Wow, talk about perfect timing! Looks like Nintendo released Metroid II: Return of Samus on Thanksgiving Day – just one day after my Salute to Samus episode posted! Now you can sample the Metroid-busting awesomeness of this forgotten classic on your 3DS… although you still won’t have a map… or color!
As for the other games in the series, here’s a quick rundown and legit ways you could play them this year. I mean, it’s not like we just had 50 amazing games drop during the fall, so you’ve got plenty of time to catch up on dusty old Metroid titles, right?
Metroid – On Wii’s Virtual Console for 500 points. Also on the Zero Mission cart as an unlockable bonus, or you can use the GameCube GBA connector to link Prime and Fusion to unlock the original game. Lots of hassle, for sure. Just play Zero Mission!
Metroid II: Return of Samus – Now on the 3DS Virtual Console, which has been rebranded as “Classic Games.” Still holding out for a remake, though this fan project should fill the void pretty well.
Super Metroid – On Wii’s Virtual Console. For now, that’s it, save playing the original SNES cart.
Metroid Prime series – Prime and Prime 2 are obviously still floating around for the GameCube, while Prime 3 is Wii only. All three were bundled for the Metroid Prime Trilogy (which I reviewed here), which is the best way to play; Prime 1 and 2 get widescreen treatment and legitimately good motion controls. Downside – it’s kinda rare and expensive, so the GC versions are a good second choice – plus they play in your Wii!
Metroid Fusion – GBA carts are likely still out there, but 3DS ambassadors will get this for free pretty soon. Odds are it’ll appear for all 3DS owners sometime in 2012. But why wait? Just pick up a GBA cart, pop it in your DS Lite and off you go.
Metroid Zero Mission – The definitive way to play the first game. I mean, look at this insanity:
Why would you bother with the original? I say this as someone who spent countless hours as a kid playing the original, with all my fuzzy memories intact, and I still say Zero Mission completely negates the NES version. However… right now the only way to play it is to own the cart itself. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’ll be one of the other 3DS ambassador games coming out this year (as three of the 10 freebies are sill unknown) but eh, odds are Nintendo won’t double up on Fusion AND Zero Mission.
Metroid: Other M – Plenty of copies on Wii (for just $20 on Amazon!). Not my favorite game in the series (actually, I guess it’s at the bottom of my list) but the last few hours really jam on the fan service. I was down on it most of the time, but hoo boy, the end really picks up steam.
Want more Metroid music? Show some love for Metroid Metal – they’ve played at many a PAX and know this stuff front to back. If you’re interested in hearing heavy rock versions of everything in VGMpire episode 5, they’re a must-listen.