Apr 2, 2014 at 10:44 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKxesrCU3kgSummary: Anyone remember Metroid II? That long-forgotten gem of the Metroid franchise, and while overall reactions to the original game are mixed, no one can deny the series wouldn't be the same without it. So with a game such as that, overshadowed by all it's 'superior' brethren, it's easy to understand why Metroid II would be in a need of a...revival.
This is, from what I can say, the perfect game for any fans of Metroid or Metroidvania, with all the elements it brings back and introduces.
And that's exactly what AM2R does, and in spades, nonetheless. Remade aesthetics, crisp sound, reinvented interface and gameplay, everything about this re-imagining is new, and in my opinion, better.
This project's been going since 2008, so this is by no means a new thing, but considering how long it's been going for, I'm really impressed the creator, DoctorM64, managed to stay determined for 6 years.
Visuals: Yes, a great deal of the sprites are ripped straight out of Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid Fusion and slightly modified, but it's the visual flare that keeps AM2R from ever looking stale or bland. New lighting effects, particles, death sequences, and fluid animations are all aspects added to the game's visuals.
Gameplay: The gameplay of both Metroid II and it's remake differ slightly from the usual Metroid formula, having the player explore a planet while fulfilling the objective of killing X number of Metroids. Where AM2R distances itself from Metroid II, however is where some major improvements start becoming apparent. The game's engine follows closely with Zero Mission's engine, allowing for fast and fluid movement, while still keeping tight controls and complex maneuvering. Running, shooting and the basic flow of the game is much faster, which should really appeal to some speedrunners who enjoy Metroid as a series.
A major complaint of Metroid II is the result of its linearity, a trope that, while not detracting from the game, doesn't quite allow for nearly as much explorations as some more-praised entries have. What AM2R brings to the party is a multitude of opportunities for sequence breaking, alternate paths, hidden walkways, and generally much more freedom than the original had. Weapons from past games return, including the beams, suit upgrades, missile upgrades, and and entirely remade interface to fit Samus's entire inventory. The sheer fluidity of the gameplay should welcome in an fans of the series, as well as ones for some recent titles, like Dust: An Elysian Tail.
Atmosphere: DoctorM64's been incredibly meticulous about preserving the isolated atmosphere that the Metroid games are widely praised for, and add some more charm to it. From the added backgrounds to the dynamic music, AM2R does a phenomenal job of immersing the player into the world of SR388, even keeping up the occasional Metroid trend of having some genuine scares from the player at times.
Sound: What the original soundtrack for the second entry in the series was, well... music. Very few tracks were actually implemented into the gameboy release, and, as a result, not many people have come to appreciate the sounds of Metroid II, and for pretty valid reasons. AM2R not only remasters all the original few tracks to the soundtrack, but adds custom made music that add to both the atmosphere and charm of the game. Sound effects are nothing special, juts classic running, jumping and shooting effects, but they get the job done.
I give this fangame the highest amount of recommendation I can for something like this; I've grown to love this project in the past 3 years, and I implore for any fans of Metroid or Metroidvania to at least give it a try. Maybe even non-fans of either category should give it a try. Who knows, it might just make you a fan.