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Metroid: Dread - October 8th


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32 minutes ago, Lovelyman said:

If it didn't have the Metroid branding it would have got 6/10 across the board. 

It’s a Metroid game through and through, it’s not like you take away the “branding” and it could just be any action/exploration type game, it is Metroid. 
 

So basically what you’re saying is that anyone reviewing it well is doing so just because they enjoy Metroid, and it’s a good Metroid. 

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6 minutes ago, Stanley said:

It’s a Metroid game through and through, it’s not like you take away the “branding” and it could just be any action/exploration type game, it is Metroid. 
 

So basically what you’re saying is that anyone reviewing it well is doing so just because they enjoy Metroid, and it’s a good Metroid. 

Oh sorry I forgot we have to like it.

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53 minutes ago, Lovelyman said:

I totally agree with this. 

 

If it didn't have the Metroid branding it would have got 6/10 across the board. 

 

I agree with a lot of the sentiments, but a 6/10 is really ignoring the inherent quality of the game.

It's a good game. In my opinion it just has a lot of presentation, flow, and balancing issues that keep it from being perfect.

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1 hour ago, Stanley said:

It’s a Metroid game through and through, it’s not like you take away the “branding” and it could just be any action/exploration type game, it is Metroid. 
 

So basically what you’re saying is that anyone reviewing it well is doing so just because they enjoy Metroid, and it’s a good Metroid. 


I’ve enjoyed a wide range of both Metroid and “metroidvania” games, and I don’t think this shares what makes these games great for me.  The main thing missing for me is the sense of exploration and excellent map design. This is too linear and the map is too poor to make it easy to identify where you’d like to explore next.

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I really thought the map was excellent in this. Any time I wasn't sure where to go, I could study it for a minute and figure it out. And progression strikes a good balance between the old-school approach of leaving you to get lost and the hand-holding of explicitly marking your next objective. You have to find your own way but you're also kind of funnelled along.

 

I have other issues with the game, but the level and map design are a real achievement.

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Should the map always flash if there’s an undiscovered item in an area? Or will there sometimes be a hidden item in an area that’s not flashing? I’ve hit 96% in one map and there are no uncollected items or flashing areas on the map.

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34 minutes ago, HarryBizzle said:


I’ve enjoyed a wide range of both Metroid and “metroidvania” games, and I don’t think this shares what makes these games great for me.  The main thing missing for me is the sense of exploration and excellent map design. This is too linear and the map is too poor to make it easy to identify where you’d like to explore next.

I thought it was fine, it’s definitely more hand-holdy though, but even just looking through this thread there are people who have got lost or aren’t sure where to go next. 
 

I think they’ve struck the right balance there for a traditional Metroid game but with more modern sensibilities. 

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33 minutes ago, Alex W. said:

Should the map always flash if there’s an undiscovered item in an area? Or will there sometimes be a hidden item in an area that’s not flashing? I’ve hit 96% in one map and there are no uncollected items or flashing areas on the map.

 

Areas that are hidden will not flash (as there's nothing to light up). Also, once you've seen a hidden item on screen, the area will stop flashing regardless of whether or not you picked it up. It's at this point that the game's tendency to show picked up item through transparency becomes rather cumbersome.

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45 minutes ago, Alex W. said:

Should the map always flash if there’s an undiscovered item in an area? Or will there sometimes be a hidden item in an area that’s not flashing? I’ve hit 96% in one map and there are no uncollected items or flashing areas on the map.

Are there any obvious empty squares of map? I like how downloading the 'map' from the mainframe (or whatever it is) just gives you a bunch of rectangles like bounding boxes. Worst computer ever.

 

(I joke of course, it makes perfect sense in the context of gaming. They show you the limits, you fill it in yourself)

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I think the best things about this game are the way it plays - Samus never controlled better and more fluidly - and the bosses, which are a huge step up from the ones in other Metroids I've played (Echoes has some great ones as well, but it's been ages and I don't know how well they've aged). 

Flash shift is such a cool ability.

 

I'm not spending much time on games at the moment, but I'm having a blast everytime I play this.

 

As for the atmosphere, I think Returnal did the stranded all alone on an alien planet better with its haunting atmosphere, mystery and incredible soundscape, but I still really enjoy the  setting and art design in this. Some really cool background stuff going on as well.

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Dread is easily the best of the 2D Metroid games for me and I’m very familiar with the series. 
it also easily outclasses most newer Metroidvania’s especially - the still excellent  - Hollowknight. 
It’s completely out done my expectations and front runner for GOTY. 

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35 minutes ago, Cyhwuhx said:

 

Areas that are hidden will not flash (as there's nothing to light up). Also, once you've seen a hidden item on screen, the area will stop flashing regardless of whether or not you picked it up. It's at this point that the game's tendency to show picked up item through transparency becomes rather cumbersome.

 

32 minutes ago, Number 28 said:

Are there any obvious empty squares of map? I like how downloading the 'map' from the mainframe (or whatever it is) just gives you a bunch of rectangles like bounding boxes. Worst computer ever.

 

(I joke of course, it makes perfect sense in the context of gaming. They show you the limits, you fill it in yourself)


OK, so if there is a block on the map that has an item behind it, the area will flash, but if I have visited that area of the map but the specific block concealing the item hasn’t been added to the map (because it’s down a hidden corridor or something), it won’t.

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And done. Beaky down, not too hard in the end. 100% complete in 16h 39m, though actually played for about twice that according to the Switch.

 

A very impressive game that got a little too annoying at times for my skill level/enjoyment ratio. Still a solid 8/10 for me.

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30 minutes ago, Alex W. said:

 


OK, so if there is a block on the map that has an item behind it, the area will flash, but if I have visited that area of the map but the specific block concealing the item hasn’t been added to the map (because it’s down a hidden corridor or something), it won’t.


As soon as you uncover the item from a hidden block the flash will disappear. 
 

If you picked it up, an icon on the map will dim and mention you picked it up. 
If you didn’t, the icon will not dim and be part of the map. 
 

Any items in hidden areas will not show up until you uncover the area that contain them. 

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Right, I had been assuming that the relevant map "segment" would glow as soon as it had hidden items in it. So I thought I just had to check any glowing bits and any item markers, but actually I also have to do some good old-fashioned poking around the map for sus-looking corners and junctions.

 

To give you an example, I pinned down my missing item:

 

Spoiler

I had to shinespark through a series of speed boost blocks that formed a tunnel. The item was at the bottom of that tunnel and therefore wasn't on the map in any state.

 

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1 hour ago, Cyhwuhx said:

 

Areas that are hidden will not flash (as there's nothing to light up). Also, once you've seen a hidden item on screen, the area will stop flashing regardless of whether or not you picked it up. It's at this point that the game's tendency to show picked up item through transparency becomes rather cumbersome.


if you highlight all icons of that type - ones in yellow boxes haven’t been collected yet.

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5 hours ago, Cyhwuhx said:

 

I agree with a lot of the sentiments, but a 6/10 is really ignoring the inherent quality of the game.

It's a good game. In my opinion it just has a lot of presentation, flow, and balancing issues that keep it from being perfect.

Yeah, having 100%-ed it and let my thoughts sit for a while I still feel about the same as I did an hour in - that it's a very good game held back by a lot of annoyances which seem niggly, but are constant enough that I found them impossible to ignore. Considering how little I cared for what MercurySteam had previously done with Castlevania and Metroid that's a lot more than I thought I'd be saying for it going in, so props to them for upping their game so much.

 

Generally I always got the impression that they were more fans of the settings/characters/lore of those series than they were the gameplay and while things are massively improved here it still irritates me how keen they are to take away control from the player all the time to show Samus Doing Cool Stuff. The mid-boss breaks are especially irritating and bosses being finished off by a cutscene rather than player action has always been a bit of a pet hate of mine. Every now and again for effect can be fair enough but it's pretty much the norm here.

 

I don't like how often you're given a way to open up the map only for that to be immediately undercut by things being closed off behind you. The amount of times I got a new ability and thought 'Oh cool, I'll just go and get that thing they teased me with a minute ago' only to find that the way back there had been blocked by rubble or ACCESS CLOSED or whatever really took away from the feeling of empowerment and flow that a good Metroidvania should have IMO. You'll often be picking those items up much later after a full circuit of the map at which point they feel more like a box-ticking exercise than a reward for organic exploration and experimentation. I spent far too much time having to check the map throughout and it made progress feel bitty and awkward. Personally I found the map screen pretty good otherwise this would've been even more of an issue.

 

One thing I seem to be well against the grain on are the controls which look to be getting near universal praise. Metroid games have always been a bit fiddly in their own ways so it's certainly not alone here but to me, digital movement on an analog stick just isn't ever going to feel good and moving left and right in a platformer is pretty fundamental. Analog movement in 2D can also be weird but I think they could've nailed it here due to the amazing fluidity of Samus' animation (though pressing down to kneel would still be a little 'off') and set a template for future 2D Metroids to follow whilst making its mechanics pretty unique compared with everything else in the genre. If the largely pointless cloak had been replaced by the ability to more effectively sneak through EMMI areas by moving slowly I think it might've helped those sections too since it'd ramp up the 'dread' vs. the more 'Benny Hill chase then failing a QTE, sighing and pressing retry' vibe they currently lean towards.


All that said, the production values are so high and the pleasure of playing a worthwhile 2D Metroid again enough that it's probably a good 8/10 for me. If Fusion had been the only previous Metroid game it absolutely would've nailed it as a follow-up, I just can't help but be a little disappointed when thinking of the importance of the series as a whole and comparing it to something like Hollow Knight.

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It's weird how much of a complement to Axiom Verge 2 this is, and vice versa. There's a lot of lapses in this (the kinds of things Rsdio mentions above) I'd be less forgiving of if AV2 hadn't scratched those specific itches earlier in the year; conversely it's really nice to have Metroid's specific gamefeel back. I don't think that most the problems with MD's exploration are choices in the way that AV2 sidelines combat but they pair well together.

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On 23/10/2021 at 13:07, Popo said:

I mean, complaining that it lacks lore? That’s a completely misguided criticism. The opening lore dump, where the game blasts you with backstory, I felt was something the player had to endure to get to the good stuff. The very idea you’d want more of that? No, no.  

 

+1 - gaming lore is such a drag at times, 2 minutes into everything and I'm already bored of it. Get on with the action

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Finished off Hard Mode just now, didn't bother straying from the main flow so it was 3 hours 47 minutes in total (35% items). Disappointed that nothing really changed beyond incurring additional damage as far as I could tell; checkpoints are still generous and boss patterns (including opportunities to heal) are identical.

 

That said, I did die to bosses I had no trouble with before, like Escue and Golzuna. I'd love a wee Boss Rush mode to play around with.

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1 hour ago, Rsdio said:

I don't like how often you're given a way to open up the map only for that to be immediately undercut by things being closed off behind you. The amount of times I got a new ability and thought 'Oh cool, I'll just go and get that thing they teased me with a minute ago' only to find that the way back there had been blocked by rubble or ACCESS CLOSED or whatever really took away from the feeling of empowerment and flow that a good Metroidvania should have IMO. You'll often be picking those items up much later after a full circuit of the map at which point they feel more like a box-ticking exercise than a reward for organic exploration and experimentation. I spent far too much time having to check the map throughout and it made progress feel bitty and awkward. Personally I found the map pretty good otherwise this would've been even more of an issue.

 

You've done a much better job of explaining what I've described as linearity. It's precisely this that I think is probably the biggest flaw with the game and stops it feeling like a proper Metroidvania to me. I could live with all the other little annoyances if it weren't for this.

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4 hours ago, BadgerFarmer said:

I really thought the map was excellent in this. Any time I wasn't sure where to go, I could study it for a minute and figure it out. And progression strikes a good balance between the old-school approach of leaving you to get lost and the hand-holding of explicitly marking your next objective. You have to find your own way but you're also kind of funnelled along.

 

I have other issues with the game, but the level and map design are a real achievement.

It’s great games design, I agree. Almost too good, and you can forget how accomplished it actually is.

 

(Tell you what, if the game was patched to make the bosses more manageable, like having fewer hit points or whatever, pretty much all of my significant issues with the game would immediately evaporate…)

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Finally finished it, that end boss definitely tested my skills.

 

Really enjoyed it but some of the enviromental puzzles coould have been expanded upon. Would have liked a few more areas that were not industrial looking.

 

Shame they couldn't have added some weekly challenges to this though etc to give the game a bit more lastability for the ones not too bothered about replaying it though.

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25 hrs first run, I am very shit at this and have fuck all of the collectibles done loved being tested throughout.

Moaners honestly, jesus I don't know what people expect the standard of not moaning about games to be anymore, this game couldnt have been any better unless pornhub decided to throw me a metroid dread themed party took my wife away for the weekend and had a no cameras policy.

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Seems as though we’re at the ‘ace game is actually rubbish’ stage that we always go through.

 

I love it. GOTY for me far.

 

 

I’d have loved them to have had more shinespark puzzles, maybe like DLC challenge zones or something.

 

and a boss rush mode.

 

 

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