I don't know why some people hate on the Golden Axe series, I mean they are old school beat em' up games, not The Elder Scrolls. It sucks that you can't play as the dwarf in Golden Axe III, but the panther dude is a fair trade off.
I do agree, Gillius is there as a mentor, but not playable. I guess he is old at that point, and he is letting a new generation take over. The two new characters are pretty cool, and overall its a fun beatem up.