Sega Genesis owners celebrated the day Konami granted their wish of having a Castlevania title of their own, for they too, longed to whip Dracula's flame-throwin' crotch.
Finally, a Sega Genesis conversion of the popular series. With two characters to select from, a different storyline, and innovative ways to get by the game, one question still remains unanswered: What took Konami so long to make this game?
That may well be a mystery never revealed, but one thing is for certain: Bloodlines did a fair share to live up to the Castlevania series. The saga seems to break a bit here, since the story has nothing to do with the original series other than to kick Dracula in the undead nuts once more. The story unfolds in 1917, after the events in Bram Stocker's Dracula rather than what happened in Dracula X. Two heroes, each descendant of a mighty vampire hunter clan (well at least Morris is), go on to stop the resurrection of Dracula just before WW I begins. Rather than re-enacting everything in the countryside of Transylvania, you wander the entire continent of Europe, fighting skeletons in Castle Dracula, demons in Italy, and Minotaurs in Greece.
Choose your poison.
The two dudes you get to choose from are John Morris, descendant of the Belmont clan and proprietor of Vampire Killer, sacred whip used to S&M Dracula to death. And Eric Lecarde, a Spaniard warrior who uses a lance to destroy baddies.
Morris has the basic moves every other Belmont is equipped with, whereas Lecarde can use his spear in three directions and has a nifty power-jump to attack and level himself to the air without even using stairs to get to a ledge. However, Lecarde is fairly weak compared to Morris' physical prowess.
|The difficulty in this game is surprisingly moderate, even in 'Hard' mode. Some quirky notions from other titles, such as getting knocked off by a damn medusa head, are still here, but somehow, it's not as frustrating as any other Castlevania game. Some subweapons had gone noticeable changes, such as the cross being replaced by a small cleaver that functions the same way, and item crashes are around just like they are in Dracula X. You can upgrade your weapon three times here, the third doubling the power of your whip/lance. On that note, Lecarde can use his flame spear as a shield by crouching.||
||Cruisin' through Europe is quite a nice break from having to explore the same old castle over and over. Some stages even mimic stages from the original series; for instance, the factory in Germany has a close resemblance to the Clocktower in Castlevania. You even meet good ol' Frankie along the way.|
That is another thing to notice here, in Bloodlines you fight not only one, but as many as two mini-bosses before you combat the stage's Boss. Each share the same number of hitpoints as the rest, however. Battle in the last stage (set in England) is annoying as hell. The first segments of the castle will make you mad with frustration with its mirrored effects and upside down hijinks. Past that, you get to meet Mr. Death once more. He deals you a variety of cards and will force you to fight three bosses of past stages. He also gives you some meaty foodstuffs before he fights you. Pretty good battle, actually.
|Next in line is that greeny niece Elizabeth Barkley. Without a second thought he morphs into a sturdy-looking Medusa and barfs a series of fire-streams at you while lashing with her tail. Her last means of defense are consisted of her teleporting from side to side while shooting orbs filled with a different element/weapon. In the end her head goes BOOM and her body explodes in a beatiful mass of blood 'n' guts. Nummy.|
Perhaps one of the most embarrasing moments is when you fight Dracula's third form. It was bad enough about his infamous cloack that implies usage of crotch, that now he comes in the form of a skeletal bat shooting fireballs from his ACTUAL groin. He just don't get respect anywhere he appears. Other forms besides his familiar form is a raggedy old robed man and his wand, setting beams of light down at you.
|Depending on who you played with, the ending will depict the same scene, the castle crumbles behind our hero, and another different shot appears with him walking towards his destiny. Teh end.|
PIGS FLEW- The Genesis version, although not as powerful as the SNES C4, gave players a good taste of Castlevania goodness. Travelling around Europe to battle meanies was a good roadtrip, and Lecarde was a nice addition not only to flash monsters, but to add variety in gameplay.