Waiting for the Metroid 2 Remake? Try AM2R.
Metroid Samus Returns, a remake of Metroid 2: Return of Samus, is coming to the 3DS this September. Considered the black sheep of the Metroid series, the original Game Boy release aged poorly due to the technological limitations of the handheld. With a new remake on the way, fans are excited to explore the world of SR-388 once again.
For those who can't wait for some Metroid action, there is a fantastic fan game already available for you. AM2R, which stands for Another Metroid 2 Remake, recreates Metroid 2: Return Of Samus with Super Metroid style gameplay.
While the overall objective of AM2R is the same as the original -- kill all of the Metroids -- the difference in quality is astounding. Samus controls fluidly and has multi-directional shooting that makes combat satisfying and clean. Navigation has improved with a tighter jump and the ability to navigate tight ledges. Most importantly, AM2R has a detailed map, allowing the player to track exploration throughout Planet SR-388. All of this was lacking to some degree in the original release.
In addition to better navigation, many small inconveniences have been ironed out in this remake. For example, save points now restore health and ammunition, removing the need to grind or backtrack to regain items. Additionally, weapons stack, allowing you to gather weapons without the fear you lost an important item.
These new abilities and advantages are put to the test with the increased danger of the Metroids. In the original release, the Metroids barely put up a fight and were boring, but now they're dangerous and challenging. AM2R forces players to think on their feet and master the controls. Admittedly, some fights may feel unfair due to the low amount of invincibility frames, but those frustrations are overshadowed by the engagement seen in these fights.
Metroids are not the only dangerous foes in this remake. Powerful new bosses have been scattered throughout the world, testing the player's mastery over Samus' abilities. To handle these fights, players must use all of their weapons and items, including future series staples such as Super Missiles and Power Bombs.
However, what turns this from a fun remake into a must-play is the overhauled world. While AM2R continues the linearity of Metroid 2, each individual area feels interconnected and satisfying to explore. While the original made backtracking a chore with indistinguishable environments, AM2R makes each part of its world distinct and recognizable. This exploration is further enhanced with all new areas that utilize Samus's new arsenal. These added environments allow returning players to become lost in a once familiar alien world.
While the original's pea green world was impressive for its time, AM2R blows it out of the water with visuals that rival Nintendo's best. Every screen conveys the alien atmosphere that made Metroid so interesting to explore. AM2R understands how to update a game's art style while still providing the core engagement.
And the best part is that it's all free. There are some glitches here and there, but fans have continued to patch the game. While Nintendo has taken down the original source, it is still possible to download the game off of other websites. Not only is AM2R a great fan game, but it rivals the games it sought to imitate. Metroid Samus Returns will have to work hard to compete against this fantastic remake.