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27 May 2009 @ 05:24 pm
The wonders of FFIII  
Final Fantasy III receives little to no attention. This must be remedied.
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.

Pros.

+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

 

Cons.

-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.

 

 
 
 
Carbonated Water: Terra2carbonatedh2o on May 27th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
Damn straight. I love FF3. It's one of my favorites in the series, and way better than FF7 in my opinion. I like the difficulty of it... it's a nice change of pace. Yeah, I had some trouble with the Syrcus Tower because THERE WAS NO FRICKIN SAVE POINT, but other than that, I liked it.

However, you say that FF3 is a "futuristic" game? I'm not sure how it's futuristic. It seemed more like a medieval-style game like FF1, with a few modernizations.
chickenherochickenhero on May 27th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
I don't think I said that?
Where did I say that? Because I can't find it xD
Carbonated Watercarbonatedh2o on May 27th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
Ack, no, you didn't say it. I read it completely wrong. I thought you said that FF3 was a forgotten child of the futuristic-setting games, but you didn't. Please forgive me. ;_;

Either way, it was a nice essay. You didn't give away any spoilers for those who want to try out the game, which is good.

Also I <3 your Gumshoe icon.
chickenherochickenhero on May 27th, 2009 05:26 pm (UTC)
Ack, no, no my fault. I should have made it clearer >.<
Thanks for the positiveness <3

And finally, Gumshoe is <3
Agumonsevoth on May 27th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
Well, I think a big problem is that FFIII doesn't really offer anything new in comparison to the FF games people have already played. Yes, it may have been what started it all, but it's like how you wouldn't want to use Windows 95, even though 95 might have extremely influential in making XP.
paperclipchainspaperclipchains on May 28th, 2009 12:27 am (UTC)
My thoughts exactly.
calamity from the skies: basch - knightgunshou on May 28th, 2009 12:06 pm (UTC)
While I agree the argument "it started it all" is tenuous at best, I don't think there's no entertainment value in playing the older games. It seems a bit silly to say FFIII doesn't offer anything new in a series infamous for recycling plots, themes, concepts, characters, gameplay mechanics, monsters, and who all knows what else. I think the fun of FF games is that despite being highly repetitive, each game combines the basic elements in a different way. So playing FFIII would be a different experience than playing IV or VIII or XIII, regardless of how dated it may seem.

Or I'm simply extrapolating based on the OP's other arguments. I know nothing about the pre-PSX era.
chickenherochickenhero on May 29th, 2009 11:56 am (UTC)
I agree, it's like Lego blocks. You can put them together in lots of ways and you'll still end up with something that's fun.

Each game is great in its own right, yah, it gets boring after a while 'recycled gameplay *cough*', but if it didn't work, would people still buy it?

And on a completely UNRELATED side note, I want to play Crisis Core but I'm too scared to. I want to play it but I don't want to at the same time. Ahh choices...
wounded_melody on May 27th, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)
I also think it had one of the better bad guys, who had a reason for doing what he did that was more than 'conquer/destroy the world'.
Carbonated Water: Xande objects :|carbonatedh2o on May 28th, 2009 04:13 pm (UTC)
YES. Sadly, he's one of my favorite villains, and I'm fucking pissed that he's not in Dissidia.
paperclipchainspaperclipchains on May 28th, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)
He is obviously wrong. How can VII be better than III? If there was no III, then VII wouldn't exist.

This is a god-awful argument, you should probably remove it from the rest of your essay.
calamity from the skies: lucian - shenanaginsgunshou on May 28th, 2009 11:37 am (UTC)
This is a god-awful argument

Please give your critiques constructively rather than imperiously. Thank you.
Merryweather Kyla Sardiniamimi_sardinia on May 28th, 2009 04:05 am (UTC)
I love FF3, the characters are adorable. I do admit I haven't got through it all (I've finished that place made of gold), but then the only games I have fully completed are the ones I have in PC version - FF7 and FF8 - but as much as I am fond of FF7, there's quite a few games whose storylines I like better, because they aren't as dark-feeling as 7's (Pit, I like FF8 better than FF7!).

Some time I'll happily get back to FF3... eventually.
Alex: A dolphinovo_lexa on May 28th, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC)
In from FF_Press...
Famicom!FFIII is one of my favorites of the series. I don't care much for the remake, but then I don't care much for remakes in general. I found DS!FFIII to be a cakewalk in terms of difficulty, but didn't really enjoy it as it was presented.

I'm guessing part of the reason it gets less love is that it is little that most modern FF fans don't really look back. FFI gets little fandom attention, even to people that enjoy it, outside of 8-Bit-Theatre. FFII gets snubbed, most of the time. FFIII was pretty popular for a while when the DS version was released stateside, and is still fairly popular from what I've seen. FFIV is in a lot of fan's childhoods, as is VI. FFV is derided as lacking a good storyline, now that people "know better."

After Final Fantasy VII - which you have to remember, for a lot of people was their first - a lot of fans simply wanted more of the same. And whether or not their expectations came true, there were still a lot more people paying attention by the time VIII, IX, and X came out.

I remember IX's campaign was dedicated to "bringing back the crystals," and a lot of people (or at least, those most vocal about it) were disappointed in the end result, because it wasn't what Final Fantasy was to them.
Eileen-who-is-Eileen: *FLAIL*eowynjedi on May 28th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
I agree definitely on the storyline. It was really unique in the series... instead of going "LIGHT GOOD, DARK BAD, RAWR" like most light vs. dark storylines in general do, its emphasis is on balance... the Warriors of Darkness at the end of the game and the info in libraries about the time when light flooded the world and made life horrible for people stands out as something that isn't usually done. Even though it looks to be the typical "save the world" quest on the surface, it's actually quite thoughtful.

I also liked that it was a relatively light-hearted adventure (as opposed to the deep angst and personal issues of games like IV, VI, and X), which made the serious events of the storyline (Aria, Alus and his father, Doga and Unei) that much more poignant. The characters could have used more time to show their personalities, but what they did put in was always fun to see in my opinion.

And as you say, III did set a lot of precedents for the rest of the series with some of its job classes and the summons.j

I also have to say I definitely disagree with some of the above posters saying that III is not as good just because it's an older game. If you go into it wanting to enjoy it (as opposed to thinking "well this is old it'll be no good") you'll get a lot more out of it. Frustrating final dungeon aside.
?????: Chelinkahp99999 on May 28th, 2009 11:48 pm (UTC)
I do like III. But I think the reason it doesn't get talked about more like VIII or X or something isn't so much it's a bad game, but that it's pretty self-contained. None of the characters have any apparent gaping character flaws to make speculation of their post-game lives to be anything less than fairly ideal (you could argue that they do, but compare it with Cloud's rampant social idiocy and there's still a huge gap). And the story ends with all loose ends tied up: Xande and Cloud of Darkness are both pretty clearly dead and there was no mention of anyone else around capable of stepping up to the plate of Extreme Villainy (unlike, say, VII, which manages to spawn numerous fandom action out of canonical plot contrivances such as "ShinRa did it" and "____ came back to life!").

I just say this simply because I've talked to so many people in fandom who never mention III and it looks like nobody likes/played the game, then I bring it up and they're like, "Oh that was a cute game, I really liked it". So I just get the feeling people like the game, but don't have much to say on the subject. I could be wrong though, this is just my experience. I admit I am not the fandom PI haha.