Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest
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  • Konami
  • Konami
  • Adventure - General, Other
  • 1988
  • 1
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  • 2
  • $8.00
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7  |  Castlevania 2, Simon's Quest Review (NES)
larsoncc , 6/8/2003 1:46:34 PM

Whipping wolvesSimon's Quest (CastleVania II) is Konami's latest attempt to capitalize on this new "sequel" trend.  Developers are starting to realize that if you have a successful game, you can repackage that game, add a few features, and suck a few more dollars out of old programming.  So pathetic - I don't think that any company could realistically expect to be profitable by following such a misguided strategy.  Only time will tell, of course, but I think Castlevania 2 proves my point quite well.

Just kidding, of course.  Castlevania 2 is where the series started to add depth to the otherwise fantastic arcade / explore experience.  In fact, it'd be fairly safe to say that Castlevania 2 plays a bit more like a side-scrolling RPG than an action game.  Much of the game is spent journeying from town to town, gathering gold, collecting different power-ups, and finding out where the next castle is.  

That element of game play aside, Simon's Quest offers up much of the classic action found in the original game.  In my opinion, this version of Castlevania gets several elements "right".  The music sets a mood that can be described as "quest-y", and the graphics are appropriately dark and foreboding.  The tasks that you guide Simon through don't become overly repetitive, either.  On the surface, it seems that Simon's Quest has united two opposing worlds: Action with RPG, lions sleeping with sheep, white doves nesting on tanks!

Ah, but the world is not so blissful, now, is it?  Much of the time that you spend in Castlevania 2 is spent trying to gain enough money to buy the next level of whip, which in turn allows you to take on the next boss.  "Leveling up" makes action fans a bit crazy.  Likewise, many of the classic "barely made it" jumps from the original Castlevania are present in Simon's Quest.  You'll also find yourself madly mashing at your whip button at times.  Hmmm, that doesn't sound fun for an RPG fan, now does it? 

Title ScreenCastlevania 2 is still a nice change from the first and third in the series, though.  It offers the player a chance to take on a "lighter" RPG experience, or a "longer, more relaxed" action game, depending on your life-view.  You'll notice that there are several niceties within Simon's Quest, too - there is a decent variety in the enemies, there are graphical effects aplenty, and as stated earlier, the music is just great.  It would be difficult to complain about Simon's Quest, if this type of game appeals to you.

Castlevania 2, Simon's Quest doesn't break the mold - but I don't think it "knows" which mold it belongs in, either.  Simon's Quest seems to be less of an attempt to be original, than it is an attempt to be everything to everyone.  I enjoyed Castlevania 2, but there are some parts of it that don't have the draw that I would have liked.  I give Castlevania II, Simon's Quest a 7/10.

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