IT’S been a long time coming but fans of the classic Metroid games have finally got another mission with Samus Returns.

The Nintendo 3DS title, developed by Spanish team MercurySteam, is actually a remake of 1991’s Metroid II for the Game Boy. But it has been reimagined from the ground up with modern graphics and gameplay with brilliant results.

The side-scrolling 2D exploration game set in a sci-fi world sees you again play as female bounty hunter Samus Aran.

The 30-year-old Metroid series pioneered the so-called ‘Metroidvania’ genre where you gradually unlock upgrades that allow you to progress to areas previously inpassable.

This is no different with classic – and vital – abilities like the morph ball, a physics-defying move that allows you to tuck your whole body into the shape of a ball, making a return. But a great new addition is the melee counter attack that allows you to block and stun enemies that dive towards you – if you time it right.

Of course, the eponymous Metroids make a return too. They are parasitic creatures that can drain the life energy from any living thing.

But their presence in Samus Returns actually gets a little boring as they form the basis of a series of boss battles which are far too repetitive. That is one of the only real flaws in the game though.

With a similar feel to the likes of Super Metroid, fans will feel right at home but it is also a great entry point for newcomers because of how well the 3DS handheld system has been utilised.

In games like this the map is essential and it is always available at a glance thanks to the 3DS’s dual screens.