Super Metroid Review


It’s time to take a look at the next Metroid title. It feels good to have finally knocked all of these titles out of the way. I was not a big fan of the first two titles in the series that’s for sure. This third one is considerably better than the first two. It’s still not good enough where I would have been a big fan of the series back in the day but the improvements are quite massive so you can tell that a lot of effort was put into this one. My main issues with the first two games were definitively resolved here.

The game starts off with your ship crashing which was pretty intense. You now have to travel the planet and slay all of the big monsters in order to find the Metroid that you saved from game 2. I like the idea that there is some real continuity here and you also have an opening skirmish with Ridley as he kidnaps the Metroid. The stakes are high and it’s also personal now. Fortunately Samus is ready for the adventure and as soon as she grabs all of the scattered power ups in the world then she will really be ready to take the fight to the dragon.

Here’s the biggest improvement that Super Metroid made, we finally have a true map system! You add to the map as you walk around and if you find the map station in the world then you will unlock the whole area at once. It really makes a world of difference to actually know where you are instead of guessing. You are still responsible for finding all of the secret passages on your own of course but since you have something to go on that makes it a lot easier. When you had to blindly guess you could be stuck for hours just wandering the dark caverns. I couldn’t ask for much more out of a map system than what we have here. Mind you, the game is still pretty tricky with how it hides power ups and such though. You’ll still have to go through a lot of trial and error here so don’t expect to beat the game very quickly.

It took me around 8 hours so even though the speed runners tend to beat this very quickly, I wouldn’t expect to complete the game much quicker than that on your first shot. The gameplay is that of a 2D platformer. You can run, jump, and shoot as you go through the levels. You will also obtain more and more skills are you go through the game like bombs while rolling, missiles, and even x ray vision. They help a lot in the platforming efforts. It seems like the x ray vision is the only one that’s not mandatory but you absolutely need the bombs and missiles if you want to clear the game.

One nice thing about the setup is that it does feel very satisfying when you finally get the next power up. You’ve suddenly opened up a whole new range of possibilities for yourself which is always good. It may not be fun to be stuck for a while but it’s a whole lot more enjoyable than the last few games where it would feel purely annoying. I think a good deal of this is due to 3 main factors even aside from the map. The first is that we have more of a real story here. I’m not going to say that the first two games didn’t have a basic plot, but this one has more of a narrative. You have to save the baby Metroid you rescued in the second game. Right away that makes the stakes much more personal than in the first two games so you’re willing to do what you have to in order to win.

Next, the graphics are worlds improved from the last two games. This really wouldn’t look bad on the N64. The graphics are quite solid for sprites. They’re very bright and there’s a lot of details in everything that’s going on. I was pretty impressed at least. Finally, you’ve got the soundtrack as well. A lot of the themes in this game would go on to become quite iconic. The game starts you off with some pretty ominous music and it just keeps on going as you go through the film. It really makes this feel like a very legitimate Metroid experience and one that is not dated. There may not really be any replay value after beating the game but the campaign is long enough where that’s not a problem.

The gameplay is smooth and the technicals are on point. The only thing keeping this game from being higher is that there is a lot of backtracking and it can get dull after a while. If you don’t know where to go next then you have to explore the darker parts of the map. Pick the wrong one and it could take 15-20 minutes to get back to where you were and try another route. I would have liked some kind of fast travel option in this game. I think that would have been a fantastic quality of life upgrade that would have made the game a lot more fun. Make it like Breath of the Wild where you can only go to places you have been. It stays fair while also keeping you engaged the whole time.

Overall, Super Metroid is definitely a big improvement and I would call it the first quite solid Metroid game. The series would only go on to bigger and better things from here like Zero Mission and Fusion. It’s been a very long time since we had a Metroid platformer so I’d be up for that returning at some point. I feel like this franchise has a ton of untapped potential and it shows. Even in Super Smash we still only have 3 reps from the series despite it being about as old as the Legend of Zelda and Mario. What we need is a big budget Metroid game that introduces a lot of new characters. I’ll definitely be there ready and waiting for when that day finally does come.

Overall 6/10

Q-YO Blaster Review


It’s time to look at a game I got for a pretty solid price on the Nintendo Eshop. After buying the latest Super Smash season I had some gold coins to spare and considering this game usually goes for 10 it was a steal. This is your classic bullet hell kind of game. It’s definitely nothing fancy and the game is fairly short, but it makes for a fun ride. I’ll give the game some extra props for actually having a real story mode with an ongoing plot. Even if the story is a little hard to follow.

From what I gather, there is a group of space fighters who have been dealing with a powerful enemy across many planets. They’ve finally tracked him down but he has a few more tricks up his sleeve. Right from the jump I can confirm that not all of the characters make it through this adventure so don’t grow too attached to them. Some of them just weren’t ready for this kind of rumble and it shows. The cutscenes can also get a bit violent which you may not expect from such a seemingly upbeat game. Don’t let the cartoons fool you, the game has some Bendy kind of themes beneath the surface.

Part of what made this game standout to me was the colorful art style. It reminded me a bit of Cuphead and I haven’t even played that game yet. You just get that nice fantasy feel only this time you’re in outer space. The villains range from cartoon type creations to giant abomination type monsters. You really never know what you are going to expect from each level and the constant guessing is what will keep you intrigued. This game is really about being as surreal and out of the box as possible which works out pretty well. It helps the game stand out which is important since the Eshop has almost limitless games at its disposal.

For the gameplay you start out by picking your fighter and weapon of choice. Afterwards you’re thrown into the levels and the idea is to blast away at the enemies in front of you. Grab as many orbs as possible because they let you fire off your super laser more often. Additionally you also have a pulse that turns all enemy bullets into coins so you should definitely save that for when you really need it. It takes a while to reload this so if you use it early on, chances are that you won’t get it again until the next level. You want to pace yourself here although the levels are pretty short. I recommend saving all techniques and power ups for the boss at the end of the level because that’s when it will be most efficient.

After each level you are able to pick a power up to use. By the end of the game you will have them all so it’s really just a matter of which one you want to go after first. The order doesn’t make much of a difference but I do like this approach. It’s always really handy to be able to see your character improve as the game goes on. The length of the game is pretty short though. You should have it completed in around 30 minutes. For replay value you can play the game on hard, but I don’t think that will be a very tempting offer for most. Part of the issue here is that the enemies don’t really get more difficult in terms of attack patterns, mainly they just get a lot more health. It’s hard to beat just about anyone and makes the levels drag on more. I only did around 1 level of hard mode before calling it a day here.

The graphics are pretty nice. As I mentioned earlier, the art style is solid which is important. My only real complaint is that the font color they used was a poor choice. It’s a light blue that seems to camouflage with the various backgrounds throughout the game. That’s just not a very good stylistic choice. You have to strain your eyes to keep up with the text which just feels like a basic mistake. I’ve never had a game mess up with the wording colors before and am surprised it wasn’t caught during play testing. It’s not a huge deal but it is quite noticeable.

Overall, Q-Yo Blaster is a fun bullet hell game. Considering that it’s only a dollar on the Nintendo Switch Eshop right now I’d say that’s a bargain. It’s not particularly long and you may not play it for long but I’ve always said that you can’t go wrong for a dollar. It’ll last you longer than a cheeseburger from McDonalds or any other kind of food that you can buy for that price. You just can’t go wrong here and I think that’s the important thing in all of this. I’d recommend checking it out and testing your reaction times. You’ll need to be fast to dodge all of the attacks.

Overall 6/10

Journey to Silius Review


It’s time to look at an old fashioned shooting video game. This one brings in a nice sci-fi feel to it as you go through the campaign. I appreciate the fact that this game has a real intro so it’s definitely got more of a budget than the average title. The gameplay is definitely on point. Don’t expect a walk in the park though. This is easily one of the toughest games that I’ve played in a long while. Each level throws quite a lot of challenges and projectiles at you so dodging them all is not easy. There are only 5 levels but they should take you a good amount of time to conquer. I expect the campaign is about 40-50 minutes depending on how often you die of course.

You have your standard gun which has unlimited ammo. The pellets it fires are similar to the Mega buster in the Mega Man games. I didn’t realize I had other guns for most of the game so I relied on this one. It’s reasonably powerful so you can definitely use it to conquer the game. The controls are pretty simple here. You can run and fire as you go through the game. Ducking is also highly recommended and even essential in some parts of the game. You gotta think quickly because once the enemies come running in it’ll be too late to do anything. Expect a lot of rewinds using the Switch Online feature because without it you may be in a pickle.

The other weapons you have include a machine gun, pocket rockets, a shotgun, and more. I mostly liked the rockets. These things did a ton of damage and would help me clutch out a win against all of the big boss in the end. I think the last two bosses in particular would have been pretty difficult to defeat without this. They just deal so much more damage than the normal gun after all and you can fire them just as quickly. They do use up your gun energy though so you can’t just spam them during the level. Personally I recommend saving them entirely for the bosses. Otherwise you just won’t have enough to go around.

Silius has great graphics throughout its run. The level designs are on point and it definitely gets that nice Sci-Fi feel to it. The enemies also look pretty impressive. It’s all aged really well visually and I can say the same for the soundtrack. It’s pretty ominous but also has a bit of hope like some of the classic Mega Man games. I’d draw a lot of similarities between the two. This game just works really well and the gameplay is also quite smooth which is also very important. At most it can just be a bit hard to jump if you’ve been running so I recommend stopping before switching actions. The rewinds can make you lose your tempo at times so keep an eye out for that.

Overall, Journey to Silius is a pretty fun game. It’s definitely one of the better NES titles and so I was glad to be able to check it out. While only having 5 levels may sound short, the incredible difficulty levels of the game prevent you from beating it in an instant. You’ll have plenty of time to try and work out some strategies for dealing with the villains. Additionally, it’s a pretty fun game so even when you have to replay sections multiple times it never feels like a drag. That’s definitely the beauty of good game design. There are no levels where I felt that it was just unfair. With practice you can just go through the whole thing very smoothly. I’d recommend definitely checking this game out.

Overall 6/10

Donkey Kong 3 Review


It’s time to look at the third Donkey Kong game. This one brings yet another new gameplay style into the mix. It’s pretty impressive how Donkey Kong would keep switching things up. It definitely ensures that the players will always have a new experience. I liked the style, but as with the first two games it is extremely short and it’s really hard to even say what the general plot is. The game starts looping before a plot can even really begin which does make things tricky.

Well you’re playing as a guy with a blaster. You have to blast DK back up into the trees when he tries to get down. That sounds easy enough right? Just keep blasting and you’ll have the levels over in a snap. The main obstacles that try to get in your way here as little insects that are running around. They try to jump in front of your shots to protect DK. The key is typically to blast them before they get close or ignore them and try to beat DK first. That’s really it. You can jump of course and I recommend it to get the blasts in a little quicker. That’s the extent of the gameplay though and before long you will be all done. Then you can just keep replaying the levels til you get bored or lose. The levels do continue to get more and more difficult with each cycle so you don’t have to worry about lasting forever.

As mentioned, I did like the gameplay. It’s interesting to see Nintendo come up with more of a shooter gameplay style since most of their games don’t work with that as much. They did have Metroid though so it’s not like it is completely unheard of. It’s definitely on the repetitive side though because there aren’t very many different enemies to worry about and the levels are so short. After a little bit you’ll feel like you’re in the cycle so it’s not surprising that this game never got quite as big as the first two.

As for the soundtrack, it’s definitely pretty good. It has that old Nintendo feel about it. The graphics are also good. I like the colorful enemies here and the nice backdrops. Nintendo always delivers here. It’s just a shame we couldn’t get more of an ending cutscene or something to make the game feel like it had a proper conclusion. Without that the loops feel a little more on the pointless side because you never see anything end which is pretty unfortunate.

One thing that would have made a real difference here is one extra level in the loop. In this one maybe there would be no insects and it would just be DK throwing barrels at you. The goal would be to to blast away at him while dodging his attacks until he is all the way up. That would feel more like a real end to each cycle and increase the stakes quite a bit. Trust me, doing that would definitely go a long way to making the game more memorable as well as more enjoyable.

Overall, Donkey Kong 3 is a game that has pretty much been forgotten to time. If you don’t have the Switch Online then chances are that you’ll never come across this game. It’s a shame but sometimes that is just how the ball bounces. I’d say you should give this game a quick play if you have the Switch. You should be able to beat it in about 15 minutes or less and then you can say that you’ve played one of the original Donkey Kong games. Pretty sweet deal right? I’d say it is at least. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll get a proper Donkey Kong 4 or something like that. It’s been a long time since the games used these various styles.

Overall 6/10

Operation Logic Bomb Review


It’s time to look at a game that seems to have borrowed some inspiration from Wolverine. I don’t really know which one came first though so it’s possible that the reverse happened. Either way Logic Bomb is a pretty solid SNES game and one that has aged quite well. It’s a lot of fun and the bosses are pretty unique and challenging. If I had an SNES back in the day this is definitely a game I would have been glad to have owned. It’s got all of the solid gameplay that you could ever need.

The game starts with a lot of vague cutscenes but they seem to amount to a guy being fitted with metal into his bones. You are now a super soldier and you’re ready to save the world. Some scientists seem to have created powerful machine hybrids that naturally turned evil and are breaking the place down. You’re sent in to take these monsters down. As the game goes on you are able to access various computer terminals which give you a better understanding of what’s going on here. It’s definitely a dangerous place but you’ve got a lot of skills so you should definitely be okay. The key here is to destroy all of the monsters and advance to the end of the facilities.

The gameplay is that of an overhead shooter. Think of Centipede Infestation or Alien Syndrome and that’s the gameplay you have here. You have a standard gun with you but as the game progresses you unlock more like a flamethrower and a gun that bounces off walls. You have unlimited ammo so you never have to worry about finding any. I definitely liked that since it meant I could really go all in and not have to worry about anything. The gameplay is tough enough as is since the enemies deal out a whole lot of damage. At times you will need to pace yourself as you go in because the enemies will just completely overwhelm you due to sheer numbers. You have to hit them at an angle or trick them into approaching you one at a time.

One ability that you obtain later on is a shadow double and it is without a doubt the most useful ability you will learn. It tricks all of the minions and keeps them out of your hair as you take them out. That’s another positive about the game. I always like feeling as if the power ups are making an active difference. You should always feel like you’re at the next level with a new upgrade. If you get a weapon that’s weaker than your current one, then what’s the point right? That’s basically the same concept here and the game handles the situation well. That’s not to say that the game gets less challenging. It just has to offer up new enemies and such to try and slow you down. The final boss was certainly tough to deal with and took me quite a few tries.

If there’s something that can hold the game back it’s that it can be easy to get a little lost. The teleport pads take you to different places in a set loop but because of that you might stay in the wrong room for a while before finally trying the portal out. Once you’re free then it definitely feels satisfying to be out. A better map system would go a long way to helping out here. Still, it’s far better than something like Metroid in that regard so you still wouldn’t be lost for too long. The puzzles aren’t too crazy. The game is also a little longer than the other retro games I’ve been playing. It should last you for about 2 hours which really isn’t that bad.

The graphics definitely look pretty good here. The game handles the sci-fi backdrop rather well. The blasters are on point and the enemy designs are also good. The soundtrack also works really well and is fitting for the overall game experience. It’s all pretty ahead of its time. There is also a real story which is nice. There aren’t any text bubbles or anything like that though so you have to get the context from the little cutscenes and animations that go on. There’s more than enough context for you to put the pieces together and gets what’s going on though. Even if it may not be what the creators ultimately intended, you will still have a general story which is good.

Overall, Logic Bomb is a really fun game. It’s got solid gameplay, graphics, and a good soundtrack. The premise is really interesting as well and I’d like to see more games of this in the modern era. Nintendo’s been slowly feeding us more and more SNES games and this latest batch was definitely a very good one. I’d like to see more in the next few batches and hopefully we have more hidden gems like this one. After all, I definitely didn’t know this game existed before and now I’m glad that I got to check it out.

Overall 7/10

Wild Guns Review


It’s time to look at one of the newer SNES game to be added to the Nintendo Online Service. Wild Guns looked good right from the jump. It’s a shooter that was well ahead of its time and the gameplay feels like it is N64 level at the least. It’s really a blast and definitely one of the strongest games I’ve played in this catalogue. I’d highly recommend it and while the game is still pretty short, it’s longer than some of the others I’ve checked out.

There doesn’t seem to be much of a plot but basically a bunch of robotic villains have taken over various towns. Your mission is to take down all of these bandits and robots with your trusty gun. The gameplay is a pretty fun. It’s a third person shooter where you have to take down enemies until a time limit runs out. At that point the boss will show up. The more enemies you take out, the quicker the timer will run out so you want to keep fighting at all times. When the boss shows up you defeat him and move onto the next area. There are 3 areas per level and around 5-6 levels in the game. You should have this taken care of in around an hour I’d say. You’ll get the hang of shooting and moving a lot as the game goes on.

A single shot takes you down which is pretty realistic so part of the strategy in the game is never getting hit. You can jump from side to side as well as use basic rolls. What you typically want to do is fire off a few shots and then run a bit. If it’s 1 on 1 with a villain then you can just start blasting since they can’t counter but there will almost always be a ton of enemies shooting at you. The final levels are especially difficult with this as it can be hard to find a single moment’s rest. If you get yourself into a bad situation is can be virtually impossible to escape unharmed without rewinding a bit. So an important thing to factor here is your current position as well as the next few. Predict their moves and all that.

One of the reasons why this game is so impressive is because of the boss designs. They all look quite good and are very creative. As I mentioned, the game seems pretty ahead of its time in this respect. The level designs are all unique and the gameplay is just so smooth. This is the kind of shooter video game that I can really get behind. There’s clearly a lot of thought and development time that went into this one. Even aiming the guns is pretty interesting since you sort of have to move while firing until you got the cursor just right. Then you have to get ready to move again since by then the villains will be starting to shoot at you. That’s where all of the strategy comes in.

It pretty much goes without saying that the graphics here are quite good. Even taking the designs out of the equation, everything just looks so modern and solid. This is an SNES game that has really aged well in that respect and I’d be up for a sequel to this game. I heard something about an Unloaded version so maybe the game already got a sequel or some kind of big remake. Either way until you check that one out, this is the one you’ll want to look into.

Overall, Wild Guns is definitely a solid title. Hopefully Nintendo doesn’t wait so long for the next batch of games but at the very least this is already shaping into a very strong batch. It’s going to be very difficult for the other SNES games to quite match this one. There may not be any real replay value after beating the game but the campaign is strong enough to hold its own. The game is pretty difficult and it’ll take time to get used to all of the different weapons. Once you have managed to pull that off then you’ll really be a pro at this game and can hang your head high.

Overall 7/10