Dracula's Shadow is an impressively faithful replication of the look, feel, sound and gameplay of Castlevania 2 for the NES. It is more than just a remake, however, as it builds on the original by adding new areas, new items, new quests, new music, and even new characters to play as.

As you adventure, you can now gain a number of extra characters who follow you around, and whom you switch between at any time - a bit similar to Castlevania 3. While some of the map layout is the same (or very similar) from Castlevania 2, the plot and dialogue have been changed completely, and new areas and items have been added. New tunes also populate the game as well, ranging from remixes of classic Castlevania songs to completely new pieces, which I presume were done by the author or some other amateur artist, that have a somewhat German feel to them and fit in very well with the atmosphere of the game.

I have to admit, I am not a fan of the original Castlevania 2, and since the game is so faithful to the source material, it also incorporates many of the weaknesses of the original - namely, the slow pace, the tiny dialogue boxes that give obtuse advice (though it is a bit more clear here than it was in the original), the scads of cheap hits and cheap deaths by pitfall (I'll never understand why main street of the town has deadly water pits all through it). However, I realize that Castlevania 2 has many appreciators, and those will certainly find this to be enjoyable. "A" for effort.

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