hen people ask me what my favorite game of all time is, I always answer the same thing: Metroid. Sure, Super Metroid on SNES took the concept and made it better, and Metroid Fusion was a fantastic follow-up on the Game Boy Advance, but when push comes to shove the original is where my vote will always go. Then there’s Metroid Prime…but that’s 3D and a story for a different day. This game and this story are all about the glory of 2D gaming.
So you can only begin to imagine my excitement when Nintendo’s newest Metroid redo appeared on my desk. For those of you that may not know, Zero Mission is a special edition of sorts. It’s the original Metroid with spruced-up graphics, streamlined level designs and gameplay, plus a whole new chapter.
At it’s core, it is most definitely the original Metroid, but as you travel around the world you start to notice differences. Hallways are changed, statues lead you to the next objective, and abilities like Power Grip and Space Jump that never existed in the original iteration pop up in time.
Nintendo has been very hush-hush about this title since its announcement, and after playing through the game myself, I must admit I’m a little reluctant to give away too much, but I can give you some interesting facts to whet your whistle. The biggest chunk of new content takes place after you beat Mother Brain (which was where the original ended). Not only is this new zone fairly large (I would say it’s bigger than Norfair and Brinstar combined) it incorporates a number of story elements that help tie the whole series together (including Metroid Prime).
In total, the game is still rather short. I beat it in roughly six and a half hours, and I wandered around a lot. But the new content is spectacular, and fans of the series will absolutely adore this special edition. And if you have never experienced Metroid, then you are in for a treat. My one rip on this title is the fact that the game now holds your hand a little too much, so the title loses some of the wonder and puzzle solving that I loved about the original. But don’t let this one setback stop you from picking up one of the greatest titles in the history of gaming.