When was the last time we really enjoyed a new Metroid game? For me, it’s been roughly 9 years, for others, maybe 6. Unfortunately, Nintendo doesn’t seem too interested in scratching that Metroid itch, unless a handheld multiplayer FPS somehow fits that. Luckily, the indie community has been filling that gap, but it’d still be nice to see a proper new Metroid or Metroid Prime game. Thanks to Guasti, we have something that is just as good.
AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake), made by Milton Guasti (DoctorM64), is a re-imagining of the Game Boy game: Metroid II. The project was started back in 2008 using GameMaker: Studio. It doesn’t require a lot of power and it runs great under WINE.
It looks great as well. It does lack a widescreen mode, but that’s only a minor complaint. Overall, it’s a well done nostalgia trip taking a lot of inspiration from Metroid: Zero Mission and Super Metroid, possibly even using sprites directly from Super Metroid. The game renders in 320×240 but scales well with the cleanly made sprites. It also has updated effects, taking advantage of some features of the newer engine and hardware. It is satisfying to see an annoying enemy explode dynamically. The audio has also received a nice improvement.
All the audio design has been completely redone. The music has been redone, making some of these classic tracks on par with some of the great ambient music of Metroid Prime. With satisfying sound effects to back it up, I can’t think of any complaints.
The gameplay fairs just as well, with support for Xinput devices and plenty of control options. With the tight controls reminiscent of Metroid: Zero Mission, it feels exactly like a legitimate Metroid game. Some new abilities were added, as well, taking inspiration from Super Metroid’s Special Techniques, that are easy to discover organically. The bosses have also gotten some love, as well. With entire new phases for some bosses and improved mechanics overall, I was pleasantly surprised (and scared) by the improvements. The layout of some areas have been improved as well, seemingly to better take advantage of the improved physics and Samus’s new abilities.
The story is the same as the original Metroid II, though now you don’t have to read through the instruction manual to get all of it. The story has been perfectly merged into the game in the same style as Super Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission. After all the Metroid related shenanigans caused by the Space Pirates, the Galactic Federation decided it’s time to destroy all the Metroids as that has no possible reproductions. They decided that only Samus can handle such a job. Samus travels to the Metroid homeworld, SR388, to take them out by working her way through ancient Chozo ruins, finding upgrades and weapons, and finding new stages of the Metroids life cycle, realizing just how necessary those weapons are.
Overall, it’s really well done and it’s free, so if you have an itch for a Metroid game, check it out. It’s one of the more polished fangames I’ve seen, if not the most. It’s only for Windows, currently, but it runs fine under WINE for those of us that prefer GNU/Linux. It doesn’t require much power, any computer from the past 10 years should be able to easily handle it.
Given what it offers and its price, I give AM2R a 5/5. Sure, it’s not an official Metroid game, but I haven’t seen Nintendo with any intention of filling that hole recently.