(Game Boy)

Game Review

Final Fantasy Legend III Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Is the third time the charm for the Final Fantasy Legends series?

Like many of the other NES and Super NES marquee titles of the era, a Final Fantasy appearance on the Game Boy was almost a foregone conclusion. The series began life in Japan under the title of SaGa, but thankfully Squaresoft was kind enough to bring the three Japanese Game Boy releases over to the US. While all three releases managed to capture that unique Final Fantasy magic, it's this third and final Game Boy release that many RPG fans consider to be the pinnacle of the series. While there are a few minor annoyances, it's difficult to fault just how much of a quest Squaresoft was able to squeeze into this Game Boy-sized RPG package.

Final Fantasy Legend III doesn't stray too far from the traditional Final Fantasy RPG experience, and while it looks and feels quite similar to the two previous Final Fantasy Legend releases, there are enough new twists to keep things interesting. You'll still travel on the overworld map, doing battle as you travel across the various landscapes, and this is where you can level your characters up and earn gold to buy better armor, weapons and specialty items. Combat is executed in traditional turn-based fashion in which you can attack using your weapons, and some characters can even make use of magic spells and special talents that can be acquired throughout the game. It's a simple combat system, but there's enough strategy to at least give it some semblance of depth.

You'll also be required to travel through time using your special time travel space craft called the Talon. You'll have to locate engine parts and weapons upgrades if you're to make use of the full range of the ship's capabilities, but it's worth it once you get it all powered up. One new twist to the game comes in the way you can constantly change your character's class by making use of certain foods and robotic parts that are dropped by enemies during battles. These range from meats which can turn your character into a beast class character to cyborg parts that can add a robotic edge to your characters. Each class type has its own unique characteristics, and it's up to you to choose how and when to make use of them.

The visuals in Final Fantasy Legend III are actually quite impressive by Game Boy standards. Most of the surroundings are very impressive and the individual enemies themselves show a great amount of detail in their designs. While you could complain that they're not very lifelike given their complete lack of any type of animation, their attention to detail does make this lack of movement a bit easier to swallow. About the only real complaint to be found with the visual presentation is that many areas look quite similar to each other, which tends to give off a feeling of a lack of variety during your travels: a small price to pay considering the level of detail in the visual presentation.

The musical score in the game is good, but certainly nothing to get overly excited about. It's even a bit of a step down from the previous two Final Fantasy Legend releases in terms of overall quality and listenability. While most of the tracks are brand new, they just don't have that special catchiness that many of the tracks in the previous releases featured. Couple this with a very familiar group of sound effects from the previous titles and you have a good, albeit somewhat uninspiring audio experience.

The control itself is very basic and intuitive, but the lack of a run button can make traveling around on foot a bit time consuming, especially considering how frequently you'll have to do battle along the way in certain areas. The weapons and armor selection can also be a bit tricky as you're not shown which characters can make use of certain weapons and which weapons are actually upgrades while you're purchasing them in the various shops. It's still simple enough to use, but RPG veterans who are used to a more organized system might find it a bit tedious to make use of. The length of the quest is very impressive considering this is a Game Boy title, and you'll certainly get your money's worth out of it if you can keep your expectations in check. It's an enjoyable and challenging quest, but also one that's beginning to show its age a bit.

Conclusion

Final Fantasy Legend III is a fitting end for the Game Boy series, but you can't help but feel that it could have been even better had some extra time been spent fixing a few of the nagging issues, although it's still a very solid RPG experience that features a surprising degree of depth for a Game Boy title. If you like your quests long and your combat systems very basic and traditional in design, you're likely to find a lot to like with this release, but if you've grown to expect some of the more modern conveniences found in many of the later RPG releases of this time period, you might find this release a bit too tedious in nature. Either way it's still a game worth checking out for RPG enthusiasts, especially those who just can't seem to get enough of the Final Fantasy experience.

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User Comments (23)

pixelman

#5

pixelman said:

Sounds about right. Never played it, and it sounds like there are far better alternatives if you're looking for a Final Fantasy game.

Good review, Monsieur Sept.

Egg_miester

#6

Egg_miester said:

i liked 1 the best then 2 last 3 but they were all great games, i can't wait for remake of 2 i hope na/eu also get it

Bahamut_ZERO

#7

Bahamut_ZERO said:

I can't make a 7/10 joke per say, more of a 7/10 mocking this time. God, I love the tradition I started here :D

Anyways, I actually hear FFL2 is the best in the series. And are you going to do mystic quest, I hear that's really good.

Ricardo91

#8

Ricardo91 said:

<Insert Corbie 7 joke here>

If this only got a 7, what would you consider to be the best FFL, Corbs? A guy on Backloggery was telling mw about the series, and I've always been interested in trying it.

Hardy83

#11

Hardy83 said:

"This would be another must download for me if the DSi VC ever comes out."

LOLOLOLOL if... Considering how they're treating Wii VC, I don't expect to ever see DSiVC, ever.

Fulgor_Astral

#13

Fulgor_Astral said:

i loved this game back in the day. Never finished it tough, cuz i rented it and the cart didnt have a battery to save progress, but i enjoyed starting from scratch every time

CorbsAdmin

#15

Corbs said:

@ Ricardo91 - To be honest, I'd most likely give all 3 Final Fantasy Legends games a 7, and not just because I love the number 7. They're all good, but they're also all showing their age a bit. If I had to rank them, I'd put Final Fantasy Legend II first, followed by Final Fantasy Legend III and then the original Final Fantasy Legend. If you're an RPG fan, you should at least give one of them a try. Chances are, if you like one you'll like them all.

Slapshot

#16

Slapshot said:

Im not a big old school RPG fan but cool to see a review of this game. Great Job Corbie.

CanisWolfred

#18

CanisWolfred said:

I heard Final Fantasy Legend II was better than this one. Considering FFL2 has been wonderful so far, I'd believe it. I still have to play Legends 1 and 3 though(which I got, but have yet to try yet outside of a simple testrun).

@Machu

I'm impressed you managed to say that with a straight face.:P

Bass_X0

#19

Bass_X0 said:

I enjoyed this but I think I would have preferred a remake even more. I've been playing Final Fantasy II on the PSP lately which is absolutely gorgeous (I sometimes play while following a map of the NES game online to compare the differences). I think it would be quite awesome if the three GB Final Fantasy games were remade the same way - but then we all know these are really SaGa games and not real Final Fantasy games. I hope the DS remake of the second game gets released outside of Japan.

Anyway, this game, I quite enjoyed it. I did get lost sometimes because the backgrounds all look the same or just not very interesting.

KeeperBvK

#20

KeeperBvK said:

"The series began life in Japan under the title of SaGa, but thankfully Sunsoft was kind enough to bring the three Japanese Game Boy releases over to the US."

That's just the rerelease. The first NA release was by Square themselves.

"If I had to rank them, I'd still put the original Final Fantasy Legend first, followed by Final Fantasy Legend III and then II."

The exact opposite of my list. ^^

CorbsAdmin

#21

Corbs said:

I actually goofed on both accounts. After going back and playing the other two Final Fantasy Legend games, it was #2 that was my favorite, followed by III and then the original. And thanks for catching the Sunsoft thing.

CanisWolfred

#22

CanisWolfred said:

There's an FF Legends II DS remake!O_O To Play-Asia!
...then comeback because I remembered that I can't buy stuff online anyways.:P Yeah...I hope it gets released outside of Japan, too.

Darknyht

#23

Darknyht said:

I finished the first and third one, but the second one was ridiculously annoying in that you had to grind forever (due to random power ups) to be strong enough for the last battle. Never got around to finishing it before the Gameboy Advance and all my GB/GBA collection was stolen.

Out of the three, this one is the one I enjoyed most because it had a more traditional level up scheme (and took away the problem with breaking weapons). The second one was fun because it was so long, with the first being last.

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