Final Fantasy III review
Final Fantasy III: a fantastical game re-imagined for the DS

The good:

  • The first time this game has ever hit international shores.

  • Jumped from 2D to 3D

  • Job system

  • Same gameplay for traditional RPG fans

  • -Good old, nostalgic FF music

    The bad:

  • The turn-based battles tend to wear out people's patience

  • Weak story compared to the other FF games which followed

  • Music becomes repetitive as it's recycled often

  • Wifi could have been implemented better
  • Summary:

    Fans of traditional RPGs rejoice! Unlike the rest of the Final Fantasy games which ensued, FFIII is rather unique. The game's main attraction is the job system with which you can change the jobs of the 4 characters according to your needs. However, what this does is that it creates rather bland characters who feel pretty much the same, as they can all use the same set of jobs. The fact that character backgrounds and relationships aren't explained properly throughout the game furthers the image of each character being interchangeable.

    As for storyline, the game features one of the weakest plots I've seen in video games. It's a run of the mill "save the world" type story with no proper transitions, despite its linear progression. However, the only reason I'd see people playing this game is for its old school gameplay and not the story behind it. If so, then you're in for a treat.

    Despite its weak story, old school RPG fans will definitely appreciate the game for what it is. The game features trademark FF elements, from epic boss battles to familiar recurring characters. Gameplay-wise it's more of the same, except for the heavy emphasis on the job system. The job system allows for numerous possibilities, and couple that with the ability of each character to wield two weapons simultaneously, and you have a seemingly infinite number of tactics to use in battle.

    Visually, the game does a pretty decent job in 3D considering it's the DS. If you compare it to the original NES version, then you can see that the developers have remained faithful to the designs in the original. The CG opening is stunning, however that's the only time you get to see it, since cutscenes don't use CG.

    The game features an impressive musical score. You can hear the familiar battle, chocobo, and boss battle music which were slightly altered in other games of the series. However, my main gripe is that the music becomes old by the time you're nearly done with the game since they use the same music over and over again; nearly all the dungeons have the same music playing.

    The main feature added in the game is a secret dungeon which contains some of the toughest enemies from the games. That's pretty much all they added to keep you playing once you're done. Well, there's also the job mastery items which you receive once you max out a job level. However, to do that you need to do a sidequest towards the end of the game. So as far as replayability goes, you'll probably move onto something new once you finish the game.

    The use of wifi in this game is minimal. But then again, you really can't implement wifi much in this sort of game; it's meant to be a single-player experience. Wifi is used to send other players letters. Now while this might seem rather unnecessary, the main incentive provided by developers to use this feature, is that this is the only way you can complete the additional sidequests and find the secret dungeon.

    All in all, it's a great game if you're into traditional RPGs or if you're wondering where the FF series draws its influence from. Fans of the series are higly recommended to play this game since this has been the first time it's been released internationally. The game has features which make it shine, but it's also got its share of pitfalls.

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