Castlevania II was a pretty controversial title upon its' initial release. Not for the content, mind you, but for the fact that it turned from a platformer to a adventure game. The results were certainly flawed, but now we can clearly see the seeds this game planted for the "Metroidvania" turn the series took with the classic Symphony of the Night.

The game has Simon making his way around a fairly (for the time) open-world game map, where he must try and find five pieces of Dracula, so the vampire can be killed once and for all.

One of the big stumbling blocks here is that it's not often clear how to proceed, which is made worse by the horribly translated "hints" villagers will give you. All I have to say upon playing through this again is thank god for GameFAQs.

There's also not really the "epic" feeling fans have come to expect from the Castlevania series. The game (once you actually know what to do) is actually quite easy -- there are actually only a couple of real boss battles, and even those are push-overs.

If you're a Castlevania fan, though, you'll be able to look past those shortcomings and see that this is actually a decent game. At least with the VC version, you don't have to deal with those absurdly long passwords.

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