Sunday, February 5, 2012

Making the Cut - Part 3 (Castlevania II 1988)

(NES) Castlevania II: Simon's Quest - Rating(8)
1) 1 - Character advancement: stat or level increases
2) 1 - Combat: additional combat options
3) 1 - Items and equipment: equipment decisions
4) 2 - Story: main story at the forefront; world full of hints and lore
5) 2 - Exploration: open world from the beginning, visited locations remain open
6) 1 - Quests and Puzzles: puzzles and riddles to solve

With no grinding for levels (although there is the option to gain health), weapon based combat, and no selling, Simon's Quest doesn't fit with the wider definition of games here. Later installments would correct this as we'll see once we get to PS1. The points for combat and items overlap a little, as I included the secondary weapons in both.

Seeing this game filled me with both anticipation and dread. I've heard this was a great challenge and contains some puzzles that are not even hinted at in the game or manual due to a poor translation. A part of me was looking forward to playing through this here, as I wanted to take on the challenge. However, I'm glad to move past it. Zelda II is about as far from a turn-based CRPG as I'd like to stray I think.

This game was a major step away from the previous installment and set up a framework for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. For that alone I considered adding it to the list just to see the early implementation. If enough people want it, then maybe I'll add it back in, but I don't see that happening... unless my audience wants to torture me with bad games.


  1. It has pretty good music going for it, though.

  2. The grinding in "Castlevania 2" is very limited: this is good! Grinding is boring. The limit of this game is that many characters give wrong hints or false tracks. I always wondered whether it was a poor translation, or if the characters are intentional liars.

    "Symphony of the Night" is not a role-playing game: it lacks any dialogue, and therefore absolutely no plot develops through the game. I liked it (because of the vast inventory, better than Metroid), but it is not a role-playing game.

    1. There are a lot of early RPGs that wouldn't be considered role-playing games given that definition. It's true that there's a bit more emphasis on the action in Symphony of the Night, but the character development plays a more significant role than in Castlevania 2. I'll judge it more when I play through it. I don't expect it to take up too much time.