- Final Fantasy III -
-= Overview =-
Most people have never played this game, I know, but it's a very excellent game. This is not Final Fantasy VI, with Terra and Espers, but Final Fantasy III, as it is known in Japan. It has some of the best aspects of the various Final Fantasy games, and although it is for the Famicom (Japanese NES), it is a truly superb and enjoyable game for the true RPG fan. This site, being hosted on an emulation site, you may know that emulation is one way you can play this game, but not the only way. If you get a chance to really sit down and play this game, you'll remember what I consider the golden age of RPGs. Worth your time.
-= Story =-
: Rating :
You could criticize the lack of a real plot in this game, but I think it makes the game more enjoyable. The plot is a story of four boys who fall into a cave. Here, they fight a dragon (more like a turtle actually), and find the crystal. The plot is very much like FF I in this way, where the Light Warriors must overcome the darkness, just as the Dark Warriors had to overcome the light in the past. From there you go on this quest to save the rest of the crystals, and along the way you meet many memorable characters, and do a lot of good stuff. It's very basic, but very fun, I think. It's not too elaborate, but more importantly, it's not too silly. It does not try to be more than it is (like a lot of RPGs), it's just a story to go along with a fun game.
-= Gameplay =-
: Rating :
The gameplay is superb in FF III. Esentially, you begin the game with 4 blank slates, and yo can choose jobs for each character. You get the jobs from the crystals (similar to FF V), and you gain experience with the Job levels. Each Job has its own weapons, stat changes, and command. For instance, the Black Mage has low HP and the Black Magic command. As you find more crystals, you get more Jobs. It is, however, different from FF V, in that the Jobs are more hierarchical. There are certain progressions with the basic Jobs (i.e. Fighter-->Knight) and other jobs you use for certain situations. It works very effectively
The game's battle system is classic FF, but uses the Dragon Warrior method of attack where all 4 characters choose an attack and then the scene egins, and it repeats. The game also has a good challenge level. Even at the end of the game, you still have a challenge. Enemies are not always easy, and the use of elements and weaknesses is a strong point.
Finally, the game has plenty of towns, dungones, secret areas, weapons, spells, items, and fun. There is plenty to do in this game, and it keeps you playing for a long time. Gameplay is the strong point of this game.
-= Music & Sound Effects =-
: Rating :
The music is excellent in this game. Now that we have such sophisticated systems, we could overlook how good the music is in this game. However, it is very catchy, and you don't get sick of it. It remminds you a lot of FF IV's music, in that is has a sort of medieval, truly fantasy feel that got lost somewhere along the way in the series. If you can get past the fact that it's not the coolest sounding music you will be pleasantly surprised.
The sound effects are also very good. You would not think to have realistic lightning bolt sounds in an NES game, but there they are. Very nice.
-= Graphics =-
: Rating :
I won't tell you the graphics are fantastic. However, they are what you'd expect for an NES game. To imagine them, think of FF IV in 16 colors, and without the Mode7 effects. Obviously, this is not a perfect description, but there is a definite corellation in things like castle and dungeon layout. The battle screen is also the same, virtually, only with 4 people. I admit, for an NES game, I was impressed. They are not that great to look at now, but at the time they were. Not an eyesore.
-= Fun =-
: Rating :
This is one of the most fun RPGs I have ever played. It keeps a constant level of newness, in that there is always something new to try or explore. There is a varoety of things to do, and Jobs to try. It's much easier in FF III, because you don't need to worry about which Abilities you want to learn, or what Jobs you need to Master. It has a much higher degree of freedom that lets the player choose his/her strategy. The game just has so much to do in the actual game, that it does not need side quests, although it has a few. It constantly remains entertaining, up to the end.
-= Last Word =-
Those who think FF VI is the supreme in RPGs don't know what they are missing. This is a game sustained by its fun and gameplay, that keeps you playing with a challenge. This is what got me into RPGs. Plot is nice, but if you love fun, this game is just great. It combines a non-traditional RPG style with a traditional, and lets you just have fun. I can't say it enough, just play it if you can.
Total Score: 92/100
(Sum of all categories x 4)