Review by LordZhaoYun
"A proper 3D Final Fantasy game on a Nintendo console? Sign me up!"
Final Fantasy III is a game that was originally released on the Famicom in 1990 and is a game that has never left Japan's shores before now. This is the full 3D remake of that game. I know many of you might sob because this isn't a 3D remake of the U.S. FF III for the SNES (Final Fantasy VI), but this is still an awesome game.
The game can be controlled completely using the stylus and the stylus controls are pretty fluid and easy to use. You may even prefer them to the D-Pad and buttons. The game however does not make that much use of the DS' dual screens, with the top screen mainly used for a Map and during the battle it just goes completely black. However this is not something to mark it down over.
Square Enix have much improved the story in this remake of Final Fantasy III compared to what it was on the Famicom. Instead of having 4 characters who look exactly the same and have no personality, Square Enix have added in 4 new heroes, Luneth, Arc, Refia and Ingus, to take their place. There is a little bit of character exploration at the start of the game but it isn't built upon much throughout the game.
The story itself is quite simple as it is a remake of a 16 year old game. You start off as Luneth, who falls into a hole at the beginning of the game. You then find this crystal which tells you to find the other "Warriors of Light" and then basically save the world from a horrible fate. Like I said, it's a pretty straightforward story but still quite good nonetheless. However it is not as in depth as some of the later FF games on PS1 or PS2.
As soon as the introduction FMV starts playing, you can tell that this game is going to be graphically stunning. The introduction FMV is beautiful and you wonder how Square Enix managed to cram such graphical prowess into such a little cartridge, however the game cartridge's memory is bigger than the normal DS cartridge.
The actual game itself runs very smoothly, with great, chi-bi style graphics. You may argue that it makes the game look kiddie, but it still has some of the best graphics on the DS. The graphics are much better than FFVII's but it becomes difficult to judge them against FFVIII's and FFIX's with varying opinions of how good they are.
This is where the game really shines. The gameplay may be based upon a very old turn based system but however it still feels fresh and new. This is helped a lot by the Job system in the game, which allows you to customise your characters' jobs. Basically if you want to change your character's job from say a Warrior to a Black Mage, you can, however there is a "Job Adjustment Phase" which you must go through when switching jobs. Basically your characters stats go down a little bit for a few battles during this phase, which can be slightly annoying and does put you off changing jobs on the fly. But still the Job system is great for customizing your party. If you want 4 Black Mages in your team, you can. If you want a balanced team of a Warrior, a Monk, a White Mage and a Black Mage, you can.
Also this game is not for the faint hearted. This is a remake of an old school RPG and it's as tough as nails. If you approach this game like you would the later FF games, namely VII onwards, and not level up then you'll find things really difficult. If you don't level up then the bosses will chew you up and spit you out. With most bosses it's very likely that you'll lose first time unless you're over-levelled or know what you're doing. But still making a game challenging adds to its lifespan and it makes you feel like you've really accomplished something when you've beaten a boss.
The music in the game is quite good, but to be honest nothing particularly special. Normal battle music isn't irritating and you don't mind listening to it over and over and the boss battle music is also good. However there aren't really many tracks that stand out above the crowd I think.
Replay value 9/10
The job system makes this game worth replaying again and again. No two playthroughs feel the same if you change your job setup. The game either becomes easier or harder depending on what jobs you choose and you have to adjust your playing style depending on what party you use.
There are bonus things in the games that you can unlock using Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi function in the game is basically Mognet, whereby you can send e-mails to other players. It's not a great function but it has to be used to unlock Ultimate Weapons, the secret class and the secret, super strong boss. It is still unclear whether you can unlock these functions without Wi-Fi, but if you can't it means that those without wi-fi won't be getting the most out of their game.
Overall Score 9/10
This game is definitely the best current RPG out on the DS at the moment, almost no question. I'd advise anyone who loves RPG's or even someone who previously hasn't been that interested in RPG's to buy it however like I said, it may not be for those looking for an easy game.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/30/06
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