Final Fantasy III - updated hands-on

The game's major contribution to the franchise, however, does make the adventure more interesting than hitting menu commands. The job system lets you assign one of 23 roles to your four party members, changing their stats, attacks and appearance. This fully customizable party gives you free reign to craft a group any way you see fit - summoners, thieves, mages or Vikings, it's your call.

Though you begin with only six basic jobs, more open up as you free the elemental crystals from their slow decay. We're a good bit through the game and while some of the jobs are cool to scope out, their usefulness is relegated to one or two plot-driven battles (dragoons and rangers come to mind). Still, being able to trick out your party with all kinds of skills is a huge draw - the only real downside to all this extra leveling up is that characters don't retain their abilities when they switch jobs, something Final Fantasy V graciously allows to a certain extent. You can switch back and forth, abilities intact, but you can't go making a buffed-out knight that can slam lightning bolts down dragons' throats.

There's also a brief window in between switching jobs in which your character is master of neither profession. This buffer zone leaves your party member weakened and open to crushing attacks from the various monsters that populate the globe. We made the mistake of switching all four jobs in one shot, then entering a new area of the map. Bad idea - this is one of those games where crossing one invisible line on the map can mean an encounter with a beast that rips your heart out in one hit.

Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.