Alas, my fave game genre, the side-scrolling action adventure. It’s a wonder I haven’t played more Castlevania games, as I’ve really only experimented with the orginal game, Super Castlevania IV, Castlevania 64, and Lords of Shadow.
Castlevania 2 | Introduction
So, why have I not played more of this staggeringly prolific and consistent series? Well I can only say I’ve been busy with so many other classics such as Mega Man, Zelda, Contra, Mario, Metroid, Kirby, and Ninja Gaiden.
Castlevania II, from what I gather, is not the most beloved entry into the series, and for good reason.
Castlevania 2 | Game Play
Castlevania 2 is more of a RPG experience rather than a straight forward side scrolling platforming game like Castlevania I. Castlevania II requires more thought, strategy, intuition, and patience. I would be cool with this except that it requires you to farm for currency in the form of hearts. Also, the game requires quite a bit of travel back and forth. To exacerbate the matter, the ever prevalent night time sequence is guaranteed to hinder your progress. The fact that you cannot visit merchants or churches during the night really slows down the whole experience, making the game feel cumbersome.
Otherwise, the game play is enjoyable with moderate challenge and wonderfully responsive controls. The platforming is quite fair and relatively easy to navigate except for the inclusion of illusionary floors. These seemingly solid footsteps occur all too frequently and can absolutely ruin your progress. Expecting them is your best bet to ensure safe travel but the hindrance ultimately removes a lot of the fun factor.
Castlevania 2 | Super Action Video Montage
Mizaster J presents Castlevania II game play footage.
Castlevania 2 | Other Features
On top of the shortcomings in the game play, the game suffers from being rather cryptic and overly vague with its instructions, forcing you to seek outside info. Unfortunately, all of this contributes to an underwhelming experience.
Despite its flaws, Castlevania II is very forgiving in that every time you die, you restart immediately from the exact same position. How many other games allow you such a saving grace? The only compromise is that you give up all your hearts. Not to fret, generating hearts becomes easy and routine. Honestly, once you get the hang of it, the game flows just fine.
I found this game considerably slower than Super Castlevania IV, but less frustrating than the original Castlevania, and quite frankly I’d much rather play Super Ghouls and Ghosts.
Castlevania 2 Verdict
While it’s certainly not the best game of the Castlevania series, Symphony of the Night, it’s certainly not the worst either–Castlevania Arcade. Check out how Ranker.com has the Castlevania games rated HERE.
I give Castlevania 2 three bone rattling skeletons outta five.
Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest
3 out of 5
Be sure to check out Optimus Grind’s review of Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles.