Castlevania Bloodlines went back to the more traditional control methods of the first Castlevania games. You can't control your jump in midair, you can't fling your whip around like Indiana Jones, and your character isn't as large as in CV4. Even though the graphics have been downgraded from the SNES adventures, Bloodlines holds up on its own.
The story is this: Countess Bartley has been resurrected, and guess who she wants for company? Yes, she wants her uncle Dracula back in the world of the living. As either John Morris or Eric Lecarde, your job is to travel all over Europe and kill, kill, kill as in other Castlevania games. Each character has their own skill: John has the standard whip, and can swing on all ceilings. Eric has a cool spear that he can twirl around, and he can also use his spear to pole vault to high places.
Like I mentioned before, the controls are more like the original NES Castlevanias. John can only whip left and right, but can whip diaganol left and right while jumping. Eric can use his spear in any direction, except when jumping. Each character also has their own special attack when their weapon is upgraded all of the way.
The game starts in Dracula's old castle in Translyvania, then makes it to an Atlantis Shrine, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a munitions factory in Germany, the Palace of Versailles, and finally Castle Properina in England. Yes, there's only six levels, but they tend to be on the long side, and, unlike other Castlevania games, you only get two continues to get though all of them! However, the game has selectable difficulty levels, and the whole game really isn't as hard as previous CV games.
The graphics are fairly good, certainly not as good as CV4 but fine for a Genesis. There are a whole bunch of neat programming effects to make the Genesis do things it wasn't designed to do (the swaying tower, for instance, or the rolling statue head.) Although they look corny compared to what the SNES can do, it's excellent for a Genesis. The music, in my opinion, is actually better than Castlevania 4, although it doesn't sound nearly as good because of the Genesis sound chip. The sound effects, though, are kinda lame. They must've picked the absoulte worst whip sound on the face of the earth. There's also a neat convenience: candles with items look like the normal dual-candles you're used to seeing, but weapon candles are thick, there's an ability to distinguish between the two, in case you don't want a new weapon.
Overall, if you're looking for a traditional Castlevania game with updated graphics, pick this up. In fact, if the game was longer, this would probably beat out CV4, but as it stands, it's just right behind it.
Also know as Castlevania: Generations in Europe.
Read the Bloodlines instruction book!
Read the Bloodlines FAQ!