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Dragon Warrior III (NES) artwork

Dragon Warrior III (NES) review


"While not the leap that the fourth installment is, it provides a new gaming experience set in the Dragon Warrior universe. If you're a fan of role playing games, then you can do a lot worse then Dragon Warrior 3."



Dragon Warrior 3 is the third (like, so totally duh) game in the classic role playing series by Enix. It was imported to the states despite the somewhat lukewarm sales of Dragon Warrior 2. However, this was due mainly to limited distribution... A problem which also plagued this installment, and the fourth game.

This game also continues to legendary epic of Edrick, while introducing a new hero, Ortega, your father, not a salsa brand. You play the role of his son. Your mission is to find a trace of your father, and to defeat the leader of the evil minions engulfing the lands, Balzack.

By today's standards, the story isn't really that great. And it does take a step backwards from Dragon Warrior 2 by replacing strong character models with generic, customizable no-name characters. As it has been evidenced by newer role playing games, people WANT to learn about new characters, not make up their own.

However, the gameplay is the saving grace, and Dragon Warrior 3 is still old skool console role playing at its best. Combat is turn-based, with lots of menus, and level building. It's kept to a pretty good minimum though, not to the epic proportions seen in the first two games. The enemy encounter rate can be a little high, resulting in a bit slower paced game, but just a tad. It's still a very enjoyable experience.

Dragon Warrior 3 once again ups the ante with equipment and extras. It doubles the amount of equipment available in Dragon Warrior 2, mainly due to the customizable characters. Each character, excluding the hero, can be one of six different classes, and a seventh halfway through the game. This adds tremendously to the replay of the game, as there's endless character combinations, at the cost of story development though.

The monster design in Dragon Warrior 3 is also appreciably better. There are more boss characters, which increased the number of original enemy models, and some of the older enemies in the series have been eliminated or madeover. The difficulty is also better, as the game has lost some of the non-linear, ''What the hell do I do now?'' that affected Dragon Warrior 2.

There's also been a fair amount of intelligence put forth in the town, maze, and non-playing character design. Burly warriors can now be found near the blacksmith, instead of just hanging out in the middle of town. Huge pathways in dungeons no longer go on for twenty minutes, just to be a dead end with nothing there. Villagers now give out fairly useful information, telling you about local dungeons and other characters.

Dragon Warrior 3 is an improvement over Dragon Warrior 2 only in character detail and monster detail. Otherwise, if you played the two games side by side, there's not a whole lot of a difference, in music, graphics, or sound effects. Depending on your point of view, this is either good or bad. If you didn't enjoy past versions of Dragon Warrior, than it's highly unlikely that you'll like this version either.

Overall, Dragon Warrior 3 is a good sized improvement over Dragon Warrior 2. While not the leap that the fourth installment is, it provides a new gaming experience set in the Dragon Warrior universe. If you're a fan of role playing games, then you can do a lot worse then Dragon Warrior 3.

Rating: 9/10

sgreenwell's avatar
Community review by sgreenwell (Date unavailable)

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