"Of horrible nights, curses and confusion."
With how the Internet has taken over so many aspects of our lives, I don't know if younger generations will ever truly understand how essential one magazine was to so many of us older gamers.
Nintendo Power's monthly appearance in my parents' mailbox wasn't just the arrival of a magazine; it was an event that made crawling out of bed worth it. Essentially serving as a glossy advertisement for Nintendo's gaming systems, it included lengthy, illustrated partial walkthroughs for games and generally did its best to make anything it gave coverage to seem like a necessary purchase (to the chagrin of my parents). It was also a great location to find tips and hints to get through tricky parts of games, both in those walkthroughs and in "question-and-answer" sections.
Nintendo Power was the reason why, upon purchasing Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, I was able to complete that game without any real trouble and, for a while, considered it a personal favorite worth replaying more weekends than not. Nintendo Power was the reason I found myself confused when I discovered that game's excellence was not a trait universally agreed upon. And upon replaying the game, I feel like I should credit Nintendo Power for most of the positive feelings I ever had about it.
Simon's Quest was a new type of Castlevania. After the original game found success as a short, but brutally difficult, platformer, the second eschewed all that stress-inducing action for something slower-paced and more intricate. After whipping his way through Dracula and his allies, Simon Belmont's victory was marred by a curse set upon him by the vampire. And so, he must collect five body parts of Dracula, perform a ritual to bring him back to life and then kill him again in order to remove that curse.
To do so, he'll have to traverse a fully-realized world, going to towns for information and equipment and then exploring a vast countryside containing graveyards, swamps, rivers and five large mansions, each containing one piece of Dracula's body. Find and collect those five pieces and he'll be able to access the ruins of the vampire's castle in order to finish the job once and for all…or at least until the series' success warranted another installment.
Featured community review by overdrive (November 13, 2019)
Rob Hamilton is the official drunken master of review writing for Honestgamers.
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