Metroid II: Return of Samus Review


It’s time to look at the next installment in the Metroid series. As you may recall I was definitely not a big fan of the first game. The maze system is far too vague and you can get lost in hours. Major props to people who beat this game back in the day without save states or guides. I don’t think I would have been completing that game. This one improves upon the original for sure, but I still wouldn’t say it’s quite at the level where I could give it a positive score either. I like that the game is a bit more direct with the structure and the goals of the game but we don’t yet have a good map system in play.

The game starts with Samus landing on another planet. It’s time to exterminate all of the Metroids on this planet and there are quite a few of them so it won’t be easy. You’ve got a Metroid counter on the screen letting you know how many enemies are still on the planet. Gradually you have to take them all down. After you’ve beaten a good number of the metroids you unlock new paths to find the rest. Needless to say, without a map you could be here for a very long time. Another tricky thing is when you run out of missiles. Without missiles you can’t defeat the Metroids so you will have to backtrack and find a refill machine or beat a ton of enemies. The drop rate on the enemies isn’t too great though.

It’s always interesting playing a game in black and white. I haven’t played may of those at all so it’s really very different. Kind of cool in a nostalgia sense although I definitely miss the color. The graphics are okay but I can’t say they are particularly good in this state. The soundtrack is also pretty limited, the series didn’t hit the next level until Super Metroid. At that point is when we got an incredible soundtrack with all of the iconic tunes. This is right before that hype era.

The campaign is fairly short, but again that’s not considering that you should get lost quite a few times. It took me close to 6 hours to beat the game and that’s considering that I had a map with me. The game does have a real ending which ties into Super Metroid which is cool though. I like how the game is structured even if it is ultimately held back by how the game mechanics work. If this game had a real map then I dare say it would have been pretty good right off the bat.

It’s very challenging though so gamers who like to really work for their wins will definitely appreciate that. Some of the Metroids take numerous hits to take down. You’ll really have to be strategic here as even with a lot of life tanks you may quickly end up getting overwhelmed. You can’t really just run in and start swinging. Admittedly that’s usually how I like to roll but you gotta roll with the game sometimes and this is definitely one of those times. You either fight strategic or you lose.

There’s no real replay value to be found here. Once you beat the game that’s it. There’s no true post game. I suppose you can try to beat the game with a quicker clear time to get a different ending but that’s about it. It’s not personally enough incentive for me to go back in but if you really like the gameplay style then it’s a nice way to challenge yourself.

Overall, There’s not a whole lot more to say about this one. It’s a very similar game to the original Metroid except it’s less of a maze adventure as you’ve got more of a solid goal to achieve. You know from the start that you have to beat all of the Metroids so you find and blast them. Metroid is one of those series that I like a lot but mainly thanks to the later games. I’m still not impressed with these early titles. I’ll try out Super Metroid soon though and that one should be a big improvement. If you really like Metroid then maybe check this one out, but I’d recommend getting the 3DS remake instead. I imagine that the enhancements should help fix some of this title’s issues.

Overall 5/10

Bayonetta vs Samus



Suggested by Sonic Samus is definitely incredibly skilled, but this is one match that she can’t win. Bayonetta’s “bats within” skill will make landing a hit on her very difficult. Samus’ energy attacks will basically be ineffective and while her hand to hand moves could deal some damage, Bayonetta is every bit as fast as Samus if not faster. The bounty hunter is ultimately a little out of her depth in this battle. Bayonetta wins.

Shulk vs Samus



Suggested by Sonic Samus is definitely a fighter who will give Shulk more of a fight than the last two. Her armor can withstand a lot of damage and Samus can also move at very high speeds. Her array of weapons will keep Shulk busy, but ultimately it will be hard to tag him. Not only does he also have super speed, but his pre-cog will also help him in trying to dodge her attacks. Samus is powerful, but ultimately I don’t think she is quite in the same league as Shulk. She can give him a solid fight, but once he gets serious it’ll all be over. Shulk wins.

Palutena vs Samus



Suggested by Destroyer This one is a bit tricky. Both Palutena and Samus have great offensive options. Palutena can fly and teleport so she definitely has the aerial advantage, but on the ground Samus definitely wins. Samus knows close quarter combat techniques and her suits give her a nice degree of super speed. In the end I’m thinking Samus will take this more times than not. Her fundamentals are simply superior and that really does go a long way. Samus wins.

Mikasa vs Samus




Suggested by Destroyer Mikasa is definitely a very solid fighter and she’s always been a pretty cool character. That being said, she isn’t quite ready to take on Samus. Both of them are basically superhuman in terms of physical ability, but Samus has the decisive advantage when you take into account her armor. With that she heavily outranks Mikasa in both power and speed. Samus also gets an incredible arsenal of projectiles that she can use to completely overwhelm the scout. Samus wins.

Lucario vs Samus



Suggested by Sonic It’s time for a battle of powerhouses. Samus has a lot of power in that armor of hers and can easily land some devastating hits in close quarters thanks to her speed and agility. It won’t be enough to stop Lucario though. Lucario was already powerful before he obtained his Mega Evolution. With it he has ascended to a much higher level than Samus and she just won’t be able to keep up with his speed. Lucario wins.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Review


It’s time to look at a game that could go down in history as the greatest of them all. That may sound like hyperbole, but at the moment the Super Smash Bros Wii U title currently holds that spot so it’s not unreasonable to imagine a world where this one surpasses it. I’ve been hyped for this game for many months now. A new Super Smash Bros title always brings with it a certain level of expectations like that and even more so for this one since it was touted as being the ultimate Smash title. It’s effectively an upgraded port of the Wii U game while bringing in all of the previous characters and most of the stages. I’ve already put in close to 50 hours here and that number’s only going to keep on rising.

First off lets talk about the gameplay even though by now it is fairly iconic. The goal of the game is to get the opponent’s damage% up. The higher it is the farther they will be launched when you attack them. Once you’ve knocked the opponent off the stage entirely they lose a life. Once you’ve taken all of their lives away the match is over and you will have claimed victory. While the goal is simple, it’s still a fairly complicated game. I imagine that if this is your first Smash title that you’ll have a pretty steep learning curve at first. Nevertheless you’ll definitely get the hang of it.

Multiplayer is definitely where you’ll spend the most time in this game. The battles are legendary here and with over 70 playable characters and 100+ stages you can keep the matches feeling fresh the whole time. Online definitely helps the replay value even further if you have no friends. Fortunately even just fighting the computers can present a really nice challenge. There are certainly some online issues you will want to be aware of though. Currently the match settings allow you a preference but you can still be sent into types that you did not ask for. If that happens watch out because it will still affect your GSP which is effectively your online rank. I wouldn’t get too attached to it though because that may make you afraid to keep on playing when you see your score go down. It’ll definitely go up and down as you go through more matches, but the important thing is watching your skills improve which won’t happen if you are too nervous the whole time. What you should be most excited about is the fact that this will ensure you fight tougher and tougher opponents as you get better.

Meanwhile there are a ton of other modes to play. While we sadly don’t see the return of a story mode like what Brawl had, we do get a new adventure mode which is similar to Melee’s in the sense that there is a basic story but not too many cutscenes. You are placed in a large overhead map where you have to get to the end. You do this by freeing all of the fighters who have been possessed by the cosmic being. Each fight you go through has some kind of gimmick or element that makes it unique. These can be quite challenging for a new player so I recommend taking a look at the spirits. They will help you overcome these battles but they can be a little overwhelming at times so take it slow.

There’s also the Spirit Board mode which lets you get new spirits by completing more event battles. It’s basically the same as Adventure Mode but without the story behind it. There are over 1200 spirits in the game so this should definitely help you get a lot of play time in. The actual story is around 10-11 hours if you rush it and to 100% the story you’ll probably need more like 20 hours. There are also a few other single player modes like All Star and 100 Man Brawl. You fight hordes of enemies in this mode and see how quickly you are able to finish them off. The single player options are a little more limited than in past options, but compared to the average game it is still a ton of content. As mentioned, most of your time will probably be spent in multiplayer mode anyway.

As expected the graphics are absolutely top notch here. Everything looks really clear and pristine. It’s all so colorful and amazing. A lot of things are always happening on screen at once but you’ll never feel lost. Super Smash always shows up as the best looking Nintendo game on each console and the Switch looks like it won’t be an exception. You’ll be hard pressed to find any game that looks better than this one. The soundtrack is also extremely impressive as there are over 800 songs to be found. I think its safe to say that this game easily has the best ost of all time. There are just so many songs to choose from. You’ll start out with most of them and then you get to unlock the last few hundred. I will add that I think the developers did a good job of letting you start out with all the stages and most of the music while leaving all the characters to be unlocked. The challenger approaching screen has always been one of the most enjoyable parts of the game after all.

Between all the spirits and gameplay this title has unlimited replay value. At the time of writing this review I currently have 4 challenges left to complete. I expect to have those done by the end of the week. I’ll certainly still keep on playing this title daily but I guess it may be time to tag in another title. It won’t have much time before the Christmas batch gets in though which is why I’m still pretty undecided on how to go about that. Ah well, I’ll have time.

I guess the question you may be asking now is..why hasn’t this game passed the Wii U one yet? We can ignore all of the modes and just get to the gameplay because that’s the deciding factor when it comes to Smash. This game series is in a league of its own to the point where all modes are thrown to the wayside in favor of the gameplay. Whoever has the best gameplay wins, it’s that simple. Smash 4 prioritized combos over everything else. Once you learned each character’s combos you would try to get in place to land them. It made you have to learn how to study everything and get into position. In comparison, Smash Ultimate is all about the neutral game. Attacking is now prioritized over defense, but most hits don’t combo into other moves so you simply have to keep out thinking your opponent until you land enough hits for the win.

This results in both players throwing out quite a lot of attacks as most of them are safe now. As someone who likes playing aggressively this is definitely a lot of fun. It’s really tough to fight against though as it can sometimes feel like there are no openings (Especially when fighting a quick ranged character like Roy) but there will always be one somewhere. It’ll take some getting used to. I do think eventually this game will likely surpass the Wii U one, but I don’t think it’ll happen for a little while. I put in over 2200 hours into Super Smash Bros Wii U so it makes sense that I can’t drop it so quickly. I also just prefer doing a lot of fancy combos to the one hit moves but again, I think that’ll change.

I really have no meaningful negatives about the game at all. As mentioned, the online is definitely lacking at present. You’re thrown into matches that you didn’t want and there is no way to team up with a friend locally against other friends online. Hopefully they will be able to resolve that as well as adding in other features like stage morphing and Squad Strike. The latter is something I had been particularly looking forward to in the game so it was a shame to see that it is offline only. In the meantime I’ve had fun growing my GSP with the characters. I got most of them to over a million with my only elite fighters currently being Bayonetta, Marth, Lucina, and Pac-Man. Naturally they are also my 4 mains at the moment since I figure I’ll let the game help me decide that. Usually I end up maining a bunch of characters so this will help me whittle that list down a bit.

Meanwhile I should also talk a bit about some of the new items and assists. For the items, my favorite new weapon is probably the Death Scythe. I believe if you hit someone with it when they are over 100% they will instantly lose a stock which is cool. Likewise, I like the Rage Blaster for its similar function although in this case it gets stronger as you grow weaker. The banana gun is also a fun weapon that may not be super powerful or anything, but it’s just a great concept. I think unlike the characters and stages we did lose a lot of items over the years, but I guess it makes sense not to make the list too huge or you’ll never see some items.

For the Assists, we finally have Knuckles! Along with the fact that most assist trophies can now be destroyed they feel more like pseudo fighters than ever. Some are incredibly flashy as well like the Moon from Majora’s Mask. I can see how fans get a little upset when their fighters shows up as an assist, but never lose hope. All they need is a patch at some point and the character can be playable at any moment. For the Pokemon we also have Solgaleo who is one of the strongest creatures in the game. It’s very hard to dodge his fire charges while avoiding the other players. In general I think the game has heavily buffed these assists so now most of them are lethal. That’s a good thing as it is a lot more rewarding to grab them. Don’t worry, you’ve still got the trolls like Goldeen.

Finally, lets talk about the newcomers. First off we have echos which is the official term used by the game for the clone characters. This was a great way to bolster the character size with requested characters who are similar to their main counterparts. Two very good ones are Dark Samus and Ken. These echos have some slight differences from their main counterparts while being similar enough where you can easily use both versions. My only regret is that we didn’t get more echos. I think this could be a landmine of cash for the company if they reconsider their stance. Imagine having over 50 echos in the game? I’d certainly break out the cash for them.

Then we have the full blown newcomers. One has gotten a lot of hype and naturally that is Ridley. After Project M was able to get him into the game Sakurai had no more excuses so he relented and allowed him to join the party. His moveset is a blast. He may be pretty heavy so getting stuck in repeated attacks will happen, but his massive power is a good counter to that. The game seemed to like adding heavyweights as we also have King K Rool. He’s an iconic DK villain who also looks pretty good. His moveset is pretty fun and you won’t want to underestimate him in the ring.

Repping the newer Splatoon is Inkling. She’s a speed character who is looking incredibly good, but also very complex. I think once players master her various ink gimmicks she will be even more of a force to be reckoned with. With Bayonetta being severely nerfed it will be tough for any character to stop this squid kid’s reign of terror. As a surprising addition we also have Simon and Richter from Castlevania. They are as annoying to fight as you can imagine with their projectile spam being even tougher to get around than Link’s. They’re fun to play as though. Isabelle feels like an echo but is actually treated as a full character. She’s a nice alternative to Villager and her fishing rod is a fun attack to use. It’s pretty hard to avoid when you’re on the ledge.

Finally we have Incineroar. He’s a pretty tough boxing Pokemon who has a lot of power and a pretty cool revenge mechanic. With it he can deal massive damage with a single blow. All in all, I’m pretty happy with our new characters so far. It’s hard to be upset when we already have so many options to choose from. The characters all have their fans for sure. While I would have liked some other characters to make the cut as well like Isaac and Waluigi, maybe DLC is their chance. The first 2 DLC characters we know of are Piranha Plant and Joker. They will definitely be great additions as well with the latter especially being very exciting. I can’t wait to play as him, I’m thinking that his moveset is going to be amazing. With that said though, while the new characters are super cool for now I’m still going for the wins with my classic Marth.

Overall, Super Smash Bros Ultimate is indeed the ultimate experience for Super Smash fans in terms of content. It’s got just about everything here. While we had to say goodbye to some fan favorite modes like Target Attack and Home Run Contest, I wouldn’t be surprised if those are added in at a later date. With how patches come into play nowadays you wouldn’t want to rule such things out. We also have more characters and stages coming through DLC as well so this game is going to stay active for a very long time. If you’re afraid of getting into the series because of the high learning curve, I’d say not to worry about it. We all have to start somewhere and you’ll definitely be having a blast before long.

Overall 9/10

Samus vs Bewear



Suggested by Sonic Bewear and Samus are both heavyweights whose attacks pack a lot of power behind them. Samus does have the edge in speed though and her long range options are certainly better. I don’t think this will be an easy fight, but at the same time I do think it’s one that Bewear will certainly lose. Samus has too many options with her various armors and she is also the more strategic fighter. Bewear won’t be catching her unaware. Samus wins.

Mega Man vs Samus



Suggested by Sonic Samus is a strong fighter and certainly one of Nintendo’s most powerful protagonists. Her speed is at a high level and her Zero Laser is likely more powerful than any of Mega Man’s attacks. Mega Man does still have the edge physically though as we’ve seen what he is capable of in titles like Gigamix. He has more defense than Samus and what he lacks in martial art skills he makes up for in his large arsenal of abilities. Samus won’t be able to get past his skills and experience. Mega Man wins.

5 Reasons why I won’t main a low tier in Super Smash for Switch.

I take no credit for the images used in this article. Credit goes to their respective creators


So the next Smash Bros game is coming out soon and you’re wondering who to main. I don’t blame you, this is the kind of decision that is super important and will come back to bite you if you aren’t careful.I’m going to impart some wisdom to you here on not only why I won’t main a low tier, but why you shouldn’t either. I mained Fox in the first 3 iterations of Smash Bros and upgraded to Bayonetta for Sm4sh. For Sm5sh I fully expect to be maining a top tier fighter as well. You need to choose quickly because otherwise you will become stuck. For example, if you approach most players who main a low tier they will deny it. You can yell it as loudly as the character in the picture above but they can no longer recognize that their character is low tier. You simply lose sight of the character’s faults and that’s why you need to make the right choice the first time around.

1. You have to develop your own Metagame.

When you pick a top tier like Diddy Kong or Bayonetta you’re in for a fun time since you can just toss out the same old combos that you see the top players pulling off. For Bayonetta just keep using her witch twists until it gets the KO. It’s an extremely safe attack so don’t worry about getting punished for it. See, the thing with low tiers is that everybody is always eager for someone else to main them, but nobody wants to do it personally. That’s because you are the guinea pig here. They want you to learn the combos so they can just steal it along with the character once you prove that they can be viable. Of course, that’s hardly a guarantee in the first place. Odds are that you’ll be doomed. Worst case you think you are picking a great character as seen in the picture above, but then the reality is a little different.

2. You can’t have any Johns

If you lose to someone when you’re playing one of the best characters then you can easily make an excuse like you didn’t sleep well or something and people might believe it. After all, how else could you lose to a low tier? However, if you lose to someone while playing a bottom 5 character then you only have yourself to blame for picking the character. At least that’s going to be the counter argument and it will be a very tough one to get around. How do you debunk such a statement? It gets tricky and this actually leads into my 3rd reason.

3. You always have to settle for 2nd best

Whether you are second in your pool, in the tourney, or in your half of the pool, there will always be a ceiling that you can’t shatter. After all, when was the last time someone saw Buff The Puff win a big tourney or Melee Kirby doing anything? You’ll ultimately never get to see most of the prize money for the Smash tournaments and that will turn the game into a very expensive hobby. If you can’t make money off of it then why continue to spend money to enter the tournament? It just doesn’t make any sense. Character loyalty will only hold you back in bracket. Better to be just another Bayo than to be known as the Zelda guy who is always stuck at pools. If you don’t know any better you’d think you were out of the range of another character’s attack like in this picture, but hitboxes can be very deceiving.

4. You won’t get Top Player privilege.

Prepare to be treated like everyone else. Overslept through a pool and want the TOs to give you mercy? Not unless you’re a top player and last I checked, to be a top player you can’t use a low tier. It’s a tough predicament, but one that you will ultimately have to live with. A loop hole that you could use for any of the reasons on the list is to pick a top tier and just call him/her a low tier. Some top players have attempted this and while most will smirk you can probably trick a few into thinking this. Top character privelege is a thing as well. Top tier characters have a lot of cheesy gimmicks and techniques to break their fall so the player can afford to get outplayed the entire set and still win anyway. If you main a low tier then there is nobody to save you from the fall.

5. The more you play, the worse your results get

This may sound contradictory but it’s true. Low tiers thrive on match up inexperience and gimmicks. Most of them are really one trick ponies. At first they will terrify the opponent but then they realize that their attacks actually aren’t so dangerous. Zelda has her down throw to up air, but that’s it. Ganondorf has his powerful attacks, but will get combo’d to death way before that. Buff the Puff dies against anyone with range, etc. Once your opponents figure out what you are doing then it is over. Unfortunately for you, they will inevitably figure it out since this will become obvious the more you play them. You want to play a character who is really OP so even once they know what you are doing it won’t matter.

I say all of this to help you enjoy the game more. You may think that as long as you enjoy a character that you will be fine, but this isn’t usually the case. After all, if you are still losing a lot then that will take away the joy. You can play a boring character all day meanwhile but if it delivers the wins then you won’t mind so much. Of course it will be tough to tell who the top tiers for Smash 5 are right away (Assuming it’s not a port although I have my doubts) but just listen to the general consensus and stick with it for a while. Listen to the Twitch chat or the Reddit professionals and just copy their ideas. It will help you win a lot of tournaments before everyone has picked up the pieces. This was a relatively short editorial, but one that I felt was necessary to release before the game came out. Pick a main wisely as you won’t be able to switch right away without the world taking notice.