Castlevania: Bloodlines

Castlevania: Bloodlines is the only game from the Castlevania franchise that’s made its way into the Genesis console. Though it was not quite popular back then due to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and the Dawn of Sorrow stealing the spotlight, the fact that it appeared on the Genesis console is still noteworthy.

What is Castlevania: Bloodlines?

Castlevania: Bloodlines was released for the Genesis console back in 1994. Looking at face value, the game shares the same features that other Castlevania games have. In fact, it’s quite similar to Vampire Killer and Castlevania X68000 when it comes to the level design, with each level having multiple stages and each stage having multiple sections. However, in Bloodlines there’s no longer a need to look for a key or solve puzzles in order to pass through.

Game Progression

In Bloodlines, you play as either John Morris or Eric Lecarde who set out on a mission in war-torn Europe to stop Elizabeth Bartley, a demonic countess and Dracula’s niece, from reviving the Prince of Darkness himself. However, instead of gathering an army to fight against the heroes, she has sought the aid of other evil forces from various parts of Europe to destroy anyone who gets in the way of her plans. In the game, we follow the epic adventure of John and Eric as they travel all around Europe and put an end to the countess’ evil plan. You’ll find them across various tourist spots such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa and even to the ever-familiar ruins on the castle we all know and adore, Castlevania.

Design and Gameplay

Castlevania: Bloodlines plays pretty much like any other Castlevania games. You get to fight against various enemies with the use of a weapon, and even upgrade it up to level 4 to make your attacks a lot stronger. However, unlike other Castlevania games, Bloodlines allow you to choose from two different characters – each with his own abilities, traits, and weapon of choice.

The graphics and music for the game during its time are spectacular. You can expect amazing backgrounds and sleek animation, as well as immersive sounds which are perfectly suited to the situation you’re currently in. The only problem with the graphics is that they are somewhat lacking in colour. Hence you might be confused to find out that you’re playing as a blonde when you choose Eric.

The game also features Hard-mode which unlocks a special ending after you manage to beat the game – however it might take a bit of time before you can actually do so.

Pros

• Fun gameplay
• Two different characters to choose from
• Great music and visual design

Cons

• Lack of colour and an odd colour scheme for Dracula’s lair (but nothing major)

Verdict

I think it’s not an exaggeration to say that Castlevania: Bloodlines is the best game you could ever play from the Castlevania franchise. Despite being overshadowed by other Castlevania games, the game still promises solid gameplay and a good few hours of fun and excitement. It’s really worth a try!