Castlevania 2: Simons Quest (1987) Review

What a horrible night to have a curse.

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Before reading this review please check out my review of the first Castlevania game

https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2018/07/06/castlevania-nes-review/

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Castlevania 2 Simons Quest is a 1987 NES action plat-former created by Konami, it takes place many years after the first game. During the final boss battle of the first Castlevania Dracula’s body parts are spread across the land and Simon is cursed, this curse does not affect Simon for a very long time and its during the events of Castlevania 2 that Simon Belmont must find the various body parts of Dracula and burn them in an attempt to remove the curse.

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The game is very different to its predecessor, while it is an adventure plat-former it executes this completely differently, this game is much slower due to players having to grind enemies to earn heart currency, a lot of very cryptic puzzle solving and back tracking is also required for players to progress through the game. The puzzles in this game are really unfair and too cryptic for players to figure out without using a guide, a prime example is having to kneel down next to a lake, after a few seconds stairs and a platform appear that allow you to walk into the lake that would normally kill you instantly, another really frustrating part of the game are fake blocks that appear everywhere and most of the time they kill you, you can see through these by throwing holy water but this becomes very boring when you are throwing holy water every step in the castles to avoid a fall to your death.

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There are many objects you can acquire in the game by either killing bosses or buying them from NPC’s, for me the most useful item was the holy water as it helped to destroy fake blocks and made killing enemies that were below me very easy. The sacred flame is another very useful item that makes a wall of fire that can do serious damage to enemies however it costs currency to use it. You can find use in some of Dracula’s body parts for example you can use his rib as a shield to deflect fire balls and his heart can be shown to the ferryman to find a path to one of the castles.

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There are not many bosses in the game and all of them are really easy including the final boss, the two other bosses you encounter can just be ignored unless you want to fight them for new weapons.

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What many people dislike about this game is the day to night cycle and vice versa, it happens on a time loop and really has no point to it other than the illusion of days passing, it really sucks because you cant use towns during night time and you may need to heal or buy a new whip or sub-weapon and a lot of the time you will find your self just waiting around for time to pass.

The soundtrack is great I prefer this to the music in the original game because I feel its a lot more immersive and each track has a great beat to it, my favourite song in the game is bloody tears, this is the song that I associate with the Castlevania series, its a fun and adventurous track that suits the game-play style perfectly.

Castlevania 2: Simons Quest is one of the most hated games in the series for a lot of the reasons I covered in this review, however while it may seem that I have complained a lot about the game, I really do not think that its as bad as its made out to be, yeah its slow and cryptic and the day to night cycle will make you want to tear your hair out but it is a much more immersive game as you will be talking to a lot of town folk and finding religious churches to recover health, the majority of it takes place outside of Dracula’s castle and provides a lot of really memorable areas and enemies, its has a very creepy feeling to it which is perfect for this series and the platforming while at times frustrating for the most part works quite well. I wouldn’t say it a good game but I wouldn’t say its a bad game either.

5/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Castlevania 2: Simons Quest (1987)

Happy Halloween 2019

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Kirby Star Allies (Nintendo Switch) Review

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Released on the 16th of March 2018 Kirby’s latest adventure has become popular amongst both fans and critics, the game makes a few changes to the regular Kirby formula which helps to make the game play feel unique while still being similar to its predecessors.

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On a distant Planet a Crystaline heart is blown up by a mysterious individual, the heart fragments are shot across the galaxy where they land on various planets including Kirby’s home planet of Dream Land, many characters are possessed by the heart fragments making them extremely aggressive, Kirby is also affected but instead of becoming dangerous Kirby gains the ability to befriend anyone he pleases, with his handy new ability Kirby heads off to find out whats going and prepares himself to save the galaxy.

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similar to most other Kirby games this one is a plat-former but as previously stated it does add a fair bit to the average Kirby formula, Kirby is still able to consume enemies and shoot them back out in the form of a star as a means of attack and most enemies will allow Kirby to gain their abilities if they are completely consumed, whats new is the ability to throw hearts at enemies forcing them to join your team, you can have up to three extra team members to help you beat the levels by killing enemies and solving puzzles, this doesn’t always work so well as I found that I occasionally needed to sacrifice a team member by consuming them as they wouldn’t commit to simple tasks such as lighting a fuse meaning that I has to do it my self at the loss of an ally although this wasn’t too much trouble as you can easily find someone else to join your team in their place, it should also be noted that some enemies can add elements to Kirby’s weapons making some enemies easier to defeat, you can also play as a main series characters such as Meta Knight by unlocking them in bonus areas called Dream Palaces, these palaces and bonus levels are unlocked by finding giant pink buttons in certain levels.

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Another fun ability Kirby can perform with his friends is the various podiums you find through out the different planets, these podiums require you to have a full team of allies so that you can create various forms, the most the common is the friendship circle but my personal favourite is the train, it was so much fun racing through the train segment at full speed not too mention very cute.

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Boss fights are what you would normally expect from a Kirby game but that isn’t a bad thing, they are still fun to fight and and its not as if they aren’t unique at all, the King Dedede fight stands out to me a lot and the final battle is extremely dramatic although I wont spoil that here.

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The visuals are amazing this is Kirby looking the best he has ever looked, the graphics are smooth, the game has some great uses for shadows and shading, colours vary from bright and cheerful to dark and gritty in order to fit the mood and atmosphere of the different planets and even smaller touches such as fire sparks being caused by fire attacks and the backgrounds being slightly enlarged and stretched out when passing over it during a water attack, this really goes to show just how much effort was put into the game by the designers.

The soundtrack of the game may just be my favourite yet of any Kirby game, it has all of original music as well some updated versions of classics tracks from the past, check it out above.

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Some Minor spoilers regarding bonus content below

Bonus content in this game while fun isn’t too much to get excited for, the main collectable of the game are puzzle pieces and if you collect a certain amount you can unlock one of many pictures inspired by past Kirby games, there are a few extra mini games available from the moment you start the game one is a lumber jack game where you must chop down trees faster than your opponents and the other is a game where you must bash a meteor with a baseball bat hoping that it goes further than the other players, once you beat the story mode you will unlock a boss rush mode and time trials which allow you too play as various enemies from the game, if you beat this game you can then play as dream palace characters such as Dedede and Meta Knight.

Kirby Star Allies is a really fun game and is a great entry to the series however it is far too short, its also very easy which isn’t surprising for a Kirby game but honestly there is no challenge at all in the main story, the boss rush can get a bit tough but that doesn’t make up for a story mode which only managed to kill me a handful of times, I know Kirby games are easier than most but this seemed a bit ridiculous, however its still worth picking up mostly due to the bonus content the player gets rewarded through out the game, the graphics are wonderful and the soundtrack will have you humming along all day, also at some point in the game a nod to one of Kirby’s earlier games is made and its honestly so cool and is worth discovering for your self.

Kirby Star Allies is a nice return for Kirby and I hope that its sells enough games to encourage some new story DLC but until then this game is good enough but definitely could have done with being a bit longer 7.3/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Kirby Star Allies for the Nintendo Switch

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com