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Written by  :  Patrick Bregger (256986)
Written on  :  Mar 31, 2021
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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Old-fashioned JRPG surpassed by its successors

The Good

The biggest strength of Final Fantasy III is the pacing: you usually don't stay too long in a single town or dungeon, there is not much exposition, even the boss fights are usually more about fast extermination than endurance. This is underlined by a fast progression of transportation: you frequently receive new ships, airships, etc. which all open up new places to explore. Because of a handy spell which shows all important places, I never had a problem finding the next place to be.

Since this is a remake of a NES title, I expected a lot of grinding, but in the end there were only two or three short grinding sessions - the rest of character development was organic. However, I have to admit, this is partly because I read up on the jobs (the game's classes which can be changed at will) beforehand. If you take the wrong job, you'll have to do some extra work because they are separately leveled for each character. I liked the system, but unfortunately there are way too many jobs with too much redundancy.

Even more of a surprise: I was not bothered by the lack of saving points in dungeons. After the first few hours I was sure this would be my number one complaint in this review. But because almost all dungeons are short and linear, there is never (exception: the last dungeon) the danger of losing too much progress. Therefore the only impact it had on me was some tension when facing a boss for the first time.

The Bad

The biggest weakness are the story and the characters. The four protagonists have the personality of leaf of wood and the NPCs are not much better. For the majority of the game this isn't too much of a problem because conversations are short, but towards the end the game assumes I'd care for certain characters. Nope, I didn't care, and therefore all emotional moments were only cringy.

This is the last Final Fantasy with a strict turn-based battle system. I think the system is fine, but I hated that the turn order is not predictable. This can lead to cheap defeats from full health when an enemy is the last to act in a round and the first in the next. This almost happened to me in the final boss fight which would have changed the tone of this review considerably.

The Bottom Line

Final Fantasy III is a short and sweet JRPG which is fun to play. But it also has nothing outstanding going for it and the JRPG master discipline, characters and story, is lacking. In the end it is only worth playing if you want a very classic JRPG experience without the need to grind.