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CASTLEVANIA : BLOODLINES / Konami / Genesis
This follow-up to the sublime Rondo of Blood retains most of the same development team and features Michiru Yamane in her first music composition role of the series. Don't overlook it because it is the lone Castlevania representative on the Genesis - this is one of the most badass entries in the series.
The play control is better than that of both Rondo and Super Castlevania 4, giving you a choice of John Morris the whipmaster or Eric Lecarde the spear-wielder who can do Super Mario Bros. 2-style super jumps. Levels proceed in a linear fashion and you get a password between each one. Basically you travel around Europe to a number of locations, trying to collect some orbs or whatever that will prevent Dracula from being revived by this evil yet rather hot Countess chick.
The levels are really excellent in this one, sharp-looking and laden with neat graphical effects. I think some of the Treasure team may have worked on this one before splitting from Konami, or at least influenced the game's style, but it's not Treasureified. It still feels primarily like a Castlevania game, it just features some large and epic boss battles and creative levels.
The music also deserves mention, as Michiru Yamane puts forth an excellent first effort and overcomes the general Suck of the Genesis sound chip to deliver a reasonably badass soundtrack.
Again, not one to miss, this is Badass Platforming at its finest right here.
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