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Metroid: Dread - October 8th


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The game throws bosses at you later on, they’re challenging but totally learnable and therefore achievable, some of them have taken me a while to get down but none are Dark Souls hard and the Prime series bosses are much more difficult IMO. 

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The fights with some mini bosses later on are actually harder than the main bosses, as they are a lot more freeform I thought. Then there is the last boss fight which is on another level to the rest of the game, primiarly because the amount of damage that it can take, and therfore the length of time the fight goes on for, and again it's more freeform nature.

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I appear to have hit my first stuck moment!

 

Spoiler

Just after getting the gravity suit you return to the first area and find it's all frozen over. You need to thaw it apparently according to the Adam computer. I have no idea where to go as each end of the area is closed off to me with frozen water and doors. :(

 

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25 minutes ago, Gambit said:

I appear to have hit my first stuck moment!

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Just after getting the gravity suit you return to the first area and find it's all frozen over. You need to thaw it apparently according to the Adam computer. I have no idea where to go as each end of the area is closed off to me with frozen water and doors. :(

 

I got stuck on this bit too.

Spoiler

IIRC - go as far as you can in the frozen area - in that room there's a single hidden block that is blocking the way forward, which I think you need to use a missile or bomb on.  Having the radar ability greatly helps, which you get quite quickly after the gravity suit?  Someone else may be able to give greater precision or correct me on this.  That blocker was a little too obtuse for me and a little too much of a flow dampener - a small pockmark on otherwise great level design.

 

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Cross-post with the completed games thread, but here are my thoughts after finishing the game last night, for anyone who's interested :):

 

Spoiler

GIF.gif.4304e61fd2e664e280fa4c96a5b6e4f1.gif
 

What I liked:
 

The combat, especially the boss battles. Samus feels wonderfully fluid and nimble in the hands, and mastering a boss that had initially wiped the floor with you, to the point where you breeze through the fight with hardly taking a hit, Souls-style, is fantastic. The parry mechanic that lets you insta-kill regular enemies or seriously damage bosses is simple but gratifying, from beginning to end.
 

The core Metroid loop of steadily finding power-ups so you can open up more and more of the map is, to my mind, deeply, deeply satisfying, and Dread provides this in spades, which, being a Metroid game, you’d hope it would. It’s addictive and fulfilling, unlocking something new so you can explore somewhere you couldn’t get to before, then finding something new there so you can now go to another new place, and on and on. It’s a hard game to put down.
 

Samus is also a complete bad-ass in this, and the game knowingly leans into it, providing some positively anime-esque cutscenes and cinematic sequences that raise a smile and elevate the tone of the whole experience considerably.

 

FBz1SJHUcAQAI_B.thumb.jpg.2875fdb09a6a5cfcaaa5b62bd52337ae.jpg

 

What I didn’t like so much:
 

I’ve moaned about this elsewhere, but I don’t think the endgame in this is anywhere near as good as I wanted it to be. From the start of the game, you are funnelled along in a whistlestop tour from area to area in a fairly linear fashion (so much so that I was surprised to read about people getting lost). All the way through, I was looking forward to mopping up all the collectibles before taking a stab at the final boss. Once I went to do so, however, after reaching the point of no return, I found it to be more trouble than it was worth, for two reasons.

First, the labyrinthine nature of the world doesn’t open up when you reach the end: you don’t unlock any fast-travel abilities to be able to quickly get back to any zones where you know there are secrets you’ve yet to collect, like in the Ori games, for example, or Hollow Knight. There are teleport terminals, but they only shuttle you from one place to another - you can’t choose where you want to go - and often these terminals aren’t easily-accessible. [Edit: it turns out this isn't actually true, but for some reason the teleport anywhere thing didn't activate for me on my first run through the game]. Moreover, certain areas of certain levels are permanently sealed off from each other, even with all the upgrades, and accessing them requires you to back-track in a very circuitous way, which I found tedious, especially with the respawning enemies. The game didn’t seem to respect my time, and I couldn’t be arsed.


Second, some of the collectibles can only be found by using advanced, fiddly techniques, which at no point the game teaches you how to use, or requires you to practise with. In fact, unless you’d read about them online, or had experience of using them from the most recent game in the series (released twenty years ago), you’d be entirely stumped. This really irritated me - I hate it when games all but force you to look stuff up - and, when combined with the somewhat clunky controls, resulted in me just abandoning my collectible run. Normally, going back over the map and finding all the secrets by myself with my new powers is one of the things I enjoy the most in these sorts of games (like in Death’s Door, for instance, or even this year’s Ratchet and Clank), so ending the game with just 65% on the collectibles counter was a big disappointment to me. It’s left a bit of a sour taste, which is a real shame.

 

Finally, although this is pretty polished (barring some Switch-standard slowdown now and again), there isn’t much here that moves the genre on, especially. Perhaps that’s an unfair criticism, but when people have been waiting for nearly two decades for the next 2D Metroid game, you’d be forgiven to expect that game to do something exciting and new with the genre that the series spawned. You could argue that the devs attempt this with the EMMIs, but they were probably the worst part of the game for me - interesting the first couple of times, but from then on repetitive and frustrating. While it’s true that I came to dread the EMMI areas, this wasn’t for the reasons the game wanted me to. Beyond these sections, I’m hard-pressed to think of anything mechanical which we haven’t seen before. It’s a shiny new Metroid, but it’s also iterative and leans heavily on nostalgia. For many, this will be just what they wanted after all this time, but I was hoping for more from one of Nintendo’s flagship series after the progressive strides that were made in Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey.

 

FBz1SIfVgAEFh_Z.thumb.jpg.29bce5892d5ccc201e3a9966feb3345a.jpg

 

Final thought

 

Overall, this probably sounds like I disliked the game a lot more than I did, and while I can’t help but feel disappointed by it, that’s only because it didn’t quite live up to the high expectations I’d set for it. It’s definitely still a game that I’d recommend to any fans of the genre, as well as Switch owners generally who enjoy exploration games with tight combat, and it serves as an appropriate showcase for dat screen. It’s just not quite what I was hoping it would be. Maybe Prime 4 will be the one.

 

Edit 2: Having now gone back to 100% the game, I feel a bit more gracious towards it than I did when I originally made this post. I think my points about the game not teaching you the Shinespark stuff and the whole experience not being especially progressive still stand, but this is still a game that's worthy of the Metroid name and will more than likely sit pretty highly on my GOTY list come December.

 

Edit: Added a few revisions now I've gone back to collect everything.

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1 minute ago, Gambit said:

Hmm.. will have another look. Couldve sworn I looked everywhere for a hidden block but probably just overlooked an area. Cheers.

 

Have you picked up the 

Spoiler

radar yet? I'm presuming you have if you've got the gravity suit.

 

I was activating it constantly as soon as I'd picked it up.

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15 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

 

Have you picked up the 

  Reveal hidden contents

radar yet? I'm presuming you have if you've got the gravity suit.

 

I was activating it constantly as soon as I'd picked it up.

 

I have yes and kept using it but I guess I must have missed a bit. Will go through again.

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14 hours ago, Jamie John said:

Bah, the Shinespark stuff has really fucking irked me, actually. It's a mechanic which you have to use about three times throughout the course of the main game, and whose more advanced techniques are never taught to you, and which you never are required to practise with in order to proceed, yet in order to find certain collectibles you have to be able to do some quite advanced stuff with it using the clunky controls, with no tutorials. The game expects you to look it up online, or remember how to do it from the most recent game in the series, if you happened to play it nearly two fucking decades ago when it first came out.

 

Well fuck you, game. I'm just going to ignore all your collectibles and complete you instead.

 

That'll show em.

 

I have to say that while I kind of liked them in terms of complexity...

 

Spoiler

The slope resparking and walljump extension really, REALLY should've been explained somewhere. The first one is a bit of a legacy, but I kept forgetting the second one exists. Leading to the Hanubia shinespark to be the last one I solved. And even then, the 45 degree slopes seem to imply that resparking is impossible as it's an auto-slide throughout the game and shallower slopes are few and far between.

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I'm very much enjoying this, but the purple EMMI who can freeze you and move at 1000 miles an hour, while you have to move slowly underwater and who never see.to be more 2 seconds away from detecting you is just poor design.

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1 hour ago, keineboom said:

I'm very much enjoying this, but the purple EMMI who can freeze you and move at 1000 miles an hour, while you have to move slowly underwater and who never see.to be more 2 seconds away from detecting you is just poor design.

 

Not really. If you figure out the best place to take him down it's a piece of piss.

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3 hours ago, keineboom said:

I'm very much enjoying this, but the purple EMMI who can freeze you and move at 1000 miles an hour, while you have to move slowly underwater and who never see.to be more 2 seconds away from detecting you is just poor design.

Use the cloak before you even enter then use the grapple hook. 

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I was struggling wth them, but

Spoiler

they're surprisingly weak and only take 2 fully charged volleys of storm missiles each (or there abouts). Just concentrate on getting on the other side of the room to them and locking on those rockets. Once the first one is down it's a piece of cake. I expect they're mandatory, btw.

 

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Well, this is something special isn’t it. Sublime gameplay and an insane level of polish that puts most other developers to shame. 
 

Quick question, there are loads of bits where you can’t jump up as it’s only a low gap you are trying to jump to. Do I just have to wait for morph ball or is there a technique I’m unaware of?

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45 minutes ago, Number 28 said:

I was struggling wth them, but

  Hide contents

they're surprisingly weak and only take 2 fully charged volleys of storm missiles each (or there abouts). Just concentrate on getting on the other side of the room to them and locking on those rockets. Once the first one is down it's a piece of cake. I expect they're mandatory, btw.

 

Yeah, this is a great tip and did it after a couple of tries, took longer to get past that fucking purple twat.

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Fed up of this now.

 

All day stuck on Z-57, even watched Slo-Mo YT videos, and despite repeating exactly what they do he never enters the 3D scene after I parry his bite in phase 2. Most videos seem to get that scene after one or two parries.

 

When I’m doing it, it just loops the flappy bird bollocks (shite choice that is btw) and the same spew, swipe, bite attack cycles until it eventually chews through my health. I’m hammering the cunt with rockets and volleys, such that I sometimes run out of 100+, but ultimately the loop just does too much cumulative damage.

 

What am I doing wrong? Does the 3D scene spawn automatically after an eventual bite parry, or do you have to do something else to prompt it, like jump onto one of his tentacles or something?

 

Assume I’m near the end, thankfully, but on the verge of binning this.

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Playing through this at a very leisurely pace so I’ve just reached the first exposition dump. Really couldn’t have come up with a better way? Fair enough, but maybe don’t just go with the first draft? Probably don’t have to say the same thing in different ways as consecutive sentences?

 

I say a leisurely pace, I’m constantly surprised by the ratio of the time on the clock to how much it feels like I’ve done. It’s a game where you spend a lot of time zig-zagging around the map so it shouldn’t feel this lean, but the traversal itself is such a skill-driven joy that you don’t feel like you’re backtracking.

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@jonamok - are you shooting after countering him? You have to do that to trigger the cutscene, IIRC. When you see the golden flash, push the stick towards him and counter, then release the stick and press the fire missile button. She should then jump on his head and ride him around the tower for a while, where you can hammer the missile button to get some hits in.

 

And you're about two-thirds in, I'd say. Still a ways to go yet.

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I'm watching this guy on Twitch play this and...I didn't even realise you could shinespark, ffs, why don't I read shit properly? :lol: Also, you can

Spoiler

walljump and slide whilst maintaining your speed boost to smash through the blocks and reach power-ups? That looks incredibly tricky/frustrating...

 

I also just realised that

Spoiler

the large monster you see earlier in the game being 'worked on' in the background in Dairon is...Experiment Z-57

 

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@Number 28 - I also just realised that re. Z-57, ha.

 

Separately, despite booting up Deathloop for an hour earlier I've found myself back on this this evening, hoovering up collectibles :unsure:

 

Although I maintain that it's irritating how you don't get told how to do the shinespark stuff, once you've watched a couple of videos to get the first few, it is actually quite fun to figure out how to get the others by yourself.

 

I may 100% this yet!

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