The second ever Metroid game first appeared on the Nintendo Game Boy in 1991.
Metroid II: Return of Samus is a brilliant continuation of the first Metroid game. The animation of lead character Samus is much more gritty and realistic in this game, compared to the NES original. And the monochromatic graphics actually seem to add to the eerie atmosphere, rather than hamper the game at all.
All the usual Metroid tropes are present, like being able to roll up into a ball, or fire a laser beam out of your arm, and there are lots of other interesting gameplay elements added, such as an ice beam, spring ball, bombs, spider ball and more. Samus’s jumping is also nice and long, so you can leap around like spider man, though the cavernous levels.
The aim of the game is to find and kill 39 Metroids (weird floating space jellyfish), found scattered throughout a series of complex caverns. And to do that you have to explore a huge and varied map. Metroid II: Return of Samus is deceptively large. Exploration is quite claustrophobic, but the size of the game overall is ginormous.
Later Metroid games took the series even further, though not all of them used the cool spider ball, as first seen in this game. The Metroid Prime games used the spider ball feature, although the SNES and GBA Metroid games overlook it. The spider ball makes this game a lot more fun than it possibly might have been otherwise, since it leads to lots of secret, hidden areas. And you get it quite early on, which is a bonus.
Game Boy Metroid II is definitely an important step in the evolution of this important game series and well worth an investment of anyone’s time.