Review by TheWetRat
"Quite possibly the greatest adventure game on the genesis!"
Ah, Castlevania. Truly a classic game. Starting out in humble beginnings on the SNES, the game series soon turned incredibly popular. Konami made several other Castlevania titles of the years. After going silent for a while, Konami produced a new title in the series for the Genesis with the title: Castlevania: Bloodlines.
Congratulations! You just stumbled upon the greatest adventure game on the Genesis! But enough about that, on with the review!
The story is pretty much the same as the other games. Some niece of he count Dracula, has risen from the dead to resurrect her uncle. She quietly managed to do so, but before anyone could react, all of Europe is cast into darkness. Two brave men have been cursed to battle this evil force, drive back the forces of evil, and restore peace to Europe. Certainly could have been better, but still a good overall storyline. I give it a seven.
The gameplay is excellent. You play as one of two characters. Eric, who is a desendent of the family cursed to fight Dracula, or John, who is a friend of Eric. The game is set in a World War One setting, which takes away from the atmosphere at times but is a nice change from other Castlevania games. Sadly, this is a one-player game. It certainly could have been more fun with a co-op mode, but thats just me. Eric uses an awesome looking spear or a sort, and can vault up levels of the castle or tower you're in . He can also use a spin attack where he thrusts foward his spear then spins it around to his other side. Not very useful though. John uses his whip dubed ''Vampire Killer'' to swing back and forth across deep craters and pits. The game spans seven levels. All of which are well put together and have well hidden items as a reward to the observant. The game also has an amazing number of monsters with very unique attacks. Weather it's bone throwing skeletons, skeletal dragons, or (very) bloody zombies, this game has it all you could want as far as monster go. Bosses are also very well put together. All of them look very intimidating and require a strategy. Now, Strategy is not needed in most side scollers. In those, all you have to do is hack and slash. With Bloodlines, it takes practice to get good against the bosses. Just like the monsters, the bosses are unique and have strange, powerful, and unusual abilities. Such creatures include: A shapeshifting woman, energy firing phantoms, underground golems, and the batty one himself: Dracula! All in all the gameplay is very well done and it is clear that Konami put a ton a thought and effort into the game. If it weren't for a few minor problems with the overall gameplay, this would have scored a perfect 11 in my book. Sadly, I can't do that.
The graphics are pretty good. Dracula's castle is dark and moody The palace you enter late in the game looks like true 1918 royalty. The munitions factory in Germany clearly looks like a war-time scene. The background textures could have used a little more work. Sometimes its hard tell what is in the background and what's not, which can lead to some misput jumps which end up in your unfair death. On the brighter side you can see the characters faces pretty well (you gotta remember this is the Genesis we're talking about). Everyone is well detailed even though the sprites are a little smaller than some people may be used to. Besides a few flaws here and there, the graphics look very realistic and are used to the best of the Genesis's ability.
The sound isn't creepy or anything like in other Castlvania games, but it's still good. Each song fits the level pretty well. It is on Genesis though so it does sond a little bland at times. The boss music is very good as are the sound effects. The sound effects are just fine. Nothing to hate the game for, but still a little high pitched at times. All this being said, I give the sound a seven.
Replay Value: 8/10
The game has a large amout of replay value. Each character has their own ending, and once you beat the game once, you can play it again on expert mode. It's much harder than easy or normal, but once you beat the game on expert, you get an extra scene added on to your character's ending. Thats four playthroughs right there.
Rent or Buy: Buy
This game is nearly a decade old, and if you can find it, much less rent it, I would advise you buy it.
This game is in my opinion the best adventure game on the Sega Genesis. Very fun, and you are sure to get lots of enjoyment and replay value out of it even if you're not a long time fan of the Castlevania series. I strongly recommend this game to anyone who is a Castlevania fan, loves adventure games, or is just looking for something new. Thanks for reading.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/31/03
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