Here I present to you a little essay about this magnificent game.
When people think of Final Fantasy, they think of valiant heroes and heroines fighting against insurmountable odds, either in far distant futuristic settings; or a medieval style land both filled with creatures of the dark.
The two best examples of these are Final Fantasy VII, the futuristic; and nothing beats Final Fantasy for the medieval world. However, the forgotten child of the series and the one not discussed much; is Final Fantasy III. Now I'm talking about the DS version, the only actual Final Fantasy III version to be released in the North America, and Europe. Combining stunning landscapes and aesthetically beautiful battle scenes, with well rounded, well developed characters, it makes for one of the best role playing games on the DS.
So why is it that its hardly ever mentioned, is it because it's a remake of the Famicom version? Is it because of its notorious difficulty, even harder than its predecessors? Maybe it's because of poor marketing in the USA and/or Europe. But what I don't understand is that it was the first to introduce the job system, albeit in the Famicom version; which begs us to ask:
Why didn't we rush to buy it, to marvel at the real masterpiece that started it all?
Because without this game, there would be no Final Fantasy XI, that's for sure. Being able to change jobs was one of the biggest things to change in the series, ultimately improving it. Geomancers, Dragoons, Summoners and Evokers all originated from this game, and improved upon in the DS edition.
Then the character's back stories. In the DS remake, each of the playable characters were given unique personalities, and looks. As in every game, you're given pre set names for the characters which you can change at will, the defaults being Luneth, Arc, Refia and Ingus. Also, other characters join the party during the course of the game, and unlike the Famicom version; they participate in battle randomly. Final Fantasy III has one of the best story lines; and before you start, let me explain why. Yes, it's another 'save the crystals' adventure, but that's what's made the Final Fantasy series great. It built and paved the way for Final Fantasy games, years into the future; bits of the game could be seen in subsequent releases even before it was released into English. Such as the 'summon' skill, (which was introduced in this game, incidentally); which is well known in FF VII as Summon Materia.
The remake featured several additions which in my opinion, changed a good game into a much better one. The inclusion of a 'quick save' feature made for easy portable playing, which the DS is famed for. Normal save featured in the original as well as the remake.
In addition to the job system, there was the introduction of a 'job transition phase'. This was to replace the (in my opinion) poorly designed capacity points. Now this seemed like a step backwards at first glance, but when you experience it first hand, it ran as smooth as an oiled track. When you change jobs, say from a Freelancer (the new default class, Onion Knight is a secret unlockable) to a Red Mage, you go through a certain phase where your stats are lowered for a few battles, to a maximum of 10. So taking the new system into account I think the game works better. Some of the classes were re-balanced, making them useful throughout the entire game. Which is great news, because if you picked a character because of their outfit (don't lie, we all know you liked the dragoon's outfit,) you could still have the ostentatiously fashionable Geomancer in your party.
So a complete rundown gives the following.
+New job system, giving a easier and more newbie friendly approach
+Rebalanced jobs, making it easier to make a decent team
+Numerous other things which I can't list, because there's not enough room
-Difficulty a little too steep, I had to level for hours just to beat the Djinn
-Very complex, as is every Final Fantasy game
-Annoying cut scenes after EVERY battle, I just wanted to beat the enemy and move on
So, I implore you, fans of Final Fantasy. Take a look at the forgotten child of the series and relive the epic adventure of the 4 Light Warriors from Ur. And as a friend of mine said, “Final Fantasy III is pants, Final Fantasy VII was better.”
He is obviously wrong. How can VII be better than III? If there was no III, then VII wouldn't exist. The summons wouldn't exist, the characters wouldn't be developed, and sure, it's got 3D graphics, but honestly. It's the story, playibility and look that make a game. They each have their own charms, III having a cutsie-chibi style both on the world map and in battle, and VII having full 3D scenes and FMV's.
Take a look at Final Fantasy III, you might be pleasantly surprised.