Review by Computerbug9
"A great action game for Genesis"
Castlevania Bloodlines is the only Castlevania game for the Genesis console, and Sega made a good job about it. Hopefully, this review will show you that Nintendo is not the only company that could make an action game like Castlevania.
What made this game sort of unique is that instead of only being able to have one character, you could choose between two: John Morris who can use a whip, or his buddy, Eric Lecarde who can use a spear. But enough about that. On with the review now, shall we?
Here's the story...some amatuer witch with an annoylingly long name accidentally revives a long dead woman named Elizabeth Bartley. Guess who her uncle was? Count Dracula! Now revived, Elizabeth seeks to revive her uncle. How? She goes all over Europe and gathers powers from evil to do so. That's where you, the player, comes in. You have to stop her before she revives Dracula.
The reason the gameplay didn't get a 10 is that the game is short. While you might have trouble with it at first, you quickly get the hang of it and can sweep through the game. Other than that, there are really no problems with it.
The graphics for the time are spectacular. The blue fires that enemies die in, along with the amazing backgrounds that really put you in the spot your character is in, and the animation of bosses dying is usually pretty well done. The only reason the graphics lose points is lack of color. If you don't watch the opening, you'd have no idea that you were playing as a blonde if you chose Eric. In fact, to me, it doesn't even look like he has any hair at all when you play as him. Also, there is a color problem when you go into Dracula's lair to fight him. Here's the baddest, scariest vampire to ever be created. So, what color do you make the surroundings in his room? Pink. Anyway, those are just negative things. Everything else is great.
Like I said before, you could have a hard time playing it at first, but you quickly get used to it. You can choose between normal mode or easy mode, and you can unlock expert mode. The levels are usually straight-forward...move from one side of the screen to the other and kill anything that stands in your way. There aren't a heck of a lot of different enemies, mostly skeletons with different devices, Medusa Heads, and other things. The bosses, on the other hand, are something else. Most bosses really aren't too hard to kill, just so long as you character can endure their blows. Something that makes this game a bit more difficult is that you can sort of save your game. (remember, I said "sort of") After you beat a level, you will see a password screen with 16 empty spaces where three different symbols can be placed, you leave some spaces blank. But, this password is unique. How? The password is decided based upon how many lives you had, what level you had beaten, who you beat it with, how many continues you had left, and what diffifulty mode you had it on. It may not be understandable, but I gotta go on with the review.
The music in this game is spectacular. If it were for the music alone, this section would get a 10. No matter what level you're playing, it fits the mood perfectly. Whether you're on level 2 with adventurous music or level 6 with slow, doom music, you'll really get involved with everything. The boss music is also fairly interesting. There are usually two or three bosses per level, and the music between them changes, which is fine. So, why didn't this get a 10? Sound effects. Don't get me wrong, the werewolf howling, Medusa's shrieking and Dracula's bellowing are perfect, but all the other enemies don't quite sound good. When you kill most enemies, it sounds like a really big bubble popping. But, that's my only complaint.
Controling your characters is simple for the most part. Press right, your guy goes forward. Press left, your guy goes backward. Press A, your guy uses his weapon, press B, you jump. Press C, you use your special weapon. The only hard thing are the combos. Your guys can't jump that high and don't stay in the air that long, and that's the time you have to do a diagonal whip with John. Still, that's my only complaint.
This game really doesn't have much replay value. The only thing that could make you want to play it again is if you used the different character. But, even then, you would have encountered all the bosses and you'd know how to kill them. You'd know what was coming and you'd know how to prepare for it. The thing that changes, though, is the path. One path that John may be able to take, Eric might not be able to take, and vice versa. So, you'd have to do a little bit of thinking about what your character can use to advance.
Overall rating: 8/10
This is a good game nonetheless. Sega did a great job with it and was actually able to put some violence in it. Unlike in most Nintendo games, Sega was able to use blood pouring out of zombies' corpses when you kill them, or when you start really killing Dracula and his bones start flying all over the place. The main violent part is when Eric dies; his spear shoots right up in the air, and smashes down, literally going right through him. The bosses, levels and background music are well done, and this a good game.
Buy or Rent:
If you've got a few bucks, go to the store and buy this game. If you've got a few more, by a genesis if you need and find one. This game will have you occupied for quite some time if you're involved in it.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/01/04
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