When it comes to Metroidvanias I've been playing some of them recently. Though mostly the "Metroid" in Metroidvania. I have actually finished every 2D Metroid game except for Samus Returns (3DS) But I have played it at least.
My mini reviews and thoughts on each one. I might edit in more stuff over time:
Metroid Zero mission
Incredibly solid Metroid title that I think is the closest to matching what super set out to do. It is pretty short though. The ending portion of the game was also a great surprise. Really like how they were able to subvert expectations with the stealth sections. GBA had a lot of Metroid love.
One of the most legendary games ever really. I love the open-endedness of it. But I will admit there are a few things about the game that is kind of weird. The boss fights are pretty easy and aren't that great tbh. In fact, the whole game is pretty easy and I never really died. Also after going through the wrecked ship the pacing of the game was thrown off and ended up being a slog for a good portion. Still, though those are just a few gripes. Super Metroid is one for the ages.
This one is pretty interesting. The game really feels like a brutal betrayal of what Super did. The SA-X was really awesome even if I wish it played a bigger role in gameplay. And in general, it's still a solid Metroid experience. But I think there are some sticking points like the handholding. The handholding really drags this title down pretty hard which is a shame. But even with the handholding, it's a pretty difficult game which I love. So Metroid fusion is really great and enjoyed it but there are also many things about it that feel like it's a bit of a mixed bag.
Metroid Samus returns
Haven't finished this game yet but so far it's been pretty cool actually. I like the background environments and the exploration feels pretty nice.
The newest one. I'm truly shocked that this game actually exists. Seriously blows my mind that they actually went and brought this title back to life. Also, this game is 19 years apart from fusion so MANY things have changed in gaming since then which makes this game hard to compare with the previous games. But I will say, I friggen LOVE it. My favorite game from the 2020s so far. I love the challenge it offers though the bosses do get easier once you learn how to deal with them. The atmosphere is really cool and kind of dark. The environments are good and some are great. And most importantly, they made a lot of overhauls to gameplay with this title. You can now aim in 360 degrees and you can use more abilities. I really like using the homing missiles in combat. I think Dread is really close to dethroning Super but I just wish it was more open-ended because it's still a bit linear. But it's my personal
favorite Metroid so far. Also this is one of the coolest scenes I've seen in modern gaming. Something about it is just really cool. Gives me a bit of a liminal feeling.
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I'll be honest, I had a hard time getting into this title. But I will probably give it another chance at some point. I think I still prefer 2D Metroid though.
Castlevania Dawn of sorrow
Also another game that I played 2 seconds of. I'll probably get to it again at some point.
For an indie game, it's really great but I found the gameplay to be a bit stiff at times(?) Still need to finish this one. Music is great though.
Those are all the Metroidvanias I've played. I hope we can get a Metroid 6 and a new Castlevania soon.
It's been a great time for Metroidvanias this generation I must say.