Shinesparkers Feature:

Tips for playing Metroid: Samus Returns

By Deceptimike
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Hey, I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but a new Metroid was released today! It’s been some time since we’ve had a 2D Metroid to sink our teeth into and this remake of the second game has a ton of new stuff to experiment with. Because of that, I’ve compiled a small list of tips I hope you’ll find helpful on your journey through the depths of SR388.

The Scan Pulse is your best friend

In previous Metroid games, it was easily possible to get stuck at certain points and have no idea where to go to advance the story. In addition, those who wanted to acquire every single upgrade would have their work cut out for them, with many missile expansions and energy tanks being nigh impossible to find without consulting a guide or friend. The Scan Pulse changes that. With the press of a button, a good chunk of your minimap will light up and nearby areas you haven’t discovered will be visible. Furthermore, while the pulse is active, breakable blocks and terrain will flash, lighting the way forward or guiding you to a much-needed upgrade. It’s also worth noting that it doesn’t take up a ton of Aeion energy, so be liberal with its usage. You can still Morph Ball bomb and shoot missiles at random pieces of your surroundings to find hidden passages if you’d like, but I wouldn’t advise it.

Learn to Melee Counter

The game introduces you to the Melee Counter almost immediately, but it is a technique that will serve you well throughout your entire adventure on SR388. Properly using it staggers foes and leaves them wide open to a devastating counterattack. Many bosses in the game also have attacks you can counter, so it would be wise to take advantage of it. Enemies susceptible to the Melee Counter will emit a telltale flash, accompanied by a distinct noise to alert you to be ready to strike. Not all enemies can be countered, but most can, so always be on the lookout.

Lightning Armor is incredibly versatile

The basic function of Lightning Armor is protecting Samus from damage, which is certainly useful, but there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. First, Lightning Armor does not consume any Aeion energy until Samus actually takes damage. In theory, that means particularly skilled players can keep it active for the majority of the game! Because of this, don’t be afraid to use it whenever you see fit! In addition, Lightning Armor also powers up your Melee Counter, giving it increased range and strength. Be aware, however, that the more damage Samus takes, the more Aeion energy it drains, so while she’s tougher, she’s by no means invincible.

Aeion Abilities can be used simultaneously

The game doesn’t explicitly tell you this, but Aeion Abilities can be used in tandem with one another. In fact, you can activate every single one of them at once if you want (your Aeion gauge will practically melt, but it is possible). This leads to some interesting combinations. If you take into consideration what I’ve already mentioned concerning Lightning Armor, you can activate Beam Burst as well, making Samus hit like a truck while taking no damage from most attacks! Take heed that such an explosively powerful combination will quickly deplete your Aeion energy, so plan accordingly.

You can run from many Metroid fights

Maybe you thought you were ready when you really weren’t. Maybe you neglected to see you’re almost completely out of missiles. Maybe the Metroid got a couple of lucky shots in and you don’t like your odds. Guess you’re dead, right? Wrong. Many of the rooms with Metroid encounters have ways of escape. If you take a look around the room or use your good ol’ buddy, the Scan Pulse, you’ll find that you can often run from Metroids, should you choose to. The best part about it is that after you’ve recharged and refreshed Samus, the Metroids will still be there waiting for you. The Metroids are pretty nice, if you think about it. They understand that Samus is a busy woman and will patiently await her return.

Use your Map Pins

Map Pins are easily one of my favorite additions to Samus Returns. The areas on SR388 are huge and you will often encounter places you’d like to explore, but don’t yet have the means to. In such instances, you can mark it on your minimap with a Map Pin. Each area of SR388 allows you to place up to 10 Map Pins on your minimap, so use them! There are even different colors available for use, so if you’re like me, you can develop your own system of having each color represent an obstacle you can’t clear. Trust me, it makes acquisition of late-game expansions significantly less painful!

Like Metroid lore? Be thorough

The lore of the Metroid universe is one of the reasons it’s among my favorite franchises. While the main story in Samus Returns is complete, those looking for a little extra should ensure that they are meticulous, as doing so will unlock access to Chozo Memories. Chozo Memories help flesh out the backstory of the Chozo and the Metroids, meaning you’ll likely want to see them if you’re curious about the subject matter. I can’t say how you’ll acquire them, but persistence and exploration will serve you well.

And with that, you’re more than ready to take on the Metroids and complete your mission on SR388! Hopefully these tips will help you out and you enjoy the game as much as I did!