"How not to get lost – follow the grabby statues."
Nintendo has grown up in thirty years. Metroid's initial outing on the Nintendo Entertainment System filled many with a sense of wanderlust and curiosity. I wasn't one of those, though. I couldn't get over Samus' jump arc, having just recently mastered Mario's now iconic olympic style bound.
All those identical looking corridors didn't improve its chances with me, either. Was there any purpose to having a weapon that could only shoot a foot in front of her nose? Well, yes. Metroid: Zero Mission sorts you out right the beginning, with the title, in fact. Not long after that you'll be looking at a mission statement of sorts. This is her first visit to Zebes, and she's going to explain how things really happened.
The good news is that she won't be doing any explaining at all. The confines of the Game Boy Advance hardware give the developers a solid structure to play in, and they make good use of the handheld's particular talents. Detailed pixel art compensate for the GBA's power sipping nature. The soundtrack plays in short, remixed loops of the lonely, atmospheric music. Controls are super tight, but not quite as responsive as its console cousins.
Zero Mission is a welcome return of Super Metroid's best features: A status screen for Samus that puts her suit upgrades on display and a map of the areas you've explored, or revealed with map data computers. Additions like Sleep Mode and more frequent saves are vital for mobile gaming, but do make Samus' extended spelunking trek into Zebes easier to stomach if you just don't have a lot of time to spare.
Community review by hastypixels (April 18, 2017)
At some point you stop justifying what you play and begin to realize what you're learning by playing.
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