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Metroid Dread

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by cyborgboy95, Aug 6, 2021.

  1. HansDampf Arcane

    HansDampf
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    Oh god, not again!
    :despair:
     
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  2. Grauken Arcane Patron

    Grauken
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    I'm getting flashbacks to Fusion

    For those who have played it, is Dread a good metroidvania (irrespective of whether it's a good 2d action game)?
     
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  3. randir14 Augur

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    It is very good when it comes to exploration and finding upgrades to proceed, or backtracking to uncover new areas. In fact I'd say it's probably the best in the series when it comes to that. The only thing is due to the size and density of the maps those upgrades can take a long time to acquire. I didn't even have the morph ball for like the first two hours of the game.
     
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  4. The Dutch Ghost Savant

    The Dutch Ghost
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    Heh, and that is usually the first power up/upgrade you collect.
     
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  5. Machocruz Arcane

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    I have a feeling this will be one of those games where people are caught up in the afterglow and the hope of a great Metroid, and thus are hyperbolic in their praise, but in a few months this will settle into just "decent" or "meh" status. Like RE8 Village.
     
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  6. The Decline Arcane

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    It's out? Time to

    :hypeship:
     
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  7. The Dutch Ghost Savant

    The Dutch Ghost
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    I would not be surprised. I want to give it a try, but I am not going to buy a Switch for it at this time.
    This is the first Metroid game I can't be bothered with to play as soon as possible after its release.
     
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  8. <3sRichardSimmons Arcane Patron

    <3sRichardSimmons
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    Thats what I was feeling too from the “professional” reviews, but it seems to be quite well-received here as well so far which has me cautiously optimistic. I’ll probably pick it up sometime in the next week or two and make up my mind for myself.
     
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  9. Ventidius Savant

    Ventidius
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    Already started playing Metroid Dread. It's still too early for me to really say much about the meat of the game (level design, boss design, upgrades, etc), especially since the start does seem rather linear. That said, the mechanics and controls so far seem every bit as slick as the previews indicated, which is great. The first couple of E.M.M.I. sections aren't anything to write home about, mostly because, like the rest of the intro, they are on the linear side. That said, I could see later sections getting interesting if they make them more open-ended, especially since it does seem you'll have a way of fighting back (the Omega Cannon).
     
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  10. Great Deceiver Arcane

    Great Deceiver
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    Just emulate it.

    Re: controls, I'm not a fan so far, I sold my switch pro controller and the default joycons are terrible. Having difficulty getting crouch to come out on a dime.
     
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  11. Ventidius Savant

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    Artaria (the first area) opens up nicely at around the point you get the map for it. In fact, it's decently sprawling, and it reminds me more of Brinstar than Crateria in terms of layout. There seem to be quite a few upgrades that are out of the way and areas that seem like dead ends, but which seem like they may lead elsewhere with a later upgrade. The name of the area and the fact that there are some diverse environments (heat, lava, water, etc) makes me think this could end up as a hub area of sorts connecting many other zones. The Corpius (the first major boss) was a pretty cool boss, I liked the moveset and the fight was fun. I'm also digging the Phantom Cloak, it should make the E.M.M.I. sections more engaging.
     
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  12. Great Deceiver Arcane

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    I'm up to the third area now (Dairon) and it's pretty good. Nowhere close to Super Metroid, though - especially in terms of atmosphere.

    Thankfully, although there are numerous cutscenes where an AI explains to you your next immediate objective in general terms, the game isn't handholdy (less than Zero Mission) and many areas require you to find special breakable blocks to progress (not just optional areas).

    The E.M.M.I.s still feel like an underdeveloped gimmick, though, even after getting new abilities to deal with them. It's too bad since the developers seem to have wanted to emphasize them quite a bit.

    The controls are still a bit annoying but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and blame my shitty joycons instead.

    There is good enemy variety and quite a few require special tactics. It's definitely possible to die in this game, which is always a plus.

    I want to keep playing to the end, which is more than I can say about most games now.
     
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  13. Hobo Elf Arcane

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    I'm trying to avoid all Metroid threads because I don't want to spoil anything, but so far it's a lot of fun. Haven't enjoyed a Metroid game this much since Fusion. Gameplay is slick and smooth, bosses are fun and the areas are well designed / the platform+puzzling feels just right. The game falters a lot in the area graphic design and music however: this is probably the least atmospheric Metroid game out there. There are some nice set pieces here and there, but mostly it just looks and sounds a bit bland. Luckily the gameplay makes up for it.
     
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  14. Ventidius Savant

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    In the visual department, the main problem is not so much the graphics, which are good (the textures are nice), but the art direction. The latter suffers from that annoying environmental saturation that plagues most modern games: just a lot of stuff crammed into the background to the point that it's hard to make out those elements that give an area its personality (to be fair, those elements are often there). That said, this is worse in the artificial areas like facilities, and the more organic areas such as caves actually look pretty good. The atmosphere definitely doesn't seem on the same level as previous Metroids, but it's still within the realm of the acceptable.

    The gameplay is certainly rock solid. I just reached Burenia (basically a water area, from the looks of it) and was impressed by how the game expects you to criss-cross around Artaria, Dairon, and Cataris in order to progress. The game has just kept opening up after the intro and it's clear by now that they were definitely going for a non-linear design. The approach to level design is, in fact, very much closer to that of Super Metroid than to that of Fusion. I hope the game keeps this up, as it's done a good job of capturing that old sense of gradually exploring a hostile, mysterious alien planet so far.

    It would have been nice if they had also had Fusion-style bosses to go with the level design, but so far, none of the bosses have been like that. Then again, the bosses have been fun so far: the fights rely more on the very smooth mechanics than on pure design(though this is often solid enough), but that's what makes them so engaging. In fact, the bosses so far have been more entertaining than those of Super at a similar point.

    The E.M.M.I. sections are okay. They could probably be improved upon, but they are already better than, say, Mr. X in the Resident Evil 2 remake. The way they are implemented, they seem to be a mostly emergent system that is seamlessly incorporated into the level design, not to mention they've made efforts to build a synergy between them and the mechanics (especially the platforming/navigation and the Phantom Cloak). They were the main factor, going from the trailers, that I feared the devs would fuck up, but I'm relieved to see that, at the very least, they don't detract from the game (which is already an achievement when it comes to this sort of thing). Not sure I'd call them a gimmick either, they are part and parcel of the game's design (and the level design, in particular), for better or worse. SA-X, by contrast, was essentially a gimmick, but some would argue that this made it better, since it was less pervasive and mostly added flavor. Either way, I'm glad they are mixing things up and taking some risks here, especially since the implementation makes it passable.

    It goes without saying that it doesn't seem likely that this will be surpassing Super Metroid any time soon, but so far at least, it does have the makings of a worthy entry to the franchise.


    Show Spoiler
    I thought they threw Kraid in a bit too early on for my liking, but I gotta say, that was a fun fight. I kind of hope he show up again later.
     
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  15. J1M Arcane

    J1M
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    I don't know how you can reach that conclusion about exploration. There's clearly a critical path that you cannot deviate from. It's a real shame that the only time in these games when you can choose between multiple upgrades is unintentional sequence breaking.

    This game was clearly made with well-intentioned design notes and then very little oversight when the lower tier employees implemented them.

    For example:
    "let's not make the morph ball the first upgrade yet again" -> we still want that slide move, so have fun spending several hours being able to go through narrow spaces, but only if they are ground level and not if they are chest-high

    "we need lots of bosses" -> we don't have enough ideas/time, so what if we make a handful of real ones and make 14 encounters that are duplicates of each other

    "that chase scene in Fusion was cool, let's do more of that" -> dozens of segments where you have to run away from a robot that is indestructible for some reason, but unlike a fun chase segment (which is a reflex challenge) you also don't know where you need to go, so it's a trial and error exercise

    "give players a way of figuring out the history of this planet they're trapped on" -> okay, a prescient robot with Samus' dead boyfriend's name will explain things in exhaustive detail to eliminate any mystery; halfway through we'll also have a 5 minute lore dump cutscene

    "we need some new upgrades for this one" -> we created two types of doors that are open until you move near them without the right item

    I'm enjoying the game, but the controls feel very much like a "3D adventure game" design and not a "tight 2D platformer". I'm also baffled by some of the inputs, almost like certain abilities were added late and the control scheme was not looked at holistically. Example: the input to speed run and then power jump involves clicking in the left joystick while you are pushing it, but not when standing still, then holding it to move, pushing down, then B, then a direction to jump. Ease of use should have been prioritized over a difficult series of input to use this in an esoteric way to get 10 extra missiles. Another example: aiming the grappling hook requires holding down LB+RT. Holding RT should have been enough, and if it really needed to be two triggers it should have been LB+RB or LT+RT so it wasn't asymmetrical.

    It's an okay game, but it's not a masterpiece. And don't listen to journalists.
     
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  16. Ventidius Savant

    Ventidius
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    Burenia is pretty cool, probably the best-looking and atmospheric part of the game so far. It's essentially a water zone with plenty of caves and submerged areas, and it's quite sprawling to boot. One of the primary objectives to progress in the area, as one would expect, has been to locate the Gravity Suit and Grapple Beam upgrades, and I liked that I had to revisit the other areas and explore quite a bit before finally tracking it down to:

    Show Spoiler
    Artaria (the first area).


    The game definitely has that old-school Metroid experience of backtracking and exploring while trying out your new abilities on old areas, netting upgrades along the way. These little expeditions are also useful for uncovering the true extent of each map, which has been rather chunky in the ones that I've seen so far. My only complaint with the maps is not so much with the size or layout as it is perhaps with the density of content: the maps are big and elaborate, but the upgrades and points of interest are somewhat far in between. Perhaps that's part of the reason the energy tanks are implemented the way they are, as you have now to collect tank parts to form a full tank instead of obtaining full tanks like in most Metroid games.
     
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  17. randir14 Augur

    randir14
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    I just found out you can freely warp to any teleport pad once you discover them all. Kind of pointless since it's so late in the game unless you're hunting down all the remaining hidden items. I wish they'd allowed the player to warp between discovered ones at any point.

    Also one thing I've come to hate about the map design is that some doors get permanently closed, sometimes forcing you to run through multiple zones just to reach the elevator that takes you to the other side. There should've been shortcuts in every instance of this, even if it required late game upgrades like the power bomb.
     
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  18. Ventidius Savant

    Ventidius
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    I'm not sure I'd like the game to have unlimited teleporting to discovered points from the get-go, as that'd probably harm the flow of things. In fact, I'm not a huge fan of teleporting in Metroid games at all. Most Metroid games have avoided it - even if it's something of a trope of the subgenre by now - and have opted instead for more organic shortcuts. I'm more partial to that option, but if you are doing teleporting at all, keep it limited until late game.
     
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  19. J1M Arcane

    J1M
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    A teleporter is just an elevator with different art.

    This game has a few fuck-yous to the player. My expectations were subverted, so I guess mission accomplished.

    There's a big underwater boss that I expected to drop the gravity suit. Defeating it gives no upgrade. Subverted!

    The game finally opens up so you can explore a bit about 80% into it. But as soon as you get the next upgrade almost all the doors are arbitrarily locked to funnel you down the critical path. Subvertion!

    When you finally obtain the item to allow water traversal, all of the water you wanted to traverse is frozen. Subverting!
     
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  20. <3sRichardSimmons Arcane Patron

    <3sRichardSimmons
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    Have you heard the Good News of our Lord and Savior Hollow Knight?
     
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  21. Ventidius Savant

    Ventidius
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    As I mentioned, teleporting is kind of an established trope of Metroidvanias by now, with Igavanias being perhaps the most notorious promoters of the concept in the subgenre. It's just in Metroid games, specifically, that I don't like teleporting. To be fair, it has been done before and well in the franchise, with the implementation in Prime 2 Echoes being my favorite. In that one, you got it late in the game and it served the purpose of letting you collect the keys and also clean up in terms of collecting any remaining upgrades. All the while, it was related to a suit upgrade and had a proper in-setting explanation.

    An in any case, I guess there is not much of a reason in terms of 'immersion' why it shouldn't be possible in the Metroid universe, especially since this a setting in which stuff like the Morph Ball is possible. I suppose I just would prefer them to stay true to the approach of Super Metroid, since I liked the way traversal worked there best. Either way, it's not a big deal.
     
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  22. J1M Arcane

    J1M
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    When it comes to upgrades, I like that all of them in this one are additive and there is no ability switching in a menu.

    The number of upgrades seems excessive though, and I would prefer if they were all thematically tied to mini-bosses instead of left at the end of a kilometer-long winding hallway.

    The fact that the game is 3D and there are all sorts of little cutscenes that zoom in on the suit make me wonder why more effort wasn't put into making the suit look better. They were obviously going for a mashup of chozo, fusion, and zero suits as the base, but the elements clash too much. The visual progression isn't very satisfying when the result is a suit with every color on it with different levels of saturation on each piece.

    If I were the game director, every suit upgrade would be visually represented in-game. A jump upgrade would change your boots. The scanning upgrade would change your visor color. Energy tanks would be small glowing nodes that get affixed to the abdomen. Anything less feels like a missed opportunity.
     
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  23. Vorark Liturgist

    Vorark
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    Beat it. Played on Ryujinx emulator without a hitch.

    Exploration was done well and is imo its strongets asset in spite of all the bland areas you visit. No cool underground lairs or creepy labs this time, selection was limited to mostly boring industrious looking zones with Burenia being the only sector to stand out a bit. Pacing was slow for the first couple of hours due to meaningful upgrades being so far apart and EMMI bots limiting free-form exploration.

    Speaking of which, the bots were a good idea on paper but not so much in practice. It takes a while to mentally map their areas so it isn't uncommon to find yourself in a dead end and being killed before figuring out where you are supposed to go next. There's a convenient checkpoint outside every room to minimize these deaths until you figure out the best route but then what's the point of the whole chase mechanic? It turned out to be more of a nuisance than a proper danger. Say what you will about those scripted SA-X pursuit scenes in Fusion but at least they were brief.

    I also found certain boss fights difficult, too twitchy for my tastes and unlike what I'm used to when it comes to Metroid; not even Fusion was like this. To add salt to the wound, most boss encounters expected you to QTE certain moves or else risk fights taking forever or being unwinnable. QTEs mid combat are a sin against good gameplay, don't do it. On the positive, they tuned down the reliance on melee counter mechanic compared to Samus Returns, it's required only when executing QTEs.

    Aiming was as sensitive and fussy as I remember it being in Returns, red laser didn't help much. An option to map it to the dpad would've been great and familiar to people like me who are used to the older entries. Control scheme was questionable with speed boost being tied to L3 (fixable on emulator) and grapple beam being a convoluted mess.

    Not much to comment on graphics or music, both were sadly unremarkable. Dread being initially a 3DS title would explain the controls (why is the right analog stick barely used?) and lacking production values. Curiously enough game file size is 4gb, the maximum capacity of a 3DS cartridge. Coincidence?

    All in all, an improvement over Samus Returns but hardly a timeless classic. It does feel good to get closure after 20 years tho. Worth a playthrough.

    About the story...

    Show Spoiler
    I was thrilled when the X made their entrance, thought they were a bait and the game would be all about robots and Chozo shenanigans. The ending was also quite alright, confirming Samus as the last known living Metroid, in a way.
     
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  24. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    So, this is somehow my first Metroid, meaning I'm coming into it ass backwards after Bloodstained and Hollow Knight. Do educate me as appropriate.

    Gameplay loop is quite fun, though it's all mostly quite leisurely until I get to bosses/EMMI and have to learn the patterns.

    Visuals/atmosphere is very bland? The areas are generally ho-hum, there aren't any set-piece environments to break it up, and the 3D obviously hurts it overall. Music/sound definitely completely forgettable. I was hoping for a bit more opprobrium or alienness but there realy is none.

    EMMI I think are OK, they're not hugely annoying and help spice up the game but the Samus loadout / game setup isn't really called for any sophisticated stealth or rapid acrobatics. Making the ball and rappel moves easier to use instead of a gazillion buttons might have made it interesting here.

    Story so far (halfway?) is minimal and really completely laughable, but maybe it'll come together later on.
     
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  25. Great Deceiver Arcane

    Great Deceiver
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    Burenia is indeed the coolest part of the game so far, atmosphere is spot on.

    After a few upgrades the game predictably starts to open up nicely, but the way you're boxed in the maps requires a little too much backtracking (some backtracking is par for the course for this type of game, of course, it is expected).

    Map design is top notch, probably the best in the series (and of all games of this type). Very carefully tuned. There's been almost no platforming so far, though, and the action becomes pretty repetitive after awhile.

    I don't think it holds a candle to the best games of this type (which for me are Super Metroid and Hollow Knight) but it's a nice effort. Certainly worth playing, especially since Switch emulation is so almost trivial now - I'm playing on an actual Switch, but while the handheld mode is cool (and runs better), docked mode has a lot of slowdowns and looks pretty terrible on my display. The Switch is a nice little machine, but it's definitely getting long in the tooth for new releases.
     
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