UNITED STATES—If there is anything people know about me as a game it is the fact that I have always and I mean always been a fan of the “Castlevania” franchise. I have played nearly every single game in the franchise with notable favorites. Some we’ve talked about, some we haven’t, hello, “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night” for the Play Station gaming system. I know what some of you might be thinking: shouldn’t we be talking about “Castlevania?” Well, I’m highlighting classic games that are actual challenges people.

The first entry is a challenge and nostalgic, but its sequel is a bit more difficult than some can imagine. Why? Well it is the complete opposite of its predecessor. This is indeed a role playing game. “Castlevania” had levels and at the end of each level you would fight a boss until you get to the end of the game where you would duke it out against Dracula. That doesn’t happen here. Is that a bummer, to some degree, but this game challenges you to think and search for key items in your journey.

I will just say it right now; “Simon’s Quest” is no easy ride. This game while you only have 3 actual bosses, Death, Carmilla and Dracula himself, the journey to get to those bosses is difficult. Why? During the day, the enemies you battle are difficult, but at night they are twice as difficult and require more strength, more blood and stronger weaponry to accomplish. You have to travel thru different towns and different mansions (a total of 6) to obtain items that will help you reach and battle Dracula himself. The items are not in visible site, you have to speak to people and obtain clues that help you locate these items.

I’m refereeing to garlic, various crystals, holy water, gold dagger, diamonds, silk bag, laurels; various whip upgrades, a cross, a rib, a heart, an eyeball, a nail and a ring. You will find Dracula’s parts in the various mansions (Berkeley, Rover, Braham, Bodley and Laruba). Be advised some of the mansions can be easily found, others, you have to follow the clues and listen intently to what the townsfolk tell you. Things that appear as dead ends are not actual dead ends America.

I like the journey of the game, but be warned you don’t have frivolous amounts of time to just wander. Why? If you don’t complete the game in a timely fashion, it will result in an ending that is not the happily ever-after that you want. That is a bummer, because I do think you need as much time as you like to gather the items and journey thru the game people.

As for the bosses, Death is not that big of a challenge if you have the right tools and weaponry and keep that boss in one spot. The same applies to Carmilla, but Dracula himself is not the easiest cause if he starts moving around that room and unleashing his attacks, your life will be cut shorter quicker than you can count to three people. “Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest” is an underrated gem that is a lot more fun than you expect once you allow yourself to be immersed in the game itself.

Written By Davy Jones