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Final Fantasy Legend III - Review

One of the First Good RPGs on the Game Boy

By: Jade Falcon


Review Breakdown
   Battle System 9
   Interface 8
   Music/Sound 8
   Originality 6
   Plot 9
   Localization 8
   Replay Value 9
   Visuals 5
   Difficulty Easy
   Time to Complete

25-30 hrs.

 
Overall
[(9-1)/4]^3, or more commonly called 'eight.'
Criteria

Final Fantasy Legend III
 

   In the early 1990's, Square decided to publish a line of games that ran off on its own series, now called the SaGa games. Some series decline as they progress into the future, but that is not the case with the FFL line of SaGa games. Final Fantasy Legend III is the best of the Game Boy installments of the series. It even keeps with the regular FF series with several things, such as an airship, to attract hard-core Final Fantasy fanatics.

   Out goes the "item wears down as it gets used" system and in comes a more traditional "use the weapon as much as you want" system. In the previous installments of the series, each weapon could only be used a specific number of times. This also goes for magic spells that you buy. Replacing that, the regular MP system is back. The system is a turn-based system, but you seem to never face fewer than four enemies in most cases, making most battles somewhat long and difficult since you only get as many chances to attack as the enemies do. But what is a game without some sort of difficulty? One great thing was added: Once you get your ship completed, you can have it fire into a group of enemies for pre-emptive damage. Cool, eh?

   Gone are the small menus and awful translations. In FFLIII, menu commands (in most cases) are completely spelled out and there is no mistaking what they do. The same thing goes for item names. The battle phrases no longer make completely no sense, and the damage dealt is shown over the character instead of in a separate box. You can also change your mutants into robots (by attaching parts or eating meat), or vice versa, characteristic of the series, is unchanged, and I feel it is one of the more innovative things Square has done in an RPG.


Let's fight!
Ahh... good old regular menus.  

   The Game Boy is not known for its revolutionary soundtracks or mind-blowing sound effects. The music in the game is quite good, considering that it is an earlier Game Boy game. Several of the tracks are recycled even from the first FFL game, but for the most part the composer did a good job to not make the music so annoying that gamers would want a mute button for the music. The sound effects aren't the best; most sound like some guy manipulating a sheet of paper, but they have some sort of a variety and are good effects for a Game Boy.

   The plot is surprisingly good for a Game Boy game. It seems to be the base of Chrono Trigger's time travel. The characters have to venture back and forth in time to prevent a large natural disaster from happening. The plot progresses quite well except for the instances where you are supposed to go to some sort of town, but nobody tells you where it is, so you have to go search for it. The translation and localization helped a ton in this game, allowing the RPGamer to actually understand what the characters were talking about.

   Most games are packed away for eons just because they took a ridiculously long amount of time to complete. Well, don't fear. FFLIII doesn't take anywhere near as long to beat as even other Game Boy RPGs. It can be considered the easiest game in the SaGa series. I spent about some 25 to 30 hours on the game, and it was some of the best Game Boying I have ever done. Would I pick up this game in the future sometime and play it again? Of course I would, even though games now are much more advanced and intricate than FFLIII.


Wait... where was I supposed to go?
Graphics haven't changed much.  

Graphics are par with all other older Game Boy games. For the most part, with the exception of enemy sprites and some backgrounds, the graphics are virtually the same as the first game in the series. Even the characters look virtually the same! Everything looks so bland because it isn't very detailed. While a series advances, the graphics should improve, but unfortunately, they do not in FFLIII.

In all, FFLIII is an impressive Game Boy RPG. It was innovative, as the whole series was, and its plots tied you into the game for long sessions of gaming. If you can find this game at any store, and are a fan of old black-and-white RPGs, this is a sure grab for you. The re-release of it by Sunsoft makes it even easier to find the game. Even newer RPGamers could probably find a thing or two to learn about the roots of many things in the FF series. This game belongs in any Game Boy RPGamer's library.





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