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Metroid’s Samus Aran

Critical Distance is proud to present this Critical Compilation of Nintendo’s series-spanning heroine Samus Aran, curated by Video Game Heart‘s Grayson Davis.

Since 1986, the Metroid series has received much attention. The NES original, 1994’s Super Metroid, and 2002’s Metroid Prime are often regarded as some of the best games in Nintendo’s catalog, if not among all videogames. Linking all of these games is a character who has transcended the games themselves to become a provocative figure in her own right: Samus Aran.

She is one of the most prominent women characters in gaming, and as such

Kotaku UK archive

…hover over a link to see backup options (this is actually true of most links across the site!).

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This Year In Videogame Blogging: 2017

…Up to Its Title | Outside Your Heaven – Matthew Weise For Matthew Weise, Resident Evil VII‘s strength is in how it manages to be terrifying, moody and restrained for so long. It ultimately disappoints, but he wishes more games disappointed like this.

  • How AM2R and Samus Returns remade Metroid 2 – Game Maker’s Toolkit | YouTube – Mark Brown – Mark Brown Mark Brown compares Metroid 2‘s two modern remakes and how they change it into the mold of Metroid and Super Metroid in the name of “fixing it” making it lose its own original identity.
  • In…
  • The Art of Level Design Analysis

    …way, has a lot of level design analysis on his personal blog; one of my favorites is this look at the end level of the original Metroid. Super Metroid is another common target for level design analysis. The best dissection of it I’ve seen is here – although it’s not so rigorous or good, it’s just so comprehensive that it inevitably makes many notable observations (“Metroid fans only”, perhaps).

    Everything I’m linking to here has a critical and analytical element. However, an unfortunately large amount of level design writing does nothing but describe levels, which is boring and pointless….

    February 15th

    …talks about the documentary Atari: Game Over covering the 1983 industry collapse and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the game that is, perhaps wrongly, given the blame for it. A movie about a movie-themed game then. Double whammy!

    On Kill Screen, Andrew Yoder talks about Andrei Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia and how exploration tends to kill videogame spaces. Meanwhile, Zach Budgor examines perspective and movement in Metroid Prime, the first in a series of three articles devoted to the series. See also Metroid Prime 2 and sequels by Gareth Damian Martin and Metroid Prime 3 and loneliness by Levi Rubeck.


    Kill Screen archive

    …and riot grrrl feminism 90s

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  • October 1st

    …physical spaces, these three articles give us insights into how our own physical actions could be part of the text of a game.

    • How AM2R and Samus Returns remade Metroid 2 | Game Maker’s Toolkit – YouTube Mark Brown analyses the design strategies used in AM2R and Samus Returns to modernise the player experience of Metroid 2.
    • How Dishonored: Death of the Outsider makes rats of us all * Gareth Damian Martin cites urban historian Robert Sullivan’s book Rats in his reading of the architectural design of Arkane’s latest release.
    • A Football Spiral Universe: What

    August 22nd

    …it the what-not-to-do lessons offered by Metroid: Other M or the complicated, messy, frustrating, but gradually positive-trending relationship between Mass Effect and queer representation.

    • ‘Metroid Dread’ owes a massive debt to a game Nintendo wants you to forget | Inverse Chris Compendio considers the design lessons Metroid has inadvertently learned from the legacy of its least-loved installment.
    • Intimate Space: The State of Queerness in Mass Effect | Fanbyte Kenneth Shepard embarks upon a longform historical overview of the role and state of queerness in Mass Effect, the influence of its fandom, and its lasting legacy on the

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    December 2nd

    …display this week!

    Of course, that’s far from everything happening in the discourse right now. I’m always on the lookout for work reaching beyond the chart-toppers of the moment, and there’s an excellent piece this week on 2014’s Sunset Overdrive, which in a total coincidence I played for the very time this week. With whispers of Metroid making some kind of appearance at The Game Awards, now’s also a great opportunity to remind readers that the series absolutely supports a trans reading of Samus.

    So dive in, readers! This Week in Videogame Blogging is a roundup highlighting the…

    July 12th

    …check the bodies later.”

    Track 01

    Now this is a topic I love reading about. Two authors this week study the affective musical design of popular games and genres.

    • The Best Metroid Soundtracks | Paste Dia Lacina embarks upon an acoustic tour of the Metroid series.
    • JRPG Openings and the Call to Adventure | Into The Spine Latonya Penningston studies the musical intros in JRPGs that get us hype for grand adventures.

    “I believe that the best JRPG openings are emotionally stirring and give the player a sense of wonder….