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Metroid: Dread - October 8th


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Made a start on this tonight and took down EMMI number two, which was nice. Got the stick to walls thing and have no idea where to go next. 
 

I have it a quick go in handheld mode and I think I’d get very little out of an OLED switch - I much prefer playing on the big screen. 

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About where I am - I think your options are very limited; a lot of the area up and left that I have already been to is currently cut off.

 

I had an item marked on my map to head for after I got the spider magnet, so I headed for that.

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About the difficulty, I found it really difficult, i dont usually play stuff like this, closest thing i can think of is the boss fights are like cuphead, and i couldnt get anywhere near finishing cuphead. Anyway, nearly gave up a number of times on the boss fights, only really continued because of the good checkpointing. Ive tried older 2d metroid/castlevania games before and i cant even get past the first boss. Not sure why but despite struggling i got addicted to this and been playing it solidly all weekend, so it must be doing something right. I did enjoy it but think id have preferred a slightly easier mode with some small changes, i recon 50% of my deaths were mostly down to the fussy 

Spoiler

Double jump

Get rid of that, and maybe some relaxed timings on some counters, that would be better for me.
 

i was stuck on the last boss for ages but finished it earlier.

Spoiler

Killing the dark balls really helps as you get ammo/health, as does knowing you dont need to waste missiles shooting him when hes glowing red - thanks to a tip about that in here. And a bit i didnt know till watching it on youtube that would have really helped - you can destroy the mini sun things with the special bomb thing you get near the end.

 

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7 hours ago, the_debaser said:

Yeah the worlds are pretty different. Solid 9/10 so far for me, not far from a 10/10. Easily the best thing I’ve played this year. 

Same, to the point I’m playing it every spare minute, not like sometimes when I need to gently persuade myself to play a game. 

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9 hours ago, Klatrymadon said:

I'm surprised nobody has really talked about the environments in terms of sameyness, either. It's a very one-note experience with no dynamic changes, no peaks or valleys, just this constant level-design hyperclutter, constant urging of the player through one indentical ferret-run after another, precluding any identification with any one area, such that the whole thing is more a mechanical obstacle course through countless 'liminal spaces' than a meaningful place or setting. (This is bad in itself, imo, before making any comparisons to the remarkably believable and thoroughly developed planet of SM, or whatever else.)

I feel like you have hit the nail on the head. 

 

I was wondering what it was missing. I think I'm enjoying it a bit when I'm playing it, but it feels like you're just bashing your head against dead ends randomly until you find the right route and then you start again. 

 

The map is bloody awful to look at to try and work out where you might want to go. 

 

The EMMIs suck tbh. 

 

I think it's a 7/10 at most. 

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I thought the environments were pretty samey as well, to be honest. Some of the biomes later on change things up a little, but it feels very contained and industrial, especially compared with the scale of Hollow Knight, or the variety of something like Guacamelee. Arguably, this is par for the course with 2D Metroid, but it lacks the 'Whoa' moments of the Prime games where you just stop and stare 

 

It makes it more special when you do get to different environments, though. The shuttle station in the rain in one of the zones is lovely. More of that, please!

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Metroid has never been a series with mass appeal, it's always been rather niche and Dread compliments this niche very well, I think. 

 

While Dread is mostly more of the same it introduces a few new mechanics and expands the lore quite a bit. 

 

I've noticed a lot of critique that EMMI encounter X is too frustrating or that Boss X is too hard, even navigating through the maps is bewildering but this is how the Metroid games has always been from my point of view, and the magic of the games aren't always apparent before you see the end credits for the first time, it's pretty much the sum of all the content that makes the Metroid games so special. 

 

I remember being stuck in Super Metroid when it was released, especially at one point where I thought the game was bugged. Turned out I hadn't been paying attention so I didn't know that after sprinting with the turbo boots that I could also do a massive vertical jump. I think I was stuck a week before I found out (pre internet times ftw). I was also stuck on one of the bosses for ages, yet Super Metroid ended up as one of the best 5 games on the platform for me. 

 

I haven't finished Dread yet, so I don't know wether I'll end up being disappointed with it or if I can chalk it up as yet another strong entry in the series but for what it's worth I find Dread reassuringly true to its roots (in a good way for me) and I'm very excited about pushing forward towards my ship up on the surface. 

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On the final boss now.

 

Overall it’s kept me engaged but the EMMIs can fucking do one, just hateful sections of the game. I’m still surprised at people getting lost on what to do next to be honest. The game is, at least to my eyes, exceedingly clever at moving you onwards. Like you get a new power, oh, the room exit now puts me right near an elevator/warp point. Oh that takes me back to an area I couldn’t get to before. Oh, here’s a new train station. There hasn’t been a single point in the game where I haven’t felt it’s actually trying desperately to stop me getting lost.

 

As with the poster above I find the 

Spoiler

Double jump/screw jump really fussy, I can’t seem to nail the timing. Also it seems to try to be clever at points near ledges where rather than double jumping it decides you want to grab onto the ledge and won’t let you double jump, drives me mad.

 

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The soundtrack is a departure for the series, it clearly went for atmosphere and mood without an emphasis on melody like previous titles did.

 

I get why they did it this way but I think it was a mistake as the series has always had soundtracks with very strong melody’s on the songs that make them easy to remember.

 

The music is fine when you’re in play but outside of the game they don’t stay in the memory for long and I’m not in a rush to youtube search it.

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Just now, Dig Dug said:

The soundtrack is a departure for the series, it clearly went for atmosphere and mood without an emphasis on melody like previous titles did.

 

I get why they did it this way but I think it was a mistake as the series has always had soundtracks with very strong melody’s on the songs that make them easy to remember.

 

The music is fine when you’re in play but outside of the game they don’t stay in the memory for long and I’m not in a rush to youtube search it.

 

I think they've tried to mimic the Fusion soundtrack, but put the wrong composer on it in Yamamoto. Back then, Yamamoto scored Prime, while Hamano scored Fusion. (Which neatly presents the preferences of each.) They both co-composed Super and Zero Mission and both of those have a perfect balance of tunes and soundscapes.

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I’m really enjoying this. Beat the scorpion boss and am now on the second main area. 
 

This following is waffle: I really like how simple it all feels in comparison to a lot of modern games. It’s not trying to wow you with a million stupid things. Very old school, pure gameplay kind of thing. 
 

Looks nice enough on the OLED but I still wish the Switch was more powerful. 

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19 hours ago, rgraves said:

I think the extreme mix of people we're getting in here veering from "it's too linear" to "I'm totally lost" suggest they have, actually, nailed it.

 

 

Possibly, though I think those groups have different issues with the same bit of design ethos.   I've not played a Metroid game since Super Metroid nearly 30 years ago, I'm a fan of the genre and am coming to this off the back of games like Hollow Knight where you can basically go anywhere at any time and the map was so well designed it always kinda worked itself out.  Bringing those expectations from more modern takes into Dread can lead to frustration either in the "well, I've gone round in circles here and obviously I'm missing something" before you find the critical path again, or you're already resigned to there being very few options in making your way through to the next area and think of it as being very linear.   Of course, that's fine.  This game reminds me more of a haunted house ride than a labyrinth and after recalibrating my expectations I'm perfectly happy with the way they've decided to go.  

 

More general observations as I guess I'm reaching the mid game (just unlocked the morph ball) is that I absolutely love the aesthetic of the game.  I see some people not completely down with the soundtrack but I think it's wonderful, I really like the EMMI zone mechanic, the chase sequences when they find you are super fun as are the stealth sections when you're trying to sneak by. I think they could have been a bit more generous with the odds of escape once they grab you but the punishment for failure really is only a few seconds of your time so whatever.  I've still really only played the game in hour long bursts, hitting a milestone (new area, new item etc) always sees me wanting to take a breather, but I always want to go back for more.   

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29 minutes ago, HarryBizzle said:

I’m really enjoying this. Beat the scorpion boss and am now on the second main area. 
 

This following is waffle: I really like how simple it all feels in comparison to a lot of modern games. It’s not trying to wow you with a million stupid things. Very old school, pure gameplay kind of thing. 
 

Looks nice enough on the OLED but I still wish the Switch was more powerful. 

You know you're not allowed to say that. 

 

Try going back to Hollow Knight on switch after playing it on Xbox. It's night and day but you're not allowed to notice. 

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19 minutes ago, Naysonymous said:

 

Possibly, though I think those groups have different issues with the same bit of design ethos.   I've not played a Metroid game since Super Metroid nearly 30 years ago, I'm a fan of the genre and am coming to this off the back of games like Hollow Knight where you can basically go anywhere at any time and the map was so well designed it always kinda worked itself out.  Bringing expectations from more modern takes into Dread can lead to frustration either in the "well, I've gone round in circles here and obviously I'm missing something" before you find the critical path again, or you're already resigned to there being very few options in making your way through to the next area.   Of course, that's fine.  This game reminds me more of a haunted house ride than a labyrinth and after recalibrating my expectations I'm perfectly happy with the way they've decided to go.  

 

 

I dunno, so far, I think Super definitely has more esoteric stuff and places where I got stuck. I always am struck by the whole "5 rockets to open a door" thing. They're so rare early on that there's no way I would think "hey, one rocket didn't open that door, let me try all 5 that I'm carrying," especially with my video game hoarder logic which means I will carry that bazooka/whatever forever and never use it, just in case.

 

This doesn't really tell you where to go, so I feel like I'm just pottering around until I stumble across the next thing, but I feel like it's a bit too good at funnelling you along. I don't think I've got "lost" once. I just don't know where I'm going but keep pushing on and the next thing I know, I've got a new power or whatever.

 

Still very much enjoying it, though. :)

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20 minutes ago, Lovelyman said:

You know you're not allowed to say that. 

 

Try going back to Hollow Knight on switch after playing it on Xbox. It's night and day but you're not allowed to notice. 

 

I had a go at playing Dread on the big screen last night after playing it exclusively on handheld so far. It looked pretty crap, comparatively. I soon went back to handheld mode. The smaller screen hides a lot of the rougher edges. This definitely feels like a handheld game, anyway.

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13 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

 

I had a go at playing Dread on the big screen last night after playing it exclusively on handheld so far. It looked pretty crap, comparatively. I soon went back to handheld mode. The smaller screen hides a lot of the rougher edges. This definitely feels like a handheld game, anyway.

 

I think there's definitely that, but a lot of the detail gets missed in handheld. I played about 20-25 mins in handheld today and it was nice enough, but I always feel like I'm missing out by not having it on the TV.

 

I'd like to see it running on an OLED switch, though. Maybe the slightly bigger screen and OLEDness gives the best mix image quality.

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12 minutes ago, HarryBizzle said:

 

I think there's definitely that, but a lot of the detail gets missed in handheld. I played about 20-25 mins in handheld today and it was nice enough, but I always feel like I'm missing out by not having it on the TV.

 

I'd like to see it running on an OLED switch, though. Maybe the slightly bigger screen and OLEDness gives the best mix image quality.

 

If you're missing details on handheld mode then you're not holding it close enough to your face ;)

 

But yes, the OLED screen is lovely. And it's been said before, but Dread is a perfect game to debut with the new console because of how much black space there often is on screen.

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22 minutes ago, Garwoofoo said:

How many energy tanks did everyone have when facing Kraid? He's kind of kicking my arse and I'm wondering if it's worthwhile trawling through other areas to see if I can beef myself up a bit.

Two I think, it’s not as hard as you think you just need to learn the pattern, once you do you barely get hit and even if you do, you’ll recover health along the way. 

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1 hour ago, Lovelyman said:

You know you're not allowed to say that. 

 

Try going back to Hollow Knight on switch after playing it on Xbox. It's night and day but you're not allowed to notice. 

Hardly night and day, the Switch version is fine, what does it add on Xbox apart from increased resolution? 

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21 minutes ago, Garwoofoo said:

How many energy tanks did everyone have when facing Kraid? He's kind of kicking my arse and I'm wondering if it's worthwhile trawling through other areas to see if I can beef myself up a bit.

 

Spoilered just in case people dont want to know how far in he is:

Spoiler

I had 2 tanks (i.e. 2 pink bars). Like you I struggled at first and assumed I needed more upgrades. I then scoured the whole available map which took ages - found nearly every secret and turns out it is possible to get one more energy tank to bring you up to 3 for Kraid. Problem is it's in quarter parts so you need to find all 4. Typically even though I'd found all 4 parts there was one I didn't think I could get to, so I ended up with all that time spent and still with no extra tank for the boss. After I beat him, I returned and found out I could have gotten the last quarter tank after all!

 

In all honesty though its all about figuring out the pattern and the right tools to use at the right time. Its tough but once you figure it all out its not too bad even with 2 tanks.

 

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6 minutes ago, Stanley said:

Hardly night and day, the Switch version is fine, what does it add on Xbox apart from increased resolution? 

 

The best version is on the 3DS for that perfect native 240p retro resolution. It's the next best thing to playing on a CRT.

 

IMG-0384.jpg

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49 minutes ago, Garwoofoo said:

How many energy tanks did everyone have when facing Kraid? He's kind of kicking my arse and I'm wondering if it's worthwhile trawling through other areas to see if I can beef myself up a bit.

 

yep 2.

 

For the second phase with the balls you need to shoot try charging up your shot and standing at the back, this helped for me.

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