Review by IronMan0723

"Please release this game to America!!"

As pretty much the only Final Fantasy game unreleased in America, finishing this game left me wondering just why Squaresoft never made enough effort to actually bring it over successfully- in my opinion this is the greatest Final Fantasy that came to the Nintendo Entertainment System Console, thus opposing the first Final Fantasy, and it's sophomore title Final Fantasy II. If you want to play this game as of right now, you're gonna have to either learn Japanese and play it in it's original version- or download a playable Rom- which is illegal. But, lets get on with the review.

Storyline- 6/10

The story starts off with four “Onion Knights” in altar cave, near their home town of Ur. After fighting your very first boss fight in Final Fantasy III, you encounter the Wind Crystal. That's right, this Final Fantasy somewhat follows the tradition of the first- in which the world is powered by certain crystals- Earth, Wind, Fire and Water , and the world's balance is determined by these crystals, which distribute force and power to each element. You soon discover that once again, the crystals are supposedly falling into the wrong hands, and you have to make sure that it doesn't happen- save the crystals, and you save the world. You start off with Four characters, in which you name, just like in the original- the four characters that you use are yours to customize, and they aren't particularly different from eachother, or even have personalities different from eachother. I thought the storyline was decent in this game, and I'd say it was probably the best out of the three NES Final Fantasies- as the story unfolds, you can encounter more things and develop new skills. Overall I'd give it a 6.

Sound/Music- 6.5/10

A favorite part to games in my opinion, would be the sound and music. I really enjoy the soundtracks to games, because if they are done right, they can compliment the game in a great way, and mix to make a great combination. I thought the music to this game was decent, but nothing above average or spectacular. It was your basic NES sounds and music, so it wasn't much to be expected, but still some of the songs had nice tunes. Overall I suppose a 6.5 will do.

Gameplay- 8.5/10

I think that the gameplay was my favorite part of the game. I've noticed a pattern in the Final Fantasy Series, it seems like every other game up to a certain point incorporated the job system. For example; Final Fantasy started it- Final Fantasy III improved on it, Final Fantasy V took it a step further, and though Final Fantasy VII didn't have a customizable job class, Final Fantasy Tactics did. Anyways, Final Fantasy III starts you off with 4 “Onion Knights”, which is the basic normal type class. After your first encounter with the Wind Crystal, you gain new jobs that you can customize your characters to any class you like, as long as you have it. The first five jobs that you gain are the Fighter, Monk, Black Wiz (Mage), White Wiz (Mage), and the Red Wiz (yes, Mage). You can change between jobs whenever you like, however in doing so, it costs you capacity points, in which you earn in the battles you take place in. More jobs are open when you encounter more crystals. The following jobs will be unlocked, don't read the following if you prefer to play the game and see for yourself: Hunter, Knight, Thief, Scholar, Geomancer, Dragoon, Viking, Karateka, M. Knight, Conjurer, Bard, Summoner, Shaman, Warlock, Sage and Ninja. Some of these jobs are somewhat of upgrades of previous jobs, but as you can see, the job system has made a huge improvement since the first installment in Final Fantasy I. Each Job has a different command depending on what type of class it is, and you can customize your characters depending on how you want them, and what you want them to use. This game had four different types of magic: Black Magic, White Magic, Terrain Magic (For Geomancers), and Summon Magic (Yes, this was the first game to have summons in the series!). It introduced many things, and this is why I enjoyed the gameplay so much- there was a wide selection of what to use. Also, throughout the game you meet certain characters, and these characters sometimes join your party. You can't use them in battle, but you can talk to them and guide them to wherever they need to go- this adds to the storyline and it lets you help a lot of people like a good hero should. For the NES, I thought this had really good gameplay.

Graphics- 7.5/10

I'm not gonna say much about the graphics, because its sometimes hard to judge the graphics on such an old platform. However, the graphics were decent to good, to maybe even great on the NES Console. The Summon graphics were nice, and the magic graphics were nothing to complain about. Everything seemed to be on par for this game's graphics, the background animation for the battles may have been a little dull, but that's half expected for such an older game. I gave this an ok score, a 7.5 .

Play/Replayability- 6/10

This game's contribution to the Final Fantasy series was excellent, and while I may not play this game again anytime soon, I do believe that it is on my list to play again. It was an overall good game, and there are plenty of combinations to master in the job system. I'd give the overall replayability a 6, because sometimes the older games aren't as replayable, but it was still a great game.

Overall- 8/10

When giving an overall score, theres a lot that must be considered. I suppose that the overall score is in comparison to the other games on the same console, and also how much I enjoyed the game. I enjoyed playing this game a good amount, and for a NES game, I think it deserves an 8. I believe this was the best Final Fantasy game released on the NES console, and I think it deserves this score. I highly recommend this game if you can gain access to it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 09/05/04

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