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Final Fantasy III (SNES) artwork

Final Fantasy III (SNES) review

"Final Fantasy 3 is an outstanding game that should be played either on the SNES, or on the re-relased version for the Playstation. Do not pass this game up."

Final Fantasy 3 is the second best role playing game ever relased for the Super Nintendo. It ranks near the top all-time in the role playing genre, and it might even be one of the best games, of any genre, of all time. Why is Final Fantasy 3 so good?

First, there's the story, which was and still is extremely tight. You control a group of adventurers who are fighting against an evil empire known only as, well, the Empire. Each character in the game has his or her own reason for fighting. Most importantly, you get a sense of each character's personality from the game, and some background information about each.

It's easy to get attached to Final Fantasy 3 because it's one of the few role playing games that makes you care about the characters inside. When you care about the characters, the predictable plot becomes an after-thought; you won't care, you'll be too busy learning about the dark background of Shadow.

The gameplay of Final Fantasy 3 is also very good; the battle system is traditional, with four characters, sharing a lot of similarities with previous Final Fantasy games. All battles are in real-time, so you have to stay awake at the controller, unless you want to be smacked around.

The magic system of Final Fantasy was revolutionary for the time. No longer could only certain party members learn magic, like in Dragon Warrior 4 and Lufia. Excluding two characters, everyone could learn magic by equiping magical pieces. Spells are then learned by gaining magic points after each fight; the number of points is multiplied by a modifier, from one to twenty-five, to calculate the percentage of a spell learned after each fight.

The only significant bad point of Final Fantasy 3 is that it's incredibly easy. Except for one point late in the first half of the game, there's no really challenging battle. There's even one manuever, which if executed, can defeat EVERY enemy in the game except the end bosses. You don't have to use it; but even if the game gets rough, you know that you have it to fall back upon.

And while the magic system of Final Fantasy 3 is revolutionary, it does nothing to differentiate characters. Every character in the game, except one, has the potential to cast Ultima, a spell that deals 9999 damage most of the time. Let me put it this way - you can take any four characters in the game and find a way to make them into supercharacters quite easily. The storylines and personalities couldn't be any different, but except for a few tweaks here and there, the charactes are pretty much the same once combat starts.

Graphically, Final Fantasy 3 is absolute stunning. Gone are the dark, unlit areas of Final Fantasy 2; in its place is a world that's vibrant and alive with color. Even dark underground caves feel alive. Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 3 are often mentioned as having the best graphics on the Super Nintendo, and it's true for both; only a difference in opinion seperates the stellar graphics in both.

The musical score featured in Final Fantasy 3 is as good as the rest of the game. A wide range of music can be heard, from the slash of swords to the deep bass voice of opera. Yes, opera. At no point in the game does a theme seem out of place, and some themes are particularily memorable; specifically, the themes of Shadow and Kefka.

Overall, Final Fantasy 3 is one of the three best role playing games on the SNES, the other two being Lufia 2 and Chrono Trigger. While Lufia 2 will always beat it out in my mind (and my mind only it seems), Final Fantasy 3 is an outstanding game that should be played either on the SNES, or on the re-relased version for the Playstation. Do not pass this game up.

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Community review by sgreenwell (Date unavailable)

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