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SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
I also just beat it, having took considerably longer (9:30) but with 100% of the things.

Non spoilery thoughts: I really, really dug this. It feels like the game was made for me, and I really needed to get deep into a really tight, solid game after the past week I had.

However, it is a very different experience than what most folk consider the best of the series, and I can easily see how some could bounce hard off it. It can be pretty technical, the bosses can be really tough until you hunker down and learn their patterns, and then there's the EMMI. Personally, I enjoyed every encounter but I can absolutely see how they would turn some players off, and if you hate the EMMI sections, well, that's a sizable chunk of the game to dislike.

Overall critical opinion of the game seems quite good, though, and it seems to be selling quite well which is a nice turn for the franchise. So I'm hopeful this will help Nintendo realize that 'hey that Metroid thing what we own ain't that bad after all, let's make more!', but time will tell. I can definitely understand lamenting if this is the style of game they lean into going forward, I still rank Super as my favorite of the series, though Dread has toppled Prime 1 for the silver medal at least for the time being.

And the sad thing is, a lot of what made Super work so well for a lot of folks just isn't likely to be replicated now, though. Super Metroid was very much a lightning in a bottle kind of situation, and Nintendo's most obvious effort to replicate its structure, Zero Mission, feels pretty artificial. Sequence Breaking in ZM feels less like organically stumbling upon a loophole the devs didn't consider and much more like 'here is the more obscure alternate path that was nevertheless accounted for by the developers'. Part of what makes Super Metroid's sequence breaking so much fun is not just the tricky abilities the devs accounted for (wall jumping, shine sparking, and bomb jumping) but the stuff they didn't that has been instrumental in breaking Zebes wide open. Stuff like the mockball, gravity jump, and reverse gates wouldn't make it out of QA nowadays, so stuff like skipping Spore Spawn or early Ice Beam or getting to Crocomire without Speed Booster or Wave Beam wouldn't happen today without a really obvious 'here is the dev approved breaking of sequence' section.

So Dread borrows a lot more from Zero Mission's style of sequence breaking. It definitely exists, but it seems to be all accounted for. At least, for now. Game's less than a week old, after all, and there are already some surprising sequence breaks found, who knows what may yet be discovered. I am really looking forward to seeing how the speedruns for the game develop.

Some of the biggest gripes I have are fairly minor, to me, but ymmv. I really wish you used the D-pad for movement, because using an analog joystick for it in a 2D game is and always has been total butt. I eventually adjusted to it, but there were many points early on, and still a few now and then towards the end, where the game would read a diagonal input where I didn't intend it. No good reason not to let you use the D-pad for movement, either, what is it even used for right now? The sensor pulse? Put that on some other button, who cares. Just give me more reliable movement.

Another thing it should have that it has no reason not to is an Easy mode. I'll probably try Hard on my next real run, but I'm one of those lunatics that actually enjoyed fighting the Boost Guardian in Prime 2 on Hard mode. There's no reason not to give people the option to have an easier time because as I said earlier, hard game is hard.

Also would be nice: A speedrun mode similar to what Bloodstained has. Just a mode that auto-skips all cutscenes and other fluff, just the pure distilled game world. The game is far less intrusive than Fusion or, ugh, Other M, but still there are just enough momentum breakers that would make speedrunning this game slightly more annoying than it needs to be. No boss cutscenes, no comm rooms, none of that.

One other critique I have is the environment design. Whenever you get to break out of the techno-factory setting and see the actual world of ZDR it can be quite cool. There are a number of areas with stunning background details. But far too much of the game takes place in relatively samey techno-factories. Even worse, while each of the main areas has the sort of identifiable theming you'd expect from the series (ice cave, water cave, lava cave, plant cave, temple cave, cave cave) each zone has a good chunk of the map taken up by said samey techno-factories, and one zone in particular is just a giant techno-factory so that one just loses all identity. Main bit of advice for Mercury Steam if they get to make another one of these: make far more cool and weird alien environments, and far fewer 'hey it's literally any video game' environments.

Now I'll talk about story behind a spoiler pop.
Y'know, it's kind of funny all that talk about Metroid mutation body horror we had in jest actually kinda sorta came true a little bit? Sure, the final 'Metroid Suit' was short-lived, and Samus still seemed to be human inside of it from what we could see, but still, I'm honestly shocked Nintendo went that far and did the thing a lot of fans speculated and fan-arted after playing Fusion. Samus actually straight-up mutated into a Metroid, kinda! The Metroid suit was super garish and I'm glad it's not likely going to get a game to itself, but just for the brief period we had it, it was definitely neat.

I don't have much to say about Raven Beak, he was a boring villain, and I could care less about his 'I am your father' moment. Like, Samus watched Ridley (probably) eat her parents, you think THAT is gonna rattle her? Bird, please.

I'm still a bit confused by the very end where Silent Robe, or the X that took over his body, appeared in Samus's ship and cured her Metroid-ification by reverting to an X parasite and letting Samus absorb him. It goes against everything we know about the X (single minded obsession with growing and multiplying, deathly afraid of Metroids), plus since the Metroids preyed on the X, then didn't Silent Robe just give Metroid-Samus a snack? Why would that de-Metroid her? Did the Metroid and the X cancel each other out? Was part of Silent Robe still in control despite, again, literally everything we know about X parasites and their hosts? Or did he somehow account for his eventual death and having to deal with Samus's mutation? Is Samus still part Metroid, and it's mostly dormant again, or was the Metroid DNA completely nullified? Hopefully we won't have to wait two decades for clarification in Metroid 6.

Oh yeah, and did anyone else have the impression that the 'Adam' we were communicating with all game was Raven Beak the whole time? Or was it just that last one? I feel it could go either way.

(oh and now that Kraid has gotten his big come-back and Phantoon had that appearance in Other M, is it time for Draygon to get a moment to shine?)
 
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R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
I’m pleased to hear this game is better than Samus Returns. My copy arrived today, but I’m going to try finish up the Castlevania Advance Collection before I start another “find the double jump“ game.
 

RT-55J

definitely not a robot
(He/Him)
Stuff like the [...] reverse gates wouldn't make it out of QA nowadays
Folks have already found a glitch called "pseudo-wave" that is more powerful than SM's one-sided gate glitch. A few applications for it have been found already, such as skipping the tutorial EMMI (video).

[Quiet Robe stuff]
In my view, the moment with Quiet Robe-X is this game's iteration of the surprising moments of benevolence that have characterized the mainline series' endings since Metroid 2 (including Other M!).

While Fusion explores what happens when the X infect wildlife, bioweapons, etc, it doesn't explore very much what happens when sapient individuals are infected (aside from the boiler room scientist, who shows that they can retain skills, knowledge, etc.). My current theory is that an X-infected individual can retain a large degree of their personality (assuming the original brain is there). Thus, Quiet Robe-X showed kindness because Quiet Robe himself was a kind and benevolent person. On the other hand, Raven Beak was a Mawkin-supremacist to his core, so even after being infected he still spouts out his Mawkin-supremacist motto ("Power is everything").

As far as the ramifications of absorbing QR-X, IIRC there's some dialogue about the Thoha tribe having genes to control Metroids (or some nonsense like that). Thus, I think he gave Samus the ability to control her transformation into a metroid (which she clearly couldn't reverse on her own), rather than nullifying it altogether.

[Adam stuff]
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that after either the opening cutscene of the first navroom, Raven Beak starts impersonating Adam. The most obvious tell is that he never (ever) refers to her as Lady (unlike the intro), but there are more subtle tells like his constant negging of Samus, his overstating of RB's prowess, his knowledge of obscure Chozo lore and the planet's history, and his knowledge of how the EMMI only patrol their designated zones. It's very funny in retrospect.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
The big difference is that they can't patch Super Metroid after release.
 

karzac

(he/him)
My copy of Dread arrived today, but my Switch OLED is still being delivered :(

EDIT: Lol, immediately after posting that I checked outside and my Switch was sitting there! Guess the delivery person just never bothered ringing the bell.
 

Sarcasmorator

Same as I ever was
(He/him)
I'm at the final boss, but that's enough for today. The power plant boss, an EMMI, and two of those X warrior Chozo was enough for one night. I enjoyed the rematch with the twin robots, which was soooo much easier, and the big stompy-legged boss wasn't too bad. Now that I approach every boss with the mindset that it's going to be a Hollow Knight-level pattern memory game, I enjoy them more. I just dealt with the first few pretty easy (five or fewer tries, generally) and didn't expect the last half to be quite so hard.
 
I just beat the power plant boss, which I liked. When I get space from Emmi encounters, I enjoy this game a lot more, despite it being a bit off mark for me still. Emmi areas just stop me dead for several deaths. The last 2 especially been excruciating. Can't wait to kill the purple one
 

Lance Noble Aster

did his best!
(he/him)
I started hard mode and discovered I have developed the ability to counter EMMIs 100% of the time, which is not how I expected my relationship with this game to go.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Folks have already found a glitch called "pseudo-wave" that is more powerful than SM's one-sided gate glitch. A few applications for it have been found already, such as skipping the tutorial EMMI (video).
See, this is what I hope to see more of, hopefully Nintendo doesn't patch it out, or if they do then people with Day 1 physical carts can keep it.

More Quiet Robe Stuff
Even if Quiet Robe's benevolence overpowered the X (I guess we just ignore the fact that the first thing it did was reactivate the EMMIs) that moment still feels weird and poorly justified, but whatevs. As for giving Samus Thoha DNA (oh lord, a 'Geneticists React' type video for Dread would be hilarious) curing her Metroidness, I thought she already HAD Thoha DNA, and the big twist was that she had both Thoha and Mawkin? Or was the twist that she actually had only Mawkin all along? Again, I'm cool with it if that's the explanation for Nintendo to hand-wave away having to further examine the body horror implications of Samus continuing her Cronentroid mutation, but it could stand to be clearer.

Anyway, some additional thoughts I had:

For the most part I like how all the zones connect together. I quite like the trams as a sort of horizontal elevator. I'm less enthused about the teleporters, I just find they're a lazy way to offer shortcuts in a Metroid game. If you're going to do a teleport hub at least make it interesting, like AM2R had those Morph Ball vacuum tubes which were in effect an interconnected teleportation network. Just give it some flavor, not just 'idk I guess add some teleporters lol'.

One big miss with the world design is the fact that each area is completely isolated from one another. You can only move between zones at designated transport rooms or teleporters, that's it. No breaking down a hidden bomb block to sneak back into Artaria from Cataris or anything like that. Clearly this was done give each area its designated load time, having Samus move through an opening in the wall and then have the game grind to a halt as it loads the next area would not be ideal. But it's still disappointing.

In my dash back and forth across the map to do item cleanup, though, I did really enjoy myself. At full power Samus does feel more like herself and few things slow you down anymore, which is good. Samus Returns still had some annoying enemies that you had to stop and deal with at the end so I'm glad that annoyance has been removed.

Some of the shinespark puzzles were devious, but I honestly think some of the ones in Zero Mission were still worse. The two that gave me the most trouble were the shinespark puzzle in early Ferenia (build a charge, jump up to a platform, destroy a block, prepare a Cross Bomb, get in position, lay a regular Bomb, and hope you still have the charge), and the one near the Dairon elevator in Ferenia (where you had to charge a shinespark, jump up around, shoot some blocks, bomb some blocks, and hope you don't mess up your inputs in the brief window you have to spark).

The one item I think they really should have either relocated or rethought was the last pickup in Elun, behind Power Bomb blocks, since you can't get that one on your first trip and you have spend the loading time in and out of this otherwise tiny area for a missile pickup at the end of the game. At least make it an E-tank or something, or give us another way to access it (unless I missed it).

Most of the 'new' items are kind of nerfed versions of normal late-game Metroid items, which isn't bad in and of itself.

Spider Magnet: Like the Spider Ball, but closer to the Prime incarnation where you can only use it on designated surfaces. Still, not bad as a movement ability, but you always know when to use it.

Diffusion Beam: Basically a baby Wave Beam, lets you 'shoot' through one tile of blocks. Fortunately you get it fairly early so it sees a lot of use until you get the real Wave Beam closer to the end.

Spin Boost: A double jump, basically a nerfed space jump. Not a bad thing, but there isn't a lot of time between getting this and ultimately finding the Space Jump so... why though?

Cross Bomb: This was more useful than I thought at first blush, it was a handy way to quickly cross crumble blocks in ball form without needing a charge, but for the most part it's like a mini-power bomb. Won't destroy Power Bomb blocks, but it'll removed multiple bomb blocks at once.

Storm Missiles: These were in Prime 2. Same basic function. But at least you can lock onto a single target several times for a big hit, used em quite a bit during the second phase of the final boss.

Metroid Suit: Not really a new item, just a neat little sequence at the end, like 'acquiring' the Hyper Beam at the end of Super (this even has its own Hyper beam!).
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
Regarding the ending and Quiet Robe-X:

One thing you have to remember is that the X absolutely hate metroids, and universally want to see less metroids in the galaxy. At the end of Metroid Fusion, a SA-X joined with Fusion-Samus to create "regular" Samus not because they had come to terms or whatever, but because Samus had to put down an Omega Metroid that would have otherwise killed her. In this case, I feel like Quiet Robe-X, generally aware of the metroid suppressing powers of Quiet Robe DNA, joined with Metroid-Samus so as to simmer down the possibility of there being a new metroid creature skulking around the cosmos. Does it come off as kind and benevolent? Yes. But does it also mean there are less metroids around to potentially menace other X parasites? Also yes.

And if you think the X could have just done nothing, and Metroid-Samus would have been obliterated with the rest of the planet... have you met Samus? Quiet Robe did. Quiet Robe knew she would succeed, so Quiet Robe-X assumed Metroid-Samus would get off the planet somehow. May as well give her an out that is let metroid-y.

In short, Quiet Robe being "in control" or not, I can see the X "logic" that has driven X decisions in the past at work here.
 

Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
There is also a degree a pragmatism in both SA-X and Quiet Robe X’s decisions. Given a choice of their genes living on within Samus or mutual destruction, the former seems like the logical choice for the X, given their entire MO is assimilation of other life when the odds are in their favor.
 

zonetrope

(he/him)
The underwater boss was a bit too Metroid Prime, Rube Goldberg, "there is no reason for the encounter to work this way other than to be complicated," with very little room for error. That's a small gripe though, and I'm still enjoying myself. This game just feels really good to play.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
It was, but I really enjoyed that fight quite a bit.

Speaking of bosses, I'm a little disappointed Kraid didn't pull a Crocomire after collapsing into the lava, it really felt like that's what was being set up. There's not even a Kraid skull in the lava when you return later. Missed opportunity for a neat reference.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
Speaking of bosses, I'm a little disappointed

Relatedly, I was kind of upset that the game didn't route you back there for a Kraid-X fight. Seemed like the natural coda to how that fight kind of felt like it ended without much fanfare, and a "new" way to fight Kraid would be kind of cool. Maybe the X could play against type, shrink Kraid to Metroid 1 size, and be a more difficult battle reminiscent of his first appearance! Or he could spikier! Whatever! More Kraid!
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
To be fair; Ravens possessed form is Kraid, it just wasn’t much of a rematch since you had the Hyper Beam at the time
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
I am moderately certain that (ending spoilers) Raven Final Form is an amalgamation of all the bosses... just Kraid was the chunkiest boy.
 

Lakupo

Comes and goes with the wind
(he/him)
My game finally arrived yesterday, and I've played a bit, knocked out 2 bots and beat Kraid.

So far the game is Very Good, but there's some caveats. 360 aiming is still fiddly, countering is a lot better than SR (and every single enemy is not a bullet sponge anymore) but it's still dragging the game's pace down at times to stop. The Emmi sections are conceptually sound, the chases are fine, but the whole sequence for getting caught, the minimal window for countering, cut to game over and start from right outside just feels like it's wasting my time. Let me counter normally. Like, they're this weird threat/not-threat at the same time. Also echoing the previously mentioned statements about some environments looking really good and the rest being kind of samey (more samey than SR ever was)
 
The underwater boss was a bit too Metroid Prime, Rube Goldberg, "there is no reason for the encounter to work this way other than to be complicated," with very little room for error. That's a small gripe though, and I'm still enjoying myself. This game just feels really good to play.
I loved this fight, but found the double tentacle thrust was hard to avoid - grapple to ceiling tram through water. This was my fave fight in game though.
 
So far the game is Very Good, but there's some caveats. 360 aiming is still fiddly, countering is a lot better than SR (and every single enemy is not a bullet sponge anymore) but it's still dragging the game's pace down at times to stop. The Emmi sections are conceptually sound, the chases are fine, but the whole sequence for getting caught, the minimal window for countering, cut to game over and start from right outside just feels like it's wasting my time. Let me counter normally. Like, they're this weird threat/not-threat at the same time.
My bold - it's like they are both unpredictable and rote? I feel the same way, and each one I enjoy less (than zero).
 

Ludendorkk

(he/him)
The underwater boss was a bit too Metroid Prime, Rube Goldberg, "there is no reason for the encounter to work this way other than to be complicated," with very little room for error. That's a small gripe though, and I'm still enjoying myself. This game just feels really good to play.

You should have Kishi send you the clip from his last playthrough of this boss, he's broken it wide open.

In general the amount of skips and tech already discovered for speedrunning is insane, this game is an absolute playground with it's movement skills
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
Finished. Final time was 7:31, with 51% of items. I have some thoughts on it. Untagged spoilers follow:

  • They do some interesting things with Samus' abilities here. The slide is really clever: initially it just seems like a more mobile and seamless equivalent to the morph ball, but it quickly becomes clear that it doesn't have the same application for exploration, as it can't be used for any gap that's not at ground level. Waist-high gaps, shafts and tunnels become impassable barriers that they never were before, and it isn't for a while that you acquire the Morph Ball, which is a welcome shake-up of series formula and design. There's also the Spider Magnet, which at first seems like a friendlier version of II's Spider Ball; but the way it's later revealed to interact with the Grapple Beam gives it a bit of its own character. The Spin Boost and Cross Bombs also give some new movement ideas, albeit in a very limited capacity. After how conservative Samus Returns was with its toolkit— hell, even Fusion— it's exciting to see some new ideas at play.

  • It is, however, irksome how many of the upgrades are for very literal lock-and-key puzzles— basically every obstacle is A Door, and basically all your upgrades are used just to open A Door. Yes, Metroid has always done this (missile doors); and yes, Samus Returns already took this to new heights by giving each beam a corresponding door; but Dread still manages to take it further. Now we also have Wide Beam blocks, Phantom Cloak doors, Grapple Beam blocks and doors, Flash Shift doors, Ice Missiles blocks (in the form of small trees) and Storm Missile blocks. Worse still, most of the upgrades have little use outside of being a key: Flash Shift is useful in combat but plays no role in navigation, even though the ability to air dash across a large distance seems like it would be useful; Ice Missiles can freeze enemies, but you'll never need to do this for navigation, and— after having a frozen-over area— it feels like a missed opportunity that they can't be used to temporarily freeze patches of water. It all feels very contrived. I started longing for more basic obstacles, like a big gap or platforms that are too high.

  • Dread is the most linear the series has ever been. Side paths basically don't exist, and backtracking with your new toys is normally impossible: paths are typically designed to be one-way— you'll flip a switch to open a door, at the expense of closing the one you came through— and if not, the game will hurriedly throw up new barriers to stop any unwanted exploration (a flaming tree will spontaneously sprout; a small tunnel will collapse). For much of the game, you never have more than, like, three rooms available to visit. I don't think that being linear is an inherent flaw— I am on record on here (well, 2.0) as a fan and defender of Fusion, after all— but it sticks in my craw here because Dread doesn't frame itself as some sort of push-forward gauntlet, but a grand adventure. And yet the player never has any option than to move from one locked door to the next.

  • The flow of combat is only marginally improved from Samus Returns. Smaller enemies are mostly passive, now, and the melee attack seems a little more effective at pushing enemies away and making space. But anything larger than, like, a zoomer is still out for your blood, and still has an egregious amount of health, meaning that baiting them into a parry is still the only sensible way to deal with them. Ditto flying enemies, which remain so determined to slam into you— and always placed right beside a platform— that the best way to handle them is stop, wait for the divebomb, then slap them away. It's weird that they made a big deal about the dash counter, because it doesn't alleviate anything at all; unless the timing just happens to work out that an enemy launches into its parry-able move right as you approach, you're still going to have stop and wait for the move. Apparently MercuryStream took the "start-and-stop" criticism extremely literally.

  • The EMMIs are … rough. They're very heavily designed, I guess you could say, with specific routes and strategies in mind, and with little room for improv or error. If you know what the game expects you to do, they're fantastic: what begins as a stealth section inevitably turns into a mad scramble to an exit, jumping and sliding all over the place in an attempt to gain distance. It's a whirlwind of emotions and feelings— tension, danger, excitement— and exhilarating in ways that Metroid hasn't been in years and years. But if you don't know what the game expects— and it's likely that sometimes you won't— you'll just die time and time again, because once you're spotted, you can't hide from it, can't outrun it, and contact is (effectively) instant death. I frequently got stuck on encounters, and it was frustrating because while it was obvious I wasn't doing it right, it wasn't obvious what I should have been doing instead. I think these sections would be much better if contact with an EMMI wasn't an insta-kill— if the counter window were more generous, or if EMMIs didn't insta-kill Samus to begin with and only dealt high damage (a la SA-X and Zero Mission's Space Pirates)— so that a single error didn't spell the end of an attempt. Scrambling to get away from an EMMI hot on your tail is much more heart-pounding and enjoyable than redoing a short segment until you've internalized it.

  • The story is feels very disjointed. On one hand, it's a game about the Chozo: featuring their long-speculated appearance in the flesh, filling in their backstory and revealing the extent of their galaxy-spanning machinations, tying everything together, and ending with Samus literally confronting her past (and maybe putting an end to the Chozo). But it's also a game where Samus is hunted for her metroid DNA, and ultimately mutates into one. These two threads don't feel connected at all, and in fact the latter barely plays into anything until the end. I'm honestly inclined to believe that the entire metroid-DNA plot was put in only because Dread (like Samus Returns before it) is designed as a course-correction, "for the fans" type thing, and hey, everyone wanted a Samus-is-the-hunted story, right?

    But it doesn't actually follow up on Fusion in a meaningful way. Fusion told us that the Federation was running a Metroid cloning program, and that maybe they aren't the squeaky-clean good guys after all. But here Samus is working for them again with no qualm. It's not even the Federation that's after Samus' metroid DNA here! Not even the effects of being part metroid are explored here, since Samus' metroid DNA doesn't actually mutate her or give her any "metroid abilities" until the very end of the game— and only in cutscenes and setpieces. "Samus now gets powerful plot abilities" isn't anything.

  • Samus is more Badass than ever, and I hate it. She's just the Doomguy now. Sure Other M was a mistake, but the idea she should be an unstoppable force of destruction is just as big a misread to me, just from the other direction.

  • It's fun to see Kraid again. It's more fun not to see Ridley!

Overall, I would say that Dread is an improvement over Samus Returns, because it's both more daring and more sure of itself. But it's not substantially different. If you liked Samus Returns, you'll be overjoyed to play a game that is essentially a more polished, better looking version of it; if you didn't, you'll be disappointed to see it has all of the same issues, with no attempt made at addressing them. I'm in the latter camp.

I will say that Dread is a pretty well-made 2D action game. But that's not what I look for in Metroid. And I guess that's just what it's going to be from now on. Oh well.
 
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Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
Just started this yesterday. Made it to the first Emmi Zone; took one stab at it then stopped because because my lunch hour was over, but I don't think I like it. The Emmi Zone I mean, the rest of it is fine so far, although adapting to the controls so soon after Hollow Knight was proving a bit difficult.
 

Sarcasmorator

Same as I ever was
(He/him)
The game starts to feel more like Hollow Knight as you go, imo.

Emmi zones are an adjustment, but key to enjoying them is treating them as trial and error with an element of randomization, imo. You are going to get caught sometimes, and not always because you made a particular stealth mistake.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
I have some thoughts on it. Untagged spoilers follow:
  • Not even the effects of being part metroid are explored here, since Samus' metroid DNA doesn't actually mutate her or give her any "metroid abilities" until the very end of the game— and only in cutscenes. "Samus now gets powerful plot abilities" isn't anything.

I would actually wager that her ability to absorb a hyper beam from the big brains is a "metroid ability".
 
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conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
I would actually wager that her ability to absorb a hyper beam from the big brains is a "metroid ability".
I guess so. Getting a strong beam to use for all of one very short section (well, one short very section, seven times) still isn't really my idea of anything, though.
 
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Sarcasmorator

Same as I ever was
(He/him)
I like how you get several familiar upgrades out of the usual order. But I wish you got Cross Bombs earlier. Or Power Bombs earlier. Something. Because you get the ball and bombs pretty far into the game, and the two bomb variants quite late in the game, so unless you're going back to collect items you've missed, you don't use them for much. Similarly, you don't have the double jump for long before you upgrade to the Space Jump.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Lock and key stuff.
On this I mostly agree. I don't have a problem with the beam-specific locks, the Prime games did this and I've been playing a whole lot of Varia Rando these days and I've just gotten used to the added beam doors there. But the door-lock that really irks me is Grapple. It already had blocks to manipulate, but not only do you have to stop your movement to unlock a grapple door, these doors and only these doors don't revert to a normal beam door once opened. When they close, they revert to a grapple lock, which is just a baffling decision. Of all the door locks to be inconsistent with, they pick the most annoying one.

I do disagree about Phantom Cloak and Flash Shift being mostly relegated to door locks. Well, mostly Flash Shift. I mostly used Phantom Cloak while trying to evade the EMMIs, but otherwise never pulled it out. Flash Shift, though? I was using that all the dang time. Honestly I think it's one of the better utility items that gets used as a door lock since I just found it so universally useful.


EMMI stuff.
If I could tweak the EMMI, I'd make their counter a touch easier, at least on Normal mode. Also, I'd consider disabling them as soon as you defeat their Stepmother Brain rather than having to go through the rigamarole of burning down their face-plate and then blasting them. The 'Omega Beam' is probably the most unnecessary addition to the game. Once you make it to a brain room you're pretty much done with the EMMI anyway, the only one that gave me trouble in the last phase was the Ice EMMI, and that's only because I didn't notice the magnet zipline at the top of the room until several deaths.

Badass Samus stuff.
It is unfortunate that the wrong lessons were learned from Other M's failure, and everything since then has felt like an overreaction to the backklash. And I would absolutely love to see another attempt at characterizing Samus from an actual competent writer. But I cannot lie that several 'badass' moments in the game had me grinning from ear to ear. Especially the end where Samus's mutation accelerated, that scream when she proceeded to absolutely wreck Raven Beak was worthy of DBZ. Wrong approach for Samus? Possibly. But goddamn it was awesome.


Oh, and one thing I learned earlier that gives me hope Nintendo will be leaving well enough along re: speedrunning. It turns out all those scenes while you're loading areas are all pre-rendered, which isn't too surprising, but what is surprising is that the unique loading animation for the final area has alternate versions for all Samus's suits, despite the fact that under the intended routing it would be impossible to get there with the first two.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
If I could tweak the EMMI, I'd make their counter a touch easier, at least on Normal mode. Also, I'd consider disabling them as soon as you defeat their Stepmother Brain rather than having to go through the rigamarole of burning down their face-plate and then blasting them. The 'Omega Beam' is probably the most unnecessary addition to the game. Once you make it to a brain room you're pretty much done with the EMMI anyway, the only one that gave me trouble in the last phase was the Ice EMMI, and that's only because I didn't notice the magnet zipline at the top of the room until several deaths.
Yeah, the Omega Cannon stuff is pretty weak. It was a little enjoyable the first time, but wore out its welcome the second time as it became clear there isn't anything more to it than finding the flat stretch of floor. I would cut it too. I can only assume it was done partially to prepare the player for the mechanically-similar Hyper Beam bit against Raven Beak X, but honestly the controls are so simple that a player probably doesn't need training on it (also, it saves a checkpoint there anyway, so a player messing up doesn't actually lose progress).
 
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