Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse is certainly my favorite of the NES-era Castlevania games. To me, this game combined the best elements of its predecessors into one great experience. The game really built heavily on the platforming aspect of the first game, adding in many new challenges to the mix, but it also had a light RPG element to it with dialogue, optional characters to help you, and the fact that there were multiple routes to take on the way to Dracula’s Castle.
This game is also very hard. This run took me less than 90 minutes to finish the game, however I also used the save-state feature of my emulator to assist and prevent boring back-tracking for viewers to watch. However, when I was a kid, I had to play this game the old fashioned way and it was very hard. The fight against Death and then the one against Dracula are both intense. Dracula is brutal and unforgiving and the fact that you have to start part-way through the previous level if you die makes it that much more difficult. It really is insane, LOL.
Yet, this game did spawn a direct sequel in 2005 in the form of Castlevania: Curse of Darkness for the PlayStation 2, and that’s a game I also intend to do a full Retro Play playthrough of in the future!