My only experience with Metroid before this game was me playing Super briefly on emulator as a teen (and dropping it since I didn't realize there was a map system and got lost), and playing a bit of Metroid Prime 1 on the Wii U VC collection (also dropped since I got stuck and young me was too stubborn to use guides, though I'm not anymore). I also tried my hand at Castlevania Rondo of Blood in the past to see if Metroidvanias were for me, but also dropped that one since it was really difficult and felt really archaic/clunky, didn't like how slow Richter was.
I always wanted to give Metroid another chance and run through the mainlines, so my roommate directed me toward the proper story order and the remakes to play, and I started this one a little under a week ago. I was surprised to find how much I ended up loving this game and how tightly balanced/streamlined it is! The mobility Samus has and how fluid the combat and physics are had me spellbound. The feeling of progression as Samus continues to get more and more powerful as you go through the game and find more secrets you couldn't access before was really empowering, and I haven't felt that kind of progression in a long time in gaming, so that was amazing to re-experience. I played on Normal, and the game was pretty challenging as is, but I still had a ton of fun. The game was short but very sweet, and I definitely can see myself replaying it for fun and better runtimes in the future. Not sure if I'd play on Hard Mode but maybe in the future if I replay the game a few times and like it enough.
Also wanted to say I'm super glad my years of Smash Bros. playing came in handy here, if I didn't know thanks to them that bomb hopping was a thing or wall jumping, I would've gotten way more stuck on a lot of things in the game. Definitely something I'd wish to tell people in advance about this game. Also knowing to bomb everything you can and any cracked spots on walls/floors would help too.
The game was very light on story which I expected, but I did really like the nuggets of text they did have in there to flesh out Samus. I plan to read the Metroid Manga soon which was released alongside this game's remake to better understand the events leading up to this point and gain a better appreciation for Samus's character, though I already really liked what I saw of her here.
I don't want to spoil anything, but I will that the new content added to the game in this remake really surprised me in a good way, and had me on the edge of my seat for the last leg of this game. Really awesome addition to an already solid game that raised it even higher for me!
All in all, this felt like the introduction to Metroid that I'd been searching for and truly enjoyed, and I'm excited to play the future games in the near future. The short playtime is also super nice for me to beat them in a reasonable amount of time now that work is leaving me with little free time to game, haha.
Total playtime (including game overs according to my 3DS Playtime Activity): 8 hours, 43 minutes.
Total playtime from in-game file counter: 5 hour, 5 minutes, 46 seconds.
Item Collection Rate: 58% (Didn't realize what the real final boss was and that I couldn't backtrack to get what I missed, will remember for future playthroughs).