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Oct 252013
 

Yes, it’s true. The Castlevania franchise continues to grow with its third installment Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse. Now this game is more like a prequel then a sequel because the hero is Simon Belmont’s Great-grandfather Trevor Belmont and takes place 100 years earlier.

The task is still the same to get rid of Dracula and restore peace to Transylvania. It’s all in the prelude, which looks like it’s on a filmstrip. As Dracula keeps coming back in the movies, he does the same in this franchise. You just can’t keep this old vampire down.

The game play is very much like the original Castlevania game. Unfortunately, that means it’s also tough. It isn’t as hard as the first game, but definitely a close second.

There are some added twists to this game. On occasion you come to a fork in the road and decide which set of levels to go through. Sometimes it’s helpful, but other times it isn’t because some stages are much harder than others, so you must choose wisely.

Another great addition to this game is that you can play as other characters as you find them. There’s Grant Dynasty the pirate ghost that can walk up and on ceilings, Syfa Belnades the mystic who can cast spells, and Alucard the son of Dracula who can turn into a bat. They all make great allies, but you can only team up with one of them. If you choose another, the old one leaves. I find that very disappointing.

If you thought many of the levels and bosses were tough, Dracula is harder than ever in this game. He takes three different forms one after another, which must be done in one setting or you have to start all over at the beginning of the final level. It’s bad enough that Trevor’s life meter drains a lot faster in later levels, even more so with the other characters. At times like this I’m glad Game Genie was created. Unfortunately, Castlevania 3 is one of few games that it doesn’t work on, which I find hard to believe.

First you take on Dracula as he is while having to dodge tall fiery spikes from the ground. Then he turns into a floating blob with six heads, which isn’t too bad. I can’t tell if it’s drooling or in need of a tissue.

But it’s Dracula’s third form that’s the real killer. You have to aim for his head, which is at the top of the screen, while riding random platforms on the ground. Dracula also fires lasers diagonally, which are hard to dodge.

Believe it or not, I have played this game for years and I have only beaten it once. I was at my next to last life with only one life bar left. It felt like it was all luck. Would you believe that Syfa was the best character to defeat Dracula?

Don’t get me wrong though. I still think Castlevania 3 is a real NES classic. Although this marks the end of the NES versions, the Castlevania franchise still doesn’t end there. Check my blog for part 4 for the exciting conclusion of classic Castlevania.

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