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Release year: 2004 | Players: 1 player | Developed by Nintendo R&D1

Metroid: Zero Mission (Game Boy Advance)

Metroid: Zero Mission (AKA メトロイドゼロミッション, Metoroido Zero Misshon in Japan) is a side-scrolling action-adventure platform video game published by Nintendo in 2004, and developed by its Research & Development 1 (R&D1) division for the Game Boy Advance handheld console.

Trying not to do a direct remake of NES Metroid on Game Boy Advance’s more advanced graphics, Nintendo opted to completely retell and retool Samus’ 2D adventure by including new power-ups and remixed areas. Combine that with refinements that are over a decade in the making. It’s a fresh experience that still retains elements that made the first Metroid great.

In Zero Mission, Samus is sent to Planet Zebes to destroy the Metroids, beings that suck liquid from people. The Metroids are harvested by the Space Pirates to make biological weapons and Samus must destroy the Pirate’s base and defeat the Mother Brain. The gameplay difference between the first Metroid and Zeron Mission is apparent from the very beginning. Although the game retains the shooting and platforming fun, advances in technology also gave way to modern game designs.

The controls went a bit of overhaul as Samus can now toggle between using missiles and beam by pressing the R button. She can also now shoot diagonally by pressing the L button. New abilities like Space Jump, Charge Beam, and Power Grip also make the game more manageable. Save beams have also replaced passcodes.

Metroid: Zero Mission had similar graphics to Metroid Fusion as both were designed for the Game Boy Advance. The latter was actually like the updated Super Metroid. Zero Mission may not be visually gratifying as Fusion but it’s still sight to behold. Metroid games are known for their gorgeous boss fights and Zero Mission is not different with the makeover of Ridley and Kraid who are now both bigger and more menacing than their original versions.

Game Boy Advance’s audio chip is put to good use in this game as the original tracks have been remastered. New tracks were also written for new areas but were still kept in style with the old ones.

Metroid: Zero Mission animated GIF

Playing Metroid: Zero Mission might feel like it’s the way all the older Metroid games should have been played. The controls and skills are innovative and provide variety to the game.

Metroid: Zero Mission has been ported to Game Boy Advance (this version), and Virtual Console.

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Metroid: Zero Mission
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