Final Fantasy III Preview - The Next Level

Game Profile

Nintendo DS
Release date:
September 2006
Square Enix
Square Enix

Final Fantasy III

Update: More impressions of the Final Final Fantasy to reach our shores.

Preview by (Email)
June 6th 2006

Last Updated: 5/17/06

The Basics: Sixteen years after it was released for the Famicom in Japan, Final Fantasy III is finally getting a proper localized release in the U.S. It's about time! However, the game doesn't look much like its original incarnation—and that's a good thing. Square Enix have completely redesigned the graphics from the ground up, keeping true to the spirit of the character designs and locales but re-imagining them in beautiful 3D for the Nintendo DS.

The game can either be controlled with the d-pad and face buttons, or completely through the stylus and touchscreen. Touch and drag to move characters, tap the screen to open chests, or draw a box around the enemy you want your party to attack. The move to 3D means that the shoulder buttons can rotate the camera angle on the overworld map or in a dungeon.

There is a dynamic job system in FFIII, and characters can change classes during the course of the game. You can also pick whether a member of the party equips one or two weapons. Two gives the character an extra attack per turn in battle, but at the expense of the defensive benefits of a shield. There's a good degree of depth to the strategy in this classic RPG!

What we think: Square Enix looks to be giving FFIII extra special treatment to make up for the long delay in bringing it to the U.S., and the presentation values on the Nintendo DS are very high indeed for the platform. The story elements of the original have been expanded, and Luneth's quest promises to be fleshed out far beyond the scope of the plot that fans are used to. While the game has been updated in many ways, it still retains the charm and elegant simplicity of control associated with Square's classic 2D RPGs.

The only downside to mention was a slight but noticeable loading delay before entering dungeons that will hopefully be reduced in time for the final release, because it seems out of place for a cartridge game and disrupts the flow. Otherwise, the deluxe presentation, completely new graphics, enhanced storyline, and remixed soundtrack are sure to be a treat for American fans who've managed to play the original—or those who've been waiting sixteen years for it to be translated!

Final Fantasy III footage (.avi Format, 13.31MB)

··· Edward Boyke

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