Metroid Dread - 2D Metroid on Switch

So run 2, on hard mode. Goal? Get the sub 4 hour mark for the ‘best’ ending.

I reached the elevator for the final boss with 7 minutes time left. This is going to take a few tries* (especially as I only have 109 missiles and 899 health) and perhaps even a few victories. I can blitz through the first two stages now, but the 3rd I run out of missiles, and the 4th is tough because of health. I can get through each of the first 3 stages without taking a hit individually, but am finding it difficult to make it through all 3 consistently without getting pinged a few times. And on hard each hit is at least 200 damage.

But, man, it makes the speedrunners more impressive. I see they’ve already got it down to 1:33 or so, without a ton of glitches. A few notable sequence breaks though. Still, I look at my run, with almost no backtracking and a pretty good fix on the ‘critical path’ route, and can hardly fathom the time difference. Getting from 12 hours (for 100%, 8:30 for any completion) on my first run to sub 4 on my second seems easy in comparison.

I’m even seeing sub 4 hour 100% runs. Insanity.

*I’m already a number of tries in, and have gotten close, so tantilizingly close, a few times. One time I thought I had it, but went to counter a shinespark attack I thought was a regular sprint attack, turns out that does at least 400 damage. Ouch! But with 7 minutes to beat the boss and make it to the ship for escape, I have to play pretty aggressive. Had I pulled back and gone safe I maybe get through that run.

EDIT: GOD DAM IT! I just did it. Got to the last phase with full health. Got all the way through, and all I had to do was counter his last attack to trigger the win. And I forgot and botched it. Then promptly lost. I was gonna beat him with like 600 health left, and blew it. AAAAAAHHHH

Oh, learn something new. Dying and hitting continue? It adds to your counter. Which sucks.

I just had a beauty of a boss fight, whipped it cleanly. fairly clean escape run too. Final time? 4:31.

Guess gotta load save each time, not ‘continue’

The good news is I saved at the room right before the final boss, after the penultimate boss, so it costs nothing to try again. I think I can do it. 7:20 to beat the boss and escape? Again? Yeah, but not right now.

EDIT: There’s probably an hour of ‘game time’ added by hitting ‘continue’ to various bosses. Next time I know hit cancel, and load from save.

Same, I find them incredibly irritating. You figure them out, and the timing required is so tight that you second-guess yourself thinking there must be an easier way. These puzzles feel very Japanese, like they require hours of repeated repetition for mastery of the precise frame-perfect timing. To get 10 missiles in a video game.

That aside, this is the best playing Metroid game in the series. I agree about the level design being too complex, while also being completely linear. The boss fights are superb, as are the cut scenes before them. When Kraid is chomping at Samus in a rage and she just stands there, stone cold, and shoots him in the mouth I yelled out “YES!”

I kind of enjoy the “frustration” of the shinespark stuff, more than the trial and error of some of the bosses actually.

I’m finishing my first run now. I just hit 100% items at 12:00:23, I haven’t made any attempt on the final boss (bosses?) yet though. When I first got to Hanubia, I grabbed the few items necessary to get 100% there, then backtracked through everything else and just worked my way back with 100% everywhere now. Gotta call it a night now, but I’ll be back to begin what I assume will be a fun evening of beating my head against the wall for the boss tomorrow night!


But only 2. You are, in theory, 10 minutes from completing the game.

In practice probably an hour. That final boss is a butt kicker. It took me probably 50 tries over my two runs before I could get to the last phase at full health. Even still it’s 50/50 if I even get to that phase. Just remember, counters are your friend (and in phase 2, literally the only way to progress)

Uh, I don’t think there are any counterable attacks in phase 2.

There absolutely, 100%, are. In fact they are literally the only way to move forward.

Unless by phase 2 you mean the flying phase. There are 4 phases as I count them. The opening, the golden sheen phase where he adds the taunts (which you need to counter to move on) but is invulnerable to shots, the flying, then the shinespark ground phase.

In phase 2, by my numbering, you can counter his taunt, and can counter his red dash attack. The latter is dangerous as it does a lot of damage if you miss, but it is very effective if you land it. Often if you tap the blaster button fast enough, you can end this phase in a single counter if you land it

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