Super Metroid is an action-adventure game that was released on the Super Nintendo 25 years ago. It was developed and published by Nintendo and is my favourite video game of all time. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is also an action-adventure game but developed by FromSoftware and published by Activision. It was released in March 2019. What does one have in common with the other? Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice reminds me of Super Metroid and that’s a good thing! There were certain game-play ingredients in Super Metroid that made it a masterpiece in my eyes – Sekiro has many of those same ingredients but I have not seen that comparison made.
Genichiro is Ridley and Kuro is the Metroid
Genichiro is Ridley because all through the game; it is obvious he is your main rival. He is the overpowered tutorial boss, mid-level boss and one of the final bosses just like Ridley in Super Metroid. He also “captures” the poor defenseless Kuro (The Metroid) at the start, making your main mission to rescue Kuro, while on the way discovering the powers Kuro (The Metroid) has and your need to prevent its (his) exploitation.
Unlock new abilities and potential
Sekiro is Samus because at the beginning of the game you are weak and underdeveloped but as you progress, through the game you acquire new abilities, tools and skills. So, by the time you are at the end of this journey, you have changed a lot and also extremely powerful compared to when you first started the adventure. Samus has a gun arm, special suit and special training – Sekiro has his katana, a prosthetic arm and all kinds of shinobi techniques.
Defeat and struggles at the beginning – revenge in the end
In Super Metroid, Samus is really battered and bruised in the beginning by Ridley and the Space Pirates. The same can be said in Sekiro; as the Wolf squares up against that damn Ogre (the gatekeeper for so many players). Even after that challenge, I would argue that the game really doesn’t open up until after defeating Genichiro atop a certain castle tower, It is then the player starts amassing their arsenal of weapons and abilities in both games for their revenge and showdown in the end.
Punishing Bosses that teach game mechanics
Modern gaming has slowly eroded to the sense of challenge resulting in a reward after victory over the said challenge. Too many action games now are all about pushing a certain button when prompted to receive some flashy combo, explosion or scene. Sekiro (and Super Metroid) is similar as you have to use the skills you have developed or unlocked in the game to defeat a boss in order to progress. Whether that is mikiri countering a bosses thrust or rolling into a ball so you can put a bomb is the boss’s mouth.
Are you really the good guy/girl?
By the end of Super Metroid, you have a lot of information about why the Metroid was in that lab – Motherbrain and all. In Sekiro you really start to understand the power of Dragon’s blood and how it can be potentially used for good or evil. In both games, the protagonist really has to question if they are on the right side at all with Sekiro taking it even further offering not one, not two, not three but four different endings. Two of these endings have dramatically different outcomes depending on the choices of the player.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Tweet me @Jamaipanese or leave a comment below!