Review by Vegita

"The 3rd installment of "Final Fantasy" Legend. Is it the best, or just 3rd?"

As I began with in the review for ''Final Fantasy'' Legend I and II, one must first inform you that this is NOT a true Final Fantasy game. This game, as with ''Final Fantasy'' Legend I, FFL III, and FF Adventure, are not actual Final Fantasy games. The ''Final Fantasy Legend'' series is actually the ''Saga'' series (remember Saga Frontier?). Knowing that the title ''Saga'' probably wouldn't sell NEAR as much as ''Final Fantasy'' Square decided to pull the ol' name switchero on us poor Americans. Even ''Final Fantasy Adventure'' was actually ''Seiken Densetsu,'' which has had many successful sequels (like Secret of Mana and Legend of Mana). Now that I've made that point, on to the review!

Ratings:

Graphics: 10/10
Sound Effects: 7/10
Music: 6/10
Originality: 5/10
Play Control: 7/10
Group Enjoyment: 3/10
Individual Enjoyment: 8/10
Challenge: 8/10
Ending: 7/10
Overall: 8/10

This was the third Gameboy installment of the ''Final Fantasy'' series, and is also the best graphic-wise. ''Final Fantasy'' Legend III involves time travel, having your band of characters trying to save the future from being flooded by traveling into the past from the present. You also can do some interesting things, a la Chrono Trigger, like tell the future Founder of your hometown where to build his dream city. So, does this game meet-and-beat it's predecessors, or does it fall short of the standards set before it?

Good Points:
This one seems to be easier, as the enemies seem to be getting progressively dumber and dumber. Once you get your time-travel ship, you can equip it with weaponry that automatically fires on whatever you're fighting, causing preemptive damage to them before the actual fight. Then there’s a Holographic machine that lets you fight enemies from outside the city indoors, and safely. You can’t die against them, but you do get to keep the money and experience. Your ship also comes equipped with an inn and a few empty stores, waiting for the 4 Masters to help you.
After you save them, four Masters of the world can make for you Items, Magic, Armor, and Weapons, made out of the rare crystals you collect during your journeys.

Bad Points:
This one is kinda hard to follow. You have to guess where city locations are, and then try to figure out where to go next, all the while getting beat up by groups of enemies that just won’t let up!

The Scolars are nice to have, but it’s hard to tell if someone is good with a weapon or not! If you have one person equip it, and they do poorly, equip the next person with it to see if it’s better for them.

The buildings in a town are also kinda confusing. I tried to beat a big bad monster guarding the first Master on top of a mountain, only to beat him, walk back to town, “accidently” walk into a pillar, and find that there was an Armor shop the whole time! And I liked the idea of having Monsters, Beasts, Humans (Or Mutants), Cyborgs, and Robots, but it get’s kinda confusing as to which has the abilities you will need for a particular situation, so I just went through the game as humans (And mutants).

General Ratings:

Graphics:
Superb. The enemies are large and varied, the landscape looks great, and the bosses...well, the bosses are huge as well. Unlike before, you actually see the people in your party during a fight(however, they're really tiny). This game still has the standard ''Showing of the weapong attacking'' graphics, and with new weapons to showcase, this game has graphics down to a science. I like the new enemy styles and types, plus all the new character graphics (instead of just using ones from the previous 2 games).

Sound:
While there were some new ones, a lot of the same sounds were used from the previous games. C'mon, what happened there? Honestly, would it have been too much to bang a couple of pots together, record it, digitally put it into the game, and market it THAT way? It would have been new and different, I tells ya...well, the sounds are good, I have to give the game that...

Music:
They apparently tried to do away with all the used music, and attempted to write all new music. It didn't work out too great. The music's GOOD, but it's just barely above par. The overworld theme lacks the simplistic joy of ''Final Fantasy'' Legend I's version, nor does it have the determination of some of the songs from ''Final Fantasy'' Legend II.

Originality:
There's some changes, but at this point, the originality is just at par. If there is another game, and they pretty much keep it the same except for plot, characters, and monsters, then the originality will drop to either 3 or 4. The problem is, though, is that this really is more of an update on Final Fantasy III for the NES/Famicom. You have the level building idea, you have the same spells, but instead of changing characters through earning points and contacting crystals, you eat meat or install robotic parts. Oh yeah, and instead of the magic ''counter'', you get MP.

Another interesting concept is the 2 ''side equipment'' matter. You can equip the standard set of weapons and armor, but you also have 2 slots for specialty equipment (such as belts, hats, etc). These items are, essentially, Relics from Final Fantasy VI, as they can give you special abilities and bonuses, or just simply give you more defense, speed, etc.

Play Control:
It's an RPG! You don't really NEED to worry about play control, now do you? I guess my only qualms about the play control, though, is that while the Jump ability is nice, it doesn't do anything except give you a new way to get to items. If you could use it to dodge fights, or skip bosses, it would be handy, but it's just another tool for puzzle-work as it is.

Enjoyment:
People just don't like looking over someone else's shoulder at a tiny screen, huh? Well, if you're playing this game buy yourself, then it's pretty fun. Otherwise you're stuck with the Super Game Boy (for the SNES/Super Famicom), and even then people probably aren't going to want to watch you play it that much.

Challenge:
Ah, the challenge. This game is pretty challenging if you think you can just waltz through without bothering to fight for levels. Yes, you heard right, levels. This game finally brought back the concept of levels! So I guess the challenge in this game lies in 1 of 2 aspects - do you have the patience to build levels, and do you have the knowledge of your enemies' weaknesses, so you can win easier? Since it's an entirely new set of enemies and we aren't given any hints, I believe the challenge falls on the former. That is not how you should make a game challenging.

Ending:
A good ending for a good game. It's not just your run-of-the-mill ''Credits and a THE END shot''. This game actually has an ending. I LOVE that in a game. Too bad I can't say much, as spoilers aren't allowed.

Overall:
Although the trouble with the weaponry and buildings frustrated me, I eventually got over it, and completed this game without wanting to smash it. In fact, it was rather fun, and I've now played through it a few times. Despite its' flaws, this is still a good game. Not QUITE as good as FFL II (in my opinion), but it IS a good game. Give it a try, and see if you like it. I know I did...maybe not for the same reasons I liked FFL II, but I did like it.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/18/00, Updated 08/18/00


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