Review by Cress

"A good Castlevania title which well may be worth it..."

I like the Castlevania series very much as the Mega Man series... This game was one of the first 16-bit Castlevanias out there and it sure rocked.

Graphics- 6/10
Ok. You get the standard type of 2D graphics you'd expect from the Genesis. A TOTAL improvement over the NES games. You'll notice that there are more special effects, fluid animation and other ''16-bit'' effects here. Though, some of it still seems 8-bit, but that's pretty ok, considering the fact that this was also one of the early 2D side-scrollers for the Genesis.

Sound- 6/10
I found the music neither to be quite scary, gothic or cool (like the music in the Dracula-X series). Rather, I found the tracks to be annoying. The beats just didn't seem quite right, and the sound effects were very draggy and unrealistic. I only liked the fact that there were also some nice 'remixed' tracks like 'Bloody Tears' and 'Vampire Killer'... a great bonus which made up for the other more boring tracks.

Story- 8/10
Yeah... the setting takes place in the mid-18th century, so expect to see more 'modern' elements... from that time period. Here's the catch: a countess named 'Elizabeth Bailey' (who also turns out to be a relative of the Count) gets accidentally revived by an average witch... her first objective now is to revive Count Drac... and as we all know it, that isn't really a very nice sight... Long gone are the Belmonts but... a distant descendant and his pal take up the ancient task of pulverizing the Count... period. The game's story may not that be exciting, but it's enough to pull you into the game.

Replay Value- 5/10
Well, since you have 2 characters who have different characteristics, I'd say that you'd be passing through the game at least 2 times or so... like the other earlier titles, each stage has multiple paths to take. And, there may be paths that only the other could use (or are forced to use anyway...) because of the different ways to get to them... Overall, it's really fun to try to fight your way through the different landmarks of Europe with either Eric or John.

Gameplay/Controls- 5/10
Yeah, average again. Sometimes, it's hard to swing around with your whip or just simply Pole Vault with Eric's spear. The controls are quite sensitive, so you'd better watch which button you're pressing or you may end up jumping too late or too high, or missing a Ghoul or two. Eric and John also have personalized moves, but it'll take quite a few minutes to get used, especially because of the lack of control when performing them. Some of the new moves include Eric's ability to swing around areas with his Whip, or Eric's Super Vault ability, which lifts him into the air 3 to 4 times as high as his normal jump... The controls are quite good, but lack refinement. Also, sometimes, lots of enemies try to gang up on you, and most of the time, you'll end up either with a few Hp bars left, or dead. Another neat feature is the new button for your special weapons... simply press 'C' to attack with your item. That really helps during mid-air attacks... and some other situations. You could also use 'Supers' or 'Item Crashes' by pressing 'up' while using the 'C' key... another neat bonus.

Innovation- 8/10
There are multiple paths in each stage... also, enemies change per diffculty level, so, if you play on easy mode, chances are, you'll get a new boss on hard... etc. That's quite innovative since they completely improved that perspective from Castlevania 3. Your characters also have their own moves which would be quite interesting to play with. (just be careful...) You also get new attacks, enemies and other stuff which are new to the series.

Is it worth it?
Well, sure but..., there are also other side-scrollers to look into. But, if you want a decent and quite creepy challenge, this one's enough to keep even the non-CV fan busy for a week. I suggest that you rent it first, before actually finding the cart since you may already get quite tired of it after a game or two.

Cress Overall rating- 8/10
Bloodlines has alot of neat stuff to offer... Though, it may also be too boring or dragging because of the dull, music and graphics.

Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/09/01, Updated 10/09/01

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