Reviews from

in the past

My favorite art game for the Game Boy.

genuinely dislike this, ever since i played it when i was sick with strep throat a decade+ ago. its overall formula is dull and never lends itself to anything interesting. you just blast metroids over and over again until lava lowers zzzz

Lo tosco y repetitivo de las boss fights encaja perfectamente con la tematica. Exterminar toda una especie de criaturas hostiles no deberia ser un espectaculo comodo y placentero. Es un trabajo sucio, es un trabajo violento. Y aun asi, despues de horas de estar matando y matando en un planeta oscuro y opresivo, el juego te recompensa con un final precioso y benevolente. Pocos juegos logran esa "luz al final del tunel" de forma tan efectiva.

My feelings on this one shifted a lot throughout the game. I was really enjoying myself in the beginning. It felt really nice controlling Samus in this game, which was one of my main issues with Super Metroid, that the controls felt a bit clunky. Here they worked really well, although I wish that you would keep your ground speed when jumping, which was something Super Metroid had. I felt like the level design was pretty suited to the game. In Super Metroid, you had a map, which meant that you could make the game very big without having to worry about the player getting lost. Metroid II has no map, and therefore it is much more fitting to have the game being more linear, which it also is. This game is incredibly linear compared to basically all other Metroid games. But it works because of its limitations. I also really enjoy the main premise of this game. In Metroid II, you are basically committing genocide on a planet's population of Metroids. Your goal is simply to kill them all. And you have a counter at the bottom, which helps you keeping track on how many Metroids are left to kill. The game starts off pretty easily, but has a pretty smooth difficulty curve, which towards the end turns into a difficulty spike. The final four metroids and the final boss are without a doubt the hardest parts of the game, which is as it should be, I guess. And this was the point where I was getting a bit frustrated in the game. It all worked out in the end, though, because after countless tries, I finally defeated the final boss, which was incredibly satisfying and kept that mood until the end of the game. And that is a really important thing. It's ok for a video game to frustrate you as long as you feel that reward after the struggle. There were some things I disliked about the game, like some rooms being way too long, but ultimately I felt like this was a really good game. Possibly even better than Super Metroid, but I'll have to replay that game on the original console to see how I feel about that. For now, this stands as a great Metroid game!

This game has aged way better than Metroid 1. Despite its design flaws, it actually plays pretty well. The exploration is segmented so that you don't really need a map too. Really awesome ending. The most underrated and overlooked Metroid by far

Não consegui acabar, principalmente depois de ter jogado o AM2R.

The first game i ever beat, the first game to scare me, to make me understand storytelling in games, and the first game to make me cry. A truly fantastic final boss of an angry mother trying to protect her last child and a uniquely beautiful ending afterwards. This was 1991 and it was pushing the medium of storytelling forward light-years without saying a word

This is, as of now, my favorite Metroid game. And that’s a very strange answer, but one that doesn’t get parroted enough imo. This game’s simple approach to level design combats one of my biggest criticisms of early Metroid: a lack of a map. For the most part, you don’t need one, everything is structured tightly enough that simple landmarks will clue you in on where you are and what to look for, and the game naturally funnels explorative players down the right path. The power ups all feel rewarding because they still require a smidge of thought and creativity to find.
I’ll admit, its musically and graphically limited because its a GB game. But its ability to tell a complex narrative with no dialogue is such a breath of fresh air. And the way its game design can instill horror and emotion in the player is something that deserves more appreciation.
My preferred version is the Metroid 2 DX rom hack that adds color and frame rate buffs to the game. You can even find GBA flashcarts for authenticity of playing it on your Gameboy.

Metroid 2 is a bold sequel. One which looks at the design aspects of Metroid and hones them into a consistent thematic vision. The original Metroid was defined by two main design aspects its nonlinear design and its bleak alien atmosphere. Metroid 2 looks at the limitations of both 8-bit hardware, the game boy, and the portable nature of handhelds, and decides to scrap much of the non-linear design to focus on the story and atmosphere. In this change of focus Metroid 2 becomes one of the most uncomfortable and narratively ambitious Metroid games, with perhaps only Prime 2 reaching that same level of success, while also offering numerous gameplay tweaks to Metroid which make it a far better game.
Metroid 2 directly follows Metroid, discounting any retcons created by Prime, where Samus is tasked with traveling to the Metroid home world of SR388 to kill every living Metroid. This premise is like that of the original game, a set number of alien baddies must be killed to progress: Rildey and Kraid in Metroid and 39 metroids in Metroid 2. Metroid 2 differentiates itself from Metroid in how this goal is accomplished. In Metroid Samus can tackle Kraid and Ridley in any order once she acquires the bombs, while in Metroid 2 Samus must kill every metroid in each area before traveling to the next. The entrance to each now area is covered by a mysterious lava that lowers every time the predetermined number of metroids are killed. This linearity sacrifices the unique design of Metroid, but in return gains a far more consistent difficulty curve and environmental theming.
Metroid 2 ditches the duplicated and surreal rooms of its predecessor in favor of more centralized and realistic ruin environments. Almost every major area is designed around a centralized building whose many floors contain many of the upgrades found throughout the adventure while the caves dotted outside the building house most of the metroids. This new design on a gameplay front makes the lack of a map far more palatable, as you only must memorize small chunks of the map at a time and the areas are more distinct. This design also serves a far greater story function. As you travel to each deeper area each building shows a darker and darker aspect of the chozo: from a temple, to a water treatment area, to a robotics center, a weapons tower, and finally the labs where the metroids were born.
Other aspects of Metroid have also been altered to serve a narrative role. The red doors once used as progression gating to force Samus to grab missiles still exist, but as Samus starts with missiles do not serve a progression purpose. Instead, they are lore entities used to protect Chozo technology from metroids. The few item ruins with broken red doors are in shambles due to Metroid attack. In general Metroid 2 loves to mess with the play with strange set pieces. The spider ball is found in a ruined item room that has collapsed into a pit, the Varia suit is found not on a chozo statue but behind it in some storage room with many empty item shells, and the spring is found in an optional boss who activates the second you shoot the chozo item ball. The game also plays around with its own rules. Metroids are all found near their husks but in area 4 a metroid is found spontaneously in a hall with the husk right behind it. In every area the lava lowers after a set number of metroids are killed, but in one area the lava rises.
Atmosphere wise Metroid 2 is decrepit and distributing in a way that is only enhanced by the hardware. The small screen size leaves the player with low visibility, while the 8-bit graphics make everything seem far nastier than future Metroid games. To save memory less and less enemies spawn in the lower areas of the game, which makes the times when difficult enemies show up even more frightening. Crawling throughout a dark empty pit is far scarier than the action filled rooms of future games.
All of this comes together to tell a dual story: one of the Chozo’s own violence leading to their death, while Samus continues a violent quest to genocide an alien race. As the player sees the sins of the Chozo they may make the connection with Samus’s own quest. The ending of the game further continues this theme. When Samus finally reaches the Queen Metroid she isn’t chasing the player down or planning some evil scheme; she is instead backed in a corner screaming and lashing out at Samus’s aggression (there is in fact an exit out of the fight you don’t have to kill her). Once the queen is finally killed in a surprisingly gruesome death animation Samus walks into in the next room to find that the queen was simply defending her last child. When the baby finally hatches Samus betrays her orders to kill all metroids and spares the baby in an act of mercy. Positioning Samus as a far more complex hero then her contemporaries. In a game all about killing Samus finally realizes the error of her ways and chooses an option unheard of in games at the time, mercy. This concept has been revisited in many future games, but with a heavier story which can make the theme feel forced. In Metroid 2 the story telling is subtle; a player can the play the game and never see a glimpse of a wiser story or they can understand what is happening. As games increasingly try to layer on the emotions and story it is only Metroid 2 which has made me cry and feel bad about my actions. Maybe I am just weird, or maybe less truly is more.
In stark contrast to Metroid which ends with a tense count down Metroid 2 ends with a slow atmospheric climb back to your ship: baby metroid in tow. A soothing theme plays showing Samus’s strength as character while a player is left to reflect on their journey and the choices they made. An ending that still to this day is subversive to the Metroid series. A glimmer of optimism to end a depressing journey. This final tone would be later used by the excellent Metroid Prime 2 to great effect.
Metroid 2 is a sequel which looks at its own limitations and uses them to craft an experience which expands on the story and environmental aspects of the original. Its own sequel Super Metroid would later use the power of the SNES to instead realize the gameplay aspects of Metroid. Considering how the last 4 Metroid games have been mediocre to bad action focused games it is unlikely a Metroid game will reach the story telling heights of 2. Especially since Nintendo has replaced Metroid 2 in the cannon with the awful Samus Returns and that fans have dethroned Metroid 2 in favor of the mediocre fangame AM2R. The days of horror themed Metroid games like 2, Fusion, and Prime 2 may be gone, but even in the darkest times a little optimism for the future doesn’t hurt.

Ground breaking sequel and on the game boy in 1991. Deserves to be in the conversation of Game Boy's best.

Despite being on the monochrome gameboy, rooms look more distinct than they do in metroid 1. The game controls a lot better too, and introduces iconic Metroid items like the Plasma beam and the Space Jump. Though the gameplay loop can be quite repetitive, it is definitely still worth playing

i got lost a lot and the game boy color scheme didn't help much, its a prime example of how metroid explores a sense of isolation but its also really bad just play the remake

Metroid II is a compelling entry in the Metroid series for its ability to tell its narrative through gameplay only, while still make it a fun experience. However the game has aged incredibly, and the need for a remake feels dire. The ability to use a map and graphical enhancements to areas alone would make this game far better than what it is right now, but despite all that Metroid II still remains a fairly good game.

A fantastic if unorthodox Metroid game. Despite its greyscale presentation and linearity, it has an incredible atmosphere. I recommend using a map if needed.

This is better than I remembered. Everything is right in its place. Disregarding the obvious inherited aspects of the original (lack of a map, floating jump mechanics, only having one type of weapon at a time) that work just as well here, the changes reshape the meaning of the experience. The close camera to represent a dark cavern where watching ahead is difficult, the repeated tiles to simulate the feeling of getting lost the more one enters into labyrinthine places, and the black-and-white coloration that strengthens the limited vision. In a sense, you can interpret these elements as the developer's way to put the player in Samus's perspective, and they help as well to give thrill to the anticipation of an encounter. Even if the game is linear, it's easy to stop having track on where to go if you don't pay attention, and even if the game has some modern conventions such as save points and healing spots, it's not nearly as bad as modern works because they're hidden, more dispersed across the world, and require effort to get there. So even if the game isn't as radical as its predecessor, the modern conventions it applies aren't nearly as disruptive to the experience as later games.

The only real major drawback however are the Metroids themselves. They are fittingly aggressive and non-deterministic in their behavior, which contributes to close, even personal brawls, but their lack of solid damage output in combination to the game's floating physics allowing maneuvering over them made them non-threatening, and the fear of facing them diminishes once the player realizes that merely staying healthy for the fight suffices to engage them. It's an exploit in the design, but one that doesn't make the experience of facing them ring false.
The most beautiful aspect of the game for me however is in the little spaces that Samus can enter. Paths in the ground that lead nowhere, but exist as an extension of the landscape. These places, which have no purpose, are representative of the developer's intent to create a wild planet, a place not built for the player but to be an habitat to its fauna. Or edifications in ruins, abandoned long ago that tell the history of the planet with just their existence. And the feeling you get by navigating through them is to be in virgin soil, untouched by human hands, even sacred, through mere abstraction. And this feeling, unique in any game I have seen, is why Return of Samus is one of the vital games of 1991.

I love this game to death but the fact that its a Game Boy game holds it back in so many areas.

Never finished it when I was a kid, but went back and dispatched it via emulator. Gotta say, despite its shortcomings, I had a good time with Metroid 2: Electric Boogaloo. Moreso than the remake Nintendo dropped on us recently. Still haven't played AM2R to compare, though.

Amazing atmosphere, some of the best storytelling in the series.

Lo he intentado, pero entre que es mas Metroid 1 y encima es mas lioso que la primera parte porque los sprites son gigantes por ser de Game Boy, sumando al sonido asqueroso de la consola y tal, nada, paso, drop y a por Super Metroid ahora.

This game has so many cool ideas; but it is basically unplayable to me on the Gameboy.

The apparent shortcomings of the Game Boy contribute to SR388's eerie vibes in a dumbfounding manner, shining ever darker. I'm glad this game isn't a so-called Metroidvania the way its prequel wanted to be and its sequel transcended as being. I'll take the Metroid every time.

Great game, really eerie. Not for people with bad taste.

A solid wee game that feels weird coming off the heels of the original. The monochrome. The cropped feeling with how close you are to Samus, or maybe how much of the screen she takes up. The completely broken super jump.
It's decent. I think I met the famous Baby.

Clunky controls and pretty linear maps, a notable step from first Metroid but needed the remake to make it actually playable.

Entiendo que era medio viejo pero no me gusto mucho. Capaz que era por llegar tarde

Revisiting Metroid II has had the opposite effect of the original Metroid replay, which is thrilling to me. This was my first Metroid growing up, and I remember feeling good, scary tension from it, but I thought for sure returning to it would be a disaster. After all, it's a Game Boy game, a system notorious for gigantic sprites that make most platformers more uncomfortable than they should be [and it's just generally not a great look].
But Giganto-Samus and tight spaces actually work really well here for one big reason. Metroid had minor horror elements that occasionally helped a straightforward action-maze game, but Metroid II is straight-up horror and thoroughly designed for it, and it's cool as hell.
Some of the changes were necessary to make this more playable, namely having save stations as well as energy and missile recharging spots, so I don't want to put its success all on its horror theming. Obviously the game could have used a map, because while it manages to differentiate its areas a little better it can still sometimes be overwhelming remembering lava pits to check or where the most recent recharge stations were. But the fact that those things exist at all makes this immeasurably more tolerable than Samus' first adventure, not to mention the slew of traversal options that this introduced to the series.
But man, that atmosphere though. Knowing when you're walking into Metroid territory just by the environment is so clutch. The tight view space combined with the eerie music gives the moment when a Metroid appears on screen so much more power, and the game is creative enough to frame a number of these fights in new and exciting ways. Some of those ways are admittedly frustrating for sure! But I think I was sent more into a brief panic trying to take the Metroid out in those scenarios, instead of getting caught up in that frustration. It maintains a certain element of surprise as to how you'll come across them, making the experience pretty fresh across the board.
It's a pretty linear design compared to the rest of the series, but that aids in knowing which areas you've yet to explore and helps keep the game moving a little more as a result. If this had the same map but completely open from the start, with constantly gating the player from areas through various tools, and passed on the lowering-lava mechanic, I imagine this would be a wildly different and more irritating experience, and that would really hurt the atmosphere it's trying to set.
Genuinely impressed by this. I thought when I started my 2D Metroid replays I would definitely play one of the remakes of 2 in addition to the original, but now I feel like I don't have to.