Oh, so that’s what it is!

I love Super Metroid, so I figured I’d love this romhack called Super Metroid Redesigned which is basically just the world of Super Metroid shuffled around so as to deliver the same fun gameplay with a fresh exploration aspect.

But I don’t love this romhack, because it sucks. Oh well.

As evidenced in recent posts, though, I just got done playing Metroid Prime 3 and, having revisited Super Metroid Redesign a little bit this morning I think I understand it a lot better now. This hack is the product of someone wanting to re-create the Metroid Prime experience in 2d. Check it out:

  • Loaded with non-trivial monsters that take dozens of shots to kill? Check.
  • Physics which cause jumping to be a chore rather than a game mechanic? Check.
  • Incredibly large rooms which make every area of a region look the same, causing it to be difficult to remember where you’ve been and what you’ve seen in a particular run? Check.
  • Save points few and far between so you have to keep playing fifteen minutes past the point you’re ready to quit for the day? Check.
  • Explore Area A to find Item B, which lets you explore Area C to find Item D, which then allows you to backtrack to Area A to find a new area with Item E, which allows you to backtrack back to Area C for… let’s just say check.
  • Wall jump limited to very specific and very obvious walls which must be arranged in a very specific way? Check.
  • Limited to three Bombs at a time, complete with on-screen indicator of how many you’ve laid? Check.

And I’ve only played part of the way through Brinstar. Now, I didn’t completely dislike the Metroid Prime series, but I do have some serious problems with it, and I’m not sure it translates well at all into 2D. However, I will say this: I had to plug away at awfulness for six or seven hours before Prime 3 bloomed into a game worth playing, so maybe Redesign still has time to shine. I’ll probably stick with it until the idea of playing it becomes less preferable than the infliction of physical pain.

A few hours later…

Actually no, I changed my mind. This idiotic hack has offscreen spiked death traps you have no way of knowing are there until you drop off what looked like a perfectly shaped ledge, and no save points anywhere near any of the boss rooms. Even the Metroid Prime series isn’t that ridiculously inconsiderate. Jesus, I thought this was a pretty fair staple of game design by now? Put save points near boss rooms. Every game in the universe gets this right. Jesus.

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1 comment to Oh, so that’s what it is!

  • BusterL

    I had the same problem when I tried to play Redesign . It’s easy to understand what Drewseph was going for but I think it could have been executed in a much better way . I think of it more as a tribute to the Metroid series as opposed to what one would expect . Plus Skrees taking 8 shots to kill is nonsense .

    Anyways, if you want to get your Super Metroid on with a new world try out Super Metroid Legacy . It’s not perfect by any means but I think that author had a better idea of what made Super so special .

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