ZeroSuitSammy's Ratings and Reviews
Mintroid by Golden Warrior [MZM Quick Play], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on Sep 24, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
85% in 0:30
This hack is the top Zero Mission Quick Play for a reason. I'll say as much as I can without spoiling it for you.
The theming in this hack has the life and personality that all fan-made projects should have. It is lighthearted and humorous--perfect for such short, sweet hack. It even comes with a surprise on the map screen. Collect items. That's all I'll say. It's the best way to get the most out of this hack. Also, the mint tint? Genius. What's the one thing Metroid could use more of? Bright, cool colors (as opposed to its usual dark theme and warm colors). Hit the nail on the head with this one. The enemies are all easy and that includes the bosses (except Ridley. Ridley was average once you have about 20 missiles.) Recommend playing on Menthol.
Best short Zero Mission hack. Takes less than half an hour. Wonderful.
Metroid - Rogue Dawn by Grimlock, Optomon, snarfblam [M1 Exploration], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on Sep 14, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
52% in 3:47
(I love that it tells you your completion stats post-credits. Convenient:)
You start up the hack and the first thing you notice: everything's different. Metroid title, Metroid physics, Metroid items, and the namesake themselves, but NOT Metroid. You don't even play as Samus. Instead, you play as Dawn Aran, a character with no resemblance to our usual main character or even knowledge of her existence (the same goes both ways). In fact, Rogue Dawn ends where the first one begins and not a moment earlier. Samus and Ridley both appear in the story, but neither in game. This really is a whole different experience; and that's it for similarities.

Differences: Too many to count. This one takes place outside, inside, dark atmosphere, light atmosphere, Pirate Ship (yours), Federation Ship (enemy), jungle, ruins, surface, caverns, Bone Yard, Metroid Hive, all of these areas are beautifully done in a way that reminds you going in that you don't know this place and as you make your way out, you feel like a native to the terrain. That's just covering how each area looks. The music is...it's...indescribably beautiful. Every moment of this game is tense, which is the perfect feeling for a Metroid game, and yet you'll find times and areas in which you can relax and enjoy the area around you. This IS Zebes, but a part you've never seen before.

Gameplay: smooth and effective. That's not to say that NONE of Metroid's typical nonsense isn't sprinkled in here- acid that's hard to get out of, enemies hurting you in door transitions, respawning with minimal health (that's why we have savestates), you know how it goes -but when you hit, you hit. When you get hit, you got hit, there's no question. This game isn't glitchy or guess-y. Everything's clear to you when you walk into a new area. Bombable blocks are distinguished from the others (most of the time) and the most fundamental abilities, movement abilities, are in the first area you go to. Speaking of areas, guys, there's a map, already filled in, even shows where items are (except e-tanks and missile tanks). There're even printable maps in the game's files -the standard map and a version with names and color- that you can use as a physical copy or from your photos app in another window. Seriously, everything about this hack is superior to Metroid and makes you forget it's an NES Metroid hack at all.

Personal gripes:
The first areas (surface and caverns) are kind of dull, but stick with it. It gets much better once you get all three of their items and get out of there.
Bosses were too easy until the final boss. That one's still a serious pain. The difficulty of Metroid Rogue Dawn is lower than the original until that point.
Maybe it's just me, but I'm not a fan of the "power suit." Much prefer the zero suit.
There are areas that have vertical loops (you go to the bottom of one part of the map and appear at the top of the same part or a completely different one [and the same the other way]). It's a real "Lost Woods" approach that leaves you unsure if you've taken a shortcut or got sent further from where you're supposed to be. Also, some rooms that you can transition between aren't connected. All of these navigation issues are especially present in the Chozo Jungle and Chozo Ruins, or the left side of the map.
Finally, after defeating one of the bosses, you encounter two Federation people possessing an energy tank, but ask that you leave it because it's the only way to power their distress beam. Doing this rewards you in no way, just so you know.

So this game has some similarities and many differences to the original. Rogue Dawn unquestionably outshines Metroid, along with any other hack of it up to this point, in every conceivable way. I had a few unpleasant things to say about it, but it's a videogame. Of course, it isn't perfect...

But it's the closest you're gonna get. Five out of five, fully recommend. Play Rogue Dawn.
Metroid Incursion by Grimlock [M1 Exploration], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on Sep 13, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
No completion stats.
Fantastic.
Looks nothing like a Metroid world and that's what I love so much about it. See the second picture above? That's "Brinstar." Outdoors, under a well-lit night sky. Norfair's a sewer-looking area, Ridley's Lair looks like a military storage area with tanks and rockets, Kraid's Lair being the only area resembling that of an "alien planet" and Tourian the only one resembling it's vanilla counterpart.
This game is easier than the base game as well. It has a few "hurt yourself on purpose to progress" areas, but health is not hard to obtain, as energy and missile drops are very common. Speaking of items/pickups, there's no shortage of missiles or energy tanks. Not at the beginning, not at the end. Nothing is hard to find, as this hack is very linear, as the map shows you everything with little to no hidden rooms not shown on it. I used savestates, not because I had to, just for convenience.
What bothered me, however, was that right before entering Tourian, there's another ice beam and another energy tank, neither of which add to you if you already have the ice beam or the other 6 e-tanks. The e-tanks thing is strange because why is it there if you can't use it? The others are almost impossible to miss so it's not like you couldn't find them. The ice beam thing makes sense if you had the wave beam and not the ice beam, but where was the wave beam? The ice beam is a necessity to get more than 10 minutes in, but the wave beam can successfully evade you the entire game, which sucks if you were playing the Plus edition and were really looking forward to that wavy ice beam as much as I was.
Now I know I started with "what bothered me" and proceeded to type half a paragraph, but really, it's two things: there's an extra energy tank that only helps you if you don't already have six, and I couldn't find the wave beam. That's all. Neither devalue the hack in any way, they're just a few personal things. Still finished it, still great. Good for a solid 1.5 - 3 hours of fun. Oh, Mother Brain is just as much of a pain as in the base game. Those red rings, they're the real final boss.
Great game, far superior to the original, so if you like that, you'll like this.
Highly recommend.
Stargazer by Ing-ing [MZM Quick Play], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on Sep 24, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
100% in 0:59
Read the other reviews if you want to know what the game looks and sounds like. My opinion, beautiful, but I'm here to talk about what the others didn't discuss very much of: the gameplay. It's fun, and it's frustrating. It's easy, and it's hard. It's fun until it's hard, and it's hard until you figure out the thing you didn't know before, and then it's easy again, which is basically how every Metroid game works, so overall, it's a good Metroid game.
Now let's talk progression. This game isn't a sequence-breaker. To get the screw attack, you have to complete a speed-booster puzzle, and a tedious one at that. So to get the screw attack, you need the speed booster; to get the speed booster, you need the power bombs, to get the power bombs, you need the space jump; to get the space jump, you need the super missiles; to get the super missiles, you need the hi jump, which you get by defeating Ridley. You can have no more than 15 missiles before you face him, but this was taken into account and the boss is quite easy as long as you make sure all your missiles hit. So as you can see, you have a bit of a checklist ahead of you. You might decide, "Well maybe I don't NEED the screw attack," but then have fun getting into Tourian through the screw attack blocks. Also, you don't need the ice beam, but if you want it, you have to outrun two Metroids in the room before the beam, and kill about five of them in the room after. There are almost no stable platforms in that room, almost all are treadmills. You cannot leave without killing the Metroids, so don't try to get past them without killing them. They are faster than you, drain your HP at unreasonable speeds, break out of ice in two seconds, recover from bombs immediately, and latch back onto you just as quickly. Kill them. Seriously. Do the same with any tough enemies you face in the beginning as well. Do not try to pass them, just kill them; then move forward. There's only one power bomb tank so don't go looking for an alternate way to get them. Oh, and the room with Mother Brain also has two treadmills. These are the only two platforms... It's actually pretty fun, not gonna lie. The escape has a boss... That is not fun. Didn't finish it 'cause of course I was low on health after Mother Brain so I died to its first attack. I'm not fighting Mother Brain again. That's dumb.
It all sounds hard, but really it's a game with a few easy enemies here and there, a few tricky platforming sections, and a mildly confusing puzzle to unravel. Of course, along with the easy and the tricky, there're the major inconveniences ahead of you. The puzzle really is only mildly confusing, and maybe not even that. It's not complex, it's just hard. It's not hard to figure out, but it takes a lot of tries to pull off. Come to think of it, it's the same with the enemies and the platforming. It'll all take a few tries to pull of, but it IS all possible, which ties back to my overall philosophy on Metroid games (see the last sentence of the first paragraph).
Good game, it really is. It'll eat a good chunk of your time, too. I recommend it to you if (and only if) you consider yourself an experienced Metroid player. The difficulty is not vanilla. It's veteran. Have fun.
DOOMtroid by Jefe962 [MZM Quick Play], rated by ZeroSuitSammy on Sep 15, 2020 (Star Star Star Star Star )
14% in 0:39
Doesn't do anything spectacular. Three bosses, maybe half of her normal upgrades and abilities, and some sprite work. Good to hold you over for about half an hour if you're looking for a short Zero Mission hack with a layout you're not familiar with.