I have a weird relationship with Metroid. I certainly like to consider myself a fan of the series, but sometimes I think I'm a bigger fan of the IDEA of the series than the games themselves. I love the Samus character. I love the influence that Alien had on the games. I love the settings and the music and all that. But I mean, the games themselves, I can be a little tough on I guess.
In the past year I played Samus Returns, which was a 3DS remake of Metroid II. And I pretty much hated it. In fairness, I seemed to mostly hate changes that were made from the original game. But still. I also played Super Metroid - oft considered THEE defining Metroid experience, and I managed to lose interest fairly quickly. In my defense, I personally feel like the two GBA games - Zero Mission and Fusion - are the best 2D Metroid games ever made. Period. It's probably even weirder to say that Other M kept my attention longer than Super Metroid - though, in reality part of that had to do with how weird and sometimes bad Other M was. It kept me coming back anyway.
I had been thinking about replaying Zero Mission, which is the GBA remake of the original Metroid. But then I realized I could just play the original via the Switch Online service. And really, I tend to usually go with my cheapest option. In this case, "free."
I've never spent that much time with the original game in all honesty. I remember a friend's dad playing it when I was a kid but it seemed pretty complicated and hard back then. I jumped on board with the series with Metroid II as I was a total Game Boy kid. And eventually I played Zero Mission and loved it. So going back to the actual NES game seemed like a step backwards. Funny as it sounds, probably my most experience with the NES original was via NES Remix. Weird.
So I figured why not. There's no map, and I'm a baby who doesn't want to spend TOO MUCH time backtracking and getting lost right now (at least not after the 20-something hours I've spent in Xenoblade Chronicles X lately) so I found a nice walkthrough online. The game certainly feels more manageable this way. I've already picked up some upgrades and am heading to the elevator to get to the second area now.
I will say I never found the controls in Metroid all that tight. Jumping feels so floaty and weird. But we'll see how it goes. Like I said, I WANT to love all these games, but it tends to be a mixed bag for me in reality.
People generally point to Super Metroid and Symphony Of The Night as the start of the Metroidvania genre. But really, wasn't Metroid and Castlevania II already pretty much there? Like Castlevania II, I don't think I could even play Metroid without a walkthrough. There's so much unexplained crap. Like all these random floors or walls to bomb to find certain areas. Who has the time to bomb EVERYTHING just in case? Not me!
Anyway, I got some power-ups. I got the high jump and the screw attack and that's great. I also figured out wall-jumping and got stuck inside some lava and couldn't exit the screen so had to go back to an earlier save state.
After that I made it to the boss fight against Kraid, and... I might be done with this game. I just don't have enough HP right now, and I don't feel like going to farm for more because frankly, the game is starting to feel like a real slog. Like I said earlier, I loved the Zero Mission remake. But its existence has made going back to the original game all the harder.