Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge

aka: Dracula Densetsu II
Moby ID: 5414

Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 84% (based on 19 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 31 ratings with 2 reviews)

Original CV title, but it's not as good as the console CV games of the time.

The Good
After playing many Castlevania games on many varied Nintendo systems, I found myself in front of an used copy of the Gameboy game "Castlevania II - Belmont's Revenge" in a game shop, and since I didn't try any old GameBoy CV game before (I have the GBA ones but that's another story), I figured out that I have missed something, and that I should buy that right away.

Shortly after plugging the cartridge into my GBA and starting a new game, I was surprised. This game effectively have a stage select screen ! Kinda remember me the Mega Man games. You can select between 4 stages initially (although you don't get the boss' ability or anything so it doesn't matter in which order you complete them). After choosing one of them, my surprise continued. Unlike what I'd have expected, the graphics, music, game engine and overall ambiance found in this game is radically different from the NES CV games. The hero is smaller, his whip is shorter, and the traditional square bricks we love are gone. You go up down floors using a rope instead of using simply stairs (wow the hero is really strong).

Also he walks quite slowly, probably because the original Gameboy's LCD screen had terrible blur and this made fast scrolling looking horrible. Now we have GameBoy compatible hardware capable of rendering better graphics, so that's not really an issue, anyway. At first it seems terrible, but you'll get used to the controls quickly (at least I did).

I must admit that the graphics, although fully monochrome (what would you expect anyway ?) are overall detailed for the Gameboy standards, even it the sprites are not incredibly varied, the backgrounds are more detailed. There is nice effects like bridges collapsing and moving spikes, among a few others. The bosses are impressive (and for the most part hard).

The Bad
When you lose to a boss, you have to make your way back a very long way and this is kind of annoying. At least you get infinite continues and passwords, which is decent enough. The last boss was just impossible for me to beat, but it may have been possible for other people ? At least I was able to made it to the last boss without any cheats, which is already great.

I didn't find the music really exciting or that it really filled the mod. In fact the music was rather bland and looped shortly, forcing me to mute the sound of my GameBoy at times. The scaring music right before bosses was decent tough. The sound effects weren't really varied or awesome but it's OK.

Finally, although the game is hard, it's really quite short, it has only 6 levels. Again I guess short games with few stages are the standard for the original GB.

The Bottom Line
It's really not the best Castlevania game out there, as the music is average at best, and WAY below the awesome music found in other Castlevania games. The gameplay is good so are the graphics (for the GameBoy of course), but it's a little too short and hard in my opinion. If sub-weapons were more effective and if you had less backtracking to do when losing it'd be okay, but it's not the case.

So overall while it's a cool little fun game, it just falls way below the Castlevania standards, and could result in a disappointment if you are excepting it to be as great as it's console counterparts of the same time area (Castlevania III and Super Castlevania IV are much awesome in my opinion). If you are a fan you'd still want to consider buying an used copy or emulate the game, else I'd say just pass and go playing better home console Castlevania games instead (there is great ones for the GBA/DS too if you like the Gameboy line).

Game Boy · by Bregalad (937) · 2009

Revenge is a dish well served!

The Good
Belmont's Revenge is in my opinion one of the best games you can get on the Game Boy and ranks second to Super Castlevania IV only on my list of favorite Castlevania games.

As a successor to the Castlevania adventure it improves on all fronts that were wrong with its predecessor. Gone is the unfair system that when you get hit by an enemy your whip gets down-graded. The overall difficulty has been toned down and we finally got a password system for your progress. Belmont's Revenge also re-introduced the sub-weapons like the Axe and the Holy Water, making Christopher more versatile. But the biggest addition to this game was the Stage Select option. Belmont's Revenge lets you tackle down 5 Different Castles of which you can choose the order you want to destroy them in of 4 of them, the fifth castle being Dracula's which will only rise when the 4 others have been destroyed.

The levels are all well structured and sometimes even have alternate routes. When you approach one of the bosses you will enter a short stage with no enemies that's accompanied by an eerie music that builds up the tension before you duke it out with the boss itself. There are more of these little touches that make the levels feel unique: Destroying bridges with explosions coming from the eye-balls. Being slowed down by the vines on the ground you have to walk through. The flowers that pop open when you walk by them. The room going dark when you destroy the last candle and awaking the dormant insects etc, etc. These are all great examples of nice touches that you will encounter during your journey.

As you can expect from a Castlevania games the music is excellent. This is the best soundtrack for a Game Boy game that you can find. The songs are all a mixture of renaissance/classical music combined with more up-tempo Rock and Poppy influences.

All these elements combined give you a pretty unique and highly enjoyable Castlevania experience that you won't soon forget.

The Bad
There's not much to complain about. The only thing that comes to mind is the sluggishness of Christopher. Like all other Castlevania protagonists of the pre-Symphony of the Night era his sprite moves sometimes frustratingly slow. It is also a bit short with 6 stages in total, but then again back in the days when 4 levels were normal it wasn't that bad actually.

The Bottom Line
If you are into Castlevania then you shouldn't let this one pass you by. Don't be discouraged by the limited hardware of the game Boy (no-color and chip sounds) because due to some great graphical artists and genius music composers this little Game Boy title ranks among the best of the Castlevania games out there.

Game Boy · by Pepijn Janssen (2) · 2008

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Patrick Bregger, SlyDante, Sonikku225, Tim Janssen, Jo ST, Alsy, Big John WV, jaXen, Terok Nor, Van.