Review by Menji
"Simply put, Best Game Ever!"
Way back when japan started the whole Final Fantasy craze that is still one of the best series sold today. There weren't many RPG's at the time so it took some time to get these games sold, but when they started selling by the truckloads, the States new it was time to import them over here from Japan. At this time two Final Fantasys had already made it stateside including FF1 and FF2 known as FF1 and FF4, the US skipped the Japanese versions of 2 and 3 and have just recently brought over their 2, the Japanese 3 will be coming out for the DS shortly and then the US will have all the Final Fantasys available. So the FF3 you have for the SNES is actually the sixth one to be released and was recently released with FF5 as FF Anthology. But enough with the little background, let me explain to you why FF3 is my favorite game of all time.
This game play amazing, many people complain about the ability that you can only run in four directions, but its really no problem, I even miss it when you play the new games like FFX and FFX-2 which you run around and not a classic way like this. People also complain about how sprint shoes are the only way to actually run fast and its completely annoying to walk without them. But think of it this way, what if sprint shoes weren't in the game? You wouldn't have anything to complain about. After spending countless months with my PS2 and using nothing but analog sticks, I went back to play FF7 and it took getting used to moving without analog sticks.
But back to the game, espers are the form of summons in this series and are the best form to use I've seen in any Final Fantasy. You learn spells based on what espers you have equipped. You no long have to spend all your money to buy a spell or go through an entire dungeon just to get one spell. Other than that espers can get useless, summoning them during battle is not only weak but takes a lot of MP just to do, that and you can only use them once a battle and only use the one that is equipped to you.
Battles in the game are some of the best I've seen. With countless weapons and spells to use, the battles will rarely get repetitive. Once you have learned ultima and have acquired the economizer and gem box which allows you to cast two spells for 1MP a piece there will be nothing that stands in your way. Which brings me to another point, there are some of the craziest moves you can ever think of in this game, from Blitz moves to some legendary vanish doom magic spells, this game has it all. This is one of the few rpgs that you literally spend hours thinking of names to call your characters, it's that engrossing.
The story and the music is the whole reason I stayed involved in the game. You start off working for the Empire and slow but gradually meet with every member of your team forming the most unusual group of people to set out on one mission; to stop an evil madman from destroying the realms of the espers and the human world. Near the middle of the game, you have all your party members and you think the game is drawing to a close, then after one dramatic battle you find yourself separated from your entire group where you have to traverse a new world in order to regain your entire party, a new airship and take on this madman. From the start of the half where you have one character you must go from town to town and complete a quest where you will regain one of your former teammates, which eventually retells their whole past and why some are so mysterious. But whatever it is there is no Final Fantasy that can top this game in terms of story line, not even the famed Final Fantasy VII.
The amount of characters is perfect, there aren't too many that it makes leveling them all up take forever, and there aren't two few that if you hate one you aren't stuck with them for the entire game. You can choose four people out of your party that you will level up with. As mentioned earlier, each character has their own story line, which looks at first, as they have nothing in common but unravels into the same problem they all face. The jobs are very diverse as well, from the classic thief, blue mage, whitemage, blackmage, monk, warrior, mimic, ninja and other unique classes to this game. Some ones that are only available in this game include a painter, and a king that can use tools to destroy enemies, a gigantic beast, and a new type of blue mage that can learn monsters physical attacks as well as their magic attacks throughout the game.
These graphics are truly the best out their on the SNES, very few even come close to matching what Squaresoft did with the game. Colors are lush and the forests, deserts, mountains all look amazing in this game. When you are flying in the air the ground looks blocking but is easily better than what was done before that. The town detail is absolutely amazing, you might notice the repeat in building structure through out the game, character models are amazing and the use of expression is quite advance for its time. The insides of buildings are quite detailed as well, flowers look like 2D flowers, book shelves look how they should look in that time period. You have the ability to change colors on the game like most RPG's and it's because of this that you can't get bored with the same style every time you play.
When you think about a good RPG the first two things that come to mind is the music and the story, without those the RPG wouldn't be very good. There are many good songs from every RPG but only FF3 can have this many classics packed into the same game. To name a few of my favorites are the world map theme, a sad melody that happens midway through the game resulting from a certain someone telling about their deceased loved one, Doma castle, Kefka's theme song, as well as Shadow's and the battle/boss themes defiantly deserve some recognition for the great work the people did when making the music for the game. It feels that every different town and scene will have a new song and each character has their own song that they can officially call their own, it's not like the same three songs are recycled throughout the game. You can actually put down the controlling and just sit there listening the great music that plays through the game. You can find the soundtrack online that has every song in the game available.
You may think there is nothing left to do after you beat the game. I mean I would if I completed this game in about 30 hours. I thought the exact same thing, not only does it take long to get to 9999HP and max out getting every spell. But just try to get to level 99. I spent 100 hours just getting all my spells and HP maxed out, after checking my levels I saw I was only at level 87. The best thing you can do at that point to level up is using and economizer and experience egg and going into battle with the dinosaurs with one person only casting Ultima. Other than that is the option to complete the secret quests and abilities like 7777 HP gives you crazy powers, and finding every single key item available. You can go to the coliseum and try to beat Chupon for a crazy challenge or take on the legendary Doom Gaze that flies around in the sky. If you truly want to test your skills, play through the game without using the Vanish Doom trick that can kill just about every boss in the entire game.
This is an absolute must buy for any RPG fan out there. But copies are so rare if you can find one at a garage sale cheap you should slap the seller for being that dumb. Ebay will be your best bet because that's where all the copies will be. Used game stores will rarely have this kind of classic. But if you don't want to spend a lot of money looking for it you should be able to find the new FF Anthology available for the PS1 nowadays for $15. The load times are much longer than the SNES version but there are some bonuses like the secret movies/options available.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/14/04, Updated 04/10/06
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