Review by Leetdude

"So close..."

I truly wanted to give this game a 10 and hail this game one of the best games of all time, perhaps even better than Chrono Trigger. I truly believed that it was of this caliber, until the ''turning point'' in the game. I'm sorry, but the plot fell apart. You no longer had focus to do anything. You didn't care that the bad guy died anymore. It CRASHED to nothingness. Now, how could such an excellent beginning have this happen?

Points in my review are based on how important the area is, and then are averaged to give a final rating.

GRAPHICS (10/10)
An excellent show of the Super Nintendo's capabilities. Definitely a refreshing change from the standard ol' Final Fantasy IV/V graphics, which were of NES caliber. This, now THIS was the Super Nintendo's potential! Unmatched graphics in RPGness until Chrono Trigger came out in its greatness. The sprites are now much larger and easily more distinguishable from each other, with more detail being shown. Also, the game was bosses were extremely large and freaky looking (check out the first form or two of the final boss!). Overall, I can not think of a game that came out before Final Fantasy III that was of this amazing caliber when it comes to graphics.

Another wonderful show. Rivaling even its prequel and Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy III boasts some of the best tunes on the Super Nintendo, and even some of the best music on any other system. Kefka's Theme truly fits his clown-ish image. Doma Castle's theme/Cyan's theme fits the ''respectful'' image of Cyan and the castle. The world map music in the first half is one of the best world map themes to date, and the Falcon theme gives you a sense of ''a new beginning.'' These are just some of the excellent songs you will find in this wonderful game.

I am not reviewing Play Control because ALL RPGs are of the same excellent caliber in this area. I will just say that Final Fantasy III's Play Control is just as good as any other RPG you have played.

STORY: First Half (20/20)
Oh my God. This is the best story I have EVER seen in a video game. This excellent story EASILY rivals Chrono Trigger's story, and gives me emotions like no other game I have played. I hated the enemies with a passion. Everything Kefka did I hated (Doma Castle's poisoning, Figaro Castle's burning). The characters were also excellent, giving a sense of sadness around each one for one reason or another. The characters were deep and had a sub-plot revolving around nearly each one at one point or another. I have definitely not seen better characters in a game before. This ALONE would make me give this game a perfect rating, but...

STORY: Second Half (6/20)
Ouch. After Tzen's burning, there is absolutely NOTHING the enemies do for the rest of the game that makes you hate him/her/it (not saying). In fact, there is no true plot to follow whatsoever for the rest of the game! You have no motivation to do anything in particular once you get the Falcon. You will end up doing whatever, not caring about beating the final boss. Though the sub-stories revealed are nice, most of them have nothing to do with the main story of the game. Eventually you will simply forget your focus.

GAME PLAY (20/30)
Most of the Game Play is excellent. The system that works is standard and by this time has been perfected, and has been used here. However, there are flaws that keep it from getting even close to perfect. Specifically, the Esper system is definitely not what it should have been. This Magic system lets any random physical user cast one Ultima after another. There are absolutely NO limitations to what characters can use Magic. You will not find any motivation to use Physical attacks on ANYBODY, except your Offering/Genji Glove wearer. The Magic should've been at least limited to how many people can use Magic at a time (two per party, or something). Unfortunately, that's not how it worked.

A nice challenge to the first half of the game. The game is definitely not over-easy, but it isn't really as hard as it should have been. However, once again, the Espers (Ragnarok) and Paladin Shield are what brings it down as far as it went. Every character casting one Ultima after another (and unlimited Economizers! *growl*) lets you destroy any enemy in one or two turns. Battles are very short and one sided.

You will DEFINITELY want to play the game over again. Even though it has many flaws, the first half of the game is absolutely perfect enough to make you come back and play it again many, many times, even if you stop once you get the Falcon!

OVERALL (91/120, 75.83333...%, rounded to 8/10)
Though the first half is sheer brilliance, with absolutely no flaws, the second half crashes down and ruins the perfection. However, this huge problem is definitely not enough to completely ruin this game. You should play Final Fantasy III. Even if you hate the second half of the game, the first half of the game is perfection enough to make you play it and keep it for many plays over.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 03/26/01, Updated 03/26/01

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