The last 2D Metroid game, Metroid Fusion, came out on November 17th, 2002. For fans of the series, Metroid Dread has been a long time coming. Sure, there have been new 3D titles and reimagining of classic ones, but the story was at a standstill for nearly two decades. I guess good things really do take time. I — like other reviewers — find Metroid Dread to be a worthwhile experience and a must-buy Switch title.
Metroid is without a doubt the most difficult Nintendo series. If you’ve been keeping up with gaming, you’ve probably seen the jokes and memes of reviewers getting stuck or not being able to beat the title. I was able to beat Dread after six hours of in-game time while trying to collect a few things along the way. This time doesn’t include all of my deaths, but I would say those would add another hour or so.
Every death felt fair. For some scenarios, I thought I would be able to brute force my way by just spamming missiles. That was not the case. This game rewards patience, studying the enemy, and timing shots wisely. While some of the mini-bosses get a little repetitive, I felt like every boss brought a good level of challenge while still being a lot of fun. The final boss especially truly felt epic to defeat.
One enemy that really adds suspense to the game is the EMMI (Extraplanetary Multiform Mobile Identifiers). Similar to the SA-X in Metroid Fusion, you are not equipped to fight them at any point. You must carefully avoid them or use your mobility to hastily get away. If you get caught, there is a small window to counter and escape but most of the time, you’re dead meat.
In Fusion, it was really rewarding to finally use your arsenal to defeat the SA-X. I was really hoping that a similar battle would happen with the EMMI. The last EMMI seemed so powerful and I thought a battle was about to occur, only for it to die instantly from an outside force. It reduced the horror in this game quite a bit for me.
Ultimately a great title with lots of re-playability for the ‘completionists’. I won’t spoil the features that come after, but I know that I’ll be playing through it a few more times. I hope with the high sales and hype that surrounded the game, the next 2D Metroid title won’t take as long to produce as this one did.