The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 10 | The Phantoon Menace

Super Metroid‘s mapping system is really pretty brilliant. The auto-mapping feature is a godsend for keeping track of where you’ve been, but the map rooms deserve equal credit. They reveal most — but not all! — of the map for a given area. Certain rooms remain unshown, but the map programmers were really conscientious about […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 9 | Hidden depths

First, let’s begin with a correction: I stated a few entries back that the Ice Beam diminishes Samus’ attack power, but that was only true in the first couple of Metroid games. I wasn’t really paying attention and forgot that Super Metroid updates the Ice Beam’s mechanics so that you don’t freeze an enemy immediately […]

The Anatomy of Super Metroid | 8 | Free at last

Because Super Metroid hails from the mid-’90s rather than the mid’-80s like most of the games that have gone under the Anatomy of a Game microscope, it follows slightly different rules. Games like Super Mario Bros. and Castlevania and even the original Metroid were, on some level, compensating for the fact that many people who […]

What Tomb Raider gets wrong

Now rendered entirely in orange and blue for that authentic Hollywood look. Actually, Tomb Raider — by which I mean the new one, which I co-reviewed yesterday 1 — gets several things wrong, most of which I’ve already touched on both in that review and in the lookback I published last month. But here were are […]

Anatomy of Super Metroid | 7 | Speed run

You know what is a pretty bad idea? Getting a ways into Super Metroid, then stepping away from it for a month. All that time I spent trying to remember my next task sure won’t reflect well on my final time. Defeating Kraid earns you the Varia. Unlike the Varia you may have collected in […]

What a horrible night

It looks like Simon’s Quest will be arriving today on both the 3DS and Wii U Virtual Consoles. If you’re interested in giving it a go this time around, may I recommend you arm yourself with some analysis and perspective courtesy of the Anatomy of a Game series? It’s a confusing, opaque game for sure, […]

Anatomy of Super Metroid | 6 | Kraid on bungling bay

Super Metroid makes the fire zone Norfair a much more elaborate and varied locale than it was in the original Metroid. The trick to Norfair in the previous game was that it was crammed full of hidden breakable blocks the required obsessive searching in order to advance further into the sequence — a dense and […]

Anatomy of Super Metroid | 5 | I love Zebes in the springtime

Up until this area with the battle against Spore Spawn, none of Samus’ new collectibles have diverged from the powers she acquired in Metroid and Metroid II. The Charge Beam offers the first new touch of variety, but it’s not until after you’ve devastated Zebes’ underground ecosystem by murdering Spore Spawn that you really get […]

Now in print: The Anatomy of Metroid

Well, this is a little ahead of the usual schedule, but since the last book was a quite a bit behind schedule it all works out, I guess. I’ve compiled The Anatomy of Metroid, Kid Icarus, and Metroid II into a book that is now available on the site’s bookstore. My original intent was to […]