So now we're at the third game of the series and after the events of the second game, Marine is now left without her very very useful fairy companion and only has five out of thirteen warriors and not much time left along with not many places left to explore.
The third game picks up where the 2nd left off. Also, this time you get to keep the characters you recruited in the second game for the whole adventure. You'll also be able to pick up Hirado for part of the game and Karine until the ending.
One thing that is different in this game is a good chunk of the dungeons are more side scrolling and you jump from place to place. There are still dungeons that are the more traditional top down view as well.
Overall, this game has a much more solid story and more interesting characters than the second game had and one of the better endings. This is a lot more solidly recommended than the second game was and overall the 3rd and 5th games are probably the best in the whole series, with the 4th being close behind. This is definitely where the series starts to shine.
+The side scrolling perspective is pretty neat and changing things up makes things more interesting
+Definitely a lot more customization is possible here and there are multiple solid parties to have.
+The lack of Jeanne for the game actually does make it more challenging and you have to change up your tactics.
+A very good plot for this game to add to the overarching one.
Neutral points: (Stuff that may be good to some and not so good to others)
&The banter between Jack and James. It can be considered funny to some, but may be grating to others.
&For a large chunk of this game it seems like Marine is being distracted from her quest to help Jack and Salome and it's repeatng the same issues as the second game had. It actually ended up being to her benefit, but we won't find out why until the beginning of the fourth game.
-If you are importing, the cap to imported characters is even more annoying in this game. The biggest annoyance was having to spend a good amount of time to get Abu back his Cure KO ability. That does give this game a slower start than the second had.
-If you are a completionist, this game has some very annoying missables.
-There's a really annoying bug that randomly unequips the Eternity Trident from Salome late in the game and it can happen at very frustrating points. Make sure to check after every battle to ensure she's still got it equipped because if she goes back to human form, you have to rest to get her back to mermaid form.
Also a note on this game's official guide as well. The guide for this game is the worst of the series. It's worth getting on sale because it does have some useful tips and the maps are great to have. However, expect to also have to look elsewhere for quests and secret rooms since those aren't all detailed in the guide. Also, the guide posted on Steam is a great supplement to help with 100%ing the game.
So overall, very solid entry and after playing this one I can see why the series is so well regarded and very much recommended.