Review by Psycho Penguin
"Wow! This game really surprised me!"
Final Fantasy. The name alone sends goosebumps and chills running through the spines of most RPG players. Final Fantasy has got to be considered as a landmark series in video game history. Each Final Fantasy has had its good points and bad points, but most have had much more good points than bad points. Also, the Final Fantasy series is the most popular RPG series ever (in America, at least), and in my opinion is one of the best RPG series ever. That being said, a lot of newbies to the RPG scene think that Final Fantasy 7 and Final Fantasy 8 are the best Final Fantasies. And I am not going to argue with them, because Final Fantasy 7 and Final Fantasy 8 are great, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But my opinion is that Final Fantasy 3 for the Famicom is much better than Final Fantasy 7 or 8. I had heard great things of the game so I purchased the game and when I played it I was enamored. This very well could be my 2nd favorite NES game of all time, and it is definetly my third favorite Final Fantasy game of all time.
Graphics (9.1/10): One of the main complaints I had about the original Final Fantasy were the terrible battle screen designs. Featuring rectangular shapes for the enemies and charcaters (for instance, 4 guys are fighting 2 ogres. The 4 heroes are on the right side, encased in a rectangle, while the ogres are on the left side, encased in a rectangle) However, Final Fantasy 3 does not feature this. Instead, the enemies and heroes are right next to each other without diddly little rectangles blocking them. Hallejiuah! :) But most of the graphics in the game are basically improved Final Fantasy fare. Everything from the character designs to the overworld design are pretty much straight from the original. Regardless, the graphics in Final Fantasy 3 are exceptional.
Music/Sound (9.2/10): The Final Fantasy series has always been heralded as having outstanding music and sound effects, and the music in Final Fantasy 3 for the Famicom is no exception. The battle music pieces are very well done, and you do not get sick of them after a while. This is very good because you will have to battle a lot in the game, and if you do not like the music in the game then what is the point of playing throgh all the battles? I had a problem with that in a recent RPG I played, I did not want to continue because the battle music was too annoying. Anyways, the boss music is also quite good, and unlike the original Final Fantasy different music plays when you fight a boss. I believe there are 4 different boss themes, which is a great innovation to those annoyed by hearing the same music over and over again. I love the orchestration in the overworld theme as well. The sound effects are great but there realy aren't as many as expected, what's there is very good however. Overall, this game is yet another reason why the Final Fantasy series has been hearalded as having great music and sound effects.
Gameplay/Control (9.8/10): The gameplay in Final Fantasy 3 for the Famicom has improved over the previous 2 games in the series, in my opinion. First, the classic job system (featured prominently in Final Fantasy 5 for the Super Famicom, and now, Playstation) made its debut here. While the job system is not quite up to par with the job system featured in Final Fantasy 5 for the Super Famicom, it is still a very good first effort. For intance, when you start off the game you start off with 4 onion kids (onion kids are the worst job in the game). Soon you find a crystal (hmm... remind you of any other games?) and you are granted new jobs. The more crystals you find, the more jobs you get. Each job has its advantages and disadvantages, also different jobs change certain stats, like HP, MP, and Strength. Also, different jobs allow you to equip different types of weapons (as well as different numbers of weapons) For instance, Ive had fighters equip 2 swords and stuff. Also, the level building system improved greatly over the terrible level building system featured in the Famicom Final Fantasy 2. The level building system definetly went back to basics and was very well done overall. I definetly prefer this kind of gameplay to the gameplay found in the Famicom Final Fantasy 2. Overall, the gameplay is outstanding.
Replay Value: High. When I first got the game, I could not put it down. I wanted to get to as high a level as I possibly could, plus try out all the new jobs. Also, I liked to mix around with different charcater class combinations, like having 2 red mages paired with 2 black mages, and so on. Before I knew it I had already gotten to Bahamut's nest. While I have not played it as much since, I still do play the game every once in a while and will continue to play it until I beat it. Then I will probably want to beat it again, just like I always do when it comes to Final Fantasy games.
Challenge: Medium. So far I have had very little trouble going through the game, and I am almost to the end I believe. I am quite happy that it is easier to build levels and gain gold then it is in the original Final Fantasy. This means I do not have to waste as much time building levels and gold and could instead do it at my own leisure. There is quite a difference for me between building levels at my own pace or being forced to gain levels and gold.
Overall (9.7/10): Wow. What else can I really say? The Final Fantasy series has always been one of the most popular series, and this game is no exception. While it has never been released in America, it was a popular game in Japan. I advise you at least download the ROM because this is one incredible game.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 04/05/00, Updated 07/16/01
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