Saturday 29 July 2023

Castlevania: Bloodlines (Sega Mega Drive / Genesis review)

Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Released: 1993

Castlevania: Bloodlines is an action game that was released in Europe and Australia as Castlevania: The New Generation.

+ The six stages feel entirely distinct and include some excellent set pieces that act as a brilliant build-up to the finale.

+ Both playable characters have unique abilities, which makes repeat attempts a treat in terms of how you tackle each stage.

+ Bosses are incredibly clever and some have an almost puzzle-like element rather than obvious, exploitable attack patterns.

+ Graphical effects are mesmerising (particularly Stage 2's water reflections) and the music creates an ominous atmosphere.

- Level design relies too heavily on the source material from the first and third Castlevania games (1987 & 1990, NES).

- Multi-directional whip from Super Castlevania IV (1991, SNES) is sorely missing and combat feels clunky without it.

- Enemy placement can be cheap and it doesn't help that some of the toughest sections are prior to upcoming checkpoints.

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