Review by DarkSaiyan20

"Great addition to the series which deserves more attention than it got."

Keeping in step with famous franchises on Nintendo systems being released on the Genesis, Castlevania Bloodlines comes onto the scene in 1994. Attempting to tie in to Bram Stoker's Dracula in some fashion it was an excellent addition to the series. While not as classic as Super Castlevania IV, Bloodlines does hold it's own. With good graphics, an excellent soundtrack, and interesting gameplay Bloodlines surpasses Castlevania IV in quality. But in 1994 it had a good 2 or 3 years on it. But enough intro it's to review.

Story - 8/10
I'm going to ignore the whole Bram Stoker's Dracula aspect of it since I have no proof nor do I remember anything about the movie. Anyway we jump ahead to the early 1900s. The Countess Bartley is accidently resurrected and seeks to revive her uncle, Count Dracula. John Morris and Eric Lecarde, both of Belmont descent, (where's the Belmont name? I always knew Richter was a player) set out to put an end the countess's evil scheme. Not too bad of a story for a Genesis title. As far as the Castlevania series goes it's set in the year 1912 I think. It's over 200 years after Simon's battled Dracula. This is the first time we learn of the Belmont's branching off under different names. Something all too familiar to the modern Castlevania fan. Anyway an interesting story for it's day.

Graphics/Sound/Music - 9/10
Here's one of the areas where Bloodlines really shines. Graphics may not look like Castlevania IV but they take on a look of their own as the Genesis is perfectly capable of handling it. Everything is nicely drawn, colorful, and uncensored. That's right everything is here. All the blood and dead bodies and such are here with gruesome detail. Sound is standard Genesis synth. As for music an excellent soundtrack was made just for this release and sounds shockingly well on the Genesis. A few recurring themes make it back but it's all mostly new stuff here. Excellent work Konami.

Gameplay - 8/10
This is a classic Castlevania so you probably already know what to expect. Whipping, sub-weapons, platform jumping, stair to climb and other such stuff. A small addition to the sub-weapons is an extra item crash like attack that consumes more jewels. But I don't find it to be very effective or useful at all. However it is nice to see that there are two completely different characters to choose from right from the start. There is your classic whip-toting John Morris and a spear guy Eric Lecarde. Both play alot differently like for example John can swing off the ceiling using the whip (not as effective as it was in Super Castlevania IV) and Eric can polevault to high areas with the spear. Unfortunately the paths taken don't differ so there isn't much to see that hasn't already been seen if you've only played through with one them. Very interesting that this game only has 6 stages but don't worry as they are very long. The password save feature also makes a comeback. However you only have a set amount of continues and your passwords will reflect that. Also there are difficulty settings as well that give an added punch to the challenge but also give you a chance to see two different ending for each character.

Fun Factor - 7/10
I'd say any Castlevania fan can have fun with it. It also gives Genesis owners an exclusive chapter to the series. With great gameplay and two characters you'll be busy for a little bit. Sad part is it's nowhere near as difficult as the previous titles were so you run out of options real fast. And that leaves very little replay value. Unless of course you don't like challenging games. If that's the case then this one is for you whether or not you like the series as a whole.

To buy or not to buy?
I'd buy it. In fact I did. And at a decent price. $10 is pretty reasonble for it since it's not that rare or in high demand. Good for Genesis owners who want a taste of the Castlevania series and don't have an NES or Super NES. This is another one of those titles I wish would see a Game Boy Advance rerelease so that way today's gamers can experiece it. Of course a Castlevania collection on PS2 would be even better. Hey if Capcom can do it, why can't Konami?

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 10/07/04

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