Review by scathatch72

"A frustrated love."

I got this game as a Christmas gift. I played it from start to finish, and yet....

FF3 DS is Squeenix's remake of one of the few FFs that didn't quite make it to US shores way back when. My, how far we've come.

STORY: 6/10

Plucky chosen heroes? Check. Darkness is threatening to cover the land and doom the planet's inhabitants? Check. Plucky chosen heroes must venture through hell and back to stuff the evil back in its bottle? Check check checkity check. That's the premise in a nutshell, folks. But, remember that is a remake of an old game, and perhaps you can manage to tolerate the bare bones plot. Maybe.
You have your main hero guy (Luneth), his best buddy (Arc), the chick (Refia), and the noble knight...guy (Ingus). The only real difference between them is their personalities, really.

GRAPHICS: 9/10

It's a Square game. Of course it's got purdy graphics. Characters are large and detailed in close up, and each player character has a "personal" detail in their job outfit (Arc has a belt buckle, Luneth has the three belts on his front, Ingus has his pendant, and Refia has her cute lil' scarf). Environments are colorful and vast, overall it looks great for a DS game. There's even a CG intro whenever you boot the game up. Water and lava does look a little blocky, but that's just nitpicking. Spells, job outfits, and skills look good.

SOUND: 8/10

Decent soundtrack. There's not one track I seriously disliked, although it can be a bit repetitive at times. The game has no voiceovers, and that's fine. It brings me back to a time where I would just make up a voice for each character in my head (come on now, you probably did that too at some point ^_^). There's just not anything outstanding or horrible about the soundtrack.

GAMEPLAY: 6/10

Oh dear. Where do I begin? Ok. To aid your characters in their quest, the almighty powers that be (the elemental crystals, surprise surprise), grant them the ability to change into a variety of jobs. You're given some of the classic jobs, such as White Mage, Thief, Fighter, etc etc. Problem is that whenever you switch, you are penalized by having to go through "job adjustment". And then you must fight a number of battles to restore the stats to normal. It's really unnecessary. It pains me to say this, but this is one of the few RPGs where I don't like level grinding. And grinding you must, as pretty much every single enemy in the game can hand you your ass. Repeatedly. I'm not saying the game should be super easy, but there's a difference between good challenge and making a game stupidly difficult. The battle system leaves a lot to be desired--it's turn-based, which is fine, and you have your characters attack, then the enemy has their phase, repeat until your side wins (or the enemies annihilate your team). However, there's no turn priority meter to see exactly when your allies will react, no time bar, no, it's based on Agility, but again, there's no way to keep track of turn priority. It just feels so archaic, and you would think since this is a remake, it could do a lot better. It also doesn't help that there are no save points in dungeons. No. Just, no. Quicksave doesn't help as it will always delete whenever you restart. You are often forced to venture into very long and often tedious dungeons, with no tents or cottages to use to recover your precious MP (which you will burn through and surprise! Healing springs are far and few in between, as well as having to teleport out of the dungeon to haul ass to an inn). It boils down to--get to end of dungeon, get killed by the boss, and then having to do it all over again. And again, the grinding makes it all the more painful, because of the aforementioned job adjustment and MP system. And in this day and age, in the name of all that is holy, PLEASE GIVE US AN EVENT SKIP OPTION.

CONTROLS: 9/10

No complaints really. Menus are easily navigated and movement is fluid, only thing is that the touch screen has no real use or gimmicks.

FINAL THOUGHTS: As the (funny) credits rolled, I began to wonder--was it worth the hours of smashing through bosses that are equal to brick walls, and wondering why the heck X job is near-useless? Despite the frustration, I enjoyed getting new jobs, buying new magicks and weapons of minor destruction to play with, the funny NPCs, playing the piano while the bar patrons do some sort of riverdance thingy, discovering secret tunnels and pillaging castles and houses of anything that wasn't nailed down (This IS an RPG after all, stealing is A-OK when you do it). And Chocobos and Moogles. Everything's better with chocobos and moogles.

Overall, it's decent yet quite flawed; there are some little diamonds in the rough here and there in the game, but like my tagline says, it's a frustrated love. If it's nostalgia you're after then by all means, buy. If you value your blood pressure, give it a rent.

FINAL SCORE: 6/10


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 06/30/08

Game Release: Final Fantasy III (US, 11/14/06)


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