04 . 22 . 2024

Super Metroid


Disclaimer: Writer is an investor in Nintendo.

The video game market has now been around for over half a century, meaning that much of what we see today are new twists on established foundations. Sure, Super Mario Bros. Wonder felt fresh and exciting, but it was still building off the basics established by Super Mario Bros. decades earlier. It was during that time of immaturity that Nintendo dreamt up the series known as Metroid.

Unlike the Super Mario series of platformers, Metroid has larger, open levels with permanent upgrades to find. You are no longer on a straight shot to the goal but instead exploring and making discoveries at your own pace. It, along with a similar series Castlevania would go on to define a genre known today as “Metroidvanias”.

As you can tell, today I am covering the Super Metroid side of the story. It’s placed among Nintendo’s greatest classics, and is still played extensively today as one of the most popular games to speedrun. I knew I wanted to play it eventually after hearing the high praises, and I finally took the time as it recently passed its 30th anniversary. So, does it still hold up after all these years? And how does it fare from a faith perspective?


After eradicating all other Metroids on Planet SR388, the intergalactic Bounty Hunter Samus Aran returns with the last of the species – a hatchling. After leaving it at a colony for research, she receives a distress signal from them and returns to investigate. Finding the scientists murdered, Samus is unable to prevent the Space Pirate known as Ridley from escaping with the baby Metroid. Since Metroids pose a great threat due to their ability to sap energy from other creatures, she has no choice but to pursue Ridley and retrieve the baby.

Yeah, the story isn’t super deep, but I wouldn’t really expect more from a platformer of this era. It quickly tells you what you need to know and starts you on your way with a cool escape sequence to boot. No complaints there. 


Landing on planet Zebes, you are set free to explore in search of the Metroid. Samus begins as usual with a very limited move set – all she can do is run, jump, and fire shots from her power suit. However, you’ll soon come across upgrades, ranging from more powerful shots to interesting new movement abilities. Many of these are required to explore new areas, meaning it is possible to sometimes get stuck not knowing where to go.

Fortunately, Super Metroid introduced a map, which is detailed and quite helpful, especially since the various areas are nothing short of labyrinths. Unexplored places are marked in blue, helping you keep track of your steps. Certain important rooms such as save stations are also marked separately. While I did find myself stuck a few times, it never made me want to quit and wasn’t worse than anything I experienced in the more recent games Metroid Dread and Metroid Prime

Of course, while you are exploring you will continually be coming across enemies in the form of strange alien creatures. Almost all of them will drop health and ammo upon being defeated, which for the most part works out well. However, the drops do not scale up with your upgrades – at the start of the game, it will only take defeating a few enemies to completely refill your resources, but doing so towards the end can take several minutes. I think some more energy refill stations would have gone a long way. 

There’s some issues with the controls as well – I played through the entire game without ever understanding how in the world you are supposed to perform a wall jump, and switching between the different weapons is slow and clunky. There’s also some problems with an ability towards the end of the game that is either unintuitive or was not implemented well.

While such issues might show the game’s age, it really does stand up to the test of time. There were several secrets and twists that I was not expecting in a game this old. Few things feel better than trying something you don’t expect to work only to find out the developers had thought of it too. 


Being a Super Nintendo game, pixel graphics are what you’ll get here, and they are quite spectacular. The many different environments offer a good variety of visuals, with a resolution high enough that you can actually tell what the developers are trying to convey. The bosses in particular are very well done, and make their weak points apparent without being too obvious.

From a faith perspective 

A running theme throughout Metroid games is loneliness. Samus is on her own the entire time, wandering around on an alien planet while constantly being bombarded by enemies – yet she never loses her cool. 

It is certainly good advice in life to surround yourself with good people, specifically of faith. A good priest I know loves to tell us that “we are the average of the 5 people we hang out with the most”. It’s vital to have others around you for support when times get tough and to encourage you to keep fighting. I know I’m a guy, but man it feels good to have a bro hug when you’re at the lowest point of your year. 

Nevertheless, there will inevitably come times in our lives when our closest friends are far away and nobody familiar is in sight. It is in these moments that it becomes a real challenge to stay brave and confident, even with the knowledge that God is always with us. It is reasons such as these that I find Samus’ attitude to be so impressive. 

She does not seem to care that she’s the only one on the planet, but is instead focused on completing her mission. There’s not a single point in the game where she hides instead of confronting the enemy, even when the danger is incredibly high. So many people, including myself, would instantly crumble under such a situation. But Samus trusts her capabilities, and that enables her to save the galaxy.   

“Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.”

Ephesians 6:11

Scoring: 93%

Gameplay: 4/5

Graphics: 5/5

Music: 5/5

Morality/Parental Warnings

Sex/Nudity: Upon dying, you will see Samus in (effectively) her underwear. This is also shown at the end of the game if you complete it fast enough, although that’s not likely on first playthroughs.

Violence: Samus uses laser shots and bombs in battle. Enemies can be grotesque, and there is at least one instance of a creature’s skin being melted off. I’m not entirely sure if there’s absolutely no blood, but if there is it’s hard to tell. You also see some dead humans near the start of the game. 

About Catoons

Catoons is the founder of Catholic Game Reviews and a future engineer. He’s a primarily a Nintendo fan, but also enjoys exploring the wider video game market on PC.

He encourages you to pray for the intercession of Blessed Carlo Acutis for gamers around the world!