Metroid, the science fiction adventure series starring one of video games' first heroines Samus Aran, is a pillar in Nintendo's world of iconic franchises.
Metroid II: Return of Samus is kind of a low-point for the series, but a new, fan-made remake that was just released aims to rewrite history.
The series has changed a lot since Metroid's 1986 debut on the Nintendo Entertainment System, but whether Aran is blasting through Metroid Fusion in 2Don the Gameboy Advance or exploring alien worlds in first-person in Metroid Prime on the GameCube, the Metroid games always stick to the same themes: You're a lone bounty hunter in a kick-ass power suit, reckoning with space pirates and the jellyfish-like, eponymous Metroid aliens.
Everyone has a favorite (for me it's a toss-up between Metroid Prime and Super Metroid), but one that rarely comes up in that conversation is Metroid II: Return of Samus. It's the first sequel to the NES debut, so you'd think it would get more attention, but it released in 1991 for the original Game Boy, meaning it only had that grey-and-black color palette to work with.
Just look at it:
Not exactly eye candy (or music to your ears, for that matter). The platform frankly wasn't up to task of rendering the colorful, alien worlds that capture the imagination like other Metroid games.
But a group of dedicated fans aim to make Metroid II: Return of Samus a more worthy entry in the franchise with a complete remake. The project, titled AM2R, finally released on Saturday after almost a decade in the making. I've only played through the opening segment at this point, but it seems incredible. Not only does it completely overhaul the presentation with graphics and sound that match the quality of the Super Nintendo's Super Metroid, it also adds new gameplay, a map system, better enemy AI, new areas, and much more.
Here's what it looks like in action:
Basically, it's not like the project simply touches up the original Metroid II: Return of Samus: it completely reimagines it as a much better game and fit in the Metroid continuum.
If you have a PC and even a passing interest in the Metroid games, I highly recommend grabbing it from the official site because it's free, and, more importantly, because Nintendo has a rich history of getting such projects removed from the internet.
Grab it before it's gone.