This afternoon I ended four hours of gaming bliss. Not that kind. It was all about a two sitting run through of the Wii Virtual Console release of Super Metroid. I purchased it yesterday evening and this afternoon I completed it.
96% completion in just over four hours, without the use of a guide or map. Not bad for a game that I haven’t touched in a decade.
It was an amazing experience. Not the game itself — I’ve doled out enough hyperbole about that — but the rush of familiarity that struck me while playing it. After that initial readjustment to the controls (had to reconfigure the buttons cause the default, with the Classic Controller, wasn’t to my liking) I was cruising through the game. I remembered all the little secret passages, the item pick-ups and all the direct routes to the bosses and required upgrades. I was wall-jumping like Spider-Man and shinesparking like a pro. The mind is a wonderful thing.
The only time I got stuck, and only for a while, was when I got ahead of myself by using wall jump prowess to get to places earlier than I should have. I defeated “Crocomire” before realizing “wait, I should have power bombs now” and had to back track to get some obvious item pick-ups that I completely bypassed. It’s a credit to the game, as I wrote about Zero Mission, that despite getting into places that I should not have been I never found myself in a situation that I couldn’t get out of.
On the whole, Super Metroid feels a lot shorter than I remember it. Four hours and it’s done? I guess all that grunt work spent scanning every square inch of Planet Zebes for days on end in 1994 finally paid off. By being such a breeze it gives me opportunity to set it aside while I start to explore a new world: Bioshock. We’ll see in 2020 if it holds up as well as Super Metroid and whether my mental map of Rapture stays as intact as that of Zebes.