Review by Kratos210

"A Must Have for DS Owners"

The only Final Fantasy in the franchise that hasn't made it state side is finally released in a portable version. This re-release wasn't like the ones that made it onto the Gameboy Advance though, this version has been completely redone. Many changes have been made to the original Famicom version of Final Fantasy III, but are the for the better, and does this installment live up to the Final Fantasy name? Read further to find out.

Story
Up until Final Fantasy VII, the stories for the first six installments were basically the same: a group of heroes must fight the evil that plague the lands and threaten to destroy the crystals. The same can be said for Final Fantasy III DS, though there were a handful of changes made to the story. In this version of Final Fantasy III, a little back story for each of the four main characters was added to give the game a little more depth. The story's not the best, but it's a big improvement from the original.

Score: 7/10

Sound
The quality of the sound is as you would expect from a handheld. Being a member of the Final Fantasy franchise, this game has some notable scores from the likes of Nobuo Uematsu himself. The music from each town, city, and dungeon has been revamped from the original. The original songs are here, but the poor sound quality from the Famicom version has been fixed to better suit this piece of hardware.

Score: 8/10

Controls
Although this is a Nintendo DS game, use of the lower touch screen is not required, though it can be used. The party moves by use of the D-Pad and your other actions (browsing the menu, selecting attacks, etc.) are performed by the press of one of the six other buttons. You can use the touch screen to move around though: the closer the stylus to your character, the slower he/she walks. Menus can be navigated by using your stylus also, but it's notably slower to do so. With these two options of control usage, it's likely that you won't be dissatisfied.

Score: 10/10

Graphics
Final Fantasy III DS is the first to have been truly been remade, unlike the rest of the "Advanced" generation which is simply a family of ports with a few additions. FFIIIDS has been given a complete facelift. Gone away with the 2D sprites of the Famicom version, the DS version is in full 3D. Obviously not up to a console's standards, FFIIIDS certainly pushes a Nintendo DS to its limits.

Score: 9/10

Gameplay
Ahh, the core of a game. Though some people would disagree, you can't have a great game without great gameplay to back it up (which is what makes the Wii such an awesome console >_>). If you've played Final Fantasy or any other RPG for that matter, you know what there is to expect from this game. When you encounter a battle, you are taken to a separate screen to initiate the turn-based battle. What sets this game apart, however, is the Job System. It's been attempted in Final Fantasy II, but not done to its full potential until FFIII. Characters no longer have a set path they must follow, any character can take on any job they wish. With 23 different jobs to choose from, there are many combinations your party of four can create.

Score: 10/10

Wi-Fi Use
New to the Nintendo DS version is the Mognet. The Mognet allows the player to send one message to an NPC they have encountered through their journey and one message to a friend through Wi-Fi. There are a couple quests that utilize the Mognet, though not that many to keep you entertained very long. And with the restrictions of sending two messages per hour, it can take a long while until you complete these quests. You can, however, alter your DS's internal clock and set it an hour ahead to get past this restriction. The addition to the Mognet is nice, but they should have done away with the restriction and made more side quests that use it.

Score: 5/10

Overall Verdict
If you are the proud owner of a Nintendo DS and are a fan of the RPG genre, then Final Fantasy III DS is a worthwhile purchase. Even if you've never ventured into the time-consuming genre before, Final Fantasy III DS may be the game that will get you hooked. With 40+ hours of gameplay and 23 different jobs, which leads to 279,841 party configurations , the replay value for this title is very high.

Final Score: 8/10


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/08/07


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