Castlevania 2: Belmont's Revenge (1991)
Evidently, someone at Konami must've realized that The Castlevania Adventure was a horrible excuse for a video game. Having learned their lesson, the developers set off to right the wrongs they once inflicted upon Gameboy games.
Surprisingly, they succeeded. Castlevania 2: Belmont's Revenge is far, far better than its predecessor, and stands as one of the best action games for the original Gameboy.
Once again, you are thrown into the shoes of Christopher Belmont, this time trying to save his son Solieyu from Dracula. In a change from every other Castlevania out there, Belmont's Revenge takes the Mega Man route and let you choose what levels you will tackle in any order. Dracula has four themed castles: air, plant, earth and crystal. There's no advantage in picking one level over another, so it's purely a matter of preference.
Gone are most of the annoying jumps. You actually have special weapons this time, although they're limited to the axe and holy water (oddly enough, the Japanese version has the cross instead of the axe.) Your whip only downgrades when getting hit by certain enemies, so you're never left as defenseless. The levels are still pretty long, but there are midpoints you respawn at after continuing. And while the game poses a good challenge, especially in the final boss battles, it doesn't cross the line of frustration nearly as often as Adventure.
The graphics had improved as well - everything is much more detailed. And once again, the music is a high point - it's amazing what the Konami composers could do with such a crappy sound chip. The game still moves a bit sluggishly - Christopher could use a workout just so he'd move a bit faster - but still isn't nearly as bad as before.
In short, Belmont's Revenge is one of those old Gameboy games that's still worth tracking down, and even manages to outside its Gameboy sequel, Castlevania Legends.
Belmont's Revenge Artwork
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Castlevania Games - Castlevania 2: Belmont's Revenge