FINAL FANTASY III Review
- Fully-featured version of the original NES version of FF3.
- Refined visual upgrades and streamlined control system.
- Auto-saves when the app is interrupted.
- Quickslot and traditional save slots.
- Challenging gameplay with a job system for party customization.
- Few accommodations for modern gamers; understandable given the backlash it would cause.
- Low texture quality highlighted by the sharper resolution.
If you're a hardcore fan of the Final Fantasy series it's hard not to recommend this title, but casual fans will need to consider if they're interested in a serious 'retro' JRPG challenge.
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Many outside of Japan know Final Fantasy III (FF3) in its original incarnation on the SNES, though as history would have it this was in fact the 6th installment. Numbering conventions aside, FF3 saw its official debut outside of Japan in 2006 after being released in full 3D for the Nintendo DS and a port of the original NES game on the Nintendo Wii in 2009. Square Enix, ever ready to remain hip with the times has brought the 3D incarnation to the App Store, along with the usual bevvy of touch-screen refinements and a few visual upgrades to make this a worthy pickup for fans of the series.
Instead of trying to lever in a poor-man's virtual pad system, the game makes traversing the many dungeons, towns and areas easy by letting players touch and swipe anywhere to move while most other interactions only require a tap anywhere on the screen. The setup is incredibly intuitive, though like any good Final Fantasy title there are plenty of hidden items and a variety of puzzles, but the necessity to 'zoom' in to highlight these objects can be frustrating as many pickups can easily be missed if you don't take the time to scour each area with a fine tooth-comb.
Then again this is fairly par for the course considering the age of this JRPG and players will need to put up with the usual random-encounters and limited save areas, making it a bit of a rude shock for gamers not used to this 'classic' style. Thankfully the game more than makes up for its shortcomings with the introduction of a job system that allows players to tailor their party to any given situation - just keep in mind that these jobs level up independently to your characters which means a lot of additional grinding if you want to have the perfect 'toolbox' of jobs.
If there's anything that's going to cause gamers to carefully consider their purchase, it will be the rather hefty price point, but the refined graphics (with Retina display optimizations) and hefty game content is more than worth the plunge if you're a fan of the genre that hasn't grabbed Final Fantasy III in one incarnation or another.