Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Secret is the Operative Word

And here we are with yet another game that starts with M. How quaint. You've probably never heard of it. It is called Milon's Secret Castle. Now, you have heard of it. Let us discuss it. And by that, I mean let me tell you about it.

Milon's Secret Castle is an old NES game that borrows heavily from Super Mario Bros. and Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle, both of which are great NES games. You start outside of a castle and you have to work your way in, unlocking items and buying potions to get to the end.

The controls are similar to Mario games, in that you can jump really high, and you can find things hidden in bricks. Also, Milon shoots bubbles which can break bricks. That's some heavy artillery bubblage there. An added 'feature' is that Milon starts walking slow, but if you hold down the button, he speeds up. So... yeah. Energy conservation or something.

As you progress through the game, you find shops in the most random of places. These shops provide you with the most random of items, such as a potion that will make you shrink if you get hit with a boxing glove (I'm not kidding). You need these items to progress. Otherwise, you just get punched for no reason.

The game sounds interesting, no? And it is. It's fun, too. At least, for the first few minutes. After searching for a very long time for somewhere to go besides the bottom floor of the castle, I just gave up. It's ridiculous trying to find everything. After looking up the location of some of the items, I found out for an essential item, you have to break a certain brick, then push the brick next to it in it's place, and then shoot the empty space. And somehow you're supposed to figure this out on your own. Yup. Another NES game with the difficulty set way too high.

The game certainly has its share of frustrations. There are enemies that can go through walls, so there's really no safe place to be. Also, when you get hit, Milon doesn't flash invincible for a few seconds like in most other games. So if you get stuck in a corner with an enemy, you'll be dead really fast. And since you get one whole life and 6 HP, you usually won't live very long. Also, there's no passwords or save points or continues. So... beat it on one life or be smart like me and give up.

To be fair, it has also has its share of good traits. It's done nicely with music and sound effects that fit the mood. The enemies are varied and difficult, but also predictable, so they are beatable.

All in all, it's a semi-decent game. I try to judge games like this based on other games of the same time period, and I can see myself playing this for quite a while as a kid. It's definitely not the worst game I've ever played.

At the very least, it's worth the $1 I payed for it.

  • (Mostly) good controls
  • Good graphics and gameplay for its time
  • Takes some of the good things from Mario and Crazy Castle
  • Extremely confusing
  • No indication of where to go
  • Very hard to find essential items
This game has earned a Blatantly Biased:


Rachel said...

This was a funny/weird game. I liked the bubbles though :D I'm glad you have counted it as beaten, it looked pretty confusing :) Now what are you going to play? I bet you're excited to be caught up :) I love you!!

Devin said...

Yeah, I think I heard of this game... Once...