Milon’s Secret Castle

Read the review here.

“It could perhaps be forgiven as a very early release for the NES, and it is at least a complete game without enormous glitches, bugs, or outright incompletions. But even then, its only appeal is as an endurance test, not as an actual source of fun.”
– from the full review, which you can read here.

Can I just yawn and move along rather than contribute commentary? Milon’s Secret Castle could have had this tagline: “For those who believe Super Pitfall is the best video game on the NES!” I fail to understand how a game can intentionally be designed with frustrating elements (hidden items without clues as to their location thus requiring mindless buttom-mash firing everywhere, etc.) and be considered any good. When you put Milon’s Secret Castle next to Super Mario Bros. 3, Final Fantasy, Contra, Metroid, River City Ransom, or dozens upon dozens of other titles even besides the legendary classics, how can you possible consider Milon’s Secret Castle to be more fun? There is no rational explanation. What is the hook? Yes, it is difficult. So is Mega Man, Battletoads, StarTropics, and several other good NES games. Is it the slower pacing, representing a developer’s attempt to offer something other than fast-moving action titles and wanting to require more brainy attention-span-necessary gaming? It cannot reasonably be that, since Dragon Warrior, Legend of Zelda, Crystalis, and other titles have even slower pacing yet are excellent games; and the “brainy-ness” of it, the “puzzle”-solving (not a true puzzle when you do not have the pieces available to it, merely chaos and random, arbitrary, whimsical serendipity) element, cannot be the ticket since games like Dr. Mario, Tetris, The Adventures of Lolo series, and others emphasize puzzle-solving even more yet are superior NES cartridges. The only working theory I have is that the “creative” minds behind the making of Milon’s Secret Castle were former computer-game programmers who were completely devoid of innovative thinking and settled for a crappy, easy-to-code, stupid result. What a piece of poop.

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