Review by Computerbug8
"Overall it's fine, but just too frustrating at times to be enjoyed"
Final Fantasy III (FFIII), as you probably know by now if you've read other reviews for it or heard anything about it, is a DS game that's actually a remake of the game FFIII, except it never made it out of Japan. Well, over a decade later it's here. Was it worth the decade-long wait? Heh...ask someone who was a fan of the series at that time.
The story starts off with a boy named Luneth falling into a hole. When he gets himself up and explores the hole further, he finds himself in front of a giant crystal that tells him he's a Warrior of the Light and that he's been chosen to seal away the darkness. He and three other warriors set out to fulfill their destiny.
Good thing this game is a remake of something that was on the NES, right? Because if a story like this was given to us now, it wouldn't be too warmly received. The story to FFIII isn't too original, but it's better to forgive it, because back when this game initially came out, stories in RPGs weren't like they are today.
Really, there isn't a lot of plot. What I just told you above is the same thing that gets used throughout the whole game. Yeah, maybe there are a few things added to it as you go along, but nothing ground breaking. Nothing mind boggling. No nothing. It's best to just remind yourself that this is an old game and not expect anything too stellar.
Like a lot of early FF games, you see one character on the overworld or map as you guide him (or her) through the area you're in. This involves solving short puzzles, going through dialogue scenes, or other small things. But this is an RPG, and the most important part of an RPG is its battle system.
After a random encounter occurs in the dungeon or map you're on, you're taken to a screen where all the characters in your party are ready to battle it out with an enemy. Like other FF games, the fights are turn based, but there are no time bars in this one. This means you can take all the time you want to plan a move, which is a good thing.
The rest of the fight is pretty much self-explanatory. Your characters make a move, your opponents make a move. Repeat until either all of your characters reach 0 HP or until your opponents do.
But there's something else about the battles where some strategy can be implemented that can give you an edge over your opponents. There are over 20 "jobs" in this game that you can assign to an individual character. This job can give your character special abilities or allow them to wield certain weapons that other characters are unable to. The jobs range from basic things like Warriors or Mages to Blackbelts.
You can change the character's job at anytime you want (except for in battles) so if you find yourself battling a boss and you find yourself unprepared or unable to do some serious damage, being able to change jobs whenever you want would give you an advantage and would allow for some some strategy. Unfortunately, you probably won't use most of the different types of jobs, because once you find a combination of jobs for your characters that works for you, you'll probably stick with it. And the worst part is that changing to another job will force you to build up your job level, which takes time...and a lot of it. You know what that means, right? Grinding.
As for how hard the game is...well, it's definitely harder than a lot of the other more recent FF games, I'll tell you that much. But that's not a bad thing at all...a nice challenge is good every now and then, right? But this ties into my biggest problem with the game: how frustrating it can get.
I'll use the best example so you know what you're getting yourself into if you play this. Take the final dungeon: after the last save point, you have to trek through an annoyingly long dungeon. When you finally make it passed all the random encounters, you're greeted to a brief cutscene and then a boss battle. Beat the boss, then you get another cutscene. Then you fight a battle that's impossible to win. Then you are treated to a LONG cutscene. Then you go into the final part of the final dungeon. Then you have to fight four mini bosses. Then you have another cutscene. Then you do a bit more walking before you finally get to fight the final boss. And do you want to know how long that entire process takes? Roughly 40 minutes, and I doubt you'll do it the first time. In all honesty, who wants to drudge through 40 minutes of pure tedium only to lose and have to start all over from scratch? Oh yes, and there's no option to skip cutscenes or even speed up text.
Now that the rant is done, it's time to sum it all up. The random encounters are annoying, having to level up jobs is annoying, and a lot of the dungeons and the lack of save points in them are annoying. These huge problems severely detract from what would have been an otherwise enjoyable experience. So, you see what I mean? Not hard. Aggrivating.
For the DS, FFIII has very good graphics. From the regular graphics seen for most of the game to the amazing FMV seen at the beginning of the game, the graphics bring out the true power in the DS. Even though you only see the truly amazing graphics at the very beginning, the graphics still hold out well for the rest of the game. The enemies are modeled very well, and you can clearly see some of the details on each character's outfits, which is good.
That's another good part about the graphics. All the character's jobs have individual outfits, so a job change also brings out a costume change. The costumes for the characters look well rendered and (usually) do a good job representing the job they're supposed to represent.
All in all, this game's graphics are great for what the DS has to offer. The enemies and the characters look very good and the environments don't give you much to complain about, either.
Normally I divide the sound into two parts: music and voice acting. However, there really isn't any voice acting in FFIII, but that's okay. So I'll just skip right to the music. Unfortunately, FFIII doesn't offer a lot in terms of variety when it comes to music. Despite this, the music that plays in places like the overworld, the dungeons, and places in between all fit the mood very nicely. Then there's the typical battle music, boss battle music and final battle music, which aren't really anything great, but they're still good.
Nothing amazing as far as sound goes in FFIII, but there wasn't one tune that I particularly disliked. Still, it would have been nice if there were some more memorable tunes that I have come to love from FF games.
There are a couple things you can do to make the game longer, but I've never been one to take advantage of those. That being said, FFIII will usually bring you a 20 hour adventure if you do the main adventure alone, which is a nice length for a DS RPG. But like I said, if you really like the game and you don't want it to end, there are plenty of optional bosses scattered throughout the game that will add some time if you want them to.
+ Good graphics for the DS
+ Decent Length
+ Lots of variety in the job options
+ Characters have some personality
- Random encounters get annoying
- Some dungeons get tiresome
- Inability to go through cutscenes faster
- Lack of save points make dungeon navigating unbearable
- No great music
- Story is dull and flat
FFIII delivers a fun, it not tiresome experience. If you're a DS owner, then this game is one that you might want in your collection, unless you don't like RPGs. (in which case you will utterly despise FFIII) FFIII is probably my least favorite out of all the FF games I've played thus far (and yes, I've played X-2) due to the annoying dungeons, inability to skip cutscenes and the overall uninteresting story and characters that do absolutely nothing to keep you motivated to keep going.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 04/09/07, Updated 01/22/08
Game Release: Final Fantasy III (US, 11/14/06)
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