the series' identity, but like its predecessor, its successors do a much better job at refining the formula. Also like its predecessor, this is really only worth checking out if you're a die hard Metroid fan. Besides that, check out either of the 2 remakes, which I will get to soon.
(Still figuring out what to do about Samus Returns but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.)

super janky, kind of frustrating, but replayable as all hell and one of the greatest (if accidental) survival horror games i've ever played. this game made me piss myself when i was 20

Wait, Seamus Metroid is a girl?!
An improvement over Metroid, which I feel I should point out is a game I actually like. The signposting is certainly better here; all it took was some empty Metroid husks, a Metroid counter, some screen-shaking, and a few different tile-sets to keep me from getting lost more than a few times. The two-tone color-palette and minimal soundscape are limiting, but the relative linearity of the game was appreciated.
As someone who has not played Samus Returns or AM2R, the ending took me by surprise. After the all-out smackdown I just put on the Metroids, I was expecting the usual timed detonation/escape sequence, but what I got was more gentle. Fusion and Zero Mission for NSO when?

It's a much better version of the original Metroid. Yes, that's a back-handed compliment.
It's a decent enough Metroidvania Lite with how linear and easy to 100% it is. It's got a thick atmosphere drenched in the isolation feeling with how inescapably far down into dangerous territory you get. That definitely makes its presentation its biggest strength.
It's just a shame it's still a game held back by a lot of clunky movement. Old Space Jump, as usual, doesn't work very well, and as much as the crunched screen is good at emulating the feeling of being in a dark, claustrophobic cave, they have a tendency to place annoying lil enemies just barely out of view of jumps and it gets annoying.
The fights against the Metroids try to have variety in the rooms they reside in, but this hardly changes the fact that they ram into you at speeds Samus can't really react to, so they feel more like stat checks than actual fights. Also Zetas are more dangerous than Omegas for some reason.
I give Samus Returns a lot of shit for missing the point of Metroid II so hard that it becomes milquetoast, but yeah. It fixes two of this game's biggest annoyances in having better controls and Metroids that are at least more interesting to fight.

The violence of the machine expressed further, dimmer now that the lights are off. Samus is no longer liberating a planet from its oppressor, she has become the cruel fascist, destroying all life. In her first outing, she did this as well - but it was all under the pretense of helping fight the Space Pirates. Here, she gives into them.
The premise of Metroid II is framed around an extermination order against the Metroid species so that they can "never be used as biological weapons again". Instead of questioning this decision, Samus relents, and we enter the torturous, sickly green spaces of SR-88. There is no joy to be had here, no pleasure to be taken in the act of killing.
The game is repetitive and numbing, with no end in sight to the slaughter of a life form. Right up until the very end, where Samus finally grows a conscience after executing a Metroid's mother right in front of it. This moment, where the baby begins to follow you back out of SR-88, is odd in its juxtaposition. It's calm but also anxious. There's a tension here: why did Samus grow a conscience now? Why is the act of walking past all those she killed so relaxing?
And so a perpetrator of systemic violence is allowed to choose which are "worthy" to survive. She is allowed her "moment of conscience." The cycle begins anew.

Played on the new NSO GameBoy emulator on Switch. Not as bad as I had been led to believe. I preferred the 3DS remake, but there's a certain simple charm to this one and it's different enough that it doesn't really feel like the same game.
Playing this through with all the modern comforts of save states on NSO made some of the unfair bosses and situations a little less frustrating, and using a map when I got lost was almost necessary at some points. However, you can see where they were going with this and it has some of the basic Metroid gameplay that's fleshed out in Super.

This game is fascinating. I'm kinda kicking myself for not playing it in all the years it's been out. Better late than never eh?
So this is my second foray into the Metroid series after starting with the fantastic first entry and I'm kinda blown away by how solid a sequel it is especially since its on Game Boy. I can only imagine the reaction of the game at the time. Metroid II is every bit the game Metroid was ALSO with some excellent improvements all on a portable device! Crazy to think. The only way it's lacking a bit is in the graphics department I guess but even that is remedied a bit by playing on Game Boy Color!
As I said, the game is mostly the same strengths as the first one. You explore around with non-linear progression and can find yourself in tricky areas you aren't best equipped for. Hell the game can be beaten without half the power ups. The game, like the last, does reward curiosity as you can find upgrades and additions in areas found through the tiniest hidden passages and they all feel well worth getting. The game is a bit easier on exploration too in general as there aren't really any annoying enemy types like the first game had, nothing dive bombing you or matching you jump and following you through screens. Also there are certain spots you can find that fully replenish your missile anmo and your suit energy. All this makes for a maybe easier experience but to me it's less annoying and enhances the exploration aspect. There are still enemies to fight and challenges to be had but now it isn't as irritating as it could be.
The biggest challenge faced in this game ties brilliantly into the continuing story of the game and offers a unique and interesting change of pace to gameplay. In Metroid II, Samus is tasked with traveling to the homeworld of the Metroids, SR388, and eliminating the rest of them for fear of their threat to the galaxy. So in the game you start with a counter at the bottom if the screen showing how many Metroids you have left to kill through the whole game. Each area has a set number of Metroids and the way to access new sections of the map is not merely by finding appropriate suit upgrades but by finding all the Metroids for an area and defeating them. Throughout the game you'll fight Metroids in various stages of their life cycle which become increasingly ferocious and dangerous the deeper into the planet you get. It's an excellent little twist to the core gameplay mechanic and felt pretty fresh for such a robust sequel.
Metroid II is an excellent game and intriguing sequel. The game plays as good or arguably better than the first one. The events of the game also seem like they'll impact the lore of the game's and Samus' personal journey in a big way. I'm really glad I have the opportunity to play these games in order and as close to the original format as I can in our modern age. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys action and exploration. Bonus points if you can appreciate old games and the achievement of getting something so substantial right on a handheld. I can't wait to see what's next in the series!

I have very fond memories with this game. As a kid, my first playthrough was done alongside a friend, and we both challenged each other not to look up guides or anything.
We would explore the game and share details with each other when we both got stuck, trying to see who could beat the game first. Whenever I found a cool weapon he hadn’t, I felt a sense of pride. I imagine he felt the same when he showed me where he got an upgrade that I didn’t find.
That said… that’s the only context I hold fondness for and find it hard to return to and replay. The lack of a map was fun for a challenge back then but now it’s just cumbersome, the aspect ratio on the sprites is also not fun to work with. The game is just okay.

Metroid 2 is a fantastic game for the Game Boy. It's full of atmosphere, eerie music, hostile as fuck Metroids, and the kind of very satisfying progression I've grown used to with the previous Metroid. The only problem I see with the game is the lack of a map system can make it frustrating to nevigate. But there's a reason why this game has a dozen fan remakes. It's a pretty stellar Metroid game. Definitely worth the little time it takes on NSO.

Mucho mejor que la primera entrega
Metroid II mejora la mayoría de los fallos que tenía el primer juego. Añade unas cuantas más opciones de movilidad a través y hace que el mapa se sienta no tan repetitivo.
Lo que sí se siente repetitivo es el gameplay, pues consiste en buscar y matar a todos los metroid del planeta, con la excepción de un mini-boss que ahí andaba. Estos metroid tienen diferentes etapas evolutivas pero todas se matan igual: llenandoles la cara de misiles.
El problema aparece cuando se te acaban los recursos ya sea salud o misiles, por que el juego te obliga a darte una vueltota hacia los puntos de recarga, pero es mejor que farmear salud como en el juego pasado.
La música palidece a comparación mucho, no hay ninguna canción que resalte como icónica tanto como en el primer juego, solo como una o dos me gustaron.
Fuera de eso esta bien, mucho mejor y menos tosco que el primero, con buenos power-ups y mejores sprites pero repetitivo en su jugabilidad.
Si lo vas a jugar usa de preferencia un mapa.

It's pretty good but but I probably won't ever finish it

honestly, i went into this game assuming i'd hate it, and yeah it's really outdated and can be frustrating sometimes (COUGH QUEEN METROID COUGH) but I honestly had a great time with it. its pretty linear, which would usually be a downside for a metroid game, but considering the lack of a map, i think it helped. still, if you're gonna play any version of metroid 2, just play samus returns or am2r, they are much better experiences.

A game solely focused on committing genocide should not have any right being this fun, but here we are

Samus never really returned to my childhood gaming life since the day I first met them back on the NES, it was quite a hole there between that and 2002, aka The Year Metroid Beat Everyone's Ass. Metroid II for all intents and purposes was just the cover for the box of the Super Game Boy, that was everything I knew it as. Just the front of a piece of cardboard that I saw at some store or in a JC Penny catalog maybe. It existed, that's all I knew.
I have many bones to pick with the way Nintendo treats it's back catalog of classics and oddities, but if there's any silver lining to the dripfeed of past content it's finding a reason to finally give a serious go at Samus' mission to genocide a race of beings for the supposed sake of the galaxy. The final enemies that you were once scared of back on your original adventure are now the sole focus of your mission, and as it turns out those were just the little baby forms. The nightmarish vampire jellyfish can evolve into monstrosities that could no doubt devastate many a civilization.
This is a fight for survival on both ends, it's us or them. It's not pretty.
The sprites are huge and chunky, resulting in screen space being closed in on you. This isn't just the screen, this is the darkness that Samus must traverse as she delves deeper into SR388. There's no telling what's coming up, and you're allowed just the faintest sighting of a Metroid before it spots you and begins it's attack for you to contemplate a battle or to make a strategic retreat to restock. Missiles require more and more care as the Metroids grow stronger and more terrifying as fear begins settling more and more during your first venture into this journey, and the music joins in on making your life go from disturbing to downright hellish with one of my favorite scare chords in recent memory.
Metroid II is a milestone for gaming as a medium, it truly drives home the utter misery that is to carry out a mass killing of other living beings who wouldn't think a second thought to do the same thing to you and your loved ones. It is...dare I say, an early example of Survival Horror. I don't see this game brought up a lot, but it really leans into much of the same pillars of which that genre builds itself upon. You traverse unexplored maps, looking for either dangerous creatures that make your universal counter go down one by one, or energy and ammunition to keep yourself strong to carry out said objective with more confidence. Your little vacation at SR388 begins all fun and games, then only gets more and more visceral as it becomes apparent just how destructive the Metroids truly are with long pathways that bear little to zero life. Violence to end violence...and at the end of all the destruction, an innocent that you can't go through with the killing of....a shred of hope that peace could be theoretically achieved with these lifeforms still intact.
Peace Sells, I'm buying.
Over the course of the 2010s I used to hear a lot of hollering of this game requiring a remake. It got them, all two of them. Personally, I feel once you take the aesthetic of the Game Boy away from Metroid II it dampers the experience a smidgen and it's identity is lost. That fear isn't really there anymore and many AAA-isms get thrown in to make the experience more "epic", which puts a bit of a bad taste in my mouth when the original foundation was to be a legitimately Dreadful experience as opposed to Samus doing kickflips off an Omega Metroid and striking a pose for the camera as the cutscene does the actions for you. Maybe it's just my age showing, but considering I only got to play this seriously recently and formerly brushed it off myself, I think there's legitimacy behind it.
Give this one a go, wait for the sun to go down, close your curtains, and play this on your Switch while under your blanket in your room. Simulate that feeling of a child playing this haunting game alone with only the sounds of that experimental atmospheric soundtrack going off as you wander the caverns of SR388. Perhaps even get a worm light on a Game Boy Color to get the ultimate experience. I don't think you'll regret it. It's an experience I wish I grew up with.
Respect the originals, don't replace them. Admire them.

Metroid games are broken up into two groups: the good ones are 5/5, and the bad ones are 2/5. This is one of the good ones.

It's funny how back in the day you could just get away with releasing a mainline sequel to a home console game on a handheld.
No one would question you.
"Isn't this gonna severely limit the scope of our game?"
"Don't you think that mechanically this might end up far worse than its predecessor?"
"Can we even do a map as big as the first game, let alone bigger?"
"Do you think people will get tired of the same black and white temple environment for the entire runtime?"
All of these questions and more are ones Metroid II is willing to answer!

There's something to be learned from this game: Never release on the Gameboy when you have ambition. I'll make sure to never release on the Gameboy if I ever have any ambition now. Thanks, Metroid II.

While the gameplay is pretty repetitive- explore, find secrets, kill metroids, repeat- it's really satisfying and establishes a mysterious, claustrophobic atmosphere despite its limited hardware. Samus moves and responds really effectively, and the spider ball in particular is really fun to explore with. However, the method of advancement is strange- kill enough metroids, and the level of the lava inexplicably falls, exposing new areas. Compared to the brilliant exploration system of Super Metroid, it certainly seems rather limited, but on its own merits it's a fun little game, and plays really well for an original Gameboy game.

O jogo tem limitações gráficas, por falta das cores as áreas são muito parecidas e não ter um mapa atrapalha bastante a navegação pelo cenário.
Se eu puder te dar uma dica procure um mapa, imprima ou pelo celular mesmo vá marcando as áreas por onde você já passou, itens que recolheu e inimigos que já enfrentou, isso melhora muito a experiência!
Apesar desses problemas a jogabilidade se mantém muito boa, o jogo é divertido e essa é mais uma das pérolas do Game Boy que valem ser jogadas até hoje!

Interesting concept, but game is really boring, and theres a much better remake.

Comecei o jogo pra ver qual era a dele, pouco tempo depois, estava decidido a não jogar, pq não tinha mapa, aí fui pra internet, e com um pouco de pesquisa sobre o jogo, fiquei sabendo que era um metroid bem linear até, então voltei pro jogo até fechar.
Me diverti com o jogo, me surpreende o tanto que ele faz se for ver quando ele foi lançado, mas vou avaliar ele pelo que gostei de jogar hoje, e tem muito dele que foi vencido pelo tempo, no final algumas coisas estavam me incomodando muito, como parar pra farmar vida e misseis, e o chefe final, muito legal, se vc descobrir o jeito certo de vencer ele, o que não foi meu caso, precisei de 150 misseis pra conseguir vencer ele, dps vi na internet como devia ter matado o chefe, e enfrentei ele dnv, e aí, foi muito mais legal e muito menos cansativo.
Bom jogo, mas se for recomendar metroid pra alguém, não vai ser esse....
Espero um dia jogar o remake.