Review by EJRICH

Reviewed: 01/02/07 | Updated: 12/20/09

I Hate Bosses

Being probably the only Final Fantasy game ever to be not released state side, many people, including myself, were ecstatic to hear that they were undertaking the task of re-creating a game that tells a tale like no other. Meet FFIII, a game that takes traditional RPG action and molds it back into its purest form, good old fashion fighting at its best. Few people can actually ascertain the amount of finesse that was put into the making of this game, the porting of it bit by bit, recreating every image, every battle, so that the final product could come out in its full utter brilliance. Breathtaking cinematic scenes dot the games beginning, forging an even stronger bond between what has been done and what will be done. The game isn’t without its faults however, as over the years the game has really started to show its age. Still, the olden RPG games of yore pay tribute to a game that really set many firm footing for possibly many games to come.

It really is quiet a shame that Nintendo decided to set the price of this game at a steep 40 dollars, as that can truly shun off casual gamers like myself who wouldn’t normally bother to spend that much money on one game. I buy games on sale, and to see it come out at that price truly saddened me to the point of not buying it. I was going to wait until it came down to a price that was affordable to me. That came sooner than expected however, as when Toys R Us decided to have that sale in which cut that price tag in half, I was truly blessed. Nevertheless, I happily bought the game and started to play it, submerging myself once again in that type of play experience that I so much appreciated such a long time ago. In this review I will hopefully shed some light on some of the more darkened aspects about this game, and prove it to you in my unbiased opinion whether or not you should buy it as it stands on the shelf.

Four heroes, one destiny. That was my tag line, and it rings true in this epic game. I’ll be blunt, the story isn’t really anything to grope about, it is perfectly normal. I was actually disappointed in it before I did a check on myself and reminded myself that it was a 15 year old game :P. 15 years is a long time considering all that has been accomplished since then, as back then story really didn’t mean that much. Usually people just wanted to play a game, not read one. Because of that, the characters were basically given no personality whatsoever, which in today’s day and age would be highly appalling. Still, taking things to what was happening at that time, it was acceptable. The story itself was simple, just a couple of orphans on a trip to gather crystals to save the world. To be quiet blunt, that is what it still is. The difference is that the characters now each posses something that makes them different. I’ve been playing RPG games for a long time now, and even with the things they added it still doesn’t really match up. If anything at all, they did try to change it for the better, which to me means something much more than just some snazzy graphical change.

As I stated in the previous paragraph, the story revolves around four orphans who are on a quest to save the world from some disaster. In order to do that, they have to find some crystals. Now, to someone of this time, that may seem pretty blank, sort of run of the mill. You have to remember though that that was back then, when things really hadn’t started yet. In that time, that was revolution; in our time, its complete garbage. Still, it’s better now at least that they have their own distinct personalities, as it would be a pretty weird thought to have four walking stick figures just saying random things. One thing that really makes this game’s story flow is the fact that it is tied together so well with some unique properties of the time that it was originally made. Ideas that haven’t been used for years definitely are unique to someone like me, and that means a lot. One of the things that tied the story together would have to be the characters now, as they definitely do make it better now that they each have their own personalities. Another thing would be the fact that the villain actually acts like someone evil now, instead of being just another figure that you have to hunt down and eliminate. Still, it kind of is funny to just be on some adventure for no reason whatsoever.

I’ll be honest; I was expecting more from the gameplay. It’s an almost exact port of the original, which can be either a good or bad thing. The years that have passed from when this game was released have definitely worn on it, and to be quiet honest aside from the classes it is almost exactly the same. I didn’t go and pay the money to experience just another port; I paid the money to play something new and unique. Still, to not enjoy what was done with this game would be a sin, and a sin is a sin no matter how you put it. The game itself is built around a gigantic world that you as the player have to go around and traverse. The map itself is one of those generic things, and to see each and every area that pops up as you go along is pretty cool. There was one big problem though that surfaced throughout the course of my adventure, and it was that the areas were just too far apart. Until you get the airship, it literally takes forever to get to one place, and to someone who doesn’t exactly have the time of day to play this game, it really can get annoying. I only play games on weekends for a couple of reasons, mainly because my school load is horrific, and when it comes down to the point where I am wasting my time, I really get annoyed. Still, that is what players of this game so many years had to admonish, so it’s no coincidence that they bothered to just leave it in. Funny thing is though that they could have changed it to make it more suitable for a regular player to play, being as though they completely revamped the graphical section. If you are going to revamp the graphics, then the pixels themselves have to be remade. That would have given them the perfect opportunity to change things around. They missed it though, so shame on them.

The battles themselves are done on a turn based system, which is what you could honestly expect from it. People in general can sometimes grow tired of sitting turn after turn in the same battle, but I don’t. Every animation, every damage counter, everything is what I loved so much from the other FF games. I bought this game for this reason, the battles. I could care less about the rest of the game, the battle and job systems are what make it work. Still, like everything else in this game, you can see its age and what advent has came about it through that. You typically have a couple of party members on screen, mainly the ones that compose your main party. Your main party rarely, if ever, changes that much. You have the same characters from start to finish. There are some rare instances though, when you will get a guest to help you out. These guests act on their own, using their own moves to try and help you out. Most of them are weak as anything, so there goes that. These members come and go as they please, and you’ll rarely see them in your party for more than a bit of time. Usually a dungeon or two is all that they stay for, so depending on how long you take is how long they’ll stay.

A job system was placed in this game with the original intention of adding a tad bit more customization to it. The sad part is that they really messed up on this in one key factor, and that is that some jobs are way more powerful than others, and that basically kills other things that could have made the game more fun as a whole. The begging few jobs are useless past the first couple of dungeons, mainly because they keep introducing better jobs. Some may say that that is good, but I say that it is bad. You see, basically everyone is going to end up with the same set of jobs depending on preferences, so if you like a staring job, get rid of that. The final dungeon is so hideously hard that you’d stand no chance in heck beating it. It is things like that that really screw you up. The only reason that you would change a job would be to see the costume change that takes place, but even that can be thrown out the window if you just look up a scan. Each and every FINAL job brings something else to the table, whether it be summoning series favorites such as Bahamut, or throwing shuriken as a ninja. Just to let you know, shuriken are about the most expensive item in the game when you look at the fact that you have to buy them in such large quantities. There goes your money.

Then we come to the fact of the save system. I wanted to save this for later on when we hit difficulty, but I just couldn’t wait to start harping on this. You basically can only save in the over world, which means that you are without save points a good 95% of the game. Just great. You’d think that after traversing a long dungeon for hours on end, they’d give you a point before you have to fight some freakishly powerful boss that almost always seems to kill you in one hit. Don’t even get me started on the final dungeon, which makes you fight several bosses in a row. Hours of playtime get thrown down the drain in this game. I can’t tell you how annoyed I was with this, you will be too, I can basically guarantee it. Still, that was what happened back then, so what I became used to today may not be what they had back then.

The only thing that I can say about the graphics is that they are probably the only thing in the game that was given special attention to. Everything else in the game only got minor tweaks to make them better, this got totally revamped. I loved it, mainly because it was probably the first real third dimension FF game to hit a portable system. Your mouth will drop as you see the beautifully rendered opening scene, as you see everything that goes on. The frame rates are off the charts, exceeding what I could expect from the system. Want to know the best part? It looks absolutely astounding to see each and every character in such a pixilated setting. Bahamut has never looked so good on a portable system, mainly because of the amount of work that went into creating him alone! Everything in this must have taken them such a long time to complete, and to be quiet honest this is the best part of the game for traditionalists. When you see the begging product, and then look at this, you’ll be amazed to see just how much work went into making this what it was.

The famed musical artist of the FF games is back with vengeance in one of his most profound works yet. I loved every second of his melodies as the game literally glowed from each and every beat that went on. You can see the talent of the orchestra that was used for this, and the amount of talent that it took to get this music off the ground in such a feature that it made it special to the many fans that have played this game. Too many times people just throw music off to the side, un-a where that it alone is actually setting the game itself up for a pacing that the developers were going to put in at any moment in time. Pacing is something extremely important, as without it you are putting yourself up a creek that you just don’t want to go down. If you make it fast, you can stir adrenaline, if you pace it slow, then you can sooth the body. Everything comes together masterfully in this section.

Remember that award that NP had a bunch of years back that was entitled harder than college? This game would run away with that award faster than a speeding bullet. I don’t care what people say, the game is so horrendously hard that even I wanted to throw my DS out the window so fast that it would break upon hitting the wall. People say that the pacing in this game is good, I say screw that. Everything is what you’d expect from a game that is as old as this, and it could be forgivable, IF THEYWOULD BE HALF DECENT AND INCLUDE A SAVE POINT HERE AND THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wanted to literally scream every time I’d get to the end of a dungeon and then die to a freakishly hard boss that would literally be so unfair that it wasn’t even funny. Don’t even get me started on the final dungeon, as that in itself is solely based upon how much you have prepared and how darn lucky you are. That sums it up perfectly, everything in this game comes down to how darn lucky you are. You could be the luckiest person in the world, and pass this game; or you can be like me and fail every time. The bosses in this game liked my friend a whole lot more than me. That being aside, it is nice to actually play something such as this, mainly because it gives people a glimpse of what it was like back then, minus the freakishly hard parts.

Not much to say here for family friendliness, aside from the fact that they literally included no content that I wouldn’t play. It got the score it deserved, mainly because of some things. Want to play the game with a different class? Play this then. There are so many things that you can honestly do with this that it would be a crime not to replay it at least once. Getting a guide on this could be helpful, but it merely comes down to how much difficulty you are having with this. Gamefaqs has a pretty good database, soon to be including my personal guide.

FFIII is a great game; it just is showing its age in several categories. Age is something that some people like and some people hate, so that will be the key factor in your decision of this game. 40 bucks isn’t worth it, 30 would probably make it more bearable.

Story: 5/10
Basically none whatsoever was existent in this, so if you want a story go elsewhere.

Game Play: 7/10
The difficulty of this took away from me, that and the fact that the world map was so hard to decently navigate.

Graphics: 10/10
Beautifully created to match what I’d expect from an FF game.

Music: 7/10
I liked it enough to give it this score.

Difficulty: 10/10
If you can’t stand a hard game, then stay faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar away.

Family Friendly: 7/10
Nothing I really thought was bad.

Replay: 8/10
You have to look at two things, your sanity, and the classes.

Guide or No Guide: No Guide
GFaqs has some good ones, and that should be enough.

Finale: 7.0
Great game that shows its age.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

Product Release: Final Fantasy III (US, 11/14/06)

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