Super Metroid was a genre-defining smash hit of a game. The lessons, themes, and mechanics it presented on release 20 years ago are still influencing the industry today. Dozens of games pay homage to it, and it has spawned a long and healthy legacy.
I was 11 when Super Metroid hit shelves, and I played the hell out of it. Games of its caliber were rare back then, and while I would play anything I could get my hands on, I knew quality when I saw it. It’s a deeply immersive, dark little game, filled with a surprising sense of atmosphere and world building.
Things get tense rather quickly, and for a sprite-based sidescroller, the game creates a surprisingly strong sense of isolation and danger. It’s just you, in the armored boots of Samus Aran, against a planet of vicious foes and natural hazards.