The first Castlevania that broke with the old platformer mold and introduced RPG-elements is still a great game and as much fun as when I played it years ago. I had forgotten how steep the initial difficulty of the game is. Unlike its descendants for the handhelds, you’ll die a lot at the start of the game. Later the game becomes much more forgiving once you’ve leveled up a bit, but then you’ll often get stuck, trying to figure out what to do next.
There’s actually not much I can complain about. I never used magic, since I resent learning beat’em up-like key combinations in non-beat’em ups, but those spells aren’t essential anyway so that wasn’t a big concern of mine. I liked the story, it’s minimalistic, but still effective and doesn’t get in the way of the gameplay. Overall, great game.