Metroid: Zero Mission (Game Boy Advance) Second Opinion Review

By Renan Fontes 12.08.2016

Review for Metroid: Zero Mission on Game Boy Advance

Remakes tend to always spark the same kinds of discussions and debates. There are concerns on whether or not the original vision will be maintained, if there will be enough changes from the original, if there won't be too many, or if the very concept of remaking is even necessary. In the case of the original Metroid, it's really no surprise that a game from 1986 was a bit on the dated side in 2004. Seeking to bring the classic to life for a modern audience, Samus donned her armour for the very first time once again in a remake that, at the time, set a stellar example in the form of Metroid: Zero Mission.

Mankind has had far too few ideas as brilliant as Nintendo's vision to combine the original Metroid with Super Metroid's gameplay and design fixtures. It's exhilarating landing on Planet Zebes and seeing how carefully it's been brought to life on the Game Boy Advance, but the star of the show is Super Metroid's influence.

After Metroid Fusion's attempt at a more linear experience, Zero Mission finds itself returning to the open world and sequence-breaking adrenaline of the Super NES game. Open progression is not just present, but downright encouraged, with plenty of hidden secrets and power-ups tucked away from the beaten path.

Screenshot for Metroid: Zero Mission on Game Boy Advance

It's a full recreation of the original Zebes, but the added paths and hidden areas add a lot to the experience for both old and new fans alike. For older fans, it's an incentive to explore, a challenge that everything is not what it once was. For newer fans, it only adds to the mysticism and feeling of exploration that Planet Zebes is filled with.

Taking advantage of everything Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion's gameplay offered, Zero Mission runs just as smooth, if not better than both. Samus controls incredibly fluid, and running and shooting feels more natural than ever. This fluidity keeps her trek to Mother Brain flowing at an incredible pace, with very few full stops in gameplay. Every room and area is so carefully connected with smooth transitions in and out.

Screenshot for Metroid: Zero Mission on Game Boy Advance

As a remake, Metroid: Zero Mission's job is to recapture the feelings the original incited, while making sure everything is acceptable for a modern audience. In that regard, it does an excellent job at recreating all that made the NES title so great, but that doesn't mean it should only seek to do just that. Instead of stopping at Metroid's ending point, Zero Mission shoots forward to new horizons.

One of the most iconic and well known moments of the original Metroid is Samus' time bomb race out of Zebes. Her adrenaline-charged ascent to her ship has been referenced and recreated in many games, and become a staple of the Metroid franchise, so it is equal parts shocking and exciting when Zero Mission doesn't stop after the game's primary event.

Screenshot for Metroid: Zero Mission on Game Boy Advance

The adventure keeps going in a brand-new area that challenges the player's skill with Samus and channels Fusion's intense survival horror elements, as the bounty hunter fights to stay alive in an environment that's alien even for the series.

Despite its success in re-envisioning the original and expanding upon it with its own key moments, Zero Mission does fall into the double-edged sword that lingers in the franchise. Featuring no padding whatsoever, the game flows naturally throughout, but its length tends to be on the shorter side. Thankfully, there's enough replay value sprinkled in, and even an unlockable emulated version of the original Metroid to play around with, tackling and amending its biggest flaw with clever design choices instead of filler.

Screenshot for Metroid: Zero Mission on Game Boy Advance

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Twelve years later, Metroid: Zero Mission still manages to perfectly illustrate how a remake should be done, even doing a better job than some of Nintendo's modern remakes. It recaptures the essence of the original without leaving anything out, while adding its own unique twists and turns. The Metroid formula is kept firmly in place with an emphasis on exploration overall. Borrowing only the best elements from all its predecessors, Zero Mission is as exciting an entry today as it was when it first released.






2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (5 Votes)

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


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