VC Weekly 290
Posted 05 May 2014 at 09:20 by Sam C Gittins
Welcome to VC Weekly, N-Europe’s guide to the wonderful world of Nintendo’s download service. Written by Sam C Gittins
It's a struggle to find any enthusiasm for these latest re-released relics as while they aren't the worst games to have been put on the VC, many will likely have played them before. Anyway enough from me and on with the games!
Available for download this week we have...
Castlevania II Simon's Quest
Price: GB £3.49, EU €4.99
Castlevania was originally a classic for it's time; albeit a difficult example of it's genre which had some annoyingly designed parts but despite that it quickly gained a cult following. So what next for Konami? Oh yes a sequel and with a sequel comes more of the same but bigger and better; well sort of...
In fact this is more a case of Konami doing for Castlevania what Nintendo did for Mario and Zelda's second outing; instead of being purely limited to side scrolling sections you start off exploring an overworld which contains multiple dungeons (cleverly dubbed Mansions in keeping with the theme) and towns much like in true RPG fashion.
Dracula has been resurrected in a weakened form, his body parts have been scattered around the world inside mansions and he needs them to become stronger (which then later became a popular trait for the series ). Simon Belmont is tasked with collecting all of the body parts to revive Dracula and then kill him for good, though to be honest destroying the parts might have been simpler but I digress.
The meat of this game can be found in the mansions where you must do battle with many minions of the count who are much stronger than those found elsewhere; the main goal here is to find a salesperson who will sell you a solid oak steak which you must use to break an Orb at the end of the mansion which will grant you access to one of the body parts which you seek. Upon collection of all severed limbs and associated appendages off to Dracula's castle you go to “own” Dracula, which coincidentally is disappointingly easy to do, some replay value can be derived from treading the game once more to get the better endings.
It's a reasonably decent game for the console it was released on which has some distinctly detailed graphics combined with a haunting soundtrack which plays throughout, setting the scene nicely. As a Castlevania game though and indeed the first sequel it falls short a bit, yes it adds some interesting traits (some of which got recycled in later outings) and a very different brand of gameplay from the original, but thats all it really is, different; no better than the original, not terrible but just not as good.
Verdict : A fun follow-up to the fang-tastic original.
Price: GB £4.49, EU €4.99
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Galaga the sequel to Galaxian, graced many a platform in the day, including the NES but was Originally released seven years before the NES even existed, this game didn't push the console at all However that doesn't mean that it's dull... far from it. You take control of a small space ship, you can fire rockets to destroy the enemies which fly from the top of the screen, swooping downwards toward you. To finish each level, all you have to do is kill all the enemies in one level; the further you go through the levels, the tougher the game gets, more enemies drop and your shooting rate never increases.
This simple style of gameplay still holds up fantastically well, it's incredibly frantic plus almost heart pounding at times when you hear the familiar "choooooo" sound of a falling ship as you desperately try to dodge it. Personally I'm quite a fan of this game, even though it hasn't aged well, it still plays great.
Visually everything is quite standard as this title uses simple sprite graphics, but they are colourful and eye catching. There is some music, which is instantly recognisable along with some basic but well made sound effects which always suit the on-screen action.
The only downside is that the game is of course an arcade game and that is all you get. Game start and options: even the two player mode is just alternate. Also because this is an age-old game it has been updated many times before, so for the price you could easily get an 'improved' version elsewhere if you so desire, but if you want to play the original then you really can't go far wrong here... plus the Miiverse community is the perfect place to share in a bit of nostalgia for a once classic arcade game.
Verdict: An age old arcade game gets a new chance at fame.
That's it for another installment of VC Weekly which will return again soon. So until then, enjoy the rest of the week and Game On!