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Final Fantasy III review

So old-school it hurts... but it hurts so good


  • The job system
  • Excellent effects
  • music
  • Just like RPGs used to be


  • How RPGs used to be
  • Leveling up forever
  • Dying after a long dungeon

If you were to judge this remake of the Japanese Final Fantasy III solely on its appearance, you'd be right to think it%26rsquo;s a modern-day re-imagining of an 8-bit classic. However, that assessment would only be half right. The visuals, music and platform may all be the latest in handheld tech, but the top-notch recreation can't hide the hard-assed, 1990 gameplay that dwells underneath the shiny surface.

You want character development? None of that here. Final Fantasy III loosely touches on a tale of dying crystals and a world on the brink of ruin, but for the most part your four main characters will react, not interact. Secondary characters that join up with your party offer a chance to bounce dialogue around, but other than lending a helping hand during battles, they're just along for ride. The same goes for one-sentence townsfolk and narrow-minded bosses that cause trouble for no other reason than "I'm a bad guy, grrr!"

But once you look past how hopelessly old-school the game is, there's one area where RPG fans will go totally nuts - the job system. Pioneered in FFIII, the job system lets you alter your party's makeup outside of battle. You can prune your group for each dungeon, every boss encounter you come across, creating a multipurpose assortment of warriors, ninja, archers or 19 other job types. But unlike Final Fantasy V, which also uses this customizable method, traits from one class don't translate to another. In other words, you can't have a badass black mage that's simultaneously a dragon-slaying tank - you have to switch back and forth to get access to each class's goods.

More info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionThe series' last retro classic makes its way west. It's the first with the popular Job System that lets you change classes
Franchise nameFinal Fantasy
UK franchise nameFinal Fantasy
US censor rating"Everyone 10+","Everyone 10+",""
UK censor rating"","",""
Alternative names"FF III","Final Fantasy 3","Final Fantasy 3"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)