Review by Princess Lynaly

"The best of the NES trilogy."

Final Fantasy 3 is a very surprising game. For one, it defies the limitations of the 8-bit NES and makes a game so involving, so long, and so intricately detailed (in 8-bit terms) you can't take it for ''just another NES game.'' After the piece of garbage known as Final Fantasy 2, Square obviously looked back on the original and developed a much more in depth game and even managed to balance a pretty good storyline in there as well. Even though your heroes are still somewhat generic people, they now voice their opinions and actually participate in conversation rather than the mute 4 of the original FF. This game also creates the foundation of the job system, later to be used again by Final Fantasy 5 and Final Fantasy Tactics. Instead of being restricted to a single class, you may now change to others whenever you want as long as you have enough Change points. As you progress further into the game, you will gain more jobs to use, like FF5, until you have quite a varied selection by the end of the game. Now I'll break down the individual points of this game.

Graphics:

FF3 looks like FF4, minus a lot of color and any other 16 specific effects. (Mode-7, Transparency, etc). This is an incredible feat considering the NES is 1983 technology! There are little details everywhere in all the areas you will explore and even the ocean on the overworld map has it's own animated flow, much like the SNES games. The battles are better animated too for what they have and the monsters look the best yet of the first 3 games.

Still, there is one little problem. Recycling. Yes, just like FF2 did of FF1, FF3 borrows some of the same sprites and certain graphics from the first two games. Some of the townspeople look the same, maybe a bit better drawn, but the same nonetheless. The fighter still is red with the same hair and all, just that he has white trim on his armor. The airship is the same, some of the town icons are the same....but you don't really notice it. Even if recycled, Square wasn't lazy like FF2. Most of the recycled graphics have added color or detail to make the seem new, and the rest of the game is made up of original, and very well done map and sprite sets. I guess you should get used to it since they do this all the way up to FF5 before revamping things for FF6 and beyond.

Music:

Nobuo Uematsu scores yet again a good soundtrack, even for the old Sony chip in the NES. The tunes are great and are a vast improvement over the somewhat lacking arrangement for FF2. There are the usual tunes that are the series mainstay, like the victory theme, and the prelude, but the rest of the collection matches perfectly and is very likely the inspiration for the tunes within FF9 in the style he used here. Still, my only complaint is the sound quality. Companies like Sunsoft had found ways to use the PCM channel, and even the normal ones in such a way as to replicate a quality almost that of the Sega Genesis. I sometimes think how better this game would sound if they had taken a page from that book or at least did what Konami did with Akumajo Dracula 3 and used a special add-on sound chip. Oh well, you don't always get it your way and there's no point in whining this late, now is there? The Wonderswan remake will most likely address this problem like it did with FF1 and 2. (They sound excellent)

Control:

Perfect. Nuff said.

Plot:

I think it was well done. Simple but flirts with a deep side from time to time. It's like a better version of FF1's plot but with most elements changed, and a lot more thrown in since this is a longer game. You still have the normal fetch quests but now this game is divided into different worlds. (in a way). Every area you come upon has a new story or objective to meet, and you will run into some different characters each time, which keeps the game fresh cause there is always something new being thrown your way rather than following a very static, main plot. Although you ultimately must save the world, you must do the simple things in life before you get around to it. (^_^)

Challenge:

Sometimes hard, sometimes easy. I had no trouble since I tend to take my time, gain levels, and get the best equipment. Those who are a little less patient will have some troubles, and the game does require some strategy in most battles. As a side note, the final area is pretty tricky, but like FF5, sometimes you can cheat depending on how you set up the Jobs of your characters. Avoiding a black and white concept is the best way to complete this game with little hassle.

Replay Value:

I believe this is entirely up to the player. If you like it a lot, you just might want to play again, otherwise you probably won't. I only went through it once, but I may give it another go someday. Still, one time is pretty much enough and there aren't a lot of extra objectives to take part in. It's up to you what the replay value is.

Technically speaking:

Well, I've never had the game freeze on me and I haven't seen any major bugs or screw-ups. You need the converter to play it on the American NES or you can find a Famicom. The ROM image is translated so more people will be able to play it now, however, I cannot vouch for the reliability of different hacked versions of this game. Use at your own risk.

Overall:

This is a solid, well made game by the then up and coming Square. It's a shame it never made it to America but now it's a bit easier to get your hands on it and there will be a remake version for the Wonderswan Color. I highly suggest you give this game a go, and by the way, DO NOT PLAY Final Fantasy 2. It's garbage, pure and simple and this game more than makes up for it. Kind of like what happened when FF9 fixed the injustice that is known as Final Fantasy 8.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/14/01, Updated 04/07/02


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