Final Fantasy III

Posted by staff | Posted in Nintendo DS | Posted on 30-10-2010

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  • FINAL FANTASY III has been reborn, incorporating the latest in portable gaming technology. FINAL FANTASY III features graphics that have been reworked and remodeled in 3D, while maintaining the mythical FINAL FANTASY look and feel. Format: NINTENDO DS Genre: RPG (VG) Age: 662248906133 UPC: 662248906133 Manufacturer No: 90613

Product Description
FINAL FANTASY III has been reborn incorporating the latest in portable gaming technology. FINAL FANTASY III features graphics that have been reworked and remodeled in 3D while maintaining the mythical FINAL FANTASY look and feel. Format: NINTENDO DS Genre: NO GENRE Rating: E – Everyone UPC: 662248906133 Manufacturer No: 90613… More >>

Final Fantasy III

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After sixteen long years, Final Fantasy III finally sees an official release outside of Japan. However, unlike previous games, Final Fantasy III has been completely reworked. This is more than just a port with enhanced graphics. Final Fantasy III includes some new secrets and side quests in addition to its graphical overhaul. Final Fantasy III may be just about enough to please some hardcore fans, but was the wait really worth it? Well, yes, but the game isn’t perfect.

The storyline of Final Fantasy III is entirely too simple. The crystals are losing their powers and there are only four warriors that can come forth and save the world from falling into darkness. Sixteen years ago this was a pretty standard story, but when compared to your average RPG today, and current Final Fantasy games, the storyline to Final Fantasy III is a joke. There’s nothing in this story that screams epic, and the characters involved aren’t developed very well. Luckily, we can let it slide because its sixteen years old.

Gameplay wise, Final Fantasy III is pretty similar to most RPGs of today. You’ll go roaming through dungeons and towns getting into random battles. There are a few quirks to the game that the DS utilizes. You’ll find moments where you’ll have to zoom into certain objects for you to examine. It should also be noted that you can use the touch screen almost exclusively in the game. Using the stylus you can make your character run in the direction you want him to, by gliding it across the screen. Taping on things makes your character examine it, and ultimately this is how you open chests and talk to people. It works out, but it feels really clumbsy at times. If you’re looking to get through a dungeon with little hassle, just stick to the directional buttons. To its credit, though, using the stylus makes menu navigation much faster, but for the most part, the stylus controls just feel tacked on.

Combat is traditional turn based combat. There’s no ATB gauge like in later Final Fantasy games. In each round you will choose all the commands for your characters to do, and then watch a round of battle take place. It’s simple, but isn’t always fun. Mainly because Final Fantasy III is a challenge. If you began with some of the later Final Fantasy games, then this installment may be a little too difficult. Sometimes combat is unforgiving, especially when faced with bosses that attack twice per turn, and have the power to take out a character in a single shot. Even worse, the encounter rate is pretty high and running away from battle is often a wasted effort because you’ll fail so many times trying to do so. You’ll probably get wiped out just trying to run from battle and failing so many times. There are several moments when you’ll be forced to battle for hours just leveling up. This is fine for those used to old school RPGs, but many RPGs of today do not put so much emphasis on leveling up, and it may try your patience after a while. It’s great for people looking for a challenge, at least, but for some it may be a bit too steep.

The job system is interesting. As you go through the game you’ll get crystal shards that allow your characters to use certain jobs. Each job has its own set of abilities that can be learned with it. For example, White mages specialize in the healing arts, black mages in attack magic and red mages can do a little bit of both. You’ve also got other classes like warriors who can take damage for other party members, thieves who can steal and much more. There are 23 jobs in all. The jobs you choose for your characters also have an impact on your stats. Mages, for example, don’t have a lot of strength but they excel in magic. Also, as you gain levels, you’ll also gain job levels. So it’s not only important to make sure your characters are at a good level, but also at a good job level.

There is a slight problem with the job system however. It isn’t nearly as varied as it could be. As you go through the game you’ll gain more and more jobs that ultimately replace the older ones. In the beginning you’ll get a Blackmage; as you progress you’ll get a Sage, who is capable of doing everything a Blackmage can do. Thus, later in the game, many job classes become obsolete. It’s really hard to compliment the games variety when later on many job classes are more of the same thing. So while the job system is interesting, later games such as Final Fantasy V execute it much better and with more variety.

The game looks absolutely stunning, at least for the Nintendo DS. It is by far one of the best looking out there. There are some moments where it looks pixilated, but you can’t deny that the game just looks good regardless. The movie sequences are also really pretty to look at and they run surprisingly well. In battle is also fantastic. Your enemies sport some amazing detail and so do the backgrounds in battle. On the whole, the game just looks good. Perhaps the only fault of the graphics is how restricted the animation of characters and enemies are in combat. Your characters won’t physically go up and strike an enemy. Rather they just step forward and swing. Very similar to how the Final Fantasy games of the NES worked. It’s strange to see, but you’ll quickly get used to it.

Another thing that seems kind of strange, though, is that the top screen throughout most of the game remains blank. All the action takes place on the bottom screen. There are few moments when the top screen actually displays anything. You’ll see the world map as you travel the overworld and while you’re in towns. There are certain moments where the top screen has text, or shows an important story sequence, but that’s usually about it. Other than that, when trumping through dungeons (as you do often) and in battle (as you also do often) the top screen remains blank. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it feels very awkward to play a Nintendo DS game where the top screen is blank. They could’ve used it to display dungeon maps or enemy information or something. The top screen has no impact on gameplay whatsoever.

The music in the game is pretty good, though. It’s not as good as other games in the series, and there are some tunes that just aren’t great, but the music is by no means bad. There’s no voice acting in the game, really, but we can let that slide. Audio wise, the game is good.

Final Fantasy III is a pretty satisfying experience for any Final Fantasy fan looking for a good challenge, and to see how far the series has come. However, it may also shed a little too much of its old school charm in some areas, particularly its unforgiving challenge. Still, it’s worth it for Final Fantasy fans who want to see just how far the series has come.

The Good

+Finally a chance to play Final Fantasy III

+Great visual look

+Good music

+The job system is interesting

+It provides a good challenge

+A fair amount of secrets and sidequests

The Bad

-The story is not all that great

-For some the game might provide too much of a challenge, to the point of frustration

-High random encounter rate

-The job system is interesting, but there’s not nearly as much vareity as one might expect from it

-Throughout most of your adventure the top screen is just… blank… for a Nintendo DS game this just feels awkward
Rating: 4 / 5

I honestly don’t see why Square Enix hasn’t thought of doing this to all their older Final Fantasy games, really. It would definitely appeal to the newer Final Fantasy audiences who’s grownup on all the 3-D games(all the while, giving them a good history lesson on the FF games) yet appeal to us older Final Fantasy fans with its’ old school style. I liked it better when the stories were simpler to follow. That’s not to say I dislike the newer Final Fantasy games, though. Things change through the years as do I and I love those games just as much.

The game starts off with you(Luneth) assembling a team of heroes(Arc, Refia, and Ingus) to restore balance to the world. To do this, you must choose jobs(23 in all) to help aid you in your quest. Every battle you play through will add to each of the character’s job level so you’ll want to use thought in building not only your characters main level, but also their job proficiency as well. Although Final Fantasy III is a Very challenging game, it’s also an entertaining one. I wish the Nintendo DS had more RPGs done in this style. I simply couldn’t get enough of the game and kept on finding myself fighting one more battle & whatnot before putting it down. You’ll explore the lands, man a boat, pilot an airship, ride a chocobo, find treasure, and more. Not only that but the game is simply beautiful. I agree, it’s simply a better overall experience in 3-D.

Maybe it’s just me, though, but I get a distinct Final Fantasy VII feel with this game. Don’t ask me how but I do. That’s a good thing, though.

All in all, you’re looking at an RPG that clocks in around the 50/60 hour mark depending on how you play. With new side quests and moogle mail, you’ll have a bit more to play.

Final Fantasy III is a DS gem that shouldn’t be missed.

Rating: 5 / 5

Final Fantasy III, as most may know, was the only Final Fantasy game that failed to reach North America. Well now it haas been revived, and it’s better than ever before!

The “improved”

1) Final fantasy has pushed the DS’s graphics to the limit. Though the figures may not be crystal clear, and though it may seem slightly pixelish, it’s probably the best you’ll ever get for the Nintendo DS. FFIII is completely 3D, a step up from it’s original, and the character changes appearence as you change his/her job!

2) The job system is what solely drives this game. As some may have read, yes, there are 279841 different party combinations. Obviously, this opens up many doors and many strategy. FFIII incorperates these 23 jobs in a smart way as well. Don’t be suprised when some job adjustments must be made to defeat a certain boss. Your party can be all fighting, or all magic, all range, or all skills, or a mix of any! Jobs are earned when crystals are discovered, and you will find a use for each of them.

3) FFIII can be played entirely with the touch screen, or entirely with the buttons, so you can use either method whenever you want. FFIII complements the DS’s touch screen capability quite nicely; being able to use it to select moves is much better than the buttons.

4) FFIII is also Wi-Fi compatible. In it, players can send messages to other players global, using an internet port. It isn’t much, but it’s something!

5) You may name all of your characters, and play as any or them, any time! I like that freedom.

6) Dungeons actually offer a challenge. A step up from the boring 1 way dungeons, FFIII literally has a maze of many opening and secrets to be unlocked. Some dungeons even offer extra fun by adding in things such as lava, in which you take damage if you go to slow. It might be just me, but the exploration is very fun, and a great addition.

The things that could be better…

1) The story line is very redundant, and a copy of previous FF games. It isn’t a big deal, but you’d think tthey’d get a bit more original!

2) The command buttons during battle are very small, so using the touch screen often makes you mis-hit a command.

3) This game requires lots of patience, because the battles are very tedious sometimes, and most gameplay is spent traing.

4) Each job doesn’t have a variety of skills, but rather only one. It gets very old once you maintain the same job for a long time.

5) THe Wi_Fi isn’t very creative, and there is no 2 player in FFIII.

6) FIghts do not incorperate time bars. That is to say, you can take 5 years to make a move without an attack from an enemy.

To make it short and sweet…

Die hard FF fans must get this game, mainly to complete their FF colections, but also for a great time. Not a die hard fan? No worries. The RPG is the best you’ll find on the DS or PSP. It’s got plenty to do, and won’t fail you at any time. Those who don’t enjoy strategy games, however, or do not have the patience to grow their characters may want to stay away from this game.

I loved it, but hey, it’s just what I think.

This review was brought to you by the son of Having Fun.
Rating: 5 / 5

(Note: for the purposes of this review, US release FF titles use Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3), while Japanese versions use Roman numerals (I, II, III); the DS version of FF III – while a US release – uses “III” instead of “3″ to keep it from being confused with the excellent SNES FF 3 title.)

When I first heard the news this game was going coming to the DS – in a refurbished, graphically updated version, no less – I was ecstatic. As a lifelong FF fan who has played to completion every other entry in the series, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the only game not to have SOME version released in the US. Boy, was I disappointed.

I might as well begin with the pros, since that will only take a second or two. The game has beautifully rendered, fully 3D cutscenes that are on a par with those in FFXII…but this only serves to point up how abysmal the in-game graphics are (more on this later). Oh, and you can change the spells your characters “know” (are able to cast in combat) on the fly, and you don’t have to “erase” or permanently lose any spell to free up a space to learn a new one – spells in FF III are treated like items which you can equip and unequip via the menu screen.

Now for the bad news. My biggest beef with this game is that there are NO SAVE POINTS IN THE DUNGEONS – NONE! Period. Which, in some cases, doesn’t really have much impact on gameplay, and can even sometimes positively affect the experience, serving to heighten the adrenaline rush during boss fights and arouse a constant sense of anxiety while exploring. But when it takes FOUR HOURS of dungeon tramping just to get to the final boss of the game, only to have said boss wipe your party out in ten seconds if it performs a particular combination of attacks (which it usually does), I cannot even begin to express the complete outrage and frustration one feels with this game. You don’t just want to whip your DS at the nearest wall, you want to hurl it into the nearest star and watch the damn thing go supernova, exploding with the white-hot savagery of a thousand suns until every last molecule of the cartridge has been vaporised into non-existence. I don’t mind having to fight a particular enemy several times in order to figure out how to beat it, but I DO, in fact, mind intolerably when it takes four hours just to get to that enemy for one attempt at figuring it out.

Another big problem I had with the game was its lack of balance. First of all, the game’s too short: the actual amount of time you need to spend exploring and fighting key monsters to advance the story line (and the percentage of the game world real estate devoted to this) is very small. Subtracting the amount of time you’ll spend level grinding, this game is about three to four hours long. However, just to be able to have a chance in hell of defeating some of these monsters, you’ll need to literally spend a day or more just leveling up your characters (AND their jobs)…and you can’t select many of the best jobs until the game’s about 70% over, so you will be wasting a lot of time leveling up job classes you won’t even want to use again!

Second of all, the gameplay difficulty doesn’t ramp well at all. It starts off much harder than it should – you wake up in a cave (read “dungeon” – and remember, “dungeon” means “NO SAVES”), by yourself, with no access to weapons, armor, or items, and you have to fight your way blind, against waves of up to three enemies, to the exit. If you’re lucky, you’ll find the pond that restores HP and MP (but does not cure status ailments – hmmmm), and you can even spend some time leveling up here, but if the enemies get lucky or you hit the wrong button (including the Power button), too bad, sucker, you just lost an hour or two of gameplay and have to start over from the beginning!

Once you find the other three playable characters (no easy task in itself, as the game doesn’t really guide you to finding them), the game gets a little easier to play, but then you’re plagued by a host of other problems, like not being able to buy Phoenix Downs anywhere (you can only find them or win/steal them in battle) – and the game is half over by the time it gives you access to a Raise Ally spell – and the fact that there are no Ether potions at all in the game! Unbelievable! There is a cheat that basically lets you copy items in your inventory, but it can corrupt your saved files, and the game should be balanced without having to resort to cheats.

Thirdly, there are just too many encounters to make this a balanced, fun game. FF 1 had an area where every step you took lead to another encounter, but this was an area only about 10X3 steps large, it was only in one dungeon, and you didn’t have to go through it to complete the game. As much as you will need to retrace your steps in FF III’s dungeons (because of the muddy graphics and lack of a top-down map) to make sure you’ve explored every nook and cranny, the frequency of encounters soon becomes incredibly aggravating. And, because you can’t save in the dungeons, you may just have to wait until you’ve leveled up your characters quite a bit before taking a chance on being able to explore a dungeon fully, since the high number of random battles means a higher chance you won’t make it to the end and back.

Finally, when you get to the penultimate dungeon, just before you exit to the final boss dungeon you encounter a RANDOM enemy (the Red Dragon) that’s ten times harder than any other BOSS you’ve fought so far, takes five to ten minutes to defeat, and like as not will wipe out your entire party (and since you’re in a dungeon (say it with me now: “with NO SAVES!”)), you’ve just lost three hours of your time!). My crew were all at level 50+ with job levels of 100, a full complement of healing potions, and the best weapons, armor, and spells available in the game to that point, and they still got wiped out half the time against the Red Dragon. This to me is just insufferable.

Another problem I had with this game was how many features were poorly implemented. Now, I realize that a lot of these features were new and innovative at the time, but it’s 2006, and many, many iterations of FF have passed since FF III first came out. I’m not saying Square-Enix should have incorporated all the newest and latest features of the series – that would not have been true to the spirit of FF III – but they could have adjusted some of the features they did include to make them less annoying. Take the jobs, for example; in FF V (also recently released, for the GBA), if you switch from a non-magic-using class to say a Mage or Summoner, you instantly become that class, AND you get all the spell points you’re supposed to have. In FF III, however, you have to engage in up to 12 battles before the class switch takes effect, AND you don’t get ANY spell points – you have to rest! Also, you don’t learn any skills by leveling up your job class (as in FF V), you just get one new command in the battle menu. Which means you aren’t able to carry any of those commands over to another job class as you can in FF V (allowing you, for example, to have a Monk who can Equip Swords, a Knight who can Steal, or a White Mage who can cast Black spells). And to make matters worse, there’s no onscreen indication of how far along you are to advancing a job level as there is in FF V.

Other problems with implementation include no auto equip feature for weapons and armor (even when you change jobs – very annoying!), no auto spell school switching (if you have a White Mage who only knows White spells and change his class to a Black Mage, you have to manually remove every single White spell and have the character “learn” (equip) whatever Black spells you want him/her to cast, since Black Mages can’t cast White spells), and loss of items beyond the first 99 in your inventory (for example, if you have all your characters equip a Bow and 99 Iron Arrows each, then change the job class of all four characters, you will lose 297 (3X99) Iron Arrows, because the game automatically unequips all weapons and armor, and the menu can’t keep track of more than 99 of any one item.).

Oh, and the zoom feature is also annoying. At the start of the game, you’re told you may need to “zoom in” to look for “sparkles” (a nearly invisible graphic that indicates that an object is actually a switch or pressure plate of some kind). OK, so you press the R button to zoom in to varying degrees up to a maximum amount; if you only zoom partway and let go of the R button, then press the R button again, you continue to zoom in and can’t zoom out until you’ve zoomed all the way in, let go of the R button, and then press and hold it AGAIN. It would have been much more functional to have the camera snap back out 100% from any zoomed-in view.

One final exasperating feature, more a matter of design than implementation, is the hidden objects. Other games in the series have been very intuitive (and sometimes downright clever) in the way they hid special objects in the environment (in FF 2, you even had to go through a fireplace to get to a secret area with some great items. Again, not obvious, but when every other fireplace in the game has a roaring, interactive (“Ouch!”) fire that blocks your way, coming across an empty one sure makes you curious.). Usually, these objects are placed in barrels, jars, or books; of course, there’s nothing obvious about clicking on a jar in hopes of getting a Gesahl Greens or 1000 Gil, but it’s definitely compelling when you see a barrel sitting in the middle of nowhere to at least check it out…and then to check every other barrel you come across, since the one you just clicked on gave you a much-needed item. But not in FF III; in this game, objects are “hidden”…on the GROUND! No rhyme or reason, no clue, nothing to arouse your curiosity, these objects are just lying (invisibly, of course) willy-nilly anywhere you might walk. You basically wind up playing FF III by tapping constantly on the A button, hoping you’ll stumble across something valuable…which turns the game into something akin to Minesweeper. I felt like I was at the beach being forced to scan every square inch of sand with a metal detector for a lousy quarter when all I really wanted was to jump in the ocean. To make matters worse, there are several suspicious, hard-to-get-to, partially hidden areas in the game that contain…absolutely NOTHING!

Finally, the graphics and sound were just not compelling, and in some cases downright deplorable. The game uses true 3D models in a 3D world, but the DS is just not capable of displaying this with any justice. The characters look muddy and pixellated, especially in the zoomed-out view you’re going to be playing in 98% of the time, and the environments, especially the foreground objects in the battle scenes, are terribly low-res and pixellated. The music is okay, with a few tracks that are enjoyable to listen to and that convey the atmosphere of the area they play in, but nothing spellbinding or even mildly enchanting. And the sound effects are for the most part merely adequate, with many of the battle noises sounding like heavily compressed MIDI files.

Overall, FF III is a tedious, empty, artificially protracted game that had updates in all the unnecessary departments. Beautiful CGI cutscenes are great, but if I’m too frustrated with the gameplay to get very far, I’m not even going to see those cutscenes. In fact, FF III might not even be for the completist: I probably won’t even bother to finish the game, since it isn’t worth it to me to spend 24 hours trying to get to the final boss enough times to figure out how to beat it to watch a CGI movie I can probably download from YouTube anyway. I believe there’s a reason this game never made it to the US before, and touching up the paint job and polishing the chrome doesn’t change that. It was probably halfway decent for its time, but I much more highly recommend FF V for the GBA as a much better implementation of all the features (and then some) that FF III pioneered.
Rating: 2 / 5

I had never played FF3 before on NES, so I was a little worried that I’d be put off by the simplistic storyline of collecting elemental crystals, but it turned out to be a very enjoyable game.

The storyline is definitely simplistic, but SquareEnix gave the characters names and backstories to help update the game a little. The mail system to unlock certain secrets also gives the NPCs a little more depth. However, despite SquareEnix’s effort, there just isn’t enough character development to get us really attached to these characters. Although, that isn’t to say that this is a bad game. There’s just enough story to get you to move onto the next dungeon, which brings me to my next point.

Money is scarce in this game, so you’ll find yourself exploring and fighting a lot. It might seem like a dungeon crawl or level grind at first, but when you start to get different classes to play with, there’s actually a fair amount of depth and customization that you can do with your party. You’ll spend a lot of time leveling up a job to see if you like its abilities and if it works well with the other party members’ job abilities.

Also, the new camera system lets you zoom in to find hidden switches and treasures. This really helps keep your trips into dungeons interesting.

Finding new weapons and armor is always a treat, and the game definitely delivers on that front. As you progress, you’re given a pretty constant stream of decent “loot.” The weapons and armor that you find will also help you decide which jobs you want in your party and force you to reconsider certain jobs.

There’s enough to do keep you busy for at least 30 hours, which is pretty impressive for a handheld game. Overall, I consider FF3 DS a good game and would recommend it to anyone who likes Final Fantasy.
Rating: 4 / 5

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