An Unusual Phantasy
PSIII released three years after PSII, is a very different RPG than it's predecessors. Often referred to as the black sheep of the series this is far from true.(Then again I have seen PSII called the black sheep in lieu of this one.)
"Come Forth Now"-PSIII's Box-
1000 years ago brave Orakio fought Laia for control of the world. Until one final battle, in which all combatants were killed. The bodies of Orakio and Laya were never found. This war, now known as The Devastation War, nearly wiped out the worlds population.
Now one of Orakio's descendants Prince Rhys of Landen, is to marry the girl of his dreams. Maia, whom was found washed up on the shores of Landen. Rhys walks down the aisle nervously. And as he reads his wedding vows a winged dragon swoops down and abducts Maia. "Filthy Orakians, Maia will not be yours!" It proclaims before vanishing.
Prince Rhys knows what he must do. He will risk everything to find his beloved. And set in motion a chain of events that will either destroy the world, or free it.
PSIII, spans three generations. Which generations you play is entirely up to you. It is also interesting to note, how much of the game takes place in the past, and the legends of the past will not come together until the end. So yes this game does belong to the series. It just has a roundabout way of doing this, not that it's a bad thing.
PSIII has a huge cast of characters between the Generations. About, 16 or so. Of course to see them all you will have to play all the generations, thus making Phantasy Star III, one of the longest RPGS ever.
The Generation system is so interesting and well done, it is a wonder it is rarely used.
The battle system is PSIII is good. The battle graphics are not. More on that later. In battle, (which is now in the first person, how cool would it have been to see the characters as in PSII?) you can attack, use items, and techniques. Furthermore you can program the party's actions. Either by round or until the battle ends.
I love the score in Phantasy Star III. The overworld theme is just composed wonderfully.(And all the rest for that matter.) And not only does it change as new party members join, as mentioned by another review, it also changes to a somber tune when Rhys or any other leader of the party dies.
I am a bit torn about the graphics. I like the bigger more detailed towns and what not, but the colors are lacking and the buildings are always sparsely decorated.
The graphics lack color, and often look bland. Graphically few things stand out. The characters look more “real” but lack that Phantasy Star style. Battles are often too easy, and the enemies are poorly animated. With lame animations that may have worked in Final Fantasy,(You know that flashing that is supposed to mean you are being attacked.) in the Phantasy Star universe better quality is expected.
Phantasy Star III, is also a ridiculously easy game, I know that it's not that bad a thing but even so, I felt I had to mention it.
The Bottom Line
Phantasy III: Generations of Doom, is a good game. And I enjoyed it. And still play it from time to time, I just did not enjoy it as much as the others in the series. And it is worth checking out, even if you did not like the others in the series, for some reason.
Hey Sega how about making a PSIII prequel in which you play as Orakio and Laia, that would be off the chain.