What a horrible night

It looks like Simon’s Quest will be arriving today on both the 3DS and Wii U Virtual Consoles. If you’re interested in giving it a go this time around, may I recommend you arm yourself with some analysis and perspective courtesy of the Anatomy of a Game series? It’s a confusing, opaque game for sure, […]

Anatomy of a Simon’s Quest: VIII

Here we go, folks: The end. The finale. Where the rubber meets the road, and the wooden stake meets the chest of the satanic abomination determined to rise from the dead and prey upon humanity. Despite spanning the entirety of Transylvania, Simon’s Quest culminates in Dracula’s castle, or at least its ruins. In a nice touch […]

Anatomy of a Simon’s Quest: VII

This whole “let’s dissect Castlevania games” obsession began by accident after I started writing about Simon Belmont’s sprite, so it only seems fitting to look at Simon as he exists in the sequel. Well… color palette aside (he’s traded his barbarian leathers for what appears to be armor and mail), Simon isn’t terribly different in […]

Anatomy of a Simon’s Quest: VI

And now: The world. Or, if you prefer, ザ・ワールド If Simon’s Quest falls apart in the Mansions and annoys in towns, it shines in the world beyond those locations. I don’t know why all five Mansions look exactly alike, or why they’re so boringly constructed, but I’m going to guess that it’s because all the […]

Anatomy of a Simon’s Quest: V

Let’s talk about Simon’s Quest‘s NPCs. Long story short, Transylvania is populated by a bunch of jerks. I get that living in the shadow of a cyclical undead horror bent on conquering the world by transforming humanity into a race of snack-pack slaves can be pretty harrowing, but that’s exactly why you’d assume these guys […]

Anatomy of a Simon’s Quest: IV

By far, Mansions represent the point at which Simon’s Quest‘s reach exceeds its grasp. They’re an interesting attempt at spicing up the Castlevania style with something new and different, but they fall short of the mark due to poor design and sheer monotony. If Simon’s Quest mimics the shape of an RPG, Mansions play the […]

Anatomy of a Simon’s Quest: III

So, towns. Simon’s Quest breaks its world, effectively, into three play spaces: Towns, the Transylvanian countryside, and Mansions. Each operates by its own rules, although the general means by which Simon navigates them remains consistent. It’s not like a tactical RPG where you have battlefields, towns, and a world map, each of which you deal […]

Anatomy of a Simon’s Quest: II

Simon’s Quest works, by and large, like Castlevania. You control Simon Belmont. He walks (hobbles) along, whips stuff, uses subweapons, jumps, gets knocked back into pits when he collides with enemies, and seeks to destroy Dracula. The general details are almost indistinguishable at a glance, except now Simon wears dark armor instead of leather. Take […]