Review by Arlando909

Reviewed: 10/08/03

The Finest Fantasy

Final Fantasy III is a gem among RPGs that presents to us what an essential RPG should have. With the essential RPG elements of a interesting and involving storyline, the music the game presents and colorful clear graphics, it's easy to see why Final Fantasy III is hailed as one of the greatest RPGs of the sixteen bit era.

While small cons here and there can be found there is no perfect game. Final Fantasy III sometimes comes very close to being the perfect RPG at times. Truly a classic among the Final Fantasy series that won't be missed.

Gamplay: 9/10

While the gameplay can at times get a little boring, the overall presentation of the gameplay will more than likely please you the first time you play through the game. The reason this scores a nine is because the random battles are just that, ''Random''. You might only take one step before the next battle and for that the game often times can get annoying. Nonetheless this is easy to adjust to if you've played previous installments.

Battles never last long in this game and so you'll be well on your way to your destination in no time flat. However, eventhough battles aren't long, the game presents little challenge for veterans of the series. As with most games that get progressively harder, Final Fantasy III at times tends to get progressively easier with each passing hour that goes by. New comers to the series will defintely find some challenge in this at least. That by no means suggest that Final Fantasy III has no gameplay. The game is still fun to play.

The dialogue is clever at times and a little witty. Parts of the game will make you laugh. The dialogue also goes along with the atmosphere and the music which helps the game become more enjoyable.

It's easy to be drawn into Final Fantasy III by these aspects alone, but it's probably the way you raise characters that really helps Final Fantasy III as well. Final Fantasy III of course uses the basic level up system, but it's the magic system that's nice.

The new magic system in this one is very nicely done. You first get an ''Esper'' that you must equip on one of your characters and they'll learn magic from that esper. At first this seems to simple but it quickly becomes complex as each Esper could increase a stat at level up. Some give you Vigor+1 while others might give you HP+30%. The game also presents a wide range of freedom that so few RPGs allow. There is no one ''Main character'' in the game that must be involved in every battle. Instead you can stick as many number of characters ranging from 1-4 in your party at any given time.

Also because of the freedom that Final Fantasy III possesses, there is no certain ''order'' that you must do anything but you know that you'll end up doing it at some point.

Perhaps another point about the gameplay that really helps Final Fantasy III is the large cast of characters. There are 14 different characters in Final Fantasy III that are very well developed and heartfelt. Forming parties with these 14 characters can also help the games replay.

The other reason this game scores a nine is because there are times when the game goes a little slow. Since you can't dash in this game it may annoy a few gamers who have played the later ones in the series.

Story: 9.5/10

While this does relate to ''Breath of Fire'' it is by no means ''Plagiarism''. Plagiarism is copying something word for word. The first Breath of Fire game was made by Squaresoft, just as this one was, but I feel the story in this is much better told. The story presents something new to the Final Fantasy series, which I won't spoil here. Not only that but we have an antagonists who really is heartless and is very dark. The story has it's dark parts and it's light parts that make the story a little more grown-up than it really appears to be.

Graphics: 9.5/10

The game would receive a higher score if it weren't for a few graphical glitches that happen from time to time. There are moments when pixels will fade in and out. The overall presentation is splendid, however, and by looking at the backgrounds you'll easily overlook the graphical glitches.

Sound: 10/10

This is truly where the game hits big. Each character has a theme that defines them. You know when a certain character has entered the scene by the background music. The overall music presentation is stunning and you'll be amazed by how well the music flows with just about any situation. At times breath-taking and at other times, heartfelt. The music alone is something to strike an interest in Final Fantasy III.

Replay Value: 8/10

Most RPGs lack replay value, with the exception of a few. With Final Fantasy III you'll be glad to relive the story and the adventure over and over again. With the freedom of choosing your own party it gives the gamer time to develop the best party. Not to mention that depending on what characters you use the dialogue may change as well. It's nice to see just how many different ''Perfect'' parties you can make. Many RPGs lack this freedom and Final Fantasy III gives us this better oppertunity.

Not just this but with 90 different spells and the difference between getting the strongest weapon or the strongest spell in the game you'll at least find yourself playing through a second time just to do the opposite of what you did the first time.

Overall: 9/10

Final Fantasy III is a well-rounded RPG that better defines the genre. With a few small cons present, it's easy to see why this is hailed as one of the greatest RPGs of all time. With great graphics, sound, character developement and a good story this game doesn't disappoint.

Final Fantasy III is a gem among the RPG genre that many will grow to love even more. Funny at times and compelling at others with a grand adventure. There is no reason why Final Fantasy III can't be a Final Fantasy.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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