Metroid II: Return of Samus
Metroid II: Return of Samus is a platform adventure game with a science fiction theme developed by Nintendo R&D1 and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy in November 1991 as the second game in the Metroid series. You again play the bounty hunter Samus Aran who is now trying to wipe out the last of the remaining metroids, which have begun to mutate and spread.
This is the first Metroid game to feature Samus wearing a unique Varia suit. Although the Varia exists in the first game, all it does is change your suit colors, it doesn't alter the appearance. In this game, when Samus obtains the Varia, her suit becomes more armored. In particular, the armor on her shoulders in increased. In the game, it looks pretty cool, but on the box art, the bulbous shoulders look pretty silly. Samus would already have poor peripheral vision because of her helmet, those giant balls on her shoulders would probably prevent her from even being able to turn her head! It's disappointing to me that her character designers kept that impractical look throughout the rest of the series.
Since I didn't have a Game Boy growing up, I never played Metroid II when it was popular, and I didn't even see it beyond a TV commercial until the late 1990s when a friend let me play his nearly completed save game. I didn't want to ruin the game, so I only played for a few seconds, but noticed the oddity of ducking, the tiny display window, and the interesting spider ball. It wasn't until the 2000s that I decided to play it. I enjoyed it a lot and beat it.
I do not own this game, but have beaten it with a time of 6:20.
Best Version: Game Boy
— This section contains spoilers! —
- Having energy and missile banks that fill you up is so much better than having to farm enemies like in the first game.
- The new power-ups, Spider Ball, Spazer, Spring Ball, Plasma Beam, and Space Jump are really cool additions.
- The evolving Metroids which become more complex and terrifying looking as the game progresses is a great idea, and the horrifying end boss is fantastic.
- The Metroid count is a nice way of letting you know how far into the game you are.
- Anticipating the upcoming Super Game Boy and Game Boy Color, the developers coded color palettes into the game even before they could be used.
- The scale of the graphics is quite large compared to the Game Boy's small resolution. It feels like you're looking at Brinstar through a hole in the wall.
- Like with the first game, large portions of the map use the same layout, which gives an overall sameness feeling to the game, and makes it easy to get lost.
- Without an in-game map or guide, you spend a lot of your time wandering around trying to find what to do next.
- There is a lot of backtracking in the game to get items you were too under-powered to get when you first encountered them
|Directors||Hiroji Kiyotake, Hiroyuki Kimura|
|Main Programmer||Takahiro Harada|
|Programmers||Masaru Yamanaka, Masao Yamamoto, Isao Hirano|
|Graphic Designers||Hiroji Kiyotake, Hiroyuki Kimura|
|Program Assistants||Yuzuru Ogawa, Nobuhiro Ozake|
|Sound Programmer, Composer, Sound Effects||Ryohji Yoshitomi|
|Designers||Makoto Kanoh, Masafumi Sakashita, Tomoyoshi Yanane, Takehiko Hosokawa, Yasuo Inoue|
|Debuggers||Kohta Fukui, Yuji Hori, Hirofumi Matsuoka, Kenji Nishizawa, Toru Osawa, Masaru Okada, Kenichi Sugino, Keisuke Terasaki, Hitoshi Yamagami, Katsuya Yamaoe|
|Special Thanks To||Dylan Cuthbert, Sachie Inoke, Takehiro Izushi, Yuka Nakata, Daniel Owsen, Phil Sandhop, Tony Stanczyk, Hiroyuki Yamada|
|English||Metroid II: Return of Samus|
|Japanese||メトロイド II||Metoroido II||Metroid II|