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Andy Marsolais

Castlevania 2 Review

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You might be asking yourself ďwhy should I try some old video games just because Andy said I should?Ē Well Iíll tell you why, itís because right now Iím typing this blog while wearing a power glove in my right hand and carrying a light gun in my left hand just in case any of you bitches decide to make a sudden movement. I do collect these games but for the most part I play ROMís for 3 reasons.

#1. Dependability
#2. GOTTA HAVEíEM ALL!
#3. NES had a lot of games where itís helpful to have a good turbo button which I will speak to in this first review.

About 7 years ago I dated a girl with awesome super nerd brothers who liked hiding out at home and working on computers so they gladly took my original xbox for a weekend to added a 250gb hd, emulators for Gameboy, Atari, Master system, Genesis, Nes, Snes, N64, Turbo graphix, every game made for them including Japanese, Euro, unreleased and a bunch of abilities like using your xbox controller to control fan speeds and switching colors on the power button for some unnecessary reason. At first I was more interested in being able to rent xbox games and save them to the console but slowly I began to discover games from my childhood.
One of the first games I played as an emulator was Castlevania 2 and I was shocked to find out how much more fun it was when I could look it up online instead of calling some guy at the Nintendo Hotline which I can only assume was a game tester on break.

Game: Castlevania 2 Simon's Quest
Pre-Internet Rating: 5/10
Post-Internet Rating: 8/10
Fun Factor: 8/10 Super Mario 3 Bear Suits
Walkthrough used: http://strategywiki.org/wiki/Castlev...#Town_of_Aldra

Castlevania 2 was one of those games that had great success the first time but instead of giving us another one they had the balls to try something completely different. In the 2nd game creators tried to add some light RPG elements to it like talking to villagers, picking your weapons and buying items from shops. Where they screwed up in this game is the writing, they added puzzle like parts to the game that are impossible to figure out because the clues either make no sense or there is no clue at all. Most of the problems have to do with the white, blue and red crystals which need to be selected at certain parts of the game but without a good explanation you have no way of knowing what to do. At some parts you need to drop a garlic clove to receive an item or for a man to appear, you have to have the right crystal selected and bow down at the edge of a lake for it to empty and reveal a passage but there are 2 parts of the game that stand out the most and we can only assume that these 2 parts made Nintendo a ton of money on their hotline.



The Boat Man

The point of the game is to beat all of the different castles which hold a piece of Dracula such as his rib, eye, heart and so on before facing Dracula himself in a castle which for some reason has no bad guys in it. All of these body parts become your weapons or answers to clues and in the case of the boatman, Draculas heart is important because even though the game is a sidescroller, the boatman has the ability to bring you into 2 completely different areas depending on whether or not you have Draculas heart selected (cue the Rambo style confusion). By not selecting the heart the Ferryman takes you to the Town of Aldra but if you had ESPN you would know that by selecting Draculas heart the Ferryman takes you somewhere special which ends up being Braham Mansion. Both locations are needed to finish the game but when I was a kid I had no clue how to figure that out.



The Tornado

Now this was ridiculous and was the reason why a lot of people including myself quit the game and wait for Draculas Curse to come out. This trick was just plain designed wrong, it made people think that they forgot to do something so we kept turning back trotting aimlessly through the game over and over again looking for a magical answer. During the game you will come to a point on the left where it seems you canít go any farther, these are called Deborahís Cliffs. The trick here is that you have to have the red crystal activated and now get this, Iím not even kidding. Kneel down about 2-3 blocks from the cliff, hold your position for 5-10 seconds and wait.....wait for it......a tornado appears from the right side of the screen, picks you up and takes you to the next part of the game. Yeah I know, I totally saw that coming too.

Conclusion

I enjoyed this game a lot and found it to be much more enjoyable now that I can look things up when I get lost. The main benefit to playing on the emulator is for the night time segments of the game that they introduced in Castlevania 2 and quickly got rid of due to complaints. At night shops arenít open and the sequences are long which leaves you vulnerable to stronger enemies especially if you are low on health or havenít been leveling up. The emulator allowed me to quickly skip through night sequences with the turbo button which I also use for games with too much text. I think you lose all experience points when you continue and after a while the easy enemies don't give you any experience at all so I donít think many people even know that Castlevania 2 had a leveling system that stopped at level 6. Leveling your character didnít seem to make him hit any harder but I did notice a drop in damage taken and you also get a larger health bar so that helps a lot. Something that is quite frustrating are the invisible blocks that you can fall through especially in a game where if you miss a ledge you lose a man, the trick here is to watch the bad guys movements, they typically only move forward so if he all of a sudden it makes a B-line in the other direction it probably means that he reached an invisible block so you need to jump over that part. When you get to the end you will get 1 of 3 possible endings depending on how fast you finished the game, I donít know how many games did something like that back in the day but I thought it was a pretty cool feature. This game isnít the easiest to find if you want to play the real thing but it isnít super rare either, here in Canada you can pick it up for around $10-$15 and since itís only going to go up in value I say pick it up and give it a try. ANDY APPROVED! UP TOP!

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Updated 06-26-2012 at 11:57 AM by Butcher

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Comments

  1. GregMO ROberts's Avatar
    An older game, but I have always heard good things. I know Butcher has played it. I think I might have to find some time to at least give it a whirl.

    Good write up Andy M!
  2. Andy Marsolais's Avatar
    Thanks Gregmo, it's a solid game but I definitely enjoyed Dracula's Curse more.
  3. Jimmy "The Gent"'s Avatar
    Wow, hours and hours of my life were spent on this game as a kid.....that boatman can suck a dick. But overall really liked this game and how it was so different from the original Castlevania. Thanks for the flashback.
  4. Andy Marsolais's Avatar
    Glad you enjoyed it Jimmy, I'm going to try and do one every week
  5. Butcher's Avatar
    BC and I had a game day last year and he beat this game in one sitting. I remember him taking a picture of the password screen with his iphone. Such a brilliant idea. I remember having to write down the down and it never worked when I re-entered it the next day. ARGH!!!

    Good write up Andy!
  6. Andy Marsolais's Avatar
    Thanks Butcher! Everyone here is so nice it makes me want to write more. You can expect another review this weekend.
  7. UNCLE FRANK's Avatar
    I like your Fun Factor. Thumbs up.
  8. brainchomper's Avatar
    Good stuff. Yeah, I knocked this off about a year ago. I would have been screwed without looking up the two things you mentioned. Absolutely ridiculous, but totally no surprise from Nintendo. Hearing others talk about this is getting me fired up to knock off some more NES games. This has always been my favorite console and there's a pawn shop down the street that sells games for $5. Kayla's always trying to get me to game more, maybe this is what I need. haha Thanks Andy!
  9. Andy Marsolais's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by brainchomper
    Good stuff. Yeah, I knocked this off about a year ago. I would have been screwed without looking up the two things you mentioned. Absolutely ridiculous, but totally no surprise from Nintendo. Hearing others talk about this is getting me fired up to knock off some more NES games. This has always been my favorite console and there's a pawn shop down the street that sells games for $5. Kayla's always trying to get me to game more, maybe this is what I need. haha Thanks Andy!
    No problem Brainchomper. Always check out the places that sell them for a flat 5 bucks.Thats where you find the gems. I use to sell them on my online store and my biggest margins where made at places like Value Village who get too many donated items to price individually. Thanks for commenting
  10. Andy Marsolais's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by UNCLE FRANK
    I like your Fun Factor. Thumbs up.
    Thank you Frank, I wanted to have someone that was my own. Glad you enjoy the reviews