How Metroidvania is it? Not a Metroidvania. It's a Classic-vania from before the Symphony of the Night team changed the direction of the series.
Primary Challenge: Melee Combat
Time to beat: ~3 hours
Review Info: This review is part of a broader review of the Castlevania Anniversary Collection on Steam. See the link at the beginning of the review for the main thread.
Buy Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge if you like…
- Unique Platforming Gimmicks
- Gameboy Style games
▼ Review continues below ▼
Belmont’s Revenge is like repentance. Everything bad the previous Gameboy title did, this one reverses it and adds its own spin. The only real complaint I have about it overall is just based on how slow the game runs given its limited Gameboy hardware origins. But all that creativity I talked about that would be missed if Gameboy games were ignored, this game is an excellent demonstration of that.
As I mentioned above in the Castlevania the Adventure review, all of the best gimmicks that were in that game make a reappearance here with improvements. The spike walls that come out and make platforms for you actually have telegraphing now, there is this really clever section where killing enemies blows up pieces of the platform that you need to progress, and there’s even this brilliant part where the candles you’re so used to destroying actually provide a light source that affects enemy behavior. The game feels more like a Mega Man game – complete with level gimmicks – than it does like the original Castlevania, which is really a nice mixup. You can even choose which level order you want to go in, though you don’t get anything extra at the end of the level so there isn’t really any added replay value.
Dracula in this game is hard as heck though. I applaud you if you can get past him without using save states, especially since the boss just before him is also likely to drain your lives. I think it’s a good challenge if not a bit of an unprecedented spike in difficulty.
Besides the woes of those final moments, this other Castlevania II game offers a lot of challenges not seen anywhere else in the series without sacrificing design best practices, making it a very welcome addition to this collection.
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