My Favourite Video Game Featuring: Turn Cold

My Favourite Video Game is a guest feature from bands and artists where we set them a simple task… tell us about your favourite video game. In this feature drummer Matt Karoglou of thrash band Turn Cold took up the mantle and you can read all about his choices below.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a more important year in my upbringing than 1994. Maybe 1991 comes close, but 1994 will always be a banner year for several reasons. First, it was the year that NOFX’s Punk In Drublic and Green Day’s Dookie came out – two albums that would be my entry point into punk and, by proxy, hardcore and metal. Second, it was the year that John Carpenter made his last truly great movie – In The Mouth of Madness. But ultimately, 1994 is considered personally formative because it was the year that Super Metroid was released for the SNES. I’ve been playing games since I was old enough to hold a controller and was fortunate enough to begin during the era of the NES. In the intervening decades, people have thrown around the terms “perfect” or “timeless” or “legendary” about a select handful of games that rise above the rest of the pack to meet those criteria. To me, Super Metroid is the only game that can truly be described as “perfect”.

For the uninitiated, Super Metroid is the third game in Nintendo’s Metroid series and the first 16-bit entry (and the only one to be released in the lifespan of the Super Nintendo). One of the first things that makes Super Metroid a perfect game is that it’s not hampered by its temporal placement but instead held aloft like a shining beacon of its time, exemplifying how to execute a perfect 16-bit action platformer. In an era of gaming that saw the release of a plethora of action platformers, Super Metroid is a time capsule of airtight platforming and shooting set in a visually vibrant landscape. The planet Zebes is beautifully rendered in 2D sprites and the complete lack of any in-game narrative (except for a brief series of vignettes at the beginning of the game to introduce the characters and conflict) gives the player the agency to create their own tale as they discover the secrets of the alien planet and construct their narrative through exploration.

Difficulty is perfectly balanced, with only the occasional restart or backtracking, and the drip- feed of upgrades which open up previously inaccessible areas – a hallmark of any good metroidvania (a genre which got its name from this game and my other favorite game – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night) – are spaced out just enough to entice you to keep playing as you await what next surprise or new area is inevitably around the corner. Since Super Metroid’s release, there have been a number of incredible metroidvania games released, some that even come close to usurping the throne held by the game and genre’s namesake for almost 3 decades. Hollow Knight and Ori and the Blind Forest might be better “metroidvania” titles but Super Metroid is undoubtedly the better game. As the medium has moved forward and become more complex and cinematic, gamers and gaming journalists have debated the qualities that denote a “perfect” game and even brought forward some examples. Metal Gear Solid. Journey. The Last of Us. The Legend of Zelda. Some even debate whether or not it is possible for a game to be “perfect”. I’d argue that it is possible, and that Super Metroid – with its confidence in its design and surety of exactly what it is – is our example of what it takes to make a “perfect” video game. And don’t get me started on that soundtrack…




Links

Bandcamp | Instagram

Author

  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!