Castlevania - Bloodlines

a game by Konami

Platform: Sega GenesisGenesis

Genres: Arcade Classics, Platformer

See also: Castlevania Game, Monsters Games

Castlevania - Bloodlines

Konami sought to bare its Genesis fangs with the debut of its longest-running and most critically acclaimed series of all time, Castlevania. Mournfully, veteran vampire hunters will find that Castlevania suffered a heavy loss of game play, as well as visual and audio appeal, during the jump from the immortal SNES version, Super Castlevania IV.

Descended from Greatness

The continent: Europe. The date: June 1914. The evil: Dracula.

The immortal Count's niece, Elizabeth Bartley, has been resurrected. Elizabeth's no stranger to blood-letting, having slain more than 800 young women in her 15th century vampiric heyday. Secretly she precipitates the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, touching off World War I. She plans to use the souls of the slaughtered bodies from the war to bring her uncle back to life. Gruesome, eh? Would this kind of story line ever appear in a Nintendo game?

ProTip: The tip of Eric's spear must touch walls to break blocks.

Out for the Count's blood are John Morris, a descendant of the great Simon Belmont, and Eric Lecarde, a vengeful young lad who lost his girlfriend to Elizabeth's carnage. The only thing that stands between them and the Count are six levels of Castlevania mania.

The skele-dragons only turn around if you hit them.

Fearless Vampire Hunters

One of Bloodlines' more unique features is your ability to play as either John Morris or Eric Lecarde. Morris packs the familiar whip. He can strike horizontally or diagonally, and he has the ability to rope-hook the ceiling and swing across. Lecarde carries a versatile spear, which can strike horizontally or vertically, and it can also be used to attack surrounding enemies in a cool back-and-forth motion. Lecarde's also got a Spear High Jump, which resembles the Super Squat Jump from Super Mario Bros. 2.

The format of game plays identical to the classic NES games. You run and jump over platforms, whipping any power-up weapons are usual: Boomerang, Axe, and Holy Water. In Bloodlines, if you pick up a weapon more than once, you increase its strength. Unfortunately, some of the best power-ups from the previous games are now missing (such as the Shot Multiplier, the Pocket Watch, and the Dagger).

Due to the limited continues, Bloodlines is more challenging than its predecessors, even though it has only half the levels of other Castlevanias. Replays can be infuriating, since you must enter the entire icon-based password every time you lose a game if you wish to conserve the precious continues.

  • In this weird multi-scrolling room, watch the placement of your feet to calculate the jumps.
  • In Level 2, you can walk underwater, but don't let the screen drag you or you'll take a hit.

Haunted Graphics and Sounds

Bloodline's graphics look like the 8-bit colors and have all the quality of an NES game. The small characters and somber, often limited backgrounds leave you wanting more. However, the game does have some cool effects and big, bold scenery in places, such as the giant collapsing skull bridge, the upside-down room, and an innovative multi-scrolling technique that moves the platforms at different speeds.

While the music and sounds are pretty good by Genesis standards, they are a definite downgrade from the orchestral, near-CD quality of Castlevania IVs SNES audio. For Castlevania fans, it's a downer.

  • The skeletons regenerate in the Munitions Factory.
  • To defeat these eye-patch soldiers, keep your distance and throw Boomerangs.

Simon Wouldn't Be Proud

The ghost-hunting, undead- busting action in Castlevania satisfies the average blood- lust, but for Castlevania crazies it's more of a sip than a gulp. Missing in Bloodlines are Castlevania IVs more refined whip techniques: using your whip as a shield, whipping in eight directions from any position, and ample opportunities to swing from your whip.

Also, Bloodlines has only two warriors; even Castlevania III for the NES had four. Additionally, in III you could swap between characters in midstage, and that's not possible in Bloodlines.

  • Be very careful when you copy down passwords. Try devising an A-D and 1-4 grid and coding each entry on the grid. That way you can write passwords down by hand.
  • Hit the Level 2 boss from below with axes and your whip to cut him down to size. Use the slowdown to your advantage and dodge the falling rocks.

Down for the Count

Bloodlines is a satisfactory action game, but it belongs in the lower reaches of the Castlevania lineage. One wonders how Konami could make games so perfect in heart, body, and soul as Castlevanias I through IV, and then drive a stake through the Genesis version. The Bloodlines run dry.

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Castlevania - Bloodlines Downloads

Sega Genesis Castlevania - Bloodlines download
  • Machine: Genesis;
  • Manufacturer: Konami;

They keep killing him, and killing him, and killing him, but he won't stay dead! Count Dracula's back - again - and this time he's terrorizing Genesis owners. Lucky for us, those trusty Belmonts are back, too, this time in the form of John Morris and Eric Lecarde, two descendants of the famous vampire-killing family.

Unfortunately, the Count's got help, too, in the form of Elizabeth Bartley, a female vampire who awaits our heroes along with the usual assortment of zombies, ghouls, and the rest of Drac's undead army. Can our brave adventurers prevail over such horrible dangers? Sure!

We've been waiting for this one, and I'm extremely pleased to say that it was worth every second. Fans of the earlier Castlevania games will love Bloodlines, with its mixture of classic Konami game play and new-fangled 16-bit wizardry. The special effects is fantastic!

However, as good as the game is, it could have been better. The graphics occasionally look a bit stale, with dull, flat renditions of stages from early 8-bit Castlevania titles. And although the hero of Super Castlevania 4 was enhanced for his move to SNES, the guys in Bloodlines (you choose the one you want to portray) are back to being the same little characters from the NES games. There's nothing wrong with them, but they're so tiny that they look a little out of place on a 16-bit machine.

Aside from a few rough spots, Castlevania: Bloodlines is a real winner. Konami evidently labored over each and every inch, and there are new surprises around every turn. There's even a little blood n' gore - zombies splatter in half and blood drips from the ceiling. Bloodlines is great for fans, and if you haven't tried a Castlevania game, now is a great time to jump in.

reggie posted a review
  • Manufacturer: Konami
  • # of players: 1
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Available: 1st qtr. '94
  • Theme: Action

Castlevania is ready to enter the Sega lineup of titles! This time around, the descendant of Simon Belmont, named Johnny Morris, teams up with his spear- wielding friend Eric Lecarde, to rid the world of the possible curse of Dracula once again! The villain this time is a noble lady who gathered all the evils over the world and is going to start a ritual that will revive the Count into this world, and you must be able to stop his forthcoming or the world will see doom and disaster once again!

This version of Castlevania will have a much more dark and foreboding tone to it, giving a much more horrific presence to the game. Also, there is plenty of gore to feast your eyes upon, everything from dripping blood from the ceiling to dead bodies being gnawed on by birds and flies. Also, you can power-up your weapon four times as well as increase the power of your special weapons via spheres of energy. The specials can be boosted up to two times their normal power.

Be warned, these screen shots are only preliminary, and still have a lot of tweaking and backgrounds still to be dropped in. So, hopefully, these additions will be made so that this title may become the best and bloodiest Castlevania to date! So, even though your whip can't go limp, it still has the power to do, the damage!

reggie posted a review
  • Theme: Action
  • Release: 1994
  • No. of Levels: 6

People say:

9

Bloodlines is a great game in itself, but it seems too far detached from the Castlevania theme. The special effects blow away most other Genesis carts easily, especially in the Tower of Pisa. It handles very well, and the choice of two different characters was a nice addition. The visuals are good, if not dark and gloomy. The Bosses are somewhat laughable, but they don't ruin the game. Try it, you'll like it.

8

Well, it looks like the Genesis got the game it always wanted. Was it as good expected? Oh yes! This game dishes up all the best of the Castlevania series and serves it on one great platter. There's more blood here than you can shake a Congressman at and the play control is superb. The Bosses really are a sight to see. They're beautifully animated and extremely cool to fight. This is one to watch for.

8

Konami was due for another Castlevania title and comes up with yet another winner in Bloodlines. This cart has all the great graphics and sounds that Konami is known for. The option of choosing between two characters is cool plus special abilities and attacks are also great. The huge Bosses have some of the coolest attacks and special effects. This game is a must-have for Genesis owners.

8

I admit it. Konami is the king of Castlevania games. Bloodlines is another awesome game from start to finish. Incredibly detailed graphics is one of the things noticed. Also the sounds are truly Konami style. Excellent! Animations and special effects of enemies that I never seen in a game before are really, what you say "awesome!". Very cool weapons you can pick up. Put me on the wait-list for this one.

reggie posted a review
  • Action

Konami is bringing yet another of their great video game series to the Genesis. The newest game in the Castlevania series looks to be hot! Subtitled Bloodlines, look for an all-new quest for our favorite vampire slayer! Once again, our hero is armed with his trusty whip and a few items he finds along the way. He must do battle with the creatures of the night, and bring peace back to Transylvania.

Castlevania: Bloodlines is definitely a top-notch cartridge. Like its predecessors, it features highly detailed backgrounds and a chilling soundtrack. Now Genesis fans can get a taste of what Super NES players have been drooling about. Castlevania: Bloodlines is on its way!

reggie posted a review

Castlevania fared well on the Genesis. Set in the early 1900s, Bloodlines has two vampire killers to choose from: the whip-toting John Morris (a Belmont descendant) and his friend, the lanceman Eric Lecarde. Lecarde's the more powerful of the two and easier to beat the game with. This time there's also a female vampire queen to deal with.

Bloodlines' graphics and sound aren't on par with Super Castlevania IV's, though the game does have its share of cool visuals, including ascending a rocking tower, battling across a lake that turns to blood, and a dynamite opening cinematic.

reggie posted a review

The Belmonts are back with a blood lust for the baddest biter around. That's right, look what the cat Drac'd in, folks. It's an interview with a vampire, and with so much at stake, the Count had better take it to heart (ouch!).

Fangs for the Memories

Genesis owners have been waiting breathlessly for Konami to bring its classic Castlevania series to the Sega systems. Castlevania Bloodlines, an action/adventure side-scroller with graphics and game play similar to the rest of the games in the Castlevania series, brings new blood to the popular series, as well as a lot of new bite.

The story's hero is John Morris, the great grandson of Dracula-slayer Quincy Morris, and a dedicated vampire hunter himself. You can also play as Eric Lecarde, a young man who wants revenge against the witch who turned his girlfriend into a vampire. During the adventure, you travel through castles, haunted ships, and more as you search for the father of all vampires, the Fang Sinatra of bloodsuckers... Dracula.

John is armed with the patented Belmont whip, while Eric uses a spear. The spear-tossing Eric can also super jump, and both characters collect weapons, life bar power-ups, and more to fortify themselves during their hunt for Dracula.

Tooth or Dare

Konami's first Castlevania foray for the Genesis looks to be filled with ghoulish fun, lots of thrills, and plenty of excitement in the true Castlevania tradition.

reggie posted a review

Castlevania: Bloodlines is the first and the only Castlevania game released for Mega Drive/Genesis, 17 years ago, on March 17, 1994. The game was developed by Konami, company which is well known today for developing Pro Evolution Soccer, and was released for the first time in North America, but releases followed in Europe and Australia. Though the game had only a "GA" rating, it contained too much violence and a lot of blood and gore, so the game was censored in Europe and Australia, and renamed to Castlevania: The New Generation.

As in all the games of that period, Castlevania was based on levels as well. The hero had to pass through each level by defeating enemies and collecting different medals, called gems. Each stage has different levels of difficulty, but there is always a sub-boss battle in the middle, and a big boss battle in the end, to pass to the next level. There are two characters the gamers can choose, John and Eric. While the first one can swing past huge gaps, the second one must use different routes by performing high jumps. The game is also known for its high amount of special effects, with Atlantis Shiner's water reflection or the tower of Pisa.

The story of the game starts in 1917, 20 years after the war between humanity and Dracula came to an end. The First World War transformed the peaceful world into a dark one, full of violence. John Morris and Eric Lecarde are the two main characters of the game. John Morris has been summoned to stop the Countess Bartley before she manages to fulfill her plan. He is a smart and skilled vampire. Eric Lecarde is a master lanceman, whose actual reason for joining Eric is the fact that the Countess turned Gwendolyn, his love, into a vampire. John does not know Eric's real reason, and believe Eric joined voluntarily.

The action does not happen in Dracula's castle, and not even in Romania, unlike most Castlevania games. The action happens in Athens, Pisa, Germany, Versailles and England, in the fictional Castle Proserpina. The player, however, is placed in the same environment as in the previous versions of the game. He is still in the middle on now-archetypal designs, though the exact places have changed.

The game was received well by the critics, and got a lot of good feedback, but unfortunately there are not many statistics on the internet regarding the number of sold copies. Sega 16 offered a 9/10 rating, Game Informer offered 8.5/10, Game Pro gave 3.5/5 and Electronic Gaming Monthly rated the game with 8.25/10. Overall the game was received well and it was fairly popular back in 1994.

reggie posted a review

Castlevania:Bloodlines is also known on the Megadrive as Castlevania:The New Generations

Marco posted a review
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