Review by Vinolency
"I want my $40 back."
This is the review for Final Fantasy III, for Nintendo DS.
As soon as I saw this game announced, and saw some of the attractive screen shots, I was ready to shell out my hard-earned $40. Now, I'd be overjoyed if I was to be offered a refund. $40 is pretty costly for a handheld game, and if I'm going to pay that much, I expect a masterpiece. This game came far from delivering what I expected. To the inexperienced or first-time Final Fantasy gamer, they might think this game is stunning, with great visuals and an amazing soundtrack. Actually, if you're that inexperienced, you probably won't know the difference between Nobuo Uematsu and your high school orchestra.
I wasn't as pleased.
Gameplay - 8/10
I had fun, for a little while. It kept me amused. Getting a new set of jobs was always interesting, until you realized that only a few of them were good. The job system boasts a total 279,841 different combinations for the choice of your party. Regardless of this statistic, you'll rarely change your party, unless you're a completionist who wants to level every job to 99. But that's just punishment. There's not a wide variety of 279,841 parties that would, or could be, successful. You'll probably stick to the powerhouse jobs, and stick to them. I know I hardly changed my party, because any change resulted in me getting quickly pounded by simple random encounters. Now, on to the battles. It's just the same as Final Fantasy X, if you've played that. It's turn based, so ATB fans are out of luck. I personally would have preferred the simple change to ATB, but I was willing to settle for this new turn-based system. It's a little tedious, but the battles are extremely slow-paced, and that's a pain for anyone who is into power leveling, if that's your thing. Did I mention leveling? Yeah. You'll be doing a lot of that. Unless you've got amazing luck, are using a FAQ, or you've played through the game, you'll need to be at a sufficiently high level. There's boasts about the flexibility of the touch-screen capabilities, but you'll probably just plain not use it. You can use it to walk around, which works quite nice, but it's much harder in battle. You have to press small significant buttons to select an action, sometimes pressing them twice. It's just a bother.
Graphics - 7/10
7/10? You probably think that's pretty unfair. This is easily one of the best looking, if not THE best looking game on the NDS, but there's more to judge than that. The characters look quite nice, even if they are chibi forms of what your typical heroes are. The job changes look nice, but I think they could have been a little more character-unique, because they generally all look the same. If they could have put a few twists in there, it would have made it much more fun. Monsters are usually visually impressive too, but you never really stop and say, "Wow, that thing is just bad-ass". My main complaint is how much the graphics seem recycled to me. EVERY TOWN LOOKS THE SAME! Where's the individuality? Where's the desert oasis town, and the mountainside villages, and the exotic beach locales? It's almost always a generic town surrounded by forestation. There's a few unique touches, like a "City of Water", which I liked. But, when you get off of the Floating Continent, all the towns simply look alike. It just bored me.
Story - 2/10
There isn't one. You're the Warriors of the Light, and you have to save the day. No big turning points, no romance, hardly any character development, and nary a plot device in sight. I'm all for a generic plot, but you need a little bit of excitement. You can run a game off the job system alone, Square-Enix. The story gives something people can talk about, something to write absurd rumor sites about, and maybe even a Plot FAQ. That's when you know it's good. The biggest thing that happened in my playtime was when Aria died. And I was more thinking, "What?" then "Oh my God!" Try a little harder, guys,
Replayability - 5/10
What? There is none. I guess that you could play through the game again with a different party arrangement, but how much fun is that? That's like doing your homework again with a differently colored pen. I could probably play through this again, collecting everything, doing all the sidequests, like everyone claims, but not everyone has that kind of patience. I know that I don't. The job configuration isn't going to be the thing that turns the game around. If you manage to play this more than twice, you have my congratulations.
Sound and Music - 6/10
It's Nobuo, so you can't go wrong. The biggest problem I had, was that it seemed more like all of the music was being recycled, more than more tracks being introduced. As far as I know, there was 1 battle theme, 1 boss theme, 1 overworld walking/sea/flying theme, and a few town themes. Granted, I never beat the game, but I wouldn't be surprised if the final boss used the same boss music as when you fight the Djinn. It's very unimpressive, we needed a little more variety.
Difficulty - 8/10
This game can be very annoying at times. I was ready to put this game through the wall when I first fought Salamander, but then, I won. I stopped altogether after being annihilated by Garuda's plain unfairness. You'll spend a lot of time training, and even more time if you want to do good. It's frustrating to the point where you'll put it down for a few hours. Just don't break anything.
If you're picky like me, you probably won't have too much fun with this game, about halfway through. Go buy Castlevania. Or Final Fantasy IV. Or VI. Or buy $40 of cheap alcohol and drink yourself into oblivion.
Borrow if from a friend on a lazy weekend or break off school. Go no further.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 02/06/07
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