Great blog. Metroid is also my favorite series, and I agree with you that the atmosphere is such a huge part of that.The gameplay is obviously fantastic, and many other games have tried to emulate the basic beats. But while I love the genre as a whole, the original franchise is the only one I really come back to regularly.It's the music, the places, the isolation, the iconic design of the badass powersuit, and the frankly tragic story of Samus Aran that pull me in. It's a compelling sci-fi tale that isn't bogged down the traditional ideas of exposition (mostly), instead choosing to convey its themes through art and music and atmosphere. It's something that I think could only exist as a video game, and that's pretty amazing.