Does anyone remember the GameBoy Advance title, Metroid Zero Mission? If you do, you’ll be remembering not only the best GBA game in existence but also (arguably) the best game in the Metroid franchise too. For those that are unaware, Metroid Zero Mission is a remake of the original NES Metroid title. That said, Zero Mission is a far, far superior game than the original Metroid for a myriad of reasons.
Obviously, Zero Mission looks a whole lot better than the original. The jump from 8 to 16 bit has enabled the game to have brilliantly detailed sprites and animations. Zero Mission manages to look even better than the much loved SNES Super Metroid or the ‘other’ GBA title, Metroid Fusion.
The Game’s plot is the usual type of Metroid fluff. Samus is lured down to a planet by a distress signal and then finds Space Pirates trying to steal metroids and whatnot. Basically, the plot of the franchise has remained the same all the way from this first game until the latest one!
But Metroid was never about plot. It was about exploration, precision platforming and epic bosses. I’m pleased to say that Metroid Zero Mission has all of these in spades. During the game, you’ll have the pleasure of running into all the usual suspects such as Kraid, Mother Brain and Ridley. These boss battles are excellently designed, very exciting to play and truly unforgettable gaming moments.
Exploration is given the edge over the original game too. The NES Metroid could be really cryptic, giving you no idea of where to go or what to do. Mercifully, Zero Mission supplies you with ‘points-of-interest’ markers. These give you a destination without holding your hand. How you get there, however, is up to you to figure out.
The controls are also much improved over the original. You can now aim up and diagonally, which is a huge fucking relief, let me tell you. The controls even manage to outshine Super Metroid by having better face mapping and a far more convenient missile selection system.
All in all, Metroid Zero Mission is the perfect 2D Metroid game. It’s not too long but not too short. It adds a ton of features to the original (including an all new stealth sequence) and has great controls and excellent graphics. Zero Mission also has better pacing than Super Metroid, with a lot less aimless wondering.
Sure, it might well be retreading the franchise’s greatest hits over again, but Zero Mission refines the formula into something that far transcends it’s ‘remake’ origins. Simply put; if you have a GBA, you HAVE to play this game.