Review by CC DeVille
"No rush, Simon."
As Christopher Belmont, you once again travel to Castle Dracula to defeat the almost resurrected Transylvanian Prince and rescue your captured son, Soleau. Released in 1991 by Konami, Castlevania 2: Belmont's Revenge is a much improved platformer over the terrible previous effort. There are more levels, more options, better graphics and just all-round better quality.
There's a story this time, explaining the situation that Chris and Soleau are in, and it has a great music track to go with it. When you start off, you choose from the first four levels which can be completed in any order. As you begin the first level, you'll realise that Chris still walks at a leisurely pace, even though there's an extra incentive to reach Dracula in that his son has been kidnapped. Maybe Soleau was a brat...
The controls are responsive and simple, with A as jump, B to whip and B+Up enabling you to use the additional weapon. The secondary weapons are holy water and a cross, and ammo for these is collected by whipping the many candles and collecting the hearts that float down. There is also a power-up to upgrade your whip, earn a life and some meat for a health bonus. The enemies are still annoying, especially the birds, but the addition of the secondary weapons makes them easier to handle.
The level design is not as punishing as before, though is still a mighty challenge. This time though, it's a lot fairer, especially with the inclusion of passwords to save between each of the seven levels. However, no matter how many attempts have been made to improve the gameplay, it is still slow and repetitive. It's platforming at it's most basic, and Konami does little to make Belmont's Revenge establish itself above the rest. The boss battles are still fun, and this time there are 7 levels, which should last a long time.
Dull were the first Castlevania's graphics, and the graphical area is among the many areas where Belmont's Revenge improves on The Adventure's mistakes. Christopher remains unchanged, with bad animation fully intact. The backgrounds are more detailed and varied, while most of the enemies also remain unchanged. The sound effects are pretty average, consisting of simple beeps, but again where the original stood out, so does Belmont's Revenge. The music is fantastic, and with the (poorly) hidden music test, you can sample each wonderful melody.
A broad improvement on the terrible Castlevania: The Adventure. A lot more care went into Castlevania 2, and it shows - the presentation like the password, the story, the levels and the graphics make it worthy of a play, especially for fans. It's still got that slow and tedious main character, though the lighter difficulty eases the pain significantly.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 03/15/02, Updated 12/24/03
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