Posts Tagged ‘castlevania’

Metroid vs Castlevania: The Grudge Match

Below is a conversation I had with Tim Agne, former azcentral staffer, current video game blogger for, and all-around cool guy.

I should note that when I chat online, I rarely, if ever, breakaway from all lowercase type. If you don’t like it, sorry, I didn’t feel like going through it to correct it.

If you’ve ever chatted online with AIM or MSN or whatever, you know that sometimes you run into each other’s thoughts. This is mindless and endless, but still fun.


Ryan: broke down and picked up metroid

Tim: ooh
Tim: I’ve been a little torn about Metroid games lately.
Tim: Playing a lot of Metroid and Super Metroid, and I beat Prime 1.

Ryan: the controls are weird… a little slow…

Tim: I’ve heard you have to crank it up to “expert” or whatever to get the best controls.

Ryan: nunchuk for movement and wiimote for POV
Ryan: slow response on the wiimoate
Ryan: you’re either turning your head real slow
Ryan: or real quick
Ryan: no happy medium
Ryan: don’t get me wrong, the game is good
Ryan: the use of the grappling hook is interesting
Ryan: lock on the target then whip the nunchuk out
Ryan: then pull the chuk back to swing or pull away an object

Tim: Sounds really cool.

Ryan: oh, it is
Ryan: i think my problem is i’m strafing too much
Ryan: gotta keep the head movement free

Tim: Did you change the controls to “expert”?

Ryan: no
Ryan: but i will

Tim: That’s what the guys at IGN recommend.
Tim: Doesn’t up the difficulty, just shrinks the bounding box.
Tim: Makes turning easier.

Ryan: it would be nice that if you could flick the wiimote up to get her to spin around
Ryan: tired of getting samus’ well -defined [butt] shot off

Tim: if only it were a third-person perspective! That power suit is so hot!!

Ryan: no kidding!
Ryan: i would kill to see something like that
Ryan: she’s hotter than lara croft

Tim: It’s funny because in the original Metroid, beating the game in like record time allows you to see Samus in a bikini. But in Super Metroid, every time you die, the suit explodes off, revealing a bikini-clad Samus.
Tim: So why beat the game at all?

Ryan: here’s the deal
Ryan: super metroid was just freaking awesome
Ryan: still is

Tim: You know what riuned Super Metroid for me?

Ryan: what’s that?

Tim: Metroid Fusion for GBA. I played through Fusion but never really played Super Metroid.
Tim: Metroid Fusion had all the same stuff as Super Metroid. Controlled exactly the same.
Tim: So now Super Metroid has very few surprises for me, except for a couple really sweet boss battles.

Ryan: for me, metroid has pretty much been the bane of my existence
Ryan: i love the games
Ryan: the reason i bought a gamecube
Ryan: but the difficulty on some of them is real love/hate
Ryan: i’ve never beaten any of the GBA games (except fusion)

Tim: Some people love the backtracking and re-exploration of old levels. I kind of hate it, but in Prime 1 I endured it.

Ryan: prime 2 is still collecting dust

Tim: Metroid Fusion for GBA is super easy, save a couple hard bosses. Real Metroid fans hate it for how much it holds your hand.

Ryan: metroid for the GB was really difficult.. from what i remember

Tim: The other Metroids are crazy hard for all the lack of hand-holding. At least Prime has the hint system that vaguely guides you along.

Ryan: yeah, fusion was a joke
Ryan: they had to make it easy to sell that GBA/GC connector cable
Ryan: so people could unlock the original metroid

Tim: heh. That’s why I bought Fusion in the first place. Then I paid $5 to re-download Metriod for VC.
Tim: But I find that Metroid games always frustrate me to the point of putting them back on the shelf for a while.

Ryan: exactly!
Ryan: its one of my (inappropriate term)-you games

Tim: Or reading the walkthroughs online. Cheating or quitting, basically.

Ryan: get stuck at some point: “(inappropriate term) YOU!” then throw the game on the shelf

Tim: Totally. That freakin’ rock monster in Prime 1? (inappropriate term) that thing.

Ryan: and go back to doing something like watching water boiling or paint drying

Tim: But some people love this! These are the people who saay Super Metroid was the best game ever made.

Ryan: and it is

Tim: Not even close.

Ryan: and in the same respect, its one of the games i hate the most

Tim: But even if it were the best game ever, I could never appreciate it because of Fusion ruining the surprises. It’s like The Usual Suspects. Someone told me the secret ending before I saw the whole movie.

Ryan: that’s just [lame]
Ryan: but then again, there’s the problem
Ryan: you leapfrogged super metroid for the red-headed step-child
Ryan: i don’t blame you for not thinking highly of super metroid

Tim: True. Nobody warned me.

Ryan: because of that
Ryan: at least it wasn’t as bad as prime: hunters on the DS
Ryan: talk about a bad implementation of a first-person shooter
Ryan: the DS just isn’t built for it
Ryan: (i’m not acknowledging metroid pinball)

Tim: And here’s another weird thing: I lose patience with Metroid, but I never minded the backtracking in Castlevania games. Simon’s Quest was one of my favorite games as a kid, and I still think it is superior to Metroid in almost every respect.
Tim: Fair enough.
Tim: But Simon’s quest had better graphics, better music and better ambiance. Everybody talks about that “alone in space” feeling, like in Alien,Simon Belmont but Simon’s quest you’re a lone whipman roaming a land of monsters in the dark. And you’re cursed!
Tim: You go indoors and outdoors. the scope feels bigger, even if it’s the same size. You interact with townspeople who are all jerks. Sometimes they are zombies!

Ryan: for me, super metroid was way deeper and much harder
Ryan: she is alone
Ryan: one woman on mission
Ryan: no one to talk to except her communicator
Ryan: belmont had the jerk townspeople to let him know he was still alive
Ryan: we’re lucky samus never went mad

Tim: Dude, Simon deals with only shady people. Nobody wants to have anything to do with a cursed man. This is the thanks he gets for killing Dracula in the first place!
Tim: He’s just as alone, even if he’s in a town.
Tim: Those two should hook up.

Ryan: but he can still stop at the local pub

Tim: Simon and Samus. That’s cute.

Ryan: simon aran?
Ryan: samus belmont?

Tim: Samus Belmont. She’s a traditional girl.
Tim: Also, Samus has mad armor. Simon has to walk around in a miniskirt.


Tim: Fine.

Ryan: yeah, but simon doesn’t have weird insect-types firing high-powered ion beams at him
Ryan: he has to deal with slow moving zombies and bats
Ryan: and the occasional skeleton tossing him a bone

Tim: He fights the grim freaking reaper. Every game. Ridly the anorexic pterodactyl ain’t got crap on the grim reaper.

Ryan: the reaper goes down in one crack of the whip

Tim: Have you ever fought the reaper?

Ryan: everyday, brother

Tim: Word.

Ryan: take him on a rollercoaster and he’s happy for another 24 hours

Tim: More cowbell and you don’t fear him.
Tim: What I’m getting at is that I’m much more willing to re-explore a Castlevania game than a Metroid Game, and I think the reason is characterization. Down the stretch, even Dracula has a personality. And Castlevania, I think, has more varied and interesting environments. To me, going from caverns to a clock tower is more interesting than going from fire world to underwater world.
Tim: But some people flat-out love Metroid’s environments and it’s lack of storytelling!
Tim: Samus has no personality, so you can imagine her acting however you want.

Ryan: samus’ only job is hunting
Ryan: she doesn’t need friends
Ryan: no mucking around in villages
Ryan: the ultimate soldier

Tim: Hardcore gamers can all convince themselves that she has some kind of personality malfunction that would allow her, for example, to sleep with them. She takes off that helmet, and she’s good to go.
Tim: But that ain’t the truth.
Tim: She’d just as soon shoot you as look at you.

Ryan: if you’re in her way
Ryan: you’re toast
Ryan: the stake through the heart: the minibosses version of the metroid theme is much better than the castlevania theme
Ryan: its almost like listening to classical music
Ryan: or an opera
Ryan: no denying that
Ryan: try it
Ryan: i dare ya

Originally appeared on the 4Play video game blog on on July 9, 2007.

Posted: October 18th, 2009
Categories: Video games
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