Review by Bkstunt_31
" The intro to Final Fantasy's beloved job system!"
Final Fantasy III was originally only released in Japan. America got a "Final Fantasy III" on the SNES, but it was really Final Fantasy VI. Before recently, the only way you could play Final Fantasy III was by either importing it or downloading the rom, but now you can take this legend of the light warriors with you wherever you go.
This game is truly a re-make, having it's story altered drastically, and the original "onion kids" now have names and deeper backgrounds, as well as individual looks! Personally, I prefer the re-make, I think they did a very good job on it.
The story is fairly cut-and-paste, being a step above average only due to the large amount of side quests with optional characters that you have no choice but to pay attention to. The game stars Luneth and his 3 companions, who are chosen as the worlds light warriors to save a growing threat of the world being engulfed in darkness. Being chosen by the light crystals themselves, Luneth and his friends must battle against a pupil of the great sage Noah, who's desire for power has tipped the balance between light and dark.
Along the way, as I mentioned before, you'll come across several characters which you will interact with, many of them being essential in progressing you through the story. Some of them will even fight with you, though it is random when they do it, and the attack they do is also random.
Cid makes a return in the series (his first return, really) as an airship inventor and mechanic. Also returning is one of the series icons, the chocobo, who can make traveling around quite a bit easier.
Overall, I found the story fairly intriguing, but it could have been polished a little bit more. I enjoyed all of the extra characters side quests and stories, though, and since most of them are directly necessary for the main quest to continue, you don't have to go out of your way to view them.
The gameplay presented follows along the lines of the original Final Fantasy, but adds so much more. It is similar to the original in the fact that each character had their turn to act, as well as the fact that you get experience and money after each battle. This is a welcome from the frustrating gameplay of its predecessor, Final Fantasy II, in which you had to almost purposely kill yourself in order to gain hp. Weapons and armor are equipped the same way, also, the only difference here being that you can use both hands to equip two different weapons. Magic in the game is bought like an item, and used to teach characters different spells, despite whether or not you can cast them. There isn't any mp in the game, but rather, much like the original Final Fantasy, you can only cast a certain amount of spells for each level. This forces you to be somewhat conservative as you don't want to find yourself in a dungeon without any spell charges.
The biggest and best change in Final Fantasy III is the job system. In the original you could pick from one of six jobs, and had to play through the game as that job the entire time (ignoring the upgrade, of course). In Final Fantasy III, though, the crystals grant you different job options each time you come across them, giving you over 20 jobs (22, I think) to choose from, each with their own set of items and magic they can equip! Each job also has at least one special skill that is unique to their job.
There are also two distinctive ways to level up in the game. Of course your main level will rise as you gain experience, but you will also gain job levels as you play, which rise according to how many times you act as a given job. These levels are important as they dictate the number of times your character hits their target. Also, mastering a job (getting to level 99) may get you a unique item related to that job, if you can find a certain person to give it to you that is!
This system sparked a trend in Final Fantasy games to let players choose their job's at will, which continued in Final Fantasy V, and onto Final Fantasy Tactics.
The graphics are all done very well. Between the change of the story, and the "updated" graphics, you truly can't call Final Fantasy III a port. The characters can look a little blocky and pixely at times, though, which can make it fun to watch them interact with each-other. The world map is laid out well, and looks good as you explore it in the air, on the ground, and even below the sea! All the characters, as I mentioned before, now have their own individual look and personality. I think that their looks compliment their personalities very well. The enemies look good as well, having quite a bit of variety throughout the game. You will enjoy the 3-D environments in the world as you explore.
There are also a couple, very few, animated cut-scenes that are very well done. The opening scene in particular is amazing. Just beautiful. It makes me wish they had more of these scenes in the game. There were also some random cut-scenes when a character uses a special attack, though I don't believe it effects the potency or power of their attack.
Music and sound effects: 7/10
The music is well done, nothing too outstanding though. I can't really think of any unique tunes from Final Fantasy III that I couldn't hear in any other Final Fantasy. The sound effects are all what you would expect. Each weapon has a different sound and animation. I found everything to be pretty much average in this department, as it doesn't add or detract anything from the game in any significant way.
Re-playability and extra contents: 8/10
There is quite a bit of extra content in this game, but not very much of a reason to replay through it, since you can change jobs at any time. There is a secret job that you can unlock, provided you can access and send messages to friends via the DS's wireless ability. As I mentioned before, for each job you level up to 99, you can attempt to locate a wandering blacksmith to give you a unique item for that job. This can add quite a bit of time to anyone who wants to get all of these unique items.
A great rpg, and a must have for any Final Fantasy fan. I would highly recommend it for any fan of the series, but for casual fans there are better rpgs with deeper stories and just as addictive gameplay to try out. Oh, and I really wouldn't recommend buying the strategy guide for the game (the Bradygames one), as I found it wasn't very helpful at all (Gamefaqs should be all you need). Have fun and keep playing! Later...
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/02/07
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