Aliens: Infestation and Super Metroid prove I can’t play video games

This post has been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.

I explored every room I could in Aliens: Infestation, acquired and learned every power-up, and even went to the start of the area to see if I missed anything. What was I looking for? A clue on how to make my way across a large gap in a hallway that separated me from completing the game. Had I missed something?


Aliens: Infestation may be considered by most a "Metroidvania"-style game. It has your typical exploration, upgrades, and backtracking. The atmosphere is great as you slowly walk through the hallways encountering soldiers, robots, and of course, aliens. It's also a bit creative by allowing the player to rotate between different marines, each with his own personalized dialogue. Metroidvania is one of my favorite genres, so I was happy to play this game while I waited for Shadow Complex 2.

Then I got stuck.

I looked online for any videos or written walkthroughs that somebody may have posted on the situation. Nothing. The location was too vague; nobody seemed to mention it. Maybe I missed some sort of grappling hook. I looked through the five-page manual for a clue on the game's possible upgrades. How helpful do you think that was?

After two days of no progress, I had almost given up when I remembered another game that stumped me in a similar fashion many years ago: Super Metroid. My roadblock then was a hallway with a collapsible bridge that I couldn't get across in time. After failing that for hours, l dialed my friend's number.

"Hey Jimmy, do you remember that really long hallway in Brinstar that has a collapsible bridge? I'm totally stuck on it. How do you get across it?"

"You mean the one you can run across? Dude, you know there's a run button right?"

Run. As I remembered my friend laughing at me a decade ago, I checked an Aliens: Infestation video on YouTube. Were they running? I pulled out my DS and loaded up the game. I thought I had checked every button already, but then I held the right trigger. I sprinted to the gap, leaped, and easily made it to the other side. How did I not notice the run button? The same way I didn't notice it all those years ago.

When I first played Super Metroid, I tested out every button.  When I tapped the A button, Samus hopped. Pressing X made Samus shoot her arm canon. I hit B and…nothing. If only I had made Samus walk while holding down B, I'd have realized she could sprint. I later learned that fans appropriately called that bridge the n00b bridge. Turns out I wasn't the only one who got stuck there.

You'd think that after a decade I would have learned how to play a Metroidvania game. Amazing how Aliens, the franchise that inspired Metroid, has reminded me that old habits die hard…and that I'm horrible at Super Metroid.

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.00.11 PMGamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!
blog comments powered by Disqus

GamesBeat is your source for gaming news and reviews. But it's also home to the best articles from gamers, developers, and other folks outside of the traditional press. Register or log in to join our community of writers. You can even make a few bucks publishing stories here! Learn more.

You are now an esteemed member of the GamesBeat community. That means you can comment on stories or post your own to GB Unfiltered (look for the "New Post" link by mousing over your name in the red bar up top). But first, why don't you fill out your via your ?

About GamesBeat