After overcoming their initial challenge to defeat Garland and rescue Princess Sarah, the four Warriors of Light set out to begin their quest properly… and promptly get lost.
A key part of the early Final Fantasy games — especially this first one — is figuring out exactly what the hell you’re expected to do next. The series’ iconic linear main narratives wouldn’t become more pronounced until the SNES era, and this first Final Fantasy in particular is a prime example of the initial influences drawn from Western role-playing games.
Still, your progress is gated off in a few key ways on the road to adventure — beginning with the necessity to acquire a ship. And who better to get one of those from than a band of rowdy pirates?
One thing that I’ve been gradually learning over the course of the early Castlevania games that I’ve played so far is that it doesn’t always pay to be greedy.
Indeed, sometimes it’s in your best interests to forego potential rewards in favour of just proceeding onwards more safely. After all, you can’t make good use of those rewards if you’re dead, can you?
Castlevania III plays with this idea quite a lot, and it presents a few takes on it over the course of its early stages.
Continue reading Delving Into Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse – #2
I have, as they say, been looking forward to this.
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse is not a game I have any experience with whatsoever, aside from one critical aspect: its music. Specifically, back when the PS1 was current, I had an original copy of Symphony of the Night (which, believe me, I severely regret getting rid of now!) that came with a soundtrack CD. On that CD was a single track from Castlevania III — or more accurately, its Famicom incarnation, Akumajō Densetsu. It left quite an impression on me.
Now, thanks to the release of the Castlevania Anniversary Collection, I finally get to experience Castlevania III as truly intended. And I’m very excited about it.
Continue reading Delving Into Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse – #1
I finished Simon’s Quest! Yes, indeed, even after my podcasting buddy and good friend Chris Caskie suggested that I wouldn’t be able to stick it out to the end… I did!
It wasn’t even entirely down to stubbornness or a desire to prove him wrong. I actually enjoyed the whole experience. Well, all right, most of the experience. I didn’t love the bits where progression was dependent on doing something arbitrary in an equally arbitrary location, and the three bosses in the game were all complete garbage, being both ridiculously easy and mechanically uninteresting… but aside from that, I had a great time.
Let’s review what I’ve learned from my experiences, then.
Continue reading Delving Into Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest – #3
City Connection by Jaleco is by no means a classic of the NES age; it tends to be either forgotten or greeted with a resounding “meh”, if it ever comes up at all.
The game’s recent addition to the Nintendo Switch Online NES app reminded me that I’ve always been rather fond of it, though, and there’s a few interesting things about it, too!
Strap in and let’s take a look, then.
Continue reading NES Essentials: City Connection
One of the games in Konami’s Castlevania Anniversary Collection that I was most interested to dig into was Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest.
I say this with the full knowledge that it has a bit of a reputation as being one of the least well-regarded Castlevania titles out there — but that was, in part, why I was curious to check it out for myself.
The other reasons I was keen to explore it was that the very concept and ambition of it intrigued me — and it’s one of the few early-era Castlevania titles that I’ve never, ever played before at all. So let’s take a first look!
Continue reading Delving Into Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest – #1
I’ve always had a soft spot for Mario Bros. ever since I first encountered it — not on a Nintendo platform, as you might expect, but on the Atari 8-bit range of computers.
This 1983 arcade game from Nintendo isn’t the most fondly remembered installment in the portly plumber’s long-running adventures — but revisiting it today reveals it to still be a lot of fun and eminently worth playing.
Plus, if you have a Nintendo Switch Online membership, it is, at the time of writing, one of the many NES games you get included as part of your subscription.
Continue reading NES Essentials: Mario Bros.