Review by Saneasylum89

"Thicker than water, better than the rest!"

I have no qualms saying that Bloodlines is the greatest Castlevania game ever made.

A vampire named Elizabeth Bartley, niece to Dracula, is accidenally brought back to life by a witch named Drolta Tzuenes after being executed on the crime of vampirism. Now back to life, Elizbeth starts her pilgrimage to bring her uncle back from the dead. She wanders about Europe enlisting the help of evil souls to give Drac his body back. John Morris, son of Quincy Morris and a decendant of the Belmonts (Somehow, you figure it out) catches wind of the ressurection of the count and the woman who's gonna make it happen. He goes off to kill her before she can bring the count back, and his friend Eric Lecare (Which is supposed to be Ricardo) offers to help, which gives the player a choice of main character for the first time in Castlevania. By the way, this is a bit of an aside, but this game seems to be MADE for Eric. Eric can jump really high, whereas John's whip swing really can't do jack. Eric's spear is longer and stronger than John's whip, and Eric's spear can go straight up (Which John's whip can't) and can go diagonally without him having to jump. Also, when Eric dies, he's imapled with his own spear. john just kinda fades away.

Game play:
My God, this game is so much fun. There's so much going on all the time. Some of the screens are plain old "get to the other side of the screen without dying" kind, but a lot completely rewrite the way games are supposed to be. The temple has a mirror-image and countless chances to drown yourself with rising and falling water stages. The Leaning tower of pisa has jumping stages galore, and the muntions stage will have you jumping all over heavy machinery to progress without getting crushed to death. The bosses are also big fun, often incorporating aspects of the environment to hurt our heroes. These include a wolf who uses his howl to rain glass on you, a dragon who fights you in a disorienting swivel environment, and a guy I call the "demi-god" who will flood the field and drown you if you don't kill him in time. Planning like this is rare in the series, as most bosses are just new animations of old classics, while this game tries to break the mold in a number of ways.

Not a lot to complain about here, but while we're on the subject of how it looks, let's talk about the blood. Oh yes, blood Konami had the balls for, but Nintendo couldn't deliver. Right from the opening screen, blood is dripping from everything. The first screen in the game is a scene of crows eating bloody corpses. Then you go right into cutting zombies open, decapitating harpies, and putting bloody piles of mechinacal wolves out of their misery. In short, the environments look ok, but it's not gonna take your breath away. They're detailed, and specific, but certainly not beautiful. But then again, it's the freakin Genesis, get your kicks somewhere else.

The sound is eerie. Music puts you on the edge of your seat, wondering what's gonna happen. The boss theme is really kind of annoying though, not gonna lie. But the sound effects will creep you out, because they're supposed to. Some of the songs are pretty memorable, adding drama to this palpable fear.

Pretty damn hard, but will keep you coming back to try again.

Overall 9/10
Buy or rent?: Buy it, definately. You'll want to brave it again and again.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/04/08

Game Release: Castlevania: Bloodlines (US, 03/17/94)

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