One of the things I did when I was down in Boston is, ahem, play Super Metroid Redesign with my wonderful hosts, who have as much appreciation for the original as I do. It’s an extensive and impressive reworking of the classic game but one that goes straight for the gut of Metroid and leaves something entirely unpleasant. It takes the broad, worldwide appeal of the original title and turns it into something that appeals to about, oh, two dozen people. The kind of people that have been doing 100% speed runs for about, oh, the last ten years.
The redesign basically takes all those secondary abilities in Super Metroid that you had to dig deep to discover, and which are only needed for a few extra items, and makes those the primary means of getting around. If you’re not adept at wall jumping (oh, and the gravity has been changed for that too so it takes some getting used to) and shine sparking you’re pretty much fucked. Add to that a reliance on multiple screen high bomb jumping, the most obscure hidden passages, mandatory ventures into deep lava without a Varia suit and who knows what else and you don’t have a “challenging” game, you have a “frustrating” poorly designed one. Sure, the way the game is designed around these abilities is genius — but it’s still poor game design. These extreme challenges should be there as out of the way diversions for those that want them (for speed runs or 100% item collection) but they need not be the end all of game design. That’s just annoying.
I suggest grabbing the ridiculous tool assisted speed run off of Archive.org in lieu of playing it. It’ll save you a lot of frustration. Oh, and make sure to skip the twenty five minute escape sequence at the end.