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Castlevania II: Did Critics Like This GameBoy Sequel in 1991?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on October 10, 2014   |   Episode 106 (Show Archive)  

   

Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge (Game Boy)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

We know that critics loved Castlevania on the 16-bit systems, but what about on the Game Boy? In this episode of Review Crew we take a look at Christopher Belmont's second adventure, Castlevania: Belmont's Revenge. Was this as good as the console games, or did the hardware limitations weigh the sequel down? We dig through old issues of GamePro, Electronic Gaming Monthly and Nintendo Power for the answers.

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the reviews. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. For more details and answers to common questions, we encourage you to read the Review Crew FAQ. There you'll find information on review guidelines, how we convert scores, magazine covers and more.)

Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge
[ Company: Konami | Console: Game Boy ]

GAMEPRO (September 1991)
5 out of 5

"As the saying goes in Transylvania, "a vampire hunter's work is never done." True to form, the original blood-slurper himself, Count Dracula, just made sushi out of Christopher Belmont's first born and heir apparent. You gotta love the Castlevania series -- it's filled with great graphics, terrific tunes, guts and gore galore, and it inspires some truly awful puns. "Stake" out your local retailer for Belmont's Revenge!"

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #26
8 out of 10

"Don't expect anything new here. This isn't a sequel, it is a continuation of the first game. Virtually everything is the same. That's not bad as the first was such a great game. Players will like this version as, like the first, the game play is great, as are the graphics and challenge.I [sic]" -Ed

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #26
8 out of 10

"Castlevania 2 is marvelous, but short. Like a typical GameBoy game the graphics are nothing to write home about, but they'll do for now. The music deserves the same comment, but keep in mind that this is a challenging game! All Castlevania fans will love it! I did." -Sushi X

NINTENDO POWER #29
3.9 out of 5

"The Belmonts are back, and so is Dracula in Konami's second Castlevania action epic. The time is 15 years after Christopher Belmont thought he had put an end to Count Dracula in Castlevania: The Adventure. Now his son, Soleiyn, has vanished, and four evil castles have risen mysteriously from the earth. Once again a Belmont must rely on his courage and quickness. So enter the haunted realm, if you dare."
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 83% - Everybody loves Castlevania ... even on the small screen. After the success of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, critics were on board with whatever Konami had in store. In this case they put up with limited graphics and sound in order to kick Dracula's ass on the go.

Electronic Gaming Monthly seemed conflicted. On one hand, Sushi X said the graphics and sound "are nothing to write home about," suggesting they are middling at best. Yet Ed Semrad said the graphics are "great." Well, which is it? Either way, both critics gave the game an 8 out of 10, as did everybody else at Electronic Gaming Monthly. When everybody is accounted for, this second Game Boy outing averaged an impressive 83%.

WHAT ABOUT CASTLEVANIA: THE ADVENTURE? Released in 1989, Castlevania: The Adventure was one of the Game Boy's earliest hits. Unfortunately, not many publications gave it a proper review at the time. In fact, the only reviews we could find came out of Electronic Gaming Monthly, who gave the game three 8s and a 7. With only four critics weighing in, there simply aren't enough scores for a consensus.

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #8
8 out of 10

"This game, and other titles like Super Mario, are what is going to sell the GameBoy. This is a fantastic game that plays just like the NES version, with some minor limitations and fewer rounds. Regardless, it's a fantastic action game and absolutely the best thing to appear on GameBoy since SML." -Steve

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #8
7 out of 10

There's no doubting that this will be a big cart for the GameBoy and deservedly so. Castlevania has the right amount of all the ingredients needed to make a successful game. One of the few GameBoy titles seen so far that overcomes the lack of color to produce a very fun piece of software." -Sushi X
CASTLEVANIA ARCHIVE: Want to see how this Castlevania game stacks up against the rest? Below you will find every Castlevania game currently in the Review Crew archive. Read the original reviews and see if you agree with the old school critics.

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
What Did Critics Say Back in 1990?
Konami NES 88%
Castlevania Bloodlines
What Did Critics Say Back in 1994?
Konami Genesis 87%
Super Castlevania IV
What Did Critics Say Back in 1992?
Konami Super NES 86%
Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge
What Did Critics Say Back in 1991?
Konami Game Boy 83%
Castlevania: Dracula X
What Did Critics Say Back in 1995?
Konami Super NES 67%

ON THE NEXT REVIEW CREW: Our month-long tribute to classic horror games continues next week, as the Review Crew will tackle It Came From the Desert for TurboGrafx-CD. Was this B-movie parody the next big thing, or were critics annoyed by the use of ugly full-motion video? Find out on Monday when we look at It Came From the Desert. Make sure and check out the Review Crew archive for more old school reviews, and don't forget to tweet me @DefunctGames to let me know what games you want to see next!

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