We're looking for new writers to join us!

Metroid 2 returns in AM2R

by: Sean Colleli -
More On: Metroid

In Nintendo's long and storied Metroid franchise, the second entry in the series, Metroid II: Return of Samus is perhaps the black sheep. It shares this dubious honor with Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, but whereas Zelda II was more experimental, Metroid II was more limited by the constraints of the Game Boy platform.

Metroid II has been long overdue for an overhaul, and while Nintendo released a highly-acclaimed remake of the original Metroid on the Game Boy Advance in 2004 with Metroid Zero Mission, Return of Samus never got the same treatment. That is, until now.

A highly industrious fan who goes by the handle DoctorM64 has been diligently recreating Metroid II, Zero Mission-style, since 2008, as AM2R: Another Metroid 2 Remake. He started this project long before the era of crowdfunding, so he's been going it alone for eight years and turning out some incredible content in the process. What's more, he included his fan following in the development process by releasing beta builds and demos and taking fan feedback into account.

Now AM2R is out in the wild and it's truly something to behold. I played the demo a few years back, which blew me away at the time, and the final version is even better. Nintendo has let the Metroid series go dormant since the tepid response to Metroid Other M in 2010, so it's an absolute joy to play something so true to the spirit and feel of the series. It's also great to see the long-misunderstood Metroid II get a well-deserved polish, as DoctorM64 not only remade all the textures and music, but added new areas, bosses, items and weapons to flesh out the experience. It truly feels like Zero Mission did back in 2004, but it does make me wonder.

If Nintendo is smart, at the very least they will leave DoctorM64 and AM2R alone. At best, they'll shake the man's hand and find a way to put AM2R on the Virtual Console. But with the shaky-looking Metroid Prime: Federation Force coming out in just a couple weeks, I really hope Nintendo doesn't get skittish about AM2R stealing the thunder from an admittedly maligned portable spinoff, and send AM2R a nasty copyright strike.

Only time will tell, but for now, I strongly recommend you go to the AM2R blog and download this fantastic love letter to Metroid II and the whole Metroid series. Who knows how long it will be there.