Post by Nester the Lark on Jun 15, 2021 14:09:38 GMT -5
It's real. It's happening.
As Sakamoto says, it's the first new, original 2D Metroid game in almost 19 years since Fusion. (Enough qualifiers to avoid having to mention Other M, which was also a mainline Metroid game, just not 2D.) This is the real Metroid 5.
I'm really glad to see 2D Metroid continuing on. I'm not into the Prime series since I don't tolerate first-person games very well. I really didn't expect the old rumors of Dread to be a thing in 2021, though!
But in the video, Sakamoto says that this game will mark the end of the story arc of the relationship between Samus and the Metroids. I wonder what me means by that. Will future games not have Metroids? Or Samus? Or does he just mean that the story will focus on something else, but Samus and the Metroids will still be present? Mysterious. It reminds of the N64 days when people thought that Super Metroid was the end of the Metroid saga, and that there would be an N64 game titled "Samus Aran 64" that followed her on some other adventure.
Either way, we can't say Nintendo is ignoring Metroid's 35th anniversary.
Post by Nester the Lark on Jun 17, 2021 9:21:29 GMT -5
Ah, yeah. Is he also overseeing WarioWare: Get it Together? I'd hate to think of this year as the "Yoshio Sakamoto Farewell Tour."
Here's an article on Metroid Dread at Nintendo Life where Sakamoto provides another vague comment on the game being a conclusion: "Samus' adventure will continue . . . And how it will continue? Well, first things first, I believe that when you clear Dread, you will have a clearer idea."
Post by Nester the Lark on Oct 14, 2021 9:11:08 GMT -5
So, I've been playing Metroid Dread for the past week, and I wanted to post some thoughts about it.
Honestly, I don't want to come off as overly negative. I'm happy that 2D Metroid is back, and I'm glad it's doing well. I really want to like this game, but I don't think it's been clicking with me. I'm not sure if it's the game or just me. (I was looking forward to playing it, but I admit, I wasn't super hyped for it.)
To begin with, I understand that it could be thought of as a re-introduction of the Metroid series (although Samus Returns was relatively recent), but it feels... overly conventional. It does try to subvert your expectations for when you find certain upgrades, but it doesn't really change the game much, and in some respects, makes it tedious. (I understand that they want you to experience sluggish underwater movement before they give you the Gravity Suit, but they really drag it out.) It's not that I was expecting Dread to be the Breath of the Wild of Metroid games, but it feels like it's just going through the motions.
The main gimmick are the zones in which you're stalked by the E.M.M.I. robots, but even that just feels like, well, a gimmick. I get that they're trying to make you feel the "dread" the title suggests, but it's just not working for me. The "instant Game Over" for getting caught isn't much of a punishment since you respawn just outside the room with virtually no penalty (thank goodness). They are part of the story, but gameplay-wise, I find them forced and annoying. Personally, I don't like stealth-gameplay, and I especially don't like it when it's forced into other genres (they're my least favorite part of any Zelda game). Not every E.M.M.I. zone segment relies on using stealth, but I just don't enjoy these parts.
Also, the bosses are a really disappointing. It's fine that they're hard, but Mercury Steam decided it was a good idea to make them last forever. Some bosses require you to figure out some trick in order to defeat them, and again, that's fine, but you have to keep repeating a long sequence of phases before you get back to the one you have to do the "trick" for, so you only have this short window of opportunity to figure out the trick and then do it. Add to that that the bosses feel like damage sponges, and the fact that you'll probably have to repeat them several times due to the difficulty make them incredibly tedious and frustrating. I feel virtually no satisfaction once I do beat them. (Same with some of the mini-bosses.)
On the more positive side, the story is good so far, and does feel like a true continuation of Fusion's story. (I wish the intro labeled the game "Metroid 5" the way Super Metroid and Fusion titled themselves 3 and 4, respectively.) The atmosphere (especially the sound design) is excellent, as I would expect for a Metroid game. However, while the graphics are very detailed, I do feel that they can make the geometry a little hard to comprehend.
As for Samus, herself, this game almost seems like an apology for Other M. This is the Samus we really wanted to see in that game. It almost feels like they've gone a little too far in the other direction, though. For a while, I was afraid that they made her an entirely silent protagonist, but there was a point where she did speak, and when she did, it was not what I was expecting and it was pretty cool. I'm not saying I want to hear droning monologs, but I do wish she was just a bit more vocal in the game.
Anyway, yeah, I do wish I was feeling more engaged with Metroid Dread. I often find myself bouncing off of it to play other games. Like I said, it could just be me. I've been in a very poor mood lately, and it might be affecting my attitude towards it. But I do not regret getting the game so far. Good or bad, a brand new Metroid is something I wanted to experience for myself anyway. I will see it through to the end, and maybe I'll have a different perspective on it after the fact.
Post by Nester the Lark on Oct 16, 2021 9:37:53 GMT -5
I guess I was further along in the game than I thought. I've been at what seems to be the final boss for a couple of days, now. Not unexpectedly, it's a multi-phase fight, but one of the phases takes an excessively long time, even though I have the patterns figured out. So, having to replay it over and over in order to work on the next phase has killed a lot of motivation for me to bother finishing the game. I'm tempted to look up a gameplay video just to see if there's some other trick or strategy I'm missing that might make the final boss fight quicker.
(As an aside, I could compare it to R-Type Final 2. The bosses in that game can also be extremely difficult, and learning the strategy or pattern could even take multiple hours, but once you do learn it, the actual mechanical process of defeating the boss doesn't usually take very long. It goes from being about endurance to execution.)
This brings me to another issue I have that I didn't mention: it can be hard for me to tell if I'm actually causing damage to enemies. Sometimes it seems like I'm not when I actually am, and vice versa. That adds to my confusion over how to deal with certain encounters, and can also unnecessarily drag out battles longer.
I'm trying really hard not to use the word "disappointing" when describing Metroid Dread as a whole, because I really don't want to see it that way. My opinion seems to be in the vast minority, and honestly, I'd love to play the game everyone else is raving about because it sounds awesome. But that's just not the experience I've been having. I think I can safely say I won't be bothering with any more MercurySteam-developed Metroid games in the future.
Post by Nester the Lark on Oct 17, 2021 9:23:42 GMT -5
OK, I've finished the game. The in-game clock is at a little over eight hours (not counting reloading after deaths), and my item collection rate is less than 50 percent. I didn't expect a Metroid game to be very long, but I still thought a casual playthrough would be more in the 10-15 hour range. Or maybe I was just rushing through it a bit.
I did end up looking at a video for the final boss.
EDIT: I didn't get too specific, but I'm hiding this paragraph in case it's considered a minor spoiler. Apologies.
The person who made the video used the multi-lock-on missiles for the phase that was taking me so long, and that was the one thing that didn't occur to me. (On the other hand, to my credit, I was using more efficient dodging maneuvers than the person in the video.) That helped make it a little faster, but it still felt a little too long. The entire final boss fight is one phase too much, in my opinion.
But I've spent enough time complaining about Metroid Dread. I'll focus on some positives for a change.
As I mentioned before, the atmosphere is excellent, and definitely lives up to the high standards of the series. Samus is very cool in this game, and even though I wish she was a little more vocal, when she does speak, it is memorable. It's hard to go into anything else too specific without spoilers, but there is one turning point in the game that was pretty neat, and I think it's the part that people are referring to when they say they realize that Dread is a true sequel to Fusion. And overall, after having heard the rumors about it so long ago, it's pretty cool to finally be able to play the actual Metroid Dread.
It does have me questioning, though, my feelings about the overall series. It's been a while since I've played any of the other Metroid games, and while I have positive memories about them, I wonder how I would feel revisiting them now. Are my issues really specifically with Dread, or have my tastes in gaming just changed? I may revisit Super or Fusion just for comparison.
I've also been thinking of Dread in comparison with Other M. While Other M is a very flawed game and a very mixed experience with high peaks and low valleys, I've never hated it. Looking back on it after playing Dread, I have to say I kind of appreciate its grand ambition, even if it never reaches it. Dread, on the other hand, is a far more consistent experience in terms of quality, but as I mentioned before, it feels very safe and conventional.
But maybe that's exactly what the Metroid series needed at this point after experiments like Other M and Federation Force failed to provide the experiences that people really wanted. Dread is just straight up Metroid with an extra gimmick or two to spice things up, and it's bringing the series back into good standing.
Personally, I think I prefer it when a series is willing to try new directions (which is why I think Fusion is a better game than it gets credit for), but in this case, I can understand how Dread would be the right game for the right time.
So yeah, overall, my experience with Metroid Dread has been... interesting.
I'll probably keep messing around with it for a bit more, looking for items I haven't found yet, but I don't intend to get 100%. (The shine sparks required for some of them would just drive me crazy.)
Post by nocturnal YL on Jan 3, 2022 14:09:46 GMT -5
Alright, I'm done. Normal Mode, casual under 4 hours run with online guides. It has a lot of ups and downs.
I like the game's attention to details. Much of that is covered by others.
The control feels good in that it's rather easy to make Samus do what I want her to do. But it's not an exact match with Samus Returns, and with the Ys games still new in memory, I have to say the button mapping in Metroid Dread isn't the best. I can't charge (Y button) while using Flash Shift (A button) easily, nor is Dash Melee that intuitive. Contrast modern Ys with control mapping, or Ys Origin using the ZL button as an A button substitute.
Speaking of Melee Counter, it works differently from Samus Returns, and I didn't get the hang of it until the second half of the game. In Samus Returns, the flashing light signal means the enemy is about to lunge at Samus and the player should watch its movement and counter accordingly. In Dread, the flashing signal outside of interactive cutscenes means Samus has to take initiative and run to the enemy, then counter.
Cutscenes count towards completion time. That's about half an hour. 4 hours is a lie. You have to complete the game in less than 3½ hours of active gameplay.
The story is… eh. It's a Fusion sequel alright; it takes place after Fusion and the story starts with evidence of the X parasite still being alive. But otherwise, it feels more like it's a standalone story with no ties besides the Chozo Memories. The ending also isn't that satisfying, leaving too many open questions.
Imperfect plot details aside, I do appreciate finally seeing more about the Chozo. And on that note, I'm glad to see that dead characters stay dead. It's an overused plot at this point.
The difficulty is alright, I guess. Maybe the game is just being too good at inducing dread, but I get nervous at every step later in the game, going so far as to just call it a day when I finish a single phase in a boss fight, hence the long real play time. All these even though I know in my mind that there's actually nothing to worry about, the fights aren't that hard once I know the pattern, and I'll lose at most a few minutes.
The checkpoint system is commendable. It makes sure players won't lose much more than a few minutes of progress upon losing. The game itself is already nerve-racking enough, and it's good to know not much is actually at stake despite the atmosphere.
…But I still prefer actual save points. At one point I finished a difficult boss (Z-57) with no energy to spare, so even making it to the next room is a challenge, and I can't quit the game in this state.
I know people complain about music, but I never expect anything besides ambient sound. This is Metroid, not Kirby or anything else.
I'll like it better if completion time isn't tied to unlockables. This way I can actually play the game as intended at my own pace, which will make the game easier and make me complain less. Completion time bonus is a Metroid tradition, but the time only affects the ending screen in Samus Returns, which is not part of the gallery. (And I like armoured Samus better anyway.)
Compared to the other Metroid games, I guess I like Samus Returns more in terms of gameplay, since I can 100% that. Not sure how does Dread compare to Fusion, mostly because it has been so long.
Metroid isn't really my kind of game; I just generally like the gameplay and wanted a Fusion sequel since I'm curious about its story. Ending up with a story surrounding the Chozo and relegating the Galactic Federation to the background is surprising, both positively and negatively.
nocturnal YL: I'll be on a trip to Osaka between the 5th and the 12th. I still travel somewhat regularly, but it's been 4 years since I went to Japan in 2020 and 6 years since I went to Osaka specifically in 2018.
Jan 31, 2024 13:29:50 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: Riviera: The Promised Land is getting a remaster on Switch. I was wondering what's happened to it after all those other Dept. Heaven games got Switch versions.
Feb 1, 2024 11:07:45 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: I'll leave soon. Like before, I'll have Internet connection and will check this place, but I won't bother logging in.
Feb 4, 2024 11:07:31 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: I just found out that Atelier Ayesha DX has an out-of-bounds glitch, and it's very easy to get. That's the third game I've found something like that, after Meruru and Firis. There isn't much interesting to see, though. You just fall off and respawn.
Feb 15, 2024 12:42:55 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: Almost at the end of Atelier Ayesha DX. Got everything in the base game, but the extras are incredibly difficult.
Feb 18, 2024 14:40:03 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: I'm not sure if I have enough remaining time to prepare for the extra battles (large amounts of items are involved, and restocking takes time). If I can't do it, I'll just end my playthrough. I didn't miss any story contents as far as I know.
Feb 18, 2024 15:26:02 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: The synthesis puzzles are fun and a bit difficult, and the time limit is quite tight. It generally feels close to Arland (but more complex). The story and UI aren't good in comparison, but this game is otherwise great. Comparable with Totori overall.
Feb 18, 2024 15:57:20 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: Cool. Atelier Ayesha DX has a save data corruption glitch, and now I cannot even start the game.
Feb 20, 2024 12:46:12 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: It happened after I reached the ending. Something was off (the end credits did not show), and I looked around the Extra menu trying to launch it, and bam! Game crashed, and Launching the game now results in a black screen.
Feb 20, 2024 13:13:21 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: And I'm 100% sure it's save data corruption. Deleting the save data solved the problem, and restoring it would reinstate the issue.
Feb 20, 2024 13:14:49 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: Ironically, I re-joined NSO to protect my Ciel nosurge DX save data, which ended up not needing it. I haven't closed my Atelier Ayesha DX session and have set my save data backup to fully manual. And it's this seemingly stable game that ended up failing.
Feb 20, 2024 13:46:19 GMT -5
Nester the Lark: I hope you haven't lost too much.
Feb 20, 2024 15:15:25 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: That's the entire save file, about 70 hours of progress, possibly gone. I wrote to KOEI TECMO GAMES about that, but last time I told them about a Firis DX bug they replied "we could reproduce, but game is too old to reopen development", so I'm not hopeful.
Feb 20, 2024 15:23:25 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: I almost 100% completed everything other than the original game's DLC or the Plus features too. Though I guess with better knowledge of the extra bosses, I'll be better prepared in a hypothetical 2nd run. Still prefer a proper New Game+ though.
Feb 20, 2024 15:28:16 GMT -5
Nester the Lark: Wow, and after you put all that time into it. That would really sour my impression of a game. Do you plan to redo everything?
Feb 20, 2024 18:17:54 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: I think I'll most likely move on for now. Maybe I'll get back to it in the future; I'm thinking about replaying everything in the series at some point (since a few games have second-playthrough-only bonuses), which might be years from now.
Feb 21, 2024 9:13:09 GMT -5
Nester the Lark: I started the demo for Unicorn Overlord. I've barely gotten into it, but it's already VERY impressive!
Feb 23, 2024 11:17:39 GMT -5