Castlevania III is a whole lot like the first game in the series with a few key differences. You’re still thrust into the role of a vampire hunter, ancestor of the guy in the other game, as it happens. You still have to kill Dracula with little more than a whip and your reflexes. But this time the world is huge… Well, huger than the original one.
At several points through the game you can choose alternate paths, and the game changes slightly depending on which path you choose. Which is kind of nice, really. The other main difference, and this is the big one, is that you can now take a ‘companion’ along with you. Through the game you’ll meet up with up to three different partners. You can take these partners with you to help you take down Dracula.
Each of the partners has a distinct ability that makes them useful to have around. Grant the pirate can stick to and climb walls and ceilings, Sypha the wizard can use fire, ice, and thunder spells (ice is really handy for freezing and then breaking enemies into lots of little pieces), and Alucard the son of Dracula can shoot fireballs and turn into a bat (he’s not really that useful). You can switch between your characters on the fly which makes the game quite a bit more interesting, even though they both share the same life bar.
Then you have the graphics, music, and story all improved over the first couple of games in the series and you have a winner. A particularly tough and unforgiving winner, but a winner nonetheless.