As a longtime Final Fantasy series enthusiast, you may reminisce about the classic 1995 role-playing experience for the Japanese Nintendo Entertainment System. Final Fantasy III, originally released for the Japanese version of the Nintendo DS, finally received an English translation for North American audiences. This engaging RPG boasts stunning 3D visuals, a revamped job system, and enhanced character depth, breathing new life into the classic game.
Although the remixed soundtrack is aurally appealing, its poor audio mix detracts from the experience. Final Fantasy III follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, focusing on skill-building and turn-based combat while the plot takes a backseat. The game lacks cutscenes or full-motion videos, and magical powers remain under tight control.
This RPG is geared towards dedicated fans, as many players may find themselves deterred by the relentless random encounters or frustrated by the lack of save points during exploration. The original four party members have received more depth, but the story still falls short when reaching the final boss.
The game's standout feature is the job system, which players may recognize from titles like Tactics and Final Fantasy V. Characters can switch between various roles, ranging from basic positions such as Monk, Warrior, or White Mage, to more specialized classes like Evoker, Scholar, or Geomancer. However, the system lacks the mix-and-match options and consistency seen in later iterations and could benefit from further refinement.
Final Fantasy III's visuals and sound design are impressive, boasting detailed 3D graphics and a remarkable musical score. The game's pacing suffers, though, as it doesn't flow as smoothly as its 2D counterparts. The Nintendo DS's top screen is underutilized, and graphical enhancements could improve the 3D visuals' transitions. While a map is provided for the overworld, players are left to navigate dungeons without assistance, where the visuals are less clear.
The game's plot follows Luneth, an orphan who discovers a magical crystal that reveals his destiny to save the world. Joined by his shy friend Arc, guardsman Ingus, and blacksmith's daughter Refia, the group embarks on a quest to uncover the secrets of four elemental crystals hidden throughout the world, encountering unexpected challenges and dangers. Each character now has a distinct role and personality, setting this version apart from previous iterations.
Despite its dated feel, the story retains the classic charm of the Final Fantasy series, accompanied by stunning graphics and a fitting orchestral score. While not the series' best, the music sets the mood and can be quite inspiring. Gameplay is somewhat dated, with a clunky job system, but engaging side quests and combat make up for it. Hardcore gamers can expect around sixty hours of gameplay, with a focus on combat and skill development that may surprise casual players with its addictive nature.
In conclusion, hardcore RPG fans will likely appreciate Final Fantasy III more than traditional gamers who prefer modern Final Fantasy titles. The game offers an immersive experience with stunning graphics, a memorable score, and a deep job system, despite its shortcomings.