What can you say about the Final Fantasy series that hasn't already been said a thousand times before? The titles have become one of the best-selling video game series in history and have been largely responsible for making the RPG genre so popular with fans across the globe.
After having success with Final Fantasy II on the Super Nintendo, Squaresoft decided not to release the fifth Japanese instalment outside of Japan, preferring instead to wait and release the widely-praised sixth instalment instead. Released as Final Fantasy III in North America, the game took the series to new heights in terms of visuals and gameplay and has gone on to become one of the most highly-regarded releases in the series, and a game Super Nintendo RPG fans still clamour for to this very day. Thankfully Square-Enix must have sensed this and decided to give the game new life on the Wii Virtual Console.
From a gameplay standpoint, Final Fantasy III doesn't stray too far from the trademark formula that's made it such a beloved series among fans. You'll still spend most of your time travelling from place to place on the world map. If you're on foot, you will encounter random enemies that you'll be forced to battle. Of course this will come in handy since this will earn your characters valuable experience points for levelling up, not to mention money to purchase better armour, weapons and speciality items in the game's many shops. You can also locate Chocobos or even an Airship at certain points in the game that can make travelling around the world map a bit less tedious, since you don't always have to worry about the constant stream of random enemy encounters during these times.
While you'll still find the traditional emphasis on outfitting your characters with the best weapons, armor, and items, Final Fantasy III also introduces new items called "Relics". You can outfit each of your characters with up to two of these Relics, which can give them special skills such as the ability to run or make use of unique magical abilities. You'll definitely want to spend some of your time experimenting with different combinations of Relics on your various characters to see what each has to offer. It's a small touch, but a nice addition to the standard equipment function.
Of course, Square's unique ATB or "Active-Time Battle" system makes an appearance in Final Fantasy III and this time with a few new gameplay wrinkles as well. While you'll still have to wait for each of your character's activity meter to fill up in the game's turn-based combat system before you can make a battle selection, different characters have different menu selections that they can make use of, depending on what type of character they are. Some characters can use magic whereas others might use Tools or other useful skill sets. The game also introduces a new powerful desperation-style attack move that can be used when your character's health is running low. Each of these new twists adds yet another layer of strategy to the game's already enjoyable combat engine.
Square's decision to only make minor tweaks in their successful gameplay system keeps the game feeling familiar to long-time fans of the series while offering up at least a handful of new gameplay ideas to keep the series evolving. The ATB battle system is one most RPG fans either love or hate, but regardless of what side of the fence you're on, you can't argue that it at least gives the game a different take on the standard turn-based combat system that's been done to death throughout the genre, especially during this particular era of gaming. When you couple these unique additions with what is an absolutely epic RPG quest, what you get is yet another amazing Final Fantasy gameplay experience for role-playing game fans to really sink their teeth into.
Visually, Final Fantasy III doesn't try to re-invent the wheel. While the graphical details do go above and beyond those of the Final Fantasy II release, they still retain a lot of that same style fans of the series have come to expect. Each and every area of the game has its own unique look and visual style, which gives the game a huge degree of variety. The enemies in the game still don't animate at all, which is a bit disappointing, but they're all drawn with great detail and some of the bosses are absolutely amazing in their design and presentation. The world map itself also looks quite good when your party is on foot, but once you gain control of Chocobos or an airship, this is when the graphical quality tends to dip quite a bit. The Mode-7 world map used for vehicle travel looks very ragged and blurry and it can make deciphering specific locations such as towns, caves, and mountains, a bit difficult. It's definitely a moment when you'll wish the developers had just stuck with the regular 2D overworld map. That being said, it's a small gripe in what is an otherwise solid visual presentation.
Much like the majority of Square's role-playing titles, the soundtrack in Final Fantasy III is superb. Every track has that distinctive Square RPG catchiness and if you're one that can appreciate the time and effort Square puts into their game's musical presentations, then you'll love the musical score in Final Fantasy III. While not quite on par with Chrono Trigger, it does feature the kind of soundtrack that you'll want to listen to time and time again and one that perfectly conveys the game's many moods. From the up-tempo battle themes to the softer ballads, Final Fantasy III has as varied and moving a game soundtrack as you'll likely find in an RPG. It's no wonder this particular game soundtrack has gone on to become one of the most sought-after musical scores in RPG history.
Final Fantasy III did wonders for the RPG genre outside of Japan during the 16-bit era, and while the Chrono Trigger vs. Final Fantasy III debate still wages on, you can't help but appreciate how epic and enthralling a quest Squaresoft was able to cook up for this sixth release in the series. There might not be quite as much variety in the combat system as that of Chrono Trigger, but it's still a fairly big step up from that of Final Fantasy II, and ultimately an RPG adventure that's everything a good sequel should be and more. If you've somehow never played Final Fantasy III in any of its various forms over the years, you truly owe it to yourself to experience one of the best releases the series has to offer. And if you have played the game before, perhaps it's time to relive the magic all over again on the Virtual Console.
While Chrono Trigger will always be my favourite Square RPG of the SNES era, this game must not be overlooked by anyone.
Played it a couple of years ago, finished it, thoroughly enjoyed it, but will not play it again... Don't know why, I just think that this game is meant to be one-time full experience only, it's enough to make me appreciate it for life.
Damn,how am i gonna squeeze in time for this when im getting lufia 2?
I agree with #2
This is one of my favourite games ever.. but I'm not sure how badly I need another version of it. If it were released on the 3DS, so I could play a portable version, I'd be a lot more interested I think.
I wish Virtual Console would be cross-platform between 3DS and Wii. I'd prefer to play some VC games on a handheld and Final Fantasy is one of them. Maybe because how awesome GBA Final Fantasy remakes were.
I think I'll wait a while to get this; I wouldn't be too surprised if they announced a 3DS remake in the near future.
This is a great port of a great game. After the awful PlayStation One port years ago, it's nice to be able to play this in its full splendor.
You could also check out the GBA version, which has some extras, including a run button! There's a patch that restores the music to its original SNES quality as well!
Get the GBA version and play it on your DS Lite. That is the ultimate version so far unless you want the CG stuff from the PS One disc.
I'm honestly hoping for an HD remake of this game, not a 3DS remake. I would love to see the art style of the game in full HD polygons in all it's glory with full VO work.
I would have ranked it a 9999/10 ! That's just me though. =P
Great review Corbie.
Playing it again, I found some of the dialogue to be kinda dry this time around. The last time I played it was when it was new on PS1. An enhanced remake would be quite cool.
What is exactly wrong with the PS1 version anyway?
Is the evade/magic evade bug and others still present in this version?
@13 - horrible horrible load times constantly. Annoying.
How can you review this game without talking about Espers? Or how you have tons of characters to choose from to make your party over most of the game? Or controlling multiple parties? Or how vastly different the second half of the game is than the first? Odd review...
My personal take on the game is that the first half of the game is utterly brilliant but the second half suffers from a loss of focus - it's so wide open (both in terms of character choices and exploration) that the game loses its sense of story flow and cohesion. Still a great game, probably in my top 10, but it could've been #1 for me if it had kept the quality from the first half.
@Hardy83 The GBA version is easily the best version of the game but it was a limited run and the game goes for a phenomenal price on eBay. I agree about an HD remake too.. the PSP got really nice versions of 1, 2 and 4, it'd be great if they could give 5 and 6 the same treatment.
Is this a 60 Hz import?
I don't understand how the audio can be worse on PS1... I've played both versions and the audio seemed the same.
I'm a bit of a purist, so little things like "Biggs" being mistranslated as "Vicks" can really get to me more than load times ever will. ><
@#16 I disagree with your points on the second half. It was a like a post apocalype war torn world. I think it really brought out the characters very well in the second half of the game. For me it was fun finding what the characters were doing in this time line. Getting to them and adding them back to your party. It was epic in my opinion! How can we come together and still defeat the powers that be in this war torn world.
Gotta wait for Shadow.
This is THE best Final Fantasy game, people who says FF7 is better has no idea what they talk about
I'll finally get to play this game through to the end!
It's about time this came to VC.
Oh my hero,
so far away now.
Will I ever see your smile?
Love goes away,
like night into day.
It's just a fading dream.
I'm the darkness,
you're the stars.
Our love is brighter than the sun.
for me there can be
only you, my chosen one.
Must I forget you?
Our solem promise?
Will autumn take the place of spring?
What shall I do?
I'm lost without you.
Speak to me once more.
[He appears to her and they dance]
[He then fades away, leaving a bouquet of flowers]
[She takes the flowers to the top of the balcony and tosses them to the wind]
We must part now.
My life goes on,
but my heart wont give you up
Ere I walk away,
let me hear you say,
I meant as much to you...
you touched my heart.
I will be forever yours.
Come what may,
I won't age a day,
I'll wait for you always...
[End of scene 1]
[Hurry, there isn't much time before scene 2]
level up gua to 99 and boost his strength, magic, and speed equally, get some decent rages and BAM!!!
also, kefka makes sephiroth look like a crybaby.
No 10/10? WTF?
Good review, Corbie.
I wish they would remake it like FFIII and FFIV for DS/3DS, HD doesnt mean that much to me.
@jkgatling For me , Kefka is the better villian hands down. And my interpretation of the ending to FFVII was everone died and went with Life Stream. Course that isnt true, enter Advent Children.
Nice review, but JC!!!
The music "not on par" with Chrono Tigger!?!?! WTF!?!?
You can like Chrono Triggers score however much better than FF6 and I couldn't mind less, but please, JC, please don't let anyone make that an objective statment.
They both have strong defining aspects in them musically, and Chrono Trigger is perhaps even more distictive with its strong ethnical flavour in it, while FF6 is more traditionally classical and symphonic(but it has its fair share of all kinds of interesting ethnical influences too). Chrono Trigger might have especially personal rythmic feel, but FF6's score is absolutely stunning in every way possible.
If there is something objective to say of these games scores, its that both scores makes Snes's sound chip work over time as hard, as as they made their composers sweat.
Chrono Trigger has stunning, touching and remarkably memorable soundtrack, and I love it even when separated from its game, but FF6 is a master piece musically, and not just a master piece of jrpg music, its just musical master piece. Even the OSV, that the novadays rather obsolete Snes's sound chip produces, is perfectly lovable. I think that FF6's musical composition is the biggest reason, why Nobuo Uematsu is so acclaimed composer. One could even go as far as to say, that the bulk of Uematsus inspiration was left into this game. Never after FF6 has there been a game so bloated with such a strong musical score.
Neither sound track can ever be surpassed, in any other way than sound quality and I love both games so much, that I hate to put them in any other order, but to me the FF6's music was even more touching, memorable and emotional. Its just full of fantastically inspired compositions.
A small, yet gigantic example of the genious in this musical master piece:
Check how wishfully the fragile flute sighs in the middle of depressive evil industrial theme @ 1:57, or how the beautiful, longing melody transforms into chillingly ominous military march @ 5:04. And thats just the beginning! After that it continues to be every bit as genious, all the time. I don't want to spoil it. If you are ever to play this game, don't listen any more music until in the game.
Get this man! Its second to none! No matter, how much one likes Chrono Trigger, FF6's music is second to none.
Seems like... I've read this... Before... Not sure...
But great review!
This is the best Kefka moment that I know of.
Great Review Corbs
This one of the best Classic RPG I ever played.
@23: Agree. After this game the series just went down hill. From FF7 to now the entire series has been a disgrace to the name Final Fantasy. The story lines are horrible the characters are horrible. Its really a shame what happened to a once great series.
This game is easily not only the best game in the Final Fantasy series, it's arguably the greatest RPG of all time. It's an incredible game that I return to every couple years to relive it's magic. The only RPG that has ever come close to topping FF6 in my opinion, is Skies of Arcadia on the Dreamcast.
The music was fine in the PS1 version, but many of the sound effects suffered from audio glitches (the ultima spell comes to mind). It's not that the PS1 couldn't handle the audio, it was that Squaresoft did a horrible job porting the game.
There was a rumor about remake. Has anyone heard anything lately? I'd like...I'd love to play another round, but if a remake comes after I have started original version, it would destroy me. What are the chances of a remake? I'm not so much into remakes, but theres not many things in life, that I want more than FF6 remake for 3DS or home console.
GBA, DS and DS lite have bad sound chips, so I recommend this version for music.
And @21, I too think that the second half was anything other than incoherent. It makes the game open for free adventureing, but it does still retain the aim and purpose. Its always clear what to do next, but finding things for your self is much more exciting for me.
Agree and disagree wih Tasuki and the like. I personally like FFX the best, and I enjoyed XIII. But other FF's after VI did not do it for me as much as I, II, III/VI.
As for the review, spot-on and I hope NA gets this Monday.
@Objection_Blaster: Its already been said that NA is getting Natsume Championship Wrestling or whatever its called. I doubt that they will release two VC games the same day although we can be surprised. If anything probably in two weeks we will get FF3 hopefully. Till than I will be playing it on my SNES.
I've never been a fan of Final Fantasy VI. I've tried and tried to get into it, but I just can't. I'll stick with my IV and V.
Meh, I love FFIX myself.
Could we try to refrain from the spoilers guys?
You missed a star.
I never understood why people think Kefka is a better villain than Sephiroth. To me, Kefka is pretty generic with no motive behind his actions. Just evil for evil's sake. Which works, but I would have liked to see him fleshed out a little more. It's still a fantastic game though.
Love this game, Still have the original SNES version for the states. The Opera really made this game stand out in my opinion.
Some nice links for the opera though not in english
Final Fantasy 7 is the was the first final fantasy I played and the only one I liked so far so yes for me Final fantasy 7 is the best one.
Final Final Fantasy 7 was the one that got me interested in Final Fantasy games the ones were released after 7 were okay but the older ones showed their age after playing 7 first I'm not sure but some people probably have the nostalgia factor so they compare every Final Fantasy to their favorite one as do I.
However really these games hardly have anything in common with each other except a few pieces of music and the title Final Fantasy.
I guess this game would have had a greater impact on me if Final Fantasy was released in the UK in the Snes's prime in fact none of the big names were here in the UK Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy not until 7 did I even hear of the game.
Sephiroth is one of best baddies ever that is all =D
Final Fantasy V is still better.
Best game on snes so far
I still much prefer FFVI to FFV. I like V, but it just doesn't feel as epic to me throughout the adventure. Close, but not quite.
The fact that this did not get a 10/10 makes this review incoherent.
But seriously, saying that the use of mode-7 for the map was unclean and not as good as a 2D map is a very strange comment to make. The use of mode-7 made the game a lot more varied, and made it so that flying an Airship was one of my favorite parts in the game.
Also, the music's score is every bit as good as Chrono Trigger's, if not better. Chrono Trigger has some great music, and could be considered a masterpiece in gaming music, but as Varoennauraa said, FFVI's OST should be considered a masterpiece in music in general. It's one of the only soundtracks that nearly makes me cry when I hear a specific tune from it (Celes' Theme).
It is also questionable as to why this review does not mention the incredible, incredible story. Now, not to dock your review or anything Corbie, but I feel that this is an integral part to emphasize in the review, as it is the main reason why this is my favorite RPG of all time (along with SMRPG).
Is this game worth getting for a newbie to Final Fantasy games and RPG's in general? I have Little Kings Story and like that, is this similar in anyway?
none of the big names were here in the UK Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy not until 7 did I even hear of the game.
Not a Super Play reader I take it?
I really want to play this awesome game, but until the remake comes (you know it will) where attack parties move across the screen to attack instead of waving at each other, I refuse. But then, that's why Chrono Trigger was my first RPG ... So sorry, can't go back to stationary sword waving, it's amazing they didn't fix that at the start of the SNES.
Oh and Square? Please give me Chrono Trigger on the VC Please!
@SezeMakto: Really? Simple battle animations is what makes you refuse to buy this game? I think it matters less if they walk over there and more that they cause damage...
I have my standards! lol! I never said it was a good reason, but it's my reason to cherrish
Chrono Trigger's battles had more energetic charm if you ask me. But I never gave FF3/FF6 a play. The bright side is I'll have a whole new game when the eventual 3DS remake comes out.
@Bass I was kind of a Super Play Reader but I was pretty selective on which game I would read about based upon the graphics of the game then if at all would bother to read anything about the game at all.
I kinda of skipped pages with boring looking screen shots and lots of text =P.
Heck I couldn't have been more than around 10 years old at the time back in 1992
I usually love Corbie's writing, but I think he missed the mark when he got himself into the whole FFVI vs. Chrono Trigger debate at the end. Chrono Trigger is a game worth of a perfect score, a great achievement in every way, but we should leave such praise to a proper review of Chrono Trigger.
Also, comparing music of entirely unrelated series is always a bad call. Even more so when both are widely praised and beloved soundtracks, created by composers aiming for dissimilar moods and styles, in different contexts. In this case, there's no merit whatsoever in saying which work one thinks is better. Overly subjective statements are better suited for fanboys and readers' comments, as they don't need to be helpful and informative at all.
Regardless, I still think Corbie is a great reviewer, and I'd say that FFVI is a worthy addition to everyone's gaming collection.
I would appreciate information on 60hz or 50hz for all reviewed vc titles. The idea that I would part with money for ugly missing scanlines etc is just too absurd.
So please once again, is this a 60 Hz PAL import like Ogre Battle or a forced 50 Hz massacre like MUSHA? This is really the most relevant point for the PAL-audience when deciding whether or not to purchase this title!
@Brooks83: Kefka had no motive Whoa whoa whoa. Look at Sephiroth he had no motive. Kefka is a hundered times better than Sephiroth will ever be. Kefka can be consider The Joker of the Final Fantasy Universe. He just wants to watch the world burn. He thrives in creating chaos and watching it unfold much like the Joker in Batman comics.
Sephiroth was just your sterotypical villain nothing impressive with him. The only reason people like him his due to his looks. Kefka would kick Sephiroths butt in no time.
Kefka and his laughter
One vote for Kefka from here too. He is at least hilariously crazy. Sephiroth is as generic teenage anti hero as it gets.
I'll be honest, I haven't played FFVII since it first came out almost fifteen years ago, so I don't remember too much about Sephiroth. But from what I remember he seemed to have human qualities, he didn't just want to be evil just because. Kefka just seemed too over the top to be believable. I suppose the comparison to The Joker and he just wanted to watch the world burn is a good comparison, but personally I just wanted to see more motive than that.
@Brooks: Pretty much the story that they gave was that because he was the first Megitek experiment he went insane due to the fact that the experiment wasnt perfected. As a result all he wanted was total and udder chaos. As I stated before he just wanted to see the world burn. That was his reason and whether it made sense to him or not didnt matter.
As for the human qualities that Sephiroth had over Kefka truthfully I wouldnt be surprise if Sephiroth had more human qualities. After all due the the experimentation done to Kefka he was more Esper than human as was reveled in his final form.
@Tasuki - Ah, I see. I guess I should replay the game and get a refresher on the story before commenting lol. As good as this game is though, I still feel that FFVII is slightly better. I have not played any FF game since FFVIII, as I felt that game was utter garbage.
This game is good, but compared to any PS1 generation Final Fantasy, it feels just dated in almost every way. After PS1era, the series went downhill.
The only Final Fantasy games I don't want to play are FFXI and FFXIV. I just don't care for the MMORPG aspect of RPGs. I still played and enjoyed XII and XIII. I also enjoy the remakes since I like playing the old classic games with new graphics.
This review misses out on FFIII´s amazing story and endearing characters. I think it deserves mention, since it´s one of the best tales ever told in a videogame.
For me the soundtrack is the best RPG score ever. That includes Chrono Trigger (altought that one is very good as well). Tracks like Tina, Devils Laboratory, the opera piece and Dancing Mad are just outstanding.
On a sidenote: The battle system is plays a lot faster in this title than the Final Fantasy PS1 titles (and FFX), and the interactive abilities where you use slotmachines or Street Fighter:esque commands for your attacks are great fun.
A 10/10 from me if there ever was one. Glad it got a 9 at least, though
Dear Americans, maybe FFVI will be realesed in your country the next Monday, I don't know.
The only Final Fantasy I ever liked.
maybe FFVI will be realesed in your country the next Monday
Unlikely. Its normally once every two weeks. It'll be 4/4 before America gets another game.
Dear Americans, I played Final Fantasy VI, this is excellent I prefer your SNES version on VC than PS1 version
So, judging by all posts, this game is superior to FFII (SNES)?
Oh yes it is. FFII is a cute game and all, but FFIII is mindblowing.
@ That Guy
Thanks for the reply, I'm trying to map out which games to purchase to fill the remaining Wii memory with before I go SD, and this game came out of nowhere! Wonder why they decided to go sequel (After Years...) with IV rather than this one, guess the story was better suited and/or more open-ended?
To follow up, I did play a bit more of Final Fantasy VI (III). Sure enough, the combination of music, story, graphics, for the time above average sprite work and charm factor makes up for the lack of animation compared to Chrono Trigger. I still think playing Final Fantasy VI's battles is like watching a still painting of an enemy wiggle at you, and so far I still think Chrono Trigger edges this out overall as a package (considering the sum of story, battle system, animation, music, sprite work, charm, ETC), but Final Fantasy VI does have a cool vibe and story, enough to earn admittance to my collection as is without a remake. That says quite a bit from me.
IMHO, Final Fantasy VI was such a leap forward, I-V are secondary to it. Certainly the only 2D Final Fantasy I'm interested in at this point in time. Then came Chrono Trigger, which perfected the Square 2D RPG artform. Then came the era of 3D. Aside from FF VI and Chrono Trigger, I'm in Remake / 3D / Modern territory for me to enjoy any old school RPG.
Seriously, this game has one the worst fanbases i've ever seen. Half of them are nice, but the other half are jerks who will bash you for saying any other FF is your favorite. I've encountered more people like that from this game than almost every other game this series or otherwise. >: (
I mean on Youtube of course. & will be sure to pick it up at some point. :3
Good review corbie! This is the first time i've ever played Final Fantasy III/VI and boy am I impressed! Final Fantasy VII was always my favourite as it was the first time i'd ever played a Final Fantasy game and a RPG. Now after getting a good quater of the way through Final Fantasy III/VI i'm starting to think that this just pips Final Fantasy VII, though I will let you know as soon as i've completed it, if it is better. I highly recommend downloading this game to anyone who has played this game before and to newcomers like myself.
Bring this to 3DS eStore.
loved it so much
I grew up on Nintendo. Played practically every major game in every genre on every system. That being said, in my opinion, Final Fantasy III is the best game of all time. There has never been a game as good as FFIII, and there never will be.
This game just drips of quality. The soundtrack is like listening to a combination of Beethoven and John Williams. The game play, the depth, the characters... wow. This is my desert island game. It's so good, I'm pretty sure Chuck Norris must have had something to do with it.
This is undoubtedly the best of the 2-D FF games.
Fantastic game. Ran undefeated as my favorite game of all time for a VERY long time. This is awesome news.
I gotta ask: I've already got the GBA port of this game (though I haven't gotten too far in it yet), so should I still get the SNES version as well? From what I understand, the SNES version has better music and sound quality, but the GBA port is better-translated (though, from what I've gathered, both scripts are good, it's just that the SNES version has more Woolsey-isms). I'm thinking I might just buy this version, play through it, and then later play the GBA version, but I'm not sure. Should I?
Not sure about the Wii version, but the original was actually 2 player. Also, Corbie is dead wrong on the soundtrack being less than Chrono Trigger. CT is repetetive, FF VI has a new theme for every scene. I will never understand how people can rate CT above it, they are both 10's in my book, but FF VI is 1A and CT is 1B.
Bar none one of my favorite games of all time. I remember playing this with friends, taking turns, in between Lunar on the Sega CD. BUt man, even though Lunar was bloody awesome, there was something so special and unique with FF6.
I remember that it easily cost $80 upon release. $80!!! And I loved it then, so damn much. Bought it when I moved to Canada back in 97 for $60, had to make a trip to some dude's seedy apartment complex, complete with a printed copy of the manual
Got it on the Gba and was so damn thrilled. You'd have to kick me dead to pry it from my hands. And believe it or not, it looked AMAZING on the gba micro (clearance sales ftw!). I played it with an amazing sense of love.
Does anyone remember hunting for the super rare esper in the forest? I think it was some dinosaur or something, I can't completely remember....
Ugh I'm torn. Do I buy this, again?? I added the wii points, but I'm torn. It's not the gba version, just the stock snes port...
Well, it's not going anywhere
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