Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge

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Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge

Post by JaySevenZero »

Here's where you can contribute your thoughts and opinions for Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

A friendly reminder that where the feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but keeping it brief is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mostly reading out essays. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.
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Mr Ixolite
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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.7.23) - 576: Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge

Post by Mr Ixolite »

Some 25 years ago I found myself at a summer camp organized by my school. The experience was less than ideal due to a terse relationship with my classmates at the time, but there was one silver lining: I could borrow the Gameboy games of one of the teachers kids, one of which was Castlevania Adventure 2: Belmonts revenge. This was the first game in the series I was exposed to, and it made an immediate and lasting impression; with its stage selection of highly themed Castles it immediately reminded me of Megaman, my main Gameboy obsession at the time, but far more moody and evocative. I never beat it at the time, but was always drawn to it.

Returning to it years later, the game is not just a massive improvement on its predecessor, it still holds up in its own right. In a franchise that could eventually feel like it was going through the motions in terms of locales and enemies, the four distinct Castles and unique bestiary (complete with rolling eyeballs) makes the game stand out. Nothing else in the series really looks like this.
And its just simple and accessible and to play, with deadly spike traps that didn't make me want to pull my hair out. Or maybe I’m being too generous due to a combination of nostalgia, and the game having one of the best soundtracks on the Gameboy, sounding like nothing else on the system, or in the franchise. Much like your Vampira killers and Bloody Tears the tracks were fine tuned to spur you on through the next deadly gauntlet, and years later, New Messiah is still lodged in my brain.

If I have two gripes with Belmonts Revenge they are 1 that Dracula doesn’t turn into a giant monster and 2 that there wasn’t more of it- not just in terms of stages in the game, but in terms of Castlevania games in this mold. There was ample room to iterate on the Themed Castles concept (after all Bram Stokers Dracula famously aqcuired a lot of real estate), but sadly unlike something like Symphony of The Night, Belmonts Revenge remains a dead end on the franchise family tree. Still, it remains a fascinating little outlier, an excellent showcase for what the Gameboy could offer, and probably the optimal game for introducing me to the series.
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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.7.23) - 576: Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge

Post by psychohype »

To me, the key takeaway from Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge is that sometimes second chances pay off. After Konami’s less than stellar success in porting the Castlevania experience to the Game Boy hardware in 1989’s Castlevania: The Adventure, it’s nice to see the studio gave it another shot two years later with Belmont’s Revenge.

It’s hard to argue that almost everything is improved upon this time around. The character movement is faster, at least compared to the tortuously slow speed of the original game. The levels are more detailed, imaginative, and less generic gothic looking. The on-screen UI is better organized and presented. And they brought over more of the staple features from the other Castlevania games that were missing from The Adventure, including sub-weapons. The introduction of the Mega Man-style stage select option was also a nice touch.

The developers clearly considered what was lacking in the former game and made solid steps to rectify its most glaring problems. Not only that, they did it while preserving many of the first game’s unique elements. The giant eyeballs are back! So are the fireball-spewing pillars that—unlike in other Castlevania games—send their projectiles in a diagonal, ricocheting pattern. Only this time around, you can actually manage to get around them without taking cheap damage.

By almost any measure, this is a much tighter Castlevania title that might actually please some of the folks who had a sour taste from the first Game Boy outing. That said, compared to everything available today, it’s still a far cry from the best the series has to offer elsewhere. I admit it still feels weird to play a Castlevania game with no staircases.

Aside from all that, I really hope you have a chance to discuss this game’s atrocious Dracula fight, which manages to be hair-pulling difficult and mind-numbingly boring at the same time. I had to resort to a video walkthrough to figure out how to get through it.

Thanks for giving this game a spot in the Volume 12 lineup!
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