The series had already jumped to arcades, C64, MSX, Amiga, PC, X68000, and the TurboGrafx, and with this Sega's system finally got a Castlevania game of its own.
Weirdly neither of them have the last name 'Belmont', though John Morris is related to them and has the legendary Vampire Killer whip. Which is the leading cause of Dracula deaths, beating 'stake to the heart' by a huge margin.
One weird change I've noticed though; there's no hearts! Instead of collecting hearts for ammunition, I collect gems. And like Rondo of Blood there's no time limit.
Simon, Richter and Maria are all from systems which stretch their video output to a different aspect ratio, so they'd appear wider on TV. But even taking that into account Morris is still twice their size.
|Castlevania: Bloodlines (Genesis)|
It seems that some of the sub-weapons have been changed. For instance the old cross shaped boomerang has been replaced with a more boomerang shaped one.
Oh, another similarity to Rondo of Blood; the characters can jump on and off stairs. So instead of having to walk from the bottom right to the top, I can just jump up them quickly. It's a massive improvement over the old system in my opinion.
Castlevania again. There's the staircase leading down to the water with the mermen jumping out, and there's the cracked wall with the food hidden inside on the right.
Oh cool, you can actually see it's a destroyable wall in this game. I realise that marking secrets does tend to make them less secret, but it's subtle, it's fine.
It turns out that they've replaced the food with a book that gives extra weapon power, which is why his spear's glowing green.
John Morris's whip would be super powered after grabbing the book from the wall, but I lost it when I took damage. It seems I can only keep the power as long as I can avoid being hit.
Castlevania 1, so this guy's shown up to replace him. He's got an annoying howl that makes the windows in the background shatter, raining glass down onto me. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to avoid the glass so I'm just going to run up and hit him.
|Castlevania: Bloodlines (Genesis)|
Apparently that guy wasn't actually a proper boss, so I don't get a full health orb, or even a map screen interlude.
Fortunately those birds are too preoccupied with saving their own skin than bothering me right now, or else this could have gotten dangerous.
I used a super sub-weapon attack to blow some pieces off him (at a cost of more hearts), then finished the job by wailing on him with the whip. To be honest, he's not the most fearsome boss I've come across in a Castlevania game.
And stage one is finally complete, onto stage two... Greece!
This water effect would look cool if it'd stop bouncing up and down on screen. Subtle would have been better.
The screen is moving up at a fixed rate, so there's no way for me to race ahead. Or even see what's ahead. I mean I assume both stairs lead the safety, but I don't know for sure.
Though I do have 1 bar of health left... I can still win this.
But... two continues for the entire game? You've got to be shitting me. Sure they give me passwords every stage, but these stages are huge! What the hell made them think that now would be a good time to scrap unlimited credits?
Okay, whatever, I'll keep playing and see how far I get with my continues. Back to the start of the section then.
ONE REPLAY OF STAGE 2 LATER.
After fighting my way up the tower and through the mid-bosses I've got to get back down again, by keeping up with the water as it empties out. For some reason.
Unfortunately just took a hit from a Medusa head on the way down, and my character never learned to swim.
No kill for you this time, you bodiless snake-haired bitch!
This game actually has some interesting boss fights in it, it's just a shame this one is about to kill my dude.
ONE BOSS FIGHT LATER.
Those Belmonts had things so easy. All they had to do was get inside Castle Dracula, then get up to the top tower and kill the guy living there. But that was just stage one for team Morris. This heroic pair knows that to truly destroy evil you need to take a road trip across Europe.
Neither worked. Game over.
This is a great looking, imaginative game with decent music and solid gameplay and I would have probably kept playing if the game had let me. If they'd split the levels in the middle, added recovery items after mid-boss fights, put in a Rondo of Blood style level select and character change menu, and gave me infinite continues, this could have been one of the best of the series for me.
But they didn't, so it's not. Next game.
1986 - Castlevania (NES)
1986 - Vampire Killer (MSX2)
1987 - Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES)
1988 - Haunted Castle (Arcade)
1989 - Castlevania: The Adventure (Game Boy)
1990 - Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (NES)
1991 - Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge (Game Boy)
1991 - Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
1993 - Akumajō Dracula / Castlevania Chronicles (X68000)
1993 - Akumajō Dracula X: Chi no Rondo / Rondo of Blood (TurboGrafx-CD)
1994 - Castlevania: The New Generation / Castlevania: Bloodlines (Genesis/Mega Drive)
1995 - Castlevania: Vampire's Kiss / Castlevania: Dracula X (SNES)
1997 - Castlevania Legends (Game Boy)