Review by Geusprime

Reviewed: 10/14/03

Average action/platformer.

Bloodlines is a solid platform/action game for the Genesis console. There are not many who have played this game on its original format so I am going to bring a few people up to speed on what it is that they are missing.

This game presents solid controls and an exclusive action feature to the series (the ability to jump off a staircase). There are also some specific moves available to Bloodline's two playable characters including Morris's ability to swing from the ceiling using his weapon the vampire killer whip and Eric Lecarde's ability to crouch, charge and do a invincible jump with his spear. There are times when the abilities that are given to you are practically useless and the point of having two characters who's abilities are really just detracted from one another is unclear. The reason I am giving two points off is that there should really only be one good character instead of two mediocre characters with incomplete sets of abilities. Bloodlines plays with the notion of each character using thier specific abilities to reach certain areas but this feature was never really developed and only really is present in a few situations. The play control is very responsive and the game is never too easy or hard except for the leaning tower of Pisa which is unexpectedly hard.

Bloolines has a slightly above average story. I am weighing it against other action/platformers from its generation including Strider 2, Contra: Hard Corps and the Mega Man X games. Bloodlines fails to develop a solid story, and if it were not for the fact that it is technically part of the Castlevania storyline, I would have given it a four. Morris has motivation to kill Dracula because he is a Belmont, but Lecarde was never given any sort of direction on why he is killing Dracula other than him being a vampire hunter. That is the first sign of a weak plot. The only area of strength for storyline is that Bloodlines uses historical locations. If you like early 20th century Europe, you could apreciate this.

This is a shaky area. The sound effects are usually fitting to their actions. The music in the game is never bad, but never great, with the exception of a cheat. The soundtest is a nice feature but unlike the soundtest in Castlevania 4, Bloodlines does not have a quality library of music to fit into this feature. The final boss theme is very good. There are also a couple of level musics that jump out. Every other music in the game is average but never unfitting to its respective level. The visuals in this game are some of the best on Genesis, especially the effects in the Pisa stage and final stage.

Unless you are a huge Castlevania fan, you are not going to play through this game a second time. The difficulty feature is nice but unnecessary and is not going to make you play it on a harder level because the variation between difficulties is very subtle. The game does have a considerable amount of playtime involved (about 2 hours for the first time on normal). The over all experience of the game is quick and mildly exciting. I would not be playing it more than one time if I was not a Castlevania fan.

Final Recommendation-
If you like Castlevania games, play Bloodlines. If you like action games from the mid 1990's, play this game. Otherwise don't even bother unless you have a craving for a decent action/platformer, but even then, you should be playing Castlevania 4. If you really want to play this game, make sure to play the hard copy. It is much better.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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