The Metroid series has a lot of history, going way back to the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) days. All the games since the first were side-scrolling action games on nintendo platforms. What made them unique, though, was the atmosphere.
The first game used the NES's hardware to the fullest, utilizing the limited audio capabilities to create minimalistic, yet oh-so-atmospheric music, together with good artwork, and smooth controls, to create a fun game, whose only annoyance was the password saving system (Justin Bailey, anyone?).
Next up was Metroid II: Return of Samus, a GameBoy game which pitted you against the evolved forms of Metroids, in a mission to destroy the Metroid Queen on planet SR388, and thus rid the galaxy of the threat the Metroids posed, in case the someone like the Space Pirates (Your enemies in the original Metriod) tried to use them again. The limited platform managed to capture the essence of the original Metroid, and add save spots, instead of the annoying password system.
Then came the pinnacle of the series. Super Metroid, for the Super Nintendo (SNES), was everything the original Metroid was, and more, with a cool opening sequence, explaining how you brought the last living Metriod, a hatchling, into researchers' hands, so they could study the Metroids' power, and use it for good.
The distress call from Ceres Base was the beginning. You come to find an empty base, absolutely silent, and explore it. You find the dead bodies of scientists surrounding the broken prison of the Metroid hatchling (Surprise Surprise).
You end up tracing the stolen Metroid back to SR388, and explore the planet throughout the game. Of course, the mastermind behind this is again the Mother Brain (A huge brain in a glass container that was your enemy in the original Metroid), but now as a huge robot!
Super Metroid isn't considered an awsome game for nothing. The atmosphere keeps you on the edge at all times, controls are tight, the music is great, and things like the grappling hook are nice additions. The difficulty level is just right, excepting the last few bosses, which were exceedingly difficult, and there's a map (Thank goodness), and the huge amounts of secrets strewn about gives the game some replay value.
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