Review by CrazyCarl92
"An Amazing RPG for its Time That Introduced Many of the Ideas That Are Now Staples in the Franchise"
I had a TON of fun with this game. This is easily the best RPG on the Nintendo Entertainment System (or, technically, the FamiCOM), and it is honestly one of my favorite Final Fantasy games, period. This game added so much to the previous two Final Fantasy games, fixed so many things, improved existing things, and had a lot more freedom.
Anyways, onto the review...
Yeah, this game is really, really fun. The only reason it does not get a higher rating is because about half of the job classes are useless. But that is about the only negative thing about the gameplay, in my opinion.
This game did such a great job improving so many things from the previous games.. mainly, all of the bugs where certain status spells did not work how they were intended, or Ultima being bugged in Final Fantasy 2, and just about anything you can think of.. were ALL fixed. Another big fix in the gameplay was that there is now auto-targetting for attacks. In the previous games, if you told your fighters to attack someone, but then someone else killed that monster first, then your fighter would attack the air where the monster was, which ended up with an ineffective hit. Now, they re-target. So that's another big plus.
One of the biggest things that this game introduced was the class system. Although Final Fantasy 1 kind of had this, it did not really have an interchangeable system like this game does. You can change all of your characters into any class at any point in the game, for the right amount of class points (won by fighting battles). Although the game messed up a bit in making a lot of the classes a bit underpowered, I still think that this added a lot of fun to the game. For example, there are certain points in the game where you are nearly forced to use certain classes in order to get through because of their specific abilities, and it is fun how everything gets changed up. Also, there is a lot of upgrades to make.
Another huge, huge plus is that they made mages truly useful in this game for the first time. In Final Fantasy 1, they did not have enough spell charges in order to be really useful, and they were limited to using in-battle items for the most part in long dungeons. In Final Fantasy 2, they were only useful for their instant death spells, and were only there to haste and heal and such while other members attacked bosses that were immune to death spells. In this game, they make it so that your Mages can be very useful no matter what you want to do with them. Useful status ailment spells like Shade (Paralyzes), Blind, Sleep, and Break 2 (Petrifies) are all included. Great damage spells like the elemental spells, Meteo, Holy, Bio, Quake, and Aero2 were all there. Cool summons (yes, summons were introduced!) like Bahamut, Leviathan, Titan, Ifrit, Ramuh, and Shiva were all there. They made mages a lot of fun to use in this game.
There were a lot of cool and innovative things that this game introduced, as well. It is hard to think of specific examples, although one of them is that after you get The Invincible (a huge airship), if you run into air enemies with it, it will shoot a cannonball at them and do medium damage to all of them at the beginning of every battle. Another thing is that you need to turn your party into Toads or Midgets to get through certain areas of the game. There is just cool and unique things like this throughout the game.
Also, this game had a pretty fair amount of difficulty in it. You could not really go through this game without a good plan without level grinding a whole bunch, and you really need to set up your party the right way. I always like a challenge that does not require a buttload of level grinding or tedious tasks, and this game definitely had that. So, yeah, I really liked that about this game.
Also, the control was good. The only thing I could say is that I wish the huge ship you got was faster, and that magic spells also re-targeted. Very small complaints to have, though. Almost everything about this game was a lot of fun.
This game easily had more story than a majority of NES games put together. You had goals, family, friends, traveled from town to town, met new people, got new (temporary) party members, watched friends die, had funny and silly moments in the game (such as 4 old men thinking that they are the light warriors), and they had like-able mentors and companions that you met throughout the game. It was cool how near the end of the game, all of your old friends show up to help you out (I will not give away more than this, in this review =P). But yeah, they had cool stuff. They even had a series of events after you defeat the final boss in the game, and they even had a bit of a cutscene going on after that, which did not use the regular game interface, but instead entirely new drawings. That is a pretty innovative and cool way to show a story for a Nintendo game, in my opinion!
So yeah, I think this game's story goes more in-depth than practically anything else at the time, so it is getting a pretty good score.
The graphics were much improved on from the previous games. The character sprites are much more detailed, the animations in the battles are AWESOME for a Nintendo game, there was the cool cutscene at the end of the game, the end of the game had cool stars scrolling on the screen, and there was some really nice animations for this game. This game really, truly, did push the Nintendo to its very limits in this one.
However, there were a couple of things bringing these graphics down:
-The background for battles was still plain black, with some silly borders around the screen. These borders are hardly noticeable, and are not convincing. I do not want a screen of black for my battling screen. Give me some color and some real setting, please. Your silly border with tiny tree things does not fool me.
-There were some things in this game that were recycled from the previous games. The Invincible Airship in this game is the Warship from Final Fantasy 2. the original classes of Fighter, Black Belt (or maybe Monk, I forget), and White and Black Mages look extremely similar, although they are slightly upgraded. Other than those, some things are just re-used throughout the game, such as certain things in the background and such, and it is noticeable.
-The monster's sprites did not look much better than the previous games. They were not improved, and they looked a bit grainy. They could have made these look a lot nicer, like the protagonist sprites.
The music in this game, like most Square / Enix / Square Enix games, is amazing. They changed the pace of a lot of the music, and had some really fast-paced things, which was really uncommon for the Nintendo at the time. The battle theme was great, and it had a cool beat to it. There was a great boss theme, a great overworld theme, a spooky crystal theme, a great final boss theme, area-specific themes, such as the Slyx Tower and Eureka, and so much more. It was all awesome. I often found myself whistling or humming the battle or the victory tune for the entire day after I had played this game, because some of these songs were really that catchy. Great stuff, here.
Yeah, this game is really good in just about every way for its time. Check it out if you like old-school games, RPG's, or anything of the sort. It is probably a game for someone who is already into RPG's a bit, as it would be a bit difficult for someone who has not played the genre before. But yeah, this game is really good. It's true that it never came out in the US of A, but there are plenty of fan-translations out there on the internet (which I believe are legal, since they are just hacked games -- (if not, then disregard the idea), so check it out. I highly recommend this game.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/10/09
Game Release: Final Fantasy III (JP, 04/27/90)
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