There Has Never Been a Better Time to Play Metroid II

There Has Never Been a Better Time to Play Metroid II

Metroid II: Return of Samus is a Gameboy classic that deserves your time
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After Nintendo’s surprise announcement of not one but two new “Metroid” titles at this year’s E3, fans of the company and the series itself are abuzz. Years of perceived neglect towards everyone’s favorite parasite-fighting bounty hunter seem to have been lifted during Nintendo’s main Spotlight segment of their conference. They revealed that work is underway on “Metroid Prime 4” for their console/handheld hybrid the Switch. Though right now there is not much to go on aside from a simple logo and a small, atmospheric musical cue, this has been enough to get people riled for the classic series again.

What is perhaps even more surprising, however, is the announcement that came after the Spotlight segment. A classic, Metroidvania sidescroller is not only in the works but fairly far along into development on the Nintendo 3DS. So far along, in fact, that Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé brought the game out to be demoed at the show for all to see. It was revealed during this demo that the game, titled “Metroid: Samus Returns”, is a reimagination, a complete overhaul, of the 1991 Game Boy game “Metroid II: Return of Samus”.

With brand new 2.5D graphics and a shot of adrenaline to really quicken the game’s pace, this looks almost nothing like the chunky black and white (or honestly puke green) of the original Nintendo Game Boy. Due to be released in September “Samus Returns” looks to be an atmospheric action-adventure game that brings a handheld classic up to the modern industry’s standards.

A fan project once attempted this with the unofficial game “Another Metroid 2 Remake”, attempting to recreate “Metroid II” as a smoother, more attractive experience on the PC. They took the pixel-art styling of “Metroid 4: Fusion” and “Metroid: Zero Mission” and emulated the Game Boy Advance’s more sophisticated sprite work. This effort has, unfortunately, received the ire of Nintendo’s ever hostile legal team, a copyright hit squad that pounces on fan projects whenever they grow conspicuous enough.

With “Metroid: Samus Returns” appearing to be just around the corner there seemingly has not been a better time to go back and revisit, or maybe experience for the first time, “Metroid II: Return of Samus”. Seeing as “Samus Returns” is more a reimagining than a direct remaster or remake playing through the original game, and comparing and contrasting the games upon the release of “Samus Returns”, is a worthwhile experience. The technological limitations of the past versus the free-for-all jamboree of the modern gaming industry.

Playing “Metroid II: Return of Samus” has also grown increasingly easy in recent years. Outside of going out to find a (probably expensive) classic Game Boy cartridge “Metroid II” is now available on the Nintendo 3DS’s eShop. The digital copy of the game has been cleaned up and includes virtual console amenities such as save states and the ability to swap between screen colors, but the essentials of the game have been kept entirely intact. On a brighter, higher resolution screen in 2017 “Metroid II” has never looked better, and the 3DS is far more comfortable to hold for extended periods than the Game Boy ever was. To sweeten the deal even further the eShop copy is only $3.99 and takes up a measly 37 blocks of system storage space on the 3DS.

“Metroid II” certainly shows its age at times and the pacing is a far cry from the zippy combat and finishing moves of its upcoming remake, but to hold the years too harshly against the game is to ignore the eerie atmosphere, creative structure, and sheer fun of this Nintendo classic.

Cover Image Credit: nintendojo

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Does Technology Make Us More Alone?

Technology -- we all love it and we all use it, but how is it affecting us?
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In this day and age, it is near impossible to do anything without the use of technology. You can pay your bills, manage your bank accounts and even chat with a customer service representative all with the use of your smartphone.

Is the use of technology starting to take away from our person-to-person interaction? Think about how often you grab your smartphone or tablet and text your friends instead of picking up the phone to call them or, better yet, making plans to hang out in person.

Technology is supposed to make us feel more connected by allowing us to stay in touch with our friends by using social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter and of course, texting. But are our smartphones getting in the way of socializing? Does technology make us feel more alone?

There is a term that is commonly used, "FOMO" –– short for "fear of missing out." Yes, this is a real thing. If for some crazy reason you don't check your Twitter or Facebook news feed every 10 minutes are you really missing out?

The fact that we have become so dependent on knowing exactly what is going on in other people's lives is sad. We should be focusing on our own lives and our own interactions and relationships with people.

Technology is making us more alone because instead of interacting with our friends in person, we are dependent on using our phones or tablets. We start to compare ourselves and our lives to others because of how many likes we get on our Instagram photos.

We are forgetting how to use our basic communication skills because we aren't interacting with each other, anymore. We are too busy with our noses in our phones. Young kids are dependent on a tablet to keep them entertained rather than playing with toys. That is not how I want my children to grow up.

As a society, we will start to become very lonely people if we don't start making changes. We are ruining personal relationships because of the addiction to our smartphones and checking our social media sites every five minutes.

It's time for us to own our mistakes and start to change. Next time you reach for your phone, stop yourself. When you are with your friends, ignore your phone and enjoy the company of your loved ones around you.

Technology is a great thing, but it is also going to be the thing that tears us apart as a society if we don't make changes on how dependent we are on it.

Cover Image Credit: NewsOK

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4 Substitutes For Social Media

From an existential crisis at the eye doctor.

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Perhaps the most perplexing question I have ever received has been from my eye doctor. I go for a checkup every summer, and I get asked this same question every time, but for some reason, it always ignites an existential crisis in my soul. "How many hours do you spend on your phone?" Yikes. The first couple times, I tended to underestimate my addiction to my screen, "Maybe two hours," I would reply. This answer was always met with a scornful stare that dug deep into the brain. After a few years of back and forth, we settled on six hours, but part of me believes, in fact, knows, that I am once again underestimating myself. So how many hours do I truly spend on my phone? I am not one hundred percent sure. I know that there is a feature in the settings of my iPhone that can tell me, but there is no way I am ever checking that.

Why am I so scared of finding out the real number? Well, because it will simply confirm what I already know about myself: I spend way too much time on my phone, and I know I am not the only one. Besides the fact that my generation's eyesight will probably be shot by forty, we are locked into a virtual life and missing the one that is flying right before our eyes. We are all constantly trying to live the best lives, but is it for our own benefit or for the benefit of our social image? Graciously, I say that fifty percent of my efforts are heard towards the latter. So in this season of my life or extreme self-evaluation and in an effort to rewire my brain before I'm set in my ways when my brain stops developing, I am offering up substitutes to social media for my own benefit and for the benefit of my generational counterparts.

1. Instagram? Go on a walk instead

https://goodstock.photos/people-walking-by-street/

We love posting pictures of pretty things, but do we actually enjoy the pretty things? I mean, I rarely look at my 107 pictures of the Eiffel Tower. So maybe if we could substitute taking and posting pictures for Instagram, we would see so much more than our limited screen has to offer. There is life in nature and in cities. Breathing life. Not digital life.

2. Twitter? Why not hang out with your friends?

https://pixabay.com/en/fashion-young-people-teens-1219507/

I love a good laugh just as much the next guy, so Twitter is my go to for giggles. But how often do I actually laugh out loud to tweets in my bed? Okay, sometimes, I will admit it. But I have found that sharing tweets with my friends gives me the most joy, so why not, I don't know, share thoughts with my friends? Conversation. If you think your friends are funny online, boy oh boy you'll be surprised to see just how funny they can be in real life.

3. Facebook? Dear God, anything else. How about a book?

https://stocksnap.io/photo/H0VXBZUZP3

Ah, Facebook. I love reading posts that share every part of someone's daily life. You did laundry today? Awesome, Mom! A book, though, a book shares all the essential parts of a story. It's exciting. Riveting. I think we can all agree that we lose brain cells spending time of Facebook, but has anyone ever got dumber from reading? I think not.

4. Snapchat? Stare at your friends. It's awesome, trust me.

https://pixabay.com/en/boy-children-guys-human-watch-1105891/

Okay, this one is a joke. But seriously. There are a million things you can do other than sending pictures of your face back and forth with your friends (or you feet if you're having a fight). Bake a cake. Do some work. Discover your passion. Build real relationships. Half of the people I Snapchat, I don't even to.

TNow I'm not damning social media to Hell. It can be a fun thing, and it is engrained in our generation; it is not going away any time soon. My suggestions seem simplistic and silly, but are we actually prioritizing these things over social media? Probably not. But maybe we can learn to take a step back. Maybe we can learn to live our lives rather than living through our favorite vlogger. Maybe we can be able to face our eye doctors with honesty. Maybe we can gain back some of that wondrous gaze in our eyes that we had before they became blinded by the light of our smartphones.

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