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Just finished my first playthrough in 9 hours and 76% item collection.

Overall, I had an absolute blast with the game. There are three main highlights for me:

First, I think everyone will agree that this is the most fluid and frenetic Metroid game ever. It's a joy just moving Samus arround, platforming and killing enemies by parrying them while jumping or running. This non-stop gameplay really contribuited to keep the game always fun and entertaining. Even when I was backtracking or stucked between two or three rooms trying to figure out what to do, I never stopped having fun.

Second, boss battles were SO MUCH FUN AND CHALLENGING. Kraid, the Experiment, the Chozo Warriors... All of them felt like epic showdowns that put to the test my abilities against a formidable foe. Not just that, but they were visually stunning: the cutscenes at the beginning and end and the sequence you get when parrying them correctly make you feel like a badass. And the final boss is on whole other level of epicness. It's easily the best fight in the franchise and one I will probably remember for a long time.

Third, the atmosphere. Specifically, the backgrounds. God are they beautiful! It's just crazy the insane amount of details Mercury Steam put there. From the forests of Ghavoran to the underwater sections of Burenia and the ruins of Ferrenia... All the locations felt like actual places that justify their own existance outside of being a videogame.
But it's not just the backgrounds. People say Dread is graphically nothing to brag about. Well, I say Dread is actually great game visually. The materials, the lightning, the animations, the use of colours... Everything combines together almost flawlessly to create a game that is very pleasant to the eye. To me, it's one of the best looking Switch games. Obviously not the most technically advanced or ambitious, but it's a looker nonetheless.

Not everything was perfect though. The beginning was a little frustrating to me because I kept seeing paths to use the morphball... And you get it pretty late compared to other games in the series. So I had to just angrily try to ignore them until I got the upgrade.
Another thing that disappointed my a bit was the soundtrack. It's not bad by any means, it helps to get in the mood... But it's not memorable at all. There is no Kraid's Lair, SR388 Surface, Upper Brinstar, Sector 4... Theres nothing like that in the game. Boss themes are also pretty dull except for the final boss. Again, they are not bad... Just not great. Metroid always had a bunch of tunes in their OST that will keep stuck in your mind forever. Dread will not have that honor.

Finally... I'm conflicted about the story. For one, I love the portrayal of Samus. She's constantly kicking ass... And the way she reacts to everything is yet another highlight from the game. I was also blown away by the ending as a whole and how they decided to continue Samus story. However... The story also felt a bit of a mess. Some things contradict stuff from older games (specially Fusion) and there are plot points that were pretty relevant in the Fusion ending, but in Dread are either ignored or adressed without actually making sense. It's a shame, because there was a lot of potential and they didn't really went for it. But then again, all in all I enjoyed the ending. A lot.

If I had to rank it among the other games on the franchise without having replayed it... The TOP would look like this (the bold ones are very close to each other)

1. Metroid Zero Mission
2. Metroid Fusion
3. Metroid Prime
4. Metroid Dread

5. Metroid Prime 3
6. Metroid Prime 2
7. Super Metroid
8. Metroid Samus Returns
9. Metroid Other M
10. Metroid
11. Metroid Prime Hunters
12. Metroid Prime: Federation Force
13. Metroid II: Return of Samus

Not sure if it will take my personal crown from Zero Mission... But it's one of the best games in the franchise for sure. While not a perfect game, Mercury Steam did a remarkable work by giving life to one of my most anticipated games of all time: Metroid 5. And that's what matters the most to me in the end: the sole fact that this game exists at all and that is actually a GREAT game pretty much makes sure it becomes one of my favourite games ever.

EDIT: I forgot to mention the EMMI segments. They were incredibly tense and made some of the best moments in the game. But near the end they started to feel repetitive and not that scary anymore. I think a bit more of variety in the way you aproached them and in their abilities would have make them perfect. 

Last edited by Vodacixi - on 17 October 2021