Castlevania II - Simon's Quest (USA) ROM
Nintendo Entertainment System / NES ROMsGenre: ActionAdventureRole-PlayingPlatformerRating: ESRB: E
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Game Description & Reviews:
The game's setting takes place seven years after the original battle at Castlevania. Simon visits his family's resting ground. His back is critically injured from his encounter with Dracula in the previous game. He suddenly feels someone's presence, and turns to see a young woman standing within the mist. She tells him that a curse was placed upon him by Dracula during their last battle, and that he does not have long to live. The woman continues to say that the curse can be undone if he resurrects Dracula himself. She further explains that Dracula's body was split into five different parts after his defeat seven years ago, and Simon must recover these and bring them to the ruins of Dracula's castle. There, he must seal Dracula and defeat him. Before disappearing, the unknown woman says she cannot guarantee that this will destroy Dracula permanently.
It was the late 1980s. The video game world stood on a precipice: on one side was death, and on the other was success. Bold strides in gaming had just been made through games such as Castlevania, Super Mario Bros., and the Legend of Zelda, and both the developers and players were presented with a problem: how to follow those classics.
While Super Mario Bros. 2 was totally different from its predecessor because of different reasons, it still failed dismally compared to its successor and its predecessor, as did Castlevania 2 and Zelda 2. In all three instances, the second games were drastically dissimilar from the first game, and a controversy was born.
With few exceptions, gamers revolted, cursing Castlevania 2, Zelda 2, and SMB 2, screaming that they didn't like the changes. Each series, in its next installment, went right back into its roots and the third games in the series were much more similar to the first. The fourth games followed suit, as did the fifth, and sixth, and so on--the gaming world was clear: gamers didn't want changes; they wanted more of the same, and that precipice ushered in 2 decades of stagnation and boredom in which the only things that changed about video games were depth and video/audio quality. Games got bigger, they got better looking, and they sounded better, but Super Mario Galaxy 2 (for example) is no different from Super Mario Bros. 3 or 1.
With that unnecessary wall of text said, Castlevania 2 isn't a bad game. It's hard, because you'll spend hours upon hours running around trying to figure out what in the world you're supposed to be doing, but that doesn't make it a bad game. There are hints throughout the game, but they're really vague and often no help at all, since you won't know who, what, or where various townspeople are referring to.
Without a guide, I daresay the game is impossible to beat. Difficulty aside, the music is classic Castlevania, as are the graphics, though they have a distinct flair from its successor and predecessor.
It's non-linear, for the most part, although some places are inaccessible because you lack the certain item needed (a la Zelda), but in general, if you can survive the journey, you can make it anywhere in the game.
There are secrets hidden in places that you wouldn't expect and that you wouldn't be able to find unless you walked around throwing Holy Water at every single square and hitting every square with your whip. There are illusory floors that look real but that, if you walk on, will send you plummeting to your death.
Like I said, it's impossible to beat without a guide or several hundred hours of trial and error and an infinite amount of patience. If you have a guide, the entire game can be beaten in a matter of hours, though.
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