"The Sequel that feels more like a Side Story and little else"
Despite how it was received, Phantasy Star III for the Sega Genesis was still a solid title, offering interesting mechanics in storytelling and multiple endings depending on which characters you chose during the length of the entire thing. It also added lore to the PS gaming myth and had an incredible soundtrack with some tunes being highly haunting in certain sections of the game. It is agreeable that this entry in the classic JRPG series wasn't as great as the rest of the games featured before and after it, but it still played an important part within the series overall.
That being said, I understand how this game was panned in various aspects. For one, gamers were treated to a medieval-like word unlike the likes of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest instead of the futuristic Sci-Fi themed settings of games prior. Once you delve enough in it however, the same technological aspects of before start rising little by little, but the medieval setting still overshadow everything of the sort with its mysticism and wizardry as well. It really does not feel like a Phantasy Star title and you could argue if you changed its title to something else, it would have been its very own game altogether. Another tidbit that its agreeable is the fact enemy sprites here look VERY stiff, with little movement on any of their limbs, unlike other titles where said enemy sprites would show their attacks clearly to your characters. It is quite amusing and I daresay cute even, when a monster wiggles its ears as an attack during a random battle. The beginning of the game feels like it drags long enough for you to just set it down and come back later to get around all the grinding needed in order to be able to move to the next section and have enough Meseta to buy weapons and armor, something that I share in disdain with previous games of the series as well. Boss encounters seem rather easier than fighting normal enemies in dungeons and the like, something which is a bit of a letdown when you are ready to take on a big part of the story then finding out it ends before it ever began. I also believe having 5 characters in a party is way too many, as it feels convulsed during battles and you end up wondering just what to do with the 5th character besides planning to heal the party. As it is, not many characters in this game seem to bring much to the stablished party. Magic, or as it is called here, Techniques are *very* weak and often do not do much damage to the enemy than weapons equipped. I know there are shops that distribute Techniques for each character that casts it, but even then it does little in the way of offensive power than with healing characters.
Even if you enjoy the game for what it is, you cannot feel like it drags quite a bit with the whole generation mechanic. It seems like it makes the game longer than it should be really, even when I have seen that it is not quite the case once you play it. It simply *feels* like it however. The fact that you can find out other branches of the different storylines depending on who you choose between scenarios do not fully make up for it either. If anything, it feels like a chore having to go through similar scenarios after finishing one game just to find out what the other endings are like, and who you might to confront in lieu of the prior enemies you encountered in another storyline. I'm afraid to say nothing much changes overall with the alternate characters you end up with really.
In all due honesty, you really don't need to play Phantasy Star III to complete the entire series, you could actually skip it and just play IV being that it connects a lot more with previous entries than this game. However it is still a good JRPG to play and complete, considering the fact that you would not get fed up just after the first time you finish it. I would recommend this to the hardcore RPG gamers and those Sega Genesis enthusiasts who have not experienced many games of its genre on that system than anyone else.
Community review by CptRetroBlue (October 04, 2018)
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