Goomba Stomp: "Thirty years ago, three men set out to make what would become one of the Nintendo Entertainment System’s most beloved games. Makoto Kanoh created the characters and came up with the scenario while Hiroji Kiyotake designed the intergalactic bounty hunter known as Samus Aran. Tasked with defeating the pesky Space Pirates, who’ve kidnapped the titular Metroid creatures, Samus heads off to planet Zebes to try and stop them from harnessing the power of the Metroids and using it as biological weapons of mass destruction. Yoshio Sakamoto who directed the game chose to combine elements of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda – with a clever twist. Yokoi wasn’t interested in creating anything groundbreaking but he did want to experiment with what had made Nintendo’s two biggest franchises a success.
Metroid fused ideas from both to create something new and offbeat. Like Super Mario Bros. it adopted a side-scrolling perspective and put a large emphasis on platforming. Unlike Super Mario Bos. it allowed players to scroll either left, right, up and down, instead of forcing them into constant forward motion. And like Zelda, Metroid placed an emphasis on nonlinear gameplay, weapon upgrades, and a decidedly darker tone and atmosphere. And yet, what’s most unusual about the original 30 years later, though, is that some of these very ideas are why Metroid is sometimes looked back on as not only being difficult but incredibly frustrating."