Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest

Arcade 1990 Dos Konami Tales and legends

Whip crack away!

Now here's something of a gaming legend, the sequel to the original whip-cracking, vampire slaying classic that is Castlevania. This one continues in a similar vein to the original, proving plenty of platforming action but which adds enough new elements to advance the game and elevate it to the status of classic. This one finds original hero Simon Belmont now possessed by a vicious curse, inflicted upon him after he slayed Dracula in the first game's finale. The only way to rid himself of the curse is to find and destroy five parts of ol' Drac's body and burn them to ashes. In terms of gameplay, this is notably different from its predecessor, ditching much of the stage-based action and replacing it with more of a free-roaming style, more akin to Metroid. There's also RPG elements, a la Legend of Zelda, such as the ability to chat with the NPCs who inhabit the land, buy items and rest up at inns, while you can also upgrade your character and weapons and which adds a lot of depth to the game. Just when you think they can't add much more to the things, the designers added a whole day/night cycle, with numerous differences between dark and light in terms of enemies and item drops. Simon's Quest really is a text book example in how to do a sequel. While very different in terms of gameplay to its predecessor, it still feels like a proper followup, which keeps to the spirit of the original but which builds upon it in almost every way. The graphics are classy in that proper old-school way, the action is tight and exciting, the sound memorable for all the right reasons, so if you haven't experienced this awesome game, do yourself a favour and remedy that now.

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