Its been a while since I've played any Metroid games... I think the last one I touched was the original NES Metroid while working through my retro backlog a few years back. But I have cleared Metroid 2 back in the day so I was interested to see what Mercury Steam's updated take on the Gameboy title would be like.
And from the first couple of hours of playtime, I'm very impressed. While this is a remake of Metroid 2 it seems as though they've changed up a few things here and there - the combat itself has been overhauled to give Samus access to a melee counter attack. Its really easy to do with super lenient timing and is the best way (especially until you get the wave beam) to quickly dispatch enemies. And all enemies/bosses so far have super obvious tell tale signs so its really easy to know when you need to counter them. However the game isn't exactly a pushover, as damage output from even early enemies is really high, so you can only take a couple of hits before you'd be in trouble!
So the main aim of the game is to destroy all the Metroids on the planet. As with the GB original for every few you take down, additional areas become available so you can travel deeper into the planet, reaching more dangerous enemies, bosses and more useful weapons/powerups. Mercury Steam have given you a power up where you can do a scan of the surrounding few rooms to your location. This uncovers blocks that can be destroyed, hidden items and doors. I personally love this, the original Metroid especially was insanely ridiculous in terms of hidden/false floors so being able to know where items/hidden areas are is a huge benefit, it eliminates trial and error and some backtracking. Of course if you don't like the sound of this you can just not use this power up and play the game old school
I guess my only criticism is the fact that the game is on the 3DS. I don't particularly like the system, much prefer my Vita and Switch. The game looks... well like a 3DS game. Low polygon graphics instead of gorgeous 2D pixel art, and the game is 30FPS - the frame rate isn't a deal breaker for me, its still plenty smooth enough but I do imagine how much better it'd look/run on the Switch... if this gets a port in the future to Nintendo's new hardware I'd definitely double dip.
Its the best Metroid game released in quite some time, and a great remake as well. Its supposed to have new content as well past the previous final boss, but I'm nowhere near that point yet!