Review by Doug M

"Awesome Castlevania Game"

The Castlevania series of games is one of the best game series ever. Castlevania Bloodlines seems to be the most underestimated game in the series, possibly because of the system. Nevertheless this is quite an extraordinary game is its own right, regardless of the system.

GAMEPLAY=9 - The gameplay in Bloodlines is extremely easy to master very quickly. Basically you have a regular attack, an item attack, and a jump button. If you are uncomfortable with the default settings for the buttons you can change them to suit your style in the options screen. As for the fun factor, well, this game rocks! It is extremely fun and the game keeps your interest with the side scrolling fighting instead of an in depth story. In fact, the only thing that keeps this game from getting a 10 is the story line. Most Castlevania games have detailed and elaborate, informative story lines, but this game falls short in that one category. There are only 1 or 2 cinematics in the game and not much happens in them. The difficulty settings are easy, normal, and expert. In order to get expert mode you must finish the game on normal mode first. Beating this game on easy is almost too easy. Try normal for more enemies and bosses, and try expert if you want a real vampire killing challenge.

STORY=6 - The main point of this game is to kill Dracula (duh). However when you start the game Dracula is currently laid to rest in England by your ancestors. An amateur witch named Drolta Tzuentes (or something like that) has accidently resurrected the evil Countess Bartley. Not only is she a formidable opponent herself, but she is also the niece of Dracula. So she heads out toward the castle to resurrect her sleeping uncle and that is where you, the player, steps in. You can choose to be John Morris, a descendant of the Belmont family who wields the holy whip of his forefathers, or John's friend and master lanceman Eric Lecarde. Regardless of who you choose you must stop Bartley from accomplishing her evil scheme before it is too late and Dracula plunges the earth into never ending darkness. Stopping Bartley will not be easy. You must fight your way through an army of bats, skeletons, zombies, fish men, minotaurs, ravens, undead knights, and the infamous medusa head (which appears in almost every Castlevania game). Also their are many gruesome bosses to slay in your quest.

AUDIO/VIDEO=10 - The background music in this game is standard Castlevania classical and orchestra sounding music. I love the music in this game! Their is a cheat code that lets you hear original music from the NES games when your primary weapon is powered up to mystical levels that I almost always use, however you can listen to these straight from the options screen. I believe they are BGM #14 #15 and #16. As for the other half of audio, the sound effects, they really could have added more variety for this one. Perhaps the howling of wolves or the crack of lightning in the background. The sound effects that are in the game are just standard grunts and shouts, however if you make it all the way to Countess Bartley when you defeat her she lets out a blood curdling shriek! Some of the bosses have pretty good roars and screams as well. The graphics in this game are very well done. They are naturally far superior to the NES games in both character and background design. The enemies are beautifully drawn, especially the game's many bosses, and your character is drawn well too. Both slayers have awesome attack animations. The backgrounds are superbly drawn. One thing I don't like is a game with no background variety. It feels like your playing the same level over and over again. Castlevania Bloodlines has 6 different stages and many areas within each stage which almost all have their own unique background texture.

Replayability=9 - The replayability value of this game is very high but the game can get boring if you play it one easy every time. Not only is it not much of a challenge but there are enemies, bosses, and an ending cinematic which doesn't appear on easy. Once you are used to it at least play normal mode. If you love Castlevania then you have to have this game if you already don't. Go out and buy a whole Genesis system just for this game. It is worth it. I have owned this game for at least 2 or 3 years and I still enjoy playing the game regularly.

BUY OR RENT=10 - You have got to have this game if you own a Genesis system or are a fan of Castlevania. BUY BUY BUY BUY!!!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/06/01, Updated 11/06/01

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