Given its standing among developers, critics and fans, it’s surprising that there aren’t more games that blatantly rip off Super Metroid. Where Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter II and DOOM inspired whole movements of cash-in clones, Super Metroid‘s distinct item-based, nonlinear action-platforming has been confined primarily to two franchises: Metroid itself and Konami’s Castlevania series.

There are a few exceptions in recent memory — indie hit Cave Story, for one — but the subgenre has been coined “Metroidvania” precisely because of those two series. With the release of Shadow Complex, though, the genre may just have to be renamed. I’m still undecided on what that new name should be. Metroidvaniacomplex? Shadowmetroidvania?

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