|Console||Game Boy, Game Boy Color|
|Release Year||1991 – 1992, 2000 (Game Boy Color)|
|Purchase (Game Boy)||Purchase from eBay.|
If you have seen my review on Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, you would know that it was a poorly executed sequel to the original classic that is Castlevania. But would you believe me if there was a GOOD Castlevania II?
Everyone, may I present to you Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge for the Game Boy.
The True Castlevania for the Game Boy
Whaaaat. The Game Boy game? Pft! It can’t be that good.
Oh yeah, it can! Try me.
As you can probably tell, Belmont’s Revenge is the sequel to Castlevania: The Adventure. Once again, you’re Christopher Belmont and it had been 15 years since you last defeated Dracula. However, Dracula kidnapped your son, Soleiyu Belmont. So once again, you’re on a new quest to save your son and defeat your old nemesis.
On its surface, Belmont’s Revenge looked like it was pretty much going to be the same thing as its flawed predecessor. But let me say this: whatever Castlevania: The Adventure messed up on, Belmont’s Revenge got it right.
And one of the big things is THAT FUCKING KICKASS SOUNDTRACK! No, I am dead serious. You may think the Game Boy isn’t capable of producing such awesome tracks, but it most definitely is.
Shocked? I was too. I know the Game Boy could come up with some good BGM, but not at this level of quality. Seriously, you can probably remix these songs into metal, dance or orchestrated and they would STILL sound good! Let this give you a good first impression here.
While Christopher Belmont still moves pretty slow, the game makes up for it with much better level design. Castlevania: The Adventure had many long stretches of land with occasional enemies, making the game relatively boring. Belmont’s Revenge did the opposite. Instead, the levels are structured like a hybrid of NES Castlevania and Mega Man stages. This game generally has more stage hazards and slightly higher enemy variety, making for a more fun and engaging game.
Also, Belmont’s Revenge has sub-weapons! Well, just two sub-weapons: the throwing axe and the holy water. Still, this is a very welcome addition and gives you more options on how to attack your enemies. This especially becomes useful for bosses.
Christopher can now attack while climbing a rope/chain, even using sub-weapons. It’s a very nice addition that makes the overall gameplay fluid.
And of course, this game has some interesting and challenging bosses too. Castlevania: The Adventure had some rather plain bosses, but Belmont’s Revenge had cool ones like a lightning mage, an armored pterodactyl demon, skeleton heads with snake-like bodies, and giant moving statues.
Clearly, this game took some notes from the Mega Man series. Instead of putting you through a linear sequence of stages, you get to visit four different stages in any order you wish. Not to mention the stages themselves have a lot of climbing and jumping, so make of that as you will.
And while the game itself is good and gives pretty much everything we asked for in a Castlevania Game Boy game, there is one issue I would like to bring up: the final boss.
Now… it’s a tradition to fight Count Dracula as the final boss in the series. But this particular Dracula fight is one of the cheapest I ever participated in. Basically, what’s going on here is that Dracula conjures up a shield using these orbs. Then he unleashes these orbs in an expanding, circling pattern to attack you. But they come in so fast that you can’t dodge most of the time. And they take a sizable chunk of your health.
The only way to beat this guy is through some trial-and-error and find out where are the best spots in the area to stand in to avoid his shield attack. This isn’t a fluid fight like you might expect. It’s rigid and you have to memorize his attack pattern to even stand a chance against him. And honestly, it’s just lame.
Still, talk about a step in the right direction. And this game sure fucking nailed it. It’s not just a plain handheld recreation of an original game, but rather an oft overlooked and highly underrated entry in the series.
So here’s one more question: WHY IS THIS NOT ON NINTENDO’S VIRTUAL CONSOLE SERVICE?!
Seriously, Castlevania: The Adventure is on Virtual Console. But this game, which is better than that one in every way, is not on the 3DS, Wii or Wii U. What’s up with that?
Anyways, if you’re a fan of the Castlevania series, I highly recommend you give this one a shot. It’s a joy to see an early era handheld game managing to be ahead of its time, even when many people don’t notice it.
Castlevania II: Belmont's RevengePrice Varies
- The gameplay is a major improvement over its predecessor, with inclusions like sub-weapons, attacking while climbing, and better designed enemies/bosses.
- The stage designs are like a mix between NES Castlevania and Mega Man, which helps easily trump the stage designs of Castlevania: The Adventure.
- The graphics are a small improvement over the predecessor's, giving you a little more environment to look at.
- The soundtrack is one of the best in the series, better than the first NES Castlevania's in my opinion.
- The Dracula boss fight is mediocre, as it requires you to memorize his attack pattern to even stand a chance against him.
- No Virtual Console port. WTF?