The last installment of the series on the original Nintendo Entertainment System, Square needed to implement something to improve on their successful franchise. Final Fantasy II, which some day we may get around to, didn’t feature your standard leveling of experience points per level which each level increased stats. Your actions, caused different areas of your character to improve. With Final Fantasy III Square decided to expand on the Job system that let you change each character to different jobs, out of a collection of several. We’ll get into that in a bit but first I want to note that we are focusing on this review with the 3D remake for the DS that is available on Steam.
The story starts with Luneth, who falls into a cave after an earthquake where he encounters the first crystal. As a freelancer at this point you must start your quest, but you can’t do it alone and you do pick up the other three relatively quickly as you try to break the curse of a Djinn, which you need an item from the king. After the first set of introductory classes you get your first set of jobs. As you find each crystal the jobs you have available increases by six per with the exception of the secret onion knight job that you can get early on. I’m not going to get to much into the story to avoid spoilers but know that this does revolve around the power of the crystals, light vs dark and the standard tropes fantasy is known for. The music during the final boss also being a testament to the soundtracks Square has been popular for over the series.
The mechanics for games back then were simplistic versions, before ATB as it became in IV. Like the previous installments, combat was round based and at the beginning of each round each character would get their action selected and then the actions would execute until all units in battle had completed theirs provided they were able. This repeats until combat is over. Players of modern games may also note the missing MP for magic users which was done by a set number of spells per level of magic which totaled at eight. This was based on the way spells were handled in Dungeons and Dragons, which the original Final Fantasy was “highly inspired” by. This actually helped make dungeons a bit more challenging when compared to later versions that included “save points” within to allow tents and cottages to restore lost health and mp midway through the dungeon.
The biggest change in Final Fantasy III, as previously noted was the job system and the awesome number of classes to choose from. There are Pros and Cons to this in my opinion. The main pro is obviously the amount of options for the players. You can replace a class you may not like with a class you do and with so many options to choose from. If you don’t want a white mage, play a red mage, to get the benefit of armor and physical attack strength, while this can make your white magic spells do less and give you less to cast per level, in does replace that with the ability to give and take physical damage. There are also many more to choose from in the way of class replacement. However there are a lot of classes that seem unneeded. For example the Monk and Black Belt, which for the most part are they same class with the exception of their special abilities which if you have played the IV remake, you will see Yang is basically a hybrid where the class skills were merged. Having class selection allows the freedom to make the story a little more personal when you get to select how you want to play it as opposed to taking specific characters through the game with no options but becomes overwhelming when the possibilities can take away from the story.
Personally, I definitely think the game is worth playing even if in some areas it feels like the story is only skimming the surface of something deeper, that technology at the time may have limited us from delving into, and I will happily give the game a 7/10 for enjoyment, difficulty, music and story.