Metroid: Samus Returns Review Roundup

Samus makes her long-awaited comeback.

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Despite being one of Nintendo's biggest franchises, the Metroid series has lain dormant now for nearly a decade, making this week's release of Metroid: Samus Returns a major occasion for 3DS owners. Notwithstanding last year's cooperative spinoff, Metroid Prime: Federation Force, Samus Returns is the first proper game in the series since 2010, not to mention the first traditional side-scrolling entry in over 13 years.

Rather than continuing the series' story, Samus Returns retells the events of Metroid II. With the aid of developer MercurySteam, Nintendo has completely reimagined the Game Boy title, revamping its visuals, expanding the scope of its map, and introducing new power-ups to the adventure.

Reviews for Metroid: Samus Returns are now available online, and judging by the game's critical reception thus far, it appears to have been worth the long wait for Metroid fans. GameSpot critic Peter Brown called it "both a return to form and a look to the potential future for 2D Metroid games" in our Metroid: Samus Returns review. We've rounded up a sample of other reviews below; for a broader look at the game's reception, be sure to visit GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

  • Game: Metroid: Samus Returns
  • Developer: MercurySteam/Nintendo
  • Platform: 3DS
  • Release date: September 15
  • Price: $40/£35

GameSpot -- 9/10

"As the first 2D Metroid game in over a decade, Samus Returns faces unfairly high expectations. Mercury Steam's involvement, a team known to play fast and loose with classic game traditions, was also a potential red flag for some. In hindsight, there was never anything to worry about, and a lot to look forward to. Samus Returns is both a return to form and a look to the potential future for 2D Metroid games, where combat plays a bigger role and exploration involves clever thinking rather than persistent guessing. Fans get more than they bargained (and hoped) for, and everyone else gets an excellent 2D action game with one of the most captivating and capable video game heroes around." -- Peter Brown [Full review]

IGN -- 8.5/10

"While it's been marketed as a remake of Metroid II: The Return of Samus for Game Boy, Metroid: Samus Returns is more of a much-needed reboot of the 2D Metroid games we know and love. It's a safe, modern take on Super Metroid, one of the greatest games of all time. Aside from some repetitive boss fights and hand-cramping controls, it's nearly everything I could ask for as a fan of old-school Metroids." -- Sam Claiborn [Full review]

Polygon -- 9/10

"To call Metroid: Samus Returns a remake feels unfair. Remakes are old games with new coats of paint: an upgrade in resolution here, reworked artwork there. Samus Returns is far more than that. It's a top-to-bottom reimagining, bringing the bones of a game that's over 25 years old into the modern era with fantastic results." -- Russ Frushtick [Full review]

US Gamer -- 5/5

"All told, Samus Returns is a strong comeback that stakes a legitimate claim on being the best game on the 3DS. MercurySteam has executed on this remake wonderfully, sliding in seamlessly with the rest of the series. It's been a long, frustrating seven year wait, but it's great to have Metroid back. Here's hoping it won't be leaving again any time soon." -- Kat Bailey [Full review]

Game Informer -- 9.75/10

"Samus' last 2D adventure was in 2004 with the GBA release Metroid: Zero Mission, which was a remake of the original Metroid. Despite the lengthy hiatus between 2D entries, I was initially disappointed to hear that MercurySteam's Metroid project was another remake. However, Samus Returns has enough unique content that it feels like a worthy sequel. MercurySteam's first outing with the franchise is also different enough from the recent fan remake AM2R, so fans shouldn't hesitate to pick up this rare gem. This might be Samus' first 2D adventure in more than a dozen years, but it's a great reminder of why we fell in love with the franchise in the first place." -- Ben Reeves [Full review]

Destructoid -- 8/10

"Maybe the next 2D Metroid will take more chances, but Returns is far better than I expected it to be. The faux magic system, while shallow, adds some panache to the action, as do the combat animations that work within the confines of the engine." -- Chris Carter [Full review]

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