Metroid, NES

This first Metroid, for the Nintendo Entertainment System, was initially released in 1986 and remains the toughest episode in the whole series to date.

On the face of it: Metroid seems quite simple to play, but if you knuckle down and give it a shot you will realise quite quickly that the game requires almost superhuman skills to master. Bomb jumping is difficult. Avoiding enemies is difficult. Using the freeze beam to, well, freeze enemies, and then use them as platforms is difficult. Metroid can be a whole world of pain to those who are not prepared to learn its subtleties.

But it is still a great game! One of the best of its time, in my opinion. The biggest problem is the lack of a map, meaning: you have to do your own mapping. Which is suitably old school.

Overall, though, I can only take so much of Metroid. I like the fact that the game moves very quickly, and – if you know the shortcuts – you can assemble Samus’s latent abilities quickly too, but overall: the tortuous nature of the gameplay drives me nuts. It’s not a game I have much patience for, to be frank, although I respect it a lot.

Metroid was originally released in Japan in 1986 for the Famicom Disk System, with a NES cartridge release following in 1987. It was one of the first video games to have a female lead, multiple endings (shown depending on how long you took to complete the game), and also one of the first games to use a password system to allow players to continue where they left off.

More: Metroid on Wikipedia

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