The Anatomy of Super Castlevania IV | III | Stable condition

There’s a lot of ground to cover in stage one of Super Castlevania IV—literally. This opening level sprawls even further, and introduces more game mechanics, than even the massive first stage of Castlevania III. Many of the tricks and lessons it teaches cover the same ground as the previous game, as we’ll see here in […]

The Anatomy of Super Castlevania IV | II | Theme of Simon

The Anatomy of 16-Bit Castlevania: Phase One | Super Castlevania IV Once you pass through the castle gates, you really get a sense of what Konami was trying to bring to the table with Castlevania on this newer, more powerful hardware. You don’t immediately face a threat upon reaching the castle grounds, but everything seems… livelier. A […]

The Anatomy of Super Castlevania IV | I | The bloodletting

The Anatomy of 16-Bit Castlevania: Phase One | Super Castlevania IV Dracula is dead! Long live… Dracula!? It’s true: You can’t keep a good villain down. Or a good franchise. Especially when that franchise’s thin excuse for a plot revolves entirely around a specific villain. 1991’s Super Castlevania IV saw Konami extending its popular NES trilogy […]

The Anatomy of The Goonies II | 6 | Farewell, Astoria

Like so many video games, The Goonies II presents some strong ideas and solid moments… and it ends pretty terribly. The game sort of peters out, losing its momentum in the final stretch. Quite possibly the strangest portion of the game comes in this final zone, a completely unique tile and palette set that comprises all […]

The Anatomy of The Goonies II | 4 | Rocky Road

“Sure, The Goonies II is an 8-bit game,” you say. “But I’m not convinced it really hates me.” Well, please allow me to show you the truth in all its grim fullness. Following the Keith Haring graffiti will lead you to another section of the orange caverns, which offer a one-way trip to the exterior […]

The Anatomy of The Goonies II | 2 | Pincers of peril

Before we delve any further into the design of The Goonies II, it’s important to take a step back and talk about one of the most curious fundamental concepts behind the game: The idea of front and back. When you pause the action, you’re taken to a Zelda-esque menu screen. Say, this is a pretty […]

The Anatomy of The Goonies II | 1 | Never say die

Hi, everyone. So, I lied. The next game up under the Anatomy lens isn’t Super Mario Bros. 2… because what I have in mind for that is going to take some more prep work. Instead, let’s finish up the second half of that Anatomy of Goonies series I started this spring, eh? I mean, I changed […]

The Anatomy of The Goonies | 4 | But I’m not a Goonie

After a short interlude stage crammed full of hidden diamonds and skeletons – or else after leaping over a giant cliff with Data’s spring shoes – Mikey Walsh reaches the fifth stage. The game continues to do a nice job of taking key story moments and scenes from the film and turning them into action […]

The Anatomy of The Goonies | 3| You smell like phys ed

The complexity of The Goonies definitely peaks early – level three brings you to the game’s midpoint, but nothing that follows this stage comes anywhere close to the intricacy of this one.  Consisting of seven different areas spread across the “front” and “back” portions of the map, stage three sprawls in a far less linear […]

The Anatomy of The Goonies | 2 | Do you boys like tongue?

The Goonies doesn’t waste any time upping the stakes for you. After the simple, straightforward first level, which contains all the basics you need to know to play the game at a fundamental state, the second stage becomes considerably more complex. As in the first stage, your goal – the locked door – appears directly […]

The Anatomy of The Goonies | 1 | Good enuff?

Having spent the past few months exploring one of the most intricately crafted video games of all time, I figured it might be nice to have a break from the serious stuff and look at something much less substantial. So let’s explore Konami’s The Goonies (for the Japanese Famicom) and its sequel (which came to the […]

Nobody loves Grant Danasty

Looks like Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate: Superfluous Colons reviews have gone live across the Internet. A quick survey of scores shows surprisingly positive results. I won’t be reading any of them just yet — I’m finishing the game and posting a review to 1UP as a sort of send-off. After all, I got […]