Following up on the original Metroid is a tough task to undertake, let alone doing it on Nintendo’s primary 90s portable, the Game Boy. Producer Gunpei Yokoi and the Nintendo R&D1 team packed an entire Metroid adventure on the primitive handheld, and in a lot of ways it looks and plays better than the NES-quality benchmark the studio was going for. Following the events of Metroid, Samus lands on planet SR388, the Metroids’ homeworld, to eliminate the biological menace.
Considering the technology of the Game Boy, Metroid II is often hard to read in its original green-screen format, where backgrounds and characters don’t stand out enough to tell what’s going on when the action gets going. It also suffers from having the camera a little too close to Samus, making the world feel more claustrophobic than it really is.
Metroid II is incredible in terms of fitting an ambitious Metroid adventure on the Game Boy, but it’s been made obsolete in and out of Nintendo. Metroid: Samus Returns on 3DS adapts the game for a new generation, and if you can find it, the fan-made game AM2R also makes for a better way to experience Samus’ sophomore outing.