I have always had a very tight connection with the Metroid series ever since my dad bought me Metroid for my Nintendo Entertainment System. Over the years it got many sequels/1 remake (Metorid 2, Super Metroid, Metroid Fushion, and Zero Mission) and a popular 3D series: Metroid Prime.
While the 2D games were sold and well recived, I noticed a huge disconnect between fans that had played the first three Metroid games and The Metroid Prime sereies. There is a huge gap in these fans for a reason, which is that after Super Metroid was released in 1994 it took Nintendo 8 years to devlop and release the next instalment of the series. Unfortunatly one entire generation of Nintendo systems had been skipped, and it was one year in of the Gamecube's life that they finaly released Metroid Fushion and Metroid Prime.�
My problem with most Metroid "Fans" is that a large magority of them have never played or beaten the orginal Metroid game
I know that sounds sort of silly and that you do not have to beat every game in a series to be a fan of a series, but I know of many gamers that lack any ambition to look at the original game. Most of them wrote it off as a poorly desgined and aged action/adventure game that is not fun.
Many modern games go out of their way to hold the users hand, making sure that they get everything before playing the game in the game. Metroid on the Nintendo Entertainment System does not hold your hand at all. It iconically beams you off into a strange, deadly, but fun alien world.
They did a great job of making the players feel helpless at the begining and with no in-game map, weak short-ranged gun, start with low hp, no order, and just a�game manual�for help.
So much freedom leads to two common things: Not really knowing what to do next, and frustration. But it is also very rewarding experince as player a free to take the game at their own pace, and gratification of solving puzzels.
The number one thing most people gripe about in Metroid is that there is no map!
It deeply saddens me that some people are incappable of understanding their orintation in a 2D video game, yes lots of tile sets are re-used and there is a lot of ground to cover. Each area is color coded and music coded. (so you really are never lost)
Key tip is to count doors, corrdors, and elevators. It really helps a lot to for orintation. Soon you will be navigating like a boss without needing maps or guides and your friends will think you are amazing. (If they are gamers and understand what you are doing ;D)
Or you could be lame and just write it down as you go exploring the alien planet.
You will die, unless you take the game slow and gather power-ups!
I will not lie, there are a few cheep deaths in Metroid. (They can be avoided!) Such as lava pits with platforms above them, enemeys that get into doors as they are open, or enemeys that fly through doors as the screen scrolls. Sometimes it is good idea to gauge how much you can explore before farming up HP.
Many people blame these on bad game desgin, but I think the hardware of the Nintendo Entertainment system is the real culprit. As Metroid was a Famicom Disk System port, there is noticable frame lag and the lack of a better processor for the system to read better codes for doors. Considering all of that was fixed in Metroid 2 and Super Metroid, I would not blame the devlopment team.
Most people hate HP farming, but the potted flying enemys are a gold mine. They spawn as fast as they die (or as fast as you collect their drops), and ushally drop tons of health and missles. It can take a while to farm up HP to 100%, so make sure not to take unessasary damage by rushing yourself though areas. �
Energy tanks are everywhere, and they add +99 more capasity and heal you to 100%. (So go find them!!!)
Hidden passages/iteams are almost everywhere!
Most of the hidden iteams are hidding in plain sight, just waiting for Samus to swoop down and grab them. Some of them are in odd places that you will never find unless you constantly shoot at the ceiling, and bomb every floor pannel. (luckly you do not need all the power-ups) Most hidden passages are at the end of a halway (or the part that connects to a door) So shoot the ceilings and bomb the floors, there is a reason to why you have infinate ammo.
Metroid is a long game!
Anyone that says otherwise has all of the key iteams memorized or played the game with a stratigy guide.
On average Metroid will take a new person 16+ hours to beat the main story mode without 100% completion. 100% completion the first time without a guide on average takes about 25-30+ hours.
I am sure you have seen speed runs where people beat the game in less than an hour, and yes that is very possible to do. However, without any knowlege about the game that is impossible. That is why speedruning in Metroid is such a big deal, because it chalanges not only your skills but your location memory too.
Honestly says a lot about Nintendo's game desgin when a 16+ hour game can be beaten in less than 20 minutes in the right hands.
The graphics are dated
Metroid is not know for being the best looking game on the NES, but there is one good reason for that: Memory. At the time they were pushing how much memory could be put in a cartrige (for the price) that is why a lot of the block and even segments of rooms where re-used to save memory. Here is a good video on how difficult it is to crunch numbers on a open-world game on the NES. (considering Metroid used larger sprite sizes than Retro City Rampage rom)
Then you have to relize that when he made his ROM he had 20+ years of industry knowlege, tips, and tricks to help him crunch his game into NES rom + the use of latter NES cartriges that had a greater amount RAM and better sound chips.
Do yourself a solid
Grind through the game without a guide. Sit back and have fun exploring the true roots of the Metroid Series.