Final Fantasy III…the original was released only in Japan. North America and Europe got to play it when it was repackaged and distributed as Final Fantasy VI. Confused? So were many players when their “new game” played out on screen just a wee bit familiar. “And the 1994 Bonehead Award goes to: Square!”
Eventually, Final Fantasy III was remade and ported to the Nintendo DS. The game is also available on Steam for PC, replete with that all-important feature: “Steam achievements”! To continue this review, we must now fast-forward in time. “Can you say Square…Enix?” Does Final Fantasy III live up to the quality that the new developer has been striving for? The simple answer is yes.
You start off in a small village as a young hero, who ultimately discovers one of four crystals. This crystal says that once you have found the others, you must return and it will bestow upon you its power. Simple, straightforward and elegant. It’s the simple things we have grown to love about the classic-era Final Fantasy titles.
True to the crystal’s word, you become the Light Warrior and head off to save the world and vanquish evil in the most timeless of ways…by beating the s@#t out of it. All together, the story ran a bit dry at times. But considering that it’s a classic-era remake, we can forgive.
A little known fact about the Final Fantasy genre is that Japan tends to get much harder versions of the game than those bound for export. My speculation is that Japanese gamers are more hardcore than their western counterparts. But this title however, was one of the few that had an “extra hard” mode built-in, as well as some new bonus dungeons to test how hardcore you really are.
As with its predecessor (FF2), Final Fantasy III tried taking a new stance toward character leveling. You can level up “class attributes” separately from your hero’s primary experience level, which can be tedious. But PC gamers rejoice! This system lends itself perfectly to the Steam achievement template ideal, and there are many to earn! If you’re not an achievement hunter then hit the rewind button…1994 wants its player back.
Ultimately, does Final Fantasy III deliver? Yes, yes it does. With interesting foes, a unique story and diverse RPG elements it truly does live up to its name.
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