This month, the game I am featuring as my Wii U Game of the Month for 2015 is a Virtual Console title. This is a GBA title, though more specifically it is an enhanced remake of a NES game. This game features one of gaming’s greatest female characters, and tells the story of her “zero mission”.
Metroid: Zero Mission is a remake of the NES Metroid, in which bounty hunter Samus Aran explores the planet Zebes in order to put a stop to their schemes to use Metroids for their own gain.
As Samus explores Zebes, she collects items that allow her to delve further into its depths. Of course, one can also backtrack to older area with new items to open new paths, a staple in practically every Metroid game.
Of course, as this is an enhanced remake, a few items that weren’t available in the original NES game can also be found – Super Missiles being an example. In addition, some areas have been changed, and the game has a map that you can view in the pause menu.
In addition to the new items, the game gains a completely new area that serves as a post-game challenge.
After completing the game (including the aforementioned post-game area), the original NES version of Metroid will be unlocked, which serves as a neat little bonus.
Metroid: Zero Mission came about as the gameplay in the previous Metroid game released on the GBA, Metroid Fusion, was drastically different from the normal Metroid games. Yoshio Sakamoto wanted new players to experience the roots of the franchise, whilst retelling the story of Samus’ first mission.
Metroid: Zero Mission uses a rebuilt version of the Metroid Fusion game engine, which means it did not have to be built from scratch.
There are also multiple endings, based on how many items you collect (or don’t collect) during the course of the game. And, since this is a Metroid game, it’s also a good challenge for speedrunners to sink their teeth into, what with techniques such as a walljumping, shinesparking and multiple bomb jumping – you can perform some sequence breaking if you know how to pull these techniques off.
Metroid: Zero Mission is an ideal place to start if you want to experience the Metroid series. Of course, you’d need a Game Boy Advance or Wii U, but still… anyway, you’d be hard-pressed to find any other series of games that manage to be so atmospheric and encourage exploration – then again, what would you expect from one half of the namesake of the “Metroidvania” genre?