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Final Fantasy III (SNES) artwork

Final Fantasy III (SNES) review

"The Espers were another thing I loved. They were as powerful as Rydia's Summoned Monsters from FF4, but more useful in that they taught you spells. I also happened to love the spells (but then, is there anything I DON'T love about this game?)"

I must say that this is one review I took an inordinate amount of pleasure in writing. This game is my absolute favorite of all the games I have ever played. Although, FF9 very nearly tied it.

The characters in this game are incredible. Celes, Locke, Sabin, and Shadow are my favorites, but all the characters are well-developed. They are complex people. Each character has an individual trait or conflict that is emphasized, (i.e., Terra's power or Cyan's grief) but each is also given additional characteristics. I like that aspect of the characterizations. Also, the characters are consistent with regard to their behavior. As a writer, I can tell you, that is the hallmark of an excellent writer. I give characterization 100.

Plot is another essential element of an RPG. Although the basic plot in this game is simple--find out Kefka is BAAAAAAD news, search for Kefka, destroy Kefka--the way in which it is executed is masterful. There are enough side quests to capture one's interest and plenty of interesting quirks along the way. For example, Shadow's dreams. They reveal the rather fascinating past of the most mysterious character in the game, bar Gogo. Minor events can reveal as much about the characters as the major events like the ending or the opera. The plot in this game kept me fascinated for weeks as I worked my way through. Overall, I'd give it a 100. (Are you surprised? After all, this is my favorite game ever!)

Music has ever been a strong point of the Final Fantasy series. In my opinion, Nobuo Uematsu is an absolute genius. His music can be heartrending, stirring, or entertaining as the need demands. I feel that the music in this game is particularly good, although I am not a fan of ALL of the songs. The opera music, the character themes, and the Ending Theme stand out in my mind as the best examples of music from this game (with the addition of ''Forever Rachel.'') I wanted to cry when I heard some of that music! And the Opera is, in my mind, the best piece of FF music ever written. (Proven, in fact, by the number of midis I have of it. ^_^) All that aside, there were pieces I was not overly fond of, and one or two that I truly disliked. I would give the music a 95--not because I think it's bad, but because not all of it appealed to me.

Graphics are rather difficult for me to rate, especially with Super Nintendo games (or those games originally released for the SNES.) I can never decide: should I rate the graphics as compared to other SNES games, or should I rate them as compared to the current marvels being produced for Playstation and PS2? I choose to compare it to other Super Nintendo games, because there is no point in comparing apples and oranges. Seen in those terms, the graphics are good. They are quite good enough to convey the meaning of the game clearly. Of course, it isn't a film, and compared to current CG sequences, the cinema scenes are a little pathetic. But taking into consideration the time period in which this game was made, overall, I give the graphics a 90. (I know, I know, I'm prejudiced--but I kinda like those little mapman icons. Stop laughing at me.)

And lastly, we come to gameplay. Personally, I think the tactical system in FF6 is the best of all Final Fantasy games (although, I must say now that Final Fantasy IX has an equally good tactical system.) Each character can be customized using the Espers, but such customization takes lots of planning and a working knowledge of each character's strengths and weaknesses (i.e., Celes and Terra are good at magic, wheras Sabin is good at physical attacks.) The Espers were another thing I loved. They were as powerful as Rydia's Summoned Monsters from FF4, but more useful in that they taught you spells. I also happened to love the spells (but then, is there anything I DON'T love about this game?)

The special abilities of each character makes for an interesting mix-and-match of special abilities and magic. I loved it. Each character was individual because of his or her special commands, yet each could be customized. (And Gogo's customizations--insane! I loved it!) I didn't get frustrated or bored with the tactical system the way I have with other games. My score? You guessed it--100.

Overall, I give this game a 97.

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Staff review by Lassarina Aoibhell (Date unavailable)

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