Super Metroid (Super Nintendo) Review

By Adam Riley 21.08.2007 4

Review for Super Metroid on Super Nintendo

Originally launched in 1989, the Metroid series came to fruition and compelled many eager gamers to stay glued to their Nintendo Entertainment Systems for several months, trying their best to guide Bounty Hunter Samus Aran through dark and eerie locations in order to find the hidden lair of the deadly Mother Brain, all the while fending off the attacks of various powerful enemies, including Ridley, the Space Pirates and the game's namesakes, Metroids. Five years and a Game Boy sequel later, Super Metroid hit the 16-bit SNES. Find out how it compared to its predecessors by reading on...

After the events of Metroid and Metroid II: Return of Samus, Ms Aran had left a baby Metroid with special scientists on a far off Space Station so that they could study it and find out how to utilise its powers and harness its energy for the benefit of the human race. However the leader of a gang of Space Pirates - Ridley, a large Pterodactyl-like creature thought to be long dead, crashes the party, kills all the scientists and steals back the Metroid that he believes to be his (from the previous game). Thus Samus Aran, galactic super heroine, travels back to the Planet Zebes to find the Metroid larvae and discovers it hidden away in the depths, seemingly unattended. However it proves to be an ambush by Ridley and Samus must quickly escape before then continuing her mission against Ridley, the Space Pirates and, ultimately, Mother Brain!

Super Metroid never tries to fool the gamer as to its mood and tone. As soon as you boot up the game on your Wii you are greeted by dark undertones and only slightly lighter overtones. At the time of release many in the media criticised the game for being so dark, stating that it made the graphics look merely average. However, upon revisiting the title more than ten years later, it is quite clear that the styling appears to be ageless, with shadowy, menacing themed backgrounds that definitely suit the whole experience perfectly.

Screenshot for Super Metroid on Super Nintendo

Characters are inventive in design (despite the 'different colour, harder version' lazy method of enemy creation applied later in the game), Samus is amazingly animated (just the way she breathes in and out when standing still is enthralling to see from this early 16-bit era title) and images in the foreground are actually quite bright in comparison, so that there is no real trouble identifying the oncoming foes, despite what critics previously said.

If there is one particular drawback, though, it would be have to be the fact that slowdown plagues the adventure. As soon as a few missiles are flying around, Samus is jumping to-and-fro and a boss is hurling projectiles your way, the game starts to suffer and ultimately the game stutters like crazy. Thankfully this is not a regular occurrence as bosses are infrequent, therefore it does not detract from the overall beauty, leaving this as one of the most attractive games out of the entire SNES back catalogue!

Screenshot for Super Metroid on Super Nintendo

As for the audio side, Nintendo really went to town with the use of the SNES's Sony sound chip and boy does it sound fantastic even today coming through your Wii into your TV / sound system! The creators really pulled out all of the stops for the music of Super Metroid, putting strong emphasis on creating a scary, dread-filling (argh, where IS Metroid Dread?!) mood as you delve deeper into Planet Zebes. Bass, in particular, is used very effectively and to a great degree, so you will often be treated to heavy, resounding *BOOMS* as Ms. Aran rolls into her now trademark Morph Ball guise and unleashes a special Power Bomb, fires a missile at a hideous creature or simply opens a door! It is all extremely impressive...and the fact that it holds up so well is testament to the aural abilities of the SNES. Once you hear the music played during the final battle with Mother Brain, it will never leave you. Trust me on this, it still haunts me today and re-playing through the adventure brought back all the old feelings I had inside me from all those years ago. The feeling of butterflies in your stomach, sheer anxiety and fear whilst blasting away is all thanks to the immense musical talent that went into this product...and it goes to show how an immensely good soundtrack can indeed help boost a game's quality incredibly.

Super Metroid is a joy to play, with control of Samus being extremely fluid and so highly responsive that if you play it today you would hardly believe that it is more than a decade old! The fact that Nintendo and the late Gunpei Yokoi managed to craft such a sublime title so early on in the lifespan of the Super Nintendo goes to show just how much talent can be found both within the company and that is now greatly missed from Yokoi-san himself. Veteran gamers and complete newcomers could grasp the game mechanics with ease and obtain hours of pleasure and enjoyment as they took Ms Aran on a dark and mysterious journey through the maze-like routes found around Planet Zebes.

Screenshot for Super Metroid on Super Nintendo

Samus can shoot with her weapon in eight directions and must traverse the treacherous landscapes fighting off evil creatures and scary-looking Space Pirates, whilst on the constant search for upgrades to her special suit and the collection of extra items, such as special power bombs and super missiles that all have devastating effects on enemies and bosses or even simply aid with progression through the adventure, with pink doors only being opened by five missiles and yellow doors opened by the power bombs. There are many hidden access points, however, that can be entered by using the morph ball technique or using the X-Ray scope gained later on in the game to identify walls that can actually be passed through.

But you must be careful as you move from sector to sector across the planet as if you move into somewhere like the underwater Maridia too early then you will find that most of your moves will be hindered by the lack of appropriate suit to cater for the heavy water conditions. Then, in addition to this, some areas have far too hot an atmosphere for our heroine to survive. However, with diligence you will finally reach the monstrous boss encounters like Ridley and Kraid, eventually reaching the most intensely gripping fight I have ever experienced in a computer game.

Screenshot for Super Metroid on Super Nintendo

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

By far one of the exemplary Super Nintendo games out there. Right up there with Super Mario World, A Link to the Past, Yoshi's Island and Final Fantasy VI. Eager to see what Metroid used to be all about before the Prime series turned it into a First-Person Adventure series? Be sure to check out this piece of classic history.


Intelligent Systems




2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (10 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


Great review. I've never played this game; so I hope it'll come out in Europe too. And possibly before the end of the world !

This was an awesome review. Once I get my hand on some Wii Points, I'm SO buying this. ^_^


One of the titles I wanted since the begining. Pity the shop channel's gonna stop me.

How come the shop channel's going to stop you?

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

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