Metroid Dread - 2D Metroid on Switch

I’d call that phase 1B as it’s still basically the same move set with minor changes. Just checking a video strategy guide and they also call phase 2 when Raven Beak goes airborne.

Gotcha, yeah different naming is all. I saw a guide using the same numbering I used.

In any case, final boss of hard Metroid game is hard. But once you get practice, it is a very satisfying fight.

So beginning to digest the game, now that I’ve completed both difficulties and gotten most* endings, I have one main take away.

This will be my game of the year. I don’t see anything that could possibly dethrone it. In fact it would probably be my game of the year in most years.

There are critiques of the game, sure. And it doesn’t stand as my favorite Metroid game, Prime was just the right game at the right time I doubt that ever gets topped personally, but top to bottom this is aa very satisfying game. Tough, yes, but fluid, tight, and smooth. Once you get a feel for what this game is meant to be, it feels great.

As I said before, this is a very faithful implementation of the game from Super Metroid with modern polish. The environments are interesting and varied to look at, if slower to navigate due to pathing. It has some new mechanical twists and wrinkles I liked.

Overall few games are as enjoyable to me as a good Metroid game, and this is a good Metroid game. Where does it ultimately fall in the series ranking? Gonna be honest, aside from Prime in the top spot, I have a hard time placing Super, Fusion, Zero Mission, Dread, and Prime 2 in any particular ranking next. So there you have it, tied for second place.

And, yeah, new campaign needed. Its close, damn close, but on hard mode 7 minutes and change just isn’t quite enough. About 2 minutes short, and I had a pretty good run on the boss. Good enough I don’t think the time is there. Damn. If only I’d have known hitting continue adds to your time I would have been able to have a lot more leeway there.

So word to you going for the ending unlocks, continue keeps the clock running. Load from save might be what you need.

Why did it show me a still of Metroid Zero Mission after I beat the game? Is that hidden in this game somewhere?

9:42… not a good time

The ending rewards for each time tier is a still from one of the other games.

One for <4 hours, one for <8 and one for >8. And a set each for Normal and Hard.

Just finished. 11:58, with 100% items. Wasn’t originally planning to go for 100%, but decided to find a few as a break from retrying the final boss, and then just kept going. The extra tools they give you to track down stray items really removes a lot of the frustration that typically comes with trying to go for 100% in games like this, and I’m all in favor of it.

Liked it a lot overall. Great atmosphere, set of abilities, and the most fun combat in the series yet. The EMMI sections are conceptually a really good addition to the format, but the way they were tuned didn’t quite land for me. And the squiggly-linear map design was effective at keeping forward momentum, but felt even more artificial than is typical for the genre, and I found myself missing those times when there might be multiple threads to pull at in different parts of the map.

It’s not my favorite Metroid (Super) or my favorite modern metroidvania (Hollow Knight) or my 2021 game of the year (Nioh 2), but it’s not far behind in any of those categories.

I finished at about 12:35 or so yesterday, also 100% items, and the last boss wasn’t as bad as I feared. But I also just YouTube’d him after my second attempt. As I said before, I don’t mind having to practice the execution, but the tougher boss fights in this game just sucked the fun out of trial and error when one or two missteps could end your run just figuring out what you need to do in the first place. Once I knew what I was supposed to do, I didn’t mind the half hour or so it took to master it, and it still felt satisfying.

I’m glad that—as far as I could tell—the ending doesn’t change with any different completion criteria, only some bonus artwork unlocks in the gallery. I am going to try to get those too, but I’m glad there’s nothing left out narratively based on your time or items or whatever.

Specific boss fight question: I don’t think Raven Beak ever used his taunt on me in any of my attempts. Is that only on hard mode, or is there some other weird criteria? I saw it in the couple videos I watched, but all my counters came off of his charge move (which I didn’t have any trouble pulling off, though sometimes I’d panic and jump over the move instead, wasting an opportunity).

It’s not even my favorite game of its type this year, all told I ended up preferring F.I.S.T. and think it’s kind of a shame that game didn’t get a bit more attention. Returnal is still very much my GotY, and it’s certainly Metroid influenced as well, but that’s a bit more Prime than Dread.

Not difficulty specific, but rather spacing I believe. I don’t think it triggers if you are too close.

At least that’s my best guess.

I grabbed this on a bit of a whim when I had some free time, and am loving it. I will say, since a few people said the EMMIs weren’t as bad as they expected… the EMMIs have been the worst part of the game for me. I’m around halfway through, I’d guess, judging by all of your finish times, and I’ve basically only died to EMMIs (at least a dozen times), generally in ways that I didn’t find particularly fun or enlightening.

The other thing that feels off is a few of the control choices. For how precise a bunch of the shinesparks they seem to want you to do are, the mechanics of the execution feel loose compared to Super Metroid or Fusion. More generally, they tied a lot of things to button presses and/or holds that end up feeling much more awkward than the solutions from the less button-rich controllers of the past.

All of that said, it nails that overall feel and style of Being a Metroid Game so well that I find myself squeezing in a half hour here or there to play whenever I can, and will probably play right through for that sub 4 hour clear as soon as I finish it the first time.

So I have discovered, in my quest for sub 4, that check point restarts do not add to the timer. Instead cutscenes do, even when skipped.

So that is why my hard campaign was over 4 hours. And why my latest playthrough the game timer is greater than my real time.

I discovered this and confirmed this after watching one of the recent WR speedruns, where the real clock time was 1:27:52, but the game clock time was 1:41:43

That seems dumb.

I guess this was true for Other M as well.

The idea behind it is probably not to penalize people for wanting to watch the cutscenes (in game sense), so that you don’t get cut off from one of the markers because you skipped it. Which makes some sense. Don’t penalize people mechanically for, you know, enjoying the game. The skip cutscene button is still there for those using real time (i.e. speedrunners).

Also there are already a few crazy sequence breaks out there. One that allows you to completely bypass the frozen Arteria, and the boss tied to thawing it

There is also an early grapple hook as soon as you get the Varia suit (no I’m not spoilering those, they have existed since Super Metroid and were obviously part of this game from minutes in)

I suppose, but how many players are going to go for a sub-4 time on their first playthrough, and how many will want to watch the cutscenes on a subsequent one?

Lol. It’d be hard to do on even a 3rd or 4th playthrough without being very lean, or using sequence breaks. I’m on my 3rd run, doing the ‘normal’ route, and will be a little under 4 hours with ~40% completion. My 2nd run on hard got to the final boss at 3:53 with 33%.

So, yeah, not a thing for the first time through ;)

Honestly? Some of them, yes. The boss ones particularly are neat. Maybe skip the final boss monologue or some of the Adam stuff, but probably not so aggressive about it.

And 3:38 with 42%. Probably could trim it down to 3 with more aggressive play and skipping a few of the optional upgrades. But much beyond that is going to require sequence breaks and memorizing exact routes and such.

Man, it is rare a game will have me make 3 consecutive plays like this. The moment to moment is just. so good. The best it has ever been in a 2D Metroid. Honestly for as good as Super Metroid was and is, there was still some rough spots and jank. I mean it came put 27 years ago, a new game should be mechanically better.

And its amazing, now that I’e had two runs through the game, I was able to blitz the final two bosses first time, in about 15 minutes including cutscenes. Once you get to that point, where the final boss that at first felt impossible and now is a sure thing? It feels great.

My very first fight against a Chozo robot on Hard Mode does not bode well for any of the later fights, especially the double robot fight. Yikes. That red sparking uppercut just has devastating reach.

Jump then flash shift over them.

Or drop to a platform below them.

Storm missles.

Done.

Edit: I can provide more details and tips if requested. By the end of my last game I could wipe them in under a minute with no damage. A far cry from my first go taking like 10 tries to get past one.