Review by Falsiloquos

"Doesn't just trip up at the end, but trips up for the entire second half of the game. Blah!"

Final Fantasy III (VI in japan) is a great game, at least it starts out that way. In fact it does most things better than any other RPG ever created. It has well created characters, fantastic music, and an interesting plotline. However, about halfway through the game, the plot itself forgets what it was doing and takes a nap.

At the beginning of the game, you follow a mysterious girl as she blasts her way through a small town to get to an ''Esper''. This Esper than kills her companions, and destroys her ''Magitek Armor''. She wakes up, where she is told that she has been a slave. She is then sent packing when the guards come to arrest her, but is saved by a ''treasure hunter'' called Locke. They flee to a desert kingdom, and meet up with the King there. This is where you first meet the game's villain, Kefka, as he attempts to destroy the castle. After which the girl shows her ability for magic, which was supposedly destroyed in the ''war of the magi''. So far so good. I really like the ''I'm the only user of magic'' element of the plot, it really makes her seem like a tragic lonely figure.

Which brings me to my favorite part of the game, the characters. Outside of battles, each character is unique, with their own distinct personality. Besides the tragic ''only'' magic user, there's the treasure hunter with a tragic secret, the king with a tragic past, the royal retainer with a tragic loss of his wife, and a great many more tragic figures. Although they are all represented well, the fact that they all have a tragic story to tell does take something away from the seriousness of their situations, almost reducing their tragic backstories to a somewhat comical backdrop. But I do like how the characters are handled, I just wish at least one of them had a happy story to tell.

The next part of the game is even better as you join up with the Returners to take down the Empire. This plot has been done before, but this time they did it right. My favorite plot twist in any game is the flight down the river, as the game splits itself quite cleverly in 3 parts. You then get to play each of these 3 separate plotlines, with the Sabin plotline being the best. At this point, I would have rated the game an 8 or a 9.

But unfortunately the game just kept going. The game really starts to fall apart (although in a smaller way) when you discover Magicite, and now everyone can use magic, thus making your main character just another character. After this point, everyone is pretty much interchangable. What this did to me was blur my favorite part of the game, the characters, into one messy soup of similar characters.

The plot gets more interesting here, at least up to the point where Kefka becomes the real villain (I won't reveal anything more than that), and the game switches from linear gameplay to non-linear. However, after this, the game loses all sense of direction and focus, and the villain is reduced to a ''big boss in a tower who doesn't do much'' kinda guy. I never liked those.

The villain in the game is the most underwhelming aspect of the game. Sure, he's insane, but that doesn't seem to be enough in a game that tries to be this epic. This game needed an epic villain, one who would do more than laugh at your characters, and Kefka does not fit that bill. And the worst part of the game is the ''ending'' (though I use the term loosely), which doesn't seem to have anything to say. They may as well have ended the game with a ''Congrats, you win! The end'' screen.

I liked the graphics in this game, they're a nice change of pace from FFV and FFIV, they add more detail, especially to the backgrounds, and greatly add to the game.

Most of the music here is great, I particularly liked the Doma Theme (Cyan), which had a great melancholy sound to it.

This game would be a great game if it didn't feel like it was two completely different games cobbled together. The two parts don't fit, and the second part isn't that great anyway. Don't get me wrong, this is a fun game to play, and I really did enjoy it, I just don't think that it was that great of a game.

I gave this game a 6 because although it's a fantastic game in parts, it gets dragged down in the end.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 04/07/00, Updated 04/07/00

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