Review by Behreandto
"The dispute is on between next-gen and old school, but you'll find the bulk of what an RPG is in this cartrdge alone"
Music & Sound: 10/10
Plot & Characters: 10/10
Fun Factor: 10/10
By this rating system it would be a 10 (rounding of course)
Hey, I'm not giving this a 10 becasue of the story either, becasue it still kicks the crap out of FF7 and FF8 anyday. You want further explaination? E-mail me cause i'm not finished with this...believe me. Why would the critics be so biased comparing FF8 to FF3? Why do you see a lot of people commenting that FF3 is the best? It should be more than obvious if you open your narrow (graphically subdued) minds.
Graphics: When FF3 was the only RPG on the SNES and when nothing else came out to rival it, it was the best. Simply, up front and straight to the point. Exceptional graphics don't define an RPG's greatness, but they sure helped and FF3 was no exception. People expecting more got what they wanted which was FF7 and FF8, games that sacrificed what was defined by this game (all the ones before it) and Chrono Trigger (which is a tie with FF3 in terms of plot). Back to FF3... The reason the graphics weren't given a 10 was because they were more dreary in color than what followed it. Despite the color pallete not being the highest mark, I'd have to say the graphics are astounding for this being a 16 RPG. Chrono trigger's were very good because they dropped the high detail for more interesting animation, but anyway.... When you look back at all the predecessors to FF3 you'll see why. The detail is very very well done for being hand drawn and not all this computer rendering that shows up so (how could you miss it-everyone praises it?) well in 7 and 8. The bosses and enemies are very well drawn and detailed and have concepts that are carried over to later incarnations of the series (bombs, cactrots, malboros, etc.) as well as the summons which aren't all a bunch of graphically enhanced chumps that take forever to get the point across in a battle (which is whooping the enemy's ass). The surroundings are very well detailed, too. Towns and dungeons are amongst the largest (compare FF7's dungeon with 3's) and towns harbor more secrets than you think they would. Animation wise, this is more or less nothing new, characters have similar ways of attacking foes and the enemies die the same way and attack the same ways as they (more or less) have been in past RPG's. Spells are quite intersting, but serve the purpose they were meant for and not to satisfy the graphically hungering eyes of people who believe FF8 is all that. I'd rather endure 90 of FF3's ultima spells consequtively as opposed to 90 Bahumat Zeros and 90 Knights of the Round in FF7. The character concepts are more orignal and interesting than what's now being shown in RPG's today. You've got Gau, Mog, Kefka (who's kinda like Marilyn Manson), Cid (carry overs to later FFs and from previous ones), General Leo, Strago, Realm, Umaro, Gogo, Edgar, Shadow, all the moogles, Wedge and Vicks (carry overs to later FFs), Ultros, Chupon (carry over to later FFs), summons (carry overs to later FFs), etc., etc. In terms of originality, FF3 kills FF8 and 7 with one slice of the atmaweapon, though some concepts have become better introduced in FF3 from it's predacessors. To conclude this, the hand drawn graphics of FF3 sport much detail despite the much critisized low amount of animation everyone and their brother likes to rip on.
Music & Sound: I like this soundtrack the most out of the series because it has a more appealing variety than what came later. There's not much chance at beating the Magitek Research Facility theme, Shadow's theme, the battle and boss themes, overworld theme, AtmaWeapon's theme, Kefka's theme, Moogle town Zozo, Chocobo Veldt, Gogo's theme, Kefka's Tower, Fantaic's Tower, Floating Continent....etc. Even some of the more depressing cinical tunes sound interesting and involving adding heat to the situation at hand.
Control: Your standard issue Square/RPG/Final Fantasy-type controls. Most people attack the fact that you can move in only 4 directions, as if it really mattered. In other words this is a creative excuse to attack the game and make it sound worse than it is (which it is not). Does it seriously matter if you can stand in one spot and spin 360 degrees when all you need to do is go from point A to point B? I think not. Are you gonna miss something in this game by not being able to move diagonally? Does it matter that you can run or walk in an RPG when you'd still get into a fight between location A and B? God, who cares? Honestly? Oh yeah, the ones who've been pampered with all the perks. Battle-wise, it's all turn based and all good. It may have menus that so many people dislike, but I'd rather have a list of choices and things I'd like to choose from. Plus, most characters have a signature move, something totally lacking in FF8 (too bad limit breaks don't count because I'm talking permanent signature moves not something that appears when you get your ass wallopped). Summons can only be summoned once per battle (thank god) making a heated boss fight more challenging when you have to rely on weapons and spells and not some little show of graphics that takes off more HPs than is really needed if you beef it up. The controls are just fine for this game and attacking it, is just being rather pointless. Oh yeah, and two players can play this game (during battles) so you can have one friend controlling half of the party while the other controls their half (go to config on the menu screen if you don't believe me).
Plot & Characters: I tend to agree that this has amongst all the FF games the best plot and is only rivaled by that of Chrono Trigger's and Xenogears (but they aren't FF's so disregard the comparison). I also agree that character developement is rather limited, but that depends on who you play as. Strago isn't as pointless as believed and neither is Realm or Umaro (Umaro helps you a ton in the Fanatic's Tower). Every character has a reason to join you with the exception of Gog and Umaro and they all have a story behind them that backs up why they are with you. Typically it all centers around the tyranous empire of greed that seeks power to enslave the world. Towns are pillaged, taken over, and some (like Narshe) actually fight back rather than just take it. The plot starts out small and leads to some of the most globally challenging situations. You'll meet Duane and Katarin, survivors who carry the responsibility of giving birth to a child in a world that seems to have no future. You'll encounter the people of Zozo, the thieves and liars, you'll see people without homes and people trying to get by in the meekest of situations, you'll meet people trying to wade through debt and people trying to get over the deaths of friends (Shadow, Locke, Setzer) and struggles for hope on a more widespread scale than in FF7 and FF8. The death of Aeris was just a highlight to FF7 in terms of an impact in the story, but FF3 kept a thorough consistancy of a world that just keptgoing wrong. You'll see things that'll surprise you (Terra's past) you'll witness greed and tyranny that lead to full blown insanity. And i also want to mention that FF3 has the tightest sequence of events in the first half of the game than FF7 and FF8 could have dreamed of. I'm not saying that as a bias, I'm saying it because it more or less is true. What better way to end the first half of the game with a shwodown on a floating island that results in a chaotic climax of unparalleled interest. The game may be long and the second half of the game may seem loose in terms of events, but all this computes to one of the best endings Square has come up with. FF's sucked...FF8's was an acid trip and more of a show than something that would explain what happened to each individual character. How long is the ending? Long. Enjoying and makes you ask less questions than the sequels that follow it after seing it.
Fun Factor: This is where it's at for me. I've always come back to this and Chrono Trigger because they just keep giving even if you saw it all. I keep playing FF3 to master what I haven't gotton or to see if I can do better. For example, first time I played it, I got creamed on the Floating Continent (Level 30) and now, I've found that wasting more time results in better payoffs. By getting each character to level 99 at the end of the first half, I've found it much more enjoyable to play throught the rest of the game. People critisize the fact that you could turn your characters into gods in FF 3 and 7, but how could you do that? By playing hour after hour, by doing uneccessary things that get you ahead and on top! If you want challenge, then play through Mt. Zozo rather at level 12 rather than at level 32. You reap what you sew and that's a law in almost every FF game made ot date. Argue that, and you just are stuck on the pretty graphics and media hype. Where are the puzzles and the challenges? Right here baby. The amount of puzzles in here kill the #'s in FF7 and 8 and make it more challenging by throwing in insane amounts of repetitive battles in the midsts of all of it. That's your challenge, not searching out items to advance through the plot or whatever it is the others have that seems so appealing. Though I will admit, the mini-games are few here and less appealing than those in 7 but they are a lot more challenging despite the critisism people who lived off them in FF7. The colliseum is a challenge because you never know what's coming by betting items. You can fight Chupon and lose a critical item and never get it back EVER. Finally, I have to say, the final dungeon and Magitek Research Facility are amongst the most involving and challenging dungeons in FF3 compared to what came after and Kefka, still has the most maniacal and amusing laugh and attitude any villain will ever have even if he doesn't have a mammoth sword and a bunch of pumped up stats like Sephiroth, though Seph is still pretty cool. This game will keep you going beyond the 99 hour limit without any doubt (that is if you don't buy the guide). There's so much to miss that'll keep you coming back for more everry time. Buy this. It's old school gaming paradise, despite what the whiner's say. I've only scratched the surface with this, but if you're still stuck on the fact that FF8 is the best thing ever made, then you'll be finding something to complain about seeing as how you're handy dadny perks aren't necessary for this to be one of the biggest, most dedfing SNES title there with Chrono Trigger.
Strong Recommendation: Buy FF Anthologies or the classic 1994 SNES version of FF3
Overall: 9.9/10 which translates to it being a 10
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 02/20/03
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