The metroid games are fun action based games with some interesting mechanics. As the capabilities of the systems has increased so has what you are able to do as Samus. I admit that I have not played all of the Metroid games, but the ones I have played I have loved. The suit is one of the greatest things ever and I think my favorite part is being able to somehow transform into a ball and roll around. It is a great combination of of shooter and puzzle. The suit is used for power plays as well as tricks. It is a fun time.
Now the interesting thing about Samus is that the character is female. In some ways I question whether a gender is necessary for the character because they are in the suit. In some ways people may assume that Samus is a guy and so having it be a female is a great surprise. At the same time it is great when the character can be ambiguous and anyone can put themselves in to the character.
Power Suit Samus
When Samus is in the power suit it could be anyone, man, woman, black, white, anything. Power Suit Samus is a blank slate for a gamer. It can be anyone, so while you are playing in the suit it could be you playing the game. You are solving the puzzles, fighting the bad guys, and experiencing the story. When I play a game such as Batman Arkham Asylum I am very clearing playing Batman. I do not get to put myself in to the action, it is getting to see Batman be awesome, but not yourself. As Power Suit Samus it could be you in the suit, running around being awesome. Isn’t that what we really want from a video game, to be able to see ourselves in it?
Samus as Woman
Now at the end of the original Metroid it was revealed that Samus is meant to be a woman. A lot of people considered this one of the big surprises and a great leap for female representation in video games. Samus is a bounty hunter for the Galactic Federation, often taking on the jobs that others might dare not. Independent and look to make some money, she is not your typical female character, especially for when she first appeared. At the same time does it really matter that she is a gender at all. The character is so gender neutral inside the suit that if you just never show them outside the suit the gender wouldn’t matter at all. At the same time I kind of love that Samus is a female because she is amazing and it is a great example of a strong female character who is willing to get in to the thick of it. No matter what you think of the gender Samus is really an amazing character and the Metroid games are just plain fun.